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Old August 10th, 2005, 12:57 PM   #1
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Help please - which external Lacie Drive for FCP 5/iMac

I have an iMac G5 with 2GB ram and am looking to purchase an external firewire 400 external drive. I have been told that Lacie are the most reliable drives but at the same time I have also heard that the bigger the drive, the less stable. Is this true?

Ideally, I'd like to get a 500GB drive. Has anyone got any opinions on the LaCie d2 500GB Hard Drive Extreme? Obviously, I don't have Firewire800 on my iMac so should I opt for something else instead or is its Firewire400 performance up to scratch for DV editing in Final Cut Pro 5?

I have read on this forum that the Big Disk Extreme drives are more suited to editing than the Big Disk drives but I am finding it difficult to find any comprehensive reviews - at least none that relate to usage of Firewire 400 drives in an editing environment.

Any help would be really appreciated. Thanks.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 02:17 PM   #2
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Colin, I think the reliability concern with the 500GB Big Disk Extreme is that it has 2 250GB drives and a built-in RAID 0 controller rather than one 500GB volume. If you want to know about the performance vs. reliability issues related to RAID 0 then you'll find plenty on this board if you search RAID. I don't know what's in the Triple Interface 500GB drive - LaCie certainly doesn't indicate that it has RAID built in.

Just to be a pest, I should tell you that I've found LaCies are the least reliable external drives. I've had two of those fail (one d2 and one Porsche) and never had any other drive fail. I'm much happier with my G-Drive, but I don't think they come in sizes larger than 250GB without RAID 0 either.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 03:25 PM   #3
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Thanks

Thanks for your advise Zach. I'd better read up on RAID 0!
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Old August 10th, 2005, 05:52 PM   #4
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if you can i would also suggest Firewire 800 if your Imac supports it just a lil bit faster transfer so might as well scrape as much speed as you can. At work we use these drives from a company called promax its an external SATA 2TB setup and its basically 4-500GB drives and they come in two cases both of which stay really cool and they are on almost 24/7 never really get too hot. Anyways yeah i am also in the market for an external HDD and i will probably get one from this company but nothing as big as we use at work that would be over kill for what i do at home. Hopes this helps.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 06:56 PM   #5
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Thanks Kevin. Unfortunately the iMac only supports Firewire 400. I hadn't heard of Promax drives before you mentioned them so I'll check them out too...
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Old August 11th, 2005, 07:32 PM   #6
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I am using two Lacie 250 GB d2 drives and think they're great. No problems.
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Old August 12th, 2005, 10:43 AM   #7
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If the 500 Gb is the way you want to go, also look at the G-Raid. It uses the same bridge as the LaCie but I haven't heard any horror stories from anyone I know who is using them (as opposed to the LaCie) including myself.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 12:39 AM   #8
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I've had a Lacie 400gb drive since March and I haven't had any problems with it - it's been running fast and reliably.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 04:17 PM   #9
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OK, to clarify, LaCie drives perform fine when the controller is working. They have more than enough power for editing on the Mac, especially if you are using FW800. But all of the LaCie drives, both the d2s and the Porsches, have a fatal design flaw with cooling. LaCie claims the heat radiates through the case, and it's just not true. They get way too hot, and eventually some of them fail. I have about 20 LaCies at work, and I've had 2 fail. It takes longer than a couple of months, Andrew, but they can and sometimes do fail. In my experience it takes about a year of moderate use. I've found other users on forums and in my town who have had the same problems with LaCies, and neither they nor I have had problems with other pre-fab external drives. I have a 5% failure rate with LaCie and 0% with Maxtor, G-Technologies and even $25 cases that I put together myself. If you buy a pre-fab external drive from LaCie then you aren't getting a LaCie hard drive. You're getting a Maxtor, most likely, in a LaCie case that loses its warranty if you open it to recover your data, which I've done. If you're paying that premium for nothing more than the case, then it should work for more than a year. Every other hard drive case I've seen and bought does. That's why I recommend that editors stay away from LaCie. Plenty of other manufacturers make 7200rpm, 8MB cache firewire interface external drives.
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