Is this usb external hard drive any good? - HotUKDeals
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Is this usb external hard drive any good?

foxylady* Avatar
8y, 4m agoPosted 8 years, 4 months ago
Can you knowledgeable people please let me know if this is the best bargain at the moment? I'm not really up on external hard drives and also short of cash so any help would be appreciated. Rep given to all those who help out ;)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Western-Digital-Elements-500GB-External/dp/B000OS54TA/ref=sr_1_34?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1216329017&sr=8-34
foxylady* Avatar
8y, 4m agoPosted 8 years, 4 months ago
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#2
Yep thats a great deal, i paid £69.99 for one thats very similar just a different colour. Be away though this sized hard drive will have to be powered via a power supply cable plugged into the mains and not just through the USB cable which can be abit of a pain if you move it from place to place but if its just used as additional storage for your desktop its bob on!
#3
You could read the reviews on Amazon - pretty mixed I'd say. Don't know if Amazon censor reviews (i.e. weed out the worst) but they wouldn't inspire me to buy one.
#4
Oh right what do i put in my search terms then to get a usb powered one? I put 'usb powered' and it came up with this... Also I would like to sort quite a lot of word docs and about twelve x two hour audio files (about 13000kb each). What size do you think I would need? Sorry I am quite lost where these are concerned!
#5
well, thats only 156Mb for the audio files, and Word docs are tiny, unless they have large images

if u want usb powered, here's a 160Gb: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/142577

if you want to go larger, here's a good place to start: http://www.ebuyer.com/search/?page=3&sortfilter=ascend&limit=10&intStoreID=2&intCatID=4&intSubcatUID=1813
#6
These ar all USB powered (I think):

http://www.ebuyer.com/search/?intStoreID=2&intCatID=4&intSubcatUID=1813

You can check the spec on them to be sure.
#7
As far as i am concerned bigger is always best when storage is concerned that way you've always got enough and don't have to worry about running out :-D

On the power supply front i think the max size is about 320GB or there abouts before it requires powering seperately but dont quote me on this, as then the power supplied via the USB port isn't man enough to power the drive as they only kick out about 5v
#8
And how much are the usb powered large capacity ones about?
#9
The 2.5" smaller hard disk typically use 1 to 3 watts of electricity and 3.5" disks uses about 8 to 15 watts but because a transformer is needed , it is typically less than 80% efficient so you are likely to use between 11 to 22 watts of electricity. Say the saving is 20 watts by using a 2.5" disk. If you run your computer for 8 hrs a day. The savings in electricity is 12p * 8 hrs *20/1000* 365 days = £7 per year. And for the other 16 hours idle time and if you do not switch off the power to the transformer it will use electricity if it feels warm to the touch , hence adding extra electricity cost. I am not here to save the planet but merely to suggest a 2.5" format disk may be much better for people.

A 250GB 2.5" is £60 and a 250 GB 3.5" is about less than £40. As you can see at below 250GB the 2.5" is going to win over the 3.5" because by the time you have taken into account of the savings in electricity over two years any capacity less than 250GB the price difference is bridged. So I would buy 2.5" because they are always quieter, cooler to the touch, portable, small footprint on the desk and convenient. Another thing is that many cheaper 3.5" disks run quite hot, especially the ones with no fan, high heat is a major killer of hard disks and long term hotness shortens the lifespan. Then if you have a fanned 3.5" it may be noisy because of the fan. However if you need > 250GB and especially above 500GB the 3.5" is going to be much cheaper than the 2.5" as the 2.5" tops at 500GB today whilst the 3.5" disks tops around 2 TB in the market. Above 500GB you only choice is the transformer powered 3.5" hard disk.

Finally the Element range of the WD disks has NO cache. This is the cheapest GB per £, hence the best value for money for storage, but it is also the worst performer for random reads/writes as it has no cache. But the price difference between a no cache one and one with cache is about £3- £5. 500GB is a huge amount of storage and for 99% of people , 90% of the 500GB is going to be infrequently accessed, and for those who do access > 20% of the 500GB regularly then they are large video or sound files of several hundred megabytes and then the reads and writes are sequential access so the cache is useless anyway... streaming 700MB video file will not use the 8MB cache! In the other extreme , if you do torrent with the disk then lots of cache is going to be useful and then the Element range with no cache is no definite NO to buy.
#10
can't believe they don't have a cache on the WD elements drive, hell! talk about cutting costs, for a few squid like you say you can get a Seagate or Freecom w plenty of cache
#11
Yeah, a desktop hard drive with no cache seems unlikely, as does making a special hard drive just for a budget external drive. Do you have some proof of this claim?

The term portable is usually used for the USB powered ones as opposed to desktop for the mains powered ones. The portable ones are also always 2.5" drives.

For a USB powered drive you're looking at about £40 for 160GB £50-60 for 250GB, £70 for 320GB and a lot of money for 500GB.
#12
according to newegg the elements 500GB does have a cache memory: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136080

EndlessWaves: I haven't seen any 500Gb USB powered drives?!
#13
AugQX
EndlessWaves: I haven't seen any 500Gb USB powered drives?!


Buffalo, Lacie and Plextor all do 500GB portable models, the plextor one is actually eSATA with a USB cable for power. You're looking at £150+ for any of them though.

LaCie do actually do a 1TB firewire powered drive as well, although at £440 it's not cheap: http://www.lacie.com/uk/products/product.htm?pid=11087
#14
the LaCie Quadra looks like it has a powerbrick
#15
AugQX
the LaCie Quadra looks like it has a powerbrick


It does come with a power brick in case you want to use it off eSATA or USB but it can also be powered through the firewire port.
#16
EndlessWaves
Yeah, a desktop hard drive with no cache seems unlikely, as does making a special hard drive just for a budget external drive. Do you have some proof of this claim?.


I have surfed all over and been on Western's Digital's web site as I was thinking of getting one. No where does it state it has cache, unlike for the drives on WD's web site. All other non Element disks they write on the web site as having cache.
#17
splender
I have surfed all over and been on Western's Digital's web site as I was thinking of getting one. No where does it state it has cache, unlike for the drives on WD's web site. All other non Element disks they write on the web site as having cache.


Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

I would imagine it doesn't list the cache because WD will be using different disks in that model over time and the cache will vary depending on which one you get.
#18
EndlessWaves
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

I would imagine it doesn't list the cache because WD will be using different disks in that model over time and the cache will vary depending on which one you get.


Anyone who has an Element disk please report here that it has cache?

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