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Old 2008-02-17, 19:40   Link #1
Ledgem
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Northeast USA
Age: 29
External Enclosures: IDE, SATA, SATA&IDE?

I know we've had some discussions about external HDs here, but I didn't feel like this really fit any of them; apologies for creating yet another thread of a similar topic.

I have two or three PATA (IDE) drives lying around that I'd like to put back into use, primarily for media tasks. In other words, these drives will be getting relatively active use, as opposed to drives used in storage applications. Knowing that Seagate will discontinue their PATA drives in the near future (it was either this year or 2009, can't remember) and that Western Digital may follow soon, buying an IDE enclosure would be to buy something that won't be of much use once my current IDE drives die.

Looking at Newegg, it seems that some enclosures are dual interface, SATA and IDE. Of course, these cost more than an IDE- or SATA-only enclosure. Combined with the fact that I prefer enclosures that have USB and Firewire, I'd be paying more for a dual-interface enclosure than a single-interface one, but this is a relatively minor qualm as I would be willing to get a USB-only enclosure if need be. If I go with a PATA-only one I can get it with firewire for relatively cheap; if I go with a dual-interface one I could use it with a SATA drive when the PATA drive fails in the future, which would theoretically justify the higher price as I wouldn't have to buy another enclosure.

What do you guys think about it - is it smarter to get something that can be reused with drives in the future? If you were going to buy an enclosure to use with a PATA drive you had lying around and knew you'd probably want to have another external once that drive died, would you go for a PATA-only enclosure or an enclosure that could handle both, even if it cost more?
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Old 2008-02-17, 20:58   Link #2
Eviltape
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Florida, USA
It depends when said HDDs are expected to crash. If it's within the next 2 years, I would just get the dual-interface enclosures. If, at the time of purchase, 2 ATA enclosures are cheap enough to be negligibly higher priced than a single dual-interface, then buy the ATAs now and purchase the SATAs at that small price years later.

Also, Firewire/eSATA > USB so much that I'd rather network 2 computers with a long 40-foot
Ethernet cable than wait 10 more minutes for my multi-gigabyte projects to be transferred. :P
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Old 2008-02-18, 17:04   Link #3
Tiberium Wolf
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Age: 34
If you are still using IDE HDD then better have one at hand that support it. Well... it's not like that the IDE HDD are going away so soon.
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Old 2008-02-18, 17:16   Link #4
Ledgem
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Northeast USA
Age: 29
That's a good point. Seagate may be discontinuing their IDE drives, but there'll probably still be a number of them available (and perhaps there'll be some massive savings coming up). Combined with Eviltape's reminders of the horrors of using USB drives for massive transfers, I decided that I'd just go with an IDE-only enclosure. To get an IDE/SATA enclosure that has firewire would cost me $50+, and all of the reviews for those enclosures state that they're of questionable quality. There's no point in buying an enclosure that can handle both if the enclosure itself won't last long enough to be useful with multiple drives.
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