Testing the FireLite 120 GB Drive for Aperture

by Derrick Story

firelite_120.jpg



I've been using the SmartDisk FireLite 120 GB hard drive to store my Aperture library for the MacBook Pro 17" I take on the road. I was down to 1 GB on my previous 80 GB LaCie drive, and it was time to move up.



Even though the FireLite is only a 5400 RPM drive, I've been impressed with its snappy performance while using Aperture. I have the USB 2.0 model that is port-powered so I don't have to use an external power source. It's small enough to easily fit in my backpack or back pocket. The drive also includes a Mac version of the BounceBack Express backup utility.



Before moving my Aperture library over to the FireLite, I reformatted the drive (after saving BounceBack to another location) for Mac OS X Extended, then moved my managed library and referenced masters over. The drive is performing beautifully, and extending the usefulness of my MacBook Pro on the road.



I purchased the unit at CompUSA for $179 US with a $20 rebate.


11 Comments

b3n
2006-11-17 08:38:54
I have a LaCie mobile SAFE drive, it is bus powered, but also has a power adapter for the wall and for another USB port, I often find that I have to use that extra power adapter to get the drive to work correctly. Does this happen with the FireLite?
Derrick
2006-11-17 17:33:36
I haven't had to use any external power at all. Been plugging the FireLite into my MacBook Pro 17 and working away in Aperture.
James Duncan Davidson
2006-11-19 15:17:45
Its good to hear that this is a workable option. Sometimes, during a single event such as the Web 2.0 Summit, I'll rack up 50GB of images before pruning them down--which usually leads to a space problem on the laptop.


Of course, there are the new 200GB hard drives in the new MacBook Pros. But I think getting the image library off onto a secondary spindle is definitly a good thing indeed.

Derrick
2006-11-20 07:23:22
I want to get back to a question that b3n asked about using external power with the FireLite. I work mostly with a MBP 17", and the FireLite comes right up on the Desktop with that machine. This weekend, however, I wanted to move some date over to an older PowerBook G4 17", and the FireLite does not come up. In fact, I couldn't get any of my non-powered USB drives to mount except for Flash memory types. Not sure yet what the problem is, but thought I should post an update right away.
Mike Ombrello
2006-11-25 05:08:40
If I understand your article correctly, you have your primary Aperture library located on the Firelite exteral drive. Where do you keep your vault? I have a Macbook with only the 60 GB drive. I haven't started to build a library that is close to size to yours - but I am quickly starting to see the available space on my Macbook hard drive get consumed. I am using my 80 Gb FireLite drive to backup key files from the Macbook, as well as housing my aperture vault. I would be very interested in leveraging the FireLite drive for Aperture, provided I could also maintain my vault.

2006-12-14 11:36:52
Sten46721
2007-01-04 08:45:35
Not much on my mind. I don't care. I've just been letting everything happen without me , but shrug. Whatever. I feel like a void.
Sten51488
2007-01-19 07:57:43
I haven't been up to much today. I've just been letting everything happen without me. Basically nothing seems worth bothering with. I've just been hanging out doing nothing. I just don't have anything to say right now. More or less nothing happening.
Dana
2007-01-21 22:02:08
Actually the best thing was you moving away from LaCie they have a high fail rate. We had 6 drives by them (for work) every one failed in under a year. The 120GB firelite (btw) is 7200 RPMs, verses all the other firelites being 5400 RPM drivers
Sten53634
2007-01-30 18:10:43
I've just been staying at home waiting for something to happen, but I don't care. Basically nothing seems worth thinking about. I can't be bothered with anything recently.
JackyMoal
2007-02-05 14:34:00
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