Question What are the pros and cons of building an external hard drive as opposed to getting a pre-built external hard drive

MasterYoda327

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May 26, 2019
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I plan to build a new gaming PC. I also use an external hard drive for data backup purposes. All of my previous desktop external hard drives have been pre-built brands such as Eagle, Western Digital, and Toshiba. I recently learned that I could put a regular internal hard drive into an external enclosure and use it as an external hard drive. I am considering going this route for my next external hard drive but I would like to ask what would be the pros and cons of going this route and whether I would be better off building my own external hard drive or sticking with a pre-built name brand external hard drive. I would also appreciate recommendations on reliable external hard drive enclosures if you say building my own external hard drive is the better option.

Thanks.
 

IceQueen0607

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Nov 27, 2019
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My personal experience, prebuilt never last long. Ive had maybe a dozen over the last 10 years. The more I used them the faster they failed.
I run a server with two external enclosures. A two bay USB-C enclosure which supports 240MB/s transfers over USB-C. And a single Aluminum enclosure. All have 10TB drives. Never had problems with either of them. I only buy the 10Gbps+ units

For prebuilt's - I don't know whether the issue is the cramped plastic cases or the 2.5" drives are just less reliable. Regardless, I've never been able to have one survive a year as a backup drive used daily. Other people will have had different experiences.

In summer, when the single drive is being used for large backups I occasionally put a desktop fan in front of it because I'm paranoid about high temps, but it's probably not needed.

I suggested the powered enclosures as you're using them for backups, so I figured portability is not an issue.

Make sure you check out the maximum drive capacity on the enclosure. I've been caught out with that before, trying to install a 10TB drive in an enclosure that only supported up to 8TB.

I prefer powered devices rather than those powered off USB. I don't really know why :)

I've only ever had one fail - A Startech model - don't recall exactly which
 

MasterYoda327

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May 26, 2019
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Thanks for your input, if I went with a build my own external hard drive, would I be better off with a case that has a built-in fan or no? I understand metal-based cases handle cooling better than plastic. If possible could you provide recommendations on reliable external hard drive enclosure models or brands? I plan to use only a 4TB hard drive for storage.
 

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