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My brother wants a firewire card and 1TB external harddrive which I want to get him for Christmas. The thing is, I'm not sure I have all the information I need.

He built his own computer which I know has some sort of ASUS motherboard, Windows XP, and uses a PCI express connection. Does the fact that he uses an ASUS motherboard complicate things? Or should any firewire card that is PCI express and XP-compatible be fine? Also, do I need to be careful if he is planning on eventually uprgrading to Windows 7? What is a good price for something like this? It seems like it shouldn't be more than $20.

Also, will the firewire card have any influence on which harddrive I get him? The prices for 1TB external harddrives seem to vary a lot. I've seen prices ranging from $86 - $230 (on newegg). What are some things I should look for to know I am getting a good deal without getting a piece of crap? What are some brands that are good and brands that I should keep away from. I imagine he wants it for doing backups and storing lots of music/video content.

I probably want to buy both items from the same site, especially if I can get a shipping deal. I was thinking either amazon (which I normally never buy this kind of stuff from) or newegg which I have found to be quite reliable.

Any help is much appreciated, as I find buying this kind of stuff to really be hit or miss :-).



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closed as off-topic by Tog, Journeyman Geek May 15 '14 at 10:38

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking for hardware shopping recommendations are off-topic because they are often relevant only to the question author at the time the question was asked and tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead of asking what to buy, try asking how to find out what suits your needs." – Tog, Journeyman Geek
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Considering it is a modern system, does it already have firewire? my desktop from 2 years ago has 2 firewire ports, as does my laptop – Journeyman Geek Dec 6 '09 at 23:43
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The ASUS motherboard does not make any difference. Newegg is a good place to get this, particularly if you are unsure what to get. You can sort the filter/search results by customer recommendations. I strongly suggest you use the recommendations as the typical Newegg shopper is pretty savvy. As far as the difference in hard drive prices, size (2.5 v. 3.5) will make a difference, especially in the capacity you're looking at. Also the enclosure is a factor in the price. Again, reading the recommendations is probably your best guide. I expect any card you find that is XP compliant will also work with Windows 7, but read the descriptions.

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what do you mean by size 2.5 v. 3.5? – Tom Dec 6 '09 at 22:57
Oh I see you mean the form factor... I assume 2.5 will be much more expensive at 1TB capacity? – Tom Dec 6 '09 at 23:05
there're no 1 tb 2.5 inch drives iirc, with capacity topping out at 500 gb i think – Journeyman Geek Dec 6 '09 at 23:42
Seconding. NewEgg is always a good place to start searching for parts online. – Kaji Dec 6 '09 at 23:42
Au contraire mon frere, see this one: – Beaner Dec 7 '09 at 4:01

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