CbC Reviews: Other World Computing

10Feb11

So, I’m getting a new computer soon. A decent one, running on the “I have an okay income this year, and make my computers last forever” justification. It’s a Mac Pro, something of a proper workstation, because with an iPad meeting most (if not all) of my regular mobile needs you can get far more bang for your buck with a desktop, rather than a laptop that spends 99% of its time perched on your desk.

This post is not about that computer. Oh no. This post is about it’s hard drives.

As I may have mentioned previously, as a long time laptop user (my last three machines have all been laptops), the idea of drive bays makes me seethe with envy and desire. Storage, as far as the eye can see. Now that I have something with drive bays (4 of them – 5 if you count the empty optical bay), I wanted drives to fill them. I wanted to not have to download a season of something off iTunes, and watch the “Available Space” ticker with worry.

I wanted terabytes. But reading many of the reviews on Amazon made me a bit sick. So I settled on a 2 TB Western Digital Caviar Black drive (I’ve always had good luck with Western Digital drives), a matching Caviar Green drive as my backup, and a modest 120 Gig SSD drive for my boot system. This is…several hundred dollars in drives.

Amazon, as always, is the cheap way to go. But reading several of the reviews, and looking at pictures, made me a bit sick. Drives tossed in a box with no padding, no support. I get pissed off when Amazon does that to a *book*. So they’re clearly out.

Newegg hasn’t ever sat right with me. I order from them on occasion, but I wasn’t feeling it.

Enter Other World Computing. Right now, they’re having a sale on drives that puts them generally on-par with the more heavily discounted companies. You can talk to a human being – on the phone or live chat – about their needs. They make what are highly rated SSD drives. While their website address is http://www.macsales.com, most of their stuff is platform agnostic – but for a devoted Mac user, it also feels good to order from a company that has been supporting the platform, and helping Mac users upgrade their systems for awhile.

The box with the drives came today. It was packed like they expected it to go through a warzone. The SSD, which has no moving parts and would probably have been fine packed Amazon-style was in its own plastic shell, sandwiched in between foam layers, inside its very own box. The two Western Digital drives were similarly in their own box with a snug, purpose designed carrying tray to keep them from moving. The whole setup was swaddled in tremendous amounts of packing paper.

Whether the parts are good or not will have to wait until the computer gets here. But for now, OWC is highly recommended for your random-bits-of-hardware needs.

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