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Maxtor OneTouch III 1 Terabyte Turbo Edition Triple Interface (Professional Use Raid)
Review by Tech Lab staff
May 1, 2006

If you don’t backup your computer and important data, you are pretty negligent, because any computer will someday have a fatal crash, whether the fault is the hardware, OS or an exterior intrusion.

There as two things in today’s technology world that are the topic of interest or concern more than anything – Digital Content for consumers like music, photography and video; or the huge problem of Viruses, Trojans and Malicious Software “Malware”. Even the idle boasting of the Mac crowd that Macs are exempt from these threats, has drawn that platform into the recent target of “black hat hacker” virus writers. It will get worse, as Macs move to the Intel PC platform as many knowledgeable security experts have warned.

And lets be honest, people using computers make stupid mistakes sometimes too.

Your data, whether it’s you coveted music library, family or professional digital photography, important correspondence and business data or the entire computers system; you need to BACK UP!

I have a friend who had bought hundreds of dollars of music downloads from Apple iTunes downloaded onto her G4 eMac, but doesn’t use an iPod. She uses the music to make customized workout CD’s for a Workout and Aerobics class she teaches. Well one day Mac OS X had a fatal seizure thanks to a not to unusual buggy OS X update from Apple and it wiped out her eMac completely. We couldn’t recover anything from her corrupted account and had no choice but to create a new user. All the purchased music was gone from the eMac. Fortunately, she had about 70% of that music on CDs that she luckily kept.

This 1 Terabyte model will potentially store more than 16,000 hours of music files, 800,000 photos or 1000 GB of data files.

Follow the leader –
Maxtor has been a leader in this "Backup" market for better than six years, and the Maxtor external hard disk drives are exceptionally reliable, easy to use and widely accepted as the finest in the industry. With the advent of the OneTouch series some five years ago, Maxtor was the innovator and very much left the competition behind. Now most of the other Hard Drive manufacturers have mimicked the “one button back up” approach that Maxtor pioneered. I know barely computer literate users that find the various Maxtor OneTouch devices fool proof.

OneTouch II & new OneTouch III 1 TB Turbo Edition (right)

This new Maxtor OneTouch™ III Turbo is a new evolution in a very successful product line, as it expands past the OneTouchTM II’s 300GB capacity limit, in various increments from a 100GB USB 2.0 only port unit, to the top of the line 1 Terabyte “Turbo Edition (Professional Use Raid)” with triple port interface of FireWire 400, 800 and USB 2.0. The OneTouch™ III models also changes the exterior package look to match better with PC styles, rather than a G5 Mac accessory. Lets face it, the new Mac market isn’t growing. We like the new package style a lot.

 
Meet the family from 100GB to 1000GB (1 TB) Turbo Edition

One more thing, the design of this new enclosure is so slick because it stays so cool without emitting a single audible hmmm or buzz of any kind. Our decibel meter registered 9db. That’s cool, literally. You can’t even tell the internal fans are running, but they are. In comparison, other large capacity external HDD’s we’ve tried like Western Digital, Simple Tech and LaCie’s, which are noticeably noisy to damn right loud.

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Everything you need is included: FW800, FW400 and USB 2.0 cables, AC Power Brick and Backup Software.(Clcik to enlarge this and other article images)
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"Our decible meter registered 9db.  ....other large capacity external HDD’s we’ve tried like Western Digital, Simple Tech and LaCie’s, which are noticeably noisy to damn right loud ..."
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RAID choice is where it’s at –
Besides the bigger capacities and the triple port selection, the 1 Terabyte OneTouch™ III Turbo Edition uses two 500GB 7200 RPM HDD’s in the same but twice as wide enclosure package, which is still great looking. Why is that important? Maxtor saw to it to give you those two massive drives in your own users setup choice of RAID 0 or RAID 1 and it’s done with hardware not software. That IS, sweet!

Just in case you don’t speak RAID, please let me explain. RAID 0 (Zero), also know as “Striping” (not stripping as some second class magazines often mistakenly call it) as in a Stripe long and continuous; and that’s what two separate drives become – as if one continuous data storage area.

Then there is RAID 1 (One), also known as “Mirroring” as in each of the two or more drives are mirror images (actually copies) of each other when stored data is written identically to each drive simultaneously.

The choice for you is quite simple - do you want a massive storage device, or one that essentially backs up what your saving by creating a duplicate on the second of two identical hard drives in one fell swoop.

If you data storage is vital and huge like multimedia, audio or video, then RAID 1 is the best solution to choose. I do a fair share of Digital Video editing and huge amount of music / sound production work, which is irreplaceable if a hard drive suddenly decides to give up the ghost. I’d be quite simply, screwed. RAID 1 is cheap security in my book. Keep in mind that I’m talking about short or long term storage, not editing on the fly.
Setting up RAID under Windows XP (click pic to enlarge) Click here to see all the Windows setup screens

Now Maxtor also touts that you could also configure the OneTouch™ III as a striped RAID 0 drives for high performance digital video editing on the fly. You can enable multiple streams without dropping frames as long as you use the FireWire 800 interface, which will provide 800 Mbps fast access and seamless data transfer. Far superior than USB 2.0 at 480 Mbps.

Incidentally, all of the OneTouch™ III family comes preformatted for Mac OS X. Homage we’d guess, to the over-whelming success and acceptance by the Mac crowd. But, if you use Windows, not to worry, a built-in utility automatically starts up and will help you to immediately and effortlessly reformat it ready to use in the 96% world of Windows PC’s.

Simple is very good, faster is great –
What I’ve always liked best about the Maxtor drives, is that they are KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid, meant for the vast majority of computer users that aren’t Bill Gates. Maxtor was the first to give you a fool-proof “one button” backup solution (hence the name) that anyone could figure out. And it has always worked perfectly.


  Windows Maxtor OneTouch III setup software window.

The initial setup of the drive is the simplest part of the whole process, just plug into either FW 800, 400 or USB 2.0 port on your Windows PC or Mac. As mentioned previously, you’ll automatically be prompted to reformat if you’re on a Windows PC. The Maxtor setup software couldn’t be better, and is clearly the best in the industry.

                        



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