ESATA Cards

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by daveIT, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Location:
    AK, USA
    #1
    I need a PCI card for my Mac Pro that has an ESATA port so I can transfer stuff to my USB/ESATA external hard drive faster.

    What options are out there that work (have drivers/etc) for Mac? If it will also work with the Windows side that would be cool.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Location:
    Kreplakistan
    #2
    tried to find it out the same issue yesterday..
    phoned and ask a shop and they said a 2prt lacie and 2/4prt sonnet card should work... they promised to phone back when they have confirmed it.

    apprently not many peeps have use for them,as I was the first person to ask it and MP has been out for a year..

    the newertech has it´s extender cable (wich goes to the mobos free sata port),wich i consider as bollocks.
    I mean, you can get a sata-esata cable for 1$ and they ask for 25...


    give a heads up if you find a reliable one!


    edit: http://www.satasite.com/esata-pci-e-4-port-esatapcie8.htm

    there´s something..
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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  4. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #4
    Be warned if you go the newtech adapter.

    If you have one of the first mac pros, apple did a lousey job on some of the screws inside and you will prob. end up stripping them.

    If you have a later mac pro you should be fine.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
  6. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    #6
    warning - PCIe is NOT PCI

    Fair warning -- the card mentioned by bigbossbmb is great IF you have a Power Mac with a PCIe slot. However, my dual 2.7 GHz G5 has PCI slots, not PCI-x or PCIe (It also has an AGP video card rather than PCI Express). Google the various implementations of PCI as above to learn the differences. Bottom line -- the original thread was asking about a PCI to eSATA card and this is not that. This is a PCIe (i.e., PCI-Express) card.

    There are a handful of products out there that will work with the Mac. The High Point Technologies RocketRAID 1720 will work with Mac, Windows, and Linux and is a standard PCI card. It usually costs about $89, but I found it at Provantage.com for $69. Still a bit pricey to me for a 2 port card (they do also have a 4 port card, the 1742). The 1742 is mentioned on the OWC website, but they did not list the 1720. They do carry the 1522, but this only supports SATA I speeds, not SATA II. I think it is a worthwhile phone call to see if they would sell you the 1720 for a competitive price to Provantage.com. I have purchased from OWC before and was very satisfied and I do not know anything about Provantage.com

    Hope this helps!!
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    #7
    I purchased the Sonnet Tempo E2P (same as linked above by bigbomb) from OWC. It causes kernel panics all day long.

    I was worried because I installed it along with my flashed 4870 and thought it was the 4870. Nope, did some reading and the E2P is known to cause kernel panics. I took it out and haven't had a problem since.

    Apparently, Sonnet has listed on their website that it is not currently compatible with the new Mac Pros. Lame.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #8
    I've been using the E2P and never had a kernal panic. I'm on a 2008 Mac Pro, though.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #9
  10. macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #10
    Do you even need a card? What's this (see attachments)? It seems to me there are already two extra ports. No?
     

    Attached Files:

  11. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #11
    It's a port extender to use the two unused SATA ports on the motherboards of pre-2009 Mac Pros. The problem is the ports won't be hot-swappable like true eSATA. Unplugging your external drive while the machine's running would be like pulling out an internal hard drive -- very bad.
     
  12. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    #12
    I installed Sonnet E4P on my '09 2.66 and it is working perfect. You just have to e-mail support to get BETA driver from them.
     
  13. macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #13
    Oh. :( But can't we use the Eject menu item? :)
     
  14. macrumors 6502

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    Southern California
    #14
    Yes, but you cannot physically disconnect your external drive from the port.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    #15
    Also, using the method of using the onboard SATA ports, if you are already using them, that doesn't help :)

    I want to use all 6 of them, but would like 2 external for backup devices.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    #16
    I was looking at this option myself. So what you're saying is you can't even switch the external drive off unless the Mac is shut down first? Even if you eject the drive first?

    Actually, I was looking at the similar G5 version, but using a spare SATA port on a PCI-X card instead. Do you know if an internal SATA card works differently to the mobo SATA ports in this regard?
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    #17
    Here's a Macenstein article about those sSATA ports using the internal Mac Pro SATA ports.

    Not having used eSATA myself before I had no idea it was like SCSI. Just assumed it was like Firewire or USB. Learn something every day. From the article:

    So it sounds like you can't just unplug an external drive from an eSATA PCIe card either then? So what's the difference from using the mobo SATA ports then? Except apart from a PCI card looking easier to install than removing the fan assembly - the photo of the ports with just a cable makes it looks deceptively simple, but after looking at that article, just sticking a card in looks a lot simpler.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Southern California
    #18
    That Macenstein article is talking about the Newertech port extender. Drives on it won't be hot swappable. The port extender isn't true eSATA regardless of what the product is named. A true eSATA card like the E2P supports hot-swapping.

    I'm not sure if it could be damaging to flip the power switch on an external drive when using the port extender.
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    #19
    The Sonnet E4P will give you hot swap, is very fast, always has updates to the drivers when needed and is just a great card overall.
     
  20. macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
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    #20
    I'm going to say we can do it anyway. I know... I'm bold sometimes. ;)

    If you eject the drive the buffers are flushed to the platter, and the heads seek a park-like position. I think SATA drives don't call it parking any longer but the drives I've looked at have a plastic cradle off-platter they position themselves to. So all things considered there's zero chance of damaging the drive as far as I can tell. Our only problem is forcing the OS to rescan and mount a freshly connected drive. This is possible in Mac OS 6.8 through 7.5.5 I know fro sure. There were many utilities either separate or part of a SCSI utility set that performed this function.

    I think this reviewer is a bit daft too. I mean we're reading a guy who not only could barely remove his fan assembly, he also stripped some screws while in there and admitted that he was "scared" the whole time. He says: " You’ll notice when connected via eSATA, our Quad drive does not display the “eject” icon in the Finder that it does when connected via USB or FireWire." and frankly I don't think I believe him. All my drives except the current OS Boot Drive are ejectable. And they eject and reconnect very quickly too. I'm not sure if they spin down on eject but they might. I'll have a listen the next time I'm doing that. Anyway, I don't understand how all my SATA drives have an Eject icon (that works) and an eSATA (identical in every way other than cable length and source for the power) wouldn't. The author of that article messed something up besides his motherboard screws IMO.

    In fact the second commenter says: "You may want to create an automator application to eject those hard drives.

    Automator > Finder > Eject Disk
    (This action eject a mounted disk or volume)

    Keep it in your Dock and you’ll be able to eject them without launching Disk Utility.
    " But I'm willing to bet that's not even needed. Maybe I set mine to be ejectable this way in one of those multi-tweak utilities and just forgot. I forget, ;) but either way all my SATA units either have an icon or a RMB click on the DT Drive icon image reveals an "Eject ..." option.

    Anyway if eSATA isn't remountable/ejectable then WTH is this:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] ? etc. Just a bad joke? These are all eSATA connected drive cradles.

    There's the exact cable I imaged (in post #10) on the Japanese e-bay right now for $4.50. I'm going to get it and one of these HDD cradles and try it and then report back here in a week or so.


    .
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    #21
    Thanks guys. Now I know there's at least one big difference between eSATA and SATA.

    Too bad I didn't know a few days ago before I ordered an internal card port extender as it looks like I won't be able to use it as I planned to now - to power up/down the external hard drives whenever I need them intermittently (without having to shut down and restart the Mac every time).
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    #22
    None of my internal SATA drives have the eject icon like external firewire or USB drive images do. But you're right that it's available anyway as a right mouse click. So what happens when you eject an internal SATA drive? Does it stay offline until the next reboot?

    I'll be getting mine tomorrow so can let you know as well. It's the non Mac Pro version so it connects to an internal PCI SATA card port instead of a motherboard port, in case that makes any difference.
     
  23. macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #23
    I had forgotten about dragging disks and volumes to the trash. I feel silly. :D

    Which also means there's a command to do the same thing. I dunno what it is but there's a terminal command for everything in Disk Utility. I just tried it using Disk Utility. Yep, just select the volume or disk and click on Mount and it reappears. But this may or may not work if OS X isn't kicked in the butt and told to rescan the SATA buss. There's gotta be a command to force this tho. Again I dunno what it is tho. :) If there's not a command then there's gotta be a utility floating around that will do this. I know some disk utilities act like they're doing this at least. If there's not a utility or command to rescan then it would probably be cake to write one that would. Disk Utility itself may do this - again I dunno. You'll find out when you get you drive hooked up. Let us know.
     
  24. macrumors regular

    sngx1275

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    Missouri
    #24
    Can you clairify? I was almost going to get a sonnet card for my G4DA so I could run an external that would be compatible with a modern PC, but for cost reasons I cheaped out and went FW400 enclosure with a hd.

    But I do run a 1TB eSATA/USB 2.0 hd on my Vista machine, and I can't say I've had any real problems with it running as eSATA. (I did have a totally screwy issue recently where, well its too weird to explain unless requested, and at once point my esata drive didn't show up in Windows once. But a reboot fixed it).
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    #25
    Okay, just tried it - eSATA port from the spare internal port on SATA PCI card, PowerMac G5.

    YES - Drive can be ejected via right mouse button and powered off, no problem. I think.

    NO - Drive doesn't auto-mount unless it is powered on before system boot, so can't just turn the external drive on anytime and see the drive on the desktop. Unless there's a workaround.

    NO - Doesn't work with multiple drive enclosures. One port = one drive only. I have a four drive SOHO enclosure with in-built port-multiplier so all four drives *should* work via a single USB or eSATA connection, but only the first drive mounted. All four drives mount with a single USB port, but not with this SATA->eSATA port converter so I assume it apparently needs a 'proper' eSATA port. So not the solution I was hoping for.

    PS. The drive appears as a normal internal drive, not an external drive (with eject icon).
     

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