Hmm I bought the wrong Harddrive...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by WillMak, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. WillMak macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    #1
    I bought an internal harddrive with an external case but it seems that they won't work together. The hard drive is a SATA drive while the external is ummm....something else (the data cable isn't as small). Anyways, before I go back to the computer store to exchange this for an external case with a SATA interface I just want to know if SATA Harddrives will work for my macbook.
     
  2. Temujin macrumors 6502a

    Temujin

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    #2
    Your MacBook requires a SATA harddrive. So yes it will work with such a drive :)
     
  3. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #3
    The external enclosure is probably IDE/ATA, which is incompatible with SATA drives as you noted.

    The MacBook does in fact take SATA drives.
     
  4. tilman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    #4
    You can go either way: get a PATA (Parallel ATA) drive to match your case, or get a case with a SATA (Serial ATA) interface to match your drive. The first is trivial, the later is a little bit more complicated. External cases for SATA drives are fairly new, and there aren't that many available yet.

    Your Mac should work with either combination. The interface is internal to the case, and doesn't show on the USB or Firewire connection.
     
  5. WillMak thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    #5
    Thanks guys. I really would rather do the latter of the two since the cheapest drive they had (the one I got) was a 300 GB maxtor SATA for 70 bucks. The other non sata drives were in the hundreds with less GB. Is SATA the crappier of the two?
     
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #6
    Yes, the only concern is that the case and the drive match. It doesn't matter what type of drive it is. Although if you're buying 2.5" for some reason, buy SATA so you could put it inside your Macbook if you wanted. :)
     
  7. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #7
    Ah, yes...I misinterpreted your question about compatibility with the MacBook. The MacBook requires SATA drives for internal use. It can use either SATA or ATA drives as externals. But yes, the enclosure and the external drive have to be of the same type.
     
  8. WillMak thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    #8
    Sweet. YEa I have a 3.5 inch SATA so I'm gonna go look for external cases tommorow and return the ATA case. I just hope compusa allowx me to return it even tho I opened it.
     
  9. tilman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    #9
    SATA is the newer interface, is faster, and has easier to handle connectors. Performance wise you might not able to dell the difference with an external case however, as the USB-2.0 or Firewire-400 connection is probably limiting the throughput anyway.
     
  10. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #10
    SATA is the newer, better (for a number of reasons) interface. As for pricing, the SATA version of a given drive is usually a few bucks ($5-10) more than the ATA version, but sales and specials can affect that sometimes.
     

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