Running MBP off of external HD vs. internal

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Websteria, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. Websteria macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    #1
    Hey there all,

    I have an external 7200rpm 16mb cache firewire drive I'm using for my boot disk on my MBP, since the internal drive is 5400 rpm, and only 80gb. I do a lot of music stuff so 80 is not enough to load all my logic loops and instruments on.

    Is the external drive going to be slower since it's going over FW400 than the internal 5400 RPM drive?

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks!
    Jeff
     
  2. DannySmurf macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    #2
    Yes and no. First, the spin speed of the drive isn't at all relevant in this situation. The FW400 bus can transfer data at a maximum speed of 400Mbps. The internal drive can transfer data at a maximum of 150MBps, which is 1200Mbps, three times as fast as firewire.

    That's a theoretical maximum. This is going to be important when the computer is using the hard drive heavily (for example, when booting or loading a level in a game). But during normal use, the system will rarely even tax the 400Mbps firewire connection, so when you're just using your browser or emailing or using Word, you won't notice much (if any) difference.
     
  3. Websteria thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    #3
    But what about when I'm using logic and things like that, will the internal drive be a better choice?
     
  4. blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #4
    I ran my G4 PB 1.33GHz from a Firewire drive for a few days while I was reinstalling Tiger on the internal disk. Purely subjectively it actually felt faster using the Firewire drive. I was a bit surprised as I thought it would be slower, but I put it down to the faster spindle speed and the larger cache on the Firewire drive. Disk access is usually in short bursts so clipping at the maximum data transfer rate is not usually sustained.
     
  5. blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #5
    This may make a big difference depending on how many audio tracks you're messing with. If you're dealing with more than a few audio tracks you will want the fastest transfer rate you can get so the internal drive may win. Why don't you try both internal and external and see which is best.
     
  6. Websteria thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    #6
    Bloodwyn, where are you in Portland? I'm out in Beaverton. Small world.

    I'll give both a try. The external "appears" to be faster, but I'm not sure. Maybe I'll keep my projects on internal so that recorded tracks end up there.
     
  7. blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #7
    Yes, a small world. I'm out near Tanasbourne.
     
  8. Websteria thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    #8
    I work out there, right off of John Olsen Place.
     

Share This Page