Booting X on FireWire drive...... how fast?

Backtothemac

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Original poster
Jan 3, 2002
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San Destin Florida
Question. Has anyone here ever used a FireWire drive to boot OS X off of and run the system on? I put VPC on my D2 LaCie drive and got a 10 - 20% performance increase.

Please advice if you have had any luck with this. I have an iMac 17"
 

madamimadam

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Jan 3, 2002
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Re: Booting X on FireWire drive...... how fast?

Originally posted by Backtothemac
Question. Has anyone here ever used a FireWire drive to boot OS X off of and run the system on? I put VPC on my D2 LaCie drive and got a 10 - 20% performance increase.

Please advice if you have had any luck with this. I have an iMac 17"
I have never done it but you should NOT see an increase in speed unless you are using a machine on ATA33 or a slower equivilant because firewire is 50MB/s which is as fast as the max speed of the drive. However, putting your VPC drive on a drive which is not the system disk WILL give you a speed increase.
 

madamimadam

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Jan 3, 2002
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Originally posted by Backtothemac
Well, the iMac is ATA 66 with 5400 RPM. The D2 LaCie is ATA 100 with 7,200 RPM and isn't firewire 400/MB per sec?
No, Firewire is 400Mb/s which is 50MB/s

Obviously the 7200RPM drive is going to be faster, than. The bus supports its speed so it should come out on top.
 

madamimadam

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Jan 3, 2002
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Originally posted by tjwett
i've seen someone boot OS X from an iPod. i don't think it was very good for it though.
The only problem I can see is that the boot up would take a tad more time because the machine would look at the internal bus and if there was a drive there it would check that one first. If you told the machine in startup disk to boot off the iPod it would still take longer to boot because the startup sequence does not look for drives on the firewire bus until later on than when it checks the internal bays.
 

madamimadam

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2002
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Originally posted by Backtothemac
I wonder what the transfer rate of the 5400 rpm ata 66 drive is? MB per second?
As a point of interest, I have been told that 5400 is the max speed for IDE. So if the drive was reading a long string of information and did not miss anything (quite unlikely to have both of those at the same time) it would perform as well as a 7200 drive.

Makes an interesting point for 15000RPM SCSI drives.... they are fast but they regularly miss information and do not perform anywhere near 50% better than a 10000RPM drive.
 

Over Achiever

macrumors 68000
Originally posted by Backtothemac
I wonder what the transfer rate of the 5400 rpm ata 66 drive is? MB per second?
I'm sure its different for each drive and each firewire enclosure, but to give you a general idea, the IBM Travelstar 40GNX (5400 rpm) has a maximum interface transfer rate of 100 MB/sec, yes, thats 100 MB/sec.:D The maximum media transfer rate is 297 Mbits/sec...not too shabby.

Here is the PDF ;)

Now if we had Firewire2 than can support this...:D
 

madamimadam

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2002
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Originally posted by Over Achiever


I'm sure its different for each drive and each firewire enclosure, but to give you a general idea, the IBM Travelstar 40GNX (5400 rpm) has a maximum interface transfer rate of 100 MB/sec, yes, thats 100 MB/sec.:D The maximum media transfer rate is 297 Mbits/sec...not too shabby.

Here is the PDF ;)

Now if we had Firewire2 than can support this...:D
I'm sorry but that is total BS.... I am sure they say there is bandwidth for 100MB/s, since it is a ATA/100 drive, just like the xServe allows for transfer rates of 400MB/s but the fact of the matter is that the drive does not work that fast. If you get transfer of 50MB/s you are laughing your head off. 297Mb/s, btw, is about 37MB/s which sounds like a realistic maximum speed.
 

Backtothemac

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jan 3, 2002
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San Destin Florida
Well, I did it. I installed everything on the firewire drive. It is much faster. Boot, loading, apps loading, everything. I will run test times tomorrow and post them.
 
Firewire: 400 Mbps = 400 Megabits = 50 MB/sec = 50 Megabytes.

ATA/33 = 33 MB/sec = 33 Megabytes = ~ 266 Mb/sec = 266 Megabits.

ATA/66 = 66 MB/sec = 66 Megabytes = ~ 533 Mb/sec = 533 Megabits.

ATA/100 = 100 MB/sec = 100 Megabytes = 800 Mb/sec = 800 Megabits.

ATA/133 = 133 MB/sec = 133 Megabytes = ~ 1066 Mb/sec = 1066 Megabits = 1.066 Gigabits.

Therefore, you won't get any speed benefits from using ATA/66 over 50MB/sec which is Firewire's maximum.

Noticed that ATA/100 is equivalent to 800 Mb/sec. That'll fit nicely with "Giga-wire."

Booting X on FireWire harddrive should be just as fast, maybe a bit slower. Not much to worry about.
 
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