Copying nearly 400 GB worth of data from one Mac to another

wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Original poster
Jun 6, 2003
12,107
75
Solon, OH
I can rule out the home network for this job - way too slow, even at wireless-G speeds. Therefore, I'm going to be using an external Firewire 400 HDD to do the copy. I've already copied the data on the source Mac to the drive. How long will I have to wait for the copy job to complete (ignoring time spent setting up the drive and getting its cables moved/connected)? The destination Mac runs Snow Leopard, and supports Firewire 400. The source Mac runs Tiger, and is PowerPC-based (it's a Rev C iMac G5, with its memory upgraded to 2.5 GB and HDD upgraded to 320 GB), if that makes any difference - it's limited to FireWire 400 only, and lacks a FW 800 port.
 

knewsom

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2005
949
0
If they're both FW400, as long as the source was not terribly bottlenecked by an extremely fragmented HD, or the FW drive isn't a really crappy one with horrific write speeds, then it should be nearly the exact same amount of time to copy to your destination.

400GB, on FW400, should only take 4-6 hours.
 

spinnerlys

Guest
Sep 7, 2008
14,335
7
forlod bygningen
You could also have used a direct Firewire connection, as it creates a Firewire network, or you could have connected them via Gigabit Ethernet.

The final copying time depends on the target's HDD speed and if it can fully utilize the FW speeds.

If it can, the minimum time to copy 400GB of data with 35MB/s will be 195 minutes, with 20MB/s it will be 341 minutes.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,753
146
Something must be wrong on my end. That much data took nearly 10 hours I thought when I tried. I figured it had to do with me using a slower HDD (5400 RPM).
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,259
1,350
I was going to recommend what spinnerlys did, which is gigabit ethernet, if the older Mac supports that. I know there's overhead for networking, but 1000mbps with overhead should still hopefully be faster than Firewire's 400mbps?
 

wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Original poster
Jun 6, 2003
12,107
75
Solon, OH
You know what, that's actually a really clever idea. The older Mac DOES support Gigabit Ethernet. I didn't think of that. Thanks, spinnerlys!
 

knewsom

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2005
949
0
Something must be wrong on my end. That much data took nearly 10 hours I thought when I tried. I figured it had to do with me using a slower HDD (5400 RPM).
Well, if your drive, either of them, was badly fragmented, or the Directory was damaged, or if either the FW drive or the internal were kinda old, that could easily explain why.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,427
762
I was going to recommend what spinnerlys did, which is gigabit ethernet, if the older Mac supports that. ...
I don't believe the older iMac supports gigabit ethernet. MacTracker doesn't mention which is Rev C.... apparently the later versions of the G5 (starting with May, 2005) do support gigabit ethernet, but the earlier ones don't.
 

spinnerlys

Guest
Sep 7, 2008
14,335
7
forlod bygningen
You know what, that's actually a really clever idea. The older Mac DOES support Gigabit Ethernet. I didn't think of that. Thanks, spinnerlys!
I get 40MB/s out of my Gigabit Ethernet, so it should be faster than Firewire and will theoretically only take 170 minutes to copy 400GB.

My basis for calculation: 400GB * 1024 (to get from GB to MB) / 40 MB/s / 60 (to get from seconds to minutes).

EDIT: According to everymac.com. the revision C models (1.9GHz and 2.1GHz) support Gigabit Ethernet.
 

madog

macrumors 65816
Nov 25, 2004
1,274
1
Korova Milkbar
Something must be wrong on my end. That much data took nearly 10 hours I thought when I tried. I figured it had to do with me using a slower HDD (5400 RPM).
Slower drive or not, all FireWire enclosures/chipsets aren't created equally. You could have identical drives on two different FW enclosures from different manufacturers, and the "cheap" one will stand out if at all.

While USB is more consistently the same with every other USB device in terms of speed, it's constant speed is consistently slower than FW.

It's a fun trade off.

I usually figure it should be roughly a minute for each GB with FW400, though realistically it's a bit more. (I have no mathematic skills and that statement is based purely on observation).
 

knewsom

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2005
949
0
Slower drive or not, all FireWire enclosures/chipsets aren't created equally. You could have identical drives on two different FW enclosures from different manufacturers, and the "cheap" one will stand out if at all.

While USB is more consistently the same with every other USB device in terms of speed, it's constant speed is consistently slower than FW.

It's a fun trade off.

I usually figure it should be roughly a minute for each GB with FW400, though realistically it's a bit more. (I have no mathematic skills and that statement is based purely on observation).
True about the differing FW400 speeds. Even in computers you'll notice a difference, for some strange reason. My Hackintosh has NEVER worked as fast in Firewire as USB, or as fast as my old G5. That's one thing I'm looking forward to the new iMac for!
 
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