eSATA and FW800

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by GraciousManatee, Jan 27, 2007.

  1. GraciousManatee macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2007
    Hey guys, long time first time.

    I just got my 17" MBP/2GB/5400 160GB/Glossy about a month ago... Anyways, some of my friends have been nagging me to move this very large project we've been working on to one hard drive with a back up. Since it's video, the faster the better... I decided that a RAID was a little overkill, since this project will most likely end up on my shelf for a long time to come. I decided to get 2 500 GB Drives, 2 eSATA II external enclosures, and an eSATA II Expresscard/34 off of ebay.

    When I first got them last week I downloaded this Driver and the card worked fine. I just as assumed the speeds were up to par. Apparently this assumption was a tad premature... during my weekly copy of the master drive to the copy drive...

    While the copy was going on my Macbook Pro, I was copying an SATA 8mb drive to an external LaCie 8 mb drive on my G5 (Dual 1.8/1GB RAM) and noticed something rather strange... the FW800 drives, considerably older drives mind you, were seemingly writing faster than the eSATAs were... it seemed very slight though. either way, i connected both the drives to my laptop via their respective connections and decided to run a test in xbench and was alarmed at the difference...

    320 Drive (to 160 GB Striped)

    Results 85.80
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.4.8 (8N1051)
    Physical RAM 2048 MB
    Model MacBookPro2,1
    Drive Type LaCie BigDisk Extreme
    Disk Test 85.80
    Sequential 92.20
    Uncached Write 110.36 67.76 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 96.36 54.52 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 59.10 17.30 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 142.38 71.56 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 80.23
    Uncached Write 44.05 4.66 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 168.22 53.85 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 101.67 0.72 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 87.94 16.32 MB/sec [256K blocks]

    500 Drive (WD 500GB over eSATA)

    Results 54.79
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.4.8 (8N1051)
    Physical RAM 2048 MB
    Model MacBookPro2,1
    Drive Type WDC WD50 00KS-00MNB0
    Disk Test 54.79
    Sequential 68.59
    Uncached Write 82.46 50.63 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 87.06 49.26 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 40.49 11.85 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 99.90 50.21 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 45.61
    Uncached Write 17.14 1.81 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 101.86 32.61 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 86.50 0.61 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 125.18 23.23 MB/sec [256K blocks]

    Does anyone have the slightest explaination for this? This, from what i read, makes less than no sense and it's rather frustrating...
  2. Silentwave macrumors 68000

    May 26, 2006
    Gainesville, FL
    I can't find any brand names or mention of mac support on the card you bought, is it the same Silicon Image card you got the driver for?

    That would be my first guess as to the possible cause.

    I use a FirmTek SeriTek 2SM2-E eSATA 3Gbps dual-port ExpressCard/34 with the appropriate drivers and their own 2EN2 dual bay enclosure. I have both drives inside (2x250GB WD 7200RPM Caviar SE16s) hooked up together in a RAID 0 and I get amazing file speeds.

    I'll see if I can get you some xBench scores.
  3. GraciousManatee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2007
    yea i'm thinking it might be the card/driver... as long as people are having success with the firmtek one i might just bite the bullet and grab one of them...

    still i'd like to get as much information as possible from people first before i spend any more money.

    edit: well, i ran some more tests and it looks like the card performs admirably compared to the FW800 when i tested out against the same LaCie 250 GB drive that was running on the G5.

    when i did the original test i actually tested it against the a lacie that is RAID 0 striped... this could explain the performance difference. still something doesn't add up here, if anyone could post xbench scores for their eSATA RAIDs or stand alone eSATA drives that would be great. at least that way i could compare to see if people are just getting significantly better performance than me.
  4. Silentwave macrumors 68000

    May 26, 2006
    Gainesville, FL
    My eSATA RAID got scores last night of around 120 on XBench, but I just got new drivers from FirmTek, too, so I will try again.
  5. GraciousManatee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2007
    that would make sense to me actually... those numbers are in line with what i'm getting single vs. RAID 0

    maybe i'll just get a raid enclosure... RAID 1 is what i'd be using, not sure but i believe it would be a significant performance increase when compared to a stand alone drive.
  6. appleguru1 macrumors 6502

    Mar 13, 2003
    Just ran a test with my RAID setup.. I have 2 320GB WD SATA drives connected to my MBP with this card from newegg:

    I'm using the same driver as you. (v1.1.9)

    Here are my xbench results:

    Results 85.11
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.4.8 (8N1037)
    Physical RAM 2048 MB
    Model MacBookPro2,2
    Drive Type 600GB Raid
    Disk Test 85.11
    Sequential 114.14
    Uncached Write 111.08 68.20 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 220.80 124.93 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 57.40 16.80 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 244.50 122.89 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 67.85
    Uncached Write 28.25 2.99 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 139.52 44.66 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 100.80 0.71 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 154.46 28.66 MB/sec [256K blocks]
  7. appleguru1 macrumors 6502

    Mar 13, 2003
    Note: Block size (the one you chose when paritioning the raid0 set) makes a huge difference in XBench scores....

    Also, yes, single drive vs. Raid0 is never going to be a fair test... no matter how fast the drives.
  8. Silentwave macrumors 68000

    May 26, 2006
    Gainesville, FL
    Quite. I have mine set to 32K I think, and maybe even having a larger one would have been better for me since I have a bunch of large photos and video files.
  9. GraciousManatee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2007

    with my two drive enclosures, would it be possible to set this up as a RAID 1? i really have no clue how to do that stuff... any url or information on the process would be awesome (if possible.)

  10. appleguru1 macrumors 6502

    Mar 13, 2003
    I have my raid0 set using 64k blocks.. Raid1 would be a mirrored raid array.. you wouldn't get any more speed than a single drive setup.. but your data would be fully mirrored to two drives (Great for redundancy; you get half the storage capacity though; IE two 300GB drives will give you 300GB of storage with Raid1).

    Raid0 Stripes the drives.. that is, combines them into one big drive. When you write a file to the raid0 'drive', data gets written to both drives simultaneously, effectively doubling your read and write speeds (And giving you the full capacity of both drives; IE 2 300GB drives would give you a 600GB drive)

    Raid 0+1 would be ideal.. but it requries a minimum of 4 drives ;)

    One other thing to note is that you NEED both drives in a Raid0 array. With a Raid1 array, you can get your data with only one drive.
  11. GraciousManatee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2007
    yea, i think i'm going to set up an eSATA RAID 0 for all my upcoming projects. this project was something done over the past few years and it's entirely DVX100 MiniDV, so speed isn't a huge issue... definitely going to RAID 1 these drives since i'm basically doing that right now once a week... pretty stupid.

    now that i'm doing mostly messing with HD stuff off the HVX, RAID 0 would be great! prolly pick up two 320's or 400's off newegg, they seem pretty cheap now

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