Express 34 eSATA card... any good?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Draddy, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. Draddy macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2007
    Hey, so I bought an express 34 eSATA card and have been using it with my external harddrive....

    although it is faster, it doesn't seem to be as fast as I thought it would I need to install drivers?

    It came with a mini-CD, so I couldn't put that in my MBP, is there a a place online that I can download drivers from?

    When I click on the menu bar icon it says "unknown vendor, mass storage controller"

  2. aiterum macrumors 6502


    Nov 17, 2007
    United States
    What expresscard did you purcahse? Depending on the manufacturer, you might be able to pull drivers from their website (hopefully they have drivers for OSX, which I assume you are using).

    If you are comparing the speed to a firewire 800 connection, it probably won't be that much faster, since hard drives still aren't fast enough to be able to get you the full amout out of an esata connection, even the raptors. (correct me if I am wrong on this) It should be much much faster than USB though.
  3. Draddy thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2007
    checked the website... no OS x drivers..... and I'm assuming the windows ones were just to get it to work.

    Now, why can't it be as fast as it says it should? I bought this harddrive and put it in This case ... as well as This harddrive in This case ... I assumed I should be about as fast as I can get.... my MBP doesn't have FW 800 so I cannot compare...I do use 400 and USB frequently..... and it is definitely faster.... but not as fast as I feel it should be (cost/benifit ratio... not being bus powered, vs. speed)

    would this be something software would be able to improve?
  4. Arjy macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2007
    It doesnt have FW800? What kind of Macbook Pro do you have?
  5. BrittQ macrumors regular

    May 23, 2007
    My understanding is if you want the esata speed your case needs to only have the esata connection. If it has a USB/firewire connection it will bridge the data to firewire then back.
  6. Draddy thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2007
    1st gen... core duo... for the extra wide track pad they gave up FW800 and a dual-layer DVD player... obviously re-instated on the following generations.
    Could you explain a little more of what you mean? I don't really understand.
  7. Draddy thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2007
    I seem to be getting roughly 50 MB/s ... which is far from the 300 MB/s possible... but much greater than the 2-3mb/s I got from USB.
  8. JabbaII macrumors regular

    Nov 22, 2007
    300MB/s is theoretical. And "B" being megabits, not megabytes.
    8 bits to a byte.
    (Japanese web page)

    That manufacturer claims practical speed of 60Mb/s on MacBook Pro.

    You are not too far at 50Mb/s.

    Same deal with USB2 @480Mb/s - the practical rate is lower of course.
  9. live4ever macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2003
    The only way to get significantly faster speeds over eSATA is to use a 2-4 bay enclosure with a striped RAID 0. A single drive will only usually get 40-60 MB/sec.
  10. Draddy thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2007
    well, it's 3 Gigabits... which would be equal to around 300 megabytes right?

    I just wish time machine would back up at a normal speed.... it takes so freaking long.

    I found my card:

    but no driver support for OS X.

    So I guess I'm doing okay.... just wish it was as fast as it could be.
  11. AviationFan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Well, the harddrive just isn't that fast... 300MB per second, no single drive delivers that kind of speed.

    - Martin
  12. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Feb 12, 2005
    I've always thought investing in a eSATA Expresscard to use with a single external drive is a waste of money. The real advantages come with using some sort of RAID setup, as mentioned. It appears as if you have gotten modest gains from going eSATA, and that's as good as you could reasonably expect. If you were expecting huge speed increases from a single eSATA drive, then you were mistaken.
  13. Jenius macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2007
    Hong Kong

    Hi.. My eSATA HDD (a Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB) does 110MB/s. Didn't try it with FW800 as my enclosure doesn't supports it..

    Anyway it might be your HDD not being fast enough. Are you using a 2.5" or 3.5" eSATA HDD?
  14. Oirectine macrumors regular


    Aug 11, 2003
    If you're doing audio work it can also be a good idea. Running all your i/o (sample library disk, recording disk, audio interface) through the firewire bus can saturate it.
  15. timeslip macrumors member

    May 20, 2007
    My question is, do all expresscard esata's have built in raid? I see some advertised as do, and some that don't.

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