External Enclosure w/ USB 3.0, Firewire 800, Firewire 400 (and maybe E-SATA)

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Solla Sollew, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. Solla Sollew macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2011
    I'm putting together a hard drive + enclosure combo primarily for video editing work and I'm wondering whether the following is possible.

    I want to future-proof by getting an enclosure with USB 3.0 but I also want to be able to work on older macs with Firewire 800 and sometimes 400. An E-SATA port would be a plus but not as essential. Basically, I want to keep my options open.

    I haven't had much luck finding enclosures with all of the above. But then again, I don't really know where to look. Does anyone have any tips on where the best place to buy is and/or recommendations on which to go for?

    Also, what do I have to look out for to ensure that the HD I get will actually be compatible with the enclosure and the multiple transfer formats?

    Oh, and I'm looking at getting a 2TB HD.

    Thanks in advance kind folks!
  2. ICY DOCK macrumors newbie


    Dec 15, 2010

    Hey Solla,

    As far as any enclosures with USB3 and FireWire 800/400 as the minimum, there haven't been much from our knowledge. However, this has depends a lot on demand and the technology to get cheaper. Most people still are okay with USB 2, so a lot of chipset manufacturer are still not moving onto it just yet. Many resellers such as Newegg, Amazon, etc stock a lot of what you are looking for; perhaps there is one already on the market! In regard to what to look out for, not sure what your question is asking. Can you clarify about what you mean by multiple transfer formats?

    Hope this helps a bit with your question!
  3. Solla Sollew thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2011
    Hi Icy. Thanks for the response.

    I'm editing huge HD videeo files so USB 2.0 simply won't cut it. Firewire 800 is sufficient for the moment but I'd like to be able to use USB 3.0 when it comes out. Perhaps a solution to this would be to invest in the HD itself and buy a simpler enclosure until one becomes available with USB 3.0 and Firewire capabilities.

    By "multiple transfer formats" I simply mean the different protocols eg. Firewire, USB and eSATA.

    So I guess I'm just asking how I can make sure the hard drive I buy is compatible with Firewire 400, 800 AND USB 3.0

    Does this make sense?

    Thanks again!

    - Joe
  4. Solla Sollew thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2011
  5. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    Any hard drive will be compatible with all of those, as the enclosure will simply convert its SATA connector into those ports.
  6. Sossity macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010
    I have just read about thunderbolt myself, it seems that would be the new interface to look out for as opposed to usb 3.0, I just purchased some macally usb firewire enclosures, I debated this at first as I read that manufacturers will begin to include the new thunderbolt interface later this year. But the enclosures I got were a good deal, & I notice in the last couple of weeks they had come down in price, & I suspect it is because of thunderbolt coming out.
  7. Solla Sollew thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2011
    So one solution would be to buy a solid, dependable HD and a cheap-ish, basic enclosure to hold me over until one comes out that has all the requisite ports? Is such a thing likely ever to exist?
  8. ICY DOCK macrumors newbie


    Dec 15, 2010
    Hey Joe,

    What alust2013 mentioned is correct. The different interfaces will be converted by the enclosure, so no need to worry. If you want the USB3 and eSATA/FireWire feature, I would suggest to wait and do what you mentioned until one comes out. It seems like many other hardware components (ie. motherboard manufacturers) are now using USB3 and eSATA as a standard interface. So it may be safe to say that you should be seeing this combination sometime this year with enclosures. Also. anything with Thunderbolt in it, will probably be awhile before it will be adapted fully (it bearly came out!).

    Hope this helps you with your question!
  9. sal macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2007
    funny how technology works sometimes. One moment usb3.0 is the future, the next minute thunderbolt is released.

    in technology nothing really is future-proof. as soon as you get your thunderbolt enclosures up and running thinking you are "future-proof" the next thing will come out.

    USB3.0 will never come to the mac I don't think. if it does, it will be mainly because all other manufacturers are doing usb3.0 only devices.(printers, drives, etc)

    I think thunderbolt is the way to go though, we gotta wait a little to get our externals and switch everything over.

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