External harddrive question

eoren1

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 17, 2007
367
19
Not yet a Mac guy but planning to switch as soon as Leopard debuts. My question is that I have a 500 gig SATA/300 drive that I just purchased for my PC to keep up with a rapidly growing photography library. I'm considering the Macbook or MBP and wondering about using this drive as an external.

Main use for the laptop will be for photo processing using Adobe Lightroom hooked to an external monitor. When doing that, will keep photos housed in the external. I'm assuming I'll need pretty decent speed for this and wondering if firewire 400 will be enough. Or am I stuck with having to get a MBP with firewire 800 or, even more, an expresscard with eSATA? Any thoughts on eSATA moving to the MBP as a built-in feature in the future?

Aside from the benefit of a nicer screen, I think the macbook would suit me well overall - lightroom apparently does well without a dedicated video card. My hesitation in getting a MBP is the price and size. Prefer a truly portable 13" laptop especially as I will do all major editing on the attached screen. Happy to cull through photos on the go on the 13" screen and then bring it back home for real work on an ACD.
Thanks in advance,
E
 

maestrokev

macrumors 6502a
Apr 23, 2007
874
8
Canada
Lightroom on Mac is a lot more refined than LR on PC. On my WinXP PC I really need the photos on FW400 at a minimum. On my MBP C2D the photo load faster on an older 5400RPM USB2 drive!
 

maestrokev

macrumors 6502a
Apr 23, 2007
874
8
Canada
Forgot to mention LR will fly on a MB, you don't need a MBP if you don't want, especially if you're using an external monitor.
 

eoren1

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 17, 2007
367
19
Forgot to mention LR will fly on a MB, you don't need a MBP if you don't want, especially if you're using an external monitor.
Thanks! That's what I was hoping for. I was pretty much set on a MB but then started worrying about relying on an external drive and needing fast throughput. Of course, coming from a PC, I'm ready to throw 3 gigs of ram in the thing before even turning it on.... Will LR work well with 1 gig or should I really add another stick to help it out?
Thanks again,
E
 

FSBW21086

macrumors member
Mar 14, 2007
82
0
lightroom esata

i use lightroom for 4-6 hours daily on my macbook pro (2.33 ghz 3 gig ram) I have all my images stored on a 750GB 7200rpm external (other world computing) i have it connected to my computer using SIIG esata connector. I have to say I havent had much problems. The only thing that is kind of annoying is the lag between when i select images and when I can work on them. I dont think its a lag in the hard drive (transferring speeds are crazy fast) but more a lag of computer saying ok im going to work off this external hard drive. Images stored on my internal seem to work faster in lightroom even on a 5400 internal drive. I have thousands of images on the hard drive and its good enough or daily use for me.
 

lavrishevo

macrumors 68000
Jan 9, 2007
1,846
188
NJ
One of the best drives out there is the FW800 Lacie 500gb Raid 0. It is incredibly fast. I use it for video editing and can easily write or copy huge files in seconds. I don't know if this suits your needs but raid 0 is the way to go for speed.
 

eoren1

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 17, 2007
367
19
i use lightroom for 4-6 hours daily on my macbook pro (2.33 ghz 3 gig ram) I have all my images stored on a 750GB 7200rpm external (other world computing) i have it connected to my computer using SIIG esata connector. I have to say I havent had much problems. The only thing that is kind of annoying is the lag between when i select images and when I can work on them. I dont think its a lag in the hard drive (transferring speeds are crazy fast) but more a lag of computer saying ok im going to work off this external hard drive. Images stored on my internal seem to work faster in lightroom even on a 5400 internal drive. I have thousands of images on the hard drive and its good enough or daily use for me.
Had you tried running with an external through FW 400 to see if there is significant lag? That is my concern in choosing the MB orver the MBP.
E