External HD: FW800 or eSata

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by FSBW21086, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. FSBW21086 macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2007
    Im have two dead external drives on my desk and a MBP 2.33 C2D with 2 GB free!!!!.
    one is a Maxtor 250gb firewire400/usb2
    other is Lacie big disk 500gb firewire800/400/usb2

    The maxtor mounts everyonce in a while but the lacie is dead.

    Im looking for a replacement and am wondering how much of an improvement eSATA with expresscard adapter would be over firewire 800. Im using the drive for storing and playing tons of music also storing hundreds of photos as well as a lot of videos and computer backups. I will be working directly off the drive in lightroom. I need a reliable drive to edit and work on my hundreds of images everynight after a day of shooting.

    I found this drive at OWC
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/MEAQ7750GB16/
    Also this maxtor firewire 800

    both look pretty nice.

    I also had the idea of going with a network drive so after a long day working I could relax in bed listening to my itunes streaming. The only problem is the room I use the laptop in is upstairs and the router is downstairs. I would want to connect to the drive when needed optimal speed. I dont think this kind of wireless network drive I speek of exists.

    I dont know much about RAID setups and such but would that be a possible route? 2 x 500 gb possibly? Would any of these setups be faster then my internal drive (5400 120 gb) boo!

    I think freeing up space will help with performance. I think I might also take the 3 gb ram leep.

    I believe you get what you pay for and am ready to spend more if i need to and avoid headaches of unreliable equipment. Any input is appreciated.
  2. FSBW21086 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2007
    I also have a large desk and dont need the drive to be portable
  3. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    Don't waste your time with eSata because the drives aren't fast enough to max it out. Firewire 800 will be fine.
  4. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    if you have the drives already, but are dead, why not just reuse the enclosures you have already and just swap in a new drive?
  5. FSBW21086 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2007
    the 250 gb drive is a cheap ebay enclousure that I bought a few years ago the connections are garbage and I just dont want to use the enclousure. The lacie drive I just took apart after reading ur comment and found there are two 250 gb maxtor drives inside not one 500 gb. (maxline plus II) I am not sure which drive is dead all I know is the computer started getting very slow and when I unplugged the drive it would work. Now it wont mount at all.
  6. glennyboiwpg macrumors 6502

    Feb 16, 2007
    I bought a 1TB WD triple interface drive for 500 bucks at costco (I live in Canada). 2 weeks before that I bought a 500 gb lacey drive but then it just died on me... so I got my money back and for the same price/interfaces I got a tb for the price of 500 gbs.

    I am perfectly happy with the drive, although the external case isn't as pretty as the lacey was... :(
  7. Spoony Bard macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2007
    I'm not sure where you're getting your information from, but eSata smokes FW800 w/ 3.5" drives.

    eSata beats FW800 in performance by up to 86% as referenced here (and this is w/ a MBP):
    http://www.macsonly.com/arch00608.html (Do a text search for "eSata")

    As for information on RAID, go here:

    Afaik, you'll need at least 3 drives in a RAID to see a significant gain in performance without sacrificing reliability. Someone with more knowledge/experience could probably give you more specific advice.

    Whatever you end up doing, definitely opt for an eSata solution.
  8. Spoony Bard macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2007
    I should also note: Hard drives & enclosure packages sometimes come with a reduced warranty when compared to the drives themselves for whatever reason. Look at the warranty information for WD products:

    1 year warranty on many of their external drives, versus 3-5 years on all their OEM standalone drives.

    My suggestion would be to pick up a hard drive and enclosure separately. After all, it's the usually drive that fails, not the enclosure itself, right? And buying separately will ensure that you've got the maximum amount of warranty coverage on your drives.

    Personally, I suggest the Vantec Nextar 3 enclosure along with any Seagate HDD (5 year warranty). Again, it's just a personal recommendation.
  9. Sbrocket macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2007
    The question is then, can you boot off an eSATA drive on a MBP?
  10. Spoony Bard macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2007
    I don't know - can you? ;)

    Judging by the OP's listed requirements, he doesn't need that capability. *shrug*
  11. Sbrocket macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2007
    Yeah, but I'd hate for him to go out and invest in a nice eSATA setup just to find out he can't boot from it (if that's what he was planning). Best to review all possible caveats in a problem.

    Plus I'm deciding between an eSATA and a FW800 external drive myself, so the information is useful to me too. :D

  12. Spoony Bard macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2007
    True enough. ^^
  13. Cuyahoga macrumors member


    Jun 12, 2007
    I'm also wondering if you can boot from eSATA...especially as a Windows Bootcamp partition. One of the things I'd hate about getting a new MBP would be partitioning my 160GB internal.

    Also, does anyone know how the performance of an external 7200rpm 500GB eSATA would compare to the MBP's 5400 160GB internal?? Thanks.
  14. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    From what I know, boot camp can't be run off an external drive no matter what.
  15. Jstarko0329 macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2007
    I haven't tested it yet, but I just got my NitroAV eSATA expresscard in with my WD 500GB SATA driver, and it's MUCH faster than the internal drive. I'd have to run benchmarks for numbers, but copying files back and forth is quite snappy.

    EDIT: I haven't tried to boot from it either. Not sure if you can run Boot Camp off an external drive period

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