External HDD

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Freeman3030, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Freeman3030 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    #1
    Hi, I was thinking about getting a 4 Bay Drobo to expand my storage pace as my internal HDD is full and my external one will soon be at maximum capacity. I've read many posts saying that Drobos are slow and not worth the money, but I really like how I can upgrade its storage when I need the space.
    I've had a few recommendations to go for a NAS storage solution but I don't understand how they work and whether I will actually get fast speeds. I'd imagined that having a Drobo connected by FW800 would be much faster than storing my files on my home network?

    My iMac is 3 rooms away from my router and its connected by wifi would a Synology or QNAP NAS really be faster than a Drobo connected by FW800? I like the idea of not having the storage connected to my computer so if I were to get a macbook or something in the future I would be able to be free from the external drive but still have access to my files.
    Can anyone help?
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    NAS means "Network Attached Storage" and if all your Macs have a Gigabit Ethernet connection (all Intel Macs with an Ethernet port do), then Ethernet would be faster than Firewire 800 (100 MB/s compared to 65 MB/s).
    If you only connect via WiFi, then a NAS is a lost purchase, as you limit yourself to 5 to 15 MB/s. If you only want to use WiFi, maybe look into a USB HDD and connect it to your router, if it has a USB port and configure that router and HDD to have the HDD be accessible via WiFi.
     
  3. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #3
    Really? I thought FW 800 was 800 Mbit, giving it a theoretical max speed of 100 MB/s, compared to the 1 000 Mbit/125 MB/s theoretical max speed of Gbit ethernet. Considering the HDD in the computer would be the bottle neck here, I've always assumed that an external HDD with FW 800 would perform identically to a Gbit NAS...
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #4
    Since 800 Mb/ is the theoretical speed and not the practical speed, you only get 65 to 70/5 MB/s via Firewire 800 and 100+ MB/s via Gigabit Ethernet, if the HDDs are that fast.
    USB 2.0 with its theoretical speed of 480 Mb/s does not offer 60 MB/s either, but more like 30 to 35 MB/s.
     
  5. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #5
    How come FW 800 loses 30-35 MB/s in transfer speed (theoretical vs. actual) when Gbit ethernet loses less than 25 MB/s?
     
  6. Freeman3030 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    #6
    Ah this makes my decision much easier, I would have to work over wifi as running an ethernet cable to my mac would be a nightmare. So having a 4-bay drobo connected by firewire is the best option for me. Im sure there are other much better DAS solutions, but I really like the drobos simplistic setup and management. I'd read that the drobo speeds are quite slow (25-30MB/s) but thats much better than having 5-15MB/s wifi speeds.
    Thanks for your help :)
     
  7. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #7
    different protocols, different communication overhead (the devices say more to each other than just moving your data)

    2 things i discovered with my drobo (FS - so network attached)
    -when doing the initial copy to the device, try to only have one copy action happening at a time, so let drive a finish its copy to the drobo before you start drive b. that tends to cause fragmentation which slows it down.

    -it works much better when it has stretches of down time, if you have things that are reading fairly consistently, it doesn't have time to optimize (de-fragment) itself. so if it gets several hours at a time while you're asleep or at work where it's idle, it should be ok, but if you have a roommate who is home when you're not it won't work so well, or if you have stuff accessing it constantly (like torrents or a security camera setup that records 24hrs) it also has problems.
    and they (drobo support) don't say "after 15 minutes" or anything like that, tend to be very tight lipped about how things work. and when they say inactive, they won't say if that's no writing, or no activity at all,
     
  8. Freeman3030 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    #8
    Thats very interesting to know, my mac is idle quite a lot. I work split shifts and probably only sit at it for a max of 3 hours at a time. So I think its the perfect solution! Thanks
     

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