Firewire 400 Hard Drive Speed

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by 76ShovelHead, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. 76ShovelHead macrumors 6502a

    76ShovelHead

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    #1
    I have an eMac, and i don't to open it up to replace the hard drive. I have opened it up before for the optical drive but i don't want to go that far as to switch the hard drive. So i see some people just hook up a Firewire 400 HD and boot of of that, but what concerns me is how fast will it be? I plan to keep Tiger installed on the Internal drive and to Install Leopard on the External Firewire 400 Drive. Thanks
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #2
    30 to 35 MB/s, I used it successfully to boot from my iBook onto a PowerMac. It was workable.
     
  3. 76ShovelHead thread starter macrumors 6502a

    76ShovelHead

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    #3
    Workable? like would you be able to use it as a permanent solution?
     
  4. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

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    #4
    On an eMac, I don't think you would suffer much performance or would really notice a difference. Why not partition your internal drive so you can dual boot or is the internal drive just not big enough to hold all of your files/OS?
     
  5. 76ShovelHead thread starter macrumors 6502a

    76ShovelHead

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    #5
    Yepp, I'm on a 40 Gb with only 12 Gb's left, thats why i want to take the Hard drive out of my iMac (80Gb) and put it in an external enclosure an use that, plus i don't want to touch the internal one as i'd like to keep tiger on it.
     
  6. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #6
    FW400 is nearly as fast as USB 2.0 (480MBit/s). 400MBit/s equals 50MByte/s, I guess your internal drives are attached via ATA-66 or ATA-100 so you would barely note a difference.
    Keep in mind, a new high-end 7200RPM SATA-3GBit/s drive outputs about 100MByte/s, they saturate FW800. These slower spinning Eco-drives are fine for your application, and save power.
     
  7. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #7
    given the right enclosure with a good grade chipset - you would likely see slightly higher then this, provided that the HDD itself can go higher.

    oh please, stop with the theoretical speeds. that is so 2000 :rolleyes:

    the OP will most certainly not get 50MB/s, even if the drive was fast enough - no use giving false hope.

    OP, just ensure that you purchase an IDE FW enclosure and you will be fine. your replacement drive will need to be IDE also - either ATA5 or ATA6 as Giuly has stated.
     
  8. max¥¥ macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    no meaning to nag but firewire is faster than usb even though usb is theoretically faster, in reality i find firewire is faster
     
  9. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #9
    Well, overhead is about 8-10% on all those connections. You just can compare 50MByte/s better to the 66MByte/s that ATA states, even if they are 45MByte/s and 58MByte/s or so in reality. And you don't have to use IDE hard drives in FireWire enclosures, SATA drives are cheaper and faster. That's why I suggested 5400-5900RPM drives, as even these saturate FireWire 400, and cost half of what 7200RPM drives cost. Also, if you buy an FW800 enclosure with an FW800-to-FW400 cable, they are likely to perform very well on FW400.

    I'd just get this one or this one, and I'd be probably fine.
     
  10. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #10
    the OP has clearly stated that he will be putting his existing IDE 80GB hdd into the external enclosure, and will be using the new IDE hdd to put into his eMac. thats why i suggested what i did, and brought up the speed issues. :)
     
  11. 76ShovelHead thread starter macrumors 6502a

    76ShovelHead

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    #11
    Thanks for all your support guys, but if i was to get a USB 2.0 drive, i thought Mac's couldn't boot from USB?
     
  12. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #12
    hmm. i know that current Intel macs can boot from both fw and usb.

    given that yours is a PPC eMac i would hesitate to say that it cannot boot from USB.
     
  13. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

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    #13
  14. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #14
    For the price of an enclosure, you get 320-500GB drives including the enclosure. And these drives are actually so fast that they can saturate FW400, in difference to a 2003 IDE drive. That is my point.
    Have a look at the 1TB WD hard drive I posted earlier for $89. What do you expect a IDE FW400 enclosure costs? $10? No. $30? No. $60? Yes. Well, add $30-40 and have a new hard drive with it.
     
  15. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #15
    hey, its not my call - i am just going off what the OP wishes to do. costly? sure, but maybe price isnt an issue at this stage.

    in any case, a USB drive on that eMac will not get any faster then 20MB/s - where as a FW400 drive might hit the achievable possibly double (controller onboard etc), does the $89 WD price you quoted have FW400?
     
  16. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #16
    The drive I posted is $59, not $89. It has an 1TB SATA drive inside and can connect via USB 2.0, FW400 and eSATA. NewEgg's cheapest IDE-FW400 enclosure is $35.
    $25 for an 1TB drive, which is under warranty and will probably fail much later then an old 80GB IDE drive? I'd do it.
     
  17. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #17
    :( the cheapest over here in australia is about $95aus (~$86US) - and that is USB only!

    im not sure about the IDE drive failing, mines a good 10 years old and has been formatted 30 times in the last week :p playing around with a few things.
     
  18. Davy.Shalom macrumors 6502

    Davy.Shalom

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    #18
    It'd be usable, but I would still try and upgrade the internal Hard Drive. Check iFixit to see if they have a guide posted as to how to disassemble it. Remember to discharge the CRT.
     
  19. 76ShovelHead thread starter macrumors 6502a

    76ShovelHead

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    #19
    I do know how to disassemble the computer, as for discharging the CRT - Well i already know not to touch anything above the belt line. Still its just to much hassle to disassemble, take the fan off unscrew all the screws etc. I wonder if the genius bar would do that?
     
  20. drewdle macrumors regular

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    #20
    Generally speaking, they likely won't touch anything that old. Which is a shame, because most of the people that work there are likely just as apt to have old Macs at home as we do. Steve's rules.

    Check this out: http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/emac/faq/emac-replace-or-upgrade-hard-drive-expansion.html

    As for external enclosures, FireWire is the only way to go. USB may have theoretically faster speeds, but FireWire is significantly faster in sustained read/write operations, like copying pictures or music or booting the system, for instance. I reliably get about 35Mb/s from my Verbatim SureFire drive, and it's based on a 2.5" drive (portable enclosure), so you might see faster with a desktop one.

    For the record, if you're not comfortable getting into the computer, I would advise against doing ANYTHING in the OpenFirmware prompt. You might be able to get it booting off USB, but you can also cause fantastic damage. And once it's done, it's done.
     
  21. jamesdeo macrumors newbie

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    Aug 22, 2009
    #21
    firewire 800

    I was wondering what's up with you guys talking about firewire 400 and which is faster (usb 2 or firewire 400) when there already is a firewire 800 which is definitely way faster than the rest (which btw you can have a 1TB for say 150 bucks). Then I realized of course that you're also talking about old Macs. That explains the limit at firewire 400. :(

    But just the same, all firewire 800 drives are back-compatible with 400.
     
  22. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #22
    yeh of course, but a fw800 chip generally means you have to pay a tiny bit more to have compatibility with that, $10? $15? who knows - depends on the chip.
     
  23. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

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    #23
    in the real world firewire 400 is faster then usb 2.0 and more important firewire 400 gives a constant speed while usb 2.0 will always drop in speed as soon as the cpu gets something else to do
     
  24. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #24
    Wirelessly posted (nokia e63: Mozilla/5.0 (SymbianOS/9.2; U; Series60/3.1 NokiaE63-1/100.21.110; Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 ) AppleWebKit/413 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/413)

    true. I'm not sure if this was a dream but I also believe that a configuration such as computer>fw400>fw800 will allow the fw800 devices to function at their native speed.
     
  25. drewdle macrumors regular

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    #25
    It will not. My SureFire is a FireWire800/USB2.0 drive, and I use it with an 800-to-400 cable on my iMac. If the port on the computer is 400, all you'll see is 400 speeds, no matter what the drive has on it.

    Yes, 800 is faster than any of it. Sure would be nice to have an expansion slot on this iMac. :D
     

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