Firewire 800 hard drive enclosure question

Discussion in 'iMac' started by rvmeush, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. rvmeush macrumors newbie

    Mar 23, 2008
    I've been looking at a number of different Firewire 800 enclosures to use with my new Mac Mini and I have seen lots of complaints with almost all the enclosures that I have investigated, including the Newertech MiniStack v3 which I thought should be a good one. A recent enclosure I came across that I haven't seen any bad reviews about is the Icy Dock (MB559UEB-1S). I'd like to know if others are using this and what they think about it.

    The next question has to do with the type of hard drive to put into the enclosure. Is it worth getting a high performance drive, or will the Firewire 800 interface be the bottleneck even with an average speed drive?
  2. lostime macrumors regular

    May 19, 2009
    I hear that the ministack is very loud. I like the 2 Bay one from OWC

    Firewire speed is up to 800 Mbps (100 MB/Sec) so if your hard drive is faster than that then yes, firewire will create a bottleneck. Check out read/write times on lots of 3.5 7200 rpm drives like the Seagate Barricuda. I don't think it's worth putting a Raptor drive in an external enclosure because the drive will outrun the interface.

    Either way it'll be faster than the laptop drive in your mini.
  3. packgrad2000 macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2007
    FW800 is faster than USB 2.0 but not as fast as eSATA. That 800Mb/s is theoretical. Real world transfer speeds I usually see are about 50MB/s write and 45MB/s read, so about half of what's advertised. That's still about 2x as fast as USB 2.0. Still, the FW interface is going to be your bottleneck.
  4. drewsof07 macrumors 68000


    Oct 30, 2006
    Last time I checked, there was no eSATA on the Mac mini ;)
  5. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf

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