firewire vs internal drives

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Captain Pyro, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. Captain Pyro macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    The Sunny NE of England
    #1
    I've been led to believe that an external firewire drive will be at least indistinguishable performance-wise from an internal (sata) drive.

    Is this true or hopeful?

    I think I only have fw400 on my iMac. Photos (large photoshop files and small NEF's) are the likely storage candidates. I'd be working directly on the stored files for preference.
     
  2. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #2
    eSATA is indistinguishable from SATA. SATA operates at 1.5Gps + whereas Firewire operates at 400Mbps. It will be faster than USB 2.0, but slower than eSATA or SATA.

    TEG
     
  3. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #3
    esata > firewire 800 > firewire 400 > usb 2.0

    However most harddrives are slower than firewire 800.
     
  4. Captain Pyro thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    The Sunny NE of England
    #4
    ok, two different answers! This is what I love about IT storage questions! :)

    Consensus is, then, that eSATA is the fastest on paper, but Consultant questions whether in practice it's worth having a pipe fatter than FW800 at this time, to hang a hard drive on.

    I assume I'm a bit stuffed when it comes to trying to add eSATA to an iMac (c2d, pre SR). Don't really see where I could connect something at a bus speed higher than the FW ports which would negate the point. I can see that MBP's wuld have an advantage here as i believe they have a cardbus/pcmcia/whatever it's called this year that could ad probably is utilised for this sort of thing.

    I'm going to assume that eSATA cards exist in plain vanilla PCI flavour for PC's. (if they need PCI-e or PCI-x again i'm stuffd here...).

    If I wanted to try to get hold of such an item for a G4 or G5 powermac, is it the same sort of situation as for AGP card, where you just find a card there is a valid apple BIOS for, flash it in a PC, Plug and Pray, and then live happily ever after? For that matter, is it feasible to fit a SATA storage controller to a powermac?
     
  5. Captain Pyro thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    The Sunny NE of England
    #5
  6. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #6
    Just a couple of notes- you are certainly right about trying to use eSata with an iMac- that is not doable (thought that is not a word!).

    However SATA controller cards compatible with G4s and G5s are quite common, as well as the same for PCs. There is NO need to mess with getting a PC SATA card and flashing anything- most are compatible with PCI slots on either variety and in any case that will be clearly called out.

    Though not in the UK, check out the listing below on OWC's site and look for the SATA cards that are listed as PCI cards (not PCI Express as that is for the last model of the G5 and MacPros) for some information:

    SATA Cards for PCI
     

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