How does eSATA work w/ Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by zdobson, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. zdobson macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I just purchased this external enclosure for a hard drive. I've never used eSATA before and was wondering how it works. I have a mac pro 2.8 octo. The enclosure includes an eSATA bracket that will connect to a motherboard with HOT-SWAP, but as far as I've been able to tell the MP doesn't have that.

    What are my options for connecting this to my MP? I'm using this drive to archive photos and will use it a few times a week, but I don't always leave it connected. I store it in a safe when I'm away.
     
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #2
    You need to install an eSATA card, such as those based on PCI.
     
  3. zdobson thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Thanks for the info. What's the cheapest one I can get that would serve the purpose? I don't need raid or even multiple eSATA ports. Just one would be enough.
     
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #4
  5. Phatpat macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

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    #5
    Shouldn't the OP's bracket just plug into a spare SATA port in the Mac Pro?
     
  6. zdobson thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    That's what I'm wondering. I read a post somewhere about the last generation of Mac Pro and they said that since the motherboard doesn't support hot swap, the drive always had to be on or the computer would have a disc error. I'm wondering if this post was accurate and, if so, if that is still the case with the newest MP.
     
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #7
    No Hot Swap built-in on a Mac Pro. :(

    As you've discovered, as long as you leave the external has to remain on. Otherwise, shut down, turn the external on and then restart the computer. Not all that bad, but may be annoying. :eek:
     
  8. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    Jan 5, 2008
    #8
    Some PCIe cards do have hot-swap, like this one:

    http://www.nitroav.com/product/472/

    I've used it and it works pretty well. Hot-swap and SMART are supported. If you need eSATA, generally speaking, you'll be able to afford a card that has the specs you need.
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #9
    It's a nice card. :)

    I listed the Syba since the OP was looking for lowest cost (~$20.00USD).
     
  10. zdobson thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Thanks for the input. That's the thing; I don't need eSATA. I just figured that since I have it on the enclosure, I'd find out what my options are.
     
  11. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    #11
    The best reason to use eSATA, if you're not editing uncompressed HD on a multi-drive eSATA external, is that it uses a separate bus from firewire or whatever you're using for transfer, so transfers will be a bit faster. But again, this is unlikely to be an issue unless you need serious speed and firewire 800 is tied up. Firewire 800 is more than enough for all non-professionals. For professionals, Firewire 3200 is looking rather nice...
     
  12. zdobson thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    *update*

    I hooked up the bracket that came with the drive and it's running extremely slow. Why would this be happening?

    I ran Xbench and had to stop the test, it was taking so long. Here's what showed up.

    [​IMG]

    Here is Xbench on the main drive for comparison.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    #13
    Two possibilities spring to mind:

    1) It's a cheap card. Cheap chips, etc. Cheap for a reason.
    2) As the seller at NitroAV cautioned me, many cards use a PCI->PCIe bridge instead of using native PCIe, which puts a stranglehold on speed.

    I'm not terribly knowledgeable about this, though. Perhaps try asking the vendor?
     
  14. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #14
    Did you format the drive?

    Have you tried testing it on USB?
     
  15. zdobson thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Drive was formatted and works perfectly with USB
     
  16. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

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    #16
  17. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #17
    Is it just a bracket, or is it a PCIe card that you're using to get the eSATA connection to the drive?
    No, the ODD ports on the logic board aren't Hot Swap. :(
    If you have a configuration that frees up the SATA controller on the logic board, those ports are Hot Swappable. :)
    RAID cards can allow you to do this, depending on configuration. ;)
     

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