internal sata vs external firewire800 vs external eSATA

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by peterjun, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. peterjun macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2007
    Which hardrive would be the fastest? I know that eSATA is the faster than firewire 800. I'm doing alot of video editing and would like to get the fastest hardrives posssible that would be compatible with the new mac pros but I don't want to RAID them.
  2. peterjun thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2007
  3. Airforce macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    There isn't a drive out that saturates 1.5 SATAs.
  4. peterjun thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2007
    So I'm guessing a 7200 rpm Sata 3.0 gb/s would outperform a raptor x 1.5 gb/s 10,000 rpm drive?

    Attached Files:

  5. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    The connection is not an indication of the speed of the hard drive. The connection is not a bottleneck (for FW800, eSATA, SATA I & II).

    There isn't a hard drive out that uses the full 1.5Gbps of SATA I. SATA II doesn't really have a practical benefit in terms of single disk speed.

    The Raptor will most likely be faster than the 7200rpm drive, but it'll be noisier and run hotter.
  6. flieschut macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2007
    I don't know much about the tech of it all; but I do know, 1TB sata drives in my new mac pro are significantly faster (3x? 5x?) than FW 800.
  7. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    that's because you have slow external drives. Put one of those 1TB drives in an external FW800 case and it would only lose 15-25% speed. For most drives, it isn't necessarily the interface speed that is slowing it down. It's the mechanical speed of the hard drive.

    The list of drives that truly outperform FW800's I/O is not that long.
  8. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    to answer the original question, in order of speed, with the exact same drive connected:

    (Faster on top)
    internal SATA
    external SATA

    That said, the difference between internal and external SATA is minimal unless you get a bad or cheap external SATA connector.
  9. CalfCanuck macrumors 6502a

    Nov 17, 2003
    FW800 MUCH faster on new MP

    According to

    "January 17th, 2008 -- FireWire 800 on the new "2008" Harpertown Mac Pro is faster than on the 2006/2007 Mac Pro. We did a quick test with the LaCie Little Big Disk (dual 7K notebook drive RAID 0). On the 2006 Mac Pro, we get 55MB/s READ/WRITE. (100MB blocks, QuickBench) With the 2008 Mac Pro we get 75MB/s READ/WRITE!

    We understand this gain is due to the fact that the FireWire interface is now on the PCI Express bus."

    75 MB per second is a pretty good time. I agree that the internal SATA might be faster, but for externals I'm not sure how much extra speed you'd get with eSATA.
  10. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    eSATA RAID 0 arrays can saturate the SATA bus.

    Yes, they can.

    I did this with 4 eSATA drives in a G5 with Apple's software RAID a couple of years ago. I only did it as a test, and I was surprised that it worked, but here goes:

    disc 1 and disc 2=raid 0 array #1
    disc 3 and disc 4=raid 0 array #2

    raid array 1 and raid array 2=raid 0 array #3.

    array #3 was blazing fast. seems like a trick, right? I was surprised that Disk Utility allowed me to make that 3rd array from the other two. Turns out it will make any combination of arrays.

    Of course, it was also 16x more likely to suffer an unrecoverable hardware failure, so I took it apart and made two RAID 1 arrays instead.

    I didn't do any official tests or anything, but I can tell you that I did duplicate a 4 GB file on the array in just under 20 seconds.

    the rough math puts that at about 200MB/sec. Considering that this wasn't using a hardware RAID card, which is certainly faster, I'd say triple the FW800 bandwidth isn't impossible currently with eSATA.

    I look forward to the day that you can affordably create a reliable array with those kinds of speeds and large capacities, too.

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