Looking for a good 4 bay external enclosure

Loa

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May 5, 2003
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Hello,

I work on a 2009 Mac Pro with an esata card. I'm using an esata external enclosure, but it's clunky and doesn't work very well. I get random disconnects while copying files.

Of course I could buy a USB3 card or a better esata card. Then again, I'm going to buy the next Mac Pro when it comes out in a year or two and don't really want to spend hundreds of dollars for cards I won't use all that long.

If I buy a USB2 / USB3 enclosure and use the USB2 port (until I can use the USB3 port with the next Mac Pro), will I see a significant speed difference compared to esata?

Thanks
 

NorCalLights

macrumors 6502a
Apr 24, 2006
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If I buy a USB2 / USB3 enclosure and use the USB2 port (until I can use the USB3 port with the next Mac Pro), will I see a significant speed difference compared to esata?
It depends on what kind of drives (spinning HHD or SSDs?), how you format them (RAID?), and what you're using them for.
 

ActionableMango

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Sep 21, 2010
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Of course I could buy a USB3 card or a better esata card. Then again, I'm going to buy the next Mac Pro when it comes out in a year or two and don't really want to spend hundreds of dollars for cards I won't use all that long.
Yes, you will see a MASSIVE speed difference going down to USB 2.0.

USB 3 cards are not hundreds of dollars, they can be had for about $30. See link in my signature.
 

yellowbunny

macrumors regular
Jun 27, 2010
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I got a usb 3 card for around $10 and it works perfectly. I've just bought a new yottamaster 4 bay enclosure. Haven't tried it yet, will report back.
 

Loa

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ActionableMango, is the inateck kt4004 able to handle a 4 bay enclosure (port-multiplier)? Judging from your post (since its drivers are bundled in the OS for the nMP), it should work flawlessly with 10.13, right?

Also, what about a USB3 enclosure itself? Any recommendations? I'd like it to be hot-swappable. I also hate the ones that use trays on the drives. The enclosure I currently have allows me to simply slide my bare drives into it.

Beyond that, I don't have any other requirements. Hot-swappable and no drive trays.

Thanks!
 

ActionableMango

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Sep 21, 2010
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ActionableMango, is the inateck kt4004 able to handle a 4 bay enclosure (port-multiplier)? Judging from your post (since its drivers are bundled in the OS for the nMP), it should work flawlessly with 10.13, right?
I'm not entirely sure what you are asking in that first sentence. "Port Multiplier" is a SATA-specific term about using multiple SATA devices on a single SATA port, which doesn't apply to USB. A 4-drive enclosure with USB 3.0 interface should work with any USB 3.0 card.

Nothing works flawlessly, but yes it works well and should continue to work in all future versions of MacOS that are intended to work with the 6,1 Mac Pro because the 6,1 has the same chipset itself.

Keep in mind that when you have several devices using a single path like that, they inherently have to share the bandwidth of that path. This is true of both USB and SATA Port Multiplication.
 
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Loa

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I thought that port multiplier was also an issue with USB, like it is with SATA. Thanks for clearing that up. Bandwidth is not an issue for me, as the enclosure serves mainly as a back-up device: I'm not going to copy multiple files from multiples disks as the same time.

Any suggestions for the enclosure?

Thanks.
 

kennyman

macrumors 6502
May 4, 2011
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@Loa

Any suggestions for the enclosure?

I bought this 3 years ago, it runs great, I use it over eSata, works fine over USB 3.0 on my MBP as well. I use it mostly with my cMP, I have set it to Raid 10 with 4 x 2TB HDD, speed is decent, around 260 MB/s read and 200-220 MB/s write.
 
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Loa

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Thanks for the info, but I have plenty of backups that I can plug in the internal bays if need be.

I can't find good USB3 enclosures that don't use trays. The only one I did find is from sans digital and seems bad with bad reviews. Since I use more than 4 drives in there (interchangeably for remote location back-ups), having to screw on those trays is a hassle...
 

yellowbunny

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Jun 27, 2010
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I got a usb 3 card for around $10 and it works perfectly. I've just bought a new yottamaster 4 bay enclosure. Haven't tried it yet, will report back.
I set up the yottamaster today. All working perfectly so far (touch wood!). Have three drives in it at the moment.
 
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Loa

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Is there a 4 bay yottamaster model that doesn't require screwing trays onto the hard drives ?
 

ActionableMango

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Loa

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The docking station would be interesting if it fit on top of my mac pro, but it can't handle hot-swaps. And the other one is way too expensive (for my needs and budget). For that price I could almost replace all four of my internal drives with 2 6TB drives.

That, in fact, could be an option if I can't find a good inexpensive enclosure. This way I could pull all the data off the 3 2TB drives that are currently in the enclosure and use it only for back-up updating.

As for the eSATA glitches, I've been using a very cheap eSATA card and a very cheap eSATA enclosure for five years now. Guess I've been lucky that it worked out fine until now. Can't fault them for the price I paid.
 

mattspace

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Jun 5, 2013
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I've also been thinking of a 4 bay enclosure, on the assumption that all the spinning storage in my cMP will have to come out eventually. I was thinking about a Synology, but I'm not sure how the migration process goes - whether I keep my existing each drive has a function setup, or pool them all together. Also, whether it requires a reformat, which then means I need somewhere to keep the data in the meantime.
 

nigelbb

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Dec 22, 2012
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I have an Oyen Digital 2 bay USB3/eSATA enclosure that has slide-in capability. They make a 5-bay one too. I'm using mine with an iMac 5k.

https://oyendigital.com/hard-drives/store/3R5-EB3-M.html
That looks like s good option although that link states it’s out of stock. An advantage for the OP is that as well as USB 3.0 & eSATA interfaces it also has Firewire 800 which would mean they could dump the possibly faulty eSATA card but not need to buy a USB 3.0 card.
 
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Loa

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I hadn't even considered firewire 800, never having used it in 9 years! But besides being out of stock, it's also expensive, especially in Canada.

on the assumption that all the spinning storage in my cMP will have to come out eventually.
I dearly hope that the upcoming redesigned Mac Pro will have at least 2 slots for regular HDs. As much as SSDs have dropped in price, they won't match the TB/$ of the big HDD for a damned long time. Try buying 10TB of SSD for 350$!
 
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yellowbunny

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Jun 27, 2010
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Is there a 4 bay yottamaster model that doesn't require screwing trays onto the hard drives ?
I'm not sure. I just put two screws in each drive, I think it would work without though. The door pops open on a latch. It's very easy to access drives.
 

Loa

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Thanks for the link. But yeah, still screws and trays. Given that I switch the drives a lot, it's not ideal for me.