MAC moving from FW800 to eSATA?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Macademy, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. Macademy macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
    Who knows what the real deal is on these rumors?

    I hear that FW800 will soon/eventually be replaced on Macs with eSATA.

    Any truth to this? If so, how would current equipment be adaptable?

    I ask because I JUST BOUGHT new Macs and am looking at some external drives and need to decide if FW800 port is a must or not?

    thanks all.
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Apple doesn't telegraph anything it does. The new MBP just came out and no eSATA there, FWIW.

  3. NT1440 macrumors G5


    May 18, 2008
    I've yet to run across anything in a best buy powered by esata, and barely anything by FW.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Even if that occurs, it will not be an over night transition. If you just purchased new macs, then don't worry. Buy external drives that have both FW and eSATA ports. OWC sells them. Of course by the time you need to replace your macs, you'll probably want to get new external drives as well. Buy what you need now and don't worry about future technology.
  5. Macademy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
    Good advice thanks.

    a few general questions...
    how does one get notified by the Forum (perhaps by email?) that their discussion thread was answered)...Or when they wish to follow a thread?

    is there an adaptor made to go from FW800 to eSATA?

    I can save $ by not buying a FW800 drive.
  6. ruftytufty macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2005
    Berkeley, CA
    General: I've been watching this for at least a couple of years, and using eSATA via ExpressCard 34 adapters on a MBP. Haven't seen any indication that Apple is going to go to eSATA, though it would have been easy to do (the Intel chipsets could support an additional SATA device easily), and it's appeared on some PC desktops and laptops.

    I suspect that they are going to skip eSATA completely, and go straight to Intel Light Peak (10GB/s). Maybe USB 3, as well. See
    and search for more info. They're claiming that cards may be available by end of this year, and systems by early next year.

    Re (1): go to your Control Panel ("User CP" top left on page). You can control whether you are automatically subscribed to threads you create/post to. Also, under "Thread Tools", you can subscribe to a thread you haven't posted to.

    Re (2): I haven't seen one, but you could google for it.
  7. Macademy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
    this would work on my MBP... what speed does it run at? Is it same as FW800 would be, or does it reach eSATA speeds?

    Also, Do you know of a solution for Mac Mini which doesn't have a card slot?
  8. ruftytufty macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2005
    Berkeley, CA
    full eSATA speed (which you'll only see if you use a 2-port expresscard, and are transferring between 2 external drives - if you're transferring between the internal drive and external, you'll probably be limited by the speed of the internal drive, at least at current laptop drive speeds).

    regarding macs w/no expresscard or other card slots: i just decided to google "esata firewire adapter", and turned up this thread and device:

    expensive ($130), and only supports "direct connect" enclosures (read tthat thread and the referenced forums carefully), but would appear to work at FW800 speeds.
  9. quantum003 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 27, 2009
    Wouldn't something like this work for a Mac Pro? Just connect the inner sata connector to an empty drive bay.

  10. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2005
    On the moon.

    Connect to either the two empty SATA ports on the motherboard on the older models, or on the newest ones, either to the second optical drive SATA port or an empty HDD carrier port.

    I have that same cable inside of my Core i7 PC.

    Though it also has a Molex out cable, so I can connect internal SATA drives outside of it. Makes it handy for repair work.
  11. ScottishDuck macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2010
    Argyll, Scotland
  12. Macademy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
    Great info... and if you wouldn't mind... a simpler recap verification because I'm a novice.

    My equipment is brand new (just recv'd this week):
    1 ea - Mac Mini 2.53/4GB/320
    1 ea - 13.3" Mac Book Pro 2.53/4GB/250
    1 ea - Drobo 04 w/2 ea - 1TB WD Caviar Green drives, plus 1 ea - 1.5TB WD Caviar Green drive
    1 ea - Tripp Lite UPS

    Objectives and current thinking for MAC equipment:
    1. video capture 250+ hrs of mini DV Standard def (1 hr tapes)
    - capture, logging, EDL with Final Cut Express
    - files then to be transferred to a professional editor (yet to be determined)
    - editing for online and documentary use is most likely to be in FCPro
    - I may do some editing in FCE too (or purchase FCP for my system - IF I HAVE TO)

    2. I'm toying with the idea of capturing simultaneously to each machines internal hard drive, then batch transferring to the Drobo ext drives

    3. I also have 2 ea - Dell PC laptops with USB/FW400/4 pin ports
    - I am buying another external drive primarily for entire system backup protection (looking at Fantom Green Drive 1TB Quad because it has USB/IEEE/FW400/800 & eSata ports)
    - I am also considering future use of connecting or transferring data to this drive from my MAC equipment. I realize this requires that I set the drive up as (FAT 32).
    - Does FAT 32 reduce speed or quality in any way (especially for PC backup use, if I NEVER end up using it with my MACs)?

    Am I on-target with any of this so far???

    4. MY GOAL in this thread was to:
    a) make sure I was purchasing the right equipment (not over or under purchasing drives/cables)
    b) determine best use setup for highest transfer rates in any/all configurations

    Considering this picture, can I and how would I use/connect the suggested cabling?

    AND what about the latest post referencing USB 3.0... I don't think any of my systems have that capacity.

    Thanks for the guidance...
  13. Macademy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
  14. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop
    I find moving away from FW800 doubtful. eSATA is very very fast (3gbits/sec) but has one serious, well I wouldn't say "flaw". Let's say "aspect". It's not hot-pluggable like USB or FW. You have to start the machine up with the eSATA device connected and on.

    This would likely leave out most laptop owners, especially MacBook owners as they tend to sleep their computers rather than fully shutting them down when moving them.
  15. iigsie macrumors regular

    Nov 17, 2007
    You people seem to forget, Firewire serves far more than drives.

    There are no eSATA audio interfaces, nor likely will there ever be as the standard does not support communication for audio, it is storage only. If iMacs didn't have FW800, then everyone I know who has bought one would not have done.

    Apple will not ditch FW for eSATA. At best it will be included alongside FW, but that is also very unlikely. Light Peak and USB3 are far more versatile than eSATA.
  16. iigsie macrumors regular

    Nov 17, 2007
    That is not true. eSATA can be hot swappable providing the controller and driver support it.
  17. muthma macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2010

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