MacBook Pro 4.1 express card slot adapter usb3? Thunderbolt? Esata?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by l2oBiN, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. l2oBiN macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2008
    Please excuse my newb ignorance in regards to this. I have decided to revive my old MacBook to use as a photography laptop as I cannot afford a new one at the moment. Along with a new battery, I have upgraded the ram to 6gb and have ordered a 500gb ssd from crucial. I am now wondering what is the fastest connection for an external hard drive (where the photos will be stored) that I could adopt to the express card slot, and where I coukd buy the relevant adapter. Can I convert the express card slot into a thunderbolt port?
  2. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Thunderbolt is out of the question, it needs PCI express which your older machine does not have.

    You could go for either eSATA or use the FW800 port already on your machine, both will do nicely.
  3. l2oBiN thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2008
    What about usb3? What are the relative speeds of these interfaces?
  4. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    eSATA is as fast as the internal SATA interface from your machine, which would mean 1.5Gbps in your case or 187.5MB/s, a speed you'd never reach with a spinning platter HD anyway.

    FW800 is 800Mbps, or roughly 100MB/s, a speed that could theoretically be achievable in a spinning platter hard drive.

    USB 3 is 5.0Gbps, but I'm not sure it would be compatible with your Mac.

    Regardless, seeing as the hard drive itself would be the bottleneck, it doesn't really matter which one you use unless your scratch disk is also a SSD.
  5. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    Eh I've seen peaks of up to 160MB/s but yeah certainly not the average, even 100-120MB/s is rare unless you have a large capacity high performance platter. I find USB 2.0 to be unbearable even when using a relatively slow platter so anything faster than USB 2.0 is better but yeah no point in insisting on Thunderbolt, I mean my LaCie drive 1TB has it but its only useful when I decide to plug in a bunch of stuff and need more room. FireWire 800 is great though, it is much easier on the CPU and the speeds are are much more close to the max than USB. I still use FW800 with an adapter on my rMBP often.
  6. l2oBiN thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2008
    So will the sad I bought be bottlenecks by the SATA interface? I'd, will I get the full speed of the ssd?It's a crucial mx100 512gb I planned to use the ssx as my only drive for acess and scratch... Woukd that seriously impact performance? I coukd look into replacing the DVDs burner with a hdd enclosure but not sure of interface speeds etc...
  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    The version MBP you have has a PATA interface in the optical slot, off the top of my head I can't remember if that's any slower than a regular SATA one.

    Yes, your SSD will be bottlenecked by your SATA speeds.
  8. l2oBiN thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2008
    Crap so I will not get the advertised sad speed? What speed will it be?
  9. yangchewren macrumors regular

    Dec 1, 2012
    #9 technologies/usb32pme34/

    I'm sure that an expresscard USB3 adapter can be found on ebay/amazon for much lesser. A caveat for the linked adapter would be that non-storage devices aren't supported - I'm clueless as to why this is so.
  10. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    As fast as the SATA controller can handle, which is 187.5MB/s minus a bit of overhead.

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9 October 24, 2014