MBA 13" mid-2011 connect gigabit ethernet and external HDD on full speed

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by j1104638, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. j1104638, Jun 30, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016

    j1104638 Suspended

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2015
    #1
    Hi all,

    What is the cheapest way to connect both gigabit ethernet and HDD on full speed to MacBook Air 13" mid-2011?

    Its USB ports are 2.0 (480 Mbps half-duplex) so their performance is not enough for any of the two (1000 Mbps full duplex and ~220 MBps peak full duplex needed respectively).

    It has only one Thunderbolt 1 port. There are Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet + USB 3.0 or eSATA adapters but the cheapest I found costs ~90 USD. Are there cheaper ones or is this the lowest possible for Thunderbolt?

    Thank you for the help!
     
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #2
    Couldn't you just plug the Apple thunderbolt/ethernet adapter into the pass-through port on any thunderbolt HD? Or is there some reason why you need to use a USB 3.0 disk?
     
  3. j1104638, Jul 2, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016

    j1104638 thread starter Suspended

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2015
    #3
    As far as I'm concerned Thunderbolt HDDs are insanely pricey compared to regular HDDs of the same size via USB3 or eSATA and they're also not available in big sizes (8 TB and more per disk). Am I wrong?

    I'm ok with eSATA and USB3 as Thunderbolt is an overkill for an HDD from performance perspective anyway, and USB3 - or, better, eSATA - provides like 95% of internal SATA performance. I. e. if there was a cheap Thunderbolt enclosure where I can install my own 2.5" or 3.5" HDD and with daisy-chaining Thunderbolt port, of course I'd prefer it, but I'm not aware of any.

    If I were to connect SSD, I'd likely do it the way you advise.
     
  4. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #4
    I used to have a 2011 MBA. I upgraded to a 2013 and one of the factors was the USB 3.0 ports (the others were 8gb RAM, 512gb SSD and much better battery life). ;)

    I still have a few Seagate Desktop Backup Plus drives that snap into a thunderbolt dock. I used these on the 2011 MBA so I could have fast drives for video editing and also use an external monitor.

    However, on the 2013 MBA, I use those same drives with a USB 3.0 dock. I get the same performance on both thunderbolt and USB… about 170MB/sec.
     
  5. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2001
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #5
    Although I sold my 2011 MBA, I still have my 2011 27" iMac. It is hooked up to a thunderbolt dock,
    as that is a great way to get the USB 3 drives at full speed and extend them on a USB 3 dock, so I can run several drives and an old HDTV as the second screen.
    Additionally, I can use the gigabit ethernet port and extra audio ports, and get a spare thunderbolt port on the dock and the second thunderbolt port on the iMac.
    I just use the USB 2.0 ports on the back for the printer, the keyboard mouse and gamepad & a Bluray writer.

    I'd advise you to get the thunderbolt dock, as that will get you the USB 3 port and gigabit ethernet, plus possibly a HDMI port if you are keen to use a second screen.
     

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