MBP Internal 7200rpm HD vs FireWire 800 HD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MarkW19, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. MarkW19 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    #1
    I'm thinking of getting an external FireWire 800 Hard Drive, and was just wondering how much better the performance of the FW HD will be, compared to my 7200rpm HD built into my MBP?
     
  2. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #2
    It depends on how fast the hard drive you are connecting via FW800 is.

    As far as FW800, don't worry it is 'fast enough' for any hard drive you attach to it.
     
  3. MarkW19 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    #3
    Well, if the FW800 drive is 7200rpm too, and 16mb cache (like my built-in one), will the FW800 drive be faster than the Serial-ATA drive?
     
  4. tmoney468 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    #4
    No, the FW800 will never be faster than the internal SATA one you have in your notebook. That isn't to say, however, that there would be a noticable difference between a FW800 drive and a SATA drive in real-world use (mainly because the maximum transfer rates for both are never met in the real world).

    What do you plan on using the FW800 for? If you're looking for the fastest solution possible then I would consider an eSATA drive with an eSATA expresscard.
     
  5. MarkW19 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Surrey, UK
    #5
    I'll be using it for Logic Pro, software instruments/big samples etc. for big arrangements.
     
  6. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #6
    eSATA can be faster but need power supply. Firewire can be bus powered.

    FW800 has enough bandwidth for SATA drive running full speed.
    Benchmarks at barefeat.com

    I have been using the Lacie Little Big Disk for 2 years. It's a bus powered firewire RAID if you want portable speedy drive. Make sure to back up of course.
     
  7. ViveLeLivre macrumors regular

    ViveLeLivre

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    #7
    This isn't exactly true. A new, fast, single 3.5" 7200rpm disk will come very close to the real world maximum transfer rate for FireWire 800. I have tested this, and a decent 7200rpm RAID array *will* bottleneck at the FW800 bus (around 72MB/s on my system if memory serves) since they are capable of 100MB/s+ transfer rates with decent drives.

    I should also note that my 7200rpm RAID array *very noticeably* outperforms the old 5400rpm internal disk in my white iMac 24" with respect to READS. FW800 really shines here. According to Xbench, some WRITES are faster via internal SATA than the quicker FW800 array, but honestly, I can't tell the difference even when installing gigs of software. It's apparently not enough to prevent my RAID disks from scoring much better in the Xbench disk benchmark, at any rate. I know burst rates are significantly higher on SATA vs. FW800, but I haven't seen a reason to believe that this matters very much.

    I suspect, though the notebook 7200rpm Hitachi is a very fast drive, that even a single external 3.5" 7200rpm Seagate will outperform it, and a RAID array will absolutely trounce it... despite the annoying FW800 bottleneck.
     
  8. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #8
    The OP is comparing MBP Internal 7200rpm HD vs FireWire 800 HD. The OP is NOT comparing RAID.

    Not sure how a 3.5" drive can fit internally into MBP... The assumption is that it'll compare laptop drives, since anyone who knows RAID will not be asking this question.

    So the answer COMPARING INTERNAL 7200 2.5" drive to a similar drive on Firewire 800 is that there will be no bottleneck.

    External 3.5" drive with firewire 800 will be faster than 2.5" internal drive. If you really want speed, get eSATA and a RAID.
     
  9. lavrishevo macrumors 68000

    lavrishevo

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    NJ
    #9
    If you want a really fast external go with the FW800 raid 0 Lacie bigdisk extreme. Great drive.
     
  10. StealthRider macrumors 65816

    StealthRider

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    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    Yokosuka, Japan
    #10
    How did you get a 5400RPM drive in a 24" iMac? By then all drives should have been 7200.
     
  11. ViveLeLivre macrumors regular

    ViveLeLivre

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    #11
    Not sure how you got any of this from my post. It had been implied that drives are significantly slower than the max transfer rates of FW800, to which I responded: 1) newer 7200 3.5" drives closely approach the FW800 bottleneck 2) any decent RAID array will bottleneck on FW800. I know the OP is not looking for RAID, but replies to his post gave the impression that lots of headroom exists between the max speed of the drive and the max transfer speed of FW800, when it doesn't, single disk or RAID.

    And I never suggested a 3.5" could be shoehorned in a MB, but I did remark that a newer 7200 external drive will probably outperform the 2.5" internal Hitachi which is probably the fastest notebook drive available currently.
     

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