Network Hard Drive?

MacAztec

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Oct 28, 2001
3,023
1
San Luis Obispo, CA
I posted an earlier thread about getting an external hard drive for my dad's powerbook. My brother recommended a Network Hard Drive. They are 10/100BTx, 160GB, and work great with Mac OS X. I think it is a good idea, what do you think?

We are doing a network rennovation at my house. We ordered a 24-Port Cisco Switch, and a Linksys 4-Port VPN Router. Also, Linksys 802.11g WAPs are going in :)

I was telling my brother that the speeds of a Network drive aren't as fast as those of a Firewire400/800 drive. But, he reminded me of something. When transferring files, the speed will only be as fast as the slowest drive. My dad's powerbook is a 4200RPM ATA100 drive. No point in going with the Firewire 800 super speed drive, when he has a slow laptop drive in there.

What do you think about this idea?
 

pdpfilms

macrumors 68020
Jun 29, 2004
2,383
0
Vermontana
With no experience in the area of network drives, i can only say this. Sure, it'll be a good speed for the PB, but if you want to use another computer with a faster drive (or any video work), it won't be fast enough. Also, unless it's connected to the router (which i'm sure it will be), ou won't be able to hook up to a hardwire network.... but seeing your setup, you probably don't need to.
Damn. That's quite a network. For a house.
 

MacAztec

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Oct 28, 2001
3,023
1
San Luis Obispo, CA
Yeah, we have quite a few things on it. We have an Ethernet jack in every room (just about) of the house. Then, there are other things that need to hook up (laser printer, WAP).
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
Couple of things; you don't use a network drive for booting, launching apps, scratch drive space or your data files for large projects (like audio and video). All of that stays on the internal drive.

The network drive is for backups, archival data and shared data that you access from more than one machine. For those purposes, the speed is just fine. A 100 BT connection (theroretical 100 Mbs) will never be as fast as a Firewire connection (theoretical 400 Mbs or 800 Mbs) but because you use it differently, it will be fast enough.

Also, it's not quite true that the speed is limited to the slowest device and a faster outboard connection woudn't make a difference. Disk reads and writes are sequential, and you will realize the marginal improvement of a faster device during the times it is reading/writing.
 

daveL

macrumors 68020
Jun 18, 2003
2,425
0
Montana
A fw drive that you can plug into any machine at any time seems to me to a more flexible solution. There's nothing stopping you from sharing the drive on the network in the usual way. I don't see what these "network drives" buy you, other than sacrificing performance. You'll be lucking to get 10 MB/sec. with substantially higher latency than a direct connect fw drive.
 

superbovine

macrumors 68030
Nov 7, 2003
2,872
0
Your aren't considering all the important factors in weather to use a network drive or a firewire drive. first, if you really worried about network speed you would have built a gigabit ethernet. regardless of that fact 7200 rpm hard drives can only write at around 40-60mb/s. besides that fact, you said you have a 24 port switch. I would say if multiple people plan to use this drive, the laptop user does not want to plug in the drive every time, or the laptop user will float wirelessly then network drive is the choice. however, if either do not bother you then i would say get the firewire drive.
 
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