Old ATA drive in external case or new SATA?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by vtprinz, Feb 2, 2005.

  1. vtprinz macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2004
    So after planning for the last few weeks on using my old 120GB PC hard drive in the new PM I'll be buying...I finally took the time to see exactly what kind of hard drive it was.

    Sure enough, Ultra ATA, not SATA. (Maxtor DiamondMax 9)

    So my question is this: Should I invest in a new SATA internal HD (Either $120 for 160GB or $150 for 200GB) or save some money and buy this:


    $70 Firewire 400 external case for the ATA drive.

    Will I notice a difference in speed? I do a lot of photoshopping and logic/garageband work, and I don't want to spend $2500 on a machine, and then be crippled by the hard drive. (They do have FW 800 cases, but they're just as expensive as buying a new internal SATA drive)

    Oh, I guess it would help if I told you I was going to keep the stock 80GB drive in the PM and use that for the OS and apps, the second hard drive was going to be used for all of my files/photos/music/etc

    Thanks for the help
  2. vtprinz thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2004
  3. Music_Producer macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004
    You should definitely go for the SATA drive (10,000 rpm WD Raptor) as the increased rpm will definitely take off the strain while working with Logic. For music production purposes, we use SCSI drives all the time that run from 10k to 15k rpm. SCSI has its own quirks though, which is why SATA is awesome. If you use a fast hard drive in a firewire case, you're basically rendering that speed useless because of the firewire bottleneck. You would be better off with a sata drive. Hope this helps.
  4. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    That $70 FW400 case is slower than the drive.

    SATA and FW800 operate above the maximum speed of the drive, so they won't create bottlenecks.

    Some of the people using Final Cut/iMovie do run into problems with FW400 and trying to capture directly to the external drive -- some don't.
  5. vtprinz thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2004
    Thanks for the responses!

    One more question: Would an ultra ata/133 pci card work? And would it be suitable? I bought one when I first got the HD but could never get it to work on my old Dell, so it's just been sitting in my PC doing nothing. The drive is 7,200 RPM, and honestly I don't think I can afford a good sized (at least 120GB) 10,000RPM raptor drive. I don't even know if they exist in that size (only ones I've seen are 32GB and 74GB)

    I don't do professional music recording, just my own stuff. Audio recording + midi/synth stuff. I just want to make sure it's not going to lag or cut out like it does so often on my 800MHz G3 (640MB RAM). Using the pci card on the ATA drive (if this even works), wouldn't it run at the same speed as a 7,200RPM SATA drive?

    EDIT: the computer will be the dual 1.8GHz G5 PowerMac, with 1.25GB RAM
  6. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    I would just throw the your hard drive into the FW400 case. I really doubt that it would be a real bottleneck for audio and Photoshop.

    The more internal drives, the incresed use and loudness of the PM internal fans. Its nice to have externals bc you can just turn them off when you aren't using them. Also the portability is convient too.

    I find the 10,000RPM Raptor too much of a compromise on storage space (limited to 74 GB). I read that the 7200 Maxtor with the 16MB cache is comparable in speed and availble in 300GB size.

    I recommend a FW400 or FW800 case.
  7. vtprinz thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2004
    I'm thinking about doing that (not a FW800, as I'd rather just buy an internal for the same $ or cheaper.), but I'd like to find out if my ata133 pci card will work before I go that route. From what I gather on the apple discussion board, it's possible (at least with some pci cards) but there can be problems with the power cord to the pci card. Anyone use this method? Work for you?

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