RAID-1 eSATA external HDD for MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by wykim88, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. wykim88 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    #1
    [​IMG]

    Hello folks.:apple:

    I want to get a RAID-1 (mirrored) eSATA external hard drives for my MacBook Pro.

    I found many non-eSATA (such as FW800) RAID-1 HDD enclosures, but I can't seem to find the one with eSATA. Knowing that eSATA is much better than FW800, I'd really like to get an eSATA one.

    It's for securely storing my architecture school works.

    Would you mind enlightening me?

    Joseph from Toronto
     
  2. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    #2
    FW800 is plenty fast for me. Are you going to be transferring files a lot? Also, do you already have an eSATA adapter for your MBP?
     
  3. wykim88 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 12, 2008
    #3
    Hm, yes, FW800 can be sufficient also. I wouldn't be transferring files that much. No, I don't have the adaptor. I heard it's around $80.

    So is eSATA not worth it?
    I just wanted to make some use out of that port :D
     
  4. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

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    Oct 31, 2006
    #4
    If you're not transferring files constantly or using the drive for video editing, Fw800 should be fine.
     
  5. operator207 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    #5
    A bigger question to ask is, what speed will that adapter run? Its adapting another port/slot, will it really be esata speeds? If its USB, then your stuck at USB speeds. If its a card, your stuck at the speed of the cardslot.

    I had the same dilemma. I ended up getting a USB2 FW400 FW800 esata enclosure for a single drive. This one. and a 1tb drive. I use it in FW800 for my MBP.
    Here is a good site to look at for enclosures.

    Also, do NOT get a prolific chipset. Oxford all the way! My prolific enclosure will stop functioning randomly. My Oxford (the first link) never has a problem.

    My 2 cents.
     
  6. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

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    Oct 31, 2006
    #6
    I assumed they were talking about an expresscard adapter.
     
  7. displaced macrumors 65816

    displaced

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Gravesend, United Kingdom
    #7
    Since you're after a RAID solution, I'm presuming the drive enclosure itself will be in a fixed location, with you bringing your Mac to it.

    Here's a run-down on what I see your options being:

    Best Solution
    A good-quality network-attached storage device. This will give you Gigabit speeds (it'll connect via Ethernet) which is plenty quick enough. Plus, there are a good number of branded gigabit NAS solutions available. It'll be 'set up and go', usually configured via a web interface build into the NAS unit. You'll also have the option of hot-swappable drives, should you desire. Being networked, you've also got the possibility of accessing the drive from elsewhere (other locations, other machines) on your home network.

    Next-Best (1)
    eSata via an ExpressCard. But this is a bit fiddly given the extra component (the card). If reliability is key, go for a good brand of eSata enclosure, good Sata drive, and good card maker.

    Next-Best (2)
    Firewire 800. The speed deficiency compared to eSata isn't too bad. Plus you're removing the card issue. As an aside, one big thing which people overlook when comparing eSata to Firewire is that Firewire provides power too. For portable users it's fantastic to both connect and power a drive through one cable without needing an AC socket. But it seems that's not applicable to you anyway :D

    Worst
    Anything with a USB cable on the end :)

    (edit: in your position where reliability trumps portability, and you're willing to perhaps shell out a bit more money in order to avoid compromises, I'd definitely go for the first option, with hardware RAID-1 mirroring across at least 2 separate physical disks of a good brand)
     
  8. wykim88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    #8
    Thanks a bunch for the link!
    Since I need RAID-1 I'd go for this

    Then, what kind of expressCard adaptor should I get? I think the only option I got is Firmtec
     
  9. wykim88 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 12, 2008
    #9

    Thank you so much for such marvelous response!!:D

    I think I'd go for your Next-Best (1) option since I do not need the network functionality and don't have enough budget for it.
    If I'm going to be using SATA-1, for example, with this, what expressCard adaptor do you reccomend?
    I think the only option I got here is Firmtek. Is that thing fast and reliable? I smell cheap Taiwanese-ness on it.
     
  10. displaced macrumors 65816

    displaced

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Gravesend, United Kingdom
    #10
    No problem! That RAID box does look quite nice! I'm afraid I don't have any experience with eSata ExpressCards... hopefully someone else can recommend one!
     
  11. operator207 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    #11
    I also have no experience with an esata expresscard. Or any expresscard for that matter.

    Sorry I could not help more. I would however suggest something with multiple ways of connecting. I did not need ethernet, so I was not looking for something like that, but I would suggest whatever you decide in the end, it should have something other than just esata.
     

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