Thunderbolt vs usb3 to e-sata

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by cliffa, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. cliffa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2013
    #1
    Finally ordered my nMP yesterday (6/16/512/D300) and starting to assemble the stuff needed to move over from my 3,1 octo. Currently I'm doing backups to a raid-5 box with FW & e-sata ports.

    The only thunderbolt-to-esata adapter I can find is the $200 Lacie hub. On the other hand, a USB3-to-esata adapter is like $20-30. But a couple places I've read recently found that real-life USB3 barely runs any faster that FW800.

    Recommendations? I mean, other than draining my wallet further with a TB raid5 box.
     
  2. bxs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    #2
    Be aware that the LaCie Thunder-to-eSATA does not support eSATA Port Multiplier enclosures.
     
  3. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #3
    Following suggestions in another thread, I have used a Seagate "GoFlex" Thunderbolt adapter ($90) with a $10 SATA-to-eSATA cable to hook my eSATA RAID-5 box to my Thunderbolt MacMini (no USB 3.0). It's not pretty, but it works. I may "dress it up" with a eBay GoFlex shell with a notch for the cable exit.
     
  4. cliffa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2013
    #4
    Very cool idea. My raid array lives inside a fireproof chest, which I open and connect the array for backups. The adapter could live in the chest with the array, so that'd work great for me.

    Just curious, have you ever used the Blackmagic speed test to see what your transfer rate is?
     
  5. hfg, Mar 27, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #5
    Of course ... :)

    This is a OWC Qx2 RAID-5 with 4 1TB older drives using the Seagate Portable Thunderbolt Adapter (GoFlex) connected to the eSATA port via a SATA-to-eSATA cable:

    Note that these results are very similar to the same box connected directly via eSATA to my Mac Pro. This is the first generation of the Qx2 with older WD black 1TB drives. With a 2011 MacMini, this is the fastest interface I have available when using the Qx2.

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  6. michael_aos macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    #6
    I have a couple of the $150 (SATA-III) Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Thunderbolt Adapter's.

    They "just work". I've been pretty happy with them. I just ordered a SATA-to-eSATA cable from Amazon to (hopefully) extend their functionality.
    --
     
  7. campyguy macrumors 68030

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    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #7
    I'm using a cheap - $15 - USB-to-eSATA converter I picked up at a Fry's attached to either of my two G-Tech 2TB RAIDs that yields 250-260 MB/s of data transfer - read and write. It's branded "BYTECC" and it works way better than I expected.
     
  8. Mago macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Location:
    Beyond the Thunderdome
    #8
    On Performance there is no advantage either on USB3/Thundebolt/eSata UNLESS YOUR STORAGE SETUP IS CAPABLE TO TOP 600 GBPS.

    If you go for USB3-> Sata Adapter, choose one with UASP support (besides good cooling since these adapter use to fail by overheating).

    Ok this is on Performance.

    On Reliabilitiy, no interface beats an Good and SIMPLE eSATA period.

    An Thunderbolt-> Sata -> eSata is also an reasonable solution and very reliable too (not as realiable as an Native Tb-eSata).

    USB3 setups are not Bullet proof yet, but good for ocasional sage, as for non permanet Timemachine backup, or to migrate data from older Disks.

    ------------------


    I strong suggest you to migrate to an NATIVE Thunderbolt Based Enclosure, soon or later you'll need to do that jump.
     
  9. Riverrun macrumors regular

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    #9
    Very cool idea. Might solve a similar problem which I have. If you have time and if it's not too much trouble could you post a picture or two of your setup?
     
  10. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #10
    There really isn't much to it...

    Just this SATA-to-eSATA cable:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002P6W8E8/ref=oh_details_o07_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    and the Seagate Thunderbolt Adapter:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009HQCARY/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I see that Amazon is currently out of stock on the cable, may have to go to Micro SATA Cables to buy it. You do have to clip off the 2 plastic "ears" on the SATA plug (left in picture) in order to insert it into the Seagate connector. The other end is a standard eSATA connector which plugs into my RAID-5 box.

    A little duct tape currently holds it together, but I may clean it up later. You can modify any small bus-powered Thunderbolt enclosure to function as a eSATA adapter this way. Or you can use the more expensive dual channel LaCie adapter:
    http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?id=10574
     
  11. Cubemmal macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 13, 2013
    #11
    I have a 8 bay 2 port eSATA cage I'm still using with my old Mac Pro. I wouldn't mind moving that to a new Mac Pro, but haven't found a good, cheap solution. Too many don't support port replication.

    The USB3 option is interesting, but I'd prefer Thunderbolt as I could keep it back in my cabinet. I've been looking at external PCIe cages, but those are $500+ solutions
     
  12. Riverrun macrumors regular

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  13. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Brunswick, MD
    #13
    Interestingly ....

    I believe this is what the "eBox" from Datoptic does too!
    I purchased one of them for my 2013 Mac Pro and discovered that although it has Thunderbolt connectivity, it didn't work through the Thunderbolt cable until I also connected the (included) eSATA cable between two eSATA ports on the back of the unit. When I look at the system report on my Mac, it says it sees a Seagate GoFlex attached.


     
  14. bxs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    #14
    I have a MacGurus 5-bay Burly eSATA Port Multiplier enclosure and hook it to my MP6,1 as follows.

    N.B. There are several Thunderbolt-to-eSATA adapters but many of them DO NOT support Port Multiplication such as the LaCie adapter.

    The Burly is attached to the MP6,1 via an eSATA cable to the TSATAII-PRO-E34 - Sonnet Tempo 2 Port Express34 Pro SATA Host Card that is inserted into a Sonnet ECHOPRO-E34 - Sonnet Echo ExpressCard Pro Thunderbolt adapter. The MP6,1 was connected to the Sonnet ECHOPRO-E34 adapter via a Thunderbolt cable.

    The above connect configuration has been working flawlessly for over two months now. It fully supports hot-swapping and the i/o rates are as good as they were when the Burly was connected to my MP4,1 via an eSATA PCIe card.
     
  15. Cubemmal macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 13, 2013
    #15
    Glad it works, but for me it's a little kludgy, having to go TB, to ExpressCard to eSATA, plus I'm not sure how much of that stuff is available (B&H out of stock), ExpressCard is going to disappear soon ...
     
  16. bxs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    #16
    My setup works perfectly. If you decide to go the same route as me, post back here as you need to make sure you buy the correct Sonnet ExpressCard|34. The ones that OWC and Sonnet sell by default have issues. MacGurus has a supply of the correct ones and they were the only source that I could find that sold the correct one.

    Yes, products do eventually fade away... but these Express cards are rock solid and MacGurus told me they've never had a return or had a customer complain the card has failed. They do run a little warm but that is to be expected considering what they have to do electronically.
     

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