Resolved [UPDATED] External Firewire enclosure => CF Card Reader

Lastic

macrumors 6502a
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Mar 19, 2016
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I'm looking for a portable FireWire enclosure to use as a backup disk and/or mobile storage.

Since portability is a huge factor, a bus-powered device is preferred.

I will be using it on my 12" & 15" Powerbook G4 and preferably also like to boot from the external Firewire disk.

Anybody got any experiences they can share with the following runner-ups or any other suggestions ?

OWC Mercury On-The-Go

https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/MSTG800U3K/

Oyen Digital MiniPRO

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1062431-REG/oyen_digital_cb3_sl.html

Akitio Neutrino U3+

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...trino_u3_portable_enclosure.html/prm/alsVwDtl

For the 15" Powerbook G4, I also considered using a fast Micro SDXC card in a Cardbus adapter

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SD-SDHC-SDX...ader-for-256GB-128GB-/371129508743?rmvSB=true

But I'm guessing it is not bootable ? Plus speed-wise it won't be as performant as FW800 or am I wrong in my assumption ?
 
Last edited:

flyrod

macrumors 6502
Jan 12, 2015
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I guess the first question is what you want to use for a drive. Then do you want 400 or 800. Wibetech used to make a really nice FW800 for PATA drives. I have one of these that I use a lot.

OWC has SATA enclosures, but I've not had great luck with them. It took them 3 tries to send me one that worked, and I still can't boot from it. So add $30 in shipping (plus time/headaches to RMA it). Plus, their aluminum enclosures are pretty bulky to hold a 2.5" drive. There are smaller/lighter options if you're after portability.

If you already have a spare drive, you can get empty enclosures pretty cheap. The newer SATA drives are a lot bigger, so for backup or bulk storage they're probably a better option. For enclosures, there are plastic ones, and G-tech makes some nice aluminum ones. There are even a couple raid enclosures that use two 2.5" drives, and they're still bus powered. I've seen 3 different brands of those.

Get on ebay and put in something like: 2.5" firewire to get some ideas of what's out there. I think Lacie has a good reputation.
 

Lastic

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 19, 2016
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North of the HellHole
Since I would use it for both my 15" and 12" , I need FW800 and backwards compability with FW400 for the 12".

I have lots of spare drives ,PATA, SATA I/II/III HD & SSDs so no preference there except 2.5" drives otherwise it gets too bulky and I need to carry a power adapter.

Had a look at the G-Tech Mobile one ,also looks good , thanks for the tip
 

Lastic

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 19, 2016
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North of the HellHole
Just wanted to post some feedback on which solution I choose.

I realised that I still had a Micro SDXC High speed 64 GB laying around from my Raspberry Pi and with the 80 MB/s of FW800 being the bottleneck, I looked at a local store and bought a FW800 Compact Flash Card Reader and a Compact Flash to SDXC adapter.

http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Extre...d=1463162623&sr=8-1&keywords=SDSDQX-064G-U46A

http://www.amazon.com/Card-Reader-F...7&sr=8-1&keywords=delock+firewire+card+reader

http://www.amazon.com/Compact-Flash...r0&keywords=delock+compact+flash+sdxc+adapter

Booting up to the login screen takes around 45 sec, and all drive activity ends after 2 minutes after booting up.

System feels snappy enough, I ran a few Xbench tests , bizarre enough the results on my 15" ( FW800 ) are slower than my 12" ( FW400 ) and not even in the 50 MB/s ( Micro SDXC card limit ) or the FW800 80 MB/s speed but I'm glad I have a small , portable , bus powered, bootable , snappy solution.

If I ever get around to buying a Compact Flash card with decent specs, I'll run Xbench again .
[doublepost=1463164514][/doublepost]And I just found the reason for the 25 MB/s bottleneck, the Compact Flash to SDXC adapter specs on the box :)
 

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Lastic

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Original poster
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So the paycheck came in and I bought a Sandisk Extreme 128 GB Compact Flash card with
R/W speeds of 120MB/s to use together with the Firewire CompactFlash reader.

http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Extre...flash 128GB&qid=1464461576&ref_=sr_1_5&sr=8-5

Overal the results are better than the stock HD but not equal to the PATA SSD , only in certain areas.

Should however give me some extra space , a spare disk to experiment configurations on , a portable backup solution without a power supply.
 

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128keaton

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Jan 13, 2013
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So the paycheck came in and I bought a Sandisk Extreme 128 GB Compact Flash card with
R/W speeds of 120MB/s to use together with the Firewire CompactFlash reader.

http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Extreme-CompactFlash-Memory-SDCFXS-128G-X46/dp/B00EZE813K?ie=UTF8&keywords=sandisk extreme compact flash 128GB&qid=1464461576&ref_=sr_1_5&sr=8-5

Overal the results are better than the stock HD but not equal to the PATA SSD , only in certain areas.

Should however give me some extra space , a spare disk to experiment configurations on , a portable backup solution without a power supply.
Get a cheaper X300 Sandisk SSD, and there is a 'hot' PATA->SATA laptop adaptor, remove the innards from the SSD, and place, with adaptor, inside of laptop. Boom!
 

Lastic

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 19, 2016
826
683
North of the HellHole
Get a cheaper X300 Sandisk SSD, and there is a 'hot' PATA->SATA laptop adaptor, remove the innards from the SSD, and place, with adaptor, inside of laptop. Boom!
I already got an PATA SSD in my 12inch Powerbook , the 15inch still has a HD .

I just wanted a backup solution or 2nd boot option which was bus powered and portable.
 
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