Using a External Hard Drive For MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kanshira, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. kanshira macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2007
    Hi, I'm thinking of buying a eSATA express card for my MBP, I'm quite newb on these tech stuff - would it be better to connect a external hard drive via eSATA or connecting one through firewire.
    I like to play games on windows via boot camp, and its running out of space allocated; is purchasing a eSATA express card the preferred method for high performance, or is there another method, please recommend. thx
  2. tremendous macrumors 6502


    Jan 16, 2008
    UK? Yeah I'm OK. Stop asking.
    All I know is I use firewire on a powerbook and it seems fast enough for me. It's going to be slower than an internal no matter what, i'd assume, so I guess it comes down to practicality/price and all that kind of jazz.

    useless post, sorry!
  3. mactastic1971 macrumors regular


    Jan 9, 2008
    Bay Area, CA
    Im pulling this directly from the wiki but it appears eSATA should be considerably faster...

    Aimed at the consumer market, eSATA enters an external storage market already served by the USB and FireWire interfaces. Most external hard disk drive cases with FireWire or USB interfaces use either PATA or SATA drives and "bridges" to translate between the drives' interfaces and the enclosures' external ports, and this bridging incurs some inefficiency. Some single disks can transfer almost 120 MB/s during real use,[2] more than twice the maximum transfer rate of USB 2.0 or FireWire 400 (IEEE 1394a) and well in excess of the maximum transfer rate of FireWire 800, though the S3200 FireWire 1394b spec reaches ~400 MB/s. Finally, some low-level drive features, such as S.M.A.R.T., may not be available through USB or FireWire bridging.[6] eSATA does not suffer from these issues.
  4. ghettochris macrumors 6502a

    Feb 19, 2008
    esata would be a no brainer if there was an esata port, but for now firewire 800 is more than enough to write as fast as your mbp can feed it. even copying from firewire 800 to firewire 800 you get 40 MB/s, a little below a drives 50-70 max, but still close.

    once you start going raid, then esata becomes much better. if you had 2 raid drives firewire 800 would still do 40m, but esata might do 100 or more.

    I move lots of gigs, but do it all on firewire 800 for now. fast enough, no addl hardware. it takes about 3.5 hrs to fully backup a 500gb firewire 800 drive to another firewire 800 drive.

    as for enclosures, can't beat the owc quad for options: World Computing/MEFW924AL1K/

    but i like dual enclosures for value: best firewire 800 deal you're likely to find: (no esata, but uses sata drives so you can change that later) World Computing/MEFW924AL2K/

    they have a non sata drive one for $90 that loses usb as well, and with ide drives no esata down the road...
  5. tip macrumors 6502


    Mar 9, 2006
    I use a low-end Seagate external drive which has both SATA and USB.

    I went this route since I wanted to be able to have the option of using this drive on other machines if necessary (hence the USB).

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