What choice of external RAID system should I use w/ my MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by marklight, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. marklight macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2006
    So I'm looking over 2 options.

    The first is this system:

    which is eSATA. This route would require me to also buy an express/34 esata card (any suggestions). Obviously this would be faster, but lack of USB or firewire limits what I can plug it into. So I was thinking of also getting an adapter like this:


    which converts esata to USB, but I was wondering if those things worked well... and if speeds are equal to actual USB 2.0 speeds when using one.

    The other options is this guy:

    which is definitely slower, but I don't have to worry about all the extra add ons.

    Any suggestions? I should note that I'm going to just be using the JBOD option on both of these externals and not any RAID features.
  2. ebika macrumors 6502

    Nov 17, 2008
    I'd probably go with your first option. eSata is much nicer than USB2 when it comes to moving large files around. Most of the eSata ExpressCard/34s have the same chipset (Silicon Image), so the brand you pick probably doesn't matter too much since the same driver is used for all of them. You will need to install a driver, Leopard doesn't handle the eSata expresscards out of the box.

    I have the Rosewill expresscard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16839200006 . I also know that the Belkin one that is sold in the Apple stores is the same as this Rosewill card.

    I don't have experience with the eSata to USB2 adapter since I use an enclosure that has eSata and USB2.
  3. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    First off I have a couple of the eSATA Sans Digital cases you linked to first and I will certainly say that they are nice cases and do a good job (as I am sure the smaller 4 drive USB case in your third link would do).

    What it seems is that it all comes down to speed really. The San Digital USB case would be fine if you are ok with USB speed, and it would be quite a bit cheaper to go that way. It just really has to measured against your intended use for the drives and the depth of your wallet. ;)

    If you are convinced that you want eSATA speed, forget the adapter you linked, as for convenience that is cool but it will be limited to USB speed- the eSATA end is just to allow you to hook up devices with only eSATA interfaces.

    So, to get the full speed of eSATA you would indeed need the express/34 eSATA card in conjuction with the SAn Digital TR5M case, but that is also of course the most expensive solution too. If you do go that way, one warning; be sure your express/34 card will support port multiplier cases as the TR5M is or you will be out in the cold! :(

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