What is it with Apple and eSata?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by RedTomato, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Why does Apple have such a fear of eSata?

    I've just seen the (maybe) new specs for the new Mac Mini and iMac. Always nice to see an update. FW800 is good.

    But why no eSATA? It's taking over the PC market. Even Apple now use SATA drives and SATA controllers. So why not add an eSATA port? It's really cheap, it's a simple connector, only costs a few pennies, not like FW or HDMI.

    eSATA lets you have MASSIVE bandwidth to CHEAP external drives. It's much cheaper to find an eSATA single drive enclosure or RAID enclosure than the equivalent FW800.

    Come on Apple, add eSATA to the Macbook, iMac, and Mac Mini - that'll help to future-proof them.
  2. VPrime macrumors 68000


    Dec 19, 2008
    London Ontario
    I agree with you... But really, compared to usb how mainstream is esata?
    You say it costs pennies, but it really doesnt, especially now that the macbooks have already been redesigned.
    -New logic board and construction
    -Modification/redesign of the macbook(unibody).. Going by the current style of all ports on the left, there is no room for another port.

    For the iMac, mac mini it may be a little easier.. But again how necessary is it? eSata is not as big (yet).

    Of course this is just my opinion ;)
  3. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Well yea, eSATA is not popular, heck if you got to the common public, they only know USB, ask them bout FW and they will be like "okay, heard of it but never use it", now tell them eSATA and the likely answer will be like "huh, what is that? is it a new game or something?"

    Besides, USB 3.0 will be around us in a couple of years time, if I recall its as fast or faster then eSATA.
  4. Mj2sL macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2009
    Why wait for a new USB standard when eSATA's already available? It's just the lack of eSATA on most computers that makes people unfamiliar with it.
  5. displaced macrumors 65816


    Jun 23, 2003
    Gravesend, United Kingdom
    eSata wouldn't be good enough for me on my MacBook Pro. I use 2.5" external drives in Firewire-capable enclosures. That's for the simple reason that I need just one cable. It's truly portable since Firewire alone powers the drive.

    eSata can't do that. If I used an eSata drive, I'd require access to mains AC power. Fine for desktops, not for laptops.

    Also, can eSata be daisy-chained? Hubs (even mini ones) are crappy for users of portables.
  6. dal20402 macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2006
    eSATA is a crappy hack of a standard that's not nearly elegant or reliable enough for Apple:

    you can only have one drive per port, unless you use a port multiplier
    the cables are stiff, awkward, and very prone to both sudden disconnection and connector breakage
    cables can only be a few feet long
    many enclosures don't support hot swapping

    Hopefully, Apple will adopt FW3200 in the generation of desktop hardware revisions after today's. More likely, we need to wait for USB 3, probably early next year, to get an external bus that is fast enough to keep up with current hard disks.
  7. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Jul 28, 2004
    I would agree that Apple isn't supporting eSATA because they want to focus on USB3 or FW3200 instead.

    Given the new products released by Apple today have a lot of FW800 ports, I think there is a possibility they are planning to go FW3200. I think the cables/connectors are going to be the same between FW800 & FW3200. Any one know?
  8. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Yes, FW3200 is planned to have the same connectors as FW800. A quick look at wiki on firewire would tell you that.

    I wouldn't have minded different connectors anyway, as cables are relatively cheap on Amazon etc.

    Good points above about the problems with eSATA, however it still offers huge bandwidth if you don't mind non-bus-powered drives.

    Many eSATA RAID boxes include port multipliers anyway so you only need one cable to your computer.

    FW can be daisychained, but apparently the performance goes way down when you start including several in a chain.

    The worse thing of all is the new macbook has neither FW or eSATA. Maybe I should change the title of this thread. There just is no high bandwidth way of getting info in or out of this machine.

    Yet the Mac Mini has FW800, which is more bandwidth than any Apple iBook or Macbook has ever had. :eek:
  9. MattZani macrumors 68030


    Apr 20, 2008
    Surely you could add one yourself to a Mac Pro?
  10. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    I don't understand your point? The Mac Pro and MacBookPro are high end machines and of course they're expandable. I own an old powerbook myself, with a PCMCIA slot.

    This thread is about apple refusing to put eSATA on their lesser machines [(up till now) removing FW from their products]. Almost all other companies have either of these options even on their budget machines.
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    And I don't understand your point! Apple doesn't include it. That's a fact. Complaining about it in a forum won't change that. Either it's a deal-breaker for you and you won't buy a Mac, or it isn't and you will. Apple isn't reading this forum to decide what they will or won't include in their product. If you have a suggestion, why not give it to Apple, where it will make a difference?

  12. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    I know apple won't read this. I'm just having a moan about esata that's all. That's what MR is for :)

    No FW on the new macbooks was indeed a dealbreaker, see my sig below. And I emailed that to Apple and also told the manager of my local Apple store when I made the purchase.

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