Whats faster eSata or Firewire 800?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by peterjun, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. peterjun macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2007
    I just realized that I can't write to my external I currently have cause its formatted in NTFS so I need to look for a new external hardrive.

    I have a macbook pro currently and was wondering what would be faster - a eSata drive or a Firewire 800 drive. Also what cards would I need in order to be able to read eSata hardrives?

    I'm hearing lacie externals are pretty good, is this one pretty good for video editing?
  2. creator2456 macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2007
    Can't you just reformat the drive?

    eSata is faster, but I don't have the numbers off hand but someone should, or do a quick search of the forums to see if it has been answered already.

    eSata isn't a type of hard drive per-se, it's a connection interface and you will need to get a eSata express card.

    As for a drive, I prefer Seagate (search forums again for this). Also, I usually buy an internal and throw it into an enclosure myself.
  3. jockmock macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2007
  4. wildwobby macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2007

    It indicates that eSATA and firewire 800 are both quite a bit faster than the MBP internal HD, however they think eSata will be a little faster than firewire 800. To use eSata on the MAcBook Pro, you need to buy an eSata express 34 host card, and everything you need to get it running should be in the box!
  5. velocityg4 macrumors 68040


    Dec 19, 2004
    First off you should be able to format your current external into HFS+ (Mac OS Extended) with Disk Utility.

    Anyways the Lacie's are generally overpriced and you do not know what brand of hard drives you are really getting. Really, the best method for both price and performance is to purchase an external enclosure and install a hard drive into the enclosure. This is quite easy to do.

    As for the hard drive to purchase I would recommend a larger drive, 500GB minimum. You would not believe how quickly video will eat up disk space. My recommendations for the different components to purchase are at the end of this post.

    My recommendations for an interface would be for e-sata for two main reasons.

    1. External Firewire 800 enclosures are very expensive. On newegg.com the cheapest enclosure runs $70 while you can purchase an express card for esata for $35 and a well rated enclosure for another $35 to $40. This price difference would be far more noticeable if a second external is purchased.

    2. While no current hard drive will max out either standard. As I recall, one controller is used to run both firewire 400 and 800 on the Macbook Pro. So if a firewire 400 device is attached, such as a camcorder the speed defaults at 400mbps which some current hard drives can max out. While a separate esata hard drive will not take any hits in performance.

    For selecting a hard drive a recently responded to another post that is applicable for you too.
    For the adapter card this one from Rosewill gets good reviews, it is cheap, has two ports, and is Mac compatible.

    For a hard drive I like Hitachi they are what I currently use. Since they are fast, relatively quite, and relatively cool when compared to other drives I have owned and going by reviews I have found
    For 500GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145137
    If you want 320GB Seagate is good: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148140

    As for the enclosure these are pretty ugly looking but have good customer reviews and are cheap.

    If you want a pretty one it will cost you. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817198011

    Some other things to think about. How important are your videos, you may want a second hard drive for backing up files as DVD backup is quite time consuming and a failed hard drive is a major pain, make backups. What format to use with the hard drive, for most uses HFS+ (Mac OS Extended) will work fine, Mac OS extended (Journaled) is not really necessary. Though Journaled is the default selection it is really for RAID arrays and Servers, the Journaled System does impact system performance and generally is not very useful for single drives on a standalone desktop or laptop.
  6. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    or FAT32 if the OP wants Windows/OS X interchangeability (but no Time Machine support).
  7. RichardF macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2006
    New York City

    How about this card? It says Windows but wouldn't Leopard recognize it? At US $20, it would be good.
  8. bluestlight macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2007
    Would an external hard drive be more durable than an enclosure when taking it on the road?

    If you had two hard drives in one enclosure, could you use them as completely separate drives or would it automatically recognize them as a single drive?

  9. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    Same thing, for the most part. It really depends on the build quality. Obviously an enclosure that the drive rattles around in is not good... but most I've seen are snug and/or have screws to hold things in place.

    It depends on the chip / onboard software on the enclosure. Some are automatically RAID-1 (mirror), some are auto RAID-0 (stripe), some JBOD and some two volumes.

    Just look at the specs of what you buy; It will tell you the configuration options if there are any, and how drives will be accessed.
  10. bluestlight macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2007
    Thanks! I was thinking an external hard drive might perform better on the go (with an internal fan, etc.), but if heat's not an issue and they're both robust, one could really go either way.

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