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Thread: A desperate need for speed...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Default A desperate need for speed...

    Seeing as the Mods are all speed freaks, I guess that this is the best place to ask this question!

    I'm frequently running into time constraints when changing drives, mainly when customer's drives have tanked. The problem is that with so many people now having 500gb and upwards drives, restoring data is taking absolutely ages and I need to make some changes.

    My Macbook Pro 17" 2.8 CTD is the workhorse but with no Thunderbolt - not that I could afford the kit to use with it - and no USB 3.0 I'm currently stuck using USB 2 or Firewire 400. There are precious few FW 800 caddies around for 3.5" drives and I know that even getting an Expresscard with USB 3.0 on it is fraught with complications.
    I have no experience with eSata but that's what I'm looking at to slash the reinstall times. There are various Expresscards with a single eSata port that supposedly work with Macs - no reason to disbelieve that - but what difference in performance would I get with eSata over FW 800/400?

    The migration I'm stuck in the middle of - running best part of 4 hours still has 7 hours to go for 669gb! Customer was expecting his Mac back today, as I was, but that just is not going to happen. I have to get this sorted before I see scroll bars in my sleep... again!

  2. #2
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    Default

    The 3.5 enclosures I got from the boss do FW800, eSATA, and USB3. Having problems with them on 10.8, but from 10.6 back they do a consistent 40+ MB ps on FW800, and 100+ on eSATA on my old SeriTek 1V2E2.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Hi, thanks for the quick reply.
    What's causing the problem in ML? The card you mentioned is PCI so it's not in the MBP or Mini... and the others can't run ML... so how are you connecting the esata?

  4. #4
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    Yeah I got nothing with eSATA that will run ML. The SeriTek is in the G4 tower running 10.4. Writing zeroes w/DU produces a nice steady 115MBps.

    I have 2 Macs here running 10.8 (2011 Mini, and 2013 Air). The drives randomly un-mount on either through FW800 or USB2/3. This seems to be an ongoing issue with many different externals.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Bus speeds - real speeds as long as the drive is faster than the bus:

    FW400 = 40 MB/sec
    FW800 = 80 MB/sec
    USB2.0 = 30 MB/sec (usually around there)
    USB3.0 = 205 MB/sec (on Apple built in ports)
    eSATA typical Express34 card = 115 MB/sec
    eSATA Sonnet Pro card = 190 MB/sec
    eSATA high end PCIe card = faster than the drive and depends on the card and chipset.


    Drive speeds:

    latest Seagate 7200.14 Barracuda = 180 MB/sec empty
    7200.11 and 7200.12 = 110-120 MB/sec empty
    earlier models < 80 MB/sec

    Latest model Seagate Momentus 7200 RPM 2.5 inch = 100 MB/sec empty


    One thing that always has to be considered, a copy from a source to a destination can only go as fast as the slowest component. It doesn't matter if you have a killer source if the destination drive is a dog.

    R
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  6. #6
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    Default Bus Speed

    That is great information Rick! I think it might deserve a sticky.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2012
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    Default

    Thanks for the info Rick, they were pretty much the same figures that I came up with. I know that eSATA isn't going anywhere in the future, but neither is FW800 and USB 3.0 is pretty much unusable unless I buy a new Mac.

    I bit the bullet on a set that should reduce my problems and be functional with all the situations I have to deal with.
    Because I need to be able to swap drives quickly and be able to avoid using my 17" MBP if at all possible, I ordered an eSATA 34 dual port card that I can use in my older 15" MPB (2.2ghz C2D), an eSATA docking station for 2.5" and 3.5" drives - as well as IDE if need be - an eSATA only 3.5" caddy that I can keep purely for backing up or cloning, with a 1TB drive in it, and finally, a 2.5" eSATA/USB caddy. The whole cost came to than 42, $65.
    That should mean that I can read and write any combination of drives with two different macs without breaking the bank.
    I could have gone down the FW800 route, but there's no docking station and that also would have meant that I'd have to find another way of attaching the second drive, or using my internal drive - I don't think that I've ever seen a 2.5" caddy with dual FW800 ports on it for daisy-chaining. Also the FW800 caddies would have meant buying two of each of 2.5" and 3.5" and that would have more than trebled the cost. It would also have been slower than eSATA. Not a difficult decision to make... just needed to know if there were any problems running eSATA on the Macs. I haven't found any so far. Just got to wait for the kit to turn up to put it to the test.

  8. #8
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    Just remembered that I could have bought a FW800 hub... Lindy make the cheapest one I could find: that's selling for 65, $100.
    Maximum expense without providing the best solution. eSATA it is then.

  9. #9
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    I use one of these with no issues

    Very nice if you just need a port doubler and somewhat cheaper than the Lindy you mention
    Damien,

  10. #10
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    Default

    My opinion is eSATA is the best of the bunch and not going away any time soon.

    eSATA is the cleanest, fastest and most reliable of any of the external buses. It isn't bridged away from an IDE data transfer, it is same bus as the drives use.

    USB, Firewire, Thunderbolt, Express34 slot - all of them convert the signal for the external cable and then convert them back.

    eSATA is the real deal.

    RIck
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

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