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synchronizer Level 1 (0 points)

Hello everyone. I am searching for a hard drive to connect to my mid-2011 macbook pro, which has an expresscard slot. eSATA is faster than firewire800, but I'm wondering if the expresscard decreases the speed severely.


In addition, I'd like to know which exprescard to purchase; I found these:


Some extra notes: The hard drive is going to have to be a 7200 rpm and extremely reliable. It's for sample streaming for music sequencing/composition.


Thank you everyone! I'm looking forward to responses.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • OGELTHORPE Level 8 (42,670 points)

    I purchased an OWC eSata Express card about 18 months ago.  I note that they have two of their OWC branded cards but I cannot discern the difference.  I do remember the price was $20 so it probably is the less expensive one.


    The data transfer speeds are much faster than Firewire 800.  My experience has been up to 50% less time to transfer similar quantities.  I cannot comment if the card slows down the transfer speed because I simply don't know and I have now way of measuring.


    As far a HDDs are concerned, I have 4 Seagate 750 Gb 7200 rpm drives in my collection. One is in my MBP, the three others are in the enclosures that OWC sells (Mercury Elite-Al Pro).  They may expe3nsive for some but I have not seen any better and I do endorse them.  The only thing that they lack is a Thunderbolt connection (which I suspect will eventually come).


    If capacity is important, do not discount the 1 Tb HDDs.  Even though the speed is 5400 rpm, the overall performance will be similar to a 750 Gb 7200 rpm HDD.  Data density does matter in HDD performance.



  • synchronizer Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for your help. I suppose that this may be your eSATA card?


    Regarding the hard drive, I am not sure if I am to trust OWC. The enclosure looks good, but Seagates, from what I've heard, are more likely to fail that other brands' drives.


    For my purposes, I need the drive to read hundreds/thousands of random sample files and stream them.


    What I could do, is get the OWC enclosure, and put something such as THIS: inside of it. Still, this WD internal drive might make too much noise. I know very little about selecting hardware components.


    This is another brand that I'm considering: r.jpg





    It's too bad that I can't get an affordable external SolidStateDrive, since it would be perfect for its read speed.

  • Courcoul Level 6 (12,725 points)

    Lucky be those that can still add external stuff to their MBPs, that is not connected via USB, FW or TB. Which also makes the OP's MBP an Early 2011 model (I think). Cause my Late 2011 model, the current crop, only has the aforementioned data ports and an SDXC card slot. No e-SATA for us

  • OGELTHORPE Level 8 (42,670 points)

    My card looks like that but there is one that OWC sells for 19.99 which looks the same.  Which is identical to mine, I really don't know. I looked for part numbers but i was unsuccessful in getting a match.


    You will find aficionados and detractors for virtually ever brand of HDDs.  I am not a partisan Seagate fan.  I have a total of 6 Seagates, 3 Toshiba's and 1 Hitachi.  They are all spinning, so far.


    All of mine are 2.5" drives and I note that you are examining the larger 3.5" format.  OWC sells the larger drives, including Western digital and similar enclosures for same


    : World Computing/MEAQ7S1TB32M/


    Not having any experience with either, I cannot give an empirical or authoritative opinion.  The same applies to your Glyphtech and G-Technology products.  All I can state is that OWC is consumer oriented and they do have a good technical staff on site.  My dealings with them have been favorable.



  • OGELTHORPE Level 8 (42,670 points)

    Courcoul, greetings friend;  The OP has a 17" MBP, like I do because some people are not reluctant as some to dig a little deeper in their pockets and spend a little additional dinero for a beautiful 17" display and an express 34 slot.  Since the inception of the MBP line, all 17" MBPs have had the express card slot (so does my 2006 core duo) and some older 15" models did as well.


    That's right, No e-SATA for you!!!! .



  • synchronizer Level 1 (0 points)

    Anyway, back to the original questions:


    Does anyone know if I will benefit from the eSATA via expresscard, or will the lack of a built-in eSATA slot simply slow down the eSATA, and make it about as fast as firewire800?


    In addition, does anyone here know about both OWC and Glyph drives so I can make an empirical comparison between the two?

  • OGELTHORPE Level 8 (42,670 points)

    If you do not use an eSata connector (card), the fastest speeds available will be Firewire 800.


    I hope someone will be able to answer your second question.



  • synchronizer Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, but I think you misunderstood my first question. I'm asking:


    Is there a difference in transfer speed when using an expresscard instead of a build-in motherboard port?


    I would imagine so...I'm trying to see if eSATA will give me a substantial speed increase.

  • Courcoul Level 6 (12,725 points)

    I would check downstream to make sure there are no bottlenecks. eSATA would effectively eliminate the middle man, the SATA-to-whatever adapter, but will the controller on the HDD be able to fully exploit the speed of the SATA bus? What brand and model would you need, that is capable of pacing a SATA bus without falling behind?


    There was the digital equivalent of a geek p.i.s.s.i.n.g match on another thread, discussing these issues. You'll need some form of RAID setup on the external device to truly maximize throughput.


    OGELTHORPE wrote:


    Courcoul, greetings friend;  The OP has a 17" MBP, like I do because some people are not reluctant as some to dig a little deeper in their pockets and spend a little additional dinero for a beautiful 17" display and an express 34 slot.  ...


    That's right, No e-SATA for you!!!! .

    I am getting MAC ENVY!   Digital equivalent of that some underendowed gents get.....

  • synchronizer Level 1 (0 points)

    That's the problem isn't it? IE: deciding what would be best.


    Well, I'm not 100% sure what would be best for me, but I know that I need at least 1TB, with 7200 rpm, and preferably, 64mb in cache.


    RAID would be nice; for example, I see that the drobo is increasing in popularity, but I don't have a huge budget. I think It's about $200-300.

  • Courcoul Level 6 (12,725 points)

    $300. Four bay. Can now go up to 12 TB if you stick 3TB drives in there.


  • synchronizer Level 1 (0 points)

    $300 was already stretching it, and I have no internal drives handy in the first place.


    Still, I've never seen that enclosure before, and it looks very professional, so I'll bookark it. So yes, I need an internal drive that will fit into the $300 budget...unless something else can be arranged.

  • Courcoul Level 6 (12,725 points)

    Alternative. If unneeded, consider removing the optical drive and sticking another HDD in there. That could get you up to 2TB online, without anything dangling from the outside.


    BTW, someone (Hitachi, Toshiba, ??) said they came up with a new recording technology that would break the 1TB/2.5" barrier. Maybe up to 3-4TB before the year is out. Worth keeping eyes open.

  • synchronizer Level 1 (0 points)

    Well I need a solution within the next two or three weeks to be sure.

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