Who's using eSATA?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by mdaniel, Jan 21, 2007.

  1. mdaniel

    mdaniel S is for Shiksa

    Joined:
    May 6, 2000
    Messages:
    52,504
    Likes Received:
    315
    Location:
    Northwest Mejicooooooo
    I'm thinking about picking up an eSATA enclosure and sticking a drive in it for backup. I have 6 SATA ports on my motherboard. If I use one of those internal to external adapters, will windows see the eSATA drive as removable like a USB or Firewire drive? I want to turn this drive on only when its being used and turn it off when I'm done, without having to shutdown/restart the computer. I'm running Vista.
     
  2. TheDarkHorizon

    TheDarkHorizon \xC0\xFF\xEE

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2002
    Messages:
    2,396
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    It will look like an internal drive, but if your SATA controller supports hot plugging, then you should be fine. What kind of motherboard is it?
     
  3. mdaniel

    mdaniel S is for Shiksa

    Joined:
    May 6, 2000
    Messages:
    52,504
    Likes Received:
    315
    Location:
    Northwest Mejicooooooo
    Its an Intel DG965WH motherboard.
     
  4. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some reason FireWire isn't good enough? Let's be honest, if you're going to be doing backups and transfers with this drive, top speed isn't the most important issue. Certainly not as important as, say, being able to connect to other computers. Go with FireWire 400, it's a good standard that supports simultaneous 2-way communication just like SATA does. You won't notice the speed drop unless you start installing programs on the thing.
     
  5. mdaniel

    mdaniel S is for Shiksa

    Joined:
    May 6, 2000
    Messages:
    52,504
    Likes Received:
    315
    Location:
    Northwest Mejicooooooo
    Because my internal drive is getting sustained transfers significantly faster and burst transfers that are over twice FW400's theoretical maximum. When you're backing up a shit load of files, faster is better.
     
  6. TheDarkHorizon

    TheDarkHorizon \xC0\xFF\xEE

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2002
    Messages:
    2,396
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Sounded like an Intel board. Are you running your SATA controller in AHCI/RAID mode? If so, you should be fine to hotplug.
     
  7. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    16,404
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ohio

    I seriously doubt if that's correct. I know of no drive made, not even a 15k scsi drive, that taps out firewires bandwidth.

    If I recall reading correctly, a Raptors maximum sustained transfer rate is only around 90mbs.


    BTW, I have the DG965OT board, and it works flawlessly.
     
  8. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    As noted by Emmet Brown, while your burst transfers may exceed FireWire 400's theoretical maximum, the sustained transfer speed off the fastest 3.5" hard drive in the world will not come close to 400MB/s. How does this affect you? When you're backing up a shit-load of files (as you said), you will be streaming data onto the disk. Burst transfer only happens when there is data waiting in cache memory because the disk is busy doing something else. This will not happen when you're backing up data. If your internal disk is getting better sustained transfer speed than your FireWire drive, that is most likely because your internal drive is simply based on newer technology.

    Also, when was the last time you defragged your external drive?
     
  9. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    16,404
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ohio

    :werd:

    I recently put some of my dvds on my hard drive.

    Once I had it transfered, I recoded it to mp4 with Nero, and then
    I dragged and dropped the movie onto my backup drive.

    Both drives are Raptors. And it took just under a minute for the transfer.

    Which wound up being around 63mbs in a real life file transfer between
    two of the fastest drives made.


    (edited because I fucked up the numbers the first time)
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2007
  10. Beason

    Beason They call me "The Stig"

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2003
    Messages:
    6,601
    Likes Received:
    0
    what about an eSATA slot that is on the motherboard? Would I be able to to turn on and off the drive without restarting.
     
  11. mdaniel

    mdaniel S is for Shiksa

    Joined:
    May 6, 2000
    Messages:
    52,504
    Likes Received:
    315
    Location:
    Northwest Mejicooooooo

    Firewire 400 is 400 megaBITS/sec or about 50 megaBYTES/sec. My Raptor does 90 megaBYTES/sec at the start of the drive, trailing off to about 60 MBYTES/sec by the end, averaging 77.9 according to HD Tach. My 500 GB mirror set averages 65.7 MB/sec. It looks faster than firewire to me. :dunno: Plus, hard drives are only going to get faster.
     
  12. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    16,404
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ohio
    Ok, that makes sense. But here's something to think about nonetheless.

    That dvd file that I transferred was 3.7gb. Instead of the 63mbs I got, lets say I limit that to 50mbs. That would only add around 15 seconds to the transfer. And that's on 3.7gb. On smaller downloads, you probably wouldn't notice the difference.
     
  13. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    16,404
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ohio
    I think I remember reading that SATA drives were hot swappable, so it would seem that you could turn them off and on.
     
  14. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    1. SATA drives are all hot-swappable. Whether the SATA controller you have supports hot-swapping is another issue altogether.

    2. Fine, so the top speed of FireWire 400 is 50 Megabytes per second. Very few hard drives can hit that speed for more than a split-second anyway -- Emmet's Raptor can only because the platters spin so bleeding fast, which isn't the case for any other SATA drive on the market. The reason SATA supports speeds as high as 3Gb/s if drives can't really use it is twofold - one, it prevents cache memory from getting clogged if the controller needs to burst a lot of data onto the drive all at once, which as I said won't happen with your intended usage, and two, it's good marketing -- nobody would buy a new hard drive standard that didn't do anything special compared to IDE.

    3. Look, if you want the sexy, just buy the damn eSATA setup already. If you want to be able to connect to anybody else's computer, go with FireWire instead.
     
  15. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    16,404
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ohio
    Ok, this gets a bit more interesting. As I noted in my thread on it, I just added a 500gb Seagate backup drive to my build.

    Well of course the 500gb drive is a 7,200rpm drive, so the thoughput is a bit slower than the Raptors.

    I timed a file transfer from my backup Raptor, to the backup Seagate.

    It took 19:15 to transfer 60.1gb for 52.03mbs, or just over the firewire limit.

    So if you are going to use a Raptor for backup, it will matter somewhat.

    If you are going to use a 7,200rpm drive, then it won't matter much.
     
  16. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Shocking.

    (not really)

    In fact, I was going to make this point myself, but I didn't want to get into a hypothetical debate about bit density and its effect on transfer speed. It's interesting to note, based on your experience, that the Raptor's higher speed more than makes up for its lower bit density, and so the sustained transfer speed is still higher. I'd half-expected that real-life experiments would show the Raptor to only have a faster access speed, not transfer speed. Good to know I made the right purchase.

    Either way, mdaniel, the evidence still points to FireWire as being the more practical option, if not the more sexy one.
     

Share This Page