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  • eSATA or Not?

    Now that I finally have the internal 1.5TB drive set up, I'm considering switching from Firewire 400 to eSATA. I still have two free SATA connectors on my mobo and I have a eSATA+FW400 mini bracket. It seems transferring from my WD external to the internal 1.5TB hdd is slow. I'm doing large video file transfers and it's leveling out at 8 MB/s. I seem to get better transfer rates (22+ MB/s) with USB 2.0 then I do with FW400.

    I just looked at the Wikipedia page and have a slight concern. The eSATA cable's max length is 6.6 feet. I assume any longer than that and data ceases to flow between device and port?

    The internal bracket's SATA-to-eSATA cable is already 16 inches long. If I go this route, I plan on getting a 6 foot eSATA cable (~$10). Combined, it's going to be 7 feet 4 inches long. My concern is: is this going to present a problem?

    So you guys think I should switch over to eSATA or USB?
    |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
    TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
    Former 9th & 13th

    Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
    Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





    SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

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  • #2
    Re: eSATA or Not?

    eSATA seems to be WAY faster than USB...
    http://www.extremetech.com/article2/...2173844,00.asp
    However, I have no firsthand experience with it versus firewire.
    "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

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    • #3
      Re: eSATA or Not?

      I have a 2 Tb external drive that runs on eSATA. It's MUCH faster on eSATA than USB. Can't tell you much about Firewire.

      If you're using a that bracket and cable you just might get a slower transmission rate. Maybe get a bracket with a shorter in case cable length just to cover your bases.


      TG-18th 18th SF Operational Detachment Delta

      If you're playing the game, be in the correct TeamSpeak Channel.

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      • #4
        Re: eSATA or Not?

        According to my know how (gained from the internet and some expierence) eSATA should be on par or just a bit slower than Firewire. eSATA has a max transfer rate of around 300MB/s (megabytes, not bits) while firewire has up to 400MB/s. I think the deciding factor is the length of cable you want, since eSATA can only have a max of 2m, while Firewire has a much higher threshold (i've seen 50 foot cables.)
        |TG-6th|SirNerd

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        • #5
          Re: eSATA or Not?

          afaik firewire has a fixed transfer speed

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          • #6
            Re: eSATA or Not?

            Originally posted by Sir-Nerd View Post
            According to my know how (gained from the internet and some expierence) eSATA should be on par or just a bit slower than Firewire. eSATA has a max transfer rate of around 300MB/s (megabytes, not bits) while firewire has up to 400MB/s. I think the deciding factor is the length of cable you want, since eSATA can only have a max of 2m, while Firewire has a much higher threshold (i've seen 50 foot cables.)
            Why do people always get this mixed up? It's a theoretical max of 300 gigabits per second (SATA Rev. 2). Not 300 gigabytes. Few RAID configs can even manage a sustained transfer of 300 megabytes per second. I haven't seen any single hard drive get even 150 MB/s transfer rate.

            Thanks for the posts. I ended up making a similar query over at OCN and it seems at least one overclocker says cable length won't even affect the transfer rate. He's supposedly used a 25 foot cable. Now it's just a matter of getting a eSATA cable and getting my bracket in place.
            |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
            TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
            Former 9th & 13th

            Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
            Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





            SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

            TG Primer and Rules

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            • #7
              Re: eSATA or Not?

              Originally posted by Sir-Nerd View Post
              According to my know how (gained from the internet and some expierence) eSATA should be on par or just a bit slower than Firewire. eSATA has a max transfer rate of around 300MB/s (megabytes, not bits) while firewire has up to 400MB/s. I think the deciding factor is the length of cable you want, since eSATA can only have a max of 2m, while Firewire has a much higher threshold (i've seen 50 foot cables.)
              eSATA has a maximum transfer rate of 300MB/s. Firewire 400 has a maximum transfer rate of only 49MB/s. The eSATA will be noticeably faster.

              The data isn't going to just stop flowing with a longer cable. The signal degrades. But a few inches over 2m will be fine. If you're that worried, then just get a shorter cable.

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              • #8
                Re: eSATA or Not?

                SATA is point-to-point, so as sordavie says, more length just means less noise immunity. Contrast to "party line" Ethernet (not switched, but using the older hubs), where the cable length affects how the protocol works. (The timeouts depend on the cable length and the speed of light.)

                It's rare for a protocol to saturate the available bandwidth, and requires very efficient chips and drivers to minimize software and protocol overhead. 90% of the claimed data rate is a good number to shoot for. And even then, you need a fast data source (eg. a big memory buffer already full of data ready to go) and lots of data to keep the FIFO's full. Short, bursty transmissions are anathema to throughput.
                Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

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                • #9
                  Re: eSATA or Not?

                  just set up my drobo:

                  transferring 9TB of data from <1k to 11GB+ file sizes, I got the following average speeds:

                  usb2 - 14MB/s
                  firewire 800 - 48 MB/s
                  eSATA - 72 MB/s

                  worth the short cable.
                  Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
                  The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

                  If all else fails: "rm -rf /"

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                  • #10
                    Re: eSATA or Not?

                    Anyone tried the test with USB3? I'm curious to see how that compares. (I'm particularly excited about the isolation characteristics of USB3, for industrial automation applications where getting zapped by other equipment is common.)
                    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                    snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                    Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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                    • #11
                      Re: eSATA or Not?

                      72 MB/s is probably maxing out the HD transfer speed. So USB3 probably won't be any faster.

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                      • #12
                        Re: eSATA or Not?

                        I'm not really sure if the cable length will be a problem. I assume it'll be fine because it's not like the eSATA to SATA part isn't taken into account with max cable length. Data should flow but the max length is there to ensure interference doesn't degrade the signal and corrupt data. I'm sure the cable length has taken into account a bit of room and isn't going to cause problems when you go one inch over the max length. Plus, the cable goes to the bracket which is now an internal cable and should get shielding from the case to help prevent interference.

                        - It's who you game with.

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                        • #13
                          Re: eSATA or Not?

                          Originally posted by =DdogG= View Post
                          just set up my drobo:

                          transferring 9TB of data from <1k to 11GB+ file sizes, I got the following average speeds:

                          usb2 - 14MB/s
                          firewire 800 - 48 MB/s
                          eSATA - 72 MB/s

                          worth the short cable.

                          Seems like 72 MB/S as much as you'll get from the Drobo S : http://www.slashgear.com/drobo-s-review-0580422/

                          «That looks like a really nice house except for that horrible bathroom.» Donrhos

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                          • #14
                            Re: eSATA or Not?

                            yes and no.... they have a mix of drives from green to caviar black in their test box.... (my theory is that the 72MB/s is a limit of the transfer from the single internal drive - though I have yet to test this) if I were to put 5 10k rpm velociraptors in my drobo, I could possibly pass the 300MB/s mark (123MB/s *5 w/ ~60% 'raid' efficiency). I currently have standard 7200 rpm greens in my drobo... so transfer is less than it could be (size trumps speed in the end... especially when the slow drives outperform my internal drive already.) - but it serves up full HD video to premiere just fine as is...
                            Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
                            The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

                            If all else fails: "rm -rf /"

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                            • #15
                              Re: eSATA or Not?

                              Well, I should have posted back earlier. Got the cable last Friday and have already transferred a few gigs back-and-forth. I get about 48-55 MB/s transfer rate using SATA, so it's quite a bit faster than using FW400 before.

                              Dog, why not just RAID 5 with your 7200 RPM disks (assuming you have at least 3 HDDs)?
                              |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                              TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                              Former 9th & 13th

                              Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                              Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                              SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                              TG Primer and Rules

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