Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

eSATA External Storage Drive Reviewed 100

Tom's Hardware has a practical look at an eSATA drive offering from Taiwanese storage firm Thecus. From the article: "Thecus' N2050 is one of the first external twin-drive RAID boxes that uses eSATA. As expected, its performance was far better than what USB 2.0 offers. The end result is impressive. The date transfer rate of 30 MB/s that USB 2.0 offers does indeed pale in comparison to 100 MB/s for eSATA, while the WD1500 drives are capable of delivering even better performance in RAID 0. It is also good to see that Thecus did not throw the USB 2.0 interface away, because it is a nice backup interface whenyou want to use the device with other computers via USB 2.0."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

eSATA External Storage Drive Reviewed

Comments Filter:
  • "Most users do one of two things when their PC runs out of hard disk space: they either add an additional drive or rely on external storage with a USB 2.0 or Firewire connection. However, both options have their disadvantages, since installing a new drive can be a cumbersome process, while external hard drives do not offer the same level of performance as that of directly attached Serial ATA (SATA) or UltraATA."

    And why does the type of home user who shuns opening his or her case need mind-blowing performa
    • Re:Meant for whom? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jonnythan ( 79727 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @04:42PM (#15152511) Homepage
      It's sure as heck nice to have both.

      A lot of technically inclined people, myself included, use an external hard drive for backup purposes. It would be really nice to cut the time needed to perform a full backup in half.

      Just because it's easy and portable doesn't make it for the non-techs only.
      • Re:Meant for whom? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Solder Fumes ( 797270 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @08:15PM (#15153823)
        Just because it's easy and portable doesn't make it for the non-techs only.

        In fact, that's what makes tech cheaper for us...it's the rest of the non-techs buying a new computer whenever theirs is "broken" from too much spyware, or needs a little more RAM. If everyone bought PC hardware only when needed and jealously guarded every CPU cycle, PCs would still be as expensive as they were 20 years ago.
    • Re:Meant for whom? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by detritus` ( 32392 )
      Those of us who dont happen to have any room left in the case for new HDs seems to be a potential use. Or as a a portable boot up device for those who have to use multiple machines. Or those who would rather buy an external device without sacrificing the speed of an internal device.
      • I can see the portability, but when it comes to space in the case, it's really getting to the point that buying a cheap, not-very-powerful computer is going to be more cost-effective even than this, let alone the higher-end RAID NAS boxes, also from Thecus. The N4100, for instance, costs easily 3+ times what a Linux box with WAY more capability would.
        • Its also getting to the point where some of those enclosures are getting down to a reasonable price (ie. firewire ones for 15$) and hopefully eSATA will as well, and the direct connection is still way faster than anything shared over network, even with Gbit networking its just not the same, trust me, i have an old machine sitting around for long term storage, but playing with multiple GB files over a network sucks, seriously.
    • maybe some people might want performance and portability....

      although ive found my usb2 hd is fast enough already, a few gigs can be transfered in under 60 seconds, do we really need anything that goes faster?
      • do we really need anything that goes faster?

        As someone who works in the realm of digital cinema, I can state unequivocally that "we" (those of us working within the context of d-cinema) definitely do. In fact, I was in LA last week to preview a prototype uncompressedHD recorder that used e-sata based storage expansion. But back to the raw numbers-- even if you're just using e-sata as an archiving interface (which it would be very convenient for), you'll need to move your footage to the devices in as cl
      • There are areas which need this. I support GIS(Geospatial Information Systems) users. It's not uncommon for one of my users to need access to a 20GB raster image. Then they load a 100GB LIDAR raster on top of that. Which sounds fine, just put it on the SAN, and we're happy. Then they will ask for access to that data while in the field, with their laptop.
        Sure, a USB drive works, but when you are talking about 100's of gigs of data, and everytime they pan around the map a chunk of it is going to be pull
      • I do a lot of photoshop work with very large image files. I was using an external usb 2.0 drive for image storage and while it works, the external sata drive I'm using now works MUCH better.
    • I could see this being useful if you, say, have no more room in your PC's case to add more drives, but still want good performance. I've managed to max out all the bays in older PCs before, and this seems like a fantastic solution for adding additional space.
    • Re:Meant for whom? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ToxikFetus ( 925966 )
      This could be beneficial for locales that deal with high-security information. Many offices cleared at a U.S. Secret level (or higher) must lock all classified materials in a safe at night. Therefore, USB/Firewire hard drives are used all over the place to store sensitive data. To be able to get SATA performance out of a relatively cheap external drive would be a boon for these offices.
      • Must...resist...aw, the heck with it.

        "Therefore, USB/Firewire hard drives are used all over the place to store sensitive data."

        For an overview of the external drive types in use, visit your local souk or bazaar. :P
    • External SATA drives will probably be as popular as external SCSI drives. They have their small/niche market, but the masses don't need/want them. The only real advantage I can see is if they can put these out for about the same cost as the internal drives, which they won't.

      USB works well enough for most people and it will also support their cameras, printers, scanners, thumb drives, gamepads, cell phones, etc. The last time something better came out (firewire), USB was just updated to faster speeds. Th
    • Re:Meant for whom? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )
      Two words: Laptop users.

      The internal 2.5" drives on most laptops are too small and too slow for video editing, so I have a pair of external FireWire 800 disks. These give me much better performance than the internal disk. eSATA will be a huge improvement because it gives me:

      • About the same speed, and
      • Doesn't have the ability to do daisy-chaining.
      Umm, why are people trying to replace FW800 with eSATA again?
      • Good question. I don't have mod points for ya, so... Maybe to force you to spend more money when you have to replace those drives or to increase future compatibility. Firewire really hasn't caught on as much as it should have. Perhaps standardizing as much as possible to SATA will be a good thing, as long as its performance continues to increase as a decent pace that keeps up with the target audience (everyone, including high-end tech geeks that might want 8 Raptors running RAID 5 for their FPS's).
    • If the home user is able to (and does) buy USB HDTV Tuners [google.com] then why can't he get a drive that is comfortable to move his backups to?

      I feel comfortable opening my computer, but why should I? I like being able to plug in blocks of 250 or more Gigabytes. It is portable, but it is also damn easy and just as cheap as the other solutions. LaCie Porsche drives have dropped to around $125USD for 250 GB (USB only) where the EIDE drive, sans case is about $100USD. The cost seems worth it to me. The speed isn't as gre
    • Easy TiVo expansion (Score:5, Informative)

      by pjcreath ( 513472 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @04:59PM (#15152634)
      The upcoming (high def) TiVo Series 3 has an e-SATA port [nyud.net]. Adding more recording space will be a whole lot easier than it was before, especially for the less adventurous folks.
    • Ignorance. This type of person might not know a knowledgable person, they might distrust the average geek and of course, upgrade services are pretty expensive. If you don't know how to do something and don't have that sort of talent, then it is an easy way to go. External drives can also be more easily moved between computers too, I use an external firewire cage as a backup such that I can manually disconnect and power off the drives when not in use.
    • "Most users do one of two things when their PC runs out of hard disk space: they either add an additional drive or rely on external storage with a USB 2.0 or Firewire connection.... "

      Most people just delete their porn. (seriously, dont mod me funny)
    • I've been trying to get such a setup going for a while, but in general, eSATA companies are awful. Firmtek has been an awful company, so I look forward to this. But sadly I can't find anyone who sells it.

      Such a solution is great for a lot of people. Think digital photography types. We can produce insane amounts of data in no time (I took 30 gig of photos just this weekend on a trip). You can't keep up with internal storage. And for people like me who have a Powermac, you are limited to 2 internal driv
    • Re:Meant for whom? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drsmithy ( 35869 )
      And why does the type of home user who shuns opening his or her case need mind-blowing performance?

      I don't shun opening my case, however, with 18 drives in it already it's physically incapable of holding any more - and I still have three 100Mhz, 64-bit PCI-X slots free.

      More importantly, I'd prefer to pay $hundreds for some small, quiet, multi-drive eSATA enclosure than $thousands for a huge, noisy server chassis capable of holding more drives requiring the inconvenience and risk of relocating the internal

  • eSATA enclosures (Score:5, Interesting)

    by c_g_hills ( 110430 ) <chaz@ch[ ].com ['az6' in gap]> on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @04:42PM (#15152508) Homepage Journal
    eSATA enclosures have been around for a while. The larger ones tend to have a port multiplier built in, which lets you use up to 5 drives with a single channel. This is the one I am after, but sadly the company will not ship to the UK.

    http://www.cooldrives.com/mac-port-multiplier-sata -case.html [cooldrives.com]
    • This'll give you a warm fuzzy about buying one.
      ALL ENCLOSURE SALES ARE FINAL. Due to the volume of uninformed purchases, enclosures can be returned FOR WARRANTY REPAIR ONLY (NO REFUNDS).

      The drive costs 468.98 with a PCI-E controller. This seems like a pretty good deal if it has good raid performance. It is hard to buy a decent raid card, one that won't burden down the CPU, at that price plus a place to actually store 5 drives and the power connections with swap trays. I just wonder what is so uninforming
    • Well the "first" for the review model was that it also had onboard RAID (0 or 1).

      However if I'm going to have an external enclosure doing RAID, I really want to be able to swap out the drives easily - the reviewed enclosure had screws you needed to remove to take of fthe top, after which you had to remove the top drive to reach the bottom.

      Your enclosure looked interesting, I had not heard of external SATA enclosures that did port multiplying - and it doesn't seem you loose any throughput for doing so.
    • ...try www.shopthestates.com. You get sent to them, they forward it on to you. I've used them and am very happy with their service.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      No, certainly not the 'first' of its kind, I think cooldrives has had 2 listed for some time and I have seen others WITH internal RAID capabilities. Though I do think this unit has the smallest footprint.

      Wiebetech has had 2 external raid sata units out for some time now, with hot swap drives. A SilverSATA line with up to 5 hotswap drives and a RAID 5, the RT5, which also comes with USB and firewire.

      http://www.wiebetech.com/home.php [wiebetech.com]

      They will do direct international sales but I think they have european dis
  • The esata drive is advertised to work on linux too. Did somebody find
    a prize for a 1Terabyte version? Comparable to NAS?
  • Much of what I have read says that eSata isn't as reliable as USB 2.0? Has anyone here used it? I have heard that it can be quite flakey. Anyone?

    3x the speed is tempting, especially now that processer models only go up by 5% in performance (or less). I remember climbing a lot faster back in the 486 days, or even Pentium 1. WOW! Why can't our hardware increase like that any more? 30% increase per model #!
    • The big boosts in CPU performance now come in the form of extra cores rather than extra "Mhz." The Athlon 2400+ to Athlon 64 x2 3200+ upgrade I made recently is quite comparable to the Pentium 75 to K6-166 Upgrade I made many years ago, even tho the "Mhz" of the chips are practically identical.
      • According to Wikipedia

        The Athlon XP 2400+ cpu was released in August 2002 and the Athlon 64 x2 3200+ was released in May 2005. (nearly 3 years, and easily half a dozen core revisions).

        Contrast that with the Pentium 166 CPU which succeeded the Pentium 75 in one generation. (The "P54" was available in 75/90/100/120 MHz in releases staggered through '94 while its successor, the "P54C" was released staggered throughout the following year and was available at 133/150/166/200.

        Even setting aside the Mhz myth, the
        • The K6 is not comparable to a P54C. The K6 was MMX Capable, making it more comparable to a P55C, which was not released until a full 2 years after the P75. The Pentium 75 was released (according to Wikipedia) in Oct of 1994. The K6-166 was not released until April of 1997. Granted, in that day AMD was behind Intel... But even a direct Intel/Intel comparison (which would be a more accurate apples-to-apples comparison with my modern day AMD-AMD comparison) would still put a full 2-years between the CPU re
    • Re:Is it reliable? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dolda2000 ( 759023 )
      You're extremely unlikely to get any 3x speed improvement anyway. Sure, S-ATA may be able to sustain a much larger bandwidth than USB2 (although even then, 3 times USB2 seems very much... last I read, USB2 is clocked to 480 Mbps, i.e. 60 MBps), but to begin with, most hard drives can read no more than 60 MBps sustained.

      Most importantly, however, during normal usage, most idle time to due hard drive latency isn't spent waiting for the hard drive to transfer the data off the platters, but waiting for the he

      • Re:Is it reliable? (Score:3, Informative)

        by Dolda2000 ( 759023 )

        Most importantly, however, during normal usage, most idle time to due hard drive latency isn't spent waiting for the hard drive to transfer the data off the platters, but waiting for the head arm to seek to the right cylinder. Seek time ain't going to be reduced just by switching to another bus interface.

        Sorry to be replying to my own post, but looking at THG's IOMeter benchmarks [tomshardware.com], my theory seems to be verifiable.

        • File server scenario: eSATA performance is above USB2, but at most points only very slight
        • Database scenario: eSATA is slight better than USB2. Interestingly, though, RAID1 is a lot better than RAID0.

          RAID1 is far faster than RAID0 for reads, because you can read from whichever disk has the least activity. Its a lot slower for writes, because you need to wait for the slowest disk to send a confirmation. Although for writes you can often use a middle ground where you wait for the first disk to hardware-confirm a write, and then move on. That way you're safe unless you get a machine crash and a H
    • There shouln't be any reliability problems, eSATA's connector is of the same grade as USB and designed for external use, You would probably notice problems if you were using plain SATA connectors for external use after a while.
  • eSATA drawbacks (Score:4, Informative)

    by Ice Wewe ( 936718 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @04:53PM (#15152581)
    eSATA seems to be the new buzz word in computing these days. The only problem is, that you're forced to use USB 2.0 or Ethernet to access the drive because very few motherboards are equipped with eSATA connectors. eSATA connectors have the same pins at the regular SATA connectors, but have different male and female connectors. Thus, although it may seem convient, if you really want to get full performence out of the drive, you'll have to buy one of the few motherboards that sports an eSATA port.

    Also, mentioned in the article... the SATA bus boasts a wonderful 3Gb/s (or 300MB/s). This however, is not the bottle neck when it comes to performence. As the article mentions, the top SATA drives on the market today only get about 85MB/s read/write to the disk. So although you may get 300MB/s from the disk cache, and the controller, you'll never really get 300MB/s. Still, it's miles from Ultra-ATA.

    • Re:eSATA drawbacks (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @05:01PM (#15152647) Homepage Journal
      Surprisingly, the eSATA connector doesn't need to be on the "motherboard". There are brackets that adapt the internal connectors to the card slot openings in the back. There are plenty of SATA and SATA RAID adapters with back port connectors for this very purpose so when you max out the internal bays, you can go external.
    • by RelliK ( 4466 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @05:07PM (#15152690)
      Also, mentioned in the article... the SATA bus boasts a wonderful 3Gb/s (or 300MB/s). This however, is not the bottle neck when it comes to performence. As the article mentions, the top SATA drives on the market today only get about 85MB/s read/write to the disk. So although you may get 300MB/s from the disk cache, and the controller, you'll never really get 300MB/s. Still, it's miles from Ultra-ATA.

      It is true that a single drive cannot saturate the SATA channel. (85MB/s is actually a _very_ generous estimate. Typical performance is closer to 50-60MB/s). So, SATA certainly doesn't need more bandwidth in the near future. However, for eSATA, the extra bandwidth is _very_ useful. It would allow manufacturers to produce RAIDs with eSATA ports instead of SCSI or FC. (Right now, you still need a SCSI or FC card if you want to get any sort of performance). This would effectively commoditise the low-end RAID market, which is a very welcome development.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Yes because FC is sooooo expensive... NOT!
        Last time I checked FC Cards were around the same price as SCSI, the drives were cheaper (YMMV), and buses being serial, were much easier to route inside a case. And yes, SCSI-Ultra320 (much slower than FC) is much faster than SATA and still faster than eSATA.
      • We've been doing this with FireWire on the Mac for the better part of a decade...

          -Blake
    • Re:eSATA drawbacks (Score:4, Informative)

      by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @05:12PM (#15152714) Homepage
      Or you can use the included eSATA card (yes, Thecus is aware most don't have that port). Furthermore, USB2/Firewire IS a bottleneck both in sustained and burst speed. And for video editing, notice that while the top speed is quite limited by the Thecus unit, the minimum sustained speed is very very close to an internal drive. I was considering getting one earlier but found a most unimpressive hard disk compatibility list and forum posts about incompatible drives. That made me go with a LaCie with disks already installed instead. Maybe next time...
    • Re:eSATA drawbacks (Score:2, Interesting)

      by bobbutts ( 927504 )
      3Gb/s is wrong
      3Gb/s = 3 Gigabits per second = 384 MB/s = 384 MegaBytes per second
      The spec is:
      300 MB/s = 300 MegaBytes per second = 2.344 Gb/s = 2.344 Gigabits per second
      Spec: http://www.sata-io.org/esata.asp [sata-io.org]
      Calculator [frii.com]
    • What I hate about eSATA is that it's yet another bus/connector.

      The great thing about USB is that it's compable with thousands of different devices. I don't want a different bus and connector for every different kind of device. I wish they could have just released a backwards compatible USB-3 instead of eSATA.

    • This looks like a product I an just going to have to try out - the relatively new
      ASUS Model A8N-SLI Premium retail motherboard kit not only includes SATA
      RAID on the motherboard, it also has an external eSATA (2 channel) breakout
      via a slot cover.

      Imagine two of these external SATA RAID boxes tied together in a 10 disk
      RAID 10 (RAID 5 + 0) configuration, and using XFS or Reister FS ...
  • by lax-goalie ( 730970 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @05:01PM (#15152651)

    And why does the type of home user who shuns opening his or her case need mind-blowing performance?

    And why do you assume that an user who requires an external drive is a "home user who shuns opening his or her case"? Poppycock.

    Scenario 1: All the drive bays in your machine are full, and Firewire's too slow because you move big files around.

    Scenario 2: The data on the drive needs to go somewhere else.

    My desktop drive bays are full, but for me, I see this as a great replacement for backup tape drives, w/o having to sacrifice throughput. Assuming that the enclosure will fit in a safety deposit box, a couple of these could replace my current network backup hardware.

    • Re: Meant for whom? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by xtracto ( 837672 )
      I am in a kind of third category.

      I have been looking for a RAID solution that can be plugged into my notebook. I would like to have a RAID 0 or RAID 0+1 (but It would be nice if I could get RAID 5) unit that I could plug into my system maybe using a PCMCIA RAID controller card (although I do not know if that is even possible).

      It seems (doh, I just made a google and found a possible answer) that there are eSata PCMCIA [cooldrives.com] adapters that do RAID 0,1.
  • Would it be possible to connect two computers via eSATA for the purpose of networking or clustering?
    • Imagine a Beowulf cluster of them!
    • SATAn - SATA networking!

      They could advertise it with pictures of the devil. Or a silhouette of a fat geek throwing the horns [penny-arcade.com].

      And the answer is No BTW. SATA is just a new transport for ATA/ATAPI commands. So it supports disk drives, CD roms and so on. It doesn't support network like devices. Firewire does though.
       
    • No. (Score:3, Informative)

      by DrYak ( 748999 )
      To be able to do IP over a bus, this bus must accept multiple "hosts" (multiple controllers on the same bus).
      Usually, if a bus can accept multiple PCs, or even no PC at all, it's a good sign. If a bus is a 1PC + Multiple Peripheral topology, you're sure i'll probably NOT support IP.

      Able to do IP :
      • FireWire : can do IP. A FireWire bus can support multiple hosts or no hosts at all.
      • SCSI : can do IP. The bus it self is just a bunch of numbered SCSI device talking to each other. So IP is possible as long driver
  • From the article on page 6: "We were surprised that it is necessary to choose between RAID 0 and RAID 1. RAID 0 will increase performance considerably, but it will put your data at risk, since the data of both drives will be lost if only one fails. If RAID 1 is selected, data is mirrored onto both drives, but the net capacity is split in half. A just a bunch of drives (JBOD would be a suitable alternative, because it spans data across both drives. If one fails, the data on the second drive can be recovered.
  • Ok, I can't find it. Where is the price and availability information? I actually looked at all 12(!) pages of the ad-infested "review", but I didn't see it. Of course, by the time I got to the third page, I was nearly blind from looking at Tom's typically piss-poor page design, so it should be easy to understand if I missed it.

    -d-
  • by this great guy ( 922511 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @05:26PM (#15152803)

    Every single review of storage technologies I have read in the past 2 years state at least one (IMHO very important) incorrect fact. This is no exception with this one:

    Page 2: "The fastest 3.5" SATA drives do not exceed 85 MB/s. A data transfer rate of 300 MB/s between a PC and a SATA drive cannot thus be matched by the speed of a SATA drive." Yes it can. When data is exchanged to/from the disk's cache, data throughput of 250+ MB/s can be achieved for a fraction of a second. Even if it's only for a fraction of a second, it is still important (else manufacturers would not even put cache memory on disks).

    • "When data is exchanged to/from the disk's cache, data throughput of 250+ MB/s can be achieved for a fraction of a second. Even if it's only for a fraction of a second, it is still important (else manufacturers would not even put cache memory on disks)."

      No, it's not important. The on-disk cache isn't there for throughput, it's there because of the disk's rotational latency.

      In order to increase throughput in a useful way, it would have to be larger than the OS's cache, which will be several 10's (or mayb

      • <<
        No, it's not important. The on-disk cache isn't there for throughput, it's there because of the disk's rotational latency.
        >>

        I am not speaking about sustained throughput, I am speaking about burst transfers. So in this regard, I maintain that yes, a 300 MB/s sata link will make a difference and will improve (some) workloads.

        <<
        the OS doesn't know the disk geometry and so *can't* do the type of caching the on-disk cache does.
        >>

        Modern OSes already know how to optimize th

        • <<
          No, it's not important. The on-disk cache isn't there for throughput, it's there because of the disk's rotational latency.
          >>

          I am not speaking about sustained throughput, I am speaking about burst transfers. So in this regard, I maintain that yes, a 300 MB/s sata link will make a difference and will improve (some) workloads.

          How? With DMA the rest of the system doesn't have to sit around waiting for the transfer to finish, so why does it care about the burst rate for such a small amoun

          • It is important in scenarios where a lot of small burst transfers happen almost all the time, like on a busy file server. In this case switching from 150 MB/s sata links to 300 MB/s ones will reduce the PCI/PCI-X/PCI-e bus utilization. Here is a realistic example: each 160 ms, a block of 8 MB of data needs to be sent to a sata disk, that means on average 6.25 blocks are sent per second (1000 / 160).

            • If a 150 MB/s sata link is used, a practical 120+ MB/s burst data transfer rate can be achieved, which me
  • pretty much every hardware site out there is lame.

    where to start...

    * they use a pair of 15k rpm drives in the box. the box has one dinky fan. if this was your actual setup, you would be able to boil water in the box. not good for the drives.

    * they say something like "thank god esata is so much faster than usb 2.0. look at our pretty statics showing transfer rate is the bottleneck." nonsense. If you are using a pair of raid 0 $400 drives, and you defrag your drives every couple minutes, then yes transfer rat
    • USB 2.0 drives stink for anything but archiving data overnight. it's just so slow i can't stand it... not to mention that if you start to really get to the limits of the USB 2.0 bus, then stuff like your USB mouse starts getting jumpy. firewire 400 is the bare minimum for my work environment which involves heasy disk use. that way, i can keep disk operations and input decive traffic on separate buses.
  • From pg 5

    It is interesting to note that Thecus uses a PCI Express slot to connect the drive cage to the controller PCB. If the device will one day become an NAS system , all Thecus has to do is exchange the controller board with the NAS version, which carries a network port instead of the eSATA connector.

    Or MAYBE... they just used an off the shelf part to connect two boards together because the parts were cheap and didn't require any new fabrication. I have a docking station that uses an "AGP Slot" t

    • C'mon people. Quit talking about things you have no idea about. Its articles like this that remind me why I don't read Tom's.

      So you don't like people talking about things they know nothing about? But you still read Slashdot? I sense some double standards.
  • by Anubis333 ( 103791 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @05:53PM (#15152976) Homepage
    I have a PCMCIA SATA card on my laptop and get 85MB/sec on it. The PCMCIA card is basically an SATA adapter, then i plug in an external SATA HD. It completely blows away firewire; why do we need a new standard? Check out the cards here [google.com].
    • It's the same standard, basically. The problem is that the original SATA spec allowed for hot-plug and such (thus it could be used for external HDs) but it didn't specify the connector to be used for external SATA drives. A couple of 3rd party things sprang up (one just used the same connector, one used some other connector that looked like FireWire but had different pin outs, etc).

      eSATA is just a standard for using SATA for external drives. It defines the connector, the cable, etc. This probably will repl

    • I have a PCMCIA SATA card on my laptop and get 85MB/sec on it.

      No you don't. You have a Cardbus or ExpressCard slot. PCMCIA runs at about the same speed as the old ISA bus, so getting 85MB/sec out of it is somewhat unlikely.

      I've never heard of an SATA expansion card for laptops either, but I'll take your word for it.
  • Who Cares? (Score:2, Funny)

    by MeBadMagic ( 619592 )
    Who cares about the "date" transfer rate anyway. Doesn't take much to say today, or yesterday, even with a floppy!


  • Most notebooks ship with smaller hard drives and don't allow you to open the case and add a second drive.

    eSATA would allow you to connect an external drive at full speed and without the cpu usage of USB2.

    All that is missing is eSATA connectors on notebooks, but I have seen Cardbus adapters for eSATA. Also, notebooks are now starting to apppear with SATA drives (eg. the new Dell XPS notebook) so hopefully they will add eSATA connectors soon.
  • Well, I have a use for an external SATA drive...on the device in the subject line.

    I bought a 250GB eSATA box for my DVR and it's performed perfectly. I have 410GB of storage for movies and time-shifting. (160GB on the cable box itself)

    I paid about $150 plus shipping. :o)
  • Power brick? ugh.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by yem ( 170316 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @06:59PM (#15153345) Homepage
    What a pity they couldn't engineer a power rail into the eSATA spec.
  • by billcopc ( 196330 ) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @08:07PM (#15153777) Homepage
    eSATA is cute and all, but nothing's ever stopped me from routing regular SATA cables out the back of the case, to a nice external hot-swap drive tower. Many higher-end motherboards even come with a little bracket for external SATA ports. While I understand that eSATA is somewhat improved for signal integrity and ease of use (grippy connectors), it doesn't seem like such a big deal to me. I haven't seen a single motherboard with eSATA yet, though some "platinum edition" boards do have a true SATA jack on the backplane. If you want both simplicity and speed. For idiot-proof simplicity there's the ubiquitous USB. For speed there's the real SATA. Is there really anything in between that needs eSATA at all ?
    • While It is possable to run a SATA outside the case, I wouldn't reccomend it. There is a higer chance of signal loss, interference, and distruction of hardware. The cables are not built like USB, PS2, ect. There isn't a Shielding wire surrounding the cable, protecting the soft insides from outside signal "noise"... something that your PC case is slightly good at. Plus the cables are built with the mind set, as you place them once and never touch them again. The plugs are not elbowed, and the coating is thin
      • Yes, the cables that come with the average cheap board are fragile and hell to work with, but you can get much better quality cables from 3rd parties that offer 90-degree connectors that actually aren't made of cheap bendy plastic. For the signal corruption, well maybe I'm just lucky but I've been running this external raid rack pretty hard every day, for the past year. Retransmits are in the low tens, power-on hours in the eight-thousand range.. No data loss yet and it runs crazy fast. I think I'm safe

According to the latest official figures, 43% of all statistics are totally worthless.

Working...