Sign in to follow this  
irreversible

fastest possible external storage solution for both desk- and laptop

Recommended Posts

I need a fair amount of additional storage space that I need to be able to switch to either my laptop or desktop as needed. There are a couple of gotchas that I'm trying to work around: - top priority is data transfer speed - my laptop doesn't have a FireWire port or an ExpressCard slot, but it does have an eSata one - my desktop doesn't have an eSata adapter, but does have a FireWire-800 port - USB 2.0 would be too slow even for a 7200 RPM drive; also, I might consider upgrading the drive itself to 10k RPM in the future should I happen to very unexpectedly locate a stray cache of money - at this time I'm almost broke so I need to get off as cheap as possible So to recap, I need an external HD case/dock (or whatever they're called) that has both eSata and FW-800 outs for the least possible amount of money. I've done a fair bit of market research and for some reason I simply can't seem to find one. PS - another thing that's kinda confusing to me is drive size - I assume SATA drives are regular size, eg 3.5". Right? Am I blind or is the above combination simply too much to ask for? Or should I simply change my search terms?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Newegg seems to have some answers.

Quote:

PS - another thing that's kinda confusing to me is drive size - I assume SATA drives are regular size, eg 3.5". Right?

SATA is an interface. You can get laptop and desktop sized drives with the SATA interface. SO you need to check that the drive you are looking at is the right size (probably 3.5in) or you need the laptop-to-desktop adapter bracket to fit the laptop 2.5in model.


Quote:

top priority is data transfer speed

Check the reviews. There are often some kind of controller chip in the enclosure, and that can be a limiting factor. (my NAS system i use for my personal webhost caps out at Read/Write of 60Mb/s / 30Mb/s)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, the starting point would be your options. Also it seems a little about SATA would help. The expense comes from the requirement to support both. That doesn't just require hardware for both connectors, but to detect and use the one actually plugged in. You can use a bracket to eliminate the FireWire 800 requirement assuming you have a free SATA connector on the motherboard. That'll drop the enclosure to under $20.

I question if you're actually running USB 2.0. Both ends of the wire have to be USB 2.0. If one end is USB 1.1 then you're going to be using USB 1.1 irregardless of what's at the other end. USB 1.1 is 1.5 MB/s, USB 2.0 is 60 MB/s. If that isn't fast enough then, pretty much, the drive isn't fast enough either. It's easy to tell, just transfer a large file and time it. If a 1GB file is taking 10+ minutes then that's USB 1.1. If it's taking under 30s then that's USB 2.0. So before doing anything I would make sure of what you have. Also check your card readers. You may have USB 2.0 ports on the motherboard, but they're being used by the card reader. If so get a two port bracket and an external card reader. Disconnect the internal card reader, plug in the bracket and plug the external card reader into one of those ports. If that's your real problem then that's your best solution. Mostly because those USB 2.0 are good for a lot more than just external drives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the replies and links, guys! - I actually know about the different bandwidths, which is why I'm being so selective; and I also know that my USB connectors are all 2.0.

The price range ($40-120) is a bit steep for me and not precisely what I was expecting, though, so I guess I'll be swapping the HD between the dock and the desktop computer as needed (I was hoping for a fully external solution).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A bracket would cost you $3.99 and an enclosure $16.69. You're likely running the SATA controller in the desktop in IDE mode so you wouldn't be able to hotswap, but it would still be easier than opening the case and mounting the drive in a bay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this