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  1. #1
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    eSata connection

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by Pilgrim on 01-Nov-06 14:57. )</P>I'm toying with the idea of buying another external HDD enclosure but one that connects via an "eSata" cable. I have a fairly new Asus M2N-E motherboard with a WB 250 gig Sata II HDD. Thus I have a couple of questions:

    1) To use an eSata external enclosure/HDD is there just a bracket one can buy that attaches to an empty PCI slot/hole on the back of the case? or would I have to buy an eSata PCI card?

    2) If the answer to #1 is that all I need is a bracket, does the eSata port bracket then simply plug into one of the Sata serial connections on the motherboard? i.e., "eSata" and "Sata" are identical?

    Addendum: I found the answers to what I was looking for, i.e., an external to internal eSata bracket which simply plugs in to a Sata connector on the motherboard.

    This is the unit I'm considering: http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/product/stor...a2396/a2396.asp

    Now... here's where I'm confused. Can you use an IDE harddrive in this enclosure BUT connect it via the eSata external connection cable to take advantage of the superior transfer rate? Or is the connection determined by what type of HDD used, e.g., IDE HDD = USB 2.0 and Sata HDD = eSata or USB 2.0?

    Jeff
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  2. #2
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    Re: eSATA connection question answered

    In case anyone needs to know the answer to this query, I got an answer directly from ThermalTake tech support. When using an IDE drive, you can only use a USB 2.0 connection from the enclosure to the PC. If you use a SATA (serial) drive you can use either an eSATA or USB 2.0 connection from the enclosure to the PC. BTW, there are eSATA addon brackets available for about $6 US that come with a 1 foot cable that plugs directly into a SATA port on the motherboard thus providing a connection port for an eSATA (external SATA) cable, e.g., from one of these eSATA external HDD enclosures.

    Jeff
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    Re: eSATA connection question answered

    Hi Jeff,

    Just as an added comment regarding the use of IDE drives and connections... in addition to using USB 2.0 for your IDE drive you can also use firewire if you have an appropriate port on your PC (or add-on card) along with a drive enclosure that supports the firewire connection. I have two such enclosures, both manufactured by Vantec.

    Use of the firewire in lieu of USB 2.0 will get you faster speeds, but not as fast as eSATA.

    Anyway, as stated, just an added comment.

    Cheers, Bob
    Regards,
    Bob

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    Re: eSATA connection question answered

    Bob,

    You are correct. Firewire is another option which sits just above USB 2.0 and quite a bit behind eSata in regard to transfer speeds. My case does have a firewire port on the front but to be honest, I never even considered it for some odd reason. I also have a Vantec external enclosure (NexStar 3 blue) which is USB 2.0 only. Very nice unit although a bit slow getting out of the gate when it is first turned on compared to my previous one. I'm anxious to hookup this ThermalTake "Duo" enclosure and try the eSata connection. If you are interested, I'll report back with my experience with it. Of course, I'm not going to be running any scientifically controlled benchmark tests; only perceptual feedback. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    Jeff
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    Re: eSATA connection question answered

    Firewire is a product of Apple. Each device and each Firewire connection in a computer has a royalty that MUST be paid to APPLE.
    The current Firewire is about the same speed as USB2.
    At one time the royalty was $10.00 US for each device or connection.
    There is a LOT more devices that use USB than there is Firewire.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: eSATA connection question answered

    While I was klutzing around on my own SATA learning trail (separate thread) I was at the Serial ATA organization's web pages and came upon this, which seems to be what you're describing. Keep us posted on how you make out.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: eSATA connection question answered

    Hi Dave,

    Apple must be making a bundle of $$$ on royalties as my system unit has 2 built in FireWire ports, 4 on an add-on PCI card plus 4 more in the two external hard drive enclosures.... for a total of 10. $100 just for my beast. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    I agree that the rated speeds of USB2 vs FireWire are close... on paper. However, here are results of a study that shows that contrary to rated speeds, FireWire is faster.

    I have run tests using both USB2 and FireWire on my units and can confirm that the FireWire connection is definitely faster. I performed the tests several months ago and do not have a copy of the results. Sometime during the next week I'll retest and report back on the results.

    In hindsight, I should have waited for eSATA components as they are much faster. Unfortunately, eSATA enclosures were not available when I setup the external units.

    Cheers, Bob
    Regards,
    Bob

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    Re: eSATA connection question answered

    Dave,
    Isn't the USB speeds: Low Speed 1,5 Mbit/s, Full Speed 12 Mbit/s, Hi-Speed 480 Mbit/s (maximum speeds).

    As I understand it there are two Firewire (IEEE 1394) standards, 400 and 800. That is 400 Mbit/s and 800 Mbit/s.

    So to me it seems that Firewire 800 is faster than USB 2.0. Then as to 400 and USB 2.0 (480); as Firewire don't need a host as USB does, a main controller, it can for instance be used to connect a digital VCR and digital player, the difference in design can maybe make it faster even though 400 is less than 480.

    I have not seen any need or use for Firewire yet, and who want to support Apple <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>. But I think you are correct as to, there is certainly a LOT more USB devices.

    On my new motherboard I have built in support for eSATA, so if I go for external HDD, I would chose eSATA connection.

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    Re: eSATA connection question answered

    Jeff,
    Interesting subject. It seems you found the answers. The only initial question I didn't understand, was #2, why wouldn't a bracket then be plugged to a SATA connection on the motherboard. If it could not, then it would not be of any use.

    I'm not going to add an external HDD yet, but have looked around a little. So far (eSATA is new) I have not seen so many. Didn't think of "build yourself" enclosures, instead found that iomega has two external eSATA: 320 GB and 500 GB.

    Iomega External Hard Drive: Black Series eSATA/USB External Hard Drives

    They ship them with eSATA PCI Card, eSATA Cable and USB 1.1/2.0 Cable etc.

    But since I have built in support for eSATA on the motherboard, and don't need a PCI card et al, it can maybe be cheaper to build one with a enclosure case.

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    Re: eSATA connection question answered

    Argus,

    Question #2 was asked because at the time I was not sure if "eSata" was a totally different animal than "SATA". Since then, I have discovered that they are identical with the exception being that the "e" in eSata simply designates "external", i.e., not an integral part of a motherboard.

    I built the system I am currently using and have always purchased just an external HDD enclosure and supplied my own HDD to use in it because, for 2 basic reasons: 1) I can generally find a good (aka: name brand) enclosure on sale, and 2) I can choose which brand, type and size of HDD I want to use and also wait until those also go on sale. I'm partial to Western Digital drives. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    Lastly, I wouldn't be without an external HDD as I use it for backup purposes and for temporarily storing files from a client's PC that I'm trying to fix, install a new HDD, etc. I only turn the external drive on when needed which gives me the added security of preserving my backup images and individual files should there be a power outage that damages my system or if the internal HDD should physically fail. Simply put, it's very reliable and cheap insurance. For example, I just purchased the ThermalTake Silver River Duo enclosure and a WD 250 gig 16 meg cache SATA II HDD for c. $140 Cdn. Oh, and the eSata external bracket cost an additional $6.

    Jeff
    Jeff
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  11. #11
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    Re: eSATA connection question answered

    Thanks to all who replied. At my age, I can hide my own Easter eggs; so it should be no surprise that I had to re-learn how to invoke BIOS settings screens.

    I've ordered an external SATA hard case that should be here within a week. Guess I'll learn whether the SATA ports on my PCI card will work or if I will have to use USB or Firewire.

    Thanks again for your patience and most especially for your help.

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