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Old October 6th, 2010, 06:27 AM   #1
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external RAID: eSATA or FW800?

Trying to decide whether to spend the time installing an eSATA extender cable or just plug in a FW800 into my 2007 Mac Pro.

It's a 2-drive RAID 1 that will be used for MOV files recorded from HDV on Adobe OnLocation.

Any major difference in the two interfaces for this kind of use?
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Old October 6th, 2010, 06:45 AM   #2
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esata is supposedly faster but I've had no issues with firewire 800. I have two raided external drives daisy chained via FW800 (2 cases each with 2 drives but raided redundent so they appear as 2 drives total). No issues with performance, fast enough for full HD editing, playback etc - XDCAM footage.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 06:53 AM   #3
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Good to know. I have the eSATA cable (included with RAID) and I'd rather put it away for now.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 02:54 AM   #4
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The point is that Sata was never really developed for external drives.
What I'm trying to say is that eSata isn't always as foolproof as Firewire or USB. Depending on the drive and the controller you might run into problems.

I've had one drive that just wouldn't initialize on eSata unless I restarted my computer.
It works well with other drives, although with some drives I have to unplug them, wait until the drive is running, and then plug them in - when I just switch them on, they won't register in Windows neither. Maybe it's because my mainboard is almost 3 years old, I don't know.

What I'm trying to say is that Firewire800 (and also USB 3) will be better suited for plug'n'play operation, however eSata is also nice when it works ;)
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Old October 7th, 2010, 04:36 AM   #5
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I have a couple of external SATA systems and have been using them for the past several years. There are several terabytes of hard drives on my shelf that work with these "hot swap" systems. They've been working very nicely and I haven't encountered any serious problems.

It's from Firmtek. FirmTek, LLC

Also, can't beat the price for expansion: $22 for a sled for each drive, plus the cost of a bare SATA drive. Brings the cost of storing XDCamEX footage down to about $3.50 per hour on a mirrored RAID. That's on par with DVCam tapes.
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