: eSATA Ports on Macs


screature
May 1st, 2008, 11:15 AM
OK, Apple just missed the latest opportunity to bring eSATA ports to the Mac line up with not putting them on the new iMacs. The question is when, if ever, will they get with the program?

A lack of eSATA ports on a Mac Pro is no biggie because you can always ad a card (as well I guess for the MBP, but less than ideal). eSATA I realize does not have the versatility of USB and firewire, but for external hard drive expansion (other than boot disk) it is absolutely the fastest way to go. One little eSATA port, that is all I am asking for.

MacDoc
May 1st, 2008, 12:02 PM
We're seeing quite a good response to eSATA on the MacPros and MBPs via cards and our ProTools clients in particular are happy.

It is too bad no eSATA on iMac - even nicer would be on MacMini.

CubaMark
May 1st, 2008, 02:00 PM
I have an external hard drive with FW800 ports and an adapter cable to eSATA - wouldn't an adapter do the trick? eSATA-->FW800 ??

screature
May 1st, 2008, 02:04 PM
I have an external hard drive with FW800 ports and an adapter cable to eSATA - wouldn't an adapter do the trick? eSATA-->FW800 ??

You would still be throttled to the speed of FW800, an eSATA port would give you the full SATA through put.

eMacMan
May 1st, 2008, 02:25 PM
Given the overall configuration of current Macs and current HD speeds I can see some benefit to FW 800 vs FW 400.

Would there really be a speed bump going with eSATA as compared to FW 800?

Would an eSATA connection be more reliable than FW 800?

chas_m
May 1st, 2008, 02:30 PM
I don't see Apple incorporating eSATA ports in the future, mainly because Firewire S1600 (1.6Gbits/sec) and S3200 (3.2Gbits/sec) are claimed to be appearing before the end of this year.

You can read up on it on this wiki page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firewire#FireWire_S1600_and_S3200), but given FW's natural design advantage an S1600 offers significant advantages over similar-speed eSATA (1.5Gbits) in a rather different way than how Firewire trumps USB2.

This chart (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA#eSATA_in_comparison_to_other_external_b uses) outlines the advantages and disadvantages of eSATA versus FW (particularly note FW3200) and other external busses.

guytoronto
May 1st, 2008, 02:38 PM
All these problems could have been solved by adding a damn ExpressCard slot to the iMac. Hey, why not right below the CD slot? Is it any wonder Psystar has a market?

eMacMan
May 1st, 2008, 04:45 PM
All these problems could have been solved by adding a damn ExpressCard slot to the iMac. Hey, why not right below the CD slot? Is it any wonder Psystar has a market?

So True. Also given the exponential bloat rate at which the OS is evolving, a user replaceable HD is becoming an absolute must. A one screw panel on the back, similar to what is used for the memory slots would do the trick nicely.

MacDoc
May 1st, 2008, 06:35 PM
All the advance FW standard will do is get to where eSATA is now. :rolleyes:

chas_m
May 1st, 2008, 09:54 PM
All the advance FW standard will do is get to where eSATA is now. :rolleyes:

Well, no. As I specifically mentioned, there are other considerations beyond raw speed. That's why FW400 is still better than USB2 (480), even though FW is "slower."

There's no need to get defensive -- nobody's dissing eSATA. I'm just offering an explanation of why Apple hasn't added it and is unlikely to add it. For starters, they are obviously going to favour their own invention over a third-party, and secondly FW has inherent advantages that make it more flexible than eSATA, which is why FW has found success several industries outside the Mac world, whereas eSATA is really just a drive connection (albeit an awesomely fast one).

I think it's GREAT for MacPro and MBP owners to have the option of adding eSATA -- competition is good, and this next-gen FW stuff is still vapourware for a while yet.

MacDoc
May 1st, 2008, 11:45 PM
With USB 3 and eSATA I don't see FW long for the planet

JSvo
May 2nd, 2008, 01:05 AM
With USB 3 and eSATA I don't see FW long for the planet
I agree. As noted, FW3200 is still vapourware. There's no question we'll see USB 3, and of course eSATA is here right now.

Even Apple is backing away from FW - How does your new iPod connect? And which port is on the MBA? Let's face it, FW as a general-purpose consumer interface is done.

The only exceptions are certain digicams (though more and more are going USB), certain external HDs (though more and more are going USB-only), and the mid-to-upper range in the Audio industry.

I wish FW had won out over USB, but it's simply not the case. HD-DVD-who?

As for eSATA, I agree it should be standard on Apple computers, or at least BTO. There are lots of new external HDs that use eSATA, whereas there are almost no new ext HDs that use any flavour of FW. Cue the FW eulogy....