External Enclosure Recommendations?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
I just picked up this drive from Circuit City and I'm looking for an enclosure to put it in.



Eventually I'm going to be building a Media Center PC so I'm wanting something fast enough to stream video to an HDTV.



There are 1394b enclosures out there, but they're twice as expensive as 1394a/USB2.0 solutions.



What say you?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by groverat

    I just picked up this drive from Circuit City and I'm looking for an enclosure to put it in.



    Eventually I'm going to be building a Media Center PC so I'm wanting something fast enough to stream video to an HDTV.



    There are 1394b enclosures out there, but they're twice as expensive as 1394a/USB2.0 solutions.



    What say you?




    hi grove, i have a maxtor 3.5" 7200rpm 8mb cache diamondmax 9, 160gb in a taiwan-generic "emerald brand" enclosure, but it uses a reasonably well known IDE to FW400/USB2.0 (combo) chipset the "genesys logic GL 711"



    it's a bloody excellent bridge device, booting off a partition of that maxtor and running mac os x through FW400 is good, almost as fast as on my iBook itself.



    i hear that FW, even "just" FW400, is much better than usb 2.0. because

    1. faster througputs on average

    2. less CPU overhead

    3. less stuff jammed into those USB ports which we never seem to have enough of

    4. purely bus-powered enclosures are more expensive, not sure if you are looking for something like that, although it can be a pain in the ass to plug in the external drive to the power socket for it to run, so bus powered can be nice.



    cheers

    ..........



    ps. when my iBook laptop drive was playing the fool with my mac os tiger *ahem* backup install dvd, i was able to use the bridge chipset to boot and install from tiger dvd of a cheapo samsung dvd-rom readonly drive....
  • Reply 2 of 9
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    i have to admit i found a thread that absolutely trashes the GL 711 chipset:

    http://forum.macsales.com/viewtopic....9cd6bef9dedb95



    highest read and writes i have got in and out of the 7200rpm maxtor through FW400 is benched at 18 or 19 megabytes/sec.



    have people been able to hit 40mb/sec even when transferring stuff in and out of a iBook/powerbook 4200rpm/5400rpm drive??
  • Reply 3 of 9
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    I may be completely wrong here, but doesn't ATA max out ~50MBytes/s anyway?



    USB2.0 maxes out ~60MBps(480mbps)

    Firewire 400 maxes out ~50MBps (400mbps)



    The CPU overhead is definitely something to think about. I'm looking at USB2.0/FW combo drives.



    As far as ports, I've got 8 USB 2.0 ports and 4 FW-400 ports on my PC. Plenty!
  • Reply 4 of 9
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by groverat

    I may be completely wrong here, but doesn't ATA max out ~50MBytes/s anyway?



    USB2.0 maxes out ~60MBps(480mbps)

    Firewire 400 maxes out ~50MBps (400mbps)



    The CPU overhead is definitely something to think about. I'm looking at USB2.0/FW combo drives.



    As far as ports, I've got 8 USB 2.0 ports and 4 FW-400 ports on my PC. Plenty!




    It's a complicated thing. FW400 tends to offer higher performance than USB 2.0 since it separates data from control. This is important, because the thing that really matters is access time, since the sustained read/write data rate of most normal drives is still slower than the abilities of the drive bus.
  • Reply 5 of 9
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    Well I figured that, I just wanted some comment from those with experience.



    I sincerely hope Apple gets on the damn ball and builds us an acceptable media center box with pretty front-end.
  • Reply 6 of 9
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by groverat

    Well I figured that, I just wanted some comment from those with experience.



    I sincerely hope Apple gets on the damn ball and builds us an acceptable media center box with pretty front-end.




    If you "figured that much," you wouldn't have posted a vacuous assumption about data rates. USB doesn't get 60Mbps since it doesn't use 8bit bytes. 480Mbps is the baud rate, which includes control bits. This is lower-level than the control packets, which are something else. It's also not a full-duplex bus. At the end of the day, FW400 has faster maximum speed and practical speed than does USB2.0.



    As far as enclosures, just get one with an Oxford controller. Otherwise, they are pretty much all the same. They're all built from the same pool of OEM equipment, so get the one that you think looks pretty. LaCie makes some nice external drives, but I don't think you can get just the enclosures from them. firewiredirect.com has a ton of options, though, and they're usually pretty cheap.
  • Reply 7 of 9
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Be sure to check out wiebetech.



    Cost a little more, but they offer some cool form factors (such as this combo dock) and have an excellent reliability reputation.



    Also, don't forget OWC, my personal favorite for balancing bang for buck with well designed and reliable. It's a Mac shop but for firewire and USB enclosures you don't care.
  • Reply 8 of 9
    skatmanskatman Posts: 609member
    Quote:

    have people been able to hit 40mb/sec even when transferring stuff in and out of a iBook/powerbook 4200rpm/5400rpm drive??



    Maybe burst cached speed, but not sustained. In my experience the fastest notebook drives Hitachi 7k60 and Seagate 5k100 hit about 36-38 MB/sec sustained read speed. Write is usually slower.



    Fastest 7200 RPM units hit about 70 MB/sec sustained these days.



    If you want to use drive to stream video, firewire is definitely better than USB2 because its performance is a lot less dependent on CPU load than USB2.

    The actual max transfer speed can be argued forever, but in real life it really depends on other factors.



    I've had good luck with Prolific chips, although I believe the NEC actually sets the reference hardware standard.
  • Reply 9 of 9
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Splinemodel

    If you "figured that much," you wouldn't have posted a vacuous assumption about data rates.



    OH SNAP!
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