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ExpressCard eSATA
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indigoimac
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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May 9, 2009, 01:27 PM
 
Ok, so I think I am going to make the move from FW800 to eSATA for my MBPs external drive - I need to buy a new hard drive and I am going to use my dual drive 800 enclosure for something else.

What are the options/ here is what I need:

either single or 2 port - right now I only need a single, but that may change
fast - expresscard34, I think, supports the full speed of SATA so it comes down to chipset
driverless would be nice but it's not a requirement
being able to boot off it would be nice but is also not a requirement as I have a 2.5" FW800 enclosure

So here is what my research has come up with:
Single Ports using JMicron JMB360 chipset:
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other.../EXP34SATA2P1/
Highlights: cheap, driverless, bootable, but no port multiplier

Then there is all the stuff using the SIL3132
It seems that certain cards have optimized drivers, but the hardware is likely the same
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Firmtek/SATA2SM2E/
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16839200006

Quite the price difference between the two

And then a highend Sonnet card uses a Marvell chipset, but that is expensive and it seems to be the only card that uses that.

Has anyone really looked into this. I've come across some reviews, but they don't seem to be all that up to date.

Thanks!
15" MacBook Pro 2.0GHz i7 4GB RAM 6490M 120GB OWC 6G SSD 500GB HD
15" MacBook Pro 2.4GHz C2D 2GB RAM 8600M GT 200GB HD
17" C2D iMac 2.0GHz 2GB RAM x1600 500GB HD
     
amazing
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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May 9, 2009, 04:32 PM
 
I personally have both the JMicro and the Sil3132 cards from OWC/macsales. I've had terrible luck with both cards on my Santa Rosa MBP with 4 GB Ram. I have 2 separate HDs with eSata, and all combinations and permutations of cards and drives have been bad. Perhaps it's the firmware on the drives, one is a Kingwin 2.5" and the other is a Macally 3.5".

You can go to xlr8yourmac.com to see their archive of feedback from lots of people--it seems to work for some, although I do wonder if their definition of OK behavior is different than mine. (PS: I had a thread recently about this as well, so a little search will find the appropriate link.)
     
indigoimac  (op)
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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May 9, 2009, 10:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by amazing View Post
I personally have both the JMicro and the Sil3132 cards from OWC/macsales. I've had terrible luck with both cards on my Santa Rosa MBP with 4 GB Ram. I have 2 separate HDs with eSata, and all combinations and permutations of cards and drives have been bad. Perhaps it's the firmware on the drives, one is a Kingwin 2.5" and the other is a Macally 3.5".

You can go to xlr8yourmac.com to see their archive of feedback from lots of people--it seems to work for some, although I do wonder if their definition of OK behavior is different than mine. (PS: I had a thread recently about this as well, so a little search will find the appropriate link.)
It does seem to be really, really hit or miss-- which is unfortunate. I'm really trying to avoid throwing the cash down on another FW800 enclosure. I want to use my dual SATA FW800 enclosure at home in a RAID for time machine, and was hoping to recycle a usb/esata enclosure for use w. my laptop w. a (cheap) eSata card. Looks like the research continues.
15" MacBook Pro 2.0GHz i7 4GB RAM 6490M 120GB OWC 6G SSD 500GB HD
15" MacBook Pro 2.4GHz C2D 2GB RAM 8600M GT 200GB HD
17" C2D iMac 2.0GHz 2GB RAM x1600 500GB HD
     
   
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