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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > FW800 External HDD Case?

FW800 External HDD Case?
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B Gallagher
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Nov 20, 2005, 04:32 AM
 
Does anyone on here know if there is anywhere (online) I can order a FW800 external HDD case? I'm planning on getting a 250 HDD, and would like to be able to take full use of the FW speed on my new PB. Thanks.
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SSharon
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Nov 20, 2005, 05:21 AM
 
Just so you know, FW800 won't really help you unless you are chaining hard drives. That being said, http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/ they can help you out if you still want a FW800 case.
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mduell
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Nov 20, 2005, 05:27 PM
 
B Gallagher: Newegg loves you. The black enclosure mentions that it has an Oxford chipset, which are known for good performance and Mac compatibility.
Edit: Link for 250GB drive.

SSharon: I disagree. The theoretical bandwidth of FW400 is 50MBps, which works out to at best 40MBps in practice. Even my year old 160GB drive can push 57MBps; the newer and bigger drives can push even more, up to over 70MBps.
( Last edited by mduell; Nov 20, 2005 at 07:47 PM. )
     
SSharon
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Nov 20, 2005, 07:31 PM
 
Of course fw 800 is faster in theory, but depending on the OP uses it really might not offer any substantial benefits for him. Copying a file to or from the laptop HD will be limited by the speed of the laptop drive. Unless he is booting off this drive and doing uncompressed digital video work I don't think it will add more than a few mb/s. I haven't checked to see how cheap fw800 enclosures are, but in recent months when it has been discussed here most people decided that they would rather save a few bucks and ensure more compatibility (since the combo usb2/400/800 enclosures are expensive) and get a fw400 enclosure.

A quick test on my fw400 drive resulted in 31.8mb/s write speed (single 1.37gb file).
If you want to save money and have decent speeds, don't feel obligated to get the latest and greatest. If you want to push the limit, plan on chaining the devices, also use a G5, etc. fw 800 is right for you.

(and yes, newegg does love you, they are the best online retailer out there)
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mduell
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Nov 20, 2005, 08:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by SSharon
Of course fw 800 is faster in theory, but depending on the OP uses it really might not offer any substantial benefits for him. Copying a file to or from the laptop HD will be limited by the speed of the laptop drive. Unless he is booting off this drive and doing uncompressed digital video work I don't think it will add more than a few mb/s. I haven't checked to see how cheap fw800 enclosures are, but in recent months when it has been discussed here most people decided that they would rather save a few bucks and ensure more compatibility (since the combo usb2/400/800 enclosures are expensive) and get a fw400 enclosure.

A quick test on my fw400 drive resulted in 31.8mb/s write speed (single 1.37gb file).
If you want to save money and have decent speeds, don't feel obligated to get the latest and greatest. If you want to push the limit, plan on chaining the devices, also use a G5, etc. fw 800 is right for you.
The OP said he wants "to take full use of the FW speed on my new PB" and even plunked down the cash for a 7200RPM internal drive, so I'd say he's interested in performance. I'll let him answer before I say any more.
     
tomrock
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Nov 21, 2005, 06:28 PM
 
A quick test on my fw400 drive resulted in 31.8mb/s write speed (single 1.37gb file).
Forgive me for going off topic, but how did you do this test? I'd like to compare FW to USB 2.0 on my iMac.
     
SSharon
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Nov 23, 2005, 04:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by tomrock
Forgive me for going off topic, but how did you do this test? I'd like to compare FW to USB 2.0 on my iMac.
I did it the non-scientific way. I found a big file so my own lag wouldn't affect the time as much and I started a stop watch when I started the transfer. The only thing I did was make sure both drives were spinning by copying a small file back and forth first.

I did a similar test when I first got my combo enclosures and firewire was always faster for me. Since I use one external drive mainly for mp3 backup I transfered a huge folder of those and in that case USB2 was nearly the same speed as firewire. For big files, firewire is king.
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kidtexas
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Nov 23, 2005, 12:54 PM
 
Try OWC (the eshop.macsales link) or Wiebetech (http://www.wiebetech.com/). I've been happy with both.

I know a powerbook and a single hard drive can't really take advantage of FW 800, but its nice when you have a FW audio interface, a DV cam, and several hard drives. There's more room in the pipe for all that data to flow than on just FW 400.
     
   
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