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Psychotext

USB2 or E.SATA?

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Does anyone here have any experience of either using USB2 or E.SATA for an external hard drive?

Basically I am looking at getting two caddies which will each contain a 120gb WD HDD. Every other night one of these hard drives will have about 60GB of backup files copied onto it. At the end of the week I will take it to my mother's house :rolleyes: for safe keeping and continue with the second of the two hard drives in the same manner (Use it for a week, then swap it with the one at my mother's and so on).

I'm not too worried about speed (Well, it has to manage 60GB over the course of a night) but I do care about making sure that the data gets to the HDD in one piece. Of course, USB2 does have one advantage in that I will be able to use it in machines without E.SATA and not need any new controllers. Any opinions of which I should go with? Anybody used an external enclosure that they think is particularly good?

Thanks in advance!

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Ive used several USB hard drive enclosures.

I would suggest getting a slower hard drive, because most of these boxes have poor to non-existant cooling, I would get a samsung drive (or seagate) that runs cooler... Dont worry about speed, as the USB 2 is slower than EIDE the drive will be frequently waiting to transmitt the data anyhow...

I have just to day seen the first external SATA drive in a tiger direct catalogue. (I have yet to see one "in person") I dont have any direct experience with them at all, but I see no reason why they wouldnt be like external scsi drives...

Also forget overnight... USB 2 drive should be able to copy 60 GB of data in just a few minutes...

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Ok, well the drives are out of one of my other machines. I have recently made them spare because I have replaced them with a 4 disk RAID5 setup. Perhaps I should have a look around for an enlosure with fairly decent cooling so that I dont end up with toasted drives.

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Both USB2 high speed and e-sata should do well time wise, even if e-sata is much faster than USB.

Yes, keep to cool drives, you don't need fast expensive ones.

And think of making sure you have high quality connectors. Many do not like to be plugged/unplugged too many times, and will give up on you long before you are ready to change the drive.

Yéti

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Well... I just bought an external USB2 enclosure and it seems pretty good. Although it doesn't have any fans, it is made entirely of aluminium which seems to do a pretty good job of acting as a heatsink. Had it running for about an hour now and the casing isn't yet warm to the touch (But I can feel some heat).

In regard to performance. I just copied 10.7gb of data off it in 10mins which I am pretty happy with. I dont know if that's about what I should expect, but it will certainly do for what I am trying to achieve (Meaning that it should only take about 50 mins to do 60gb of data).

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External SATA isn't really a standard now is it? The connectors don't seem very secure, indeed, many have complained of loose connections even when used internally.

I'd suggest using firewire instead of USB2 for an external enclosure, bridge chips are generally faster and use less CPU, and firewire supplies plenty of bus power if you have a good adapter card so you don't need a power adapter...

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Was a little easier in this case as I already had the USB2 ports but no firewire. Would probably have considered it for longer otherwise.

One strange thing I did notice. The western digital drive in the usb enclosure seems to run much faster than my 40gb maxtor on an internal IDE. The same data took 25 mins to copy to the maxtor compared to the 10 it took to copy to my western digital raptor.

Stupid slow drive.

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gee a raptor being fast, what a surprise....

That actually wasn't my point. I had assumed that any internal drive would be quicker than external and as such the speed of my maxtor should easily handle the data being provided over the USB cable.

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The places where the raptor is fast are different than where the other drive is fast.

Even on 100MBit network I can notice the difference between modern IDE drives, it's not very much though unless you get into some real random accesses.

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