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ESATA or USB 3 external HDD enclosure

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September 3, 2011 11:50:22 PM

In your opinion what is better: power eSATAp or USB 3 external HDD enclosure? I plan to use it for 500GB 2.5" HDD.
September 4, 2011 12:49:15 AM

USB 3.0 is better because it has enough headroom for HDD data transfer PLUS backward-compatibility with USB 2.0 so you can plug it into any PCs you want.
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a c 167 G Storage
September 4, 2011 1:23:32 AM

I never got Esata working properly. USB seemed to alwaus work well.
I use a rosewill usb 3.0 unit. Cost is $24 and you put in the sata drive of your choice.
It has a on/off switch so I leave it plugged into the rear usb3.0 port and normally turned off. I just switch it on when I do a backup.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b G Storage
September 4, 2011 2:50:12 AM

usb 3.0 simply because almost 100% of computer has a usb (1.0, 2.0 or 3.o which 3.0 is compatible) but not many has an esata (have to agree on geofelt on esata implementation. I haven't had an esata problem I couldn't find a reason for its problem yet, although they are not always fixable).
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September 5, 2011 4:23:02 PM

Thank you for your replays, but I am still not sure which one is better in terms of performance, since eSATA is native (sata to sata), and USB 3 to sata has to use some sort of transletor. Also, eSATA has USB 2 for power and data transfer(I think), makeing it compatible with most if not all PCs these days
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Best solution

October 4, 2011 6:34:23 PM

I've done some testing with a ProBox 4HD Enclosure which allows me to switch between USB3.0 and eSATA (3GB/s HDs). Sustained transferring of many large files (300GB+ move of well over 100+ HD video files), eSATA performs marginally quicker. On quick file pushes, eSATA transfers substantially quicker. I imagine the SATA to SATA connections help with this immediacy. You can also format stripped arrays with eSATA for even faster performance which I can't get to work over a USB3.

I've got (4) 2TB 7200RPM drives in the ProBox and was transferring from one of those drives to the other for this test. Sustained speed was about 69-65MB/s on eSATA...USB3 was around 63MB/sec

As for transferring from my native 3TB 7200RPM, 6GB/s HD on my computer to a ProBox drive, eSATA was MUCH faster. Same sustained speeds for USB3 as before, but I averaged about 90MB/s, sometimes peaking @ 120MB/s, albeit briefly.

I am running the latest drivers and BIOS on this PC which I built about a month ago, so old USB3 drivers/BIOS is not an issue for me.


USB3.0 wins for convenience, eSATA for performance in my book.

PC Workstation Spec:
---------------------------------------
ASUS P8Z68 DLX Motherboard
i7-2600K 3.40GHz Overclocked to 4.5GHz Turboboost
ASUS GTX570 1280MB GDDR5
16GB Corsair Ram
120GB OCZ3 SSD - Win7 Pro installed
(2) 3TB, 7200RPM, 6GB/s file storage drives
ProBox external drive encloser - (4) 2TB, 7200RPM, 3GB/s file store drives...eSATA or USB3.0 interface
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a c 353 G Storage
October 4, 2011 7:42:25 PM

^ Concur
Portability goes to USB3 (which is backwards compatable to USB2 - 1 is just to slow)
Performance goes to esata (not a big increase though). there was a performance comparision that backed this up.
Bottom line is If I had to chose between esata, UsB3, or USB2 + esata, I'd go with the USB3 with the USB2 + esata as a close 2nd.

Quote from http://www.itworld.com/hardware/98987/usb-30-vs-esata-i...
In both cases the real world results were quite a bit slower than their theoretical bests. With reads, my USB drive averaged 90 MBps, while the eSATA drive came in at 75 MBps. When it came to writing to the disk eSATA still processed data at 75 MBps while the USB drive dropped to 62 MBps.

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October 7, 2011 2:39:50 AM

Best answer selected by ZZUBAK555.
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October 7, 2011 4:46:21 AM

One thing nobody mentioned was latency. ESATA is just a regular SATA port, it acts identically to an internal SATA port. USB on the other hand is a different beast. Anything going to or from a USB port will have additional latency, there is no way around it. This is why the quick file access seems "faster" and more responsive on something connected via ESATA vs USB 3.0. The USB device needs to establish a session, the SATA device just spits it out. ESATA also supports all the advanced commands from the SATA AHCI spec, including NCQ and OoO reads.

I use a ProBox RAID and get 80~120 MB/s transfer to / from a four disk RAID-0 array. Less when working with a RAID-5 array of course.

In short, if you have eSATA then use eSATA, it will always win vs a USB interface regardless of the bandwidth involved. A single HDD will never saturate the bandwidth available on a SATA 1.5 port, much less a SATA3 port.
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November 26, 2011 11:26:22 PM

Help me out here. What sort of eSata interface card is used to access the ProBox? I have a GeoVision video/audio survelience system I'd like to add about 6 - 8 GB of storage, preferably raid 5 or 10.

Reading this note, I think I'd prefer to stick with SATA direct to the drives.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
Chris

majesticix said:
I've done some testing with a ProBox 4HD Enclosure which allows me to switch between USB3.0 and eSATA (3GB/s HDs). Sustained transferring of many large files (300GB+ move of well over 100+ HD video files), eSATA performs marginally quicker. On quick file pushes, eSATA transfers substantially quicker. I imagine the SATA to SATA connections help with this immediacy. You can also format stripped arrays with eSATA for even faster performance which I can't get to work over a USB3.

I've got (4) 2TB 7200RPM drives in the ProBox and was transferring from one of those drives to the other for this test. Sustained speed was about 69-65MB/s on eSATA...USB3 was around 63MB/sec

As for transferring from my native 3TB 7200RPM, 6GB/s HD on my computer to a ProBox drive, eSATA was MUCH faster. Same sustained speeds for USB3 as before, but I averaged about 90MB/s, sometimes peaking @ 120MB/s, albeit briefly.

I am running the latest drivers and BIOS on this PC which I built about a month ago, so old USB3 drivers/BIOS is not an issue for me.


USB3.0 wins for convenience, eSATA for performance in my book.

PC Workstation Spec:
---------------------------------------
ASUS P8Z68 DLX Motherboard
i7-2600K 3.40GHz Overclocked to 4.5GHz Turboboost
ASUS GTX570 1280MB GDDR5
16GB Corsair Ram
120GB OCZ3 SSD - Win7 Pro installed
(2) 3TB, 7200RPM, 6GB/s file storage drives
ProBox external drive encloser - (4) 2TB, 7200RPM, 3GB/s file store drives...eSATA or USB3.0 interface

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November 28, 2011 2:40:18 AM

alltrac said:
Help me out here. What sort of eSata interface card is used to access the ProBox? I have a GeoVision video/audio survelience system I'd like to add about 6 - 8 GB of storage, preferably raid 5 or 10.

Reading this note, I think I'd prefer to stick with SATA direct to the drives.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
Chris



The answer depends on the exact model your getting. If your getting the ProRAID then any SATA port will work. You do NOT need a special eSATA card, just a SATA to eSATA bracket. As of SATA 2 there is no difference between the signaling of SATA and eSATA, everything is the same. Only thing special is that eSATA specified a shielded cable for a much longer distance similar to SCSI, otherwise its identical.

Now, if your just getting the ProBOX, the one without RAID support then your in for a world of hurt if you don't do research first. The MS ProBOX utilizes a port multiplier inside it, specifically a FIS based port multiplier. You need to check with your MB manufacture to see if it supports port multipliers on the internal SATA interfaces and most importantly what mode they support. FIS is the new standard but you still see the older CBS mode in many chipsets. FIS and CBS are not compatible with each other, and using a CBS chipset with a FIS port multiplier will have the host not seeing anything past the first drive.
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November 28, 2011 1:42:25 PM

Thanks for your reply. I did a bit of research after I posted that and learned about the sata/eSata brackets which essentially expose existing sata ports out the back of the computer. Then I read something about multi-lane eSata, and also read about how the multiplexers may be great for adding a larger amount of storage, but all data shares the 3 GB bandwidth of the single sata channel. So let me tell you what I'm doing and perhaps you can direct me.

My video system presently uses high-res 600 line cameras and each camera generates between 40 and 100 GB of video per week, depending on the level of activity detected in its field of view. While not megapixel IP cameras, the cameras I use look very close to traditional TV quality, and not the grainy video you see on the America's Most Wanted or the like. They are very good.

I have 8 cameras now and will shortly expand to 16. At present, I can store about a week's worth of video on a single 1 TB drive before overwriting the oldest videos. In additional to doubling the number of cameras, I need to expand the storage to accomodate closer to 30 days.

If 1TB provides 1 week of storage for 8 cameras, I believe I should need 8 GB to hold 4 weeks with 16 cameras, and (4) 2 GB drives in an external 4-bay enclosure should meet my needs. For managing disk IO bandwidth, GeoVision s/w allows directing video from each camera to a seperate drive so as to not *need* a h/w RAID solution, although this would certainly provide the added benefit of fault-tolerance (i.e. RAID 5 or 10)

While I am not looking to immediately buy everything at once, I do need to implement the correct infrastructure to get me where I need to be, and thus allow adding additional drives as I add more cameras.

My Dell Optiplex 990 tower has 4 sata ports on the MB. I cannot find anything to tell me whether it does or does not provide port multiplexing. So I presume it does not. Two sata ports are used for the system HD and the DVD writer, which leaves two open. I'm willing to add another SATA controller if necessary.

What are you thoughts?

Many thanks in advance!
Chris
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November 28, 2011 11:42:07 PM

Ok are you using SSD's for your storage? I'm thinking not, therefor the 3Gb/s lane speed will not be a concern for you. 3Gb/s is 375MB/s unidirectional, it's doubled if your counting both directions. One spinning HDD tends to provide 40~60 MB/s sustained transfer speed. Thus a single SATA II lane can handle 6~7 drives before even remotely getting saturated, most likely 8 drives before a limitation is realistically reached. If your using a Mediasonic enclosure then I'm assuming your using the four bay model (they have eight bay models also). There is no way that your four disks will be slowed in the slightest by a single SATA interface. I've done my own testing, from a RAM disk to four disk RAID0 and get 80~120MB/s sustained. Your not going to be saturating your lane anytime soon.

What you have to do is find out what chipset it's using. Since you said Dell I'm assuming an Intel ICH based chipset.

https://ata.wiki.kernel.org/articles/s/a/t/SATA_hardwar...

Look in the PMP SM, which is just another way of saying which mode it works in. Seeing as the ICH10 and H67 chipsets both use CBS, then chances are high that your Q67 chipset will also be CBS mode. So if your going to attach an enclosure get a ProRAID box, their a little more expensive but they immediately remove all headaches. Plus ProRAID box's are real HW raid and are incredibly fast, their well worth their price premium.

Also that chipset lists as having two SATA 6.0Gb/s ports, that should fix any lack of ports you may have.
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November 29, 2011 1:12:01 AM

Yes, it uses the Q67 chipset. I've scoured Dell.com, Intel.com and google looking to see whether the Optiplex 990 supports port multiplication. Intel says the Q67 chipset *does* but does not specify which format... FIS or CBS.

If my machine does not support port multiplication, what would I do? add another SATA controller card?
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November 29, 2011 1:51:01 AM

alltrac said:
Yes, it uses the Q67 chipset. I've scoured Dell.com, Intel.com and google looking to see whether the Optiplex 990 supports port multiplication. Intel says the Q67 chipset *does* but does not specify which format... FIS or CBS.

If my machine does not support port multiplication, what would I do? add another SATA controller card?


That link I posted lists the various modes that are supported. Your chipset most likely is CBS.

Which enclosure did you purchase?
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November 29, 2011 2:01:12 AM

I've not bought anything yet. I wanted to get everything mapped out so I didn't buy something that would be useless or difficult to use. I was reading elsewhere about the Mediasonic Probox. It seems like a good box but appears to be incompatible with my Dell. Do you have another recommendation?

www.pc-pitstop.com has several, some which support hot-swap which I really don't need for my video system, but would be great for my server!
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November 30, 2011 12:31:45 AM

alltrac said:
I've not bought anything yet. I wanted to get everything mapped out so I didn't buy something that would be useless or difficult to use. I was reading elsewhere about the Mediasonic Probox. It seems like a good box but appears to be incompatible with my Dell. Do you have another recommendation?

www.pc-pitstop.com has several, some which support hot-swap which I really don't need for my video system, but would be great for my server!



Mediasonic "Probox" refers to an entire line of products.

What you want is the HFR2-SU3S2 for $199.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This one is use's a built in HW RAID, no need to worry about Port Multipliers or software support. Just install an eSATA bracket and plug it in.
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November 30, 2011 2:37:19 PM

Thanks for all your assistance.
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Anonymous
a b G Storage
May 30, 2012 10:53:49 AM

I'm sure that eSATAp is the best connector. It has data access latency 2 times smaller than USB 3.0 and 1Gbps profit in bandwidth (SATA 3.0 = 6 Gbps). eSATAp is more straightforward than USB. USB controller should transform data to the format of storage interface (often *ata). More of all USB connector changes from revision to revision, eSATAp - stays the same.
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December 27, 2012 5:37:56 AM

Hi, Although the thread is old I thought it could be useful to someone that I mention my humble experience with e-SATA and USB 3.0
Speeds comparable to a certain extent
USB 3.0 very convenient with hyper portable external hard drives providing power and transfer route (up to 1.5 TB external drives atm)
and ubiquitous port in desktops and laptops .

e-SATA allows external hard drives above 2 TB barrier to be converted into INTERNAL DRIVES without need for drive RE-initializing or reformatting where USB 3.0 (or 2.0) fails dramatically.

If you intend to keep the option of switching your HDD s which capacity exceeds 2TB from external to internal drive or vice versa, you 'll need to use an external enclosure that has e-SATA , and format them first as e-sata or internal sata drives,

A good news :D  though, if the external enclosure has USB 3.0 besides the e-SATA, you'll be able to use the USB transfer route witout loosing your external-internal drive conversion capabilities.

This is major issue :??:  with USB interface for large HDDs > 2 TB provided in exclusive USB 2.0 or 3.0 external enclosures (not convertible into internal drives without drive re-initialization even with the latest UEFI bios)

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