Those who work with digital media require the ability to store and move around colossal amounts of data. It sounds unbelievable, but for every minute of a finished documentary, it isn't unreasonable to have a full hour of source material to edit from. It's no surprise that external storage is simply a part of life for many professionals.
Unfortunately, external hard drives are pretty much always slower than their internal counterparts. To stay mobile, external storage usually utilizes USB or Firewire connectivity, and in both cases this means an instant limitation on how fast data can be transferred: peak transfer rates are only about 400 to 480 Mbit/s. Compare this to the newest SATA standard, which can handle theoretical bandwidth of 3 Gbit/s!
In addition to high performance, one of the major advantages of the SATA interface is its hot-swapping capability, and that makes it a very attractive interface for external storage. Today we will be looking at one of the pioneers of external SATA (eSATA) hard drives: the Seagate eSATA 500 GB.