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I have a thunderbolt to SATA adapter. Works great for 3.5" drives. If I were to buy an older RAID enclosure with an eSATA port, would going eSATA>SATA>Thunderbolt be ignorant and inefficient?

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jeremy freeds
I have a thunderbolt to SATA adapter. Works great for 3.5" drives. If I were to buy an older RAID enclosure with an eSATA port, would going eSATA>SATA>Thunderbolt be ignorant and inefficient?
on Oct 16, 2016 at 6:10:47 am

Would I really see a performance increase using an older enclosure/drive? By old, I mean it's back when fw800 and usb2 were popping. It all comes down to saving a bit of $$. What are your thoughts?


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David Roth Weiss
Re: I have a thunderbolt to SATA adapter. Works great for 3.5" drives. If I were to buy an older RAID enclosure with an eSATA port, would going eSATA>SATA>Thunderbolt be ignorant and inefficient?
on Oct 16, 2016 at 6:55:00 am

Probably won't work at all, because the chip set inside the SATA enclosure requires data from a chipset on a PCIe card that's purpose built for that job. A single SATA drive and an eSATA RAID enclosure are very different animals, just because they share the four letters SATA does not mean they are the same or operate similarly.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
Los Angeles


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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russ daughters
Re: I have a thunderbolt to SATA adapter. Works great for 3.5" drives. If I were to buy an older RAID enclosure with an eSATA port, would going eSATA>SATA>Thunderbolt be ignorant and inefficient?
on Oct 16, 2016 at 7:07:27 am

Hmm, interesting. On both drives, the esata port sits next to the firewire port. My thought was that I'd be using the esata (to sata to thunderbolt) just as one would use a firewire or usb cable: as the input to the computer. Seeing as the esata port is the fastest port on the drive, that seemed to be the natural choice in attempting to connect to my computer.

These are the two drives I'm considering:
- The Lacie Quadra 4Big 6TB
- OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 8TB (4 2TB WD Red Drives)


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Jeremy Freedberg
Re: I have a thunderbolt to SATA adapter. Works great for 3.5" drives. If I were to buy an older RAID enclosure with an eSATA port, would going eSATA>SATA>Thunderbolt be ignorant and inefficient?
on Oct 16, 2016 at 7:12:53 am

Hmm, interesting. On both drives, the esata port sits next to the firewire port. My thought was that I'd be using the esata (to sata to thunderbolt) just as one would use a firewire or usb cable: as the input to the computer. Seeing as the esata port is the fastest port on the drive, that seemed to be the natural choice in attempting to connect to my computer.

These are the two drives I'm considering:
- The Lacie Quadra 4Big 6TB
- OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 8TB (4 2TB WD Red Drives)


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Bob Zelin
Re: I have a thunderbolt to SATA adapter. Works great for 3.5" drives. If I were to buy an older RAID enclosure with an eSATA port, would going eSATA>SATA>Thunderbolt be ignorant and inefficient?
on Oct 16, 2016 at 1:53:26 pm

don't do it.
Your thunderbolt to SATA adaptor probably does not support port multiplication, which is what all the old Sonnet and Cal Digit (and Enhance Technology) boxes uses. This requires a Sil3124 chipset, and the barely functional drivers that are floating around are not very good. And port multiplication with Sil adaptors always failed eventually, even when it was new, so you will find the entire experience very frustrating.

Get a small thunderbolt RAID from Highpoint, Promise, Maxx, G-Tech, and save yourself some aggravation.
I am always amazed that people say "I want to save money" but when your media disappears, and you can't deliver your job to your paying client, then you don't get paid, and you then say "crap, what the hell did I do". Losing one client will cost more than the cost of a drive array that actually works.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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