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Speed of Firewire 800 vs. external SATA connection?

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bluefugue
Speed of Firewire 800 vs. external SATA connection?
on Dec 10, 2005 at 4:21:22 am

A friend of mine has a Final Cut rig running on a G5 dual processor Mac. He wants to add an external hard drive and would like to know which is faster: a Firewire 800 connection, or an external SATA connection running through a PCI card (standard - not PCI-X)? Also, are there any other considerations to worry about other than raw speed? He will be using this hard drive (CGate 16mb cache, 300 gig drive, SATA) for video editing/playback/etc.

Any advice/information is appreciated -- thanks in advance.


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Evan Newsome
Re: Speed of Firewire 800 vs. external SATA connection?
on Dec 10, 2005 at 8:34:15 pm

I shouldn't be answering this but I think the transfer rate is faster for Firewire 800 vs SATA. I belive the latest SCSI standard is the fast of all of them.


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Chris A
Re: Speed of Firewire 800 vs. external SATA connection?
on Dec 12, 2005 at 8:43:32 pm

My understanding is that Firewire 800 is 800 Mbps (megabits per second) transfer, where SATA II would be 3 Gbps (gigabits per second), almost 4 times the theoretical transfer rate of Firewire 800. If your friend sets up two sata II drives as a striped set (raid 0), things would speed up even more.

Chris


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Evan Newsome
Re: Speed of Firewire 800 vs. external SATA connection?
on Dec 12, 2005 at 11:28:28 pm

Chris you are right...BUT

Chris he was talking SATA (not SATA II) going through the standard PCI slot (I assume 32bit @ 33 or 66MHz -his post doesn't mention-, not through a direct MOBO connection). It was my understanding the speed is dependant on the slowest link.. that being the standard PCI slot. The average sustained data rate is probabaly 33MB/s for a standard PCI slot assuming it is not shared.
I assume the firewire 800 was onboard and not thought the PCI slot and that could have a sustained data rate of ~60-70MB/s. If the firewire was through a standard PCI slot then they will transfer at the same speed because of the PCI bus speed limitations.


Side note: the average modern hard drive sustained data rate is about 60MB/s regardless of what it is connected through. (multiply the number by drives if you're in certain RAIDs) But remember, your transfer speed is limited to the slowest part of your system... may it be... the PCI slot or the hard drive or what ever hardware you have. So you will never reach 800MB or 1.5GB or 3GB since nothing runs that fast on a standard PC.

correct me if I am wrong... I am no expert


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Chris A
Re: Speed of Firewire 800 vs. external SATA connection?
on Dec 13, 2005 at 8:21:53 pm

Lee, what you say make sense.

Which leads me to the question of does it matter as to what drive type I use if most common drives have a sustained data rate is about 60MB/s? What is the advantage of Ultra ATA, SATA, SATA II, over just ATA? And what other drive types can I use to increase the sustained data rate?

I'm just trying to get a handle on this, as I'm building a system for video editing.

Thanks,

Chris


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Evan Newsome
Re: Speed of Firewire 800 vs. external SATA connection?
on Dec 13, 2005 at 9:31:52 pm

The short of it is.. If you have to purchase a hard drive. Purchase a SATA or SATA II Drive. MOBO makers are phasing out PATA (ultra ATA or ATA). Thank Intel for that. (if you already own PATA drives, there is nothing wrong with using them until you want large drives... unless your doing Hi-Def edting)

Difference b/w SATA and SATA II Hard Drives are essecially nothing in sustained speed. Often the speed of transfer or sustained speed is dependant on the speed of spin aka RPM and seek time.

When shopping for a HardDrive for edting a DV signal. Look for spin of 7200RPM or pay more for 10,000RPM and look around for the shortest seek time. then look for a large cache like 16 (today), but 8 is fine.

I hope I got that right!!!


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Evan Newsome
Re: Speed of Firewire 800 vs. external SATA connection?
on Dec 14, 2005 at 1:57:52 am

I did a simple search of PATA vs SATA.. and come up with

http://www.cambridgecomputer.com/PDF/Feb04_readerIO.pdf
It was written in 2004 and NCQ capable drives didn't exist back then.

plus SATA v Firewire 800 V SCSI
http://www.barefeats.com/hard35.html
but i think the tests were on a mac.


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bluefugue
Re: Speed of Firewire 800 vs. external SATA connection?
on Dec 21, 2005 at 8:59:30 pm

Hey guys, thanks for the replies on this. I will pass the info on to my friend and see if there are any follow up questions.


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wgehrke
Re: Speed of Firewire 800 vs. external SATA connection?
on Dec 31, 2005 at 8:11:49 pm

I installed an add-on PCI SATA card on my computer and bought a WD Raptor drive. The performance was lousy aside of what it should have been. I used HDtach and a Premiere Pro benchmark. Unless you have a native motherboard interface forget SATA for performance. It probably was a PCI bus bottleneck because the transfer rate was constant across the whole disk.


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