View Full Version : want to get an external 4 hard drive bay but dont know what to get

06-09-2007, 12:26 AM
Hey Everyone,

I want to get one of those external enclosures that has maybe 3-5 bays for sata hard drives and im not sure what to get.

From what I see there are 2 ways to go, esata or a gigabite network drive.. I think a eSata might be better because I dont exactly want the hard drives to be shared over the network.

I was wondering what kind of eSata you guys would recommmend, I dont really want to spend a lot of money,, maybe 500 max but would like to spend less. If I get an eSata I think I would have to get a pci card to connect it,, does anyone have any experience with this or suggestions?

I found this one that looks good, but I cant find any info on it and no real reviews.

Thanks in advance,

06-10-2007, 09:19 AM
For a high performance external enclosure, you have three options.
#1: Esata enclosure with independent channels for each drive (four drives=four cables to your computer). This is the cheapest way to go, I would recommend the seritek 2eEN4 enclosure, which supports hot-swappable drives, is very fast, and has direct-to-backplane drive interfaces, which is a fancy way of saying it's good. Here's a review of the system: http://www.barefeats.com/hard58.html
You can buy it here, it's $500 without drives: http://firmtek.stores.yahoo.net/sata2een4.html
There's a cheaper option, which will give you 2TB of HD's plus enclosures for $800, you'll just have two separate enclosures instead of one, oh well. I have one of these it works well: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/SATADIY1TB/

#2: ESata enclosure with port multiplication shares one cable for multiple drives (four drives=one cable to your computer, allowing you to use the other SATA ports on your SATA PCI card for other enclosures). The downside is that your speed it capped at the theoretical maximum of 300MB/sec, in actuality you'll get a max of about 230MB/sec, which is at the limit of most four-drive raid sets but slightly below a five drive RAID, which can get up to 290MB/sec. In this area, the lacie biggest disk enslosure is a good choice: http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?pid=10458
ALso the sonnets D500p: http://store1.sonnettech.com/product_info.php?cPath=23_45&products_id=194
Unfortunately, these systems are usually sold pre-assmebled with large storage capacities, so they are pricey.

#3: infiniband or fiber-channel enclosure. THis is the most expensive method, and uses a proprietary high-bandwith connection interface (think USB or firewire on steroids). Pretty much does the same thing as port multiplication, but costs more.

06-11-2007, 04:19 PM
thanks for all the info

yea i like port multiplication, I dont think that i really need the speed of the dedicated esata wires. Do you have any experience with these kinds of drives and working on hd? I wonder how fast it is compared to working on an internal drive. Maybe I shouldnt be so picky. I could always have that footage on my internal hds and have other files on the external estata.
Im also not sure if Im ready to spend $500
what do ya think of that link i posted? that one seems to be a lot cheaper.

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