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Buying an SSD enclosure with eSATA connectivity?

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Technique    41

I'm going to upgrade to Windows 10. I bought a new, much larger SSD for the job as my old one had barely any space left on it. So the old one is now rendered sort of useless.

 

I've been curious about Linux for some time now and i've considered using this old SSD to install it to. Whenever i feel like, i may use Linux from time to time and give it a fair chance rather than in a virtual machine.

 

As i understand it, rightly or wrongly, eSATA connectivity is quicker than USB3.0? My motherboard has 1x eSATA port at the rear of my tower so i should be good to go.

 

I didn't even known an eSATA enclosure was even a thing until recently if i'm perfectly honest. So i did some searching and some of the results return standard enclosures with only USB connectivity.

 

For those i find with actual eSATA connectivity there can be quite a range in cost. £7 was about the cheapest i saw & damn near £50 was the most expensive i saw. Same unit at £50 i also saw elsewhere at £35, probably about £40 when you factor in postage.

 

What should i really be buying though? And is a £7 eBay special perfectly fine enough or do i need to be spending £30+?

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Mindovermaster    3,502
Posted (edited)

Any reason you can't run inside you case?

 

Well, it depends.

 

USB 3.1 (10 Gbps) 

USB 3.0 (5 Gbps)

eSATA (6 Gbps)

 

So yes, eSATA is faster, by 1Gbps...

 

As you said, externals are losing the eSATA connections. As USB 3.1 is faster, (above) there's little reason to go the eSATA route.

 

And, umm, I didn't know any motherboards that has a eSATA on the back i/o... Huh, new to me.

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Jim K    15,465

I would just go the USB 3.0 route. You won't be sacrificing that much speed ... and depending on the specs of your "old" SSD ... maybe none at all. You also won't have to worry about the day when you want to transfer data from one PC to another notebook/PC/etc which doesn't have the eSATA port.  Of course if you never plan on moving the external drive...I guess an eSATA would work...though it begs the question of why not just put it in the case?

 

Guess it boils down to....what is your plans with the SSD?  Booting Linux? External storage? 

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Michael Scrip    426
27 minutes ago, Mindovermaster said:

And, umm, I didn't know any motherboards that has a eSATA on the back i/o... Huh, new to me.

I had this motherboard long ago.

 

It had eSATA... below the FireWire port!  😛

 

big_asus-p5q-deluxe-1.JPG

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Mindovermaster    3,502
2 minutes ago, Michael Scrip said:

I had this motherboard long ago.

 

It had eSATA... below the FireWire port!  😛

 

 

Yeah, both of them are dead now, though... FireWire died a long time ago. eSATA, too... So, whatever.

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Michael Scrip    426
Just now, Mindovermaster said:

Yeah, both of them are dead now, though... FireWire died a long time ago. eSATA, too...

Exactly... no one should be getting into eSATA today.  

 

USB 3.0/3.1 is definitely the way to go.

 

Don't laugh though... I'm actually looking to get a FireWire card to capture tons of old MiniDV tapes from an old digital camcorder.  Luckily I can still buy a PCIe FireWire card!

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Mindovermaster    3,502
Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Michael Scrip said:

Exactly... no one should be getting into eSATA today.  

 

USB 3.0/3.1 is definitely the way to go.

 

Don't laugh though... I'm actually looking to get a FireWire card to capture tons of old MiniDV tapes from an old digital camcorder.  Luckily I can still buy a PCIe FireWire card!

Hey, and that's fine. Some older hardware still uses FireWire, but don't try mixing an obsolete hardware (eSATA) with new technology (SSD). 😉 

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Michael Scrip    426
Just now, Mindovermaster said:

don't try mixing an obsolete hardware (eSATA )with new technology (SSD). 😉 

Wise words!

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Riggers    204

Just swap the different drives round to the one you`re using. It`s just a case of taking the side off the case and plugging/unplugging 2 cables!

 

Also costs maybe just the price of a Sata cable :)

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Mindovermaster    3,502
1 minute ago, Riggers said:

Just swap the different drives round to the one you`re using. It`s just a case of taking the side off the case and plugging/unplugging 2 cables!

 

Also costs maybe just the price of a Sata cable :)

Can probably buy a whole mess of SATA cables for that. :rofl:

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Technique    41
49 minutes ago, Jim K said:

 

 

Guess it boils down to....what is your plans with the SSD?  Booting Linux? External storage? 

Uhhh, no offence, but is that a serious question? Only that i actually answered it in the opening post that's all.

 

It's all well and good for some to scoff and laugh because they know, but then you only know if you know. Simple as that. I hadn't even heard of eSATA until the past week so it was new to me, even though it may be 'obsolete' to you and many others.

 

MOBO is an ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3. Apparently the manual says it has an eSATA port on the rear, but hey, one of you suggests it doesn't so who am i to argue when you know more than i do 🙂

 

 

On a serious note, yeah sure i could put it inside the case, it's certainly an option, but i'd rather not. I have 2 slots for hard drives. 1 will be my 1TB SSD which Windows 10 will sit on. That leaves 3 other slots. I plan on having these as high capacity drives, not itty bitty SSD drives that i am considering using to tinker with another operating system to see if i like it.

Again, i could pop the side off, insert, pop back on, pop back off, remove, pop back on ... but that'll get pretty annoying pretty quickly.

 

If i can do this fairly cheaply then it's not much of an issue but if we're talking a bit of cash (i've already questioned the £50 price tag so clearly i'd rather not be spending that) then i may have to rethink.

 

 

I'm not entirely sure i'm going to stick with Linux. I haven't even given it a fair crack yet. I've had previous dabbles with ZorinOS and Linux Mint. I'd probably be giving Mint a fair run but there's no guarantee i will like it and stick with it which is why i just wanted to try it out on a spare SSD.

 

I have a Samsung 830 256GB SSD that's now about 8 years old.

I have a Crucial 60GB SSD that's probably 9-10 years old now.

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Mindovermaster    3,502
8 minutes ago, Technique said:

MOBO is an ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3. Apparently the manual says it has an eSATA port on the rear, but hey, one of you suggests it doesn't so who am i to argue when you know more than i do 🙂

 

I didn't "say" it. I just was just asking... and someone above here answered.

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Technique    41
31 minutes ago, Mindovermaster said:

I didn't "say" it. I just was just asking...

Asking suggests a question was asked. Starts with something like a why, a what, a does so on and so forth and ends with a question mark.....? 😉

 

Yours was a statement, not a question 🙂

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Mindovermaster    3,502
1 hour ago, Michael Scrip said:
2 hours ago, Mindovermaster said:

And, umm, I didn't know any motherboards that has a eSATA on the back i/o... Huh, new to me.

 

 

10 minutes ago, Technique said:

Asking suggests a question was asked. Starts with something like a why, a what, a does so on and so forth and ends with a question mark.....? 😉

 

Yours was a statement, not a question 🙂

 

That was "asking for information".

 

A question doesnt need to be asked. Or start with why or what. Unless your english is as poor as your technical viewpoint, I can't help you.

 

But besides, I was tought by Michael. Now I know. End of story.

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Jim K    15,465
53 minutes ago, Technique said:

Uhhh, no offence, but is that a serious question? Only that i actually answered it in the opening post that's all.

 

It's all well and good for some to scoff and laugh because they know, but then you only know if you know. Simple as that. I hadn't even heard of eSATA until the past week so it was new to me, even though it may be 'obsolete' to you and many others

No offense, but I asked the question...didn't I?

Obviously I missed that part in your OP while reading it on my phone.  I have no idea what the rest of your rant is about.

 

Anyway, StarTech makes an eSATA + USB 3.0 enclosure so you can decide for yourself.   33 euros on the Amazon UK website. 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/STARTECH-COM-S251SMU33EP-External-Enclosure-Portable/dp/B07CQ8GPYQ

 

I'm sure you can find other 2.5" enclosures that have both interfaces. May save you some hassle in the future if you decide to just use it as an external storage.

 

tl:dr - Probably would be best if you installed/booted Linux using eSATA for best performance.
 

 

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Technique    41
19 minutes ago, Jim K said:

No offense, but I asked the question...didn't I?

Yes, you did.

19 minutes ago, Jim K said:

Obviously I missed that part in your OP while reading it on my phone. 

I wasn't sure what the deal was to be honest. I didn't know if it was a legit question, a random wondering, had you read what i posted, or not, missed sections, or not. I just didn't know.

 

When you have certain people that reply to your posts frequently in a certain manner, you get used to their way of responding and sometimes wrongly think everyone is coming from that same angle.

 

You weren't though, so my bad! Apologies.

 

19 minutes ago, Jim K said:

I have no idea what the rest of your rant is about.

I was going to put the rest above that but figured/hoped you'd know the rest was responding to other people, even though was under your quote.

19 minutes ago, Jim K said:

 

 

tl:dr - Probably would be best if you installed/booted Linux using eSATA for best performance.
 

 

Out of curiosity, why do you say eSATA is "best performance"?

 

I only ask this question because i step in to the thread i'm told it's not. I'm not saying you're right, they're right, whoever is wrong so on & so forth. I now see differing answers within the thread so it's now natural for me to ask you why you say it's best when someone else says it isn't.

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Jim K    15,465
1 hour ago, Technique said:

Out of curiosity, why do you say eSATA is "best performance"?

 

I only ask this question because i step in to the thread i'm told it's not. I'm not saying you're right, they're right, whoever is wrong so on & so forth. I now see differing answers within the thread so it's now natural for me to ask you why you say it's best when someone else says it isn't.

...well because SATA is faster than USB 3.0.   SATA is designed specifically for drives...that is its entire reason for existing.  USB 3.0 (and USB in general) are the "jack of all trades" but you won't get the speeds ... even with 3.0.   Another question is does Linux (or Windows) and the enclosure support TRIM over USB ...TRIM afaik is a SATA command though some USB enclosures support it (for example these StarLink products).  Little quirks like that make SATA ideal for Operating System drives vs. running them on USB.

 

Which is why I recommend just getting an enclosure which supports both eSATA and USB 3.0.  Use the eSATA for the Linux install...and if down the line you decide it isn't for you just use the USB 3.0 so you can transfer data between computers.  I think the product I linked to previously would satisfy your current requirements and give you a little "wiggle room" in the future.

 

Side note:  USB nomenclature sucks ... I just noticed Mindovermaster's post above ... which isn't entirely accurate (because USB nomenclature sucks)

Quote

USB 3.1 (10 Gbps) 

USB 3.0 (5 Gbps)

eSATA (6 Gbps)

It is actually...

 

USB 3.2 Gen 2x2  (20Gbps)

USB 3.2 Gen 2 ----> Formally called USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) 

USB 3.2 Gen 1 ----> Formally called USB 3.1 Gen 1  ---->  Formally called USB 3.0  (5 Gbps) 

 

Your board has  USB 3.2 Gen 1 (USB 3.0)

 

USB nomenclature sucks.

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goretsky    1,184

Hello,

 

eSATA (external SATA) is just SATA with a different connector (in most cases, I-shaped keying instead of L-shaped keying).  There's no difference in protocol.  Like conventional SATA interfaces, eSATA does not provide power, meaning an external drive needs to get power from another source.  A variant of eSATA called eSATAp (eSATA Powered) provides an interface with eSATA pins on one side, and USB on the other (think of this like an a USB-C interface which has pins on both sides, or for a legacy interface, the 36-pin Centronics parallel cable interface).  In that configuration, the USB side usually provides power for an external 2.5" eSATAp enclosure, just like a external 2.5" USB enclosures draw their power from the USB bus.


Most, but not all, eSATA (and eSATAp) connections use SATA-II speeds (i.e., 3.0Gbit/s), and the USB side of the eSATAp is USB 2.0 speed (i.e., 480Mbit/s).  However, there may be some motherboards or add-on expansion cards that offer eSATA/eSATAp with SATA 3.0 and USB 3.0 speeds (i.e., 6.0Gbit/s and 5.0Gbit/s, respectively).  You may also find PC case brackets with an eSATA connector on them and a SATA cable leading back into the PC to plug into one of the motherboard's internal SATA connectors in order to use it as an eSATA port.  Motherboard's may have a setting in the BIOS that allows internal ports to be specified for eSATA use, which allows drives attached to them to be ejected like a conventional USB (or FireWire) external drive.

 

The main benefit of using eSATA instead of USB is that it does not require any additional overhead for encoding and decoding the SATA protocol insode the USB protocol, which in theory introduces some delay for the conversion and possibly some CPU overhead as well, especially for tasks involving a large amount of disk I/O.  In practice, though, there usually isn't an appreciable difference in speed or performance (maybe 1-3%), and the convenience of using a USB connection.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

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Technique    41

Would a 60GB SSD (i suppose the SSD side of things isn't that important, i'm asking more about the 60GB capacity) be perfectly fine for Linux Mint? Providing you're not going to download a ton of videos through it that is.

 

I read you need 15-20GB for Mint but realistically for trying it out (browsing and such) would 60GB be fine?

 

Besides, if i download anything in Mint, i can save to an external HDD if needs be.

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Mindovermaster    3,502

And you were talking about Windows 10 in another thread? You a busy man... :laugh:

 

I ran an early version of Ubuntu on a 30GB SSD years ago. You are fine. Just as long as you don't download all your Steam games.

 

Would this be easier running a VM? Just was thinking about that...

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Daniel F.    677

>>Thread cleaned - Please stay on topic<<

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