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Storage - Memory All devices that are used to store image data.

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  #1  
Old February 2nd, 2007, 08:58 PM
Sean DeMerchant Sean DeMerchant is offline
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Default Firewire 800 - 1394b

Does anyone have any experience using 1394b external drives they would care to share? This is looker much cheaper than an external SATA solution as the only controller cards I like the look of are $500+ USD and that would buy a terabyte of storage.

thanks,

Sean
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  #2  
Old February 2nd, 2007, 10:34 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Hi Sean,

Firewire 800 is fast but hte problem is that with the Mac a chain of them gets the Towers unstable sometimes leading to kermal panic.

I have a whole lot of these drives and yes they are great. However, SATA is cheap too.

Are you using a Mac? macsales.com has SATA cards $50-80

http://eshop.macsales.com/Search/Sea...20Cards&sort=a

Asher
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 12:29 PM
Nicolas Claris Nicolas Claris is offline
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I have 3 Lacie 250 Gb linked to one firewire 8OO bus on a Macpro (tower) since a month without any problem…
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  #4  
Old February 3rd, 2007, 01:09 PM
Ray West Ray West is offline
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Hi Sean,

I've supplied Lacie, and Maxtor, iirc, a few years back, at fw 400. No problems, and these were to guys moving large digital video files around on nle systems. 1394b is much faster, but I have no idea of its reliability. This was on windows systems, not Macs.

Best wishes,

Ray
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  #5  
Old February 3rd, 2007, 01:55 PM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean DeMerchant View Post
Does anyone have any experience using 1394b external drives they would care to share? This is looker much cheaper than an external SATA solution as the only controller cards I like the look of are $500+ USD and that would buy a terabyte of storage.
I've been using several external Western Digital Firewire drives without any problems, for years already even before SATA was available. One of them runs all the time when my PC is switched on, never had an issue. It even has a faster throughput via Firewire 400 than my internal IDE harddisk.

I've just bought an additional 1 Terabyte RAID version , and intend to use it in mirror mode (2x500GB) for security. I first have to format it (from HPFS to NTFS), so I can't give much feedback yet.

My choice at the time was for external Western Digital drives rather than Maxtor, because the Maxtors reportedly had reliability issues. For all I know those issues may have been resolved, but the WD versions never disappointed me so I saw no reason to change.

I also have a few 500GB LaCie USB drives, and sofar I had no issues with the most used one (don't know the actual brand of drive(s)) inside), but the latest had a Maxtor drive (I have too little milage on that one to give a verdict). With LaCie you'll never know in advance what brand they put inside.

Bart
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  #6  
Old February 3rd, 2007, 02:01 PM
Sean DeMerchant Sean DeMerchant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Hi Sean,

FireWire 800 is fast but the problem is that with the Mac a chain of them gets the Towers unstable sometimes leading to kernel panic.

I have a whole lot of these drives and yes they are great. However, SATA is cheap too.

Are you using a Mac? macsales.com has SATA cards $50-80

http://eshop.macsales.com/Search/Sea...20Cards&sort=a
Hi Asher,

I am on XP and have found only one name brand FireWire 800 card that runs on a PCI Express x1 slot which also happens to be a PC only solution (Newegg has a better price). I am not interested in chaining many drives together. With 2 channels I should never have more than 3 drives chained together.

I am also aware XP has some performance related low level issues related to disk performance that can cause the OS to hang. All this really means is that I do not multitask (beyond web browsing and reading stuff) while doing huge disk related tasks. XP is even more sensitive when doing large tasks on USB 2.0 drives. I get about 27 MB/sec sustained reads on USB 2.0 on a single drive. I get over 18 MB sustained reads accessing 2 USB 2.0 drives at the same time. SATA is much faster.

My goal is to empty a pair of hard drives onto an external drive (500 GB+) and turn that pair of drives into a RAID 0 and then copy the data back. This will let me run on a RAID 0 for my image data, and my OS swap and PS Scratch Disk with a nearline backup (no need to even have it plugged into power when not backing up). So mostly I am considering FireWire 800 for offline backups.

For online storage, consider a SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) HBA. SAS takes both SAS (SCSI) drives and SATA drives. A good HBA (Host Bus Adapter) for a PCI Express x4 slot will run slightly over $600 USD for the basics to a little less than $1000 USD to run 8 drives with 1 GB of cache on the controller. I have found a cheap ($219 USD) external 8 bay SATA enclosure that appears to take two SAS connectors. I have yet to call them to learn the full details.

But back to FireWire 800. My interest is in running nearline backup drives so most access will be sustained reads and writes. I am really curious if anyone has had any issues good or bad with running it.

thanks,

Sean
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  #7  
Old February 3rd, 2007, 02:09 PM
Sean DeMerchant Sean DeMerchant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray West View Post
I've supplied Lacie, and Maxtor, iirc, a few years back, at fw 400. No problems, and these were to guys moving large digital video files around on nle systems. 1394b is much faster, but I have no idea of its reliability.
Thanks Ray,

1394b uses a different signaling protocol than 1394a. 1394b uses an 8b10b encoding scheme (patent expired) which apparently improves signal integrity by balancing out some characteristics of physical signals. So my understanding is that it is an improvement.

The real question for me is if the $130 for the controller (shipped) is worth paying extra for every external drive I buy?

enjoy,

Sean
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  #8  
Old February 3rd, 2007, 03:27 PM
Ray West Ray West is offline
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Hi Sean,

I am pretty certain you can get an external firewire empty hdd case. If you buy a seagate drive, and maybe others, not oem, you get a 5 year warranty. Many pc motherboards have firewire built in. Since it seems it is a backup once and restore situation, then offline backup that you want, I think that even fw 400 would be fine. If it is not fast enough for the hdd you purchase, then you already have the disk, sell the case on ebay, (or keep it as a spare) then go the fw 800 route. afaik, 800 is backwards compatible with 400. If you buy an external unit, with a seagate drive put in it, then you only get the case maker's warranty. I think Seagate bought Maxtor, or maybe it was wd, about a year ago. At the time I was doing this, the fw 400 throughput was faster than the hdd capabilities. You may be able to save even more cash... ;-)

The NLE systems, were based on windows 2000, and were dedicated pc's just running the NLE software - Avid, and the like. (just before Avid got into bed with IBM).

Best wishes,

Ray
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  #9  
Old February 3rd, 2007, 03:31 PM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean DeMerchant View Post
The real question for me is if the $130 for the controller (shipped) is worth paying extra for every external drive I buy?
Isn't 1394b just (to put it simply) the 800Mbit version of FireWire (and 1394a the 400Mbit version)?
http://www.westerndigital.com/en/products/resources/DriveCompatibilityguide.asp

Bart
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  #10  
Old February 3rd, 2007, 04:21 PM
Ray West Ray West is offline
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Hi Bart,

That's about it, but they had to be a bit clever to get the speed increase. The connectors/cables should be different, too. The Wiki, has about the only explanation that I can almost understand - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FireWire

The ieee specs. are not the most exciting read for a luddite like me.

Best wishes,

Ray
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  #11  
Old February 3rd, 2007, 04:47 PM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf View Post
Isn't 1394b just (to put it simply) the 800Mbit version of FireWire (and 1394a the 400Mbit version)?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray West View Post
That's about it, but they had to be a bit clever to get the speed increase. The connectors/cables should be different, too.
That would mean, which was implied in my question, if Sean wants to exploit 800Mbits (maximum), he'll need a 1394b interface on the computer (controler) end (as chip set or interface card).

Bart
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  #12  
Old February 3rd, 2007, 05:57 PM
Sean DeMerchant Sean DeMerchant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf View Post
That would mean, which was implied in my question, if Sean wants to exploit 800Mbits (maximum), he'll need a 1394b interface on the computer (controller) end (as chip set or interface card).
Correct. I am also considering an external SATA solution which may be faster. Long term cost and initial investment are factors. Reliability is the main issue. I am familiar with SATA, but the faster FireWire is something I have not touched.

Looking about some more I see there are also e-SATA controllers that support port multipliers so that one can get a 5 disk RAID 5 running off of a single e-SATA channel. That would make space for short term growth and backups.

thanks,

Sean
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