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24 October, 2006

getting ready for the new Mac

Vantex NexStar NST-380UFThree days ago, I mentioned that I am getting a new Mac to replacing my ageing Power Mac G4 dual 1.42 GHz. Some of you might recall that I have two hard drives with seven partitions in my Power Mac. And it turns out that I am running short of storage. The total volume I have is the original 120GB and 200GB I added in.

Recently I've been backing up my files to DVD-Rs, thanks to the drop of DVD-R costs, they are about 50 cents (AU$) each, but backing up to DVD-Rs is a painful job. I know I need more HDD space.

Since I've been doing quite a number of video captures, I really need some hard disk space. My solution is simple: external HDD, the reason for that is I can't add a new HDD to my upcoming iMac.

The upcoming iMac comes with a 250 GB Serial ATA (SATA) hard drive, and I am sure it won't be enough. So what is the SATA thing about? All I know is that it's a new standard and better throughout bandwidth, and may be a few advantages, however, it's not faster. The speed is still mainly limited by the speed of HDD itself, 7200 rpm is the affordable one. What's wrong with the IDE ones (also known as "ATA", now called "PATA")? I asked in SillyDog701 Message Centre, and the answer is as I expected, a new interface for higher throughout and better airflow.

Then, I found this article, PATA vs. SATA: Does it matter?, written by Jacob Farmer written in Feb 2004. It answers all my questions. For me, I don't see the point to pay premium for SATA interface whereas IDE is still more popular.

Yesterday, I bought a Seagate 320GB HDD (IDE) and a Vantex NexStar NST-380UF external HDD case with USB 2.0 and Firewire connections. The main reason for that NST-380UF case is it supports both USB 2.0 and Firewire. Let's take a look at the theoretical maximum transfer speed: USB 2.0 supports up to 480Mbits/s whereas Firewire 400 (or 1394a) supports up to 400Mbits/s. It seems like Firewire 400 is slower than USB 2.0, however in reality, Firewire 400 is more reliable than USB 2.0. As all Macs now come with Firewire ports, I am sure going to use the Firewire port, and reserve the USB 2.0 when I need to take it to my PC friend's place.

The story, I bought an external HDD enclosure and regular internal HDD. I am very happy with that. As for my new Mac, I am still waiting for it to be delivered.

it's super fast (15th April 2004)
it arrived today (14th April 2004)

Posted by Antony on 24 October 2006 5:29 PM | Mac hardware

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It's a good idea.
Posted by Antony Shen on 3 November 2006 1:01 AM.
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