basic ATA drives in firewire enclosure question

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Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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basic ATA drives in firewire enclosure question

Does ATA speed make a difference when you put a harddrive in an external firewire enclosure? For example, will the read and write of an ATA66 7200rpm drive be slower than an ATA133 or ATA100 7200rpm drive? I assume rotation speed is the most significant factor.

Eudimorphodon's picture
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Not really.

The sustained read/write speeds of most hard disks tends to be lower then the theoretical speed of the interfaces. That said, well, Firewire, assuming you're talking about the 400Mbps variety, is *theoretically* slower then ATA66. (66 mega*Bytes* per second comparted to FireWire's 400mega*Bits* per second. 400/8=50.) Thus if you did have three drives, one of each ATA66/100/133, all capable of completely saturating their interfaces, Firewire would be the pinch point.

Of course, an ATA66 drive is by definition going to be an older drive, so it's likely to have slower seek times and otherwise be inferior to a newer drive in other respects, so you'll probably get better performance from an ATA100/133 drive. (Any ATA/66 drive is going to be pushing five years old at this point, and is probably 80GB or smaller. As a *general rule* larger capacity drives tend to be faster then smaller ones of the same platter size simply because they cram more data onto each physical track.)

--Peace

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