Yesterday I wrote about using SATA drives with a MacBook Pro. Is it worth the trouble going the external SATA route with a MacBook Pro for editing? It’s certainly valuable when doing media ingest in the field (e.g. P2) direct to a mirrored pair of disks. I like it simply because I need to move external SATA disks between the laptop and my desktop editing systems. But there’s also a performance advantage. But how much? I decided to run a little test comparing the performance of the following:
External SATA drive
LaCie d2 external drive via FireWire 800 interface,
LaCie d2 external drive via FireWire 400 interface, and
Mac Book Pro internal SATA drive (5400RPM).
While performance among various drives and interfaces is bound to vary, I think the test confirms that unless you’re using a RAID, the fastest single disk performance you’re going to see with a MacBook Pro is with an external SATA drive.
|MacBook Pro Disk Benchmark|
|xBench Test||External SATA||LaCie d2 FW800||LaCie d2 FW400||Internal SATA|
|Write [256K blocks]||77.55||57.52||37.12||39.16|
|Read [256K blocks]||76.72||56.28||39.41||34.66|
|Write [256K blocks]||50.78||34.60||31.38||22.74|
|Read [256K blocks]||27.26||25.14||20.97||17.02|
Notes: Xbench 1.3 used for tests, units in MB/sec; Hardware: MacBook Pro (Santa Rosa) w/ Fujitsu 5400 RPM SATA internal drive and SIIG eSATA II two-port EXpressCard/34 interface card; External SATA: Western Digital Caviar SE 2 SATA 7200 RPM drive w/ 16MB Cache in PowerSpec enclosure; External FireWire Drive: LaCie d2 Firewire Drive (internal: Western Digital IDE 7200 RPM drive w/ 8MB cache). All file systems HSF+/Journaled.