eSata Expresscard recommendation for MBP

Posted by dgage 
eSata Expresscard recommendation for MBP
May 07, 2010 07:29PM
I have a MBP with an OWC eSata Expresscard going to a NewerTech eSata hard drive dock (with Samsung F3 500 GB 7200rpm drive).

I was having trouble with .mts files transcoded to Apple ProRes 422 via File and Transfer playing in the Viewer from the external capture drive. The clips kept freezing, stuttering, and I'd occasionally get the spinning beach ball. I then imported a file off the internal drive and it played fine.

I then tried a FW800 connection to the external drive and all files played fine. Apple just put in a new logic board last week, so I'm hoping the Expresscard slot is okay.

My guess is that the $20 ExpressCard is not-so-good. OWC will refund or exchange without any problem. Any recommendations for a better eSata card? OWC also sells a $50 Sonnet Tempo eSATA ExpressCard/34. If not the Sonnet card, any other brands you recommend?

Re: eSata Expresscard recommendation for MBP
May 08, 2010 10:52AM
My standard answer when it comes to drives & media = DON'T BE CHEAP. $20?? You get what you pay for. Why don't you inquire with the manufacturer of the drive unit (NewerTech)?

I personally use a CalDigit FASTA-1ex SATA ExpressCard ($75.00) with my CalDigit VR:


I am a big advocate for using components that were TESTED AND MEANT to work well together. "Popsiclestick & Rubber Band Raids" are not in my vocabulary (sorry shane - had to do it).

I believe folks should contact drive manufacturers more often and not depend on the advice of end users trying to save a buck. Always bites you on the a$$ in the end.

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: eSata Expresscard recommendation for MBP
May 08, 2010 11:59AM

I appreciate your reply. It may be moot at the moment as I found the card may be fine. Although I thought I did, I didn't un-check the Energy Saver pref for "Put the hard disks to sleep when possible". It seemed to confuse FCP. *User error.

When I rebooted FCP and the drive, it was fine. I also ran a speed test on the eSata and FW800 and the tests came out as they should.

If I continue to have problems with the card, I will likely take your suggestion of picking up the CalDigit FASTA-1ex SATA ExpressCard (as I do also plan to get a CalDigit VR when I have a few more bucks).

Re: eSata Expresscard recommendation for MBP
May 08, 2010 12:25PM
Yeah, you have to be careful when selecting an Expresscard. I don't know if the Sonnet bit is necessarily true anymore (old review), but it serves to illustrate why you have to be careful.


(* The Sonnet Tempo SATA Pro ExpressCard/34 is unique among SATA ExpressCards in that it is the only true SATA adapter. Other brands say "SATA" but are actually using USB protocols. The result is that the Sonnet Tempo Pro produces much higher transfer rates. For example, when we connected the OCZ Vertex SSD to various SATA ExpressCards, the Sonnet Tempo Pro was 55% faster reading and 103% faster writing compared to the fastest alternative SATA ExpressCard.)
Re: eSata Expresscard recommendation for MBP
May 09, 2010 06:39PM
I have been using the Sonnet eSata card mentioned above with a hard drive dock ( I have used it with straight up drives and configured in RAID 0. Works well and throughput is good. Sonnet now has a standard version of this card and "pro" version which they allude (but won't state) is faster. The one I have is the standard one and the throughput is good. It was around $50 if my memory serves my correctly.

Re: eSata Expresscard recommendation for MBP
May 09, 2010 10:11PM

That's an interesting approach to utilizing the ExpressCard. I take it you have a Dual Dock and are using software to create the RAID 0?

My card seems to be fine now since I changed the Energy Settings, so I'll keep what I have at the moment. But, If I have any more problems, I'll pick up the Sonnet card (price is still around $50).

Thanks for weighing in,
Re: eSata Expresscard recommendation for MBP
May 19, 2010 02:05AM
One word of caution on eSata cards and a MBPro:

Bumping the cable, jiggling the card, vibration, ANY movement will cause a complete system freeze, and the need to re-boot.
I do live vvisuals usually with my gear on the same table as the DJ's turntables, and having the projections DISAPPEAR and 5 minutes of downtime, just because someone BUMPED the table, has taught me to rely on FW800 instead.

My two cents...
Re: eSata Expresscard recommendation for MBP
May 20, 2010 08:01PM
Hey treatment - do you have that program that can sync sound to picture and let you 'scratch' vision? If so, what is it? (See some here : [] )

Re: eSata Expresscard recommendation for MBP
May 26, 2010 04:02AM
In the video you sent, the artist is using Serrato's Scratch Live.
In this case, he is using MIDI controlled decks, and Scratch Live is manipulated by his movements on the decks.
I don't use decks, seeing as I am NOT a DJ, but I use a combination of PVP Player, VLC Player, Livid Union (Buggy as HELL), Final Cut Pro (believe it or not) and Quicktime.

Livid Union for effects, and video triggering.
Another thing to consider is Ableton Live, which will give you a certain amount of control over the video scratching. Hope that helps.


PS. another option is Arkaos, but it depends on what you are trying to do!
Re: eSata Expresscard recommendation for MBP
May 26, 2010 09:12AM
I'm not really trying to do anything with it really, I just collect knowledge about stuff like that so when someone says 'I want to be able to .." I can go 'Oh! I heard about this software called..' So thanks. Added to the bank smiling smiley

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