External Enclosure Questions

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Jeff Jacobson, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    I am going to buy an External Enclosure and put a hard drive inside of it.
    I may want to put a DVD burner in there later, so I'm planning to get a 5.25" enclosure. I also want one with both USB2 and Firewire connections.

    This is the one I was thinking about buying: Bytecc ME-340F2U2. Is this a good one? I chose this one because it has 1394B support.

    Questions
    [*]On NewEgg's site one of the search options is AC Adapter "Yes" or "No".
    Which is better? Since the "No" enclosures seem to come with a power cable, and the "Yes" ones came with a power cable that has a big box attached to it, I am assuming that the "No" enclosures have that box built into them. Is that correct?[*]Is a USB2 / 1394B enclosure compatible with a computer that only has USB1 and 1394a connections? (I realize that I can add USB2 and 1394B support to my computer with a PCI card, but I want to be able to use the enclosure with other peoples' computers without having to install a PCI card. Also, by only adding one new component to my computer, if something doesn't work I will know which component is at fault.)[*]I remember reading somewhere that the "Oxford" chipset was the best.
    That was a while ago that I read that, so is that still true? (I'm not sure what chipset is used by the Bytecc ME-340F2U2.)[/list]
     
  2. Christian Behrens

    Christian Behrens Supporting Actor

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    To your first question regarding AC adapters, I would assume the same as you, but no guarantees. Some might rely on being powered by the port, although for 5.25" it's unlikely.

    Secondly, no, if a system doesn't have the same interfaces that the enclosure has, you're out of luck. FW 800 uses different cables than FW 400, and USB1 can really only be used for a slow transfer from a HD and a slow burn of a CD, but is not fast enough for a DVD burner.

    Regarding FW, you will have great results with that on Macs, but on PCs you could run into problems. A good resource IF you run into issues is this page: http://www.bustrace.com/products/delayedwrite.htm

    I think Oxford chipsets are still regarded as pretty good, but that won't help you if the enclosure doesn't have it :).

    I have an enclosure for an external backup HD with both FW and USB2 that uses a Prolific chipset. On my Win2K PC I had to use USB2 (see the info about "Delayed Write" failures above), while on the Mac side FW is more performant and works just fine. So you are still covered with those interfaces in 99% of all situations, I think.

    -Christian
     
  3. Thomas J. Coyle III

    Thomas J. Coyle III Stunt Coordinator

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    I have been using both the BYTECC ME-320U2 5.25" USB2.0 and the BYTECC ME-320U2F(COMBO) 5.25" USB+IEEE1394. I have 160GB drives in the ME-320U2 and a DVD drive in the ME-320U2F using the Firewire port. The ME-320U2 uses the Oxford 911 chipset and has worked flawlessly with my Windows XP Pro SP2 equipped computer. These two cases have internal power supplys and therefore do not require an external power supply. The newer BYTECC cases have external block style power supplys. All three external cases have been working fine for over a year and a half. Because the cases are designed for 5.25 size drives, the hard drives run reasonably cool after hours of use. Hope this helps.
    Regards,
    TCIII
     
  4. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the info.
     
  5. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    I noticed on the "Hardware Requirements" section of the Bytecc ME-340F2U2 page, it lists (among other things) "Firewire 1394A or 1394B ports". If they A and B use different cables, how does this work?
     

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