Feeds
90%

Sonnet Tempo SATA Express 34 ExpressCard eSATA adaptor

Add-in eSATA ports for laptop Macs

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Review The External Serial ATA (eSATA) add-on interconnection standard is becoming more common on systems as users seek greater data transfer speeds. Macs are often among the first to get new technologies like these, but eSATA ports remain absent. For ExpressCard 34-equipped laptops at least, here's one answer.

Sonnet Tempo ExpressCard 34 eSATA add-in

Sonnet's Tempo SATA Express 34 comes without any eSATA cables - it's the same thing as a SATA II link - so you'll need to spend an extra eight quid on one of those if your hard drive doesn't have one either. None of the drives we tested with the Tempo did.

The card has two ports, so you can hook up at minimum two drives. Want more? Then hook up a drive enclosure that contains a port multiplier - such as Sonnet's own Fusion series - and you can connect up to ten drives. Initially, we only had access to a single drive, a 750GB Seagate FreeAgent Pro, so our first tests are based on that, more basic configuration.

After completing the run, we asked Seagate for a second drive, but it was unable to supply one. However, Western Digital came to the rescue with one of its MyBook Premium ES Edition drives, a 500GB model with the requisite eSATA port - and, we'd add, a much nicer design.

But back to the Tempo. The business end of the card sites the eSATA ports one above the other. There are two activity LEDs built into the unit on the upper surface, one on the left, the other on the right. So there's no visual link between LED and drive, which might present issues if you're debugging a problem with a two-drive set-up, but didn't make much of a difference with either of our one-drive or two-drive rigs.

New to... eSATA?

External SATA - aka eSATA - is an alternative to Firewire and USB as a way of connecting high-speed peripherals to a computer. In modern machines, internal hard drives already use SATA, which has a maximum throughput of 2400Mbps to Firewire's 800Mbps and 400Mbps, and USB's 480Mbps. It's a serial connection, so data is sent bit by bit rather than in groups arranged in parallel. Internal SATA controllers have a maximum throughput of 3Gbps, and this is how many eSATA products are labelled because they use the higher speed controllers. However, don't expect this kind of speed in the real world.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe
I'll have a handset delivered. Judge us after you try us...
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.