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Another benefit to eSata: Much Smoother operation

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Tips and Resources' started by tombet, Sep 22, 2007.

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  1. tombet

    tombet Legend

    Sep 27, 2006
    Just an fyi to people:

    I went to an eSata setup because of capacity. But I found there is another significant benefit. I bought a fast 7200RPM drive with a big 32MB cache, and the system is VERY noticeably smoother, with no more stutters or occassional pixelation. I've had this now for a week and am very pleased. At first I thought maybe it was just my imagination, but now even my wife asked me if I noticed how much better the HR20 was working of late. She did not even know I had upgraded the drive.

    Now certainly it is possible that my HR20's internal drive wasn't working as well as it was supposed to and my experience is not the norm. Its hard to know what "normal" really is. I did NOT think my HR20 performed badly before - but I would get an instance of pixelation every couple hours on average, and the menu's definitely had a little lag and stutter. It is a lot smoother now.

    I am using the KingWin eSata enclosure which someone recommended here ($22 at newegg) with a 1TB Hitachi Deskstar drive with a big 32MB cache ($339 at newegg.) The Kingwin comes with an eSata to eSata cable and it works fine. The enclosure is black with a blue LED that complements the HR20's LEDs. (According to the Kingwin website, its also available in silver, though I dont see that at newegg.) It has a fan to keep drive cool - I think some people's issues with eSata may be heat related, but it is very quiet as is the drive itself. From a $/GB standpoint, a 750Gb or 500GB is a better buy - but I wanted the 1TB. In choosing a drive, I would recommend trying to get one with a 32MB cache if you can.

    Drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822145143

    Enclosure (with eSata cable): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817121022
  2. davring

    davring Hall Of Fame

    Jan 13, 2007
    If I am not mistaken aren't all standard drives 7200 RPM (laptops 5200) and performance drives 10,000 RPM? I would imagine the big difference you see is in the cache.
  3. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    While this is true of ATA drives, several high performance drives turn much faster.

    Seagate offers the Savvio line of 2.5" Serial Attached SCSI hard drives that turn at 10,000 RPM and 15,000 RPM. The also offer their 3.5" Cheetah 15K.6 series in Fiber Channel and SAS that turns at 15,000 RPM.
  4. tombet

    tombet Legend

    Sep 27, 2006
    These days 7200RPM is the norm, its true. But that was not the case that long ago - 5400RPM was most common. I dont know what's in the HR20, and maybe my internal drive is sub-normal even by spec. Of course, even if it is 7200RPM, the thruput of different 7200RPM drives varies quite a bit.

    All that said, I also strongly suspect that its the cache that makes the difference. Ultimately the drive has to sustain the data transfer rate, but the cache is the kind of thing that can smooth out momentary stalls.
  5. Ein

    Ein Mentor

    Sep 3, 2007
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