Testing and Benchmarks
When testing this device we used the G-S350SUAB external hard drive enclosure made by Macally. This external hard drive enclosure provided several different connection types, which allowed us to test this device using USB 2.0 as well as FireWire 800. All of our tests were ran on a Mac Mini with a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and 4GB RAM. We used the Xbench benchmarking utility to obtain our hard drive speeds, and in the interest of valid data we ran each test twice.
While this specific enclosure did provide an eSATA connection, we did not test the hard drive with this connection. This was due to both the lack of an eSATA port on the Mac Mini, as well as the relatively low adoption of this port in the hardware market. Using eSATA you could expect these speeds to approach closer to the hard drive’s rated speed of 1589 Mbps, or 198 MB/s.
The first set of results are using IEEE 1394B, or FireWire 800. While the theoretical maximum for FireWire 800 is 786.3432 Mbps, or 98.3 MB/s, there are some overhead costs to consider. These would include factors such as unfactored loads on the computer while running the benchmarks, as well as the overhead created by the external device hardware. With this in mind we were still able to post some impressive results from the external dive, as shown below.
For the second set of test we used USB 2.0, which has a theoretical maximum of 480Mbps, or 60 MB/s. Disappointingly, we were only able to achieve max write speeds of half that.