Many OWC and Newer Technology storage solutions can be hooked up via eSATA. For those of you who don’t know what eSATA is, it is a fast device connection currently capable of data transfer speeds up to 3.0Gbps. This results in data transfer rates from your external drives that are comparable to those connected internally. As great as having that kind of speed on a portable drive is, there are two caveats to using eSATA.
The first thing to look out for is that, unlike FireWire or USB, eSATA is unpowered. This means you will need an external power source in order to run a portable drive. This is easily achieved via either a power adapter or—in some instances—hooking up a USB or FireWire cable for power.
The other issue with using eSATA is that no Macs currently ship with eSATA built in; you will need to add a controller card. This, too, is quite simple to do as long as you have either a tower Mac or a Mac notebook with an expansion slot.
- If you have a Power Macintosh G4 or G5, you will likely need a PCI or PCI-X card. If you have a Mac Pro or a Late 2005 Power Mac G5 you will need an PCI Express card with an eSATA port. You can find one that is compatible with your model Mac using our MyOWC selector. Alternatively, if you have a Mac Pro, you can use the Newer Technology eSATA Extender Cable Adapter.
- While certain eSATA cards, such as the NewerTech MAXPower eSATA 6G PCIe 2.0 Controller Card, do not require drivers, other cards may require the installation of additional software in order to function properly. You should check the instructions that came with your card for specific information.
- You can find instructional videos showing you how to install PCI/PCIe cards and the eSATA Extender both in our Tech Center and on our YouTube Channel.
- MacBook Pros with an ExpressCard slot and PowerBook G4’s with a Cardbus slot can also add eSATA. Choose the appropriate card for your notebook. You can find one that is compatible with your model Mac Notebook by using MyOWC.
- Depending on the card and system being used, you may need to install additional software in order to get the card to function properly. This may vary from card to card, so double-check instructions that came with yours for specific information.
- Simply slide the card into the corresponding port on your notebook. Once the card is recognized, a small icon should appear in your menu bar. When you’re done using the card, use this icon to eject it.
Plug in to high speed.
Regardless of whether you’re using a desktop Mac or a notebook, once the card is properly installed, you can connect your OWC storage solution using an eSATA cable. Again, don’t forget that eSATA is not a powered interface; you will need to have a power source for your drive in order for it to function.
For those who demand the best performance from their external drives, eSATA is the way to go. For those who demand high quality storage solutions with great performance and value, you need not look any further than OWC and Newer Technology.