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Old 06-04-2015, 04:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default eSATA would it be a bottleneck?

Wanting to add an external 2.5 inch 7200 rpm sata harddrive with an eSATA enclosure soley for installing programs and games. I want the games to run smoothly and programs to load as fast as they would on an internal drive.

Here's why I want this to be external: Bought a fairly nice laptop, ended up maxing out the ram, the previous owner yanked out the old harddrive and installed a TINY SSD, only 60gb, I can't even have windows and world of warcraft on this thing.

Here's why I don't want to replace the internal drive: Dell has NO DRIVE BAY, you have to literally disassemble the entire laptop to access the drive, keyboard, monitor, everything. This is a daunting task for someone who's used to building desktops, open door, toss components in.

So, laptop has a eSATAp port, does this mean I don't have to have a powered enclosure when using a 2.5 inch drive? AND, can I play fast paced games with no lag when the game is installed on an external drive running through eSATA? Say, Need for speed undercover, nothing super modern, but modern enough.

If I have to replace the internal, I will, but if I can get the same speeds through eSATA i'd feel safer going that route.

Dell Inspiron N5110, eSATAp port, 8gb ram.
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: eSATA would it be a bottleneck?

Two things, it doesn't look that difficult to take it apart honestly. My Toshiba is harder and I've done that 3 times. Crappy pictures, but gives you a good idea at what to do.
How to Replace Dell Inspiron 15R N5110 M5110 Fan - laptoppartstore

Second, eSATA is just that, a SATA port going to an external drive. So that being said, it gets full speed. The problem with that is it doesn't provide any power, so you'll need an enclosure that will give power from another source.
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Old 06-04-2015, 08:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: eSATA would it be a bottleneck?

the port is the newer eSATAp and the 2.5 inch enclosures I have looked at do not have a power supply, so i'm assuming the additional power of the type p eSATA port should power an external 2.5 inch drive.

but i would hate to have to manually tell every program i install to install to the external drive. and i'm still not sure how a port travels about the motherboard as opposed to a sata port that's directly ON the motherboard, hence my worries about the bottleneck.

i have read the tutorials on replacing the harddrive, seen the pics and even watched a youtube video and yeah it does seem easy enough, but man, i'm sure i'll miss a screw here or there or something small like that.

I guess I'm leaning to biting the bullet and tearing this thing apart.

quick question installing windows.... lol.... Will an install disc find a unformatted drive? I have tons of 3.5 inch externals lying around and have always had a desktop to toss a new drive into to format, but no desktop now and nothing for a 2.5. Hoping windows will find it and I can format from the install disc itself.
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Old 06-04-2015, 08:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: eSATA would it be a bottleneck?

The eSATA port is still directly on the board. There is no difference. It is quite literally just another SATA port designed for external devices.

eSATAp does provide power but if you do a 3.5" drive you will need an enclosure that has an adapter or simply get one of these cables.
Amazon.com: Monoprice 108492 19-Inch eSATAp to SATA 22-Pin Cable, Black: Electronics

Another alternative.
Amazon.com: eSATA to eSATAp + DC Input Power Cable: Computers & Accessories

Or an enclosure for 2.5" drives like this which support the standard.
eSATAp & USB 3.0 2.5" SATA 6Gbps Hard Drive Enclosure | HDD Enclosures | StarTech.com
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Old 06-05-2015, 06:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: eSATA would it be a bottleneck?

If you don't use your DVD drive then you could get an enclosure for a hard drive that fits into the DVD drive slot. This suggestion does suck though if you use the DVD drive regularly. Though you should think that actually, if you'll have a hard drive permanently plugged in externally, why not buy an external DVD drive instead and fit the hard drive where the internal DVD drive used to be? Just a thought to consider.
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