mrb's blog

Dear Computer Industry, Please Embrace eSATAp

Keywords: hardware storage sysadmin

The eSATAp (power over eSATA) standard is a little gem that is not very well-known. It is the simplest way to externally connect any 2.5" drive to a computer via an inexpensive, simple, dumb cable:

All the other products on the market that connect drives to computers (drive enclosures, docking stations, my custom SATA power module, etc) do it in an inferior way by either increasing bulk by depending on an external power supply, or by decreasing throughput by using a USB cable which offers only 1/6th the bandwidth of SATA 3Gbps (480Mbps).

eSATAp combines USB power & SATA speed. (The fact it is 5V only is why this standard only works with 2.5" drives; 3.5" drives need 5V+12V to operate.) The most clever thing about it is that it is mechanically backward compatible with both USB and eSATA connectors! The first eSATAp product demonstrations were done in 2009. Two years later, I can find a grand total of 3 eSATAp cables/enclosures on my favorite online retailers. Why?

  1. Cheap eSATAp cable
  2. More expensive eSATAp cable
  3. The only eSATAp enclosure in the world

Allan MacKinnon wrote: I totally agree but I bet manufacturers are afraid of users not understanding the difference between USB, SATA and eSATAp (which can accept both!).

Nice find on those cables.

I noticed Seagate has modular eSATAp support in their latest GoFlex line:
17 Mar 2011 16:51 UTC

bb wrote: DeLock has one. Not sure if you can get it in the US.
29 Mar 2011 04:02 UTC

PlasmicPC wrote: Although the cables are a great way to connect ANY sata hd to the pc quickly, the ports on the hard drive are not meant for many connects and disconnects and they can wear out. The best way to utilize eSATAp is with an enclosure such as this: 07 Jul 2011 00:48 UTC

mrb wrote: Great reminder, PlasmicPC. An internal SATA port is only rated for 50 insertions and removals, whereas eSATA is rated for 5000.

However, an enclosure does not solve the pb because the internal SATA connector in the enclosure is also rated for only 50 insertions and removals. If you install and remove many drives, it will wear out. If your intent is to always leave the same drive in the enclosure, the same is achievable with an eSATAp cable that would never be disconnected from its drive.
07 Jul 2011 19:27 UTC

Colin Kee wrote: Hi Marc, just to break the good news that USB 3.0 has merged with eSATAp.
Here is the promotional video:

Yours truly,
Colin Kee
04 Oct 2011 08:16 UTC

mrb wrote: Great news Colin! The video is hilarious :) 16 Oct 2011 19:19 UTC

Wiz2o wrote: Youve got many mad accomplishment here, man. I conscionable trust that you dont retrograde your tool because youre definitely one of the coolest bloggers out there.

George Marchelos
23 Feb 2012 15:24 UTC

Laptop Sales Birmingham wrote: Thanks allot for sharing such a helpful information...Keep sharing 12 Mar 2012 08:59 UTC

Steve wrote: I don't know how you can come up with this kind of finding but you should work for some large computer manufacturer, no doubt 12 Mar 2012 20:31 UTC

jim wrote: OMG that yt footage is FAKE!!!

jks lol

Anyway, this page was actually the most help out of the 30+ tabs I've had open over the past 2 days lol. Thx!
09 Sep 2012 14:05 UTC

Robert Duran wrote: pc enclosures are enclosures with fitted or sometimes removable side panels and doors that are used to house your computer (industrial or personal) and protect it from the elements. In fact the term computer cabinets and computer enclosures are frequently used interchangeably. Finding quality computer enclosures are one of the primary concerns of business owners or manufacturers in order to prolong the life of the electronic machine. 23 Dec 2012 00:48 UTC