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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2010
I bought the Sonnet Tempo SATA Pro Expresscard with high hopes of getting better throughput compared to the JMicron-based OWC ExpressCard/34 eSATA SATA I/II Add-On Card for MacBook Pro with ExpressCard/34 slot that I had previously used. Since the JMicron card costs about $20, I figured the Tempo card should provide much greater performance, somewhere near the "40% faster than standard SATA controller cards" claimed in the Amazon listing. Alas, when used with my unibody Apple MacBook Pro it did not provide any better performance than the $20 card when used with a single external eSATA hard drive.

Here is a quick comparison of sequential read and write performance with a single 7200 RPM Seagate eSATA drive and 4k blocks, tested with Xbench:

Tempo SATA Pro, uncached write: 82.95MB/sec; uncached read: 23.79 MB/sec
JMicron-based card, uncached write: 85.02MB/sec; uncached read: 21.82 MB/sec

With a single drive, the performance is essentially the same for the two Expresscard eSATA adapters.

The Tempo card has two eSATA ports and is supposed to be capable of working with port-multiplier eSATA devices, but I did not have the drives to test this. Using two drives in a striped array, the Tempo card should perform much better, although overall performance will be constrained by the 1x PCIe bus performance of the MacBook Pro's Expresscard slot.

The Tempo card is also capable of running in Snow Leopard 64-bit mode, but 64-bit use requires the latest drivers from Sonnet -- as does 32-bit operation. In other words, to use the Tempo card, you have to install drivers.

In contrast, the JMicron card runs in Snow Leopard 64-bit mode without any drivers other than those that come built-in to Snow Leopard.

In summary, if you need two eSATA ports and eSATA port-multiplier compatibility, then the Tempo card is one of the few Expresscard options available. If you don't need these two features, then comparable performance is available for a much lower cost.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2009
Verified Purchase
Tempo Sataii Pro Expresscard 34 2PORT

As far as I know, there is no other eSata card that outperforms this product that currently exists in the market. I've done some research on this and tried out different brands, but none really suited my needs like this one.

Ahhh, now let's go to the meat of the review...the ugly, the bad, and the good...

The Ugly: Price! This is the most expensive eSata card known to man! Don't buy this product if your usage of peripheral devices is minimal, in which case the cost immensely outweighs the benefits. Enough said, now let's go to the bad...

The Bad: I purchased this product for use in both my Mac and PC. The product works wonderfully with EITHER Mac or PC, but not both. The product WILL NOT WORK if you use VMWare with Windows, regardless if it's Vista or XP. I've been through several forums to address this issue, but apparently nobody has any solutions for the issue. Windows will not recognize the card at all, even through proper installation. It will work if you use it exclusively on a PC, but not with VMWare. I think that the issue resides primarily with the VMWare more so than the card itself. Well, enough with the Debby Downer issues, on to the good...

The Good: It's fast! Although internal-external data transfer depends on the laptop specs as well as the external hard drive specs, for the most part, this card is very efficient and fast in transferring files. A few gigabytes in a few minutes! Of course, the transfer speed decreases dramatically if these "few gigabytes" consist of several thousand folders as opposed to one or two. Internally, transfer speed is 7200RPM for a laptop hard drive and externally, I've used Western Digital Velociraptor with 10,000RPM speed, so transfer speed is limited to the slower of the two. Now if the transfer is between 10,000RPM HDD and another 10,000RPM, perhaps 3GB/s transfer speed will be achieved? Haven't tried it yet...if anyone knows, post your review!
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on November 26, 2013
Verified Purchase
It works great, but I hate the short cord and the flimsiness of it. It feels like it's going to break or corrupt my data.
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on March 1, 2013
Verified Purchase
This works perfectly, on latest Mac 10.8.2. I have this connected to a 4 bay DAS (direct attached storage) RAID 5 unit running four 3tb drives. Using Blackmagicdesign Speed Test, my speeds are roughly ~150MB/s write and 180MB/s for read. Very happy with this unit—installed the driver and all I have to do is plug in in whenever I want to use it. No issues at all.
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Verified Purchase
Sonnet is money well-spent. It will "save" you money and heartache in the end.

I'm not going to waste your time with technical content. Just what I wanted to acheive and how this drive help satisfy that need... this was one half a two piece high speed storage solution "on the cheap." This card was a SUCCESS in that equation.

What I wanted:
I wanted a couple of Terabytes of disk space that was fast, and attachable to my i7 Notebook (workstation class - i7 Quad core with 32GB RAM installed, onboard 256GB SSD.) It would be for hosting several lab Virtual Machines, running VMWare Workstation 9.0.

My solution:
Sonnet Tempo Pro ExpressCard/34 connected to an external eSata Western Digital MyBook (2 drive RAID0) with eSata/USB/FW400/FW800 ports.

Performance:
This solution provides 24x7 100MB/sec throughput. The Sonnet card is solid, as is the drive solution. It never quits or faults. There might be "faster" solutions, but this one was the right price point, performance, and rock solid reliabiliy.

Solution Cost:
~$300 including both this fast eSata adapter and the WD Drive. Really good combo.

Surprises:
The card performed every bit as well as I expected. And Sonnet Support EXCEEDED my expectations. If you have an issue, you connect to a human being on first call. That person is courteous, caring, knowledgeable, effective, and solves the issue pronto. Kudos.

Wishes:
1) Linux driver. An ESXi driver so you can make an ESXi "whitebox solution". But I am still happy to run ESXi inside VMWare Workstation if I can't have that.
2) Wish I had bought this card first instead of all the cheap garbage wanna-be's (both card and disk cabinets for that matter)

Hope this helps you.
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on August 8, 2012
Verified Purchase
I have a Mac Mini 2.3GHz i5 running OS X Lion Server. I wanted to use Thunderbolt instead of the Firewire 800 port for my 4TB RAID 5 Array. I bought this along with the Sonnet Echo Pro ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter thinking it would work with my OWC Mercury Rack Pro (the older model with 4 drive trays, eSATA, Firewire 800, USB 2.0 and built-in RAID controller with port multiplier). But sorry to say, it doesn't do what I had expected it to. RAID doesn't mount on the Desktop with this configuration. When I reconnected my Firewire 800 cable, the RAID came back up.

Prior to purchase, I didn't find any information online whether it was supported it or not, though other eSATA RAIDs from OWC were compatible. So I figured I would give it a try. Well now I know. And hopefully others will learn from my mistake and save some money.
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on January 5, 2012
Verified Purchase
I am running OSX 10.4.11 and I installed the latest Sonnet Pro driver and everything seems to be working fine. I am running an eSATA GRAID 2 TB. Initial impressions seems very fast!
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on November 23, 2011
Verified Purchase
Amazon sold this for about 75% off list for a while... they recently bumped it up to less than 50%. I'm not sure it's worth it at that price... but for the price I paid, the perfect Sonnet/OS X integration (works great with 10.5, 10.6, and 10.7) is well worth it.

Off-brand/no-name cards tend to have issues, are seldom supported by new OS's after release (Lion doesn't seem to like most generic Silicon Image 3124 cards), and cause kernel panics. Trust me, I've used them and gone through all of that before.

The Sonnet's been golden for months. Not a single kernel panic & performance is great.
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on July 25, 2011
Verified Purchase
i bought this item for 2 reasons. 1) to format a drive for mac (which worked fine) and 2) to transfer data from one SATA drive to another (which it inexplicably stopped, after many failures i had to transfer by USB) i bought this because i thought it was good and i like the company, but i wouldn't recommend it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2010
Verified Purchase
I purchased this because it claimed to be compatible with Windows 7. However, its drivers would not install on my Windows 7 machine. When I phoned Sonnet technical support I got a technician with an attitude and no help at all. They first claimed it was the fault of the disk drive enclosure I was trying to attach to their esata card and they told me to call the enclosure manufacturer to see if their enclosure used a particular chip, which (a phone call revealed) it did not. A second call to Sonnet produced no help at all -- from the same technician with the same attitude. Let the buyer beware.
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