View Full Version : Portable HD for Powerbook - Firewire or USB?

Dec 30, 2005, 03:46 PM
I'm maxed out on my 15" PB's 80 GB HD so I'm researching a nice compact HD but need some help. I like the look of the SmartDisk FireLite series or the LaCie Porsche design and would probably go with a 100GB size (are there any bigger drives?). My question is Firewire or USB? I have FW800 on my PB but thinking ahead if I upgrade in a year Apple may not include FW anymore. Also bus powered is important and I'm not sure if that is best with USB or FW. Any tips would be appreciated. Happy New Year!

Dec 30, 2005, 03:52 PM
I would definitely go with FireWire. It has the advantage of being bootable, as well as being faster. And frankly, despite the speculation, I can't see Apple dropping FireWire from their laptop line, least of all from the PB range.

Dec 30, 2005, 04:27 PM
FireWire provides much more power than USB, it's faster for larger transfers, and the largest laptop drives (last time I checked, back in August) are 120GB.

Dec 30, 2005, 04:43 PM
USB2 is cheaper, and lets face it better supported if you want to share data with the less fortunate, i.e. Windows users...

Firewire is faster (even the 400 version) and will let you boot your Mac from it.

(Note that some Macs will let you boot from a USB drive. My old Pismo booted just fine from an external 2.5" drive in a USB1 enclosure. :))

A combo USB2/Firewire400 cost not much more than most Firewire drive/enclosure and gives you the best of both world. It might not be as fast as a FW800 but it will give you more options.

Even if you are set on the "pocket" drives I would still check out the combo drives from Seagate (http://www.seagate.com/products/retail/external/usbfirewire) Fast, quiet and reliable. And you'll get more GB for you money than with the drives with a smaller form factor. :)

Dec 30, 2005, 04:50 PM
i'd say a firewire 800 (you said pb 15", right?) if they make 'em (not sure), because rumors have been going around that apple might drop the fw400, but keep the fw800 for digital video editors....