External 7200 RPM HD w/ FireWire 400?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by ShaggyLR, May 19, 2004.

  1. macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2004
    Would an external Hard Drive at 7200 RPM's be able to run at full speed using Fire Wire 400? Or would the speed of the Fire Wire slow it down? I am guessing USB 2.0 would be slightly better in this case, but not as good as Fire Wire 800.
  2. macrumors demi-god


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    USB2.0 is slower than FW400 and FW400 is faster than your 7200RPM HDD.

  3. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2004
    United States
    I think both USB 2 and (of course) FW 400 will allow your drive to run at full speed. No problems with FW 400.

  4. macrumors 65816


    Sep 10, 2003
    Just to speak numbers:

    FW400 = 400Mb/sec = 50MB/sec
    FW800 = 800Mb/sec = 100MB/sec
    USB 2.0 = 480Mb/sec = 60MB/sec

    These numbers are theoretical, and many tests have proven that Firewire is more efficient at handling mass storage than USB 2.0.

    And, even though the interface of the latest drives is 150MB/sec (for Serial ATA), 133 MB/sec (ATA-133), and 100MB/sec (ATA-100), the drive itself can only sustain a rough transfer rate of 40MB/sec.
  5. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    FW400 would not be a good choice if you have a machine with FW800.

    FW800 would allow the drive to operate at full speed.

    The FW400 drive cases probably will not, at least that's the way they tested.

    The same drive in a FW400 and FW800 tested faster in the FW800 case -- so the old FW400 chips and/or overhead do take a toll on performance.

    --- http://www.barefeats.com/usb2.html

    Don't know if the FW800 cases tested better on a FW400 machine or not (to see how bad the Oxford 911 chipset really was).

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