Slow USB 2.0 on G4/G5 Macs; different with Intel Macs?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by crapple33, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. crapple33 macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2003
    It's no secret that USB 2.0 sucks on Macs. On PCs, USB 2.0 can achieve speeds of up to 33MB/s read and 27MB/s write, while on Macs it lags behind at 18 MB/s both read and write, according to benchtests found on

    "You can't blame it on the drive," the benchtester concludes, "because, as you can see from the FireWire 800 tests, the drive is capable of transfer rates much higher. Some blame it on Apple's USB 2.0 drivers or the USB 2.0 bridge chips. I can't comment on that."

    Will these statistics be similar on the new Intel Macs, or will the Intel processors better take advantage of USB 2.0? (I'm trying to decide what type of external HD to get for my new MacBook.)
  2. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Feb 12, 2005
    Firewire is still superior.

    There are external hard drives which incorporate both technologies. If you ever anticipate having to use the drive with a USB 2-only computer, then I suggest purchasing a dual interface drive. This will allow you to use Firewire with your MacBook and USB with another computer. If you don't anticipate having to use the drive with a USB-only computer, you could most likely save a few bucks by purchasing a Firewire-only external drive.

    If you have a 17" MacBook, I highly recommend purchasing a Firewire 800 drive for maximum performance.
  3. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    when did USB start sucking on Macs? i mean i think it sucks on all computers when up against FW but how is it worse on Mac?

    when eMac, PowerBook and PowerMac because on my iMac/iBook and my moms PB i can tell no difference from my PC(which is no long in use) it just that one mac?
  4. crapple33 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2003
    Yeah, I'd love to get a FireWire 800 drive, but who wants a 17" MacBook? Those things are big as ****.

    zap2, I'm talking about USB 2.0, not USB. USB does suck on all computers.

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