USB 2.0 vs. FireWire 400

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by CoMpX, Jan 13, 2006.

  1. CoMpX macrumors 65816

    CoMpX

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #1
    I have the Maxtor OneTouch II USB 2.0 version. It also comes in a FireWire version, and I was wondering which one would be better. I do some video editing, and in the manual it says that they recommend hooking the drive up with FireWire for this. Why do they recommend this? I would prefer the FireWire because I can daisy chain it so it doesn't really take up any ports. Which one is faster - USB 2.0 or FireWire 400 in this instance?

    Thanks,
    Joe
     
  2. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #2
    The best would be to get a combo (Firewire/USB2) version... ;)

    The question about speeds on (high speed) USB2 vs Firewire 400 has been discussed to death here at MR. The conclusion: Firewire kicks USB2's butt in real life performance, especially when transferring large files, even if USB2 has a 20% theoretical advantage...
     
  3. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    May 26, 2004
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    Randy's House
    #3
    I have the USB 2.0 version of the drive you speak of. Slow. As. Molasses.

    I used to have the FW version.

    If it had cost me more than the 130.00 I paid for it, I'd be pissed..
     
  4. Will_reed macrumors 6502

    Will_reed

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    #4
    yes usb is ment to be faster but everyone knows it isn't
     
  5. Cinematographer macrumors 6502a

    Cinematographer

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    far away
    #5
    FireWire 400 is much faster than USB 2.0. Acutally it's 2-3X faster. :D
     
  6. AlmostThere macrumors 6502a

    #6
    Depends partly on your eventual usage. Go for Firewire but if you have any intentions of using this to transport files to PC users then make sure it is dual interface.

    I made the mistake of buying a FW only drive and ended up having to buy a second dual interface drive as I needed the portability.
     
  7. alexstein macrumors 6502a

    alexstein

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    #7
    Go with both interfaces USB2 and Firewire 400 if you have the chance. For a Mac user Firewire still has a couple of nice features. Hence booting off of a External HDD is only supported with Firewire so far for Mac users. I think that feature alone would be worth the extra money.

    There are many External HDD that support more then one interface. Take a look at the Lacie-line.
     
  8. CoMpX thread starter macrumors 65816

    CoMpX

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    Jun 29, 2005
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    New Jersey
    #8
    Thanks guys, I returned that drive and I am now searching for a FireWire drive. What do you think is the best brand and model to buy? So far I am looking at the 250GB Lacie mini and the 250GB miniStack. I'm leaning toward the miniStack because of the extra ports and double interface. Can anybody suggest any others? Thanks
     
  9. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #9
    Best drives out there (IMO): The combo version of these Seagate disks. Get the biggest you can afford... You can never have too much HD space... ;)
     
  10. CoMpX thread starter macrumors 65816

    CoMpX

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
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    #10
    It has features that I like a lot, but when I click on "buy" it says that there are no merchants available.:confused: Does anybody have any other recommendations?
     
  11. howesey macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    #11
    My externals drives when benched. USB 2.0 read/writes ~22MiB/s, Firewire 400 read/writes at ~45MiB/s. You can feel a huge difference between the two when using them.

    Firewire also means you could use Target Disc if your OS goes wrong.
     
  12. CoMpX thread starter macrumors 65816

    CoMpX

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    #12
    Thats what I thought, thanks for that. Any recommendations?
     
  13. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #13
  14. CoMpX thread starter macrumors 65816

    CoMpX

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    New Jersey
    #14
    This is great, I might just go with this one. :D Thanks! :)
     
  15. CoMpX thread starter macrumors 65816

    CoMpX

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    #15
    I went with the 250GB miniStack from NewerTech because it had the FireWire and USB 2.0 hubs which I really need.;) It cost me $203.44 Also, the Seagate received terrible reviews about failure and overheating. Thanks everybody!:)
     
  16. wasimyaqoob macrumors 6502a

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    London, England.
  17. CoMpX thread starter macrumors 65816

    CoMpX

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    Jun 29, 2005
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    New Jersey
    #17
    I agree, I wish my mini had one.
     
  18. Laser47 macrumors 6502a

    Laser47

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    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Maryland
    #18
    As a little experiment I hooked my 250 gig external hd through usb to see how it would be. I did my usual backup, way slower than firewire took 20 mins as opposed to 10 through firewire.



    Firewire Rocks.
     
  19. CoMpX thread starter macrumors 65816

    CoMpX

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    Jun 29, 2005
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    #19
    Does anyone know where I can find a user manual for the NewerTech miniStack? I always like to read up on a product before I actually get it.
     
  20. Dm84 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Location:
    Allston, MA
    #20
    The best external HDs are the ones you build yourself. You simply buy an internal HD and put it in a combo Firewire/USB 2 enclosure. You'll almost always wind up saving money by going the build your own route. And as for the FW400 vs. USB 2 debate, it's kind of pointless; both get the job done reasonably well. Just keep in mind that USB 2 is more commonplace than FW on PCs, so if you expect to be moving data between Macs and PCs you'll need to have USB connectivity.
     
  21. reberto macrumors 65816

    reberto

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    #21
    Firewire can hold a constant transfer rate as USB 2.0 can not. When transfering large files, firewire will usually go faster. If you transfer lots of medium-small files at once, USB 2.0 is faster.
     
  22. CoMpX thread starter macrumors 65816

    CoMpX

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #22
    Good, because I will be transfering mostly large files: system backups, movies from my DV camera, etc. Does anyone know were I can download the manual for the miniStack by Newer-Technology? Thanks.
     
  23. iHateWindows macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    #23
    While transferring music to my iPod, Firewire is twice as fast. It's too bad Apple had to remove FW support from iPod.
     
  24. Whiteapple macrumors regular

    Whiteapple

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    Haute Savoie,France
    #24
    Firewire controler

    hi there,

    of what I know of, the transfer speeds depends of course on the rotation speed, the cache memory of the disc, but also of the firewire controler on the disk. The "best seller" of these controlers is called the Oxford 911. From there you got the 911+, the 912, the 912+, which are really great. I read somewhere that the gain is up to 50% with a good controler inside the external drive. o_O
    If you want to see what's very good/cheap/very appreciated in France, take a look.

    http://www.macway.com/product_info.php?cPath=13_170_465_681&products_id=4966

    Hope you read french :p

    Cya
     
  25. CoMpX thread starter macrumors 65816

    CoMpX

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #25
    Oh, sorry I don't read French, but that looks like a nice drive to me. It kinda looks like the PM G5.

    I already chose the drive I wanted, the miniStack by NewerTech, and it's shipping. Does anyone know where I can find a manual for it. I know I am asking this question often, but I haven't turned up anything yet, and I would really like to have the manual ahead of time. Thanks.:)
     

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