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Worth getting a Firewire 800 external drive?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by MoodyM, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    I have a 17" Mid-2010 MBP. It's currently got a WD 2.5TB powered USB 2 drive attached with all my content. It's connected to my network via 802.11 5Ghz running in 40Mhz/'n' mode only.

    I have an ATV 3rd gen connected via 100mbps Ethernet.

    Would I see any performance gain in replacing the USB2 drive with a Firewire 800 one?
  2. macrumors 6502a

    USB 2 is fast enough to stream video. If you are only trying to feed one ATV you shouldn't see a difference.

    FW800 is easier on the CPU as it has it's own controller while USB relies on the CPU to provide that. That shouldn't come into play if you are just serving the video up to the ATV through iTunes Home Sharing.
  3. macrumors 6502


    The only real reason you would want FW800 is for actually moving content onto that drive. If you do that incrementally -- i.e., one movie or tv episode at a time -- then USB is tolerable. If however, you transfer entire seasons of a show at once, or lots of movies (or simply high bitrate movie files which are quite large), you might appreciate the increased speed of FW. As Panch0 mentioned, USB is a non-issue when it comes to media playback, even with a full 50mbps Blu-Ray rip.
  4. macrumors regular

    I would strongly urge a FW800 drive if you have a lot of content. When I had USB2 drives it would take sometime to load all the content and the cover art on the Apple TV when it is woken up. When I switched an FW800 enclosure the loading was instantaneous.
  5. macrumors 6502


    I use Drobos, so I'm used to waiting an eternity for everything.:cool:
  6. macrumors 6502a

    I also used a drobo...until a 2Tb folder simply vanished.

    I knew the drobo was slow (even with the fw connection) but i never 'actually' realised how slow.
  7. macrumors 68000

    I was interested in a Gigabit case for the external, I move everything on Gigabit nowadays and it is faster than Firewire 800, but somehow, the loose Ethernet drives are not. They have very bad controllers compared to the Mac itself. So FW800 is still the best deal for fast storage.

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