External drive. USB 2 or Firewire 800

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by angelsguardian, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. angelsguardian macrumors regular

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    #1
    Looking for an external drive for an iMac late 2006 to hold an ever expanding iTunes library.
    Question is good old cheap USB 2 such as this Seagate 2tb or expensive but rather lovely WD Studio 2tb? This drive will be used by the iMac to stream to 2 ATV3's but rarely at the same time. I believe that data transfer on Firewire is quicker and more sustained but is that necessary here?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #2
    I prefer Firewire 800, especially for streaming, but you may be fine with USB 2.0.
     
  3. angelsguardian thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    May I ask what you prefer?
     
  4. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

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    #4
    GGJ prefers FW800, I prefer too over USB 2.
     
  5. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

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    #5
    I have the same set up for my iTunes library. Go with the FW800, the transfer rate is so much faster and worth it.
    Also I have that same WD HD also with the FW800, and I like it a lot.
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #6
    Yes, already answered.
     
  7. kaielement macrumors 65816

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    #7
    If you can go fire wire it's faster by a lot but if you need USB say you are hooking up to a computer with out FireWire then the segate you motioned should be fine.
     
  8. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

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    #8
    That WD he has posted comes with an FW800 to USB plug, so he will be fine with it.
     
  9. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

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    #9
    Definitly FW over USB, and the ability to chain devices is handy for future expansions.
     
  10. Lunfai macrumors 65816

    Lunfai

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    #10
    Firewire and the ability of chaining devices is really good!
     
  11. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

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    #11
    I use FW800 for my external iTunes store (WD MyBook 4TB).
     
  12. radiogoober macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    There is no reason to get USB2.0 It's ****** SLOW. It's HORRIBLY slow. FW800 vs USB2 is like a Porsche vs a Dodge Neon.
     
  13. macrominnie macrumors member

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    Nov 20, 2010
    #13
    Only the 24 inch model of the late 2006 iMacs have a FW800 port. The rest have FW400 only.

    FW400 is still better for real world speed, daisy chaining etc. Would USB 2 do for your presents needs ? Probably.

    But with the release of the 2012 macs, there is a major connector transition underway with the switch to USB 3.0. (Yes, I know that Thundebolt specs are even better, but there are many affordable USB 3.0 devices and cables available now.)

    If you are going the USB only route, why not get USB 3.0 ? USB 3.0 is much faster than USB 2.0 or FW. It's definitely in the same price neighborhood:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Book-Essent...LE&s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1339898994&sr=1-46

    You can also get USB 3.0/FW devices. If you have stationary storage needs and don't need sleek looks, what about a USB 3.)/FW dock ? Then you'll be able easily to swap out or add hard drives as needed. You'll also be able to choose the exact model of hard drive wanted. See, for example:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Voyager-Int...1_7?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1339899631&sr=1-7

    Unless you're extremely frugal or habitual, eventually there will be a move to an updated/replacement Mac or more bandwidth demands. You can (to an extent) future-proof your storage for a very small price difference.

    FW will increasingly be a legacy solution. Macs will go to USB 3.0 & TB. The PC world will go to USB 3.0 (and maybe TB.) BTW, if you go FW, FW400 and FW800 devices can be connected by a conversion cable, though speeds will be limited to FW400 between them.
     
  14. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #14
    No.
     
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #15
    Yes, macrominnie is correct. The 17" and 20" 2006 iMacs have only two FW400 ports. Only the 24" has one FW400 and one FW800 port.
     
  16. angelsguardian thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    Sorry if I wasn't clear I meant why you preferred it.
     
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #17
    As others have already mentioned, it's faster and has the ability to daisy-chain devices.
     
  18. angelsguardian thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    That WD may be worth a try. At least with Amazon I could change it if not suitable and I do have usb 3 on my MBP. Dock would be too ugly to sit on my wife's office desk ;)

    Thanks for the spot on that both of you.
     
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #19
    By the way, I see from your signature that you have only FW400 ports. Be aware that even those will be faster than USB 2.0, and also allow daisy-chaining.
     
  20. angelsguardian thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    Aah it's a 20" machine so 400. Will have to go on a look around again, wish the disc supply chain would sort itself and prices out!
     
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #21
  22. angelsguardian thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    Thanks. Unfortunately I don't think they're available here. Looks like My Book Studio with a 800 to 400 cable might be the best bet.
     
  23. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #23
    OWC ships all over the world.
     
  24. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #24
    I'd go USB3.

    USB3 externals are fast and well priced at the moment. The drive will work as USB2 on your machine, which is fast enough for your purposes, and about 65% of the speed of FW400.

    Apple has started to kill FireWire and implement USB3, so if you upgraded at some point soon, the USB3 would be a better drive to have.
     
  25. GGJstudios, Jun 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #25
    As the OP has a 2006 iMac that doesn't have USB 3.0, they'll get better performance from FW400. If you buy a drive that has multiple connectors, it would be expandable, although I'm not finding any FW800/FW400/USB 3.0 drives yet. Still looking.
     

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