External Drive - USB to Firewire?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by raquiros, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. raquiros macrumors member

    raquiros

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    #1
    Hello Everyone!

    My brother's laptop recently died and I would like to buy one of his 100GB HDD to use with an enclosure....

    I already have an enclosure that provides USB connectivity and it says 480Mbps transfer rate... I've read on the Internet that the Firewire is 30% faster. My question is... if I buy an USB-Firewire cable would I still get a faster speed or I'm still limited to the USB port itself no matter which cable I use.... should I get a Firewire enclosure instead? Any recommendations?

    Thanks in advance,
     
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #2
    FW is always faster than USB. If you buy a USB:FW cable and the controller is USB, it'll be slower. Your best bet is to buy a FW enclosure.

    Also, the drive is most likely PATA, but make sure in advance of your purchase so that you get the appropriate internal interface for the drive.
     
  3. aross99 macrumors 68000

    aross99

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    Dec 17, 2006
    Location:
    East Lansing, MI
    #3
  4. NiroshanMan macrumors 6502

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    Jun 25, 2007
    #4
    If you choose USB you can find cheap enclosures on ebay. I paid $10 for one, it was very slim and fit my 2.5" sata drive perfectly, definitley worth it.
     
  5. raquiros thread starter macrumors member

    raquiros

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    #5
    What is the speed of USB 2.0 Vs. Firewire? Also I have two ports on my MBP... I believe one is the IEEE 1394 and the other one is firewire... I don't know.. this have always got me confused... help :)
     
  6. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

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    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    Wait..

    Wait...a FW to USB cable? When did that come about?
     
  7. NiroshanMan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #7
    Certain MacBook Pros have two kinds of Firewire ports. Firewire 400 and Firewire 800, Firewire 800 is much faster than 400, but it is less common. I would go with USB 2.0 since its common for both macs and pcs (that is if you intend to use HDs between the two, which i often do), firewire can be found among PCs but it isn't as common as USB. and now there is the new USB 3.0 which is extremely fast, and now is much faster than any Firewire or USB out, but its very uncommon currently. :)
     
  8. aross99 macrumors 68000

    aross99

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    Dec 17, 2006
    Location:
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    #8
    USB 2.0's max throughput is 480Mb/s. Firewire is 400Mb and 800Mb. CHances are your MBP has both Firewire 800 and 400. Firewire 800 is much faster than USB 2.0, but the enclosures are more expensive.

    Firewire 400 is actually faster than USB 2.0 in practice, since USB rarely reaches the 480Mb max.

    SInce you have a Mac, I would recommend using a firewire enclosure. If you want it to work for PC's also, get one with a dual USB and Firewire interface...
     
  9. raquiros thread starter macrumors member

    raquiros

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    #9
    Well there is a big problem here and no one have mentioned it yet and it's the lack of USB ports on the mac.... so that's probably why I would go to the FW option....

    How do I differentiate the FW 400 vs the FW 800? one is like an USB with two cutted corners and the other one is squared-like
     
  10. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #10
    the one with the 2 "cutted" corners is the 400 the more square one is the 800.
     
  11. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

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    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #11
    Yeah, I have to admit I was wondering about that too. Glad to know I am not alone! :D
     
  12. NiroshanMan macrumors 6502

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    Jun 25, 2007
    #12
    lol yea i didn't know there was such a thing too
     
  13. raquiros thread starter macrumors member

    raquiros

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    Jun 20, 2008
    #13
    hehehe nevermind... I think I'm inventing a cable that doesn't exist :D since there are many type of cables I assumed that there could be an USB to Firewire Cable/Adapter... but didn't look for it before....

    I will probably go on the Firewire 400 enclosure..... is cheaper than the FW800 and faster than the USB 2.0

    I was surprised when I saw the FW800 Enclosures starting at $74 in Amazon...
     
  14. NiroshanMan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #14
    Alright good call. Yea i use both firewire and usb enclosures. I have one enclosure that supports both USB and Firewire which is quite helpful for when using them between PC and Macs. However, if you just plan to use the HD on a mac, go for the Firewire 400.
     
  15. raquiros thread starter macrumors member

    raquiros

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    #15
    Thanks for the advise... what's the model number for that? I think I will have to use the enclosure with PCs as well... I didn't think on that before... Im interested in one like yours
     
  16. NiroshanMan macrumors 6502

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  17. raquiros thread starter macrumors member

    raquiros

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    Jun 20, 2008
  18. NiroshanMan macrumors 6502

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