External Hard Drive ? (Firewire vs. USB)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by WannaBMW3, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. WannaBMW3 macrumors regular

    WannaBMW3

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    #1
    Just wanted to see if an external hard runs faster over a firewire or usb connection...these are the two options...

    WD My book essential 500GB $129 at BB (USB connection only)

    WD My book world edition 500GB $149 at Costco (Firewire/USB connection <- can return anytime at Costco ;)

    Thanks
     
  2. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

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    #2
    Hard drives always run faster over Firewire.

    When transferring large files I notice a 2-3x speed increase if I connect with Firewire instead of USB 2.0 on the same drive.
     
  3. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    #3
    Firewire. While USB 2.0 offers a higher max speed, Firewire has been shown over and over to have a (significantly) higher throughput.
     
  4. Royale w/cheese macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    my newertech ministack v2 hooked up to a mini is significantly faster over firewire as opposed to usb 2.0. I don't know the actual speed but it seems close to 2x, not quite, but definitely close. Firewire is the way to go. Until eSata becomes more widespread.
     
  5. WannaBMW3 thread starter macrumors regular

    WannaBMW3

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    #5
    Oh I see...thanks man! I was thinking the same thing, just needed some clarity!
     
  6. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

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    #6
    Just to add, while USB 2.0 has specs of 480mbps and Firewire 400 is well 400mbps USB has always shown as never constant. USB varies up and down while Firewire remains constant at 400mbps which is why Firewire ends up the best solution for speedy transfers.
     
  7. d wade macrumors 65816

    d wade

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  8. hayduke macrumors 65816

    hayduke

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    is a state of mind.
  9. WannaBMW3 thread starter macrumors regular

    WannaBMW3

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    #9
    and why is that??
     
  10. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

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    #10
    Seemingly firewire is faster for short bursts but for large transfer of data USB2 wins .......... I hope I got that correct .. :eek:

    I should also say I use firewire for my external drive and also for my 4990 Epson scanner.
     
  11. atthecross macrumors 6502

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    #11
    my two cents...

    I was faced with the same question, I ended up going with the USB 2.0 and now I regret it.

    Not for the speed but now I have one less USB 2.0 port. I use USB more than firewire and I wish I had gone firewire now.
     
  12. djbahdow01 macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Well it goes either way, depends on what you are transfering. USB2 can be decent if you are transfering lots of small files although if you work with video a lot ion large file sizes firewire will transfer large files quicker. Its the way the protocals are set up. USB has a better burst, ie short, and firewire can stay consistent.

    I have 2 USB2 400gb drives that I store mostly images on that are anywhere from 2mb to 150mb and they transfer quick. I tried moving some dv files from my camcorder and they took forever. I plan on picking up a firewire drive or 2 in the future for my video/HD work

    In my opinion spend the little extra for both and you can use it either way.
     
  13. Mr9758 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #13
    This should give you a pretty good idea of the speed difference.
    The World Edition looks much nicer, too. :cool:
     

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  14. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

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    #14
    You got that exactly backwards. USB has a faster burst rate but for large transfers Firewire destroys USB 2.
     
  15. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #15
    Neither of them are constant. both advertise their maximum rate. however firewire does have the higher sustained rate.
     
  16. WannaBMW3 thread starter macrumors regular

    WannaBMW3

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    #16
    Yeah thats what I hear...I love the second one I listed because it has both firewire and usb connectivity so I might as well and go with that one...but like the other guys said too, I won't use a usb port by using firewire...its primarily music and video file transfers...
     
  17. hayduke macrumors 65816

    hayduke

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    is a state of mind.
    #17
    Aside from the better transfer rates of Firewire 400 compared to USB2, you can also daisy chain firewire devices, which *may* be useful for you later, but that depends on your needs. More importantly I prefer to have drives with at least two types of interfaces because it is *possible* that one controller could get fried, but the other would still work.

    In general I think the extra money for the firewire is well spent.
     
  18. WannaBMW3 thread starter macrumors regular

    WannaBMW3

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    #18
    Yeah I completely agree! Especially when its from Costco!
     
  19. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

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    Jul 17, 2004
    #19
    FireWire. My iPod sync's so much faster compared to USB. Don't know why Apple hasn't added it back (or even got rid of it in the first place).
     
  20. WannaBMW3 thread starter macrumors regular

    WannaBMW3

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    #20
    Yeah I remember when I got the ipod dock when it first came out...it synced so nice while it charged!!!
     

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