External Hard Drive for Time Machine - Firewire or USB?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by tnsmart, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. tnsmart macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    #1
    I did a little bit of searching but didn't find the answer I was looking for.

    I'm trying to decide between these two drives:
    http://www.amazon.com/LaCie-Desktop...2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1251042742&sr=1-2
    and
    http://www.amazon.com/LaCie-FireWire-External-Poulton-301315U/dp/B00170M64K/ref=pd_cp_e_2

    I'm wondering if the speed difference with Firewire 400 over USB 2.0 is worth the extra $30. I'll primarily be using this for Time Machine backup, but also to store other large files when necessary. Any recommendations? Thanks.
     
  2. MacFanUK macrumors 6502a

    MacFanUK

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    If you're mainly planning on using it with Time Machine, I'd say USB would be sufficient. Firewire if you'll be accessing loads of files from it.
     
  3. steve knight macrumors 68020

    steve knight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #3
    firewire is nice in that you can copy or and from another usb drive without taking the speed hit between two usb drives. so with my first mac I needed another external so I could move my files to it and reformat the old one I bought remember it is also a sata drive and if and when you can use that it will be even fastener.
     
  4. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #4
    I just bought a 320GB WD portable external that can be powered via usb or FW800 for $85 on overstock. The speed is great and noticeable when compared to using the USB.
     
  5. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Central US
    #5
    I've never been a fan of external USB drives. When I got my TM external, I went with a Seagate drive with FW on it. I also use the disk for lots of other storage too though.
     
  6. jbrettz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Location:
    St Louis
    #6
  7. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #7
    Real Mac purists do not engage such a question. :D

    FireWire, FTW.
     
  8. slpdLoad macrumors 6502a

    slpdLoad

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #8
    It's worth it the first time you need to restore from your backup or generally do anything that's not just happening silently in the background.

    FireWire is $30 faster. :cool:
     
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #9
    The difference between FW400 and USB 2.0 isn't that great. I prefer FW800 for external drives. Much faster!
     
  10. tnsmart thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    #10
    This compares USB to FireWire 800. The drive, and my MacBook, only have 400.

    I did go ahead and get the one with just USB.

    Wouldn't you consider Apple to be a Mac purist company? There the ones who dropped Firewire from the 13" MacBook (before they put it back in with the 13" MBP.)
     
  11. rkdiddy macrumors 65816

    rkdiddy

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    OC Baby!
    #11
    This is very true. As a few have mentioned, once you do your first back-up (which takes forever) TM over USB will be fine.

    If you do want to transfer files, read/write, etc - then go FW800. I have a TC for my TM back-ups and it runs in the background and I don't have to worry about it.
     

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