External HDD for Time Machine: USB or FireWire?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by keaide, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. keaide macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2010
    I want to get a new external drive (2 TB) for Time Machine (iMac with 1TB HDD). Is firewire worth the extra money for that purpose or am I fine with USB 2?
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Unless you need to backup GBs of data every hour, USB 2.0 will suffice, the initial backup will take some time, but the subsequent ones (every hour) will be fast enough with USB 2.0.
  3. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    The correct answer is Firewire. Always firewire for hard drives. USB requires CPU cycles in order to operate, so when you do a backup over USB it will slow down your system. Firewire is DMA (direct memory access) so it will not slow down the computer nearly as much.

  4. sportster macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2010
    Katy, TX
    I use firewire (800) for my Time Machine backups. Mainly because my 1.5tb Seagate drive has is and I am not using that port on my iMac for anything else.

    Like the other 2 have already said, it won't be bad either way. But, if it was me i would just go with the firewire. If you ever had to use the drive for something else in the future it will already be set for better speeds.
  5. clientsiman macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2009
    I am using a WD with firewire 800 but I don't think its worth the premium. My old USB2 WD drive has about the same transfer speed. You can only spot the difference if you need to transfer many GB.
  6. keaide thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2010
    I think that the normal hourly backup should be below 1GB, except when backing up new footage, music or pictures, which would not happen every day.

    Anyway, the point about the later usage options is a good one. I expect that my footage will grow in the coming 3 years. So I might use the FW disc for that and get a new one for TM.

    But in 3 years... USB _3 _ might be a thing of the past already and Light Peak might have taken over... and probably Apple will have dropped support for FW by the already. :confused:
  7. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    FireWire as others have said. Just buy a retail drive and put it in something from owc (macsales.com)
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009

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