FireWire Question

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Inspired, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. Inspired macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2009
    From what I read in the forum is that most, if not everybody, is pretty happy about getting the FireWire back on the MacBooks. I'm very new to computer stuff, so excuse my ignorance but what can a FireWire be used for? What advantages does to serve?
  2. colourfastt macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2009
    FireWire vs. USB 2.0 - Architecture

    FireWire, uses a "Peer-to-Peer" architecture in which the peripherals are intelligent and can negotiate bus conflicts to determine which device can best control a data transfer

    Hi-Speed USB 2.0 uses a "Master-Slave" architecture in which the computer handles all arbitration functions and dictates data flow to, from and between the attached peripherals (adding additional system overhead and resulting in slower data flow control)

    FireWire vs. USB 2.0 Hard Drive Performance Comparison. Read and write tests to the same IDE hard drive connected using FireWire and then Hi-Speed USB 2.0 show:

    Read Test:
    5000 files (300 MB total) FireWire was 33% faster than USB 2.0
    160 files (650MB total) FireWire was 70% faster than USB 2.0
    Write Test:
    5000 files (300 MB total) FireWire was 16% faster than USB 2.0
    160 files (650MB total) FireWire was 48% faster than USB 2.0
  3. Inspired thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2009
  4. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    firewire has 2 major functions you'll prob use it for:

    1. it has far better performance for external hard drives compared to USB 2.0 while using less CPU
    2. target disk mode - you can firewire 2 macs together and essentially make one of the computers act as a external hard drive for the other..useful for copying large amounts of data. This is accomplished by holding "t" during startup on the computer you want to act as a harddrive.
  5. picklesmand macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2009
    also, it is synchronus, meaning for things like *real time* audio, you are guaranteed that the data will arrive in a given amount of milliseconds. With USB, since it uses the CPU, if something else suddenly happens, your audio data may be delayed. This is very annoying for audio (clicks, etc) and is why all serious audio interfaces use firewire. I for one am VERY happy that they brought it back, and the 13" MBP is my IDEAL audio machine.
  6. squeeks macrumors 68040


    Jun 19, 2007
    Not to mention most all MiniDV camcorders use firewire not USB to transfer video.

    Apple really made a hypocrite of themselves saying everything just works when you all of a sudden couldn't use all of these camcorders (which are still sold) on their new hardware.
  7. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Feb 26, 2008
    I assume your comparison is to FW400. FW800 is even faster. USB will transfer at about 33mb/s when using an external drive, while FW800 will transfer at 77mb/s or about 2.3 times as fast.

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