FW vs Ethernet

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by raymondu999, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. raymondu999 macrumors 65816

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    Feb 11, 2008
    #1
    Hi there. I wanted to know... for file transfers directly between two MacBook Pros, which is faster? I have an Ethernet cable which is an enhanced CAT.5 UTP at 350MHz. If I got an FW800 cable, would file transfers happen even faster? What exactly ARE the rated speeds for each?
     
  2. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #2
    The MBPs have gigabit ethernet, so the theoretical maximum using Ethernet is 1,000mbps and Firewire is 800mbps. Keep in mind, those are THEORETICAL maximums though. Ethernet likely has higher overhead due to TCP/IP, so you'll probably see better real-world results with Firewire
     
  3. raymondu999 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Is gigabit also cable dependent? ie does my cable have to support gigabit to be able to access that functionality?
     
  4. merl1n macrumors 65816

    merl1n

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    #4
    To support Gbit you should be using CAT5E (enhanced) or CAT6 cables. Otherwise you may get some signal loss or degradation and it will affect the speed of your transfers.
     
  5. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #5
    I would think that FW800 in disk mode would be fastest due to the overhead with TCP/IP via a LAN cable.

    Anybody out there try a comparison between FW800 and Gb Ethernet?
     
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #6
    For the distances you are taking about (a few feet) normal cat5 cable will work just fine, If you are trying to go 100 meters then it's another story.
    To connect two notebooks you will need either a cross over cable or two normal cables and a gigabit switch

    Firewire 800 will be just about the same speed. It's less bits per second but lower overhead. But both FW800 and Ethernet are faster then the disk inside the typical notebook computer so nether would be the bottle neck.
     
  7. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #7

    Actually, newer ethernet cards (and the ones in Macs) can do the crossover internally, automatically, so a regular straight-thru cable can be used
     
  8. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #8
    Which is very handy. No longer need to carry a crossover cable with me.
     
  9. telecomm macrumors 65816

    telecomm

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    #9
    And they've been able to do that for ages, even my first iBook (from something like fall 2001) could autodetect and adjust accordingly.
     
  10. AENAON macrumors member

    AENAON

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    Cyprus
    #10
    I've tried these setups and others, and when it comes to laptops you won't notice any difference at all, laptop drive speeds are way below the capacities of FW800 and gigabit ethernet. Your choice should come down to weather:
    1. u will need to hook up another FW800 device or ethernet something. (u only have one of each on each macbook)
    2. the possible distance u may need in the future. Ethernet can go a loooong way.
    3. the price. FW800 cables can be several times more expensive that the ethernet ones.
     
  11. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #11
    I did this to copy files from my PC to Pro Mac.
     
  12. OrganMusic macrumors 6502

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    Chicago
    #12
    Holy crap Gigabit is fast! I just moved an 18 GB video file from my imac to my MBP in about 7 minutes. At first I started it over Wifi (g) and it predicted 2 hours. I don't have any FW800 devices yet but I knew it would take ages to copy to my USB hard disk.
     

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