how much faster is firewire?

stealthsniper96

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 20, 2007
169
0
ok well i ordered a 320gb mybook with usb and firewire off ebay, but when i got it, it was a 500 gb one but with just usb. so i messaged the guy and asked him what went wrong. but im really starting to like the idea of the 500gb, so im wondering, is having only usb gona be slow? how much faster is firewire than usb? and this drive will be used for backups and possibly running files and apps off of.
 

Decrepit

macrumors 65816
Sep 6, 2007
1,146
0
Foothills to the Rocky Mountains
ok well i ordered a 320gb mybook with usb and firewire off ebay, but when i got it, it was a 500 gb one but with just usb. so i messaged the guy and asked him what went wrong. but im really starting to like the idea of the 500gb, so im wondering, is having only usb gona be slow? how much faster is firewire than usb? and this drive will be used for backups and possibly running files and apps off of.
Firewire 400 = 50 MB/s
Firewire 800 = 100 MB/s
USB 2.0 = 60 MB/s

Those are the bust-rate maximums, if I recall correctly.

Therefore, unless you have a FW800 port, and a FW800 drive, you're not going to see a difference.
 

Grimace

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2003
3,541
40
with Hamburglar.
USB has a higher theoretical mass burst rate than FW400, but firewire is MUCH (so much!) better for sustained data rates. If you are transfering large amounts of data (over 100MB) I would ALWAYS use FW given the option. FW800 is badass if you have the ports.
 

iToaster

macrumors 68000
May 3, 2007
1,742
0
In front of my MacBook Pro
Firewire is awesome. Considering the size of the drive, you'll have a lot of files on it, and you'll want faster transfer rates. In all reality, firewire is much faster than USB, despite theoretical transfer rates, firewire can keep it up much longer. Unless you plan on filling up a drive with >100 MB files, firewire is for you (even in this case, it'd still be good though).
 

JNB

macrumors 604
Firewire is awesome. Considering the size of the drive, you'll have a lot of files on it, and you'll want faster transfer rates. In all reality, firewire is much faster than USB, despite theoretical transfer rates, firewire can keep it up much longer. Unless you plan on filling up a drive with >100 MB files, firewire is for you (even in this case, it'd still be good though).
Firewire. The Little Blue Pill of data transfer.
 

disconap

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2005
1,800
2
Portland, OR
Firewire 400 = 50 MB/s
Firewire 800 = 100 MB/s
USB 2.0 = 60 MB/s

Those are the bust-rate maximums, if I recall correctly.

Therefore, unless you have a FW800 port, and a FW800 drive, you're not going to see a difference.
I have NEVER seen USB2.0 go above about 10MB/s. Firewire is way, way faster.
 

Decrepit

macrumors 65816
Sep 6, 2007
1,146
0
Foothills to the Rocky Mountains
I have NEVER seen USB2.0 go above about 10MB/s. Firewire is way, way faster.
I've had more experience and luck with USB than I have with Firewire. I've had drives not show up, but when I plug in a USB cable instead of Firewire, it works fine.

Throughput wise, I've been pretty happy with USB. But my new Firewire drive arrives on Tuesday, and maybe it will work much better than I've had in the past.
 

KingYaba

macrumors 68040
Aug 7, 2005
3,416
12
Up the irons
I've had more experience and luck with USB than I have with Firewire. I've had drives not show up, but when I plug in a USB cable instead of Firewire, it works fine.
This was on a Windows running PC, correct?

For us Mac users, stick with Firewire if at all possible.
 

Similar threads

Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.