Is Firewire much faster than USB 2.0 for a Western Digital MyBook drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by bollweevil, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. bollweevil macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2008
    Computer: MacBook Pro purchased in November 2008

    External drive: Western Digital 1 TB MyBook, purchased in November 2008

    Cable options:

    A. USB 2.0

    B. FireWire 800 9-pin (on MacBook Pro side) to FireWire 6-pin (on external drive). I don't know if the WD MyBook is FireWire 400 or 800.

    USB 2.0 is intolerably slow. Will FireWire be faster? I would have to abort a copy operation which has already taken 7 hours by USB, though nothing has been written to the destination drive yet. It is still "estimating time remaining". "Preparing to copy" took 6 hours, it has been "estimating time remaining" for 1 hour. The target drive has not spun up at all yet, it is still totally blank.
  2. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
  3. SDub90 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2009
    Long Island
    You will probably notice a significant improvement with Firewire 400 over USB 2.0.
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    For those kind of big drag and drop copies, the difference is at an extreme, and it's not uncommon to see improvements of 200-300% (see). USB2 is pretty close to FW for small files (the peak speed is technically slightly faster), but when you're talking about gigabytes of sustained data transfer, there's no comparison. Anyone who owned a firewire iPod and then got their first USB iPod can attest to that one. :(
  5. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    I don't know about this particular drive, but, in similar circumstances, I got about 2X with FW400. USB 2.0 is an embarrassment.

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