Is USB 2.0 Fast enough?

heisenberg123

macrumors 603
Original poster
Oct 31, 2010
6,497
9
Hamilton, Ontario
all i plan on using my external HD for is backups, using CCC is USB 2.0 Fast enough of will it be worth my while to spend the extra 30-40$ for a drive with Firewire 800?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,701
33,588
Boston
Just for backups, sure.

If you can get a FW drive cheap then you'll be better off but for only using it for backups USB2 will suffice in a pinch
 

soco

macrumors 68030
Dec 14, 2009
2,837
116
Yardley, PA
Unless you're concerned about getting the backups done in a particular timeframe, then yes, it's fast enough. I use 2.0 to do my Time Machine backups on my MacBook Air hourly and have no issues.
 

heisenberg123

macrumors 603
Original poster
Oct 31, 2010
6,497
9
Hamilton, Ontario
Unless you're concerned about getting the backups done in a particular timeframe, then yes, it's fast enough. I use 2.0 to do my Time Machine backups on my MacBook Air hourly and have no issues.
god point, right now im using an old WD My Book it has a 6 pin firewire, so im assuming its firewire 400, based on what ive researched that is not faster by much if at all than usb 2.0? i guess as long as the backups dont take much longer than they currently do i would be happy
 

fisherking

macrumors 604
Jul 16, 2010
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ny somewhere
after the initial backup, every additional backup is incremental. so usb should be fine.

if you were working with audio recording, or film editing, fw would be essential, but usb works for backing up.
 

zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,685
3,289
Have you considered a network drive instead? For a laptop, this is a huge improvement in backup frequency, because you don't have to manually connect the drive in order to back up. It will back up automatically whenever it is scheduled and the computer is on the network. Wireless is slow, but for day to day backups that doesn't matter, and for the big backups, Gigabit Ethernet is faster than even FW800.

These drives can be bought starting at about $125 for 1TB.
 

Adamantoise

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2011
892
112
I know everyone is different, but I'm surprised how many people find USB 2.0 usable.

USB 2.0 is too slow for me. Sure it doesn't matter much if you don't mind the time, but I personally do all my backups over Gigabit Ethernet.
 

fisherking

macrumors 604
Jul 16, 2010
7,125
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I know everyone is different, but I'm surprised how many people find USB 2.0 usable.

USB 2.0 is too slow for me. Sure it doesn't matter much if you don't mind the time, but I personally do all my backups over Gigabit Ethernet.
if you're using time machine (i don't, personally), an incremental backup is not going to take much time at all.

for anything requiring great speed, other options are certainly worth exploring.
 

edk99

macrumors 6502a
May 27, 2009
709
781
FL
I think you would be better off finding a USB 3.0 external drive which of course is USB 2.0 compatible. This way if in 2012 and beyond if you upgrade you mac and it is an Ivy Bridge it will natively support USB 3.0 witch Apple will 99.999% support. Firewire is dying. I wouldn't invest in it going forward.
 

fisherking

macrumors 604
Jul 16, 2010
7,125
2,066
ny somewhere
Shouldn't be too surprising. $$ trumps many other things for most people it seems.
lots of uses for usb 2.0.

audio interfaces
midi interfaces
backup drives
flash drives

am an audio pro, using a usb interface, and all is well.

we have 2 usb ports on our macs; should we not use them?
 

Takashi

macrumors regular
Oct 26, 2009
203
0
all i plan on using my external HD for is backups, using CCC is USB 2.0 Fast enough of will it be worth my while to spend the extra 30-40$ for a drive with Firewire 800?
Get Firewire if $$ is not an issue, or if the price for firewire interface is comparable to USB. You never know what you might plan to use your HD for in the future.
 

jnpy!$4g3cwk

macrumors 65816
Feb 11, 2010
1,119
1,302
all i plan on using my external HD for is backups, using CCC is USB 2.0 Fast enough of will it be worth my while to spend the extra 30-40$ for a drive with Firewire 800?
Spend a few extra $$. USB 2.0 is slow as molasses. FW800 is much better.
 
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