Is USB 2.0 really that bad?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by skyrider007, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. skyrider007 macrumors 65816


    Aug 5, 2007
    I bought a LaCie 500GB external HD to be used as a Time Machine backup drive. Having read all the negative comments about USB2 in this forum, I am now feeling very uncomfortable owning this drive. :(

    I am a student and don't do any video editing or anything super high tech at all. Though I feel like I've just bought an outdated product that will not take full advantage of the technology that Leopard and my MBP have to offer.

    Should I just stick to my USB LaCie or shell out more money for FireWire version?

    P.S. I got my HD for about US$120...
  2. gsahli macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2007
    I think your drive will work very well for that purpose. USB 2 just isn't good for applications that need continuous high transfer rates, like video.
  3. Kuska macrumors regular


    Sep 14, 2006
    Deep in The Weald, England
    For backups, I wouldn't worry too much - I've a Lacie with the triple USB, Firewire 400 & Firewire 800 connections. As I've a few Lacie drives, I'm constrained a little by the number of ports on the back of the iMac so I'm using USB 2.0 for my backups. To say I've never noticed a performance issue or worried about the fact that it's running on USB 2.0 should give you an indication.

    Sure, there will be some real tech advise on the pro's and cons but I think the differences will be so tiny in this instance that you shouldn't be worried.

    Enjoy the Lacie drive - my original 4 year old drives still work just fine and they've been used heavily.
  4. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
    Keep the USB.
  5. skyrider007 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 5, 2007
    THanks guys, I think I'll keep the USB drive. More questions if anyone would kindly answer them for me.

    Is it normal for TimeMachine to take up to an hour for the first back-up?

    My MBP has 160GB of storage so should I partition my external HD to 160GB for Time Machine (or more/less)? I'm intending to format the other partition to be compatible with Windowss.
  6. byakuya macrumors 6502a


    Jul 26, 2007
    the initial backup will take quite some time because the whole hd is being backupped...
    after that it should be faster since only incremental backups are performed.
  7. eyemacg5 macrumors 6502


    Sep 14, 2006
    Derbyshire, England
    My first backup of my MBP 120gb hd took all night onto my WD Mybook 500gb USB but all the back ups know take minutes and I don't even notice them.
  8. swingerofbirch macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    I recently bought a 500 GB USB iomega drive cos I had a good deal on it. It definitely seems slower to me than Firewire, but when doing a big back up it's going to take a while anyway so I just go do something else while it's working...

    I hope firewire has a comeback!
  9. scienide09 macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    Yeah, USB 2.0 is just fine for simple backup and storage. Unless you're constantly transferring files back and forth, you shouldn't have a problem.
  10. Airforce macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    I use a SATA -->USB 2.0 connection for my laptop to my desktop's hard drive. Speeds are great. No worries.
  11. Yvan256 macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2004
    Keep the USB, it's fine for Time Machine

    FireWire really is better than USB 2.0, however for things such as backups (or even music/video libraries) it's more than enough.

    In fact I'd say that using FireWire for a backup drive would be wasting a FireWire port. ;)
  12. EddieZ macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2007
    USB 2.0 Has Been Fine for Me

    I had the same concerns, I have a bunch of old external drives (even some USB 1.1) and finally decided to go with a Drobo. I don't do video or anything, and my music seems to stream fine, without any problems. I do a lot of photography, and just bought a new camera, and am filling up the Drobo pretty quick, I will probably have to add a drive soon to expand the storage, I will let you know how easy/difficult that will be =)

  13. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Jan 6, 2007
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    I use a 1TB JBOD drive (2x500GB) with only USB2.0 for time machine and music backup, and I have no problems. Sometimes you have to pay a huge premium for FW drives.

    I use FW for my production drives, and can see a difference when writing/reading large sustained files, but backups are backups, and you can take your time...

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