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Discussion in 'iMac' started by Sky, Aug 9, 2007.
Is it possible, at a later date, to upgrade the hard drive on the latest iMacs?
yes , i think you can only have one hd, not sure
With difficulty and by voiding the warranty, yes.
The Firewire 800 port is there for a reason....
what kind of hard drive is in the imac
Sorry to ask a maybe obvious question, but what do you mean the firewire 800 is there for a reason? What does it do?
You can get an external hard-drive that has a Firewire connection to the iMac. It provides very fast access. You can setup the iMac to boot straight off of the external drive even, and might get a performance boost out of it. Plus its cool.
He means for an external hard drive.
In your opinion, or factual knowledge, is using firewire that much faster than a USB port. I never had much issues with speed in the past with an external harddrive connected by USB. Or does this have to do with Apples Time Machine?
USB2 goes 480 Mbit/s I think and FireWire 800 goes 800 Mbit/s, almost twice as fast. You'll notice faster transfer rates, but it's not a requirement to use FireWire (excepting if you want to boot from the external).
Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the difference between USB and Firewire:
USB was originally seen as a complement to FireWire (IEEE 1394), which was designed as a high-speed serial bus which could efficiently interconnect peripherals such as hard disks, audio interfaces, and video equipment. USB originally operated at a far lower data rate and used much simpler hardware, and was suitable for small peripherals such as keyboards and mice.
The most significant technical differences between FireWire and USB include the following:
USB networks use a tiered-star topology, while FireWire networks use a repeater-based topology.
USB uses a "speak-when-spoken-to" protocol; peripherals cannot communicate with the host unless the host specifically requests communication. A FireWire device can communicate with any other node at any time, subject to network conditions.
A USB network relies on a single host at the top of the tree to control the network. In a FireWire network, any capable node can control the network.
These and other differences reflect the differing design goals of the two buses: USB was designed for simplicity and low cost, while FireWire was designed for high performance, particularly in time-sensitive applications such as audio and video. Although similar in theoretical maximum transfer rate, in real-world use, especially for high-bandwidth use such as external hard-drives, FireWire 400 generally, but not always, has a significantly higher throughput than USB 2.0 Hi-Speed. The newer FireWire 800 standard is twice as fast as FireWire 400 and outperforms USB 2.0 Hi-Speed both theoretically and practically.The chipset and drivers used to implement USB and Firewire have a crucial impact on how much of bandwidth prescribed by the specification is achieved in the real world, along with compatibility with peripherals. Audio peripherals in particular are affected by the USB driver implementation.
One reason USB supplanted FireWire, and became far more widespread, is cost; FireWire is more expensive to implement, producing more expensive hardware.
I only have a Firewire 400 external hard disk at the moment but even that is preferable to USB 2.0 for me.
Despite USB2 being 80 Mbit/s faster in theory, in practice FireWire 400 actually performs better than USB2 more often than not. Of course, they're working on the 5 Gbit/s USB3 which is way faster than even FireWire 800, and FireWire will soon be even faster than that!
The best thing about using Firewire is that it requires almost zero Processor activity to use. Every chunk of data that goes over USB has to be processed by the CPU, with Firewire, almost none is needed.
Yes, firewire is faster -- but the difference between USB2 and FW400 isn't
nearly as large as the firewire ideologues would lead you to believe.
Here are some actual measurements of sustained read/write speeds for my
20" white 2.16 GHz iMac with an Icy Dock MB559UEB-1S enclosure equipped
with a fast drive (Seagate ST3500320AS, 105 MB/s max sustained r/w).
USB2, 1GB, write @ 28.3 MB/s (29.7 million bytes/s)
USB2, 1GB, read @ 35.6 MB/s (37.3 million bytes/s)
FW400, 1GB, write @ 32.9 MB/s (34.5 million bytes/s)
FW400, 1GB, read @ 39.8 MB/s (41.7 million bytes/s)
The above figures are very much in line with the fastest external hard drives
listed in tomshardware.com's performance charts (unfortunately, tom's charts
don't specify whether they define a MB as 1,000,000 or 1,048,576 bytes).
I don't have a FW800 port to test it on, but I'd expect the same enclosure and
drive to be approximately twice as fast on FW800.
Notice that many of the FW800 and eSATA externals on tomshardware charts
show less-than-stunning performance -- but their speeds are probably limited
by the slow/cheap drive mechanisms used in many "pre-packaged" externals.
If you want the maximum benefit from FW800, buy a top-quality SATA-based
enclosure and a FAST hard drive.
go with an external hard drive. To get at the internal drive you must remove the exterior glass and the lcd panel. Getting both back on without dust or fingerprints is next to impossible. Both are also breakable.
Of course, 3 Gb/s eSATA has been around since 2004, but it still ain't
available on iMacs. It sure would be nice to have a high-performance,
industry-standard, dedicated external hard drive interface -- rather
than a quirky (shared) FW400/FW800 controller, and external HDs that
sometimes work when firewire audio/video devices are present.
...Yo Steve! -- "standard" is better than "better,"