Well I've used USB 2.0, FW800, and USB 3.0 drives. FW800 is better than USB 2.0, but that's not saying much.
USB 3.0 drives are faster, less expensive, and more common than FW800. You can add a USB 3.0 card for as little as $20. If you have a free slot, that's the way I'd go.
question about firewire 800 external hd
Is it still relevant for those who don't have nMP nor 3.0 usb? I was browsing through amazon and found some firewire external hard drive..and I thought maybe it's still fast... what say you?
You're not saying what you are running. Presuming for a moment that you only have USB2 and FW800 on your current computer, a factory-new FW800 drive would be one of the best things you could buy, external storage wise.
If on the other hand you have TB or USB3 available on a newer machine, why not take advantage of these much faster speeds, especially at the sizes and prices of some of the latest USB3 drives.
Fast is a relative concept. Those FW drives were fast in their day, but newer, faster technologies have come along that leave FW now appearing slow.
i did mention no usb 3..but not tb..however i did mention that i didn't have nMP.
I'm just seeking alternative ways than 3.0 usb or tb since old mac pro don't have those.
As mentioned above by another poster, reasonably priced USB3 cards by Sonnet and others are available for the old MacPro, and that would be significantly faster than FW800, but if you didn't want to go that route, sure a new FW800 external HDD will do.
Thanks..but would this be something mac pro 2009 quad can use? the one with 2 usb or 4?
I have a 2011 iMac that has USB 2.0, FireWire 800, and Thunderbolt. I simply can't justify the typically ~$200 price increase for a TB enclosure/external drive, and then there's the cable purchase as well. I have an external enclosure from a couple of years back that does eSata, USB 2.0, FW 400 and FW 800, and I'm using the FW800 with my iMac. I can say for sure that it is noticably faster than the USB 2.0 was, especially since I've compared it apples to apples with the exact same drive/enclosure. I don't doubt that TB is faster, but if you have a less expensive option via FW800, then depending on your usage, it should serve your needs. Keep in mind that up until Thunderbolt and USB 3.0, FW800 was the go-to connection for photography and video editing enthusiasts. Yeah, there's faster stuff out there, but that doesn't mean FW800 isn't plenty fast if it's what you have available.
The caveat I have with my enclosure is that because it's older, the enclosure can't recognize drives larger than 2TB. Not a big deal at the moment, and I figure that by the time I *need* externals with more space the price of TB will come down to more manageable levels (or I'll have upgraded my iMac to a model that supports USB 3.0 or whatever comes next.)