USB 2.0 Vs FW 400 Vs FW 800

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Stetwin, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. Stetwin macrumors 6502

    Stetwin

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Location:
    England - Co-Durham
    #1
    I’m looking to pick up my external Hard Drive this weekend and was just wondering how big of a difference (in terms of real time) the three interfaces are?

    Also when it comes to home/day to day use is FW 800 really worth the extra money or would USB 2.0 and FW 400 be fast enough? I’m mainly looking for something to back up my music collection, photos and also use it when leopard arrives for time machine, I’m looking to buy one of the WD MyBook externals if that helps in any way to answering my question :)

    /Ste
     
  2. crazycat macrumors 65816

    crazycat

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    #2
    For me personally i would recommend the FW 800 if you can afford it. I tested this a while ago and if i can remember the numbers they were something like this.

    Backing up my desktop:

    USB 2.0: 3.8 - 4.0 hours.
    FW 400: 1.6 - 2.0 hours.
    FW 800: always under 1 hour.

    If you do the backups at night when you go to bed it makes no difference to which connection you have. If you need files fast then both FW 400 and 800 will do the job. I am used to use a usb portable hard drive to move large files (wow folder, pics, movies) from my home office imac to my gaming macpro and pc and sometimes it would take 3-4 mins which is a lot if you wanted it quick. I then got a firewire 400 and now i wait like 1.5 mins.

    There is a speed difference but the larger the files the more you will notice it.
     
  3. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #3
    I switched to FW800 because I noticed when using USB that the backups would run for many hours and the drives would get very hot. With FW800, the drives would not be running hard for so long and wouldn't get that hot. So I do it more to avoid wear and tear on the drive rather than speed.
     
  4. The Stig macrumors 6502a

    The Stig

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Location:
    On the track
    #4
    FW800 no doubt. FW400 is still a lot better than USB.

    The Stig
     
  5. Stetwin thread starter macrumors 6502

    Stetwin

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Location:
    England - Co-Durham
    #5
    After having a shop about I can still only find the MyBook FW400 USB2.0 for £65 excluding delivery, but I’m able to get the FW800 FW400 USB2.0 for £78 delivered… before I take the plunge does anyone know where I might be able to get one a little bit cheaper (links would be awesome), also are there any other external hard drives I should take in to consideration?

    also on a side not I can get the FW400 one for £56 used (all prices are on Amazon.co.uk), obviously the £56 one is a good saving but would a used drive be worth it?
     
  6. StealthRider macrumors 65816

    StealthRider

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    Yokosuka, Japan
    #6
    I'm using a 500GB MyBook Pro with my MacBook Pro (FW800, obviously), and it screams. A great buy!
     
  7. topgunn macrumors 65816

    topgunn

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    Houston
    #7
    Stick with firewire, period. At least on a Mac. While its true that USB 2.0 competes with FW400 in max burst rates, it can't hold a candle to it in sustained transfer rates (which is much more important for things like backups). If you can afford to get FW800 over FW400, even better. If not, FW400 will be sufficient for the average user.
     
  8. illicium macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    #8
    Gig 'Em!

    topgunn,

    What class are you? I am class of '07

    Gig 'Em!
     
  9. topgunn macrumors 65816

    topgunn

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    Houston
    #9
    Class of '01. At least thats what my ring says. I didn't get out until '02.
     

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