USB 3.0 VS Firewire 800

Discussion in 'iMac' started by tigereat, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. tigereat macrumors regular

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    Dec 23, 2009
    #1
    I just returned my new iMac and 'm waiting for a replacement.

    I know USB 3.0 is coming out and would like to know if it will be faster than Firewire 800?

    It 's confirmed some of computer providers will be releasing their products with USB 3.0 ports on this month, January. like Lenovo Thinkpad W510

    I'm thinking of returning my iMac for the refund and wait til new iMac comes with USB 3.0 ports (if it is a lot faster than firewire 800) and of course wait til Apple has eliminated all current problems for this iMac.


    Do you think I should wait until then? or just keep this current iMac and sell it when the newer one comes out?
     
  2. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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    #2
    USB 3 support on an Apple product? Maybe late 2010. With light peak on the horizon who knows what will happen.

    As for speed to quote a google search on wiki (so it could be wrong)....

    On face value of these figures it's much quicker, though how much load is put on the processor I don't know.
     
  3. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #3
    IIRC, Intel said no usb 3.0 support in their chipsets until 2011.
     
  4. tigereat thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 23, 2009
    #4
    That's weird. I got this message from a Lenovo website about their new products releasing on January 2010


    "Productivity through Performance


    The new W510 brings mobile workstation performance to a higher level. More powerful than before, the W510 can now support up to 16 GB of memory and quad core processors. The W510 has four memory slots for up to 16GB of high performance 1333 MHz DDR3 memory. It also offers Nvidia's 1GB GPU and the latest Intel® Core™ i7 processors. As the first ThinkPad to offer USB 3.0, users can transfer data quickly reaching speeds up to 10x the performance over USB 2.0."
     
  5. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #5
    What drive do you plan on plugging into that USB 3 port?

    What kind of external drive speed are you looking for? Just for backup?
     
  6. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #6
    Take a look at this:

    http://gizmodo.com/5396965/nvidia-confirms-intels-senseless-usb-30-delay-until-2011

    The ThinkPad could be using non-Intel parts to do usb 3.0
     
  7. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

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    Sep 17, 2009
    #7
    so where do i start
    best with wiki as its easy to understand

    Although high-speed USB 2.0 normally runs at a higher signaling rate than FireWire 400, data transfers over S400 FireWire interfaces generally outperform similar transfers over USB 2.0 interfaces. Typical USB PC-hosts rarely exceed sustained transfers of 280 Mbit/s, with 240 Mbit/s being more typical. This is likely due to USB's reliance on the host-processor to manage low-level USB protocol, whereas FireWire delegates the same tasks to the interface hardware (requiring less or no CPU usage). For example, the FireWire host interface supports memory-mapped devices, which allows high-level protocols to run without loading the host CPU with interrupts and buffer-copy operations

    so usb 3.0 is nominal faster then firewire 800, , in the real world it has the same drawbacks as usb2.0 a lower then promised sustained speed , so usb 3.0 maybe can just keep up with firewire 800 , but dont expect more then just that

    better wait for

    A project named IEEE P1394d was formed by the IEEE on March 9, 2009 to add single mode fiber as an additional transport medium to FireWire.

    Other future iterations of FireWire are expected to bring a bump in speed to 6.4 Gbit/s and additional connectors such as the small multimedia interface.

    but for the moment i`m happy with firewire 400

    so i doubt apple will fit usb 3.0, to please 2 or 3 people with usb 3.0 needs
     
  8. tigereat thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
  9. dwarfthemike macrumors newbie

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    Jul 8, 2010
    #9
    Sorry to bump such an old post.

    Hey, I know this might be hard to believe, but USB 3.0 isn't the end all that you think. The theoretical speeds are higher, but Hard drives still have their limits. The only way to get these speeds is with a Solid State Drive.

    I have compared USB 3.0 and Firewire 800 IRL and they are about the same, but firewire wins since it doesn't use much CPU if at all.

    Like someone said above, the real winner will be Firewire 1600 and 3200.
     
  10. Dr McKay macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

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    #10
    Bah, the fastest transfer speed ive seen to my USB harddrive was about 24mb/s, and that was transferring video, If I'm copying pictures or music accross, it never seems to exceed 7-8mb/s.

    Am I just unlucky?
     
  11. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #11
    SSDs are becoming more popular all the time. You can always put HDs in RAID 0 to achieve greater speeds and that's common if you have multi-bay enclosure

    That depends on the drive you used. Most 3.5" can provide faster speeds than FW800 can (~80MB/s in real world). Burst speeds can be well over 200MB/s.

    FW HDs cost a nasty extra over USB or eSATA drives, that sucks. FW 1600 and 3200 have existed on paper since 2008 or so but there are no products that actually use them
     
  12. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #12
    I get up to 35MB/s with USB 2.0, but it is more like 27 to 32 MB/s at average. I use external enclosures for 2.5" HDDs with my 2009 MBP. Though USB 2.0 is slower on older, USB 2.0 equipped Macs, especially PPC ones, where I only got around 10 MB/s.
     
  13. sammich macrumors 601

    sammich

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    #13
    So Intel USB3 might be eons away in the tech world, but what stops Apple from putting it in a 3rd party controller next revision? I decided to go for the USB3 camp in my lastest purchase, FW800 enclosures still cost an arm and a leg, and even a fairly pedestrian 500GB laptop drive can reach 90MB/s, just beyond FW800.
     
  14. cube macrumors G5

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    #14
    There are many products that support USB 3.0 using a third-party controller. It's not necessary to wait for Intel.
     
  15. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #15
    Laziness. It would require redesigning the logic board (it's a small chip but you can't just put in there) and writing the drivers. Maybe Apple don't see it being so important
     
  16. sammich macrumors 601

    sammich

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    #16
    I can see Apple putting things on lower priority (Blu-ray comes to mind, but we'll never know the true reason for that delay), but laziness isn't something I would attribute to Apple.

    Hell (pardon the usage here :p), they made the mDP port, they co-built firewire, they were the first to use USB2 etc etc. I don't think a simple 3rd party chip would stop them if they were so inclined.
     
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #17
    Not true. Computers with USB 2.0 were released in 2002, such as the Dell Dimension 4500, but the first Apple computer with it was the PowerMac 7,2, released in June, 2003. The first Apple notebook with USB 2.0 was the PowerBook 6,2, released in September, 2003.
     
  18. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #18
    I think they were the first to abandon PS/2 in favour for USB to connect input peripherals with the iMac G3, but USB 2.0 took its time.
     
  19. Thermonuclear macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Prior to using USB (first version, 12.5 Mbps peak) in 1997, Apple used ADB (Apple Desktop Bus) for connecting keyboards, mice, and other slow speed serial peripherals. ADB had been in use since 1987 on Macs and Apple IIgs boxes.

    I doubt if Apple will ever use USB 3.0. Slow speed peripherals don't need it and can be better handled with Bluetooth anyway. High speed peripherals can use FireWire 800 for now and Light Peak soon; both are peer-to-peer just like Ethernet and don't load down the CPU as does USB.

    Light Peak (dual fiber optic with optional DC power cable pair) is the way to go, not just for peripherals but for networking, too. The spec says 10 Gbps over 100 meters and (eventually) 100 Gbps over ten meters. It will take a very long time before workstations need anything better. Light Peak will also kill off DVI and Display Port eventually; even HDMI will go if the HDTV makers convert.
     
  20. tears2040 macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Forget USB 3 and firewire just for the love of the Tech God give us a standard eSata port on my iMac!!
     
  21. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000

    aliensporebomb

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    #21
    Thinking...

    Why not use gigabit ethernet instead of either?

    Until my G5 blew up I was connecting to its drives via that and it was faster than even firewire 800 and it was a good solution for me.

    I wish I could find an ethernet capable box to put two SATA drives in that would let me connect the same way.
     
  22. GavinTan macrumors newbie

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    #22
    yeah eSata FTW! I used to use an eSata expresscard until apple did away with the slot :(
     
  23. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #23
    Don't forget this:

     
  24. Thermonuclear macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Don't get your hopes up for eSATA. Light Peak will make that obsolescent as well.
     
  25. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000

    aliensporebomb

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    #25
    LightPeak

    It would be great to see LightPeak but the WHEN is the big question? Next year? The year after? By then USB3 will be pretty entrenched I'd say. Makes it hard to say "we'll spring for that" unless it's so much faster than USB3 that it makes it look like a toy (it probably will) and it will be on every computing device on the planet.

    Waiting...
     

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