USB to Firewire Adapter - Better Hard Drive Speed?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by John Doe 57, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. John Doe 57 macrumors 65816

    John Doe 57

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    #1
    This may be a real stupid question but...

    If I were to buy a USB 2.0 to Firewire 400/800 Adapter, would I be able to hook up a USB 2.0 Hard Drive to the Adapter and expect a better transfer speed?

    Thanks
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #2
    Uh, no way. It's limited by the speed of USB.
     
  3. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #3
    It's also limited by the lack of existence of such an adapter that is (a) cheap and (b) works well. You're better off putting the money towards a different drive if the speed is that important to you.
     
  4. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #4
    :confused:

    Five cents. I have a set just like this.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. illegallydead macrumors 6502a

    illegallydead

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    #5
    Absolutely not. As said before, just roll with USB (it's plenty quick) or pay more for a FW drive. Forcing a solution like this is kind of silly.

    Does it really work that well? Also, does it require some sort of special software / driver, as I'm assuming it would, since they are totally different protocols and handle communication VERY differently...
     
  6. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #6
    That picture just shows the adaptors from a cable travel set.

    It doesn't say it's a USB to FireWire adaptor. :confused:
     
  7. illegallydead macrumors 6502a

    illegallydead

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    #7
    Ah.

    lol sorry I'm still kinda sleepy at the moment, so I didn't take as long to mull over Tallest's post and actually examine the picture. :eek:
     
  8. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #8
    There is no such thing as a USB-->Firewire or Firewire-->USB adapter. They are completely different technologies. It's like saying CRT-->LCD adapter.
     
  9. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #9
    You're wrong. I'll post mine in a few hours when I get the chance.
     
  10. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #10
    There's this one.

    It isn't cheap and doesn't work with OS X.
     
  11. illegallydead macrumors 6502a

    illegallydead

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    #11
    OK, then again my question: does it require drivers, etc.? As Grimace noted, they are totally different technologies, seeing as they:

    1) output/input data totally differently, i.e. Parallel (FW) vs. Serial (USB)

    2) have totally different pins, due to #1

    In other words, I seriously doubt that there is a cheap, reliable way to make something like that work. You can't just change the wires, you would probably need a whole external box that would more or less force the Parallel I/O streams of Firewire into the Serial scheme of USB, inherently bottlenecking the whole situation and driving up the price considerably, again begging the question, why not just buy the FW HDD for the whole $10-$30 it will cost you?
     
  12. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #12
    Okay, I was a bit dismissive and I apologize for that.

    Frankly, with enough money, you can convert almost anything, but I was talking about a cheap little connector (under $10).

    If that is now out there, then things have changed and I will happily stand corrected. :)
     
  13. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

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    #13
    It's more like asking if there's a device I can plug my headphones into that will convert Spanish to English. That's just not going to happen. You could hire a person in the middle that translates from Spanish to English, but that is expensive and introduces a performance bottleneck.

    Or, your analogy would be more accurate if you said a DVI to VGA adaptor. Yes, those exist, but only because the DVI spec ALSO sends the analog signals on a set of pins within the DVI connector. The adaptor just routes the existing signals to the correct VGA connector pins. Were it not for those pins, you would have to build a box to decode the DVI signal, re-encode them as a VGA signal, and output the new signal on the correct pins. And, of course, there's no way to convert a VGA to DVI signal using a cheap pin adaptor.

    Those adaptors you see for five cents just convert the physical shape of the adaptors, and route the power and ground pins (so you could charge a Firewire device using the power pins off a USB connection). There's no way to convert the different data transfer protocols unless you introduce a black box with electronics in the middle.
     
  14. illegallydead macrumors 6502a

    illegallydead

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    #14
    Precisely. Somewhere along the way there needs to be a chip to change things around. And so far the only somewhat reasonably priced product that can do this is WinXP only. Why anyone would drop the $$$ for it when they could just buy a FW card is beyond me, however...
     
  15. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    #15
    The adapter in question here is designed for DV video cameras. Given a good video camera runs anywhere from $400-1600, a $100 adapter is a far better choice than buying a new camera. :)
     
  16. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #16
    Yes, if someone knows of a straight USB to FW adapter that you can use to connect a HD, please post it.
     
  17. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #17
    Far better explanation (and analogy) than mine. Bravo! :)
     
  18. John Doe 57 thread starter macrumors 65816

    John Doe 57

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    #18
    My God! So many posts in record time for a thread I have started. I made this thread in Media Production class behind my teachers back.

    Either way, I was just wanted to know for sure. I'm pretty keen on hard drives and their specs - I'm no noob.

    Thanks for the info!
     
  19. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #19
    True, and given that new hard drives cost about the same as the adaptor, why I suggested spending the money on a drive.
     
  20. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #20
    If you already have a USB external drive and realy, really, want to use it as a FW800 drive to get better performance. The only "adaptor" that will work sells for about $40.

    It is not really a USB to FW800 adaptor but rather a disk enclosure box. Just open up your USB drive and take the disk out and put it in a new enclosure. It will cost you about $40 and yes it will be faster.

    I've actually done this a couple times and it's quick and easy. About 8 screws is all it takes.
     
  21. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

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    #21
    I was going to suggest the same thing, but you beat me to it! A combo USB/FW enclosure is the way to go.
     

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