USB vs Firewire for media library use

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by guidoverduci, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. guidoverduci macrumors member

    Oct 17, 2008
    quick noob question... If I plan on having an external HD that is continuously hooked up to my imac that stores all my photos, movies, music, etc.. does it matter if it's firewire or USB? I understand there are speed differences, I'm just wondering if it's something I'll notice while using it as my media drive. thanks!
  2. JurgenWigg macrumors 6502


    May 20, 2006
    You can use either. Firewire is faster than USB and more noticeably so if you're working with large files or folders, but for just a media library, either one would probably be ok.
  3. arjen92 macrumors 65816


    Sep 9, 2008
    Below sea level
    yes either one would be ok. But if you want to copy the files a lot (for I don't know what reason), the firewire drive would do it faster. However watching a high resolution movie, shouldn't be a problem. (only when it's really uncompressed, like prores 2K or something like that).
  4. eljanitor macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2011
    Firewire 800 is faster then USB 2.0 or FW 400. Fire wire (FW) 400 has a transfer rate of 400 Mb/s (Mega bits per second) USB 2.0 has 480 Mb/s transfer rate.

    Even though you can find USB external harddrives everywhere and may not always find firewire external hard drives as easy, firewire is a better choice then USB in my opinion always. Or you can just wait for ThunderBolt (lightpeak) to become more popular as it has an insane data transfer rate, and most likely will be replacing firewire eventually.
  5. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    usb 2.0 is fine if you don't mind waiting the extra time it takes to back up, plus they are cheaper.
  6. awer25 macrumors 65816


    Apr 30, 2011
    Get firewire (800 if you can)

    In real life, Firewire 400 is about double the speed of USB2, and Firewire 800 is about double the speed of Firewire 400. If you have a Mac with FW800, there's no reason not to get it (well, except the cost of an enclosure is more...).

    I got this enclosure and it works great. Plus, it looks like a little Mac Pro :D

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