USB vs Firewire

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by TGF, Apr 17, 2004.

  1. TGF macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2004
    Hi, I have a Dell Dimension 4400 with a USB 1.1 :( , and I am wanting to buy an iPod :) However, I am unsure whether to buy a Firewire card or a USB2.0 card for my Pc. I know that with Firewire you can charge at the same time as uploading music etc, but are there any problems associated with the Firewire both in use and compatability with PC's? (I ask as I am completely ignorant about anything to do computers!!) + is Firewire any more expensive than USB2.0?

    Whichever you guys reckon i should go for, can you suggest some good places to go and get one? Ideally in the Uk, seeing as I live there... but US stores are fine too! :)

  2. cpjakes macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2003
    Buffalo, NY
    A friend of mine is in the same boat with an older PC. He bought his iPod and is awaiting an Adaptec FireWire/USB 2.0 card. That way, you've got both and you can see which is better. The only thing is the card is about $60, vs. $30 for FireWire OR USB 2.0.

  3. realityisterror macrumors 65816


    Aug 30, 2003
    Snellville, GA
    i would get firewire any day...
    they should be very similar in cost. there are a lot of uses for usb 2.0, but i think even if you just use firewire for ipod and maybe do some video editing, it's worth it. also, if you ever get one, most external hd's are firewire...

  4. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    Only POWERED firewire ports can charge and sync the iPod. All Macs have powered ports, a FEW PCs have them, none of the cards are powered. As far as connectivity, there is no real world difference between the two (might be a MB or two diff in actual speed).
  5. grapes911 Moderator emeritus


    Jul 28, 2003
    Citizens Bank Park
    I'd look for a card with firewire and usb2. If you can't find a good deal on one, just get usb2. Firewire is slightly faster when working with ipods, but do you have anything else that the firewire can be used with? I'd guess no. Extra usb ports are probably more useful for a pc user than exta firewire ports.
  6. lepwisk macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2004
    Since you're a PC user, I'd probably say that USB 2.0 would be more useful to you. It seems there are far more peripherals for the PC using this standard than FireWire. The real benefit for FW, though, is for digital video capture. Pretty much all DV camcorders have FW output (also referred to as I-Link or IEEE-1394).

    cheers, lk
  7. haiggy macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2003
    Ontario, Canada

    I am sure they are roughly the same cost but I would say go for FireWire:

    1) It's made by Apple ;)
    2) Not a very big speed difference
    3) Same price
    4) You will save money by going FireWire without having to buy the USB adapter which I am pretty sure you have to buy for the iPod's if you're going to use USB. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I am pretty sure its not too cheap. >$10

    Just my 2 Canadian cents (4 cents US) :p
  8. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
  9. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    TGF, I think Firewire will work fine, provided the PCI slot you put the card in is not sharing with any other IRQ. If the computer came with a manual, please check if it shares with anything else--you don't want it to share with another IRQ, b/c you will run into some problems down the line.

    If you don't have a manual, then its just down to plug/chug (try each PCI slot, seeing what IRQ it takes in XP).

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