Why does Apple love firewire so much?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Luigi239, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. Luigi239 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    #1
    Why does Apple love firewire so much? Many functions on a Mac are firewire only, such as the migration assistant, and target disk mode. It really doesn't make sense to use firewire anymore, as usb 2.0 is a faster (then firewire 400 at least), and more widely available specification.

    Wouldn't it make sense to let users have an option between firewire and usb, instead of locking users into a specification that not that many people use? Just another little thing about my mac that bugs me. ;)
     
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #2
    Because it works. Because it existed before USB 2. Because it is a standard in the Digital Video field.

    Wrong. USB 2.0 is faster on paper (480 vs 400 MBs) but Firewire is almost twice as fast in real-world, Finder file transfer tests (Yes, I benchmarked it myself).
     
  3. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Kop
    #3
    Firewire is miles better than USB. Once you've tried it you wont go back.
     
  4. Luigi239 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    #4
    Hmm, I never knew that. Why does firewire get better real world speeds?

    Also, even if firewire is better, why doesn't Apple give users a choice? I would have liked to get a few things off of my Macbook when it died, but the other Mac in my house doesn't have firewire. Even if it was going to be dog slow, I would have at least had the option.
     
  5. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    By law, every HDTV set-top box includes FireWire. Every digital camcorder and editing tape deck geared toward professionals includes FireWire. Apple invented FireWire. Wintel box OEMs may consider it to be a burden on their customers, but not Apple. Resources like FireWire are among the reasons that people buy Macs and developers write applications for the platform. They have absolute assurance that their applications will run. Developers don't have to expend valuable resources writing drivers to support third-party hardware. They can concentrate their energies on their applications. Users don't have to worry about installing drivers when they buy new peripherals or applications. They can just plug-in their peripherals and get to work.
     
  6. kgarner macrumors 68000

    kgarner

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Location:
    Utah
    #6
    Because Firewire was designed for video and is capable of sustained transfer rates at or near it maximum throughput of 400 Mbps. USB is designed for burst transfers. That is that you may get brief bursts of over 400 Mbps but they are not sustained over the course of the transfer.

    In most cases people are accessing relatively small files and so USB feels just as fast as Firewire. But when you start transferring large files like video, then there is a noticeable difference in the performance of the Firewire versus USB. I choose Firewire whenever possible myself.
     
  7. klymr macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    Utah
    #7
    Hey, look at that, another Utah guy.

    I myself am looking for a FW800 external HD, but can't decide on what to get. I am pretty sure I've ruled out USB 2.0 from this equation. ;)
     
  8. AdeFowler macrumors 68020

    AdeFowler

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #8
    Let's not forget that Apple invented Firewire so they're bound to plug it (poor pun :eek:)
     
  9. Luigi239 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    #9
    Allright, well that makes sense. Thanks for the explanation.

    But still, why doesn't Apple give the option of using usb? Even if firewire is better, users should still get a choice.
     
  10. klymr macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    Utah
    #10
    Mostly because they can do whatever they want.
     
  11. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #11
    Everything I wanted to say was pretty much said. The faster over-all speed, the fact that it's built in on all Macs, and that it is THE standard for video.
     
  12. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #12
    simple apple does not believe in choices. Apple like to shove what ever they think is best on people and refuse to give them the option to choose.
     
  13. AdeFowler macrumors 68020

    AdeFowler

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #13
    Okay, apart from Migration Assistant and Target disk mode, which are basically the same thing, where else does Apple force Firewire on us?
     
  14. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    #14
    firewire is faster than usb because the usb bus is being shared by many different devices. Mouse, keyboard, internal parts. Firewire is stand alone. I usually got around 40-50MB a second with firewire 400 with an external drive. A guy i work with says his firewire 800 drive is actually faster than his internal hard drive lol.
     
  15. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    Possibly its because USB cables in general are different at each end, (well all the ones I have anyway), so its not really worthwhile to make it work with USB too.
     
  16. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #16
    I think for all the reasons discussed above......

    My personal favorite--Apple was instrumental in inventing it, insofar as any standard is "invented."

    As for not allowing choice--sure Apple does. You always have the choice to NOT buy their products. And if USB2 is THAT important to you for some bizarre reason, don't buy a Mac! ;)

    Best,

    Bob
     
  17. kgarner macrumors 68000

    kgarner

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Location:
    Utah
    #17
    That's an excellent point I hadn't even considered. To support USB Target disk mode Apple would have to add a Type B USB connection on the Mac and it would only be used for that one purpose. Something that happens maybe only once in the life of the computer. Can't believe I missed that.
     
  18. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #18
    That's not it at all. Apple designed FireWire to replace SCSI, which was a parallel bus. Like SCSI, FireWire devices are bus masters. Each FireWire device may send and receive based on its own internal intelligence. Data does not have to pass through the CPU. Unlike SCSI, FireWire has no termination issues. USB is dumb. All data communicated over USB must pass through the CPU. Devices such as mice, keyboards, and such are low data rate devices. They are what USB was invented to handle. Later on, Intel claimed that USB could compete with FireWire. However, it was a claim that was never supported by evidence.

    Prior to Apple's adoption of USB for the first iMac, the technology was very finicky. Wintel boxes shipped with USB ports, but nobody actually used them. People were perfectly happy with their parallel printer ports, RS-232 serial ports, and PS/2 keyboards and mice. I had to download drivers from Microsoft so that my secretary's Gateway running Windows 98 would accept USB flashdrives and so that my digital camera would upload pictures.
     
  19. szark macrumors 68030

    szark

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Location:
    Arid-Zone-A
    #19
    I'm not sure, but I believe the way that Firewire is designed makes it easier to implement Target Disk mode.

    Also remember that USB 2.0 is a relatively new addition to Macs -- most Macs that you would be migrating from do not have USB 2.0.
     
  20. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #20
    apple loves firewire so much because they helped to develop it.

    and i think that fw400 is faster than usb2.0, they both use different transfer methods. fw has the better transmission methods to allow for the faster write/read speeds on the larger file sizes
     
  21. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #21
    I can vouch for that. I recently bought a 1TB external and decided to tranfser my 200GB iTunes library to it so it could continue to grow. I set up the drive so USB2 was the default setting and set about transfering the library. 5 hours later (there was still an hour to go) there was a power cut and had to start again.

    This time I changed to firewire and it only took 2.5 hours to transfer.
     
  22. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #22
    They are both pretty damn fast but I do find USB to be easier to find peripherals in.

    Apple invented Firewire, thats why they still use it. But it has been slowly dying, and I don't see it sticking around for longer than another few years. USB on the other hand, its not going anywhere anytime soon.
     
  23. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #23

    Totally agree. I switched my back up drive from Firewire to USB 2 to free up Firewire ports, and the data transfer is almost cut in half.
     
  24. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #24
    That's exactly the reason they don't give you a choice.
     
  25. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #25
    doesnt firewire have a different method of actually sending the data accross.. the checksum is much much faster, making it way faster, even though it technically isnt faster..
     

Share This Page