Why is FireWire so expensive?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Acorn, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. Acorn macrumors 68020

    Acorn

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    #1
    Usb 3.0 device has more bandwidth then firewire 800 yet firewire costs twice as much. what kind of stupid is that. why would i pay twice as much for a firewire drive when i can buy a usb 3.0 drive for half. who prices this crap
     
  2. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

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    #2
    Great. I would prefer a Firewire drive, but whatever suits you.

    Geez.
     
  3. Acorn thread starter macrumors 68020

    Acorn

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    just because you prefer firewire doesnt mean you should have to pay twice as much for inferior technology.
     
  4. COrocket macrumors 6502

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    Taking a wild shot at it...maybe Firewire licensing/royalties are higher than their USB counterparts. If your looking at peripherals, then it would probably be better to go with a USB 3.0 device anyways, for future compatibility.
     
  5. mssusan00 macrumors newbie

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    #5
    I think the Firewire hard drives are expensive because they get you for the convenience of it all.
     
  6. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #6
    For example?
     
  7. justperry macrumors G3

    justperry

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    FireWire is a proven technology, USB 3 still has it's problems like interference, FW is more expensive because of licensing.

    I prefer FireWire, it's stable and fast, this might change though.
     
  8. Acorn thread starter macrumors 68020

    Acorn

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  9. simsaladimbamba

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  10. Acorn thread starter macrumors 68020

    Acorn

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    the firewire drive i originally looked at was 200 usd for 1 terabyte. i said why is that so high. it must be 2 terabyte for that cost. checked it again. nope 1 terabyte. this was about a week ago. Now the amazon link is updated with a difference price. so maybe i was mistaken or in error, but i was going by the original cost that i saw.

    that 600 dollar drive i posted is multi interface. still a bad price imho regardless.
     
  11. maxosx macrumors 68020

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    It's obvious you hate USB. Why you would claim it's unproven... is an interesting tactic.

    I enjoy both USB 3.0 & FireWire. Therefore I'm not limiting what I can do.

    Both perform well within their specifications & have suitable uses. One is _not_ better than the other, just different.
     
  12. justperry macrumors G3

    justperry

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    You can get a Firewire enclosure for a lot less, I got one year ago for about $50 all aluminium, FW800-400-USB and SATA.

    ??????

    Who says I hate USB, it's a fact USB 3 can cause interference with Wifi for instance.
     
  13. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

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    #13
    First off, USB 3 is new, FW800 is a current but soon to be fading technology. Those who need it will still pay for it as its a substantially superior to USB 2, which is its direct alternative, not USB 3. I use FW800 for my external drives connected to my media server. It'd be unbearable to operate them at USB 2 speeds. And it will be some years until I replace my 2009 mac mini with a computer that has USB 3. Not to mention all those FW enclosures.

    Second, its more than just speed that makes an interface more expensive than another. Licensing and manufacturing complexity play big roles. I have 4 external drive enclosures daisy chained off the mini's one FW800 port. And I'm about to add a fifth to the chain. No hubs needed. Try that with USB. And I get solid I/O to all the drives in the chain simultaneously.

    In the same way Thunderbolt, which is actually Firewire's direct successor, will most likely continue to be more expensive than USB 3 due to its more complex design. But that more complex design will also continue to have power and data handling capabilities that remain superior to USB.

    USB and FW/TB have inherently different intentions. USB was designed to be an inexpensive, all purpose peripheral interface. The compromise is that lower speed peripherals can degrade higher speed peripherals on the same bus. And USB is reliant on the already busy host CPU which can impede USB performance.

    FW/TB was intended to eliminate that compromise for high performance peripherals such as mass storage devices, and now with TB, monitors and graphic CPUs. Its peer to peer operation, eliminates the reliance on the host CPU, to help ensure consistant throughput at all times. That comes with a higher price to produce a much more complex controller circuitry.

    ----------

    From a consumer standpoint, a general rule of economics applies, if you don't know why you would pay more for it you probably don't have a need for it.
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

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    #14
    If you think Firewire is expensive, check out what SCSI stuff costs these days.

    USB3 leaves firewire 800 in the dust.
    It's that simple.

    The main reason is that the USB3 standard now supports something called UASP -- "USB Attached SCSI Protocol". This overcomes the earlier limitations of USB, where too much CPU use was required.

    I recently bought a 2012 Mac Mini, and tested it with several external USB (and firewire800) enclosures.

    I also picked up an Intel 520 series SSD, which would serve as my external boot drive.

    The first device I tested was a USB2/SATA docking station (pretty generic). I was getting read speeds of just under 39mbps with this.

    I then hooked up my Other World Computing "Voyager Quad" dock (USB/Firewire800) via Firewire800. Read speeds jumped up to around 78mbps.

    Finally, I hooked up a plugable.com "lay-flat" USB3/SATA dock. Read speeds SURGED to 410mbps.

    Firewire800 = 78mbps.
    USB3 = 410mbps.

    Which is faster?
     
  15. Dr Charter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I used to use one simply because it freed up a USB port. I always hated how USB hubs cluttered up my desk. I switched to LaCie LBDs after the prices came down a bit, but Firewire served me well. I'd still use it if any of my computers still had that interface.
     
  16. tekboi macrumors 6502a

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  17. jamesjingyi macrumors 6502a

    jamesjingyi

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    #17
    Firewire was brought out ages ago and is still going. It is owned by Apple (pls correct if wrong) therefore will be more expensive. It is being phased out I think as only the MacBook Pros without retina have it and the new ones don't. It was way ahead of its time and it will get more expensive because there is not as large a production.
     
  18. Primejimbo, Mar 30, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2013

    Primejimbo macrumors 68040

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    #18
    LOL!! I paid $169 for my WD 2TD hard drive with Firewire 800.
    simsaladimbamba, is right, that is an exaggeration.

    Just looked, the one I have came WAY down in price. $114.99

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/WD+-+My...TB external hard drive firewire 800&cp=1&lp=2

    So OP, how is Firewire twice as much??
     
  19. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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