Will FireWire really improve my setup?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by upthespurs, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. upthespurs macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2010
    I have an iMac 27" i7 2010 and I am currently running iTunes from 3x1.5 tb external USB drives. iTunes can be a bit laggy atntimes loading artwork etc and I also find that streaming to my ATV 2 can take a bit of time to buffer. I have a 40 mega Internet connection so this shouldn't be the problem.
    I am thinking of upgrading to 2x3 tb drives and I'm not sure if going for the FireWire 800 option is going to make a big difference. I can't seem to find any real information on actual speeds on YouTube etc. Thanks for your help in advance.
  2. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    I only run fw400 on my drives, and when I have to use the USB one it kills me how slow it is. I imagine fw800 would really rock!
  3. Dnix macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    Not sure if there'll be huge difference just accessing songs from iTunes. But I would get it anyway for the transfer rates.

    I would never use USB 2 for any serious external drive. Especially ones at that capacity.
  4. jljue macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2011
    Brandon, MS
    FW400 & FW800 end up having faster transfer rates over USB2 because they don't have the CPU overhead that USB requires. I still edit video with a hard drive with FW800, so I know that you should be able to load iTunes media faster with the extra bandwidth. How much faster is to be determined by the size of your collection.
  5. 88 King macrumors 6502

    88 King

    Jun 18, 2011
    London, UK
    I currently have both USB and Firewire external drives attached to the imac. I really don’t see much difference in loading 720P video between those two drives.

    I'm more annoyed by the hard drive spin up times.
  6. upthespurs thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2010
    Thanks for the replies. I think I'm going to go with the Western Digital 6 tb mac edition. It's a bit expensive at 425€ tho but a 2 tb version is 189€ so it makes sense to me. Gives me FW800 and clears up 3 External hard drives all at once. Hopefully I will see an improvement in loading times and all will be just great.
  7. bumzo1 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 31, 2009
    Dallas, TX
    I have 2 1tb fw800 drives hooked up to my mac for video editing and they work great. I actually did a speed test of my different drives and the external drives are just marginally slower than my internal 7200rpm drive.
  8. Dnix macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    Those RAID enclosures from OWC are pretty sweet, the "Mercury" aluminum ones. They have like ten different connections (lol) and are super nice. They are one of the few out there, that have FW800 and eSATA.

    Just a suggestion. ;)
  9. Papanate macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2011
    North Carolina
    FW 800 will smoke the USB port. So yes it is a vast improvement for you to get FW 800 external drives. You will also see a huge reduction in the time it takes Time Machine to complete ( if you backup to an external drive now).

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