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USB v's Firewire Best Connection

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    Posted 14 June 2006 - 09:23 PM


    I have an external box attached to my Laptop (via USB 2.0) that currently holds a DVD burner. The box has both USB & FireWire ports. I intend to Swap the burner for a IDE hard drive and keep the box as a backup drive.

    What connection will give me the best performance in regards to the Hard Disks' operations.

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      Posted 14 June 2006 - 09:32 PM

      Really depends on hardware. USB 2.0 is supposed to support speeds up to 480, while FireWire is maxed out at 400? Many USB 2.0 devices will "say" they support 2.0, but in reality they only support some of the standards. The USB 2.0 standard is very loose (which is very sad!) and you could end up with a device that is only capable of supporting half the bandwidth that 2.0 is supposed to support!
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        Posted 14 June 2006 - 09:35 PM

        It is pretty much a toss up... USB 2.0 and Firewire/IEEE1394 and roughly the same speed. I think off the top of my head that USB2.0 is 480Mbps and IEEE1394/FW is actually only 400Mbps. FW2 is at 800Mbps... So when it comes down to it, it doesn't matter.

        What does matter about speed is your BUS load and the speed of the drive it self. Pu a 5400RPM on a fiberchannel and I don't care how much data the bus can cary, the drive will slow it all down. Same with putting a 15,000RPM Raptor on a 66Mhz IDE bus.... It all depends on the slowest part that will determine your output. Fast drive on fast bus means fast to put it simply.

        Hope this helps!!


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        This post has been edited by baronvonfoxbat7734: 14 June 2006 - 09:36 PM

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          Post icon  Posted 14 June 2006 - 10:08 PM

          From what I've seen when using external drives, USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 are nearly the same speed. If you have FireWire 800 support, then definitely use that over USB and save a USB port for something else. :)

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            Posted 14 June 2006 - 10:10 PM

            Thanks for the replies,

            I'm takin it all onboard...

            I see now that I have to look at the whole combination in regards to total performance.

            But I guess that I was mainly looking at the comparison as I'm familiar with USB but IEEE/IliNK/FireWire is a bit of an unknown quantiy.

            Also the box not only comes with both ports but It also came with both cables... So I guess that I can try both and see what happens.

            Thanks again.

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              Posted 15 June 2006 - 11:52 AM

              Also just for information.

              I have read somewhere that firewire is becoming a dead technology. Basically devices and manufactures are moving away from it.

              It might have been with apple or something because Apple was really the only ones behind firewire and I think they have since started to move from firewire.

              I will look and see if I can find the article again.

              This post has been edited by lawson23: 15 June 2006 - 11:55 AM


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