Firewire Vs USB2

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Zën, Jul 7, 2003.

  1. Zën

    Zën Guest

    Hello, I need to buy an external hdd. Not sure whether to go for a usb2 or
    firewire. Does anyone know what is faster? Also, I assume you can plug a
    usb2 hdd into usb1 holes OK? ANy help appreciated.

    Thanks

    Zen
     
    Zën, Jul 7, 2003
    #1
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  2. "Zën" <> wrote in message
    news:bec0av$921$...
    > Hello, I need to buy an external hdd. Not sure whether to go for a usb2

    or
    > firewire. Does anyone know what is faster?


    By spec, USB2 seems potentially faster. In practice, it seems firewire
    provides generally higher levels of performance for access and sustained
    transfer.

    > Also, I assume you can plug a
    > usb2 hdd into usb1 holes OK?


    You can but they will be slowed (a lot) by the limits of the USB1
    controller. If your current system has only USB1 ports, consider adding a
    USB2 card to your system.




    --
    Dean for America!
    http://deanforamerica.com
    http://blog.deanforamerica.com/
     
    Oxford Systems, Jul 7, 2003
    #2
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  3. Zën

    Paul - xxx Guest

    Zën deftly scribbled:

    > Hello, I need to buy an external hdd. Not sure whether to go for a
    > usb2 or firewire. Does anyone know what is faster? Also, I assume
    > you can plug a usb2 hdd into usb1 holes OK? ANy help appreciated.
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > Zen


    Got to agree with Oxford Systems on this. I've used a USB2 hd in a USB1
    port and it dids work but it *was* slow. Personally I'd go for the least
    cost option, which I guess would be a hardware USB2 port .. :)

    --
    ....................................Paul-xxx
     
    Paul - xxx, Jul 7, 2003
    #3
  4. Zën

    Bruno Guest

    Zën wrote:

    > Hello, I need to buy an external hdd. Not sure whether to go for a usb2
    > or
    > firewire. Does anyone know what is faster? Also, I assume you can plug a
    > usb2 hdd into usb1 holes OK? ANy help appreciated.
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > Zen

    I have one of both, and a "drive enclosure". I would recommend firewire
    whenever possible, as it does have the better performance so far. The best
    of all possible worlds is a drive enclosure. I bought one for $65. You
    can add any hdd, up to 200gb. I built mine, with an 80gb Maxtor hdd, for
    about $40 less than my Maxtor external drive. The enclosure can also be
    easily swapped out to be a cd or dvd drive.
    All of the units mentioned are slighty less than six months old, but if I
    had to bet which is going to last the longest, mymoney would be on the
    enclosure. It has it's own internal cooling fan. The other two use
    convection.
    In order to be fair, the standard external drives are smaller in size than
    the enclosure. They also weish slightly more. The enclosure is about the
    size of a VCR tape rewinder.
    One other note, some motherboards vendors don't strictly adhere to the
    specs for USB 2.0. I have had some issues with various boards and USB 2.0
    PCI cards. The firewire drive has never missed a beat on any firewire
    equipped board, or with any firewire PCI adapter card. The enclosure came
    with both firewire and USB 2.0. Again, the USB has been somewhat balky on
    some systems, while the firewire just performs.

    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?DEPA=&submit=Go&description=enclosure&searchdepa=0&page=2

    The second enclosure down is the one I bought. Generic, with an Oxford
    chipset, light, and very simple to put together. I plan to buy more soon,
    as the firewire ports (it has two) can daisy-chain similar to SCSI drives.
    --
    Bruno
    General Manager
    Teh Manglement
    "Think, don't speak, we'll get done much quicker."
     
    Bruno, Jul 8, 2003
    #4
  5. Howdy!

    "Zën" <> wrote in message
    news:bec0av$921$...
    > Hello, I need to buy an external hdd. Not sure whether to go for a usb2

    or
    > firewire. Does anyone know what is faster? Also, I assume you can plug a
    > usb2 hdd into usb1 holes OK? ANy help appreciated.


    In total throughput, FireWire is marginally faster than USB 2,
    although both are more limited by the physical drive than the interface at
    this point in time.

    I'd pick whichever one you had. Plus you CAN get combo drives that
    do FireWire and USB 2.0 both ...

    Yes, you can plug a USB 2 HDD into a USB 1.1 interface. Given that
    you have the support software, it'll even work. Just slower than slow ...
    remember that a USB 1.1 port is limited to 12Mbit, but each device is
    limited to 50%, so that's 6MBit. This gives a THEORETICAL maximum of
    750,000 BYTES/second ... INCLUDING the USB overhead!

    Compare to an ATA-33 drive, at 33 million bytes/second ...

    RwP
     
    Ralph Wade Phillips, Jul 8, 2003
    #5
  6. Zën

    Mitch Guest

    In article <bec0av$921$>, Zën <>
    wrote:

    > Hello, I need to buy an external hdd. Not sure whether to go for a usb2 or
    > firewire. Does anyone know what is faster? Also, I assume you can plug a
    > usb2 hdd into usb1 holes OK? ANy help appreciated.


    You can plug it in, but it's obviously going to work at USB 1 speeds.

    USB 2 PCI cards and FireWire PCI cards are both easy and inexpensive.

    FireWire is much faster.

    If you really need the speed, go for FireWire.
    If you need to make sure you can use it in friend's computers easily,
    and wouldn't mind suffering the massive speed loss when you do so, then
    go with USB 2, because then you can connect to USB 1 at desparate need.

    New computers all come with USB 2. Many come with FireWire, but not
    most.
     
    Mitch, Jul 10, 2003
    #6
  7. Zën

    Ski Guest

    >In article <bec0av$921$>, Zën <>
    >wrote:
    >
    >> Hello, I need to buy an external hdd. Not sure whether to go for a usb2

    >or
    >> firewire. Does anyone know what is faster? Also, I assume you can plug a
    >> usb2 hdd into usb1 holes OK? ANy help appreciated.

    >
    >You can plug it in, but it's obviously going to work at USB 1 speeds.
    >
    >USB 2 PCI cards and FireWire PCI cards are both easy and inexpensive.
    >
    >FireWire is much faster.
    >
    >If you really need the speed, go for FireWire.
    >If you need to make sure you can use it in friend's computers easily,
    >and wouldn't mind suffering the massive speed loss when you do so, then
    >go with USB 2, because then you can connect to USB 1 at desparate need.
    >
    >New computers all come with USB 2. Many come with FireWire, but not
    >most.


    ....and the creative labs Audigy series of soundcards come with firewire,
    bout $60 US, newegg.com.

    Ski
     
    Ski, Jul 10, 2003
    #7
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