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Thread: Firewire port

  1. #1
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    Firewire port

    I need to know more about the firewire port and how does it compare to the USB ports.

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    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    firewire is a 400mb/s connection, which goes under assorted names - i.link (sony), firewire (apple), sb1394 (creative), ieee1394 (the generic name for the standard)

    firewire data transmission can be streamed in one big go:

    negotiation-dataaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-endcommunication

    unlike usb, which is packeted:

    negotiation-data-endcommunication- negotiation-data-endcommunication- negotiation-data-endcommunication- negotiation-data-endcommunication- negotiation-data-endcommunication- negotiation-data-endcommunication- negotiation-data-endcommunication- negotiation-data-endcommunication-

    as a result, it's ideal for connecting (for example) digital camcorders, or external disks (for transfer of LARGE files, packeted can be faster on small files)

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    I'm just looking Tifosi's Avatar
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    USB2.0 is 480mb/s but Firewire tends to win on bandwidth tests.

  4. #4
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    There's IEEE1394a and IEEE1394b standards for FireWire, giving 400Mibit/sec or 800Mibit/sec respectively. Ports can be powered or unpowered, unlike USB which always carries some modicum of power for the device on the other end.

    directhex is right with regards to the serial bus and serialised nature of the data transfers.

    FireWire can also be married to an Ethernet MAC for Ethernet transport over the bus, for FireWire networking, whereas USB has no facility for that.

    USB3.0 should appear in due course.
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    Aka Bres subucni's Avatar
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    Wow, cheers directhex, you learn something new everydaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay-endcommunication

    I'll get my coat.

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    HEXUS webmaster Steve's Avatar
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    Only snag with firewire is that certain IDE>Firewire chipsets have issues with sustained data transfers, often resulting in delayed write errors, unless you're willing to faff about.

    Seem to only be an issue in Windows too.
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  7. #7
    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    In most of the tests I've seen (usually at The Tech Report TBH), firewire has much lower CPU utilisation than USB2 when used for external drives.

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