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Thread: ext hdd usb 2.0 or firewire?

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    Chillie in here j.o.s.h.1408's Avatar
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    ext hdd usb 2.0 or firewire?

    which connection is best for a ext hdd? i heard that the firewire port is much faster than a usb so thereforeis firewire the ideal port to have on an ext hdd?

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    That'd Get Ruined! keef247's Avatar
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    i think firewire is faster?
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    Chillie in here j.o.s.h.1408's Avatar
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    so firewire the way to go? why does its eem that the usb ones are more popular than firewire?

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    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    What are you using the drive for?

    Although Firewire has a lower maximum wire speed (400mbps compared with 480mbps) it generally achieves a higher throughput as it is a more efficient protocal and it doesn't require the host CPU to do as much work.

    If you are using the external disk for video editing or audio production then yes, Firewire would be a much better choice, but if it's just for extra storage space for downloads etc, USB will be fine.

    It's a shame Firewire isn't used more than it is, it is a great connection interface. Oh, it also has less compatability and driver problems than USB. But that might just be because there are less cheap dodgy devices that use it.

    As an asside, Firewire can also do some cool things that USB is only now catching up to. For years you have been able to plug a hard drive directly into some video cameras and dump the DV footage straight to disk. Also i *think* that when you stream DV from a comcorder to an external drive connected to a PC the data doesn't actually go through the PCs memory, just through the Firewire controller. USB pulls everything into memory before sending it back out again. Could be wrong on this last point though

    Quote Originally Posted by j.o.s.h.1408 View Post
    so firewire the way to go? why does its eem that the usb ones are more popular than firewire?
    USB is cheaper to produce
    Last edited by Funkstar; 21-09-2006 at 07:53 PM. Reason: spelling and more detail

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    If firewire is an option at a similar cost, then I would go for that without question. With some of the older USB external hard drives I have had no end of problems, and lost a lot of data due to incompatibilites. Firewire has as of yet given no problems, and as above I wish it was more available!

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    Senior Member this_is_gav's Avatar
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    If you're looking at Icy Boxes and end up with a choice between USB and Firewire, go USB (even a combo if you wish). There's been quite a few reported issues with the Icy Boxes in Firewire mode.

    Personally, I've got a USB/SATA Icy Box - they give you a bracket for the back of the PC, so you can connect the drive up direct to an internal SATA port, so I get full speed without using any USB buses. Running Vista off a Raptor in SATA in my box at the moment.

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