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  1. #1
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    I've got to go shopping for a new external drive. The publicity says that firewire is a good deal faster than USB. I don't even know what a firewire port looks like. How can I tell if I have one? If AI don't, are they "addable"?

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    Chuck Billow
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    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by CWBillow View Post
    I've got to go shopping for a new external drive. The publicity says that firewire is a good deal faster than USB. I don't even know what a firewire port looks like. How can I tell if I have one? If AI don't, are they "addable"?

    Regards,
    Chuck Billow
    I think the best way to connect an external drive is eSATA.

    The easiest way to tell if you have Firewire or eSATA connections is to look in the specification or user guide for your computer. Looking for a connector on your case won't help as many cases have external connectors that aren't connected to anything on the motherboard.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CWBillow View Post
    I've got to go shopping for a new external drive. The publicity says that firewire is a good deal faster than USB.
    There are two speeds for Firewire: 400 and 800. USB is 480, so it matters which Firewire you get. (These are all theoretical maximum speeds. Reality almost certainly differs.)

    Unless you need to share your external drive with a Mac, or you need extremely high speed access to it (e.g., reading/writing video in real time), I would go with USB. It's cheaper and compatible with more PCs.

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by jscher2000 View Post
    There are two speeds for Firewire: 400 and 800. USB is 480, so it matters which Firewire you get. (These are all theoretical maximum speeds. Reality almost certainly differs.)

    Unless you need to share your external drive with a Mac, or you need extremely high speed access to it (e.g., reading/writing video in real time), I would go with USB. It's cheaper and compatible with more PCs.
    I just got my first computer with USB 3 ports, and a quick Google shows that USB 3 external drives are starting to come on the market. I think that these are considerably faster than Firewire of any flavour.

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuartR View Post
    I just got my first computer with USB 3 ports, and a quick Google shows that USB 3 external drives are starting to come on the market. I think that these are considerably faster than Firewire of any flavour.
    Chuck - with your well-known enthusiasm for pioneering where angels fear to tread, I would suggest that you install a USB 3 card and get a USB-3 capable external hard drive. Somewhat slower would be eSATA, but both will be faster than USB2 or Firewire 400 or 800. If you have a large amount of data to transfer, using USB 2 or Firewire is like watching paint dry, and little more exciting...
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

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    Have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_1394_interface

    The following is from the link above.
    "However, the royalty which Apple and other patent holders initially demanded from users of FireWire (US$0.25 per end-user system) and the more expensive hardware needed to implement it (US$1$2), both of which have since been dropped, have prevented FireWire from displacing USB in low-end mass-market computer peripherals, where product cost is a major constraint."

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  7. #7
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Stuart/Batcher/Jefferson/Dave:

    You are all, as usual, giving great advice.

    I didn't know about USB3, so I'll have to make sure the drive supports it, but it certainly seems less hassle and cost. Can't say I wasn't a bit surprised when, as my drive started to choke, and I moved my main backup to a aprtition on my internal drive, how much faster backup was (32 minutes as opposed to 1 hour 45 min). That's what got me poking around. But I can see that the gain from a USB 3 should be more than sufficient.

    Now to find a 1TB drive that supports USB3!

    Thanks to all.

    Regards,
    Chuck Billow
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

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    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CWBillow View Post
    Stuart/Batcher/Jefferson/Dave:

    You are all, as usual, giving great advice.

    I didn't know about USB3, so I'll have to make sure the drive supports it, but it certainly seems less hassle and cost.**Can't say I wasn't a bit surprised when, as my drive started to choke, and I moved my main backup to a aprtition on my internal drive, how much faster backup was (32 minutes as opposed to 1 hour 45 min).**That's what got me poking around.**But I can see that the gain from a USB 3 should be more than sufficient.

    Now to find a 1TB drive that supports USB3!

    Thanks to all.

    Regards,
    Chuck Billow
    Yes, but*

    (1) doesn't the advantage of USB3 only come when both the drive and the PC support USB3?

    (2) is it a good idea to make your main backup to a partition on your internal drive? If the internal drive fails, everything has gone.

    Ian


  9. #9
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanWilson View Post
    (1) doesn't the advantage of USB3 only come when both the drive and the PC support USB3?
    (2) is it a good idea to make your main backup to a partition on your internal drive? If the internal drive fails, everything has gone.
    1) Yes definitely, you would need both.
    2) I agree. It would not be wise to use another partition on the same drive as the only backup location.

  10. #10
    New Lounger
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    Firewire 400 in practice is faster than USB 2.0 (see Wikipedia's article) which nomally run only at about 30 MBytes /sec. Segate says they will show their first USB 3.0 drives at CES in Jan 2010. I have used the FreeAgent Pro with both USB and Firewire. The Firewire ran 3 to 4 time faster for backup. (I'm not sure exactly, I gave up waiting on the USB run and went back to Firewire).

  11. #11
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    That's a big difference. Thanks Tom.

    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

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    BUT, very few machines come with Firewire installed.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  13. #13
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Dave, yea, 'cause I was looking and didn't see any type of connector...

    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  14. #14
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    Firewire is a Apple product to start out, but it sill gets a lot of royalty money.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  15. #15
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Well maybe I'll be able to "upgrade" to USB 3 soon.

    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

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