USB vs Firewire

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Does anyone have one of those external HD enclosures that supports both
Fireware and USB2?

Have you tried it with both? Which is "actually" faster?

A friend of mine switched from an external USB2 DVD burner to an
external Firewire DVD burner and he says that he's able to burn at 4x
now with the Firewire and was limited to 2x with the USB2.

Not that I don't trust him, but I want to make sure that Firewire is
definitely faster for external drives before I get one.

--Dave
12 answers Last reply
More about firewire
  1. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Bad Bubba" <bad@bubba.dude> wrote...
    > Does anyone have one of those external HD enclosures that supports both
    > Fireware and USB2?
    >
    > Have you tried it with both? Which is "actually" faster?

    Yes.

    Firewire works faster.
  2. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Bad Bubba" <bad@bubba.dude> wrote in message
    news:MPG.1c1c4d32d11d37129897ac@news.usenetserver.com...
    > Does anyone have one of those external HD enclosures that supports both
    > Fireware and USB2?
    >
    > Have you tried it with both? Which is "actually" faster?
    >
    > A friend of mine switched from an external USB2 DVD burner to an
    > external Firewire DVD burner and he says that he's able to burn at 4x
    > now with the Firewire and was limited to 2x with the USB2.
    >
    > Not that I don't trust him, but I want to make sure that Firewire is
    > definitely faster for external drives before I get one.
    >
    > --Dave
    >
    What a load of old rubbish, USB2 is much faster than IEEE1394 and the TEAC
    52X32X52 EXTERNAL USB2 CDRW drives are available at a price.
    The official USB website states, "The USB-IFÕs recommended nomenclature for
    consumers is ÒUSBÓ for slower speed products (1.5 Mb/s and 12Mb/s) and
    ÒHi-Speed USBÓ for high-speed products (480Mb/s), as signified in the USB
    logos that were introduced in late 2000.Ê In short, consumers wishing to be
    certain they are getting the performance they paid for in their USB products
    can use the logo for clarification."

    As only APPLE use Firewire800 on a PC USB2 is faster.


    Chris
    Technical director CKCCOMPUSCRIPT
    Apple Computers, Intel, Roland audio, ATI, Microsoft, Sun Solaris, Cisco and
    Silicone Graphics.
    Wholesale distributor and specialist audio visual computers and servers
    FREE SUPPORT @,
    http://www.ckccomp.plus.com/site/page.HTM
    ckccomp25@hotmail.com
  3. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Hi,

    I've used both. I've got been able to burn at 4X with either. Despite
    what Chris is saying both USB 2 and IEE1394 deliver about the same rates of
    data in real time.
    However, If you have any intention of using your enclosure for video
    capture with a hdd then I'd recommend that it have firewire in addition to
    the USB for asynchroneous transmission of data (back and forth), for
    capturing video, as you won't be able to do it that with USB2 alone.
    Consider also, that with having an enclosure with both you'll have a bit
    more versatility in being able to connect a second way if for some reason
    the USB or the firewire doesn't work.

    --
    Jan Alter
    bearpuf@verizon.net
    or
    jalter@phila.k12.pa.us
    "Chris" <chris@ckccomp.plus.com> wrote in message
    news:41b2af79$0$9354$ed2619ec@ptn-nntp-reader02.plus.net...
    >
    >
    >
    > "Bad Bubba" <bad@bubba.dude> wrote in message
    > news:MPG.1c1c4d32d11d37129897ac@news.usenetserver.com...
    >> Does anyone have one of those external HD enclosures that supports both
    >> Fireware and USB2?
    >>
    >> Have you tried it with both? Which is "actually" faster?
    >>
    >> A friend of mine switched from an external USB2 DVD burner to an
    >> external Firewire DVD burner and he says that he's able to burn at 4x
    >> now with the Firewire and was limited to 2x with the USB2.
    >>
    >> Not that I don't trust him, but I want to make sure that Firewire is
    >> definitely faster for external drives before I get one.
    >>
    >> --Dave
    >>
    > What a load of old rubbish, USB2 is much faster than IEEE1394 and the TEAC
    > 52X32X52 EXTERNAL USB2 CDRW drives are available at a price.
    > The official USB website states, "The USB-IFÕs recommended nomenclature
    > for consumers is ÒUSBÓ for slower speed products (1.5 Mb/s and 12Mb/s) and
    > ÒHi-Speed USBÓ for high-speed products (480Mb/s), as signified in the USB
    > logos that were introduced in late 2000.Ê In short, consumers wishing to
    > be certain they are getting the performance they paid for in their USB
    > products can use the logo for clarification."
    >
    > As only APPLE use Firewire800 on a PC USB2 is faster.
    >
    >
    > Chris
    > Technical director CKCCOMPUSCRIPT
    > Apple Computers, Intel, Roland audio, ATI, Microsoft, Sun Solaris, Cisco
    > and Silicone Graphics.
    > Wholesale distributor and specialist audio visual computers and servers
    > FREE SUPPORT @,
    > http://www.ckccomp.plus.com/site/page.HTM
    > ckccomp25@hotmail.com
    >
    >
  4. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Hi,

    I've used both. I've got been able to burn at 4X with either. Despite
    what Chris is saying both USB 2 and IEE1394 deliver about the same rates of
    data in real time.
    However, If you have any intention of using your enclosure for video
    capture with a hdd then I'd recommend that it have firewire in addition to
    the USB for asynchroneous transmission of data (back and forth), for
    capturing video, as you won't be able to do it that with USB2 alone.
    Consider also, that with having an enclosure with both you'll have a bit
    more versatility in being able to connect a second way if for some reason
    the USB or the firewire doesn't work.

    --
    Jan Alter
    bearpuf@verizon.net
    or
    jalter@phila.k12.pa.us
    "Chris" <chris@ckccomp.plus.com> wrote in message
    news:41b2af79$0$9354$ed2619ec@ptn-nntp-reader02.plus.net...
    >
    >
    >
    > "Bad Bubba" <bad@bubba.dude> wrote in message
    > news:MPG.1c1c4d32d11d37129897ac@news.usenetserver.com...
    >> Does anyone have one of those external HD enclosures that supports both
    >> Fireware and USB2?
    >>
    >> Have you tried it with both? Which is "actually" faster?
    >>
    >> A friend of mine switched from an external USB2 DVD burner to an
    >> external Firewire DVD burner and he says that he's able to burn at 4x
    >> now with the Firewire and was limited to 2x with the USB2.
    >>
    >> Not that I don't trust him, but I want to make sure that Firewire is
    >> definitely faster for external drives before I get one.
    >>
    >> --Dave
    >>
    > What a load of old rubbish, USB2 is much faster than IEEE1394 and the TEAC
    > 52X32X52 EXTERNAL USB2 CDRW drives are available at a price.
    > The official USB website states, "The USB-IFÕs recommended nomenclature
    > for consumers is ÒUSBÓ for slower speed products (1.5 Mb/s and 12Mb/s) and
    > ÒHi-Speed USBÓ for high-speed products (480Mb/s), as signified in the USB
    > logos that were introduced in late 2000.Ê In short, consumers wishing to
    > be certain they are getting the performance they paid for in their USB
    > products can use the logo for clarification."
    >
    > As only APPLE use Firewire800 on a PC USB2 is faster.
    >
    >
    > Chris
    > Technical director CKCCOMPUSCRIPT
    > Apple Computers, Intel, Roland audio, ATI, Microsoft, Sun Solaris, Cisco
    > and Silicone Graphics.
    > Wholesale distributor and specialist audio visual computers and servers
    > FREE SUPPORT @,
    > http://www.ckccomp.plus.com/site/page.HTM
    > ckccomp25@hotmail.com
    >
    >
  5. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Here's some of the comments of my personal experience FWIW:

    I have used both ways of connection with my 4x dvd/rw drives as well as hard
    drives in external cases. I have also used a 8x nec 2510a drive. The
    computer is a abit nf7s v2.0 with a 2500xp+ mobile clocked at 3200 speeds
    and a gig of ram. So much for the bragging.

    Using firewire and a hard drive, the sustained transfer speed is faster with
    IEEE1394A than USB 2.0 without question.

    Using USB 2.0 the speed is slower but on the other hand you will find more
    people equipped with USB on average than you will IEEE1394A compatibilty. In
    other words pretty much with MS machines USB is more popular than
    firewire.(sticking my neck way out there) You will notice that most computer
    stores are overflowing with USB accessories and lack in firewire stuff
    unless you are in a Macintosh store. The difference in speed I would
    estimate at about 35 - 50% faster with firewire being the winner. That is
    hard drives, external cases and Pc's.

    Now with optical drives, the main difference I have seen between the 2
    styles is negligible if the unit is being fed a good USB 2.0 signal at least
    with UDMA33 optical devices. I personally had slow operation and insane
    buffer dips with USB on my front ports because the case did not have a good
    enough front panel connection system. I was running in USB 1.0 or 1.1 until
    I put in a USB 2.0/IEEE1394A front panel port accessory made for fitting
    into a floppy drive bay from the Koutech company through Newegg for about
    $12. I then noticed and enjoyed a dramatic difference in speeds. Everything
    was set correctly in my computer's bios for USB 2.0 etc for those reading
    who have the desire to nitpick my rant.

    I just burned some dvds earlier today and using Nero the nero buffer did not
    dip below 99% using either firewire or the USB 2.0. So basically it boils
    down to either style for an optical device but use firewire for hard drives
    if possible. This of course is all based on my own personal experience and
    the experiences of several fellows in my computer buddy group. We have all
    come to the same conclusion without reservation. I use Abit Amd boards and
    they use other brands such as MSI with amd cpu or ASUS Intel based boards.

    It is critical to have a good USB 2.0 port working. Just because the box or
    manual for your machine says it has USB 2.0 does not mean it is actually
    working as it should be.

    To use USB 1.0 or 1.0 for anything would be an excercise in futilty as far
    as I'm concerned, so check your ports and bios etc. Try plugging into a rear
    port where the USB 2.0 is almost always gauranteed to work correctly. If
    your machine is old enough to have only USB 1.0, then go buy a USB 2.0 card
    and install it. They are pretty inexpensive. $10 or so USD.

    Also be aware that for me at least if I want to upgrade my dvd firmware, I
    must put the drive temporarily on my motherboard ide controller and flash
    the thing using a win98 boot floppy since I haven't found a flasher that
    will cooperate while the drive is mounted in my external cases.

    Oh yeah I also noticed that with firewire and a optical device it comes up
    as (insert your firewire chip manufacturer here) SBP2 device in the optical
    device area. With USB it usually says something like DVD or CD DD0203
    Optodisk USB device (my drive's name) which seems to describe the device
    better. The burns are equally good with either style of data transfer in my
    systems.

    It is also my opinion that microsoft is supporting USB devices full throttle
    where Macintosh seems much better known for firewire. Maybe some leftover
    hostility between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and we pay the price?. I really
    don't know, but what I see in the real world is what counts I guess.

    I have a gnawing feeling that tells me your friend's machine is not giving
    him a nice plump USB 2.0 signal to keep the burn buffer stacked. If all that
    is confusing then the comment "if the drive has to wait for data to flow the
    burn will be slow" may get you on the right track.

    So that's pretty much what I have learned about the issue.

    Best of luck in your adventure.

    Regards, Bob Troll
  6. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    > Using USB 2.0 the speed is slower but on the other hand you will find more
    > people equipped with USB on average than you will IEEE1394A compatibilty. In
    > other words pretty much with MS machines USB is more popular than
    > firewire.(sticking my neck way out there) You will notice that most computer
    > stores are overflowing with USB accessories and lack in firewire stuff
    > unless you are in a Macintosh store.

    I remember when Firewire came out, Apple tried to charge PC makers
    a high fee per port to use it. That killed Fireware on the PC,
    effectively, and made USB the tranfer mode of choice. PC makers
    were scared of being dependent on Apple, who could raise its
    licensing fees at the drop of a hat. They didn't want to get
    locked into Firewire.
  7. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Bad Bubba" <bad@bubba.dude> wrote in message
    news:MPG.1c1c4d32d11d37129897ac@news.usenetserver.com...
    > Does anyone have one of those external HD enclosures that supports both
    > Fireware and USB2?
    >
    > Have you tried it with both? Which is "actually" faster?
    >
    > A friend of mine switched from an external USB2 DVD burner to an
    > external Firewire DVD burner and he says that he's able to burn at 4x
    > now with the Firewire and was limited to 2x with the USB2.
    >
    > Not that I don't trust him, but I want to make sure that Firewire is
    > definitely faster for external drives before I get one.
    >
    > --Dave
    >

    I find these figures unreal and if you google so do the IEEE, they these
    results that a firewire harddrive would out perform a USB2 Harddrive only if
    a NON USB2 cable was used, like 80 wire IDE cables which have 40 screening
    wires USB2 cables have screening round each wire to stop cross talk they are
    not the same as USB 1.1 cables and the logo on the packet should tell you it
    is USB2 as stated in my original post. If you buy a product that tells you
    it is USB2 and it does not have the logo then I can guarantee it is not up
    to the spec of the IEEE and USB standards laid down by all the big
    manufacturers.
    This is a copy and paste from the official USB web site, no way can
    IEEE1394A reach speeds of 480Mb/s.
    "The USB-IFÕs recommended nomenclature for
    consumers is ÒUSBÓ for slower speed products (1.5 Mb/s and 12Mb/s) and
    ÒHi-Speed USBÓ for high-speed products (480Mb/s), as signified in the USB
    logos that were introduced in late 2000.Ê In short, consumers wishing to be
    certain they are getting the performance they paid for in their USB products
    can use the logo for clarification."


    Chris
    Technical director CKCCOMPUSCRIPT
    Apple Computers, Intel, Roland audio, ATI, Microsoft, Sun Solaris, Cisco and
    Silicone Graphics.
    Wholesale distributor and specialist audio visual computers and servers
    FREE SUPPORT @,
    http://www.ckccomp.plus.com/site/page.HTM
    ckccomp25@hotmail.com
  8. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    In article <lxEsd.1158$Ye3.990@trndny02>, bearpuf@verizon.net says...
    > I've used both. I've got been able to burn at 4X with either. Despite
    > what Chris is saying both USB 2 and IEE1394 deliver about the same rates of
    > data in real time.

    That's what I have read. USB2 specs are higher, but in real life the
    performance is about the same for most operations.

    > However, If you have any intention of using your enclosure for video
    > capture with a hdd then I'd recommend that it have firewire in addition to
    > the USB for asynchroneous transmission of data (back and forth), for
    > capturing video, as you won't be able to do it that with USB2 alone.
    > Consider also, that with having an enclosure with both you'll have a bit
    > more versatility in being able to connect a second way if for some reason
    > the USB or the firewire doesn't work.

    I do video capture to an internal 200 GB drive. I mostly want the
    external drive for backup and storing less-often used files (video
    clips, images, MP3's, etc.)

    --Dave
  9. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    In article <41b37d2e$0$9349$ed2619ec@ptn-nntp-reader02.plus.net>,
    chris@ckccomp.plus.com says...
    >
    > "Bad Bubba" <bad@bubba.dude> wrote in message
    > news:MPG.1c1c4d32d11d37129897ac@news.usenetserver.com...
    > > Does anyone have one of those external HD enclosures that supports both
    > > Fireware and USB2?
    > >
    > > Have you tried it with both? Which is "actually" faster?
    > >
    > > A friend of mine switched from an external USB2 DVD burner to an
    > > external Firewire DVD burner and he says that he's able to burn at 4x
    > > now with the Firewire and was limited to 2x with the USB2.
    > >
    > > Not that I don't trust him, but I want to make sure that Firewire is
    > > definitely faster for external drives before I get one.
    > >
    > > --Dave
    > >
    >
    > I find these figures unreal and if you google so do the IEEE, they these
    > results that a firewire harddrive would out perform a USB2 Harddrive only if
    > a NON USB2 cable was used, like 80 wire IDE cables which have 40 screening
    > wires USB2 cables have screening round each wire to stop cross talk they are
    > not the same as USB 1.1 cables and the logo on the packet should tell you it
    > is USB2 as stated in my original post. If you buy a product that tells you
    > it is USB2 and it does not have the logo then I can guarantee it is not up
    > to the spec of the IEEE and USB standards laid down by all the big
    > manufacturers.
    > This is a copy and paste from the official USB web site, no way can
    > IEEE1394A reach speeds of 480Mb/s.
    > "The USB-IFÕs recommended nomenclature for
    > consumers is ÒUSBÓ for slower speed products (1.5 Mb/s and 12Mb/s) and
    > ÒHi-Speed USBÓ for high-speed products (480Mb/s), as signified in the USB
    > logos that were introduced in late 2000.Ê In short, consumers wishing to be
    > certain they are getting the performance they paid for in their USB products
    > can use the logo for clarification."

    It was only $25 more for a dual enclosure, so I'll test things myself
    when it arrives.

    My understanding from what I have read (I just spent an hour on Tom's
    Hardware) is that USB2 has a higher "spec" than Firewire but in
    practical application they are about dead even.

    --Dave
  10. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    From my recent experience with all these external enclosures I would offer
    at least one point of advice. If you put a larger than 128gb drive into the
    case make absolutely sure that your OS is set up for 48bit LBA addressing.
    As I understand it, SP2 as well as SP1 for win xp is supposed to be all set
    up but in the case of a number of SP1 systems I have seen the opposite was
    true in the real world. Most if not all drive manufacturers are aware of
    this issue and have a tool available to make sure your registry is properly
    set up for the 48 bit addressing. The tool runs and will set the registry if
    needed or report all is just fine. Then you can safely carry on. You can do
    that part now today before you ever see your new enclosure as it should be
    done anyway.

    If for example you put in a "new unformatted" 200 gb drive in your ext case
    and fire up disk management, very carefully observe if the drive is being
    detected at it's full capacity. If you slip in a LARGE drive (over 128gb)
    that was previously formatted on your mainboard ide controller for example,
    the flaw will not be noticed until you start doing some transfers with large
    or numerous files to or from it. If the flaw exists then your drive will
    become corrupted and you will start scratching your head like the rest of us
    have been. Do not use the disk overlay software that most if not all hard
    drives come with as that will foul you up as well.

    Seriously, look into the 48 bit LBA issue with win xp or ? and make sure as
    you can that all is well before you add your name to the growing list of
    disgruntled people.

    A brand new unformatted large drive in the external case when viewed in disk
    management will display one of two possible capacities to you. It will
    either display as 128gb or the true size of the drive such as 200gb. If it
    displays the full size then you are all set. If it shows 128gb, then stop
    and fix your 48 bit lba before you go any further and most importantly do
    not start the formatting process with the disk wizard or your large drive
    will become a 128 drive. If you screw it up it can be fixed by attaching the
    drive to the motherboard ide controller, running the drive utility software,
    zero out the drive and try it again in the external case.

    The bottom line to all that is to place the new large drive in the external
    case unformatted so that you can tell if all is well or not BEFORE you foul
    it up. Do yourself a favor and do not format it first on your mainboard
    before placing it into the ext case. It will make your life easier in the
    end.

    Keep in mind that when you take your drive over to your cousin's house, his
    machine must also support the LBA mode properly or you WILL most likely
    corrupt it over there, so be forewarned.

    In the case of an optical device the issue is nonexistent. The problem only
    shows up with hard drives.

    I specifically bought a 120gb hd to use in my ext case to make sure I will
    be safe wherever I go.

    Regards, Bob Troll
  11. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    My understanding is that usb 2.0 is only better on paper. You don't get the
    theoretical throughput in either system but firewire has less cpu overhead.
    This basically means that firewire gets closer to its theoretical limit than
    usb 2.0. Much closer relatively speaking as the theoretical speed limit is
    closer. It may be a duplexing thing. usb2.0 may only maintain high
    throughput in one direction at a time.

    I beleive there was a similar problem with ethernet. Alot of cheaper
    ethernet boards ran from the cpu instead of having a proper hardware
    controller on the board. usb on the mainboard may be the problem here.
    Firewire may be more easily integrated or the setup more robust. As an
    earlier poster mentioned correctly setup pc won't notice much difference
    between the two.

    Finally the vast majority of camcorders are firewire. Video editing is
    exceedingly demanding of data transfer rates. Manufacturer confidence is
    with firewire. Considering the ubiquitous pc and usb 2.0 partnership there
    must be a pressing reason. Also the independent dvd recorders have 4 pin
    firewire and usb. Is this merely due to the predominance of firewire as a
    standard or is it cos usb is a pc thing. It would certainly sustain my
    theory that firewire is a more robust protocol with easier implementation of
    hardware controllers without the need of a cpu.
  12. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Mr. Jessop, I would have to agree with you about the "on paper" part. I will
    for your convenience cite a couple of example test results for your perusal
    of real world events.

    Using a combo USB 2.0 / IEEE1394A enclosure I perfromed a read test using HD
    Tach 2.70 as I didn't have v 3.0 yet with a 80gb WD SE IDE 8mb cache drive.
    This enclosure is a PPA model using a Prolifiic 3507 chipset. I have been
    involved in a discussion of this enclosure and others using this chipset for
    a number of months on the firmware forum page. We have garnered a number of
    updated firmwares for this beast as well. The firmwares are about as common
    as hen's teeh to find if you've ever attempted to hunt one down. We have
    also discussed the boxes equipped with the oxford 911 chipset. They are not
    as perfect as others may suggest either. They suffer from exactly the same
    problems as well with large hard drives. FWIW the 80gb never had any
    problems other than it's storage capacity. IE: no failures etc. The failures
    and corruptions began when I first installed a 250gb wd drive in the box.
    Then all hell broke loose. The LBA registry adjustment solved that, but I am
    so gun-shy I decided to just get a new 120gb to put in the box and forget
    about it. On a side note I have a Pioneer 106D 4x DVD/RW mounted in another
    box and using firwire while burning Nero 6 uses 3% system resources. The
    burn buffer stays at no less than 96% throughout the process. I pulled all
    my burners out of my systems and just use them in the external cases so I
    can't tell you honestly what the resource usage was like when the drives
    were inside my computer case. It does help a little with case temps with the
    burner out though.

    The rsults of the USB/FW war were:

    USB 2.0 Max. 17.5 Min. 4.3 Average 14.9 /Mb/s

    IEEE1394A Max 31 Min 20.4 Average 28.5 /Mb/s

    I was most interested in the minimum number as that would be more closely
    related to sustained speed and is what we really want in the real world.
    There is no question in my mind whatever that firewire is faster than usb2.0
    as I use the drives in my everyday course of activity.

    I think some of the same individuals who carry on about numbers on paper get
    themselves a 52x spin cd rom drive so they can listen to their cd's at 1x.
    Numbers mean very little to me. I only want to know what I can reasonably
    expect the thing to do and be done with it.

    My main objective is to safely and as quickly as possible transfer large
    amounts of data in one stroke.

    Regards, Bob "hopelessly insane machine warrior" Troll

    PS: It was also very refreshing to have an intelligent response come after
    my initial diatribe..... :)
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