Mobile 2.5 Hard Drive Systems: MD2-USB and MD2-FW1 from DataFab

Benchmarks - Data Transfer Performance

As expected, the USB version is not able to surpass 1000 kB/s. DataFab faithfully publishes a rate of 800 kB/s on their website, which is exactly what we were able to reproduce.

Wow, that's a difference. The FireWire version is seven times faster than the USB version, clearly outperforming it. At the end of the media, the drive itself becomes the bottleneck as the data transfer speeds drop to approximately 5 MB/s. I suppose that the interface chip on the MD2-FW1 is also a bottleneck, as hardly any hard drive will draw such a horizontal diagram line.

For a while, I was debating whether or not to include the benchmarks of the 3.5" IBM DeskStar 75 GXP, since it makes the MD2-USB look miserable. Anyway, it shows the real performance difference between IDE at its best and USB. A maximum of 940 kB/s is still more than DataFab quotes on their website.

The FireWire drive system is considerably faster, but still clearly lags behind the Western Digital solution. On the other hand, it is extremely small and portable.