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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> usb v.s. firewire question...
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11/08/2009 05:04:25 PM · #1
Hi, I need some help here =)

my mac laptop has a plug on the side of it becide the USB plugs... is that a firewire plug? it has a little symbol on it that kinda looks like a "Y"

another question... I just bought a Maxtor 1 touch HD and it has a mini USB plug on the back of it...

can I get a plug that goes from the mini USB on the HD to that ?firewire? plug on the laptop?

i'm asking because I already have like 20 USB devices plugged into my laptop... (it has two plugs on it... one goes to my current external HD and the other goes to two USB hubs... one plugs into the other USB port on the computer and the other plugs into the first USB hub)

thanks =)
11/08/2009 05:08:51 PM · #2
Originally posted by Shutter-For-Hire:

my mac laptop has a plug on the side of it becide the USB plugs... is that a firewire plug? it has a little symbol on it that kinda looks like a "Y"

Yes.

Originally posted by Shutter-For-Hire:

can I get a plug that goes from the mini USB on the HD to that ?firewire? plug on the laptop?

No.

Firewire is faster, but you'll need a drive with a Firewire interface to begin with.
11/08/2009 05:11:42 PM · #3
Originally posted by Shutter-For-Hire:

my mac laptop has a plug on the side of it becide the USB plugs... is that a firewire plug?

Yes.

Originally posted by Shutter-For-Hire:

can I get a plug that goes from the mini USB on the HD to that ?firewire? plug on the laptop?

No, not that I know of.

Originally posted by Shutter-For-Hire:

i'm asking because I already have like 20 USB devices plugged into my laptop... (it has two plugs on it... one goes to my current external HD and the other goes to two USB hubs... one plugs into the other USB port on the computer and the other plugs into the first USB hub)

Well, you can connect up to 127 devices via USB, so perhaps look at getting a hub with more ports?

Edit: Beaten to it!!!!!

Message edited by author 2009-11-08 17:12:04.
11/08/2009 05:16:06 PM · #4
hahaha that was FAST!!! thanks you two!

that really helped =)

I was about to go to future shop... you can bet their answers would have been "Yes sir" and then " Of Course! that will be $29.99"

hahaha

thanks =)

i'll just have to go get another USB hub...

any suggestions on a really high end one??? i have had problems with the cheaper ones before... what's a really good brand?
11/08/2009 06:15:45 PM · #5
Also, for the record, I'm pretty sure that Firewire isn't always faster. It will depend upon what TYPE of firewire you have. Firewire 400 is supposedly slower by 80mbs than USB 2.0, whereas Firewire 800 is significantly faster than USB 2.0. Many laptops only have 400, so you might want to investigate what sort of Firewire you have.
11/08/2009 06:44:58 PM · #6
Originally posted by spiritualspatula:

I'm pretty sure that Firewire isn't always faster. It will depend upon what TYPE of firewire you have. Firewire 400 is supposedly slower by 80mbs than USB 2.0...

Firewire IS always faster. The specifications you're quoting are not real-world transfer rates, and the CPU arbitrated overhead of USB slows down the interface. Unless you have lousy Firewire hardware (some PCs skimp on their motherboards), Firewire 400 will significantly outperform USB 2.0 every time.
11/08/2009 06:48:46 PM · #7
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by spiritualspatula:

I'm pretty sure that Firewire isn't always faster. It will depend upon what TYPE of firewire you have. Firewire 400 is supposedly slower by 80mbs than USB 2.0...

Firewire IS always faster. The specifications you're quoting are not real-world transfer rates, and the CPU arbitrated overhead of USB slows down the interface. Unless you have lousy Firewire hardware (some PCs skimp on their motherboards), Firewire 400 will significantly outperform USB 2.0 every time.


Thanks a lot for the clarification. I had been reading both that it was and wasn't faster, and I knew that these were purported rates. Out of curiosity what is a "typical" real world speed for USB 2.0?
11/08/2009 07:10:54 PM · #8
Originally posted by spiritualspatula:

Out of curiosity what is a "typical" real world speed for USB 2.0?

It depends upon what you're doing and the chipsets and hardware involved, but here's a photography-related example of the difference. It's not small.
11/08/2009 10:46:58 PM · #9
FWIW, Steve Jobs has said there's no more Firewire on MacBooks (I dunno about desktops), effectively signing Firewire's death warrant. so sad.
11/08/2009 10:54:37 PM · #10
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by spiritualspatula:

I'm pretty sure that Firewire isn't always faster. It will depend upon what TYPE of firewire you have. Firewire 400 is supposedly slower by 80mbs than USB 2.0...

Firewire IS always faster. The specifications you're quoting are not real-world transfer rates, and the CPU arbitrated overhead of USB slows down the interface. Unless you have lousy Firewire hardware (some PCs skimp on their motherboards), Firewire 400 will significantly outperform USB 2.0 every time.


I have been cloning hard drives at work couple of years ago and took some notes on speeds of various interfaces. In my findings USB 2.0 was exactly the same as FW400. FW800 on the other hand blew both of them away.
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