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Thread: Is Firewire better than USB? any good firewire products about?

  1. #1
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    Is Firewire better than USB? any good firewire products about?

    Did a search already but didn`t find much ...

    Ive got one firewire on my laptop which id like to use

    1) is it faster than usb 2.0
    2) better than usb?
    3) good products to use it on, can you get BT firewire or GPS etc?

  2. #2
    Underachiever ACHIEVER's Avatar
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    Is it 400 or 800? I'm guessing 400 since it's a laptop.

  3. #3
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    dunno as at work.

    laptop is only a year old if that helps- will check later when get home.

  4. #4
    MySQL Error Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    Firewire is basically network type connection that was designed for the transfer of digital video as this requires very high sustained transfer rates to prevent stuttering etc. Firewire 1 speed is 400 and the new one is 800. there are some peripherals that run over usb - eg some high quality soundcards but most of the time it is used for video data to/from a camera or video editing equipment.

    If you are going to hook an external DVD or HDD to your PC i would personally use firewire as it is designed for high sustained rates.

    USB2 is faster at max speed (480 v 400) but the difference is hardly noticable and most of the time firewire can sustain a higher rate. But it depends on the equipment you use. USB2 is more universal and is used with many more external peripherals.

    CPU usage with firewire and USB2 is probably different but i am not sure how much or which is better. I have not seen any BT or GPS firewire devices and i doubt they will ever exist as BT is not the fasted wireless around and normally USB 1.1 is fast enough and GPS can run on a serial port as the data rates are so low.

    I would use your firewire for an external DVD or HDD and use USB for BT and GPS. If you need USB2 for something - eg an external sounblaster - i would get a pcmcia USB2 card if your lappy doesnt have it already.

    Some firewire devices can also be daisy chained as this is how it was meant to be used. ie one device links to the one before it - you don't need hubs.

  5. #5
    MySQL Error Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by organasised
    dunno as at work.

    laptop is only a year old if that helps- will check later when get home.
    its unlikely that it is 800. and i doubt any current device will need anything faster than 400 anyway for what you need it for.

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate strohmrs's Avatar
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    If you have any plans on adding an external drive to your setup go with the firewire for those and save the USB port for everything else. Even the older 400 speed is more effective at high data transfers then USB2 is.
    Rick S.

    XP Pro SP2, Soyo P4RC350 MB, Nvidia FX5200, 320W PS, Inverter & uSDC20D, 2.4GHz CeleronD320, 512MB DDR, 30GB 3.5", Pioneer 106s Slot DVD, Linksys WMP54G WiFi, Lilliput 7" & 4" TFT LCD, Zippy EL610 Keyboard, Touchpad, Garmin GPS V

  7. #7
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    wow! great answers

    Scousemonkey/strohmrs/achiever- many thanks for that reply- very detailed and told me everything I need to know (and for future people searching!)

    Many Thanks

  8. #8
    Low Bitrate bd3521's Avatar
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    -------------------------
    carputer: in progress
    Laptop install

  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate silencery's Avatar
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    just a real-world FYI,

    When I was using a firewire drive for external storage of files, it increased my resume from standby and startup time by 6 seconds and 3 seconds respectively. When i used USB 2.0 however, everything was good to go, and my carputer resumes in under 4 seconds from standby.

    This is on a VIA m10000. I don't know how other hardware might react.

    Might not concern you, but just more information to add.

    In addition, here's a link on the external enclosures I tried:
    Quick review of a few 2.5" firewire/usb enclosures.

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