Firewire Speed?

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I bought two Seagate 'FreeAgent' external hard drives (500GB) at
separate times. I mistakenly bought two different models - one has
SATA and Firewire in addition to USB, but the other only has USB.
Seagate tells me that firewire is not faster than USB on desktop PCs,
but is faster on MACs.  

That surprises me.  Is it true?


Re: Firewire Speed?

gecko wrote:
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Firewire comes in 1394a (400 megabits/sec) and 1394b (800 megabits/sec).
I suppose some might perceive that 1394b has more market penetration
on Macintosh systems, than on PCs, but I have seen the odd PC motherboard
that sported a 1394b port. You can also get add-in cards with 1394b.

SATA = 150MB/sec or 300MB/sec, and actual transfers would be platter limited

Firewire = 50MB/sec or 100MB/sec, and actual transfers will be less

USB2 = 60MB/sec theoretical, but practical rates are around 30MB/sec
        for enclosures.

Some Firewire 800 benchmarks.

Various ports compared on Macs.

1394a here, is able to do more than USB2.,testberichte-239800-11.html

Where 1394a sometimes falls down, is when drives are daisy chained. (I
used to own two 1394a enclosures and noticed this in testing. There is
a difference between putting a chain of two drives, versus connecting
each drive directly to the computer. The packets are "store and forward",
through the chip inside the drive #1 enclosure.)

    computer ----- drive #1 ------ drive #2   (drive #2 is slower, like 20MB/sec)

    computer ----- drive #1     (a better config)
             ----- drive #2


Re: Firewire Speed?


Quoted text here. Click to load it

On paper 1394a doesn't seem as fast but in practice it is
often faster than USB2, on PCs as well as MACs.

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