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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw a post earlier by someone who mentioned using external Firewire drives with DVArchive and I was wondering which would be better, Firewire or USB 2.0. It looks like USB 2.0 theoretically has a higher transfer rate but which is better in the real world?
 

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The advantage fo USB2 is that nearly every computer built in the last few years can connect as USB2 is backwards compatible. Much slower speeds, but it will still work.


I have heard although USB2 has a higher theoretical speed, you often get better performance from firewire.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by ozzieman
I saw a post earlier by someone who mentioned using external Firewire drives with DVArchive and I was wondering which would be better, Firewire or USB 2.0. It looks like USB 2.0 theoretically has a higher transfer rate but which is better in the real world?
I use an external Firewire drive and it works great. There are now two standards for Firewire, Firewire 400 and Firewire 800. If you get a Firewire drive, make sure you get the right one for the port that you've got. Firewire 800 is extremely fast.


I suspect that USB 2.0 would work just as well.


Just my lousy $0.02 worth,

Matthew in CO.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by alyosha
You shoudl have made a poll:

What is better - non-working Firewire in replayTV first generation or

non-working USB in current generation :)
:D :D :D


I had a first generation ReplayTV and often looked longingly at those two ports...


non-working USB in the current generation is only USB 1.2 as well....sloooooooooow!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
use an external Firewire drive and it works great. There are now two standards for Firewire, Firewire 400 and Firewire 800. If you get a Firewire drive, make sure you get the right one for the port that you've got. Firewire 800 is extremely fast.
I take it then that Firewire 800 devices are not backwards compatible?
 

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FW 800 uses a 9 pin port, as opposed to the 6pin/4 pin (unpowered) of FW400. You can use a 6(4) pin to 9 pin cable to run a FW800 device off a FW400 controller. So it is backwards compatible.


You will pay more for FW800, the cheaper enclosures are all FW400.
 

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If you are looking at drives to put in your DVArchive machine, then I would just fill it up with internal drives. Spending say $80 for a 160GB Maxtor and then another $80 for an external enclosure doesn't make sense when you could instead have two drives. Of course if you don't want to open up the machine or you need to move large amounts of data to various places they can be a good thing. And off site backups are pretty fast with them.
 

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The theoretical speed of firewire is 400 Mbps, and USB 2.0 is 480 Mbps. In real world use, both are about the same, speed-wise, and neither really reaches 400. Firewire is a bit different in that its a P2P protocol. There must be some intelligence on the server end, but not on the client end. USB needs some intelligence on both ends. I think the practical length of a firewire cable is about 14 ft. and USB can go a bit farther.


So, all else being equal, they're very similar. What you use would probably depend upon the application, what compatibility you have, and what your peripheral device is designed for. (three different ways of saying pretty much the same thing)
 

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I have one firewire and one usb 2.0. They both work great with DVarchive. I recently added another drive, but added it internally for two reasons. One was cost. It's about twice as much to buy an external enclosure and drive as it is to just buy the drive. Second, both firewire and usb always give me trouble when I try to install them. I know windows xp (pro in my case) is supposed to automatically see them, but that has NEVER happened. I finally got sick of trying to get my computer to recognize my latest firewire enclosure drive and just added the internal drive. Easy.
 

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The reason I chose to use external was because my workstation is also my laptop.
 
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