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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jul 27, 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    9
    Specs:
    MacbookPro 2.4GHz 4GB RAM, Santa Rosa, 17" Hi-Res
    Slow FW800 on Lacie
    Hi everyone,

    I've just purchased a 160GB 2.5" LaCie drive and I'm affraid something's not right. I went for it mainly because of it's FW800 interface but it seems to be "not so fast" to say the least.

    Here's my tests:

    6.65GB folder back and forth:

    LaCie - FW400 - read time: 3m58s - write: 4m06s
    LaCie - FW800 - read time: 3m33s - write: 5m21s
    LaCie - USB2 - read time: 5m48s - write: 5m08s

    for comparison I have a 320 GB WD Scorpio 2.5", and an old Seagate Barracuda 80GB

    WD - USB2 - read time: 6m06s - write: 5m40s
    Cuda - USB2 - read time: 6m56s - write: 5m30s
    same folder (photos).

    now, FW800 is "slightly" faster on a read time but much slower on write, is that normal? I suppose not. All disks are bus-poweredand 5400rpm.

    Also, isn't a USB supposed to be faster than a FW400? (480Mbps vs 400Mbps)???

    Maybe someone could do the same test for me, transfer, say 10GB to the external rugged LaCie and tell me how much time it took?

    If my FW800 port on MBP was damaged there would be no connection at all, if it was a slow drive FW400 wouldn't be faster than FW800... so what is it? Should I return it and get a new one?
    HEre's some xbench results:

    FW800



    FW400



    USB



    Compared to WD Scorpio via USB



    cheers, Matt

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Mar 04, 2008
    Posts
    477
    I just did a little test. I also just got a LaCie drive with the triple interface, usb 2, firewire 400 and 800. Here were my results.

    I had a folder with about 20 items in it that was 7.09 GB.

    USB2 Write: 4:20
    USB2 Read: 3:46

    FW400 Write: 3:46
    FW400 Read: 3:34

    FW800 Write: 2:47
    FW800 Read: 2:35

    My firewire 800 did better on both tests than the 400. I did a search too and it seems that firewire 400 usually does better than usb 2 even though theoretically you'd think it'd be the other way around. I've always been partial to firewire.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jul 27, 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    9
    Specs:
    MacbookPro 2.4GHz 4GB RAM, Santa Rosa, 17" Hi-Res
    thanks Alycia, I've read somewhere that it is not the FW800 that is slow, it's rather a drive that at 5400rpms isn't capable of providing information quickly enough, something like connecting IV drip to a garden hose. Apparently FW800 shows off with RAID setups, not slow disks like this one, that leaves me only with a question, why would LaCie even produce a FW800 enclosure if the drive can't provide enough info to saturate it...? and why is FW400 faster in my case than FW800. Your FW800 seems to be giving you better results.
    thanks again.

  4. #4

    nZa's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 16, 2007
    Location
    Newport News, VA
    Posts
    242
    Specs:
    2.8Ghz MBP
    IIRC, USB speeds are measured in max burst speed, and not sustained speeds, where Firewire is measured sustained.

    Currently, Firewire will almost always be faster than USB2.0.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Mar 04, 2008
    Posts
    477
    I think it's funny that USB 2.0 was release 5 years after Firewire and it's still slower! That defies logic.

    Praise Jobs!
    (Listen to The Church of Mac ipodcasts)

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