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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

firewire vs. usb for backup


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swstacker

 
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I am looking at buying an external drive for use for time machine backups. From what I understand firewire is faster than usb, but how much faster is it really in real world use? Is it worth the extra cost? I can get a 1TB usb drive for about half of the cost of a firewire unit as it seems the usb are always on sale. I can envision the initial time machine backup taking hours and hours but after that it should not be a ton of data so the speed difference shouldn't be that noticible or will it? Right now I have about 400 GB full on my hd and I rarely have more than 2-3 GB of changes in files on any given day.
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pigoo3

 
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Get the USB drive. It's just a backup drive which you will probably be accessing very infrequently...and at half the cost...why not.

If it was going to be an "every day drive"...and you had lots of large files to transfer back & forth...then every bit of speed might be a more important matter.

My 2 cents,

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+1
I agree with Nick and have a number of external drives (both USB and Firewire). For Time Machine backup I use a (actually 2) USB drive. Initial backup is a little slow, but updates are fairly quick.

OTA for things like Aperture Libraries (which I tend to keep on external drives) I use Firewire for the speed.

I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .
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mrplow

 
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+1 from me too - get the USB.

If it was connected 24x7 I'd go firewire - much faster at copying multiple small files than USB and the power management of firewire drives is controlled by the OS so they spin down when not in use.

For occasional backup etc. USB is better value

External hard disk acquisition addict - but admitting the problem is the first step to a robust backup

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chscag

 
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I've got an iOmega triple interface drive (FW 800, 400, and USB). Yes, USB is somewhat slower, but not noticeable - for me anyway.
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