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  1. #1

    vrsantana's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location
    Eustis Florida (50 miles north of Orlando)
    Posts
    47
    Specs:
    13" MacBook Pro 2.26Ghz/4GB/750GB WD HDD
    External Drives Fire wire vs USB 2.0
    I have a 500GB WD My Book USB2.0. All I read is how slow and no good USB external drives are. Should I just sell it and get a fire wire external drive?
    Also,
    I ordered a 13" MBP and I'm not quite sure if I want to load almost 60GB of music onto the 160GB HD. I have a WD 160GB portable HD that I could put the music on but then I would have to have it connected to sync my iphone. Would having all that music on my MBP slow it down or affect it's performance?
    What are my options?

    Thanks for any input.

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Mar 31, 2008
    Posts
    385
    Personally, I am using an external hard drive that operates on Firewire 800. In terms of transfer speed, it is significantly slower than firewire naturally, but it isn't something that'd bother you very much, truth be told. It is slower, but not slow enough for you to want to smash it or something. If you truly want to sell it, that's fine, but it is not entirely necessary I think.

    And, having 60G worth of music all on your MBP is not going to slow down your performance.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    May 19, 2009
    Posts
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by vrsantana View Post
    I have a 500GB WD My Book USB2.0. All I read is how slow and no good USB external drives are. Should I just sell it and get a fire wire external drive?
    Also,
    I ordered a 13" MBP and I'm not quite sure if I want to load almost 60GB of music onto the 160GB HD. I have a WD 160GB portable HD that I could put the music on but then I would have to have it connected to sync my iphone. Would having all that music on my MBP slow it down or affect it's performance?
    What are my options?

    Thanks for any input.
    USB 1.0 = slow

    USB 2.0 = fast

  4. #4
    todd51
    Guest
    I think USB 2.0 would be fine. There are always big debates on whether or not USB 2.0 is faster or not that Firewire. I believe the USB is listed as being capable of 480mb/s but it definitely can't sustain a transfer speed of that rate. I think for moving big (or a lot) of files, Firewire will sustain a higher speed and therefor be faster.

    USB 2.0 should be fine enough, I probably wouldn't go out and buy a new external drive just for having a Firewire connection.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Oct 30, 2008
    Location
    Burgess Hill/UK
    Posts
    664
    Specs:
    MBP/2.53GHz i5/4GB RAM/500GB HDD/15" LED Screen/Intel HD Graphics & NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M
    ^ That's correct. Theoretically USB 2.0 is faster than firewire 400 but will never really sustain a constant speed which is why when you want to transfer video to your computer, you use firewire to keep this constant data stream therefore giving you constant quality. Firewire 800 (as the name implies) is x2 faster than firewire 400 but unless your device has an 800 port, the speed is limited to 400Mbs.

    USB 2.0 is absolutely fine for music etc. on external drives.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Mar 30, 2004
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,744
    Specs:
    12" Apple PowerBook G4 (1.5GHz)
    Quote Originally Posted by PsYkOoOoO View Post
    Personally, I am using an external hard drive that operates on Firewire 800. In terms of transfer speed, it is significantly slower than firewire
    That's an achievement.

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location
    Oxford, UK
    Posts
    236
    I use Firewire for Time Machine and to clone my macbook.

    USB is slower, IMHO.

  8. #8

    torchy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 25, 2004
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    760
    Specs:
    13" MBA. 15" MBP. iPhone 4. 3G Pad 2.
    I have a 500 gig portable drive that can use USB 2 or Firewire 400 connections.
    Firewire 400 is consistently faster and steadier than USB 2 for Time Machine and general backups.
    ~ 13" MacBook Air. OSX 10.9 ~ iPad 2 & iPhone ~

  9. #9

    Blazkowicz's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 04, 2009
    Posts
    23
    Specs:
    PMG5 2.0 DP/9800XT, PBG4 1.5 12"
    It really is worth upgrading to FW, if for no other reason that the ability to boot from it.
    "Let us be thankful we have commerce. Buy more. Buy more now. Buy. And be happy." PPC works for me..

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