Firewire vs USB2.0


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yeocolin

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#1
Hi,
I've always wondered what advantage does firewire have over USB2.0? USB 2.0 has a slightly higher bandwidth, more adaptable and more widespread than firewire. However, I noticed only the high end scanner offers firewire, making firewire seemingly a more 'pro' choice. Anybody could shed some light on this?

Thanks.
 

#3
Heard from someone that he tried to copy 2GB of images from CF to desktop using both firewire and USB 2.0. Firewire took only 5 mins while USB 2.0 took 20mins...something to do with the cache or sth I was told...
 

Poon

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#4
If i am not wrong, firewire is initially supported by mac, and microsoft followed up with the usb system a few years later to compete (although you can find then being used interchangably now). But you will still see microsoft promoting usb over firewire.

From what i know, firewire data transfer speed is still more consistant then usb and thus used for things like video-digitizing. Personally, i prefer firewire coz many devices claiming to be usb2.0 are actually still usb1.1.

There is a new usb standard coming out soon, but i shall not go too much into it.:what:
 

Firefox

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#5
For whatever the reason, Firewire has lower cpu utilization than USB.. Hence, it's capable of sustaining higher transfer rates than USB.
 

Watcher

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#8
Apple created what is now known as Firewire. Initially, they charge $$$ for licensing fees (standard Apple practice :rolleyes: ). Intel (not MS) came up with USB 1.0 and 1.1 to replace serial and parallel port devices. That is why the speed for 1.0 and 1.1 is relatively slow. Firewire, like ckiang said, has its own controller. It can even operate peer to peer (ie direct connection and transfer between devices, without a PC or similar machine)

Intel, being a processor seller, promotes its USB because as the CPU becomes faster, the "cost" to the processor becomes lower. USB uses a hub model where the PC is the center of the universe :p .
 

espn

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#9
ckiang said:
Though FireWire looks slower than USB 2.0 on paper, it can do sustained 400Mbps easily with a lower CPU load than USB 2.0.

Regards
CK
I believe FW comes in 2 flavours too, 400Mbps and 800Mbps :) The new PBs support both.
 

PnS

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#13
yeocolin said:
Hi,
I've always wondered what advantage does firewire have over USB2.0? USB 2.0 has a slightly higher bandwidth, more adaptable and more widespread than firewire. However, I noticed only the high end scanner offers firewire, making firewire seemingly a more 'pro' choice. Anybody could shed some light on this?

Thanks.
I was told by a computer engineer:-

"USB2 is like a narrow expressway with only one lane but very high speed limit. Firewire is like a broad semi-expressway with multiple lanes but slower speed limit. Thus despite the slower travelling speed, firewire gets more cars (or data) across given the same amount of time"

Can any IT experts verify this?;p
 

arm

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#14
I have found that Firewire powers many portable hard disk much more reliably.

"Though USB 2.0 and first-generation Firewire are nearly neck-and-neck, Firewire can provide much more power over the bus ?30V as opposed to 5V for USB, which means that external Firewire drives frequently do not need a separate power brick."

See: http://www.directron.com/firewirevsusb.html for a nice comparison.
 

oeyvind

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Feb 25, 2002
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#15
As mentioned in this forum before...

FireWire devices are all DMA based ( only require CPU for setup ). So, the loading of copying files from / to a Firewire device should be much less than a PC Card (PCMCIA) & also USB ( which requires programmed i/o )... (pretty sure for PC Card, for USB I hope I remember right).
 

MCS

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May 19, 2004
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#16
I personally think USB is the way to go for both MAC and PC users, Firewire v1 (400Mbps) and v2 (800Mbps) are not as common as USB (especially for PC and old MAC), for preformance, I agree the firewire IEEE 1394 is a better. I was told by some exh. presentation that "everything is USB". ... may be true :think:
 

Firefox

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#17
arm said:
I have found that Firewire powers many portable hard disk much more reliably.

"Though USB 2.0 and first-generation Firewire are nearly neck-and-neck, Firewire can provide much more power over the bus ?30V as opposed to 5V for USB, which means that external Firewire drives frequently do not need a separate power brick."

See: http://www.directron.com/firewirevsusb.html for a nice comparison.

Yes, it does.. But mainly when using the larger 6-pin connector..

Whilst IEEE-1394 specifications allow for up to 30v to be transmitted over the cables, almost all computers deliver 12v on the line..
 

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