Externall Hard Drive is Firewire worth the extra?

  AlAndrews 18:06 10 Feb 2007

Hi, looking for an external hard drive to back up files.

I notice all are USB 2.0 but some also come with Firewire but are usually a few £ more.
I have both spare ports on my PC, what's the difference and is a Firewire one worth the extra?


  bremner 18:58 10 Feb 2007

Unless it is Firewire B and you have Firewire B on your PC then you will notice no difference.

USB2 = 480Mbps
Firewire A = 400Mbps
Firewire B = 800Mbps

  Diodorus Siculus 19:35 10 Feb 2007

I don't think it's worth the extra for backup purposes; if you were regularly accessing data on the drive, then perhaps but not for storage purposes.

  freaky 20:11 10 Feb 2007

I agree with Diodorus Siculus. I have 2 PC's that have USB(2) External HD Drives, and transferring data is very quick. In fact if I clone a HD to an external and play a game on it, then it's not that much slower.

  AlAndrews 20:27 10 Feb 2007

How do I know if its Firewire A or B?

Any suggestions as to a good drive?


  bremner 20:41 10 Feb 2007

Look towards the end and you will see the connections click here

400 (A) is sort of oval, 800 (B) is rectangular

  FatboySlim71 23:42 10 Feb 2007

I was asking the same question the other day before I purchased another external hard drive.

My situation was this,
I wanted a second external hard drive to use solely for backing up my computer. The new drive that I purchased was a Western Digital My Book Premium.

I own an identical one to this which I use for storing my photos, music etc. I had been using this drive with USB, but since a few days ago, I changed this to a firewire connection and I have to say that I have noticed a big difference in the speed at which the drive displays all my contents and also it is a lot faster at writing to as well, check my link below and you can read about a test which I done showing the difference in time to transfer the same identical 4.26 gb file by using usb and then firewire.

The Western Digital My Book Premium that I bought comes with firewire and usb connections on it, so you can choose which you want to use. Also when I looked on Amazon at the time I purchased my drive the usb/firewire version was actually around £10 cheaper than the usb only version.

Also you cannot take too much notice of these speeds.

USB2 = 480Mbps
Firewire A = 400Mbps

These speeds are are not sustained all the time, but firewire has a faster overall sustained speed over usb 2, basically this means that after the initial burst of speed as the hard drive starts to read/write it will then drop down to a slower rate (sustained rate) and more often than enough the firewire sustains a faster read/write speed over usb 2.

Here are the links, one is to my post on this forum and the other is showing some info/tests on usb 2 and firewire, I thought you may find this useful.

click here

click here

  Diodorus Siculus 11:54 11 Feb 2007

click here

500GB for £105 @pcworld collect at store.

  Kate B 14:19 11 Feb 2007

Half a terabyte? Blimey *faints*

*sneaks off to check out link*

  vitrocmax 02:15 12 Feb 2007

I cannot order the drive from PC World CAS anywhere near me, they are all showing out of stock. I see that Amazon have the same one at the same price, no extra for postage.
I'm just going to do some sums and see if I can afford one this month, it looks like a good buy. I think I can manage without the Firewire at that price. A 500GB bare drive costs a fair bit more.

  Diodorus Siculus 07:02 12 Feb 2007

click here for another option from Ebuyer at £99 including delivery.

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