Firewire 800 v USB 2.0

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Grant Ferstat, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. Grant Ferstat

    Grant Ferstat Some guy in obscure bands in a far away place... Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey experts.

    Would firewire 800 be a superior method to running an external hard drive for audio than USB 2.0?
     
  2. dreamryche

    dreamryche Member

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    Yes. FW800 has a maximum throughput of 800 Mbps, whereas USB 2.0 has a maximum of 480 Mbps. On top of that, Firewire's design allows it to achieve sustained throughput much closer to the theoretical max than USB: FW400 (400 Mbps) is actually faster in sustained data transfer than USB 2.0.
     
  3. Grant Ferstat

    Grant Ferstat Some guy in obscure bands in a far away place... Silver Supporting Member

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    See, I knew someone would help me out.

    Thanks dreamryche.
     
  4. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    Here's an add-on question to this - my laptop has only USB 2.0 ports, no Firewire. Can I get good results with a Firewire recording interface such as the MOTU 8Pre by using a PCMCIA Firewire card to connect it to my laptop, or would it be a better idea to just go with a USB recording interface?
     
  5. GaryNattrass

    GaryNattrass Member

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    Yes you can use the PCMIA to firewire card with great results. The other thing why firewire is better for external drives is that is gives a constant data stream from the drive where USB passes packets of data in chunks.
     
  6. Dan Desy

    Dan Desy Supporting Member

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    Firewire through PCMCIA would be a better choice. But much more expensive. Theoretically, I have no problem with USB 2.0 - it should work reallywell; but FW is a faster, better technology, easier on your CPU, it's that simple.
     
  7. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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  8. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    When you say much more expensive - are there other expenses aside from the cost of the card itself?
     
  9. Dan Desy

    Dan Desy Supporting Member

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    Firewire h/w is typically a little more expensive than USB, but the need for the PCMCIA card is what I was referring to.
     
  10. GaryNattrass

    GaryNattrass Member

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  11. dreamryche

    dreamryche Member

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    Be careful with those cheap Firewire cards, especially if you plan on using a FW interface such as the 8pre...sometimes, audio gear doesn't play well with certain FW controllers. It's best to get a card with a Texas Instruments FW chip.
     
  12. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    are there any firewire 800 drives out there? Wouldn't you be better off with esata?
     

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