Home News Reviews Forums Shop


External case: USB 2.0 vs. Firewire

Burn baby burn!

External case: USB 2.0 vs. Firewire

Postby MikeTR on Wed Apr 23, 2003 6:56 am

Hi guys,

With all these new drives coming out, I'm running out of space to hook'em up. Moving some of them to external cases seems to be the easiest solution. But before I do so, I'd like to know which way to go: USB or Firewire. I'd like to go both ways at the same time, but I can't get external cases with both firewire and USB overhere. :cry:

All the reviews I read about this on the web seem to be based on very little other than personal likes or dislikes, instead of extensive testing or technical insight. Maybe I'll have more luck out here on our own forum.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
User avatar
MikeTR
CD-RW Player
 
Posts: 241
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2001 8:00 pm
Location: Always one step ahead

Postby MediumRare on Wed Apr 23, 2003 7:24 am

I was curious as to what is available here and had a look at www.alternate.de, one of the biggest mail-order houses in Germany. They used to have a phone number from the Netherlands too- that business probably goes per web now. External cases are under "Hardware -> Laufwerke -> Gehäuse" (dust off your German for this :wink: ).

From what I see there, about the only solution for more than 1 drive is SCSI. There actually are a couple of dual-interface cases there (not cheap), but only for a single drive.

This doesn't help you to chose between USB2 and Firewire, though.

G
User avatar
MediumRare
CD-RW Translator
 
Posts: 1768
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2003 3:08 pm
Location: ffm

Postby dodecahedron on Wed Apr 23, 2003 10:39 am

but if you use either FireWire or USB, can't you daisy-chain a few drives?
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the land of Mordor, where the Shadows lie
-- JRRT
M.C. Escher - Reptilien
User avatar
dodecahedron
DVD Polygon
 
Posts: 6865
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2002 12:04 am
Location: Israel

Postby MikeTR on Wed Apr 23, 2003 12:10 pm

dodecahedron wrote:but if you use either FireWire or USB, can't you daisy-chain a few drives?


With firewire you can daisy-chain. I don't know how this will affect performance though.

The one case I'd really like to get my hands on is the Speedzter5: http://www.datoptic.com/usbfwfr.html. It has both USB and firewire.

Some Multi-Bay options can be found here: http://www.ioi1394.com/products/prodcategory.asp?ProdCategory=FireWire_to_IDE_Enclosure (firewire), and here: http://www.ioiusb.com/products/prod_type.asp?ProdCategory=USB2_to_IDE_Enclosure (USB).
These are actually from the same company. If you look closely, there is also a Dual-Bay that has both firewire and USB.

Sadly I haven't found these cases anywhere but on that site. :cry:
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
User avatar
MikeTR
CD-RW Player
 
Posts: 241
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2001 8:00 pm
Location: Always one step ahead

Postby Justin42 on Wed Apr 23, 2003 1:11 pm

Sorry to be so vague, but there have been a few online articles (I specifically remember PC World, but there have been others) comparing them. Do a search in these forums, try storageereview.com's forums, and always Google.

Almost always, firewire does better for HDs. For optical storage, it seems to depend on the review if USB or firewire is better. I've seen a few that USB 2 is faster, but only by a tiny bit.

I personally have a WD 120gb drive and Sony DRU500A in 2 different firewire cases (chained together) and they work great, and there didn't seem to be any speed issues when I put the DRU on the chain. I'm sticking with firewire since it seems to be the more elegant protocol (and I have some non-storage USB devices that seem to like to hog bandwidth, so it works better to keep Firewire for storage)
Justin42
CD-RW Player
 
Posts: 723
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2002 10:30 pm

Postby MikeTR on Wed Apr 23, 2003 1:31 pm

Indead, most of the reviews I've read deal with external HDD's, not with opdical drives in external cases.

I agree with firewire looking to be the more elegant solution. It does make me wonder however, why all the 'pre-fab' external solutions are USB. Only Yamaha had a firewire case for the F-1. The rest all use USB.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
User avatar
MikeTR
CD-RW Player
 
Posts: 241
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2001 8:00 pm
Location: Always one step ahead

Postby Justin42 on Wed Apr 23, 2003 2:03 pm

MikeTR wrote: I agree with firewire looking to be the more elegant solution. It does make me wonder however, why all the 'pre-fab' external solutions are USB. Only Yamaha had a firewire case for the F-1. The rest all use USB.


Probably because USB is a near universal standard-- EVERYONE with an even vaguely modern PC has at least a USB 1.1 port. It's very rare (but thankfully becoming more common) for PCs to have firewire. (Macs are a different story, obviously)

Of course, the same issue kinda exists with USB 2, but since Intel is backing it, it's becoming standard very quickly.
Justin42
CD-RW Player
 
Posts: 723
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2002 10:30 pm

Postby KCK on Wed Apr 23, 2003 3:57 pm

MikeTR:

I don't know where you live, but external 5.25" enclosures with USB 2.0 and IEEE 1394 (FireWire) interfaces from Welland (www.welland.com.tw) have been very popular all over the world. See, e.g., ME-320U2F at NewEgg

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.a ... 14&order=1

I have been using ME-320F (FireWire) with Lite-On LTR48125W for ten months on my notebooks (98SE and XP) without any problem.

According to many users' reports, both USB 2.0 and FireWire have enough bandwidth in practice to work with even fastest burners. On the other hand, FireWire is better in terms of sustained data rates for HDDs and cameras.

If you need more concrete evidence, you may search Dell Community Forum

http://delltalk.us.dell.com/supportforu ... d=inspiron

especially the USB/IEEE-1394 board.
KCK
CD-RW Player
 
Posts: 471
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 12:55 pm

Postby MikeTR on Wed Apr 23, 2003 4:57 pm

KCK wrote:I don't know where you live, but external 5.25" enclosures with USB 2.0 and IEEE 1394 (FireWire) interfaces from Welland (www.welland.com.tw) have been very popular all over the world. See, e.g., ME-320U2F at NewEgg.


I currently live in The Netherlands. The only external cases I've seen so far are either way too expensive or badly made (flimsy plastic).
Thanks for the Welland link. I've seen those somewhere before. Maybe I'll get lucky and find it somewhere nearby.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
User avatar
MikeTR
CD-RW Player
 
Posts: 241
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2001 8:00 pm
Location: Always one step ahead

Postby JesusFreak on Sat Apr 26, 2003 9:36 am

Firewire has a theoretical data transfer rate of 400Mbits or 50MB/sec. USB 2.0 has a theorectical data transfer rate of 480Mbits or 60MB/sec. Either of them are definately fast enough for a burner (52x CD = 7.62MB/sec - 7800KB/sec / 1024 = 7.62MB). With that little usage on your firewire, it should be no problem at all daisy chaining them.

Good luck!
- WaterCooled to Perfection @ www.benscustomcases.com with the ZeusBox II W/C! -
JesusFreak
Buffer Underrun
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2002 7:00 pm

Postby MikeTR on Mon May 05, 2003 12:13 pm

Check this link for a review of the ME-320U2F:http://www.benscustomcases.com/reviews/me320/index.htm

Too bad about the slowish USB 2.0 performance compared to the Firewire. Then again, both are fast wnough for any optical drive.

Wish I could find me one :cry: .
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
User avatar
MikeTR
CD-RW Player
 
Posts: 241
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2001 8:00 pm
Location: Always one step ahead

Postby bac on Tue May 06, 2003 2:21 am

MediumRare wrote:From what I see there, about the only solution for more than 1 drive is SCSI. There actually are a couple of dual-interface cases there (not cheap), but only for a single drive.


I put an oxford 911 based firewire bridgeboard into an old
SCSI enclosure. The enclosure had room/power for 2 devices;
and the oxford 911 based bridge worked with both - 1 device
as IDE master, 1 as slave.
bac
CD-RW Thug
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2002 1:24 pm

Postby buzzy on Wed May 07, 2003 2:46 pm

Practically speaking they are pretty comparable, so there are probably 4 issues that would decide:
- Availability - what can you get where you live.
- Cost. Apparently the reason you see so much USB 2.0 stuff is that it's cheaper to build; Firewire chipsets cost more.
- Connections. Depending on your particular setup you might have / find it easier to add USB 2.0 vs. Firewire to your existing rig.
- Other uses. If you do digital video editing or want to run a Firewire network, it may tip you to Firewire.

The speed comparisons are generally about the same, USB 2.0 is theoretically faster but more of that is overhead.

Though USB 2.0 is rated at a higher throughput speed, FireWire delivered faster performance on external hard drives when connected to a desktop. ... [but] since nearly all new mainstream desktop PCs have USB 2.0 ports, USB hard drives will be the market winners.

For CD-RWs, test results were a mixed bag, though USB 2.0 showed a slight edge. - PC Magazine article
Don't be confused by the rated speeds you see emblazoned across USB 2.0 and FireWire product boxes. Despite USB 2.0's 80 Mbps speed advantage over FireWire, our [hard drive] testing showed that the additional overhead of USB 2.0 made it slower than FireWire. ... On a positive note, we noticed that the CPU usage of each interface was similar on our Pentium 4 1.3-GHz test system. During a 1.54GB data transfer from our system's internal hard drive to an external drive, USB 2.0 averaged 40 percent CPU usage compared to 37 percent for FireWire.

[Firewire] also happens to be a great networking interface. Windows XP and Apple's OS X natively support networking with FireWire, providing an easy way to create a faster-than-Ethernet LAN.
- link
buzzy
Buffer Underrun
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2003 8:56 am

Postby JesusFreak on Wed May 07, 2003 3:17 pm

Thanks for the props MikeTR . . . I guess somebody does actually read my review! :D
- WaterCooled to Perfection @ www.benscustomcases.com with the ZeusBox II W/C! -
JesusFreak
Buffer Underrun
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2002 7:00 pm


Return to CD-R/CD-RW Drives

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 0 guests

All Content is Copyright (c) 2001-2017 CDRLabs Inc.