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Gigabit ethernet vs Firewire

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Gigabit ethernet vs Firewire

Postby Robotnik on Fri Oct 03, 2003 10:07 am

Would it be faster to access files on a hard-drive which is in another machine, but connected remotely to yours via a gigabit-ethernet connection over a cross-over cable, or to access files on a hard-drive in an external enclosure, connected to your computer via firewire (firewire400)?

Firewire is 400Mbps and gigabit ethernet is of course 1000Mbps, but there's more to it than that isn't there? Let's assume the hard-drives were identical and each system was running WinXP Pro on AthlonXP 2200+ machines, each with 1gig of RAM. Also both ethernet controllers are National Semi DP83820 type cards sitting in 64bit PCI slots.
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Postby tazdevl on Fri Oct 03, 2003 12:29 pm

You've already answered your own question. Giga... assuming we're talking about a Giga network. Biggest constraint is the network and the drive's ability to transfer and receive the data.

If both means, firewire and giga, exceed the drives ability to send and receive data, then it will be @ the same time.
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Postby ccb056 on Fri Oct 03, 2003 7:07 pm

the bottleneck isnt the network interface, its the hard drive speed.
Last edited by ccb056 on Thu Mar 11, 2004 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Turkeyscore.com on Sat Oct 04, 2003 3:35 pm

I networked with my friend using a firewire cable, it was very fast compared to 100mb, we transfered gigs and gigs :) The thing with usb and firewire is that it takes up more processing power than LAN. So the 1000 LAN would probably be faster. (also the processing power would be sort of split between the computers)
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Postby blakerwry on Sun Oct 05, 2003 12:51 am

I would say firewire might actually be faster at the moment... are you using cat6 wiring? from what I've seen most giga cards top out at about 500Mbit anyway at the moment... does the chipset you're using support jumbo frames? if not then CPU usage will be through the roof compared to a decent firewire setup...

I have found on my home network that I am getting an excellent 92-93Mbit/sec over cat5e on 100Mbit full duplex switched network... even doing so I'm stuck at under 6MB/s transfer rate using SAMBA/SMB.

The overhead with windows networking is just rediculous.

Perhaps FTP would be faster... but alot less convenient.
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Postby cfitz on Sun Oct 05, 2003 12:55 am

blakerwry wrote:The overhead with windows networking is just rediculous.

That's my experience as well. I don't have any experience with gigabit ethernet, but Firewire handily beats Windows networking running on 100BaseT in my experience.

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Postby wicked1 on Mon Oct 06, 2003 2:03 pm

my system can transfer ftp at 10 megs a sec on 100mbit ethernet but thats at almost 100% processing power. my cpu is an athlon 3.2ghz (2200 mhz) running watercooled at actual 2500 mhz. Not a slow system at all :D I would think firewire would be faster as alot less overhead.
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Postby TheWizard on Mon Oct 06, 2003 3:19 pm

Ah yes, as blakerwry pointed out, if you want to blow the pants off Firewire's throughput then use Gigabit ethernet in a Unix environment. Any flavor of Unix will do...yes...that includes any flavor of Linux. Also, as blakerwry pointed out, make sure you are using the right hardware.
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