Firewire or USB 2.0?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Darren Lewis, Oct 17, 2002.

  1. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    I'm thinking about an external CDRW for my laptop (really wish I'd waited to get one with an internal CDRW now).

    What do people think about either getting a USB 2.0 PC Card for the latop, or using its existing Firewire interface.

    What are the pros & cons of each interface?

    Thanks.

    Darren.
     
  2. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    If FireWire is already built-in, I'd stick with having fewer bits&pieces to carry around. One mitigating factor is if the FireWire version of the CD is significantly more expensive than USB 2.0, more than the cost of the USB 2.0 card.

    FireWire is the better interface. It is peer-to-peer (USB is master-slave) and supports high-speed real-time transfers. But USB is cheaper and more widespread. (2.0 is new now, but is definitely replacing 1.x) If you get a FireWire-only drive, you might not be able to use it in as many different places.

    But FireWire isn't going to vanish anytime soon, since it is the standard for DV. While USB 2.0 is theoretically a little bit faster than FireWire, real-world tests give FireWire the edge. (Of course, for a CD, either is fast enough.) Also, there's another rev of FireWire coming out that will double the speed, although I dunno whether you can take advantage of that without getting new hardware.

    //Ken
     
  3. Chris Svencer

    Chris Svencer Stunt Coordinator

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    Just a couple of thoughts, I did the same thing and have some regrets. First off try and go with a pcmcia external drive, or any other drive that is self powered. I converted a DVD/CD-RW drive to an external Firewire and it needs to be plugged in to work. So I can't bring it with me if I want to watch movies on the laptop, unless I have a plug. Secondly if you go with a usb or firewire card make sure it is dongleless (ports are on the card, no adapter wire), the adapter I have for my card is a pain in the ass, sometimes comes undone and if you lose it, you gotta shell out some more money for a new one. And last thing. If you do go like I did with an external case, try and get one with atleast two ports on it, you can use it as a hub then. Hope this helps.

    -Svence
     
  4. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    If you already have built-in FireWire capability, go with that for the burner. I've used an external QPS FireWire burner for almost two years and I've been very satisfied with the performance. You can also buy combo units that utilize both USB 2.0 and FireWire.
     

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