USB vs. Firewire for external HD

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Marc_G, Jul 21, 2008.

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  1. Marc_G

    Marc_G Registered Member

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    Hi folks,

    (I'm using Acronis TI Home 11 and just installed the lastest build 8101 or thereabouts)

    Summary: When I buy a big external HD for backup storage, should I bother to get one that has firewire (IEEE 1394) connectivity?

    After years in the laptop-only lane, I've finally broken down and bought a desktop computer. It's a current-edition Gateway quad-core, 6GB RAM, 640 GB HD, running Vista SP1. It came with USB2 of course but also a 1394 port. I've never used firewire and have no other firewire devices.

    I'm going to pop for a big external hard drive for backups, and would prefer to make the external drive bootable into the Acronis environment. Currently I do this on my laptop by using a small BART PE partition on the USB hard drive (Thanks, MudCrab!).

    Anyway, looks like I'll spend an extra $30 or so for the pleasure of having a firewire port on my external drive. Is it faster to the point where it will be noticeable? What are some practical experiences from Acronis users in this regard? For current hardware, any issues booting via firewire as opposed to USB?

    Any feedback would be appreciated.

    Sincerely,

    Marc
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Firewire is theoretically a bit faster than USB2 and a lot faster than USB1. It was the speed over USB1 that gave Firewire the reputation of being much faster. In practice I don't think you would see a large difference between it and USB2.

    It will depend on the Linux support provided with the TI rescue CD whether or not it is well supported or not for your hardware configuration. Some have reported problems using firewire and some have reported problems with USB but not firewire. The Bart/VistaPE implementation would likely get around Linux driver issues if they arise.
     
  3. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Does your new desktop have a provision for booting from Firewire? I know that most new PCs can boot from an external USB device, but I don't know about Firewire.

    Firewire 400 (original Firewire) is faster than USB 2.0. You would notice the difference but I can't quote a percentage. My guess would be around 30-50% faster. If you have a Firewire 800 port and drive, it will be more than twice and probably three times as fast as a USB drive.

    The other option is an e-SATA drive. That's the fastest connection. Again, I don't know if you will be able to boot from it.
     
  4. rwt325

    rwt325 Registered Member

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  5. Marc_G

    Marc_G Registered Member

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    Thanks for some good information, folks!

    Marc
     
  6. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    The speeds you see posted for these connetions is the burst speed, not the sustained speed. Firewire vs USB is a toss when comparing burst speed but the typical sustained rate can be much higher for firewire than USB.

    It's a crap shoot whether the ATI11 bootCD will work with either on your particular set up. Best thing is to try before you buy if you can.
     
  7. Marc_G

    Marc_G Registered Member

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    I'll pop for the extra few bucks on the enclosure in hopes it will give better performance. It should be an amusing new toy.
     
  8. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    A good decision based on sound data - we should all choose the toys that will give us the most fun. :D
     
  9. tuttle

    tuttle Registered Member

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    The best is enclosures that come with both USB and Firewire 800 ports. If you choose Firewire exclusively, then that limits the computers you can connect to. If you only ever connect it to your own computer, it doesn't matter. But if, like me, you often take a drive to a client site or friend's house, you'll want USB since it is ubiquitous.
     
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