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External Harddrives





snowboardalliance
So I have a Dell XPS m1530 with an IEEE 1394a firewire port (i.e. Firewire 400)

I've heard that even though this is the "same speed" as USB 2.0, it is higher in practice.

I want to get a nice 1TB+ external drive for large files (movies, etc.) and I want to have faster transfer times.

Ideally, I'd like to be able to use USB 3.0 for my next computer, but also get Firewire right now. The problem is, any FireWire drives I've seen pull power over a 6-pin connection, but I only have the 4-pin type.

Are there any drives that would work for me? Like I said, I want Firewire (but don't have a powered port), but ideally, it would have USB 3.0 so it will be even better when I upgrade my computer.
Ankhanu
Use something with an external power supply rather relying on the port bus?
badai
just because you have firewire port on your computer, doesn't mean you have to use it.

just buy hd with usb3 and use it with your usb2 port right now. later when you get new computer, hopefully it will have usb3 port.

firewire is dead. even mac pro don't come with firewire anymore. if apple itself don't want to use firewire, why would other companies keep investing on firewire? and licensing firewire is not cheap.
now with usb3 and e-sata, i don't see any future for this proprietary technology.

beside, it was originally intended to replace SCSI. after sata, i guess it has past its purpose.

by the way, you port on your computer don't have power. if you want to connect to 6 pin hd (without power), you can buy a 6 pin cable that split to 4 pin and power, or you can buy hd with power on it's own and just use 6 pin to 4 pin cable.
Ankhanu
badai wrote:
firewire is dead. even mac pro don't come with firewire anymore. if apple itself don't want to use firewire, why would other companies keep investing on firewire? and licensing firewire is not cheap.
now with usb3 and e-sata, i don't see any future for this proprietary technology.


Incorrect. I'm typing on a new 2011 model MBP and it in fact has Firewire 800 (along with USB2.0 and Thunderbolt ports). Firewire, even at 400, while numerically slower than USB2.0 can be faster due to simultaneous up and down stream data transfer, where USB can only transfer one direction at a time.
It's unfortunate that so few systems and peripherals use it, but, like you said, it's expensive.
badai
there is one mac notebook that didn't come with firewire. i remember this because my friend want to buy it but couldn't because he's using it to edit video with external hd. so he end up buying a more expensive mac notebook that came with firewire. this is 2 or 3 years ago.

i just can't figure out why he have to stick with that final cut software. i'm sure there are decent editing software on windows platform.
Ankhanu
Some cameras only have firewire, it's not always software related.

But yeah, the bumped the firewire port off of the basic Macbook and Macbook Air, and have retained it on everything else (MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, Mac Pro, iMac). Most users of the basic Macbook were no longer using Firewire devices, generally, and the MacBook Air is reduced to save space, so saving cost in production was a prudent move. Most people serious enough to seek the benefits of firewire are using more capable systems, generally.
snowboardalliance
badai wrote:
by the way, you port on your computer don't have power. if you want to connect to 6 pin hd (without power), you can buy a 6 pin cable that split to 4 pin and power, or you can buy hd with power on it's own and just use 6 pin to 4 pin cable.


Ignoring the stuff about the MacBook Air (which is in no way setting standards of computers), this is useful.

So such a device does exist if I can only find a drive with 6-pin firewire and no separate power? I'll have to look into it.

I saw some Seagates that had USB 3 and you could get a firewire adapter (some kind of modular design in which the port is swappable), but it was pulling power that way. If I can get this and something which takes a 6-pin to 4-pin + power, then I'd be all set!

SIDENOTE:
Firewire is useful if you capture HDV video (I do). I know that more and more camcorders are switching out of tapes, but it's hard to find anything decent (at least a couple years ago) in the prosumer level. I'm happy with the Canon HV40 for now (Canon's comparable flash memory cam at the time lacked a viewfinder!). Anyway, I wouldn't give up on Firewire just yet
Ankhanu
snowboardalliance wrote:
So such a device does exist if I can only find a drive with 6-pin firewire and no separate power? I'll have to look into it.

I saw some Seagates that had USB 3 and you could get a firewire adapter (some kind of modular design in which the port is swappable), but it was pulling power that way. If I can get this and something which takes a 6-pin to 4-pin + power, then I'd be all set!


Yeah, most external HDDs are NOT powered by the USB or Firewire port, making use of AC power instead. You have to pay extra for drives that run off USB/Firewire power, actually.

I have one of those Seagate drives with the swappable bases on my Mac, it works pretty well. I'm only using USB 2.0 for cost, but I would consider buying a Firewire base now that I have Firewire 800 (My old MacBook was Firewire 400, so I didn't really invest in Firewire hardware). The drive itself can be moved between multiple bases, so, for example, I can move the drive quickly between my computer and the base station on my wife's.
ProwerBot
I bought a USB 2.0 external hard drive yesterday and it powers itself off the USB port. It's 320gb and it cost $49.

I don't buy new $1000 computers with all the new features, I make use of what I can get, so I doubt I will have USB 3 anytime soon.
QrafTee
Firewire is pretty much dead for the masses (not for DJs though), naysayers will be offended by it, but its true. I'd go with an eSATA or USB 3.0 external if your computer is able to utilize them.
badai
QrafTee wrote:
Firewire is pretty much dead for the masses (not for DJs though), naysayers will be offended by it, but its true. I'd go with an eSATA or USB 3.0 external if your computer is able to utilize them.


you are wrong. there are no such thing as naysayer. only mac user.

you are right about firewire though.
Ankhanu
badai wrote:
QrafTee wrote:
Firewire is pretty much dead for the masses (not for DJs though), naysayers will be offended by it, but its true. I'd go with an eSATA or USB 3.0 external if your computer is able to utilize them.


you are wrong. there are no such thing as naysayer. only mac user.

you are right about firewire though.


Firewire never really lived for the masses Razz

The advantages of firewire are really only apparent to a select subset of users, primarily those in audio and video recording/editing or those who need simultaneous two-way data transfer for whatever reason. Most people aren't hooking up multi-track recorders to their systems and looking to have multiple inputs maintained separate, or are only moving data one way at a time... there's no big advantage for them to use firewire... even though it's better, it just never caught on.
snowboardalliance
Ankhanu wrote:
snowboardalliance wrote:
So such a device does exist if I can only find a drive with 6-pin firewire and no separate power? I'll have to look into it.

I saw some Seagates that had USB 3 and you could get a firewire adapter (some kind of modular design in which the port is swappable), but it was pulling power that way. If I can get this and something which takes a 6-pin to 4-pin + power, then I'd be all set!


Yeah, most external HDDs are NOT powered by the USB or Firewire port, making use of AC power instead. You have to pay extra for drives that run off USB/Firewire power, actually.

I have one of those Seagate drives with the swappable bases on my Mac, it works pretty well. I'm only using USB 2.0 for cost, but I would consider buying a Firewire base now that I have Firewire 800 (My old MacBook was Firewire 400, so I didn't really invest in Firewire hardware). The drive itself can be moved between multiple bases, so, for example, I can move the drive quickly between my computer and the base station on my wife's.


Are you saying that those Seagate drives are or aren't powered by USB/Firewire?


Anyway, I think I might just go with USB 3 even though I don't have USB 3 yet
badai
Ankhanu wrote:
badai wrote:
QrafTee wrote:
Firewire is pretty much dead for the masses (not for DJs though), naysayers will be offended by it, but its true. I'd go with an eSATA or USB 3.0 external if your computer is able to utilize them.


you are wrong. there are no such thing as naysayer. only mac user.

you are right about firewire though.


Firewire never really lived for the masses Razz

The advantages of firewire are really only apparent to a select subset of users, primarily those in audio and video recording/editing or those who need simultaneous two-way data transfer for whatever reason. Most people aren't hooking up multi-track recorders to their systems and looking to have multiple inputs maintained separate, or are only moving data one way at a time... there's no big advantage for them to use firewire... even though it's better, it just never caught on.


actually, without e-sata you do need firewire if you intend to use external hardisk for video editing. usb, even usb3 is using "burst" transfer mode, so you don't get "constant" rate.
Rajiev
2TB SeaGate Expansion External on USB 2 works fine for me Smile

At least on performance side <_<
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