Some answers for your questions:
I got an external drive enclosure for 3.5" HDD this summer. It came >with USB1 & Firewire & I bought a 60GB drive to put inside (I paid
more for less). AFAIK USB1 ideally has a data rate of around 12 MB/s >& Firewire around 400 MB/s.
When buying electronics and computer gear, “I paid more for less” is the rule. If you didn’t, then just wait a couple weeks…
The effective transfer rate of FireWire is in the neighborhood of 35MB/s.
Many new computers are coming with USB2 which is comparable to
Firewire speeds… I’m assuming that the enclosures that you have
work with USB1 as well?
Intel advertises 480Mbps for USB 2.0. A polite person might say that’s stretching the truth. However, being forthright, I call it a lie. The effect throughput is still choked at around 13.5MBs.
Moreover, USB 2.0 is highly CPU dependent and pointlessly chews up a lot of clock cycles. From Intel’s perspective – i.e. 3GHz chips that effectively offer the same and in some instances less performance than older, “slower” chips – this makes sense and fits their plans.
However, if you’re serious about portable storage, especially as it relates to DV, FireWire is absolutely superior – it’s CPU independent, faster, offers more robust bus power (for bus-powered devices), etc.
BTW, USB 2.0 is backward compatible with v1.x – it’s just part of the standard.
Does the drive come inside the box? I bought the box & drive
separately & it took a little fiddling (& a small screw driver) to put it
I put the drive together, format and test it before handing it over to the buyer.
How is installation? I had to do a little fiddling around & uninstall/
install a few times before getting the firewire interface to work
correctly (think that I had to update my Windows drivers)…
If you’re running a Mac, there’s no installation – it just works. Of course, Windoze PCs are somewhat to very problematic vis-a-vis adding new devices, especially PCI cards and that includes PCMIA/Cardbus.
In general, XP and 2000 aren’t too bad. Naturally, it’s best if you’ve got a machine that’s got FireWire built-in (i.e. on the motherboard) – this is true for all platforms that support the technology.
I love my external drive. I mainly use it for videos & MP’s, backup
(for my PC & accross the network from my laptop), pictures… it’s
really convenient to be able to take it to any computer & plug it into
the USB port. I think that everybody should have one of these, esp. >to make backups if they have any files that are important.
I couldn’t agree more. It’s a huge wonking chunk of data that weighs very little and can be set up and disgorging its contents in about a minute. Moreover, it’s easily upgradable.
After much procrastination, I’ve finally begun converting my CD collection (200+ plus) to mp3s and there’s no better place to keep them than a large, portable drive. Just brilliant…