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(The Register)   New Firewire 3.2Gb/s link will be slower than USB 3.0's 4.7Gb/s link and it will probably be faster, too. Glad that's all cleared up   (reghardware.co.uk ) divider line
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2092 clicks; posted to Geek » on 17 Dec 2007 at 6:57 PM (8 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



23 Comments     (+0 »)
 
 
2007-12-17 06:36:57 PM  
(unless I am way off, and I might be)

Either are much, much faster than you can write to an average hard drive, so neither are the limiting factor and for consumer use, not important to worry about.
 
2007-12-17 06:57:09 PM  
New Firewire 3.2Gb/s link will be slower than USB 3.0's 4.7Gb/s link and it will probably be faster, too.


Maximum raw bandwidth != peak sustained payload transfer rate

Firewire has less overhead than USB. As such, more of that 4.7Gbps link will be used for overhead and/or redundant data.
 
2007-12-17 07:04:11 PM  
This was already a thread on Slashdot a few days ago. I'll just save everyone some time and gnashed teeth and just copy and paste from Wikipedia:

USB was originally seen as a complement to FireWire (IEEE 1394), which was designed as a high-speed serial bus which could efficiently interconnect peripherals such as hard disks, audio interfaces, and video equipment. USB originally operated at a far lower data rate and used much simpler hardware, and was suitable for small peripherals such as keyboards and mice.
The most significant technical differences between FireWire and USB include the following:
USB networks use a tiered-star topology, while FireWire networks use a repeater-based topology.
USB uses a "speak-when-spoken-to" protocol; peripherals cannot communicate with the host unless the host specifically requests communication. A FireWire device can communicate with any other node at any time, subject to network conditions.
A USB network relies on a single host at the top of the tree to control the network. In a FireWire network, any capable node can control the network.
These and other differences reflect the differing design goals of the two buses: USB was designed for simplicity and low cost, while FireWire was designed for high performance, particularly in time-sensitive applications such as audio and video. Although similar in theoretical maximum transfer rate, in real-world use, especially for high-bandwidth use such as external hard-drives, FireWire 400 generally has a significantly higher throughput than USB 2.0 Hi-Speed.[13][14][15][16] The newer FireWire 800 standard is twice as fast as FireWire 400 and outperforms USB 2.0 Hi-Speed both theoretically and practically.[17]
There are technical reasons why USB 2.0 devices cannot efficiently utilize all the available bandwidth. USB communication is based on polling the devices; there is no pipelining of commands. After sending a command to a device, the USB host must wait for a reply to the command before a new command can be sent to the same device. The bandwidth of a USB bus is divided by all devices connected to the bus. The USB host cannot send commands to one device while waiting for reply from another device. Since all communication is initiated by a USB host, the host must periodically poll all those USB devices that can provide data at unexpected intervals, such as network cards and keyboards. This consumes unnecessary resources when the devices are idle. These issues are being addressed by the forthcoming USB 3.0 specification, although it is not clear whether USB 3.0 is going to match FireWire in bandwidth efficiency.[18]
 
2007-12-17 07:08:12 PM  
*shrugs*

More than likely this will mean little to the average user, as Firewire will still more than likely be big on Macs, and USB will be big on pretty much everything else.
 
2007-12-17 07:28:39 PM  
This will be good for me. I do a lot of work with video.
 
2007-12-17 07:38:45 PM  
Well, my machine has both USB and Firewire, I've transfered video on both (from digital camera)

Neither really did anything better than the other, and right now, my devices are plenty fast on USB, actually, the drives (disk speed)and such are the bottlenecks, not the connection.

So... until someone can give me a true reason to care, I don't think that for most home users, this is going to change much.
 
2007-12-17 08:37:47 PM  
See that article about DRM on USB a link or 2 north of this one... I think someone just gave us a reason to care :)
 
2007-12-17 08:59:13 PM  
gnomercy: See that article about DRM on USB a link or 2 north of this one... I think someone just gave us a reason to care :)

yay...

no wait, the other thing, boo!!
 
2007-12-17 09:00:22 PM  
gnomercy: See that article about DRM on USB a link or 2 north of this one... I think someone just gave us a reason to care :)

Firewire Article: The 1394 Trade Association was also quick to point out Firewire is the "only" technology of its kind with the capacity to deliver full-resolution video data that's also copy protected.

This would give us a reason to care about both formats. Suddenly old USB 2.0 isn't sounding so bad. (I only mention USB since that's what I use.)
 
2007-12-17 09:00:55 PM  
The real world big difference is simple: FireWire works on its own (you can hook a disk directly to a camera) but USB requires the CPU to do all the work. So naturally Intel sees it as better.

There's quite a bit of speculation about how Photoshop is going to perform when one of your cores is bogged down running the disk driver.

Maybe the multiple core chips that will be standard in every computer by 2009 are going to help, but it sure seems like a case of bloatastrophe, as usual, to me.
 
2007-12-17 09:34:51 PM  
dangelder: USB requires the CPU to do all the work


Somebody here fails to understand the concept behind DMA capable device transfers.


/yeah, it requires a host, which could be an Intel powered box
//CPU does very little work, in reality
 
2007-12-17 09:52:51 PM  
Maybe this is a petty thing, but the thing I hate about the USB connector is that it has to be inserted in a particular way. What I mean is that it should be reversible, that if stick it in and it works, I should be able to pull it out, flip it over, and stick back in and have it work. They made the connector flat without any easily visible way to see what way it should oriented which IMO is dumb.
 
2007-12-17 10:00:51 PM  
Befuddled: Maybe this is a petty thing, but the thing I hate about the USB connector is that it has to be inserted in a particular way. What I mean is that it should be reversible, that if stick it in and it works, I should be able to pull it out, flip it over, and stick back in and have it work. They made the connector flat without any easily visible way to see what way it should oriented which IMO is dumb.

Step one: attempt insert.
Step one A: does plug insert? No? Go to Step two. Yes, congratulations!
Step two: flip over. Go to Step one.

Even with devices that are 'big' and oddly shapped, and ports that are small, and hard to get into, this process takes no more than 5-20 seconds. If you are spending more time than that, you are either clinically retarded, and, if so, congratulations on learning to use a computer!. Or you're just stupid and lazy.
 
2007-12-17 10:26:42 PM  
USB ports are often difficult to reach. PC's get shoved under desks etc. You can guarantee that when lying on your office floor, reaching into the dark places that are never cleaned, you will try to put the USB plug in backwards.

Even if you do get it right the first time, the slot gives no feedback that you are close, so you will turn it around and try to jam it in the wrong way.

It is the universal law of USB.
Still better than parallel ports.
 
2007-12-17 10:38:35 PM  
kroonermanblack: Or you're just stupid and lazy.

He's probably just lazy considering that the # 1 comment I hear at work when I ask somebody to unplug something is "how will I know where it goes back in?" Gee, I don't know, it must be soooooooo difficult what with that semi-rectangular blue shaped port and that that semi-rectangular blue shaped plug and that tiny rectangular port and that that tiny rectangular plug. Hmmmmm, what goes where, I wonder? If only the plugs were shape and color coded somehow.

At least it sounds as though he knows where the USB plugs into, so he's already ahead of the learning curve for most people....

And yeah, I'm kind of lazy too so I do see his point.
 
2007-12-17 10:42:13 PM  
daniellynn's real dad: USB ports are often difficult to reach. PC's get shoved under desks etc. You can guarantee that when lying on your office floor, reaching into the dark places that are never cleaned, you will try to put the USB plug in backwards.

Even if you do get it right the first time, the slot gives no feedback that you are close, so you will turn it around and try to jam it in the wrong way.

It is the universal law of USB.
Still better than parallel ports.


May I suggest then that you click on the link below, and show your S.O. what you want as a stocking stuffer?

Link (new window)
 
2007-12-17 10:44:44 PM  
daniellynn's real dad: USB ports are often difficult to reach. PC's get shoved under desks etc. You can guarantee that when lying on your office floor, reaching into the dark places that are never cleaned, you will try to put the USB plug in backwards.

Even if you do get it right the first time, the slot gives no feedback that you are close, so you will turn it around and try to jam it in the wrong way.

It is the universal law of USB.
Still better than parallel ports.


That's more a case design problem than a USB problem, because what you said would be true for anything, pressing the power button, putting in a DVD, whatever.
 
2007-12-17 11:01:01 PM  
now if only USB & firewire become one and you didn't need all sorts of ports in the back or front of your computer....

time to wake up to reality i guess.
 
2007-12-17 11:51:11 PM  
gnomercy: See that article about DRM on USB a link or 2 north of this one... I think someone just gave us a reason to care :)

That's different this article here talks of USB 3.0 the other is like 3.5 with DRM
 
2007-12-18 01:22:43 AM  
theurge14
daniellynn's real dad:
USB ports are often difficult to reach. PC's get shoved under desks etc. You can guarantee that when lying on your office floor, reaching into the dark places that are never cleaned, you will try to put the USB plug in backwards.

Even if you do get it right the first time, the slot gives no feedback that you are close, so you will turn it around and try to jam it in the wrong way.

It is the universal law of USB.
Still better than parallel ports.

That's more a case design problem than a USB problem, because what you said would be true for anything, pressing the power button, putting in a DVD, whatever.


I wonder if this is the reason that many modern PCs have a couple of USB slots on the front (and sometimes more than a couple). Even a PC I have from about 4 years ago has some USB slots on the front.
 
2007-12-18 02:13:21 AM  
dangelder

The real world big difference is simple: FireWire works on its own (you can hook a disk directly to a camera) but USB requires the CPU to do all the work. So naturally Intel sees it as better.

USB-OTG would like a word with you.
 
2007-12-18 06:08:47 AM  
jenniferwillow: May I suggest then that you click on the link below, and show your S.O. what you want as a stocking stuffer?

Link (new window)


Even easier, just have a USB cable leading from the back of your computer to the front. If you're like me, you only have one device you switch in/out often (memstick for me).
 
2007-12-18 08:20:58 AM  
Well, as it stands, Firewire offers faster average throughput while USB offers more reliable daisy chaining. It seems to me that with raw numbers like this, USB may even the score with throughput while retaining the multi-device reliability advantage.

Of course, that's just a guess. We'll just have to wait to see the final hardware in order to know for sure.
 
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