Opinions on firewire vs usb connecting external optical drive

vbimport

#1

I have 1394 on all my computers and I’d like to hear opinions/experience on connecting an external optical drive via 1394 [400 or 800] vs USB 2. I’ll probably be replacing my ext USB LG GSA-2164D drive sooner rather than later.
[You can add me to the long list of not happy GSA-2164D owners I found when I searched the LG forum]


#2

It depends of the bridge chip ( firewire to ATA or SATA ). I use an old Initio based enclosure ( firewire 400 to IDE ) that works very well.

In my tests firewire 400 is better than USB 2.0 . Never tested firewire 800 but I supose that will be better for the high bandwidth needed by the new blu ray burners.


#3

thanks for replying zhadoom ,
Could you expand on the bridge chip - is that the motherboard PCI chip the 1394 controller would route thru? I’ve been trying to track 1394’s “path” to find the slowest link, but all the articles I’ve found get too technical. I haven’t figured out exactly what hardware the 1394 has to go thru to exchange data w/ the HD. My Mueller got lost but it was pretty old anyway. A new one might help.

All my 1394 cards are S400. All I have to connect to them are ext HD’s, tho, so far. My one and only external optical drive is USB only. Connecting the HDs thru USB 2 or 1394 has seemed to be equivalent either w/ the internal PATA or the internal SATA HD - w/ nothing x mouse & keyboard connected to USB. If I connected a 1394 ext HD to a 1394 optical drive I think I would see faster data transfer and if I had a 1394 optical drive I’d try it.

Back in 2005 you could get an S800 card, but XP’s drivers would throttle it down due to OHCI “conformity” problems. I don’t know if that’s been solved - a couple of vendors came up w/ replacement or altered winxp drivers/OHCI stack - but I’m not seeing a lot of - or any - S800 ext optical and hard drives advertised to go w/ the new SATA hard drives.


#4

I have only used one type of FireWire enclosure and only on one system, but with that limited experience in mind I have had far more problems using FireWire than using USB. This includes system hangs when a disc cannot be read as well as loss of communication during burning.

So for me the increased bandwidth available with FireWire isn’t worth it compared to the relatively problem free USB.

Your mileage may vary.


#5

[QUOTE=DrageMester;2490652]I have only used one type of FireWire enclosure and only on one system, but with that limited experience in mind I have had far more problems using FireWire than using USB. This includes system hangs when a disc cannot be read as well as loss of communication during burning.

So for me the increased bandwidth available with FireWire isn’t worth it compared to the relatively problem free USB.

Your mileage may vary.[/QUOTE]
:iagree:
1394 turned out to have more issues, more dropouts, more hangs, more …

USB is well matured after 15years …


#6

I had problems w/ USB early on and having the 1394 available was a lifesaver a couple of times. USB has matured, as debro says, and I haven’t had problems in a long time. However, I now also have a camera, a scanner and pen drives attached to my USB slots. The 1394 has come in handy when the “safely remove hardware” said no and I couldn’t detach w/out rebooting. I’d rather reboot than get coasters, tho.

I haven’t had any problems w/ 1394 on 2 win2k & 2 xinxp systems with 4 ext HDs [3 WD & 1 LaCie] - but I think a HD is a different animal than an optical drive. I’ve had nothing but problems trying to burn cds then dvds, internal or ext. ODD, and I’m only burning data discs. No audio and no video.

It appears the licensing fee for firewire at a critical time restricted its availability/use & that would impact on its development. I’m not technically savvy enough to figure out if 1394 is less suited for optical burning than usb, less suited for optical burning on a pc, no one got the bugs out because everyone was using usb, or they got the bugs out but no one noticed because everyone’s using usb.

Since there are no glowing praises for 1394 ODDs, I won’t hold out for that option if reviews, price, or other options favor a usb-only ext. ODD.

Thanks to everyone for sharing their experience.