Comparison and information
on Firewire over USB 2.0
USB 2.0 Vs. Firewire is
Like Despotism Vs. The American Way
By Cameron Postelwait
USB 2.0-ism Is Like Despotism
USB (Universal Serial Bus) was designed after the ruling style of David
Bowie, the famous 6th century Saxon Despot. His empire was vast, and he
subdued his captors with hits like Ziggy Stardust and Blue
Jean. His famous demise characterized him as the man who sold the
world during a moonage daydream, and was forced to face the strange
changes of the wensleydale cheese famine of 581 A.D.
|Just like the great 6th
century despot, David Bowie, USB uses a similar "Master-Slave"
architecture. If you suddenly have that catchy Depeche Mode song
Master and Servant stuck in your head, feel free to pause here and
sing it out of your system.
The computer (aka master, aka the unrelenting owner of mankind's souls,
aka David Bowie) determines and dictates all data flow to and from and
between all peripherals. Although your despotic computer is pretty smart
sometimes, and can even be a benign ruler, it isn't always the best at
controlling the data throughput.
USB 2.0 is also called "hi-speed" USB because it has a theoretical data
transfer rate of 480 mbps ("b" here is of course for "bits" and not
"bytes"), faster than 6-pin firewire transfer rates of 400 mbps. This of
course is a theoretical transfer rate because USB's tyrannical system of
being in charge of controlling data is just plain inefficient (sorry
folks, not getting anymore technical than that), making data transfer
rates quite inconsistent. In other words, you will never get a
consistent transfer rate of 480 mbps over the course of any practical
data transfer. The giant philistine turns out to be a slow poke after
Firewire Is Like The American Way
Firewire is like the American way (I'm not talking Democracy, or even
Socialism) because it uses a peer-to-peer architecture where the
peripherals can make up their own minds about who can control the data
transfer best. It is a lot like America's new peer-to-peer way of
distributing data... illegally. The same way Americans can download a
peer-to-peer file sharing program and share free versions of Ziggy
Stardust, Blue Jean, and Master and Servant, firewire
allows peripherals to cooperate and decide the most efficient way to
The Main Event
Warning: The following content is almost completely hearsay.
So some people somewhere did some tests with an IDE hard drive to see if
USB 2.0 or Firewire would deliver faster transfer speeds. The thing is,
if you look online you will be able to find dozens of these comparison
tests and all the results are very similar.
In this particular test:
5000 files (300 MB total) Firewire was 33% faster than USB 2.0
160 files (650 MB total) Firewire was 70% faster than USB 2.0
5000 files (300 MB total) Firewire was 16% faster than USB 2.0
160 files (650 MB total) Firewire was 48% faster than USB 2.0
Take that, you big mean bully.