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Windows 7: USB 3.0, FireWire, Or eSATA: Which Interface Should You Use?

10 Oct 2010   #1
deepakumar

windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 
USB 3.0, FireWire, Or eSATA: Which Interface Should You Use?

Hi friends,

I'm sure many of us who are aware of these terms have this question quite often. So here i'm trying to share some information that might help you to decide upon which one/two you should choose.

For those who know the term but doesn't know the exact meaning or functions of these port, i'm gonna define them as well.

1} Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 is an external serial interface used on computers and other digital devices to transfer data using a USB cable. The designation “2.0” refers to the standard or version of the USB interface.

USB is a plug-and-play interface. This means that the computer does not need to be powered off in order to plug in or unplug a USB 2.0 component. For example, an iPod or other MP3 player can be connected to a computer via a USB cable running to the USB 2.0 port. The computer will register the device as another storage area and show any files it contains.

Attachment 103528

If you want to read more about USB then refer to: What is USB 2.0?

2} External Serial Advanced Technology Attachment or eSATA is an external interface for SATA technologies. It competes with FireWire 400 and universal serial bus (USB) 2.0 to provide fast data transfer speeds for external storage devices.

Attachment 103529

While eSATA reaches transfer rates of at least triple those of USB 2.0 and FireWire 400, it does have one drawback. eSATA requires its own power connector, unlike the aforementioned interfaces. It is still an excellent choice for external disk storage, however. Unlike USB and FireWire interfaces, eSATA does not have to translate data between the interface and the computer. This enhances data transfer speeds, while saving computer processor resources and eliminating the need for an extra off-load chip.


3} Firewire ports are forms of a serial port that make use of FireWire technology to transfer data rapidly from one electronic device to another. The FireWire port has been in common use since 1995, when Apple, Inc. first began to include the port on a number of digital camcorders. Today, the FireWire port is used on a number of other devices.

Attachment 103530

As a multi-platform serial bus, the FireWire port has the ability to interact with a number of different devices. For example, a FireWire connection can provide an ideal way to connect a scanner to a computer system. Because the transfer rate of a FireWire port can reach up to 400 Mbps, the data transfer is relatively fast and also results in excellent quality.


Here are the latest addition to these port's family:
USB:
the latest addition to USB family is known as SuperSpeed USB.
In a nutshell, USB 3.0 promises the following:

  • Higher transfer rates (up to 4.8 Gbps)
  • Increased maximum bus power and increased device current draw to better accommodate power-hungry devices
  • New power management features
  • Full-duplex data transfers and support for new transfer types
  • New connectors and cables for higher speed data transfer...although they are backwards compatible with USB 2.0 devices and computers (more on this later.
USB 2.0 changed the face of transferring data in the year 2000 at super fast speeds of up to 480 Mbps (megabytes per second), which was a huge improvement from USB 1.0 transfer rate speed of only 1.5 Mbps (low speed) and a full speed of up to 12 Mbps. It took twice as long to release USB 3.0 as it did USB 2.0 at from 1.0 and took 10 years for USB 3.0 (USB 2.0 was released 4 years after 1.0).

FireWire:
In late 2007, the 1394 Trade Association announced Firewire 3200, called "S3200", that builds upon the existing Firewire 800 standard that was released in 2002. Utilizing the very same connectors and cabling that is required for Firewire 800, S3200 is basically a drop-in replacement once the internal system components are updated in devices.


How does USB 3.0 compare to competing interfaces (i.e. eSATA, FireWire 3200, ExpressCard 2.0)?

USB 3.0 will be 10 times as fast as USB 2.0 at a super fast speed of up to 5 Gbps (from 480 Mbps). Compared to the new FireWire 3200, which runs two thirds the speed of USB 3.0 (1.6 Gbps slower than USB 3.0). USB 3.0 will also use one third the power of USB 2.0; making it more "green" and cost less to run.


Firewire's main claim to fame is that it is a highly efficient peer-to-peer, full-duplex, non-polling data communications protocol with very low overhead. Firewire delivers much higher actual throughput than USB 2.0, and can achieve much closer to its theoretical 800Mbps data rate than USB. Where Firewire 800 can deliver sustained data transfers of around 90MB/s, USB 2.0 hovers more around 40MB/s.

To be honest, the jump from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 is impressive. But it’s important to remember that if it’s more impressive than the jump from FireWire 800 to FireWire 3200, it’s only because USB had that much more ground to make up. Despite all the gains of the new USB, FireWire still maintains a technical edge in power management, hardware compatibility, and potentially even the actual transfer rate.

eSATA, or External SATA, was brought to market in 2004 as a consumer interface targetted directly at an external storage market crowded with USB 2.0 and Firewire solutions. eSATA supports a data rate of 3.2Gbps, which is more than enough for the fastest hard drives, which can transfer about 120MB/s, easily better than USB 2.0 and significantly better than Firewire 800.

This is an addition over USB3.0,eSATA,Firewire port:

ExpressCard 2.0 was released practically the same day as the USB 3.0 specification (November 2008) and promises to significantly enhance the ExpressCard standard for the increased speed requirements of today's mobile technologies. Closely tied to both the PCI Express and USB 3.0 specifications, ExpressCard 2.0 supports a variety of applications involving high throughput data transfer and streaming.
Maintaining backwards compatibility with the original ExpressCard specification, the hot-pluggable interface standard for I/O expansion in smaller form-factor systems will by definition co-exist with the world of USB 3.0 devices.


Attachment 103532

To read more about USB 3.0 & other ports you can check: SuperSpeed USB 3.0 FAQ

Hope this article helped you to clear some of your doubts & help you to choose between various ports that help you to transfer data at a faster & your desired rate.





My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
10 Oct 2010   #2
baarod

El Capitan / Windows 10
 
 

"The FireWire port has been in common use since 1995, when Apple, Inc. first began to include the port on a number of digital camcorders."

Apple has never produced camcorders.
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10 Oct 2010   #3
DirtyElf

Windows 7 64-bit Home
 
 

i would like to say that helped me, but it was poorly written and im actually a little more confused about the topic now

sorry.


edit: i read the link, that helped
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

10 Oct 2010   #4
baarod

El Capitan / Windows 10
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DirtyElf View Post
i would like to say that helped me, but it was poorly written and im actually a little more confused about the topic now

sorry.
Damn, now I feel bad about posting a correction. I should have probably thanked deepakumar for the effort when I posted my gripe but flatly saying that his work was "poorly written" is a slap in the face to his for using his time to help. How do you think that would make you feel? I thought the piece was a little IEEE1394 fanboy but still he took the time to write it and I, for one, did NOT think it was "poorly written". And before someone comes out of the woodwork to claim that it was a product of "English as a Second Language" I'll assert that some of the finest English in the world is spoken in India thanks to Imperialism and the sun never setting on the British Empire.

Oh, and I really liked his font too!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2010   #5
s31

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

firewire's dead
i use esata/usb for now although going to be dead also soon
intel light peek is next - YouTube - Intel Light Peak Demo @ IDF 2009
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12 Oct 2010   #6
deepakumar

windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DirtyElf View Post
i would like to say that helped me, but it was poorly written and im actually a little more confused about the topic now

sorry.


edit: i read the link, that helped
@ Sorry DirtyElf if you couldn't understand the post but let me tell you before posting i always get it checked & confirmed by our Admin to make sure no grammatical mistake/incorrect English is used that might make it difficulty for readers to understand....but still if you couldn't understand, would request which part of the article you couldn't understand, i would be happy to make it even simpler for you...Thnx for feedback...much appreciated...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2010   #7
deepakumar

windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by baarod View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DirtyElf View Post
i would like to say that helped me, but it was poorly written and im actually a little more confused about the topic now

sorry.
Damn, now I feel bad about posting a correction. I should have probably thanked deepakumar for the effort when I posted my gripe but flatly saying that his work was "poorly written" is a slap in the face to his for using his time to help. How do you think that would make you feel? I thought the piece was a little IEEE1394 fanboy but still he took the time to write it and I, for one, did NOT think it was "poorly written". And before someone comes out of the woodwork to claim that it was a product of "English as a Second Language" I'll assert that some of the finest English in the world is spoken in India thanks to Imperialism and the sun never setting on the British Empire.

Oh, and I really liked his font too!
Thnx baarod for your appreciation....but i didn't felt offended/bad about what DirtyElf said when we create/come up with a new tutorials/articles it might not appeal or easy for every1 to understand...so DirtyElf is right in his position & i would be happy to help him to understand the article again in more simpler words....
Quote: ""And before someone comes out of the woodwork to claim that it was a product of "English as a Second Language" I'll assert that some of the finest English in the world is spoken in India thanks to Imperialism and the sun never setting on the British Empire.""
Hahahhaaa that was great comment & thanks for the appreciation....btw the font is Century Gothic {Oh, and I really liked his font too![/QUOTE]}....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2010   #8
sygnus21

Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Hi deepakumar, nice article though I do find this section a bit confusing....

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by deepakumar View Post
How does USB 3.0 compare to competing interfaces (i.e. eSATA, FireWire 3200, ExpressCard 2.0)?

Firewire's main claim to fame is that it is a highly efficient peer-to-peer, full-duplex, non-polling data communications protocol with very low overhead. Firewire delivers much higher actual throughput than USB 2.0, and can achieve much closer to its theoretical 800Mbps data rate than USB. Where Firewire 800 can deliver sustained data transfers of around 90MB/s, USB 2.0 hovers more around 40MB/s.
Though the section is titled "How does USB 3.0 compare to competing interfaces (i.e. eSATA, FireWire 3200, ExpressCard 2.0)?" The comparisions are all about USB 2.0 vs FireWire 800. Where are the comparisions on USB 3.0 Vs FireWire 3200?

Or am I missing the point?

Also have have you seen either of these articles...

- USB 3.0 Vs. USB 2.0 Vs. FireWire: What's the Big Difference? - Associated Content - associatedcontent.com

Quote:
USB 3.0 will be 10 times as fast as USB 2.0 at a super fast speed of up to 5 Gbps (from 480 Mbps). Compared to the new FireWire 3200, which runs two thirds the speed of USB 3.0 (1.6 Gbps slower than USB 3.0). USB 3.0 will also use one third the power of USB 2.0; making it more "green" and cost less to run.
- Tech Check: USB 3.0 vs FireWire 3200

Quote:
With a possible transfer rate of 4.8Gbps (gigabits per second), USB 3.0 is theoretically the much faster specification. The designers have also gone to lengths to improve the power efficiency as well as power output, meaning you will be able to plug it into your computers with less of a power draw (especially important for laptops) as well as be able to charge devices faster and power more devices solely through USB.
Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2010   #9
DirtyElf

Windows 7 64-bit Home
 
 

i didn't mean to offend if i did, just stated my opinion
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2010   #10
deepakumar

windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sygnus21 View Post
Hi deepakumar, nice article though I do find this section a bit confusing....

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by deepakumar View Post
How does USB 3.0 compare to competing interfaces (i.e. eSATA, FireWire 3200, ExpressCard 2.0)?

Firewire's main claim to fame is that it is a highly efficient peer-to-peer, full-duplex, non-polling data communications protocol with very low overhead. Firewire delivers much higher actual throughput than USB 2.0, and can achieve much closer to its theoretical 800Mbps data rate than USB. Where Firewire 800 can deliver sustained data transfers of around 90MB/s, USB 2.0 hovers more around 40MB/s.
Though the section is titled "How does USB 3.0 compare to competing interfaces (i.e. eSATA, FireWire 3200, ExpressCard 2.0)?" The comparisions are all about USB 2.0 vs FireWire 800. Where are the comparisions on USB 3.0 Vs FireWire 3200?

Or am I missing the point?

Also have have you seen either of these articles...

- USB 3.0 Vs. USB 2.0 Vs. FireWire: What's the Big Difference? - Associated Content - associatedcontent.com

Quote:
USB 3.0 will be 10 times as fast as USB 2.0 at a super fast speed of up to 5 Gbps (from 480 Mbps). Compared to the new FireWire 3200, which runs two thirds the speed of USB 3.0 (1.6 Gbps slower than USB 3.0). USB 3.0 will also use one third the power of USB 2.0; making it more "green" and cost less to run.
- Tech Check: USB 3.0 vs FireWire 3200

Quote:
With a possible transfer rate of 4.8Gbps (gigabits per second), USB 3.0 is theoretically the much faster specification. The designers have also gone to lengths to improve the power efficiency as well as power output, meaning you will be able to plug it into your computers with less of a power draw (especially important for laptops) as well as be able to charge devices faster and power more devices solely through USB.
Thanks.
sygnus21 Thnx for the info it was just that i was getting late for my class so couldn't finish it up, Sorry guyzzz & thanks for reminding of this will complete shortly...i did checked those links quite helpful & great info available...Thnx sygnus21...
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 USB 3.0, FireWire, Or eSATA: Which Interface Should You Use?




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