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Old Mar 8, 2005, 3:28 PM   #11
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Hmmmm ... really. Can an 80x or faster CF card (ex: Extreme III) read fast enough to get a boost from using Firewire instead of USB-II?

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Old Mar 8, 2005, 3:28 PM   #12
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Would you say that its enough of a boost to justify someone upgrading if they already have USB 2.0?
Probably not, but Firewire 800 is out. I havea Nikon slide/negative scanner that only does Firewire, so it was a no-brainer for me to geta Firewire card-reader.
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Old Mar 8, 2005, 7:25 PM   #13
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The speed difference in FireWire over USB 2 comes from things like the protocol not the raw theoritical bandwidth. Technically, in ideal conditions USB2 is faster (480Mb/sec vs. 400Mb/sec) but in real world conditions FireWire is faster for many things (i.e. you only get those speeds in a lab with special cables in super-cooled conditions with inch long super conductor cables... ok, I'm joking. But no-one gets that performance in the real world. Those are just marketing numbers. FireWire doesn't reach 400Mb and USB2 Doesn't reach 480.)

For example. FireWire based disk drives are much faster than USB2 disk drives. The protocol that FireWire uses is more efficient and fits a disk drive's usage pattern better. The disk drives limit the bandwidth, so you don't get nearly what the protocol is capable of. Instead the nature of the protocol makes a big difference.

If you had USB2, and just wanted to add this or that peripheral... I probably wouldn't get FireWire. If you wanted to add multiple disks for a backup strategy... then yes, I'd suggest FireWire with drive enclosures that did USB 2 and FireWire (let you take a disk to a friends house and still use it.)

The best CF readers that I've seen reviewed are faster as FireWire than as USB2. But A good USB2 one is still very good.

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