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Old Dec 11, 2002, 2:13 PM   #1
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Default Sandisk Imagemate USB 2.0 -- comparison to firewire?


I was pleased to find the review of the Sandisk Imagemate 6 in 1 USB 2.0 Reader but did not see any comparison to firewire reader performance. What's your impression, Steve?
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Old Dec 11, 2002, 3:05 PM   #2
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USB 2.0 is can be 40 times faster than USB 1.0. Firewire can be 5 times faster than USB 2.0. Hopes this helps.
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Old Dec 13, 2002, 11:43 AM   #3
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Well, I used a 320MB 12x Lexar (same as in the review) and a Lexar firewire card reader. The writing to the card was slower, max I got was about 2MB/s compared to +3MB/s on the USB 2, but reading from the card was much faster, taking 9s to open a 67.1MB (7.45MB/s compared to USB 2's 3.37MB/s) TIFF image in Photoshop. But I guess it depends also on the hardware that you use, some firewire adapters aren't as good as others, mine is a so-so Western Digital brand that came with my external hard drive, with USB 2 it must be the same way.
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Old Dec 14, 2002, 12:55 AM   #4
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Actually, I believe Firewire is rated at 400 Mbps, while USB 2.0 is rated at 480 Mbps, so saying that Firewire is 5 times faster than USB 2.0 isn't exactly accurate, you might say....
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Old Dec 14, 2002, 7:45 AM   #5
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USB 2.0 is rated at 480 Mb/s for tier 1 and 2 (ie PC to hub and hub to hub). In practice USB 2.0 is quite expensive to implement at the device level, so you'll see more of the full-speed(12Mb/s) and low-speed(1.5Mb/s), all part of USB 2.0. The high-speed(480Mb/s) is more an exception than the norm...


Also writing to the card is always slower, since the card write speed is the bottleneck and not the USB/Firewire interface. If you try the same experiment with a microdrive instead of a flash card the read/write times are more on par with one another, and will also favor the firewire. However; if anyone want the fastest transfer, use a PC card (PCMCIA) adapter (and they do make it for PC and not just laptop)!
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Old Dec 24, 2002, 5:10 PM   #6
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As far as I can tell the USB 2.0 and FireWire readers are about the same speed-wise. It depends more on the memory device being downloaded as some are incredibly slow to begin with. For the money (approx. $50), I haven't found anything yet that beats the new ImageMate USB 2.0 reader. Now if they come out with one that has a dual SmartMedia/xD-Picture card slot then we'll have all the current formats covered.

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