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Old September 20th, 2007, 01:23 PM   #1
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USB 3.0 for 2009 = around 10x USB 2.0

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/...2184743,00.asp
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Old September 20th, 2007, 03:17 PM   #2
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Wow, that sounds really interesting. I wonder if we'll have a new firewire standard by then? If we don't, than USB 3.0 will be faster than even firewire 800 and (am I correct in saying this?), with the new dedicated in/out routes, it will be just as reliable.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 03:48 PM   #3
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Yes, the speeds they are describing are 6x faster than fw800 and 1.5-3x faster than SATA - and with the two-lane communication it sounds like it would eliminate the current problems with USB for things like video. My only concern would be if legacy USB1/2 devices on the same bus would negatively impact the performance of high speed devices. If not, I wouldn't mind seeing firewire fade away and everything settled on a single standard.

Of course, from the article it sounds like this isn't much more than a bunch of planned specs at this point, so a lot could change between now and when it hits the real world.
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Old September 25th, 2007, 12:59 PM   #4
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Expected in 2009? In tech terms that's eons away yet, and most likely when I'll be due for a new PC.
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Old September 25th, 2007, 01:40 PM   #5
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I think we will also see a trend towards higher and higher wireless connection speeds. Eliminating the cable from the equation also seems like a desirable objective. JMHO of course.

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Old September 25th, 2007, 02:16 PM   #6
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IEEE-1394 already supports 3200Mbps (via the IEEE-1394b standard - a.k.a FireWire 2).

IEEE-1394a operates at 100, 200 and 400Mbps
IEEE-1394b operates at 800, 1600 and 3200Mbps.

IEEE-1394b is backwards compatible with IEEE-1394a.

http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system.../1394tech.mspx

It can also operate over distances up to 100 meters. The highest speed means that 64-bit PCI devices could be hooked up to your computer externally.

As with USB1.1 and 3.0, the proposed rated speed of 4.8Gbps is the burst data rate, not the sustained data rate.

USB requires the computer's CPU to do the data transfer. As the speed gets faster, so does the time the CPU has to give up to do it. IEEE-1394 requires no CPU effort - it is fully controlled by the IEEE-1394 bus controller. The data rate is guaranteed, too.

To me, IEEE-1394b wins over USB3.0 hands down.
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Old September 25th, 2007, 09:21 PM   #7
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I don't really care what's used, Faster is better. :)
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Old September 25th, 2007, 10:28 PM   #8
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Even if it is expected by 2009 it will take even longer for devices to actually use this and for your motherboard to support it.

What the kind kind of interface will this thing need? Bandwidth that high would end up needing at least a PCI Express x4 slot which a lot of main stream motherboards don't even have right now.

There is also the fact that no single drive can even use the max bandwidth of Firewire 800 right now. In order to get the most of the bandwidth you would have to have a pretty high end raid on the other end of that USB 3 connection.

So really the only use I see for this is a replacemnt for easy to hook up huge raid systems. I see very little use for this for the main stream right now. A lot of things in the storage and bandwidth area would have to change before this USB 3 would really be usefull.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 07:31 AM   #9
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Thomas, you have some good points, but I wouldn't be surprised to see those things change for the better between now and 2009.

However, I can also see Firewire getting an upgrade by then.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 07:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Smet View Post
There is also the fact that no single drive can even use the max bandwidth of Firewire 800 right now. In order to get the most of the bandwidth you would have to have a pretty high end raid on the other end of that USB 3 connection.
I'm not sure I understand this.

First generation SATA drives have a throughput of 150MBps and second generation have a throughput of 300MBps. FireWire 800 has a throughput of 100MBps. For an external SATA drive with a FireWire 800 interface, the bottleneck is the FireWire throughput. There are a lot of such external drives available on the market. Unfortunately, configuring two such drives as a RAID on a single connection won't help because of the bottleneck. Two FireWire or USB ports would have to be used.

BTW, re interfaces for USB3.0 and IEEE-1394b at 3.2Gbps, both will require optical fiber connections for the highest speeds, so expect a wholesale change in the way things get connected in the next few years :-)
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Old September 26th, 2007, 12:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John F Miller View Post
I'm not sure I understand this.

First generation SATA drives have a throughput of 150MBps and second generation have a throughput of 300MBps. FireWire 800 has a throughput of 100MBps. For an external SATA drive with a FireWire 800 interface, the bottleneck is the FireWire throughput. There are a lot of such external drives available on the market. Unfortunately, configuring two such drives as a RAID on a single connection won't help because of the bottleneck. Two FireWire or USB ports would have to be used.

BTW, re interfaces for USB3.0 and IEEE-1394b at 3.2Gbps, both will require optical fiber connections for the highest speeds, so expect a wholesale change in the way things get connected in the next few years :-)
Those are peak datarates in theory of what the interface can do. A single drive can only really sustain around at the most 60 MB/S give or take a few MB based on the quality of the drive and how full it is. If a drive is over half full you will be lucky to get 30 MB/S sustained. Sure it can peak over that every now and then but the peaks are not something that would make a big difference with USB 3.

A 2 drive raid-0 on firewire 800 helps because it allows you to sustain the 60 - 80 MB/S datarate even if the drives get full. A single drive on firewire 800 is only going to pump out data as fast as the drive itself can.

This is why even though uncompressed SD is only 21 MB/S it is suggested to have at least a 2 drive raid-0 even if the raid is internal. A single drive will work for awhile when it is empty but performance will drop below the needed datarate once it starts to fill up.

So if you will be using just a simple single external hard drive then USB 3 would be pretty much awaste right now. Drives would have to get much faster in order to see the advantage or else a large at least 4 drive raid-0 would have to be used to take advantage of the extra bandwidth.

Maybe perhaps by then we will see 4 drive raids in a single easy to use case but external SATA has been out for a long time now and we still don't have any drives that take advantage of the full bandwidth of SATA 300.
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