Does this sound right?? Very Slow Hard drive transfer at DVinfo.net

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Old March 12th, 2004, 08:27 AM   #1
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Does this sound right?? Very Slow Hard drive transfer

I copied 60GB of video files from my one 80GB External Firewire drive to 120GB external firewire drive and the transfer took almost 2 hours!!!!!

The one drive it hooked up to my computer via my soundblaster audigy and the other drive is connected to a seperate firewire port. I tried daisy chaining the drives and that didn't seem to speed things up at all.

This seems awfully slow to me.

What do you guys think?
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Old March 12th, 2004, 08:32 AM   #2
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How full were the two drives?
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Old March 12th, 2004, 08:41 AM   #3
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The 80 GB drive had the 60 GB on it so it had roughly 15GB free. The 120 GB drive was completely empty (just formatted)
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Old March 14th, 2004, 06:55 AM   #4
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That's around 8 MB/s. Keep in mind that the slowest link in the
chain will control the transfer speed. So if one of the firewire
drives is an "old"/"older" model it might just not be able to shift
data any faster.

BUT, I have a feeling that PC based firewire cards are not what
they claim to be. I still have plans to test my theory, but with my
only firewire harddisk away due to problems I can't at this moment.

A while ago I came across some documents which state that
firewire devices do not have to run at the maximum speed of
the specifications. Besides the maximum 400 mbit rate firewire
can also fall down to 200 or 100 mbit. I'm not sure (especially
the cheap ones) all the firewire cards actually run at 400 mbps.
Unfortunatelly it is not something you can check yourself.

I was planning on running some tests as my harddisk seemed
a lot faster on my USB2 port than on my firewire port. A simple
harddisk test utility should be able to give some insides into
such things.

I'm not claiming that his is actually happening (it is only a "feeling")
or that such a thing is your problem. It might just has been a
slow drive.

I also believe that firewire transfers are quite taxing on your
CPU.
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Old March 14th, 2004, 09:32 AM   #5
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Rob, I'm not at all sure that this passes as the kind of test you have in mind but after reading your post I ran Raptest.exe on my external LaCie 120 GB drive and on a 60 GB internal Maxtor (7200 rpm 2MG cache). The write speed of the LaCie posted 23 MB/sec while the Maxtor was 32. I realize neither of those figures are necessarily sustained write speed. For those unfamiliar with Canopus hardware, Raptest is a small utility they distributed three years ago when I was determining if my then-editing system could work with their DV Raptor card.

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Old March 14th, 2004, 08:09 PM   #6
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Firewire may be rated at 400 MBps, but IDE hard drives (and even most SATA drives) can't transfer continuous data anywhere near that rate. David's Maxtor is near the high end...I have seen 40 MBps with ATA133s. Of course, SCSI is much faster.
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Old March 15th, 2004, 12:46 PM   #7
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I have to respectfully disagree. Yes, a lot of SCSI harddisk are
very fast, but so are IDE harddisk these days. My own internal
harddisk easily does 25 MB/s (not mbps) sustained and I've
seen it over 30 as well. We had another discussion here on the
board a while back on the same subject and some reports showed
that a lot of IDE harddisk now do easily 30 or 40 MB/s.
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Old March 15th, 2004, 01:12 PM   #8
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The maximum rate of Firewire is 400Mbps which translates into 50MBs per second (8 bits in a byte) plus there is a ten percent overhead for error correction and other things. So the maximum you could possibly get is around 45MBs a second. And in real world usage it's going to most likely be less than this.

Cheers,
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Old March 15th, 2004, 01:15 PM   #9
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True Brian. That's one of my points. My previous post was in
regard to an IDE drive on an internal connector, not external.
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Old March 15th, 2004, 01:21 PM   #10
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Rob, that was mainly in response to Guy who said that firewire is 400MBps when it is actually about ten percent of that. Common mistake to make, bits -vs- bytes, and the manufactures like to help you make the mistake!

Cheers,
Brian
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Old March 15th, 2004, 06:43 PM   #11
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Brian and Rob, thanks for the magnitude correction.
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