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Old August 31st, 2007, 05:15 PM   #1
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Bus Powered drive FW400vs800 / 5400RPMvs7200?

I want to get 1 or 2 bus-powered portable 2.5" drives to download P2 cards with my 15" powerbook.
I'm a little confused over which parameters actually will affect download speed.

I know that I want a firewire 400 port at least as the USB seems to be slower.

However is there any point in spending the extra dollars on a firewire 800 port or on a 7200RPM drive?

If not for downloading, when do these speed differences come into play?

Any suggestions about brands? I figured I would go with the OWC On-The-Go drives.

Thanks

- Lenny Levy
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Old August 31st, 2007, 08:00 PM   #2
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I will check to compare everything that I have, soon.
I have LaCie Rugged (single drive), Little Big Disk (2.5 inch micro raid) and other couple of OTG drives. There are big difference between USB2 and Firewire route.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 08:19 PM   #3
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Thanks that would be valuable information for everyone.
I've heard from some people to just get FW400's and 5400RPM and others tell me - oh no you want the FW800 / 7200RPM. I hear the 7200 eats up more battery though, so unless there is a performance increase...

- Lenny
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Old August 31st, 2007, 11:29 PM   #4
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Lenny,

Regardless of the hype between FW400/800/USB you'll find the offload times to be fairly similar. The only time bus/drive speed becomes an issue is in post, not so much in simple data-transfers.

My only suggestion - and from almost 3 years of experience with location HOST-mode transfers - is not to rely on any bus-powered drive but those that are self-powered, either by wall-wart or the newer Li-Ion battery packs that clip on to many of the smaller 2.5" inch portable drives. The reason for this is that the USB/FW connectors are typically less robust than the power connectors themselves, which if the data cable which is also sharing the power becomes nudged/loosened etc you'll end up with failed or corrupted transfers because of power loss.

Every drive made today has *some* error correction built-in (which works in concert with the drives on-board cache), so if the data stream becomes temporarily glitched can be corrected to a certain degree from it's cache before it actually gets written as hard data. However, if the drive loses power even for a millisecond that error correction goes away with the power and you'll end up with trouble.

My 2 cents.
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Old September 1st, 2007, 12:51 AM   #5
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Robert, As usual you're voice carries a breadth of knowledge that is much appreciated.
Have you wondered whether that may be the cause of some of the corrupted clips people have complained about? Has anyone tried to track that variable down?

One question worth answering though is whether you've actually seen this happen or is this mainly a theoretical concern. i do know people who have been using these drives a great deal for P2 transfers and never had a problem at least that I know of ... though actually now that I think of it maybe they have.

I'll ask about this.

It sounds like the ideal solution when away from power then would be to get one of the Li-Ion packs? I'll haveto look into those.
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Old September 1st, 2007, 07:52 AM   #6
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Leonord,
I have an OWC FW800 100gb 7200 drive. I love it. It's very robustly built. It comes with an AC adapter (I've never used it). I don't use P2 but I have captured HDV from an A1 straight to the OWC drive through my Macbook Pro and have never had a problem. I'm not convinced on whether it's not a good idea to use it only bus powered. But, from the computer end using the drive bus powered will greatly eat into your Macbook's battery. So at minimum you're going to want to plug it in.
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Old September 1st, 2007, 10:14 AM   #7
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I use 2 FW bus-powered HDD - one on the 800 bus and the other on the 400 bus for a backup copy. I like the plastic OWC models, seem fairly robust . my metal one from RADTECH is ok too.
100gb 7200rpm Hitachi HD in both. eats up more battery, but I don't run powerbook that long for dnlds. I carry a couple spare batts and plug into AC whenever I can.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 08:37 PM   #8
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I have used the Wiebetech Combo GB bus powered FW800 for two years and never had an issue with it. just make sure you've got enery saver disabled so that the macbook or powerbook doesn't go to sleep while offloading. I've experienced file corruption that way.
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