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External hard drive & USB 2

G

grhm

Guest
I'm looking at a Western Digital My Book Essential 320GB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive to transfer my CD's to. Will a USB 2.0 also work with my older computer with a USB 1.1? Is upgrading to a 2.0 easy to do with a desktop computer? Also, are there external hard drives for desktops that wouldn't work for a laptop?
 

sbowler

Well-known Member
All drives are compatable with both desktop and laptop, they are also backwards compatible with USB1.1 its just a slower transfer rate.
 

norealplan

Distinguished Member
I'm looking at getting one of these MyBooks too, however am getting a Mac in the next few months and was wondering if it was worth going the model up and getting one with firewire 400. Is firewire 400 much quicker than USB2.0?

I have now noticed another mybook model with USB2.0, Firewire 400 and firewire 800. Anyone have any experiences with firewire 800? I know not many Macs support it at the moment, but on paper it looks mighty fast! Is it stable? Any drawbacks?
 

clockworks

Well-known Member
I'm looking at a Western Digital My Book Essential 320GB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive to transfer my CD's to. Will a USB 2.0 also work with my older computer with a USB 1.1? Is upgrading to a 2.0 easy to do with a desktop computer? Also, are there external hard drives for desktops that wouldn't work for a laptop?

You can buy a PCI card (fits into one of the slots inside your PC) that has several USB 2.0 ports. Depending on what operating system you've got, you may need to load a software driver as well. XP SP1 supports USB 2.0 without drivers.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
I'm looking at getting one of these MyBooks too, however am getting a Mac in the next few months and was wondering if it was worth going the model up and getting one with firewire 400. Is firewire 400 much quicker than USB2.0?
Firewire 400 = 400Mbs constant
USB2.0 = 480Mbs peak

Although USB2.0 is in theory faster than FW400, in practice it is often slower as it is only 480Mbs peak and as the PC gets buisy the rate can drop below that of firewire. For things such as video capture from a camcorder firewire is recommended as dropped frames occur if the rate drops too far. But with modern powerful PC's this is getting to be less of an issue.
I have now noticed another mybook model with USB2.0, Firewire 400 and firewire 800. Anyone have any experiences with firewire 800? I know not many Macs support it at the moment, but on paper it looks mighty fast! Is it stable? Any drawbacks?
Firewire 800 = 800Mbs contant (you'd never have guessed that would you :devil: )
800Mbs knocks the socks clean off USB2.0 but as you say is not very common, even on new Macs (and apple are the ones who invented firewire), so there is not much need for it at the moment. If not too expensive then it may be worth getting to 'future proof' the investment, but I personally wouldn't pay a lot extra for FW800 yet.

Mark.
 

norealplan

Distinguished Member
Thanks for your reply mate. It works out about £25 more to get firewire 400 and 800 with a Western Digital My Book, so i think that's worth paying to be future proof.
 

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