USB 3.0 to challenge Firewire

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
So says Charles Moore, who got it from Slashdot.



Is this report true? Think of how fast our keyboards will be now!



Does Firewire have a prayer against this new tech? Is there even a point to Apple trying to extend it, or do you think they should just work with Intel on USB from here on?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post


    So says Charles Moore, who got it from Slashdot.



    Is this report true? Think of how fast our keyboards will be now!



    Does Firewire have a prayer against this new tech? Is there even a point to Apple trying to extend it, or do you think they should just work with Intel on USB from here on?



    I brought this subject up five years ago...



    http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=19243



    IMHO, FireWire lost the battle when Apple dropped it from its iPod line. FireWire = BetaMax



    Dave
  • Reply 2 of 26
    FireWire will always be better than USB for many types of purposes unless they fundamentally change USB (does not sound like they are doing so for 3.0). This is for a variety of reasons, but the big ones are:



    USB is all about a collection of devices talking to a single "host" (computer). If data should go from device A to device B it must go to the computer, then back. This is fundamental to USB. But on FireWire all devices are peers, and so data can go from one harddrive to another. There is even provisions in the FireWire spec for the FireWire system to write data in to a memory space directly (being steered by a driver, but not writing through the driver). This all means that data transfer can be much faster.



    FireWire has provisions for a device to request dedicated bandwidth. That means that if you are going to be streaming video from one device to another it will have an open channel to do so without having to constantly fight for space to transmit. USB does not do this, but operates like Ethernet where you grab the channel and hold onto it until you take a break. This makes USB a really bad choice for audio devices, and a bad choice for fast hard drives and video. For "removable storage" it is still fine, as your expectations for it are lower.



    Note that while adding more speed might alleviate these problems (it is not going to do it for the audio side thought), it will not solve them completely. These are part-and-parcel with the fundamental design of FireWire and USB, and I am only touching on the ones that are beneficial for FireWire here, there are advantages to the USB design (primarily in reducing the cost of devices).
  • Reply 3 of 26
    rickagrickag Posts: 1,626member
    I don't think it will spell the doom of Firewire for quite some time. There are too many consumers relying on it for camcorders and external harddrives. Maybe sometime in 2010 Apple could drop Firewire support as USB 3 and Sata dominate, but even then seems too soon, we'll see.



    My only concern is if I'm still using my current iMac will I still be able to buy a camcorder that would have Firewire support or if not would there be USB 2 camcorders that would even remotely allow the transfer speeds I get currentl with my current camcorder.
  • Reply 4 of 26
    USB will need cpu off load to beat firewire as the slower firewire 400 is better then usb 2.0
  • Reply 5 of 26
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post


    ...



    IMHO, FireWire lost the battle when Apple dropped it from its iPod line. FireWire = BetaMax



    ...



    Even on your planet where the iPod was the killer app for FireWire, it will only the killer app for the Mac version of the iPod. FireWire maybe exclusively a computer peripheral cable on your planet, but its uses on Earth are more diverse. Every high-definition TV settop box and most mini DV and HDV camcorders feature FireWire. The HD settop boxes are required by law to feature FireWire ports. On this planet, at least, FireWire penetration will continue to increase as digital television replaces analog TV.
  • Reply 6 of 26
    guess what else firewire is used for?



    Quote:

    IEEE 1394b (firewire) is used in military aircraft, where weight savings are desired; even four pairs of wires, to permit multiple redundancy, are far lighter than hundreds of discrete wires. Developed for use as the data bus on the F-22 Raptor, it is also used on the F-35 Lightning II.[13] NASA's Space Shuttle also uses IEEE 1394b to monitor debris (foam, ice) which may hit the vehicle during launch.[13]. This standard should not be confused with the unrelated MIL-STD-1394B.









    firewire has lots of uses you may not know about.





    Plus there is firewire 800 (c)
  • Reply 7 of 26
    Given the large number of consumer camcorders that use USB2.0 and not Firewire nowadays coupled with the low cost of USB2.0 hard disks it's difficult to see much of a future for Firewire.



    It's difficult to think of applications that couldn't be done by USB3.0.



    Shame because I'm a great fan of Firewire.
  • Reply 8 of 26
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    can you boot from a usb 3.0 drive?, if not i stay firewire
  • Reply 9 of 26
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post


    can you boot from a usb 3.0 drive?, if not i stay firewire



    On an Intel Mac you can boot from a USB 2 external drive.
  • Reply 10 of 26
    I don't care what the benchmarks say, I've never had a USB 2.0 hard drive that can outperform my FireWire 400 drives in large data transfers.
  • Reply 11 of 26
    USB has won the PC connectivity battle. To think otherwise is kind of naive. Firewire, however, is more useful for industrial purposes, since it has a much more sophisticates and powerful MAC. Firewire over CAT5 and Coax are on the way, and should revitalize FW in several key markets. Namely, expect to see an uprated FW used [finally] for AV connectivity in set top boxes.
  • Reply 12 of 26
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,937member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Karl Kuehn View Post


    FireWire will always be better than USB for many types of purposes unless they fundamentally change USB (does not sound like they are doing so for 3.0). This is for a variety of reasons, but the big ones are:



    USB is all about a collection of devices talking to a single "host" (computer). If data should go from device A to device B it must go to the computer, then back. This is fundamental to USB. But on FireWire all devices are peers, and so data can go from one harddrive to another. There is even provisions in the FireWire spec for the FireWire system to write data in to a memory space directly (being steered by a driver, but not writing through the driver). This all means that data transfer can be much faster.



    FireWire has provisions for a device to request dedicated bandwidth. That means that if you are going to be streaming video from one device to another it will have an open channel to do so without having to constantly fight for space to transmit. USB does not do this, but operates like Ethernet where you grab the channel and hold onto it until you take a break. This makes USB a really bad choice for audio devices, and a bad choice for fast hard drives and video. For "removable storage" it is still fine, as your expectations for it are lower.



    Note that while adding more speed might alleviate these problems (it is not going to do it for the audio side thought), it will not solve them completely. These are part-and-parcel with the fundamental design of FireWire and USB, and I am only touching on the ones that are beneficial for FireWire here, there are advantages to the USB design (primarily in reducing the cost of devices).



    Those uses and reasons are irrelevant to consumers. Totally irrelevant.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post


    USB has won the PC connectivity battle. To think otherwise is kind of naive. Firewire, however, is more useful for industrial purposes, since it has a much more sophisticates and powerful MAC. Firewire over CAT5 and Coax are on the way, and should revitalize FW in several key markets. Namely, expect to see an uprated FW used [finally] for AV connectivity in set top boxes.



    I agree. Firewire has been on its way out since Apple dropped it from iPod. It's just a matter of time for consumers.
  • Reply 13 of 26
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,209moderator
    I think we should have a more unified set of ports. I'd actually like to see displays and all peripherals driven by the same interface some day.



    Firewire is kinda bulky regarding port size and cables and I've never noticed a difference in performance compared with USB2. I wonder if they'll even be able to fit a firewire port onto a 0.5" thin laptop.



    It will have to stay for a while due to camcorders etc. but I'd welcome a move to a universal standard like USB 3.
  • Reply 14 of 26
    mimacmimac Posts: 871member
    Apple should really have pushed FireWire 800 from the off. It is a really great technology and certainly out performs USB in so many ways. PC boxen manufacturers got the jump on Apple with USB 2. A great pity really...
  • Reply 15 of 26
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,780member
    I had expected Apple to include an eSata port in the next iteration of the Mac Pro.



    However, I can't see Jobs including 4 different types of IO ports (USB 2/3, FW, FW800, eSata) on his machines.



    I think something will have to be dropped. Will it be FW400 or FW800?
  • Reply 16 of 26
    There's one more little bonus for Firewire! Have you noticed that the firewire 400 connector has plastic at it's end whereas the USB connector is all metal? Seems silly, but the firewire connector won't scratch your notebook as easily!

    The only problem I see with firewire is that it is a little bit pricey, but this would change if it was used more often in consumer products too.
  • Reply 17 of 26
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MiMac View Post


    Apple should really have pushed FireWire 800 from the off. It is a really great technology and certainly out performs USB in so many ways. PC boxen manufacturers got the jump on Apple with USB 2. A great pity really...



    Apple should not have put a charge on the use of the FW name and logo which lead to a splintering of the brand identity with others using their own home grown names or just the spec name. They also should have pushed harder to bring the cost down and lobbied more for adoption of the original spec as well as the updated FW 800 spec in AV products such as amplifiers, TV's (lower end ones which would have boosted the acceptance of the standard). It also would have helped if they "finalized" their PVR software in the FW development kit so that they could advertise with the OS that you can hook a Mac up to your FW equipped TV or set top box and record directly to the Mac without the need for a DVR or even a tuner in the Mac which just writes the mpeg stream directly to disk.
  • Reply 18 of 26
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Karl Kuehn View Post


    FireWire will always be better than USB for many types of purposes unless they fundamentally change USB (does not sound like they are doing so for 3.0). This is for a variety of reasons, but the big ones are:



    USB is all about a collection of devices talking to a single "host" (computer). If data should go from device A to device B it must go to the computer, then back. This is fundamental to USB. But on FireWire all devices are peers, and so data can go from one harddrive to another. There is even provisions in the FireWire spec for the FireWire system to write data in to a memory space directly (being steered by a driver, but not writing through the driver). This all means that data transfer can be much faster.



    FireWire has provisions for a device to request dedicated bandwidth. That means that if you are going to be streaming video from one device to another it will have an open channel to do so without having to constantly fight for space to transmit. USB does not do this, but operates like Ethernet where you grab the channel and hold onto it until you take a break. This makes USB a really bad choice for audio devices, and a bad choice for fast hard drives and video. For "removable storage" it is still fine, as your expectations for it are lower.



    Note that while adding more speed might alleviate these problems (it is not going to do it for the audio side thought), it will not solve them completely. These are part-and-parcel with the fundamental design of FireWire and USB, and I am only touching on the ones that are beneficial for FireWire here, there are advantages to the USB design (primarily in reducing the cost of devices).



    It doesn't matter how good firewire is if the devices disappear. Even Sony, who pushed firewire almost as hard as Apple us starting to pull support
  • Reply 19 of 26
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post


    I brought this subject up five years ago...



    http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=19243



    IMHO, FireWire lost the battle when Apple dropped it from its iPod line. FireWire = BetaMax



    Dave



    What happened to all those people that posted in the forums back then. Everyone that replied to your thread had so many posts (no one under 1k)
  • Reply 20 of 26
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cato988 View Post


    What happened to all those people that posted in the forums back then. Everyone that replied to your thread had so many posts (no one under 1k)



    nevermind, i just realized that although those posts were 5 years old, the # of posts are to date
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