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Maxtor External 1394 Hard Drive

Features
The Drive
  • 80GB (76GB formatted)
  • IEEE1394 interface
  • Stackable up to 3 drives high
  • Up to 400MBit/sec
  • Hot swappable
  • Up to 63 devices per chain
  • 4 Platter design
  • 20GB per platter
  • 2MB Cache

www.maxtor.com

(+,-) $380USD

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9 / 10

 

IEEE1394 or FireWire, as it's more commonly known, has been around for quite some time, but only recently has it started to make inroads on the Wintel platform. Macintosh users have been using FireWire for all sorts of things for a few years now, but it wasn't until digital video camera's became popular that Windows users took note. Digital AV is FireWire's biggest market simply because it's the only external plug and play interface fast enough. At 400 Mbits/sec (50MB/sec) FireWire easily outpaces USB's 12Mbit bandwidth, although USB2 may prove stiff competition, providing 480Mbits/sec.

If you have read any of my previous reviews of external hardware you'll know that generally I appreciate external devices moreso than internal simply because they are so much more portable. Being able to grab a removable or external hard drive and run over to the office to grab those big files is incredibly handy. Not everyone has a use for external devices, in fact the average home user likely does not. File servers, backup systems, storage arrays, laptops - those are more typical applications in which one would expect external devices.

Firewire compares favorably to other external connection standards in a couple of areas. For one, it's cheap and easy to use. Most operating systems now have native 1394 support, meaning it's fully plug and play, and fully hot swappable. Secondly, it's very expandable. You can connect up to 63 devices per chain compared to SCSI's 16, although Maxtor says no more than 16 loops between the last 1394 hard drive and the host controller. Lastly, because Firewire is a high speed serial bus, the cables are nice and small - no wide ribbon cables to work with.

 

Standard
External Interface?
Transfer Rate (MB/sec)
Devices per chain
ATA33
33
2
Firewire IEEE1394
yes
50
63* (16)
ATA66
66
2
U2W SCSI
yes
80
16
ATA100
100
2
U160 SCSI
yes
160
16

*Maxtor recommends no more than 16 loops between the computer and last 1394 hard drive on the chain.

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The Drive

 





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