External 1394 Hard Drive
- 80GB (76GB formatted)
up to 3 drives high
to 63 devices per chain
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
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.
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.
recommends no more than 16 loops between the computer and last 1394 hard drive
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