Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Data Storage Upgrades Hardware Technology

First-Ever USB 3.0 Hard Drive 191

Posted by timothy
from the if-you're-tired-of-the-current-cables dept.
dreemteem writes "After 8 years of success, the USB 2.0 standard has begun its long journey into obsolescence. Dutch storage company Freecom has announced the first mainstream storage product based on 'SuperSpeed' USB 3.0. Buyers will be interested to hear that the new external Hard Drive XS 3.0 doesn't cost the earth at £99 (approx $160) for a 1TB drive, even though that excludes the £22.99 for a desktop PCI-bus controller necessary to make it work at its intended throughput. Laptop users can pair it with a £25.99 plug-in PC Card to achieve the same effect."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

First-Ever USB 3.0 Hard Drive

Comments Filter:
  • by intermodal (534361) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @02:36PM (#29532347) Homepage Journal

    Until USB 3.0 ports are all over computers everywhere, USB 2.0 will be alive and kicking. I just hope they avoid the pitfall some manufacturers did, with some ports in the past having been 1.1 and only some being 2.0 on the same machine. That was a pain. I hope any new computer sold will have either all 2.0 or all 3.0 capable ports, I don't want that stupid design to repeat itself.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Blue Stone (582566)

      >Until USB 3.0 ports are all over computers everywhere, USB 2.0 will be alive and kicking.

      USB 2.0 WILL remain alive and kicking - it's supposed to. You don't need USB3's bandwidth for keyboards and mice and the like. The fact that USB3 devices can be used with USB2 ports (and cables) - albeit at USB2 speeds - means that they've also avoided the trap Firewire fell into. Seems like they're doing it right.

      • by Obfuscant (592200) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @02:58PM (#29532587)
        The fact that USB3 devices can be used with USB2 ports (and cables) - albeit at USB2 speeds - means that they've also avoided the trap Firewire fell into.

        What trap? S800 devices can run at S400 if necessary, just like S400 can run at S100.

        • by timbck2 (233967) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <2kcbmit>> on Thursday September 24, 2009 @03:44PM (#29533149) Homepage

          FW800 devices use different connectors than FW400 and thus require adapters, while the USB 3.0 connector will plug into a USB 2.0 port (and run at USB 2.0 speed).

          • by Obfuscant (592200)
            Yes, 1394b has a different set of connectors, but a simple adapter is all that is required. I suspect that any Apple store, and any well-stocked computer store, has them for just a few bucks. It's not a big deal. It's hardly a "trap".

            I'd say its better than using the same connector because you don't fall into the trap set by USB1 and USB2. You can't tell by looking if a computer has USB1 or USB2, or which ports on multi-controller systems are 1 and 2. You can't pick up a hub and tell if it is USB2 without

            • by gumpish (682245) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @05:20PM (#29534281) Journal

              Yes, 1394b has a different set of connectors, but a simple adapter is all that is required. I suspect that any Apple store, and any well-stocked computer store, has them for just a few bucks. It's not a big deal.

              Spoken like a true Apple apologist.

              • by Karlt1 (231423)

                Spoken like a true Apple apologist.

                1. Firewire is an IEEE standard -- not an Apple standard
                2. Isn't one of the tenants of user interface design that different things should look different? Isn't it a good thing that the nozzle for Diesel gas and the nozzle for regular gas are different so that you can't mistakenly put Diesel in a car that can't use it?

                However, while I don't know about Macs, I know that Windows will warn you if you connect a USB 2.0 device to a USB 1.0 port and tell you you could get better

                • by Dogtanian (588974)

                  Isn't one of the tenants

                  Tenets.

                  of user interface design that different things should look different?

                  *Looking* different and actually being different enough to require faffing about with an adapter are two different things. I accept your point to some extent, but I'm not convinced that the benefit of forcing people to use different connectors to help distinguish things would outweigh the inconvenience.

                  Isn't it a good thing that the nozzle for Diesel gas and the nozzle for regular gas are different so that you can't mistakenly put Diesel in a car that can't use it?

                  The capitalisation isn't required unless Diesel [wikipedia.org] have started selling gasoline. :-)

                  On second thoughts, that Freudian slip is a dead giveaway that you're a stereotypical designer/brand-name-obsessed Ap

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                Because you never need an adapter for USB [amazon.com] right ?

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by dakameleon (1126377)

              I suspect that any Apple store... has them for just a few bucks.

              A few bucks? At an Apple store? Good fucking luck.

            • by Jared555 (874152)

              Windows alerts you about using USB 2 devices on USB 1 ports. I doubt it would be that difficult to do on any other OS. The fun one is when you supposedly have the USB 2 drivers, USB 2 ports, etc. but are still getting yelled at about reduced speeds because something is screwed up in the drivers.

              And on the bit about an 'adapter'.... It is a big enough pain figuring out that you are missing a cable that you need at midnight, let alone keeping track of every single adapter you need for every device/cable/com

            • by Mattsson (105422)

              It's not a big deal, but it is an inconvenience.
              If 1394b flash-sticks had been more common, it would have been a big deal, but since most 1394b-equipment is cable-connected it's, as you said, just a matter of having to get the correct cable.
              The problem is, most equipment come with only one cable and rarely state which one it is, so I rather often find myself ordering a new cable two minutes after unpacking some new equipment.

              The good thing is that S1600 and S3200 will be using the same connectors as S800, s

          • by beelsebob (529313)

            No, USB 2 plus will plug into USB 3 ports, not the other way round. USB 3 plugs have an extra section, either to the side, or above, to carry the high-speed fibre link.

            • by timbck2 (233967) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <2kcbmit>> on Thursday September 24, 2009 @05:03PM (#29534111) Homepage

              That's not what the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 FAQ [everythingusb.com] seems to imply.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by beelsebob (529313)

                That's true of the A end of the interface, but not the B end... http://www.hailink.net/uploadfiles/CAUSB30-01_USB_Cable_01.jpg [hailink.net]

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by RedWizzard (192002)

                  That's true of the A end of the interface, but not the B end... http://www.hailink.net/uploadfiles/CAUSB30-01_USB_Cable_01.jpg [hailink.net]

                  So it looks like you'll be able to:

                  • Plug a USB1/2 device into a USB3 socket with a USB1/2 cable
                  • Plug a USB3 device into a USB1/2 socket with either cable (at USB2 speeds with the older cable)

                  What you can't do is plug a USB2 device into anything using a USB3 cable. Doesn't seem like much of a problem to me.

                  • by adolf (21054)

                    Hrmph.

                    Maybe I'm just bitter from experience, but: Segregating old devices from new cabling, even though the connectors appear the same, is a recipe for failure.

                    In contrast, here's a recipe for success: Go ahead and plug your 10Mbps 10base-T network device in using Cat 6 cabling - it works fine. It also works fine with Cat 5E, Cat5, and Cat 3. (I've also, personally, seen an installed plant of cabling labeled "Category IV", but I've never bothered to research its pedigree or lack thereof. However, I can

                    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                      by RedWizzard (192002)

                      But USB3: You say it cannot use USB3 cabling to connect USB2 devices? Hogwash. Bullshit. [grr.]

                      Even if it's currently true, it's crap. Expect vendors of actual chipsets (once some actually emerge...) to make this a non-issue before it ever hits the populace.

                      Take a look at the link from the part I quoted: the B end of the cable won't fit in a USB2 B socket. How are the chipset manufacturers going to get around that?

                    • by nog_lorp (896553) on Friday September 25, 2009 @02:34AM (#29537139)

                      Are you kidding? USE A USB2 CABLE.

                      If you need to use your USB2 device with a USB3 host, you use a USB2 cable (which came with your device).

                      If you need to use your USB3 device with a USB2 host, the cable works too.

            • Firstly the high speed link isn't fiber it's still twisted pair based (though with seperate pairs for each direction)

              IIRC the A (what you plug into the computer) has the extra contacts burried at the back of the plug allowing compatibility in both connections. The B does have indeed the extra connections above.

              So you can use your superspeed device with your existing computer using the cable that comes with the USB3 device but you can't use the cable that comes with your USB3 device to connect a USB2 device.

              • by beelsebob (529313)

                IIRC, the mini-b connector is the same as a normal mini-b connector, with an additional link for the super-speed to the side, much like the large b connector.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by WaroDaBeast (1211048)

          What trap? S800 devices can run at S400 if necessary, just like S400 can run at S100.

          True, but you'll need a bilingual cable to plug, say, an S800 external hard drive to a computer that only has S400 ports and vice-versa, meaning you'll have to carry different cables with you depending on the available connectors on the machine you're using. With USB though, all the ports on the machine are USB-A ports, so you just need one single cable.

          Please note that I am not taking the mini and micro flavors into consideration was intentional, as both interfaces have miniature versions for portable de

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Obfuscant (592200)
            Please note that I am not taking the mini and micro flavors into consideration was intentional,

            Yes, because if you took mini, micro, and B USB connectors into account, you'd have to admit that you need a handful of cables to be able to connect all the various kinds of USB devices too, just like you do for 1394. In practice, I've seen three 1394 connectors: Six pin, four pin, and nine pin. That's one less than the number of USB connectors in regular use.

            And I think it's nice to be able to look at a 1394 p

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by TorKlingberg (599697)

              There are different USB cables for different devices, but not for different computers. If I bring my USB harddrive and its cable over to a friend, I know it will fit with his computer, whether he has USB 1.1, 2.0 or 3.0.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by OrangeTide (124937)

          Yea, those dirty FireWire guys making us use different connectors on everything. (Ignoring miniUSB and the new microUSB connectors and the custom miniature USB connectors found on some cameras)

        • by Mattsson (105422)

          S800 and S400 are electrically compatible, not mechanically, so you can use a S400 device in a S800 port or vice versa using converter cables, but you can't take one of the rare S400 flash-sticks and put it in a S800 port.

          USB 3.0 and USB 1.1/2.0 are mechanically compatible.
          You can take any USB2.0 cable or USB 2.0 flash-stick and plug it into a USB 3.0 port, or take a future USB 3.0 flash-stick and plug it into a USB 1.1 port.
          The plug has been designed so that the extra connectors only make contact if a USB3

      • by DrLang21 (900992)
        In fact, USB 1.1 speeds are the standard for all USB HIDs. Full Speed USB is mostly obsolete, but Low Speed USB is here to stay, and High Speed USB will probably remain in use for some devices because of the lack of performance gain with 3.0 and the increased cost.
      • by PitaBred (632671)
        That's fine. I just don't want to buy a new computer that has some ports that are 2.0 and some that are 3.0, so I have to remember to plug my external hard drive into only one specific port, and my mouse into one of the other ones. That'd be a horrendous pain in the ass, and is what the parent was alluding do. Lots of machines have 1.1 only ports as well as only one or two of their ports being 2.0 capable. Hope you remember which is which, otherwise your 1GB of data will copy in an hour instead of seconds.
        • I just don't want to buy a new computer that has some ports that are 2.0 and some that are 3.0

          Why on earth would anyone sell those? It's not like including USB 3.0 ports is going to break the bank, from what it looks like.

          Lots of machines have 1.1 only ports as well as only one or two of their ports being 2.0 capable

          Wut? I'm guessing they started with 1.1 only, and someone added a card with USB 2.0 ports. No new computer would have a mixture like that.

          • by kimvette (919543)

            Some computers (mostly whiteboxes and some of the cheaper big names) used USB hubs mounted in a drive bay (before whitebox chassis with integral USB ports went mainstream) and those were often limited to USB 1.1 spec.

            • Apple did this. iMac G5s which came with three USB 2 ports shipped with a keyboard containing a two-port USB 1 hub. Don't know how long this was the case, but at least initially that's what they were doing.

        • by DrVxD (184537)

          That's fine. I just don't want to buy a new computer that has some ports that are 2.0 and some that are 3.0,

          Then don't buy one then. It's not like anyone is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to do so. Use that as a discriminator when you 're chosing a machine.

          Lots of machines have 1.1 only ports as well as only one or two of their ports being 2.0 capable

          [citation needed] Can you show me one? Seriously - I've never seen such a creature; it strikes me as being a very odd way to do things (aside from anything else, it would mean you would have to have two *different* USB chip sets on the motherboard, which is crazy)

      • by mrjb (547783)
        I only manage to satiate my 480 Mbps USB2.0 link when I've had (way) too much coffee.
    • by COMON$ (806135)
      I haven't read down all the Comments but WTF? what purpose does putting a hard drive on USB3 provide? The bottleneck isn't the communications protocol for cryin out loud. An car doesn't magically get more horsepower because the speed limit changes...USB2 helped at least because it allowed external hard drives to reach a new level of throughput, but this does nothing for external drives other than make peoples "shiny sense" tingle.
  • by ergo98 (9391) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @02:37PM (#29532361) Homepage Journal

    "We now can transfer a 5GB movie in just 38 seconds - it's unbelievably fast," said Freecom's managing director, Axel Lucassen. Assuming that USB 3.0 scales proportionately, USB 2.0 would have transferred the same file in six and a half minutes
    Ignoring the naive assumption, USB 2 is as fast or faster than the majority of hard drives (which average reads in the 50-60MB/s range). Buying a faster connection technology won't somehow make your hard drive faster.

    Though if you really are concerned, we've had the excellent and widely support eSATA for some time, giving you a 1.5Gbps or 3.0Gbps connection, and if your MB supports SATA, then it supports eSATA. For a second hard drive I put it in an external enclosure supporting both USB 2 and eSATA, and normally use eSATA, sacrificing nothing (and all of the SCSI-like features of SATA are enabled and used).

    • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @02:50PM (#29532509) Journal

      Buying a faster connection technology won't somehow make your hard drive faster.

      What if you aren't going to your hard drive?

      • by ergo98 (9391) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @02:58PM (#29532595) Homepage Journal

        What if you aren't going to your hard drive?

        The submission is concerned with connecting a hard drive. As mentioned, anyone with a speed issue with transfer speeds could have been using the superior eSATA for some time now: It's inexpensively supported by lots of devices, and exposes the native capabilities of the storage device to the controller. Win/win, a no bleeding edge drivers or poor vendor support.

        I'm not down on USB 3, I just think this is a gimmicky way to get some attention for a non-solution. It's cool when all connection technologies get better, so faster ethernet, wireless, bluetooth, USB, etc -- it's all good.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by RedWizzard (192002)

          What if you aren't going to your hard drive?

          The submission is concerned with connecting a hard drive.

          Most modern drives are more than capable of saturating USB2. High performance drives, solid state or platter based, are noticeably limited by the connection.

          As mentioned, anyone with a speed issue with transfer speeds could have been using the superior eSATA for some time now: It's inexpensively supported by lots of devices, and exposes the native capabilities of the storage device to the controller.

          Which is fine if you have eSATA. But plenty of laptops and desktop motherboards don't have it as standard. Everything has USB.

          I'm not down on USB 3, I just think this is a gimmicky way to get some attention for a non-solution.

          It's a non-solution for you. That doesn't mean it's not a solution for other people.

    • by SuperBanana (662181) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @02:56PM (#29532573)

      Ignoring the naive assumption, USB 2 is as fast or faster than the majority of hard drives (which average reads in the 50-60MB/s range). Buying a faster connection technology won't somehow make your hard drive faster.

      I'm not going to ignore the blatantly wrong assertion that USB2 can transfer data at a 480Mbit/sec (60MB/sec), because it can't. That's wire speed. Latency (each packet must be acknowledged) and software handling of data kill speed dramatically.

      http://www.everythingusb.com/usb2/faq.htm#4

      As far as we know, effective rate reaches at 40MBps or 320Mbps for bulk transfer on a USB 2.0 hard drive with no one else is sharing the bus. Flash Drives seem to be catching up too with the some hitting 30MB/s milestone. For all we know, USB interface could become become the bottleneck for flash drives as early as 2008. Additional notes from Alex Esquenet - our engineer friend based in Belgium: "A fast usb host can achieve 40 MBytes/sec. The theorical 60 MB/sec cannot be achieved, because of the margin taken between the sof's (125 us), so if a packet cannot take place before the sof, the packet will be rescheduled after the next sof. On top of that, all the USB transactions are handled by software on the PC. For instance, a USB host on a PCI bus will send or receive the data via the PCI bus; the stack will prepare the next data in memory and receive interrupt from the host."

      Watch a linux host some time with 'top' as you transfer a bunch of data to/from a USB2 drive, and prepare to be shocked at how much time is sucked up by the USB driver.

      So yes, there is an immediate potential benefit given that many desktop drives can now push 100MB/sec at the end of the platter, and at the inside of the platter, still top USB speeds. Whether or not USB3 solves the clusterfuck of software drivers handling low-level protocol details etc is another matter entirely.

      In the meantime, buy a firewire 400 card, or even better, a fw800 card. You can get a 400-to-800 adapter cable for anything that isn't fw800, but it's pretty damn easy to find these days. Even if the data doesn't move much faster, you'll be using far less CPU.

    • Not everyone has an eSATA connection. A USB 3.0 drive can be used slower on a USB 2.0 port.

      I figure, plop one of those dual-head WD multi-TB drives in there and you'll easily hit 120MB/sec read/write for large files like game patches or maps.

    • by JSBiff (87824) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @03:00PM (#29532619) Journal

      I was intrigued by the statement in the article about connecting to a laptop via PC Card. From the linked article:

      "USB 3.0 boosts the theoretical data throughput of USB storage devices to 4.8Gbit/s from USB 2.0's now rather tardy-sounding 480Mbit/s."

      Unfortunately, according to WikiPedia, the ExpressCard standard (which is the latest version of PC Card) tops out at 2.5Gbit/s, which, granted, is a lot better than 480Mbit/s, but still only about 1/2 the max speed defined by the USB 3.0 standard. Sounds to me like the PC Card/ExpressCard bus needs to evolve to keep up (although, honestly, I suppose you can say that, largely, the PC Card slot has become redundant because of USB3/FirewireS3200/eSata; anything faster than those will require you to upgrade your laptop, anyhow, to get a faster PC Card slot, so just upgrade to get a faster USB/Firewire/eSata, and forget about PC Card altogether).

    • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @03:03PM (#29532653)

      >Ignoring the naive assumption, USB 2 is as fast or faster than the majority of hard drives (which average reads in the 50-60MB/s range). Buying a faster connection technology won't somehow make your hard drive faster.

      Absolutely false. USB 2.0 real world speeds are around 30-40mb/sec because of all the overhead. A low end hard drive can easily do 60+ mb/sec and bursts well over 100 mb/sec. USB 2.0 is terrible for hard drives, which is why we have eSata today and need USB 3.0 soon.

      Also, your 54mbps wireless g gives you around 20-30mbps not 54.

      • by david.given (6740)

        Absolutely false. USB 2.0 real world speeds are around 30-40mb/sec because of all the overhead. A low end hard drive can easily do 60+ mb/sec and bursts well over 100 mb/sec. USB 2.0 is terrible for hard drives, which is why we have eSata today and need USB 3.0 soon.

        My home server is running on a SheevaPlug, an excellent low-wattage ARM based solid state device. I built my own SSD out of 4x16GB USB keys. For a single key I get about 31MB/s read and 10 MB/s write; not brilliant, but I can work with it.

        What's interesting is what happens to the figures when I build a RAID array. For read, the fastest is RAID-0 with two drives, at 33MB/s. Adding more drives makes the speed go down. It's even weirder for write: fastest is RAID-4 with three drives, at 13MB/s. With four dri

      • by hedwards (940851)
        I was wondering when somebody would point that out. 480mbps is the burst rate, and because of the architecture it has to go through extra steps to go anywhere. Firewire is 400mbps but a pretty consistent 400 and it's a much shorter path to RAM. Which is also one of the reasons why one probably ought to use USB2 anyways. You don't have to be quite as particular about a USB device as it isn't able to directly access RAM.

        OTOH, firewire is excellent at investigating truly frozen computers to try and figure o
      • by AbRASiON (589899) *

        Leave this guy at +4, he's mostly right but actually in extensive testing, I've never seen USB 2.0 beat 30mb/s for more than a second and it pretty much is a guarunteed, consistent 25mb/s - sad
        As for Wifi, a full 54mbit link is 2.5mbytes a second, very very sad and frustrating when trying to stream HD movies.

    • I just want to know if I can use it to attach my computer to my toaster yet.....
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Nick Number (447026)
        You must be behind the times. I mean, I've never seen a toaster that didn't come equipped with FireWire.
    • by fm6 (162816)

      Yes, but if you're routinely playing with 5GB movie files, you probably have a fast disk drive.

      Besides, there's more to "speed" than peak throughput. I know digital movie wonks who use firewire because (they claim) USB 2.0 isn't as fast for sustained throughput.

      • by hedwards (940851)
        It's not a claim, firewire was developed specifically for that purpose. It also happens to have other ones, but the main reason for creating it was for digital video cameras.
        • by fm6 (162816)

          The word "claim" expresses my own lack of expertise, not skepticism.

    • by jasonwc (939262) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @04:26PM (#29533655)
      Two points-

      USB 2.0's theoretical speed may be 480 Mbit/sec but I've never seen maintained transfer speeds above 30 MB/sec (240 Mbit). Usually I get between 20-25 MB/sec in real-world usage. On HD Tune, I get speeds of 30-32 MB/sec with USB and 100-110 MB/sec (800-880 Mbit/sec) over eSATA on the same 1 TB drive. Thus, USB 2.0 at best reaches half of it's theoretical speed.

      At best USB 3.0 will offer speeds equivalent to eSATA.eSATA has been available for years and almost every mid to high-end motherboard now comes with an eSATA port. Furthermore, an Expresscard two-port eSATA card can be purchased for $40 on Newegg. Thus, USB 3.0 will only be useful when computers with USB 3.0 ports become standard. If you have to purchase a PCI/expresscard expansion card, why not just get an external drive with eSATA? Many drives now come with USB 2.0 + eSATA ports and can be purchased for the same or slightly more than USB only-drives.
      • by jasonwc (939262)
        Oh and my 1 TB drive with USB 2.0 and eSATA ports cost me $80 - $20 MIR. $60 USD = 37 pounds. So, I could have purchased nearly 3 such drives for the price of this USB 3.0 drive. What a bargain!
    • by Nemyst (1383049)
      eSATA doesn't have built-in power supply like USB does. You need hybrid USB plugs and additional USB wires or power connectors, which basically means eSATA flash disks are a pain to set up. If you want portable HDDs, rechargeable phones, flash disks, etc. you need USB for its power supply AND data transfer capabilities.
    • Although I mostly agree with you (that eSATA is the current best way to go for raw speed), I don't think USB2 is fast enough considering the alternatives. As an example, my Lacie Big Disk 1TB using FireWire 800 is significantly faster than either my Maxtor One-Touch using USB2 or Lacie Brick using FireWire 400. Yes I know the Big Disk uses 2 drives in an array, but the difference is startling -- I backup my XP VM (30.5 GB as of today) in about 14 minutes on the Big Disk. It's actually much quicker than the
    • by nog_lorp (896553)

      A majority of *old* hard drives. The SSD market is exploding very rapidly, and many such drives have reads and/or writes near or past the 100mb/s marker, better than the 132 mb/s speed displayed by that movie transfer.

  • hmmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by josephorc (1552203) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @02:43PM (#29532415)
    I would so much first post, but my usb 1.1 modem is not fast enough!
    • by natehoy (1608657)

      Upgrade to a USB 2.0 modem, and you'll be able to transfer that 56K datastream so much, err, faster...

      Glad to see that 3.0 is coming out, but with hard drive speeds the way they are I fear that it's like overclocking a CPU used by an office worker. You're just going to have that many more "make idle" cycles per second.

      • by kimvette (919543)

        Glad to see that 3.0 is coming out, but with hard drive speeds the way they are I fear that it's like overclocking a CPU used by an office worker.

        Nope. Wrong. It's like widening a one-lane highway to a 4-5 lane superhighway. When you add a hub and several USB devices to the mix, they're sharing the available bandwidth. It's not as though each individual hard drive on that hub will have (480Mbit/sec theoretical - overhead) bandwidth available. Available bandwidth varies depending on driver efficiency (what's

    • by david.given (6740)

      I once used gparted to move a 500MB partition on an external hard drive by a small amount. I'd forgotten that the drive was plugged in via the USB1 connection rather than the Firewire connection.

      It took all frigging day.

  • SuperSpeed? (Score:5, Funny)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @02:51PM (#29532523)
    So is SuperSpeed USB 3.0 going to be faster than FullSpeed USB 3.0? And where does ExtremeSpeed USB 3.0 fit in? Is that the one that'll run at 11Mbps?
  • by Linker3000 (626634) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @02:51PM (#29532525) Journal

    The drive may not cost the earth, but that's still around 50% more than you'd pay for a 1TB external drive with a USB 2.0 interface.

    Just sayin'

  • by hardburn (141468) <hardburn@@@wumpus-cave...net> on Thursday September 24, 2009 @03:00PM (#29532623)

    "After 8 years of being a White Elephant, the USB 2.0 standard has begun its long-deserved journey into obsolescence. Dutch storage company Freecom has announced the first mainstream storage product based on 'SuperSpeed' USB 3.0. Sheep will be interested to hear that the new external Hard Drive XS 3.0 doesn't cost the earth at £99 (approx $160) for a 1TB drive, even though that excludes the £22.99 for a desktop PCI-bus controller necessary to drive up profit margins. Laptop users can pair it with a £25.99 plug-in PC Card to achieve the same effect. Subtle incompatibilities between manufactures, who will once again just ship the first implementation that almost works, will drive down the usefulness of USB 3.0, providing an excellent excuse for USB 4.0."

    Seriously, has anyone gotten anywhere near USB 2.0's promised speed? Firewire would have been officially dead years ago if the claims of USB 2.0 were true.

    • by FooAtWFU (699187)

      My understanding is that while USB2 is theoretically faster, when it's going that fast it's also usually more of a strain on your system's CPU. As such people doing very CPU-and-IO-intensive operations (mixing twenty-some-odd channels of digital audio with some effects, for instance) may be better served with FireWire audio capture devices.

      I don't do anything intense enough to saturate my system like that, so personally, I don't care, but there you go.

    • by pla (258480)
      Firewire would have been officially dead years ago if the claims of USB 2.0 were true.

      Firewire did die years ago, despite the by-no-means-insignificant shortcomings of USB2.

      Yes, I have a number of devices around the house with firewire ports... Two PCs, a laptop, an external HDD, my phone, a digital camcorder... I even have a cable or two by which I could connect them. But everything[*] I might ever want to connect to my computer has a USB port, and one hydra-ended connector means I never need to sea
      • by slyborg (524607)

        Sigh. PC guys.

        Firewire remains a firm part of the Mac environment. Apple has recently started to de-emphasize it, in part because things like USB 3.0 are coming, and are "good enough", not to mention much cheaper. The original iPod had Firewire, for example, but quickly went to USB once USB 2.0 widely deployed.

        So I also wrote Firewire drivers once upon a time, and know a little bit about it. The uncorrected data stream you are talking about is the isochronous transfer mode of Firewire, that isn't used for s

      • by Obfuscant (592200)
        Thanks for yet another piece of crap, Sony.

        In many years of programming firewire devices (cameras), I've found Sony's firewire devices to be basically awful. Packet loss out the wazoo.

        BUT, I've found the same thing for almost every on-board firewire controller I've used. For some reason, they will consistently lose packets, while a $10 PCI card controller will work flawlessly.

        By the way, buy Agere. Via sucks, because they changed the chip specs on their controller without changing the chip number.

  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @03:17PM (#29532781)

    speed and cpu load next to a firewire / e-sata disk?

    I think that the they are faster with less cpu load.

  • I never even wanted USB1.1, there were and are better technologies (such as networking or firewire). USB2 addressed the speed issue somewhat, but has so much overhead that the supposed faster usb2 has less throughput than firewire 400. Now we get another USB standard that no user really wanted. (The nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them).

    But the article mentioned the need for an extra £22.99 controller to make a desktop computer use this drive as intended. I can't help wonderin

  • yawn (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    bored now.

    bring on faster SSDs and SATA-3.

    spinning rust is dead.

  • Burning disks is slow and annoying, and often they are single use. (Once you've used the disk to move data from point A to point B, you no longer need the disk). I'd love to have a small box of 10 gig USB 2 plugs I could hand back and forth between people as though they were sticks of gum and not worry if you never see them again.

    Heck, in the world of Netbooks, (with no CD drives), this becomes even more useful.

    --Or, of course, we could always do as the Japanese have done; build an internet infrastructure

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard

Working...