USB or Firewire for Maximum Efficiency?
August 20, 2009 1:55 PM   Subscribe

I'm video recording a long event through software on my Mac, and am using a USB-connected Panasonic camcorder. Since I'll need an external drive for the files, should I choose a USB disk or Firewire disk, or does it matter?

I can talk myself into either, but I have no idea. Is USB better since the throughput is going USB-USB? Or is Firewire better so both devices aren't hogging the same controller? Or does it not matter at all, particularly given the software layer in between the capture and the recording (Screenflow, in this case)?

posted by j-dawg to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Firewire. USB uses up lots of CPU cycles, while firewire does this processing as part of the hardware.
posted by Diddly at 2:34 PM on August 20, 2009

What Diddly said.
posted by -t at 2:39 PM on August 20, 2009

Best answer: 2nding FireWire. FW gives you a dedicated fast (400 or 800 Mbps), host-less (minimal CPU) connection with up to 30W. USB will only give you 5W, add to your processing overhead and have unreliable/burst speed. When my brother (LS Films) records a long show or needs to dump video to disk in the field, he uses an IOmega eGo that's got both.
posted by now i'm piste at 2:51 PM on August 20, 2009

Totally Firewire.
posted by jgirl at 3:36 PM on August 20, 2009

Are you going from a laptop? The Lacie rugged gives you both Firewire and USB so you can use USB on one of the many crippled computers of the world without Firewire. Plus it doesn't require a power source.
posted by yesno at 3:42 PM on August 20, 2009

Response by poster: Wow. Talk about a consensus. Thanks!
posted by j-dawg at 4:00 PM on August 20, 2009

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