General Question

rovdog's avatar

Is it faster to transfer between two hard drives if they are daisy chained via Firewire 800 or between them if one drive is hooked up to firewire 800 the other drive is hooked up to USB 2.0?

Asked by rovdog (842points) December 26th, 2010

I ask so many exciting file transfer questions. Moving a large amount of data- which of these methods is faster? I always use firewire because it is faster but does daisy chaining slow it down? If I am moving the data between hard drives the data has to move through the computer to each device correct? Would Firewire still outpace USB 2.0? (Side note: I would love actually if someone would explain what happens- the path of your data- when you are transferring between two daisy chained HDs)

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4 Answers

cawlin's avatar

When daisy chaining the data transfers through the interface, not the device. This means there won’t be a speed hit at all. Since Firewire is faster than USB 2.0 the daisy chain will always be faster.

rovdog's avatar

@cawlin That’s one of the best answers I’ve gotten on the process- so if computer A is hooked via FW to hard drive B and hard drive B is daisy chained via FW to hard drive C- the data is just travelling from harddrive B to C with instructions from A? Or is going from B to A and back to C? I think you answered this but I’m a little confused by the terminology.

Re-read your answer- additional question- regardless of my “path of the data” question above- are you saying that because the firewire drive are on the same bus this will be faster than using two separate buses hooked up to the computer (i.e. Firewire and USB)? Trying to understand the difference between interface and device- here interface would mean the bus and device would mean the computer?

cawlin's avatar

Data doesn’t actually pass through the computer, it simply goes from B to C.

Daisy chaining doesn’t help or hinder speed. If you were to hook up two firewire drives into two separate firewire ports the data transfer would be the same speed as the daisy chain. Magic!

Hope this clears it up

rovdog's avatar

That is magic! I always knew firewire was magic.

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