USB 2.0 vs. Firewire 800

I’ve just changed PC, so now I have a free PCI-Express slot, so I can install a Firewire 800 card.

Am I likely to notice a significant improvement if I switch to Firewire? I realise the answer is “It depends”, but the cost is not all that great so even a moderate improvement would be welcome.

I’d like to compare the speeds I’m currently getting from the USB2 Drobo, my native SATA C: drive, and a prediction of the Drobo speed with Firewire.

Do I have to install a Mac so I can run the Kona system test, or is it easier to use something more appropriate to my Windows XP? :slight_smile:

We use HD Tach for performance checks on windows machines.
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If you want to use FW on windows, you will need to install the Unibrain driver for firewire.

If you have Windows 7, don’t even bother with firewire. It’s so unpredictable on Win7 that we have stop supporting it in tech support.

I’m headed in the direction of Windows7 so I’ll ignore Firewire for now, thanks. I hope your USB3 support appears in future devices. :wink:

Hmm… could you please elaborate a little on that one (or point me to some more information)? I wonder, because I’m using FW400 with Windows 7 x64 on quite old Intel DG965WH mainboard which uses ICH8 south bridge and so far I’m not experiencing any FireWire-related problems whatsoever. Well, there is a “glitch” or two. For example I’ve never suceeded trying to unount the Drobo using Dashboard option or Windows built-in feature (Drobo is always “busy”, no matter what; this could be Dashboard-related anyway). Second thing, when restarting the system, Drobo enters the standby just a moment before system startup and remains in this state. I have to restart the OS once again from the login screen and this time Drobo wakes during the startup. But other than that I don’t see any serious problems. Or maybe it’s only FW800 which behaves significantly different? I’m using stock Windows drivers for FireWire.

Do you have the same behavior on USB?

Regarding the first one, yes - I don’t remember succeeding in any attempt to unmount the Drobo ever - all I get is always “Device is in use”, no matter which connection type (USB/FW400) or OS (Vista/W7) I’m using. If I really have to disconnect the Drobo, I’m always shutting the OS down or putting it into standby.

And regarding the Drobo falling asleep just seconds before the OS gets up after the restart - I don’t remember.

I’m running Windows 7 64bit, with the “legacy” drivers for Firewire and I’m running fine now. I had some issues; but they are all now but gone.

I’ve had a few posts here before on what I’ve done to get “decent” throughput; better the USB 2.0 but not full out Firewire 800.

Like a few others here have mentioned, I would LOVE to see a USB 3.0 device.

I’ve checked that. Indeed - the Drobo doesn’t behave like that when connected via USB. Furthermore, when I’ve tried to connect it back to FireWire, Windows began to freak out a little, creating two Drobo devices in Device Manager, marking one with an exclamation mark, randomly dropping the connection. Looks like it somehow got confused by the two FW ports on one device or something (I’m not sure if I didn’t try the other one than the first time). I guess I wast just lucky the first time, then :wink: Whatever, you’re right it’s a little weird. I’m staying with USB2.0 for now.

[quote=“Jennifer, post:2, topic:1018”]If you have Windows 7, don’t even bother with firewire. It’s so unpredictable on Win7 that we have stop supporting it in tech support.

WOW, I JUST found out this forum existed (did I over look it on the website / never suggested by phone support) AND this is the first thing I read to try and troubleshoot my current problems?

I switched to Firewire soon after moving to Win7 and all the issues I’ve had contacted tech support on, I never got this heads up. Even the most recent communication I got from tech support last month was “Unibrain has an updated driver. Install that”.

The default Windows 7 Firewire driver is… umm… I’m not sure what it’s good for.
The “legacy” Firewire driver seems to be the preferred driver for making Firewire stuff work properly in Win 7, especially DV/HDV devices.

@silburke I had originally posted that on January 26th of this year, and at the time, we had a KB stating that we no longer supported FW on Win 7.

Since then, Unibrain has UPDATED their driver and we do support FW on Win 7 again. That’s why you were told “Unibrain has an updated driver. Install that”.

Have you guys had better luck with the updated Unibrain drivers with Drobo FW400/800 + Win7?
I tried the (older) Unibrain drivers about 10 months ago when I first purchased and setup my Drobo hoping to take advantage of the FW feature. I was disappointed that it didn’t work as it should have and stuck w/ USB 2.0 since then.
So I’m wondering if other users have had better luck w/ the newer drivers…