So today at school, I overheard the now-famous “USB2 is way faster than FireWire”-argument for like the trillionth time. Enough is enough. No, I didn’t punch the poor guy in the face. Instead, I got back home, downloaded the free Disk Speed Bench X, and ran some tests.

Performance results:
Internal PowerBook HD (4200rpm, 8 MB cache (thanks Eivind))
20.72 MB/sec

External Maxtor drive, USB2 (7200rpm, 8 MB cache)

External Seagate drive in IceCube enclosure, FireWire (7200rpm, 8 MB cache)

Don’t pay too much attention to the internal drive. It’s meant for reference. It has to be said I had a few apps running from it at the time of testing, including playing back music via iTunes. Results might not be 100%.

What one can clearly see however, is that the FireWire drive is roughly 2.5 times faster than the one with USB2. The disks themselves are near identical. No apps or processes were running from these drives during testing.

Are my results “legit”? Only one way to find out! Whoever is reading this, and have access to both a USB2 and FW drive (or just one of them), please do some testing. Either using Disk Speed Bench X, or by means of copying a number of files, and timing with a stop watch. Leave a comment below with your findings, and I’ll update this post accordingly. Thanks! Time to show those PC users the truth 🙂



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