Posted on: August 09, 2008
I recently got a 2nd generation Drobo which is a great device that offers USB 2.0 and FireWire 800 connections. Being the Mac guy I am, I naturally went for FireWire using a 800 to 400 cable connected to an iMac 2 GHz Intel Core Duo 2GB ram. I was getting a transfer rate of 15 mb/s to the iMac’s internal hard drive, if I was lucky. Just for kicks I decided to try the USB 2.0 connection and now I am getting 17.5-19 mb/s, I was really surprised. I never thought I would be wishing for the FireWire speed of my old PowerMac!
It appears that Apple (or maybe Intel) has done some optimization work on USB 2.0 with the Intel transition and FireWire has slipped a bit (remember I am talking the 400 version). Granted it could be that FireWire just blows on the iMac (or Drobo), maybe a MacPro screams.
If you want an easy hardware RAID setup give the Drobo a look.