IDE vs USB vs FW?

3 replies [Last post]
Joined: May 1 2007
Posts: 2

Hi folks...Got a question, wondering if someone might be able to give some advice..

first off- I'm running on a G4 733 Quicksilver w/1.2 gb ram

I have an external USB (2.0) 80gb HD, which i keep all my music on incase something on one of my two main HD's goes wrong, And i've been trying to do some 'net DJ'ing..

My problem is that the comp decides to buffer the feed quite a bit whenever i go to switch songs while on air. I'm wondering if that's possibly because transfering the data from the USB drive is bogging down the processor too much while having all the necessary programs open

And if so, what would the better option be? Keep the library on the USB drive (Which it is 2.0, 480mb/s..), Transfer it to the Internal 128 gb drive, or Put it on the firewire drive (400mb/s) or put it on the Internal HD..

not sure if that makes sense...It's about 66 gb worth of data that i'm wanting to transfer.

Thanks for any help..

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dankephoto's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 1900
all of the above

Do you have a USB 2.0 PCI card in there? If not, adding one would be a great way to boost your current USB drive's throughput (remember, the built-in USB is slow v1 only.) Cost is roughly $10 - $15. Also, USB 2 requires OS X, so the card would be no improvement if you're still running Mac OS 9.

Or you could snag a FireWire case and swap the 80GB drive from the USB case into it. Cost is $25 to $75, depending on which case you buy.

Or you could pull the 80GB drive out of its case and install it inside the QS. Cost is $0.

I think you should keep the drive external. That's alot handier if you want to carry the drive somewhere without bringing along the entire QS.

dan k


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Zydeco's picture
Joined: Dec 26 2003
Posts: 48
USB is a CPU hog

USB is a CPU hog, especially USB 2 (since it's faster), what makes it slower than FireWire 400, unless you have a really fast machine with not many programs open.
The best option would be to put it on the FireWire drive, or on the internal one.


So this is how PowerPC dies... with thunderous applause

Joined: May 1 2007
Posts: 2
yeah i have a 2.0 card instal

yeah i have a 2.0 card installed. no problemo there.

I decided to copy everything to the internal. Have a firewire case as well if i wanted to use that, but..yeah. We'll see if this cuts down on the CPU usage. I use nicecast and that buggar is a cpu hog for sure..and it's quite tempermental. Even opening up the system preferences causes it to skip...So hopefully moving everything from the USB drive (although i'm going to keep the files on there just as backup...As well as if i decide i want to take my library somewhere that the rest of my System won't be going.) will clear up the issue.

Had no prob's whatsoever 'til i started doing the 'net radio thing so the usb drive seems to work well enough.