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Buffalo intros USB 3.0 external hard drive

updated 09:35 pm EST, Mon November 23, 2009

HDD claimed to transfer at 625MB/s

Buffalo Technology has introduced the DriveStation HD-HXU3, a new series of external hard drives featuring USB 3.0 interfaces. The high speed connection option is claimed to support transfer rates of up to 625MB/s, beating USB 2.0 and even FireWire by a considerable margin. Users can still connect using the current USB standard, however the transfer rates drop to approximately 480Mb/s.

The company has also released a two-port USB 3.0 PCI Express interface card, the IFC-PCIE2U3. The component allows users to upgrade current systems to take advantage of the higher transfer speeds.

The HD-HXU3 is compatible with Mac or Windows systems and is now shipping to resellers. A 1TB variant is available for $200, while the 1.5TB model carries a price of $250 and the 2TB model can be purchased for $400.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. DCJ001

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Oct 2007

    0

    FireWire 400 or 800?

    The article said, "The high speed connection option is claimed to support transfer rates of up to 625MB/s, beating USB 2.0 and even FireWire by a considerable margin."

    But, based on the details given, USB 3.0 should be faster than FireWire 400, but not faster than FireWire 800. There are more than one FireWire and the article should be more specific.

  1. Arty50

    Mac Elite

    Joined: May 2000

    0

    Correction

    "The high speed connection option is claimed to support transfer rates of up to 625MB/s, beating USB 2.0 and even FireWire by a considerable margin."

    I think you meant to say Firewire 400. 800 is still faster.

  1. mjtomlin

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +3

    Not Quite

    @DCJ001 & Arty50:

    FireWire 800 is actually 800Mb/s which equals 100MB/s.

  1. heyjp

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2009

    +4

    Clarification on bits and bytes

    Here are the maximum speeds for USB and Firewire: Mb is Mega-bits, MB is Mega-Bytes

    USB 1.1 12 Mb/s 1.5 MB/s
    USB 2.0 480 Mb/s 60.0 MB/s
    USB 3.0 5000 Mb/s 625.0 MB/s

    Firewire 400 400 Mb/s 50.0 MB/s
    Firewire 800 800 Mb/s 100.0 MB/s

    USB 3.0 is supposed to be over 10X USB 2 and 6X Firewire 800.

    Jim

  1. chas_m

    Joined:

    +1

    Bad MacNN!

    You REALLY should make this a LOT clearer -- use of the term "MB/sec" is *not* the same thing as "Mb/sec," and not every computer user knows the difference (indeed, most -- even a lot of power users -- do not).

    Mb = megaBIT.
    MB = megaBYTES, or 8x a mega BIT

    Also, it should be noted that Buffalo is, frankly, talking out of their butts on their claim. USB3's maximum *THEORETICAL* speed is 5000mb (625MB) per second. No user will ever actually achieve anywhere near that speed, as USB3 requires a lot of overhead (which is why Firewire is STILL superior, even when slower!).

    Tests done so far show that normal use peaks at about 400MB/sec -- still wicked fast, mind you, but nowhere near 625MB/sec. And typical real-world use will be slower still. Yes, STILL faster than FW800 on a good day, but not the revolution they promise.

    If Apple will ever get FW3200 out the door, or Intel brings out Light Peak, or the next-gen eSATA shows up, look out USB3 you're likely to be outclassed by a huge margin.

    In short, speed freaks have a fun couple of years coming up arguing about what's really the fastest. For conventional hard drives, my money is on next-gen eSATA actually (I'm not sure Apple is going to commit to next-gen FW yet).

  1. nowwhatareyoulookingat

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2009

    -3

    I would not touch these things

    It will be how long before you can buy a USB 3.0 host? And if this doesn't work well with it (as a 3.0 device), what will you be able to do 1 year from now?

    You might as well stick with proven interfaces (USB 2.0/FireWire/eSATA), and only buy USB 3.0 devices once USB 3.0 hosts start shipping in some volume (maybe even wait for multiple chipsets, rather than just Intel's version, just to wait for the compatibility kinks to get worked out).

    And give up on any faster version of FireWire. It's over. It's been what, more than 6 years since FW1600 was ratified, and almost 2 years since FW3200 was ratified. One company demoed a FW1600 implementation last year, but never shipped it. While Apple is notoriously tight lipped about future development, they aren't likely to go back to FireWire as well as USB 3.0, and maybe that new "Light Peak" technology. FireWire just has too much negative baggage with other manufacturers...

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008

    +1

    I hope FW isn't done for yet

    on Macs. The only way I can migrate my user accounts quickly is by using FW. Until Apple changes this situation, they'd better keep FW around. Why they don't allow user account migration by USB is beyond me. I don't care much about theoretical speeds, but it would have been nice for Apple to get some eSATA ports on some of their computers since external enclosures with that connector are in abundance. I'm happy with FW800 as it's relatively fast for my purposes.

  1. bjojade

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007

    +2

    Why not ESATA?

    Because with ESATA, you can connect ONE device. Not a very versatile connector to be hanging out on the side of your laptop. Having both USB AND Firewire is pretty redundant too.

    When Lightpeak comes about, that will replace USB, Firewire, Ethernet AND your displayport connector. Now you're talking. One connection for everything. Simple. Clean. Fast.

  1. ggirton

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    -2

    my next computer

    has GOT to have lightspeed or whatever it's called. Unless I can't wait for the Quad27.

    I was saddened when the new macbook pro didn't have an expresscard, because I have an eSata (with TWO outlets BTW, not one) hanging out the left side. Quite a bit faster than current firewire or USB. But them's the way the apple bounces.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -2

    Re: Bad MAcNN

    Also, it should be noted that Buffalo is, frankly, talking out of their butts on their claim. USB3's maximum *THEORETICAL* speed is 5000mb (625MB) per second. No user will ever actually achieve anywhere near that speed, as USB3 requires a lot of overhead (which is why Firewire is STILL superior, even when slower!).

    And Firewire proponents are talking out of their butts when they say it transfers at 400Mb/s or 800 MB/s. Those are theoretical maximums as well.

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