USB 2.0 advantages???

By SuperCheetah ยท 14 replies
Mar 17, 2002
  1. I was just wondering what some advantages of USB 2.0 would be over the previous edition? I personally don't know too much about USB ports even though I have my keyboard and mouse plugged into mine.

    I do know they're used for external drives, CDRW's, etc. but what is their advantages over Firewire or something of the sort?

    I just wanted to throw this topic out there for you mods or regular users to hopefully give me some info on.

    Also any sites about USB 2.0 would be very helpful. Thanks guys and girls!!!
  2. svtcobra

    svtcobra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 761

    Well, it yeilds similar speeds to IEEE1394. Eventually, mp3 players, gaming devices and other peripherals will take advantage of the faster speeds of USB 2.0.
  3. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    480Mbps (megabits per second) FAQ
    Webopedia's explanation of Firewire (IEEE 1394)
    Webopedia's explanation of USB (original)

    Mostly its a speed increase. Firewire is 400 Mbps but the previous incarnation of USB(1.1) was 280 or something so firewire had the advantage of speed but devices were more expensive and this was mostly supported by Apple. Now with the new gaming cards (Creative Audigy) coming with firewire ports we may see new devices coming out, including networking but with the market already having been saturated with USB devices (and USB2.0 being backwards compatible) I wouldn't like to say how much of a success firewire will have in the PC market, especially now that USB has the speed advantage too.
  4. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 664

    The main advantage as stated by Arris, is its increased bandwidth, this means that devices such as external hard drives, and cd burners will no longer be limited in speed. Previously usb burners would be limited to around 8 Speed AFAIK. USB 2.0 is approximately twice as fast, so we should be able to use 24x USB Burners at full speed.
  5. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Th3M1ghtD8 provides us with a good example of the main advantage of USB2.0 put to use.
    I bought a USB Iomega CD writer for my work a while ago and it was limited to 8x because of the speed of USB at the time.
    One of the sites I shop at now have Iomega CDRW 24 x 10 x 40 Ext USB2 writers for sale... (Note: also Yamaha 24x10x40 Firewire CDRW but more expensive).

    The speed increase won't really be of benefit if all you are connecting is keyboard, mouse or games controller.

    Not sure if USB2.0 also allows daisy chaining of devices in the same manner as fireware (Mac Keyboard with mouse connection on the side of it all on firewire).
  6. T-Shirt

    T-Shirt TS Rookie Posts: 289

    Bandwidth, Bandwidth, bandwidth, (Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers,..... :p now I sound like monkey boy:D )
    At 480Mbps (theroretical) it will finally work is it was first designed. USB1.1 was fine for keyboards, mice, etc. but the bus quickly becomes saturated when you add scanners , webcam ,digicams harddrives, cd-rw's etc.
    It will now be competive with current IEEE1394 (firewire) at amuch lower price.
    That's not to say that USB2 vs IEEE1394 is over, next gen firewire says "BAM and kicks it up a notch.
    Firewire 2 will have a place in high end more complex equipment such as broadcast quality camera, for the rest of us having a decent 30+ frame a second webcam running at really time, or scanners/printers that popout quality color photos at copier speeds, with a simple foolproof (well, almost, they keep making better fools) cheap, hot swapable connection like USB2 will be the way to go.:grinthumb
  7. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    I'd like to see how USB2.0 can handle multiple devices at once. And does it still operate at full speed if CPU is under heavy load? And what about power - do peripherals need external power supplies?
    ..and of course, which OS's will support it :)
  8. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Well since you can get USB phone charges, Optical mice (those little leds need some power) and a host of power USB devices the power question isn't that applicable.
    You can have both powered and non powered USB ports.
    I still think firewire is a better system, its just more expensive and still less wide spread in the PC market.
    This said, my Force Feedback joystick needs its own power supply.
    I generally have 4 USB devices connected to my PC at all times. The first Universal Serial Bus seems to have been adopted by many as the new serial port and PS2 port...
    It has advantages over PS2 port as it can be sampled at a higher frequency...
    I read this article at FiringSquad about this quite a while ago.
    Quite an interesting read, it highlights the pros and cons of using a mouse for games in PS2 and USB.
  9. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 709

    Thanks for the info. guys. I figured the USB would eventually replace the serial ports. All this crazy technology coming out is getting me excited about building another computer!!!
  10. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    USB 1.1 is only 12 mbit - big jump to 480 for USB 2.0

  11. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Yeah I read that on webopdia, don't know where I got 280 from...
    Sure I saw that somewhere. Oh well... wrong again ;)
  12. TS | Thomas

    TS | Thomas TS Rookie Posts: 1,319

    Firewire's still better though as it's controller based, not controllerless like USB.
  13. Mac_Bug

    Mac_Bug TS Rookie Posts: 57

    There's a very simple advantage to firewire -

    due the massive campaign about digital video, most if not all DV feature firewire connection exclusively.

    USB 2.0 granted has not yet matured and does not come standard (but then neither is firewire), though it has become a standard to replace your parallel ports and serial ports. In the near future there could very well be DV cams with both connectors, but in the mean time nowdays you can't live without USB, so might as well get 2.0.

    Beyond that firewire doesn't seem to be making any headway in any other departments. Firewire harddrive maybe, but with USB 2.0 it could just as easily replace it.

    The key as thomas has already mentioned, is that firewire can exist independent of a computer. you can hook your DV cam up with your VCR with no problems, but you can't do that with a USB (unless you replace your VCR with a digital recorder, heh) connection. They may co-exist peacefully, but personally I prefer they just make it all one standard so we don't have to worry about it.
  14. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379 article about firewire vs usb

    1394 vs USB article, and LaCie's 40GB U&I PocketDrive

    The drive that they review has both interfaces and they do a substantial amount of benchmarking and evaluation of both connections. Also the drive could be powered off of a powered 1394 (firewire) port but not from USB, meaning that for mobile devices the 1394 solution seems to be the more useful as you don't have to carry a separate power supply unit about with it.

  15. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 709

    Another USB 2.0 vs. 1.1 comparison

    Here is an article write-up comparing an external CD writer's read and write times using USB 2.0 vs. 1.1:

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