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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Apple, loosing Firewire is a bad idea!

Apple, loosing Firewire is a bad idea!
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Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Canada
Status: Offline
Dec 14, 2005, 10:34 AM
I've read some threads that mention the possibility of Apple removing FireWire from it's next generation of PowerBooks (and other models) and think this would be a very bad idea. The main reason is the added CPU hit that using USB causes. FireWire has the control chips built in to the devices and USB does not. USB uses the host CPU to control the transfer of data and this can add up to a 30% CPU hit on my PowerBook, not good. Unless Apple comes up with a way to make the CPU load the same as FireWire, using USB hard drives is not the way audio or video pros want to go.

I hope this is one of those rumours that just is not true!

17" MacBook Pro Core Duo 1GB/120Mb
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Oct 2003
Status: Offline
Dec 14, 2005, 10:45 AM
What am I going to do with both my Canon GL2 firewire cams? Keep my present 17" Powerbook for 3 more years I guess....

Where did your info come from, may I ask?
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Nagoya, Japan • 日本 名古屋市
Status: Offline
Dec 14, 2005, 10:51 AM
It's from a ZDnet blogger, Macrumors has a link somewhere.

Hopefully the rumour is false. It would be really stupid for Apple to abandon a widespread superior technology like Firewire. USB 2.0's sustained speed is far slower than even Firewire 400, and it's inferior in other ways (like the CPU problem) too. I wouldn't buy a computer without Firewire.

I keep most of my data on an external Firewire-only drive. I've tried USB drives, and they suck. Slow as molasses.
Admin Emeritus
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Status: Offline
Dec 14, 2005, 11:04 AM
Not another thread about this complete rumor. There is zero evidence of this, and in fact, considering that a) Apple invented FireWire, b) pretty much all PC chipsets have integrated FireWire and c) iMovie is useless without FireWire, it's pretty darned unlikely.

Just because you see i on the internet doesn't make it true.

As for CPU usage: yes, on Macs USB has higher CPU usage, but it has nothing to do with the "control chips". FireWire is not really any smarter than USB. It's purely a driver issue -- look at Windows, where the CPU load situation is reversed...

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