I did some very extensive research several months ago before deciding which way to go. But I saw just way too many times where tests showed that Firewire 400 beat USB 480.
Again, USB is a "dumb" standard, it must use the CPU as a controller. Firewire has the intelligence built in.
Really good link: http://www.lacie.com/download/more/W...reWire_800.pdf
Designed to facilitate the transfer and networking of large amounts of varying types of digital data between systems and individual users, FireWire has become an indispensable part of the consumer electronics and personal computer industries. Apple’s contribution to FireWire has been recognized by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with an Emmy award for the creation of the standard, which has numerous applications in the television industry.
And in the computer industry, Intel VP Anand Chandrasekher foresees digital video and FireWire becoming an even bigger part of PCs, and to “Expect to see a ton of 1394.”
When the original FireWire standard was introduced in 1995, it was a revolution in and of itself. It provided thirty times the bandwidth of the Universal Serial Bus (USB) 1.1 peripheral standard, and enabled a whole new host of features and applications. FireWire 800 offers users data-transfer speeds of 800Mbsp today, which is two times faster than the 400Mbps of original FireWire. All versions of FireWire offer Plug & Play connectivity, allowing users to simply plug in their drive and begin using it. They also allow up to 63 devices to be connected via a single bus and offer peer-to-peer connectivity, enabling multiple computers and FireWire devices to be connected at the same time. FireWire also supports both isochronous and asynchronous capabilities, meaning that it can guarantee real-time data delivery, so there is no danger of inaccurately ordered or delayed content.
I just Googled USB+Firewire+comparison and this was the first listing, it's very informative: http://www.usb-ware.com/firewire-vs-usb.htm
FireWire, uses a "Peer-to-Peer" architecture in which the peripherals are intelligent and can negotiate bus conflicts to determine which device can best control a data transfer
Hi-Speed USB 2.0 uses a "Master-Slave" architecture in which the computer handles all arbitration functions and dictates data flow to, from and between the attached peripherals (adding additional system overhead and resulting in slower data flow control)
5000 files (300 MB total) FireWire was 33% faster than USB 2.0
160 files (650MB total) FireWire was 70% faster than USB 2.0
5000 files (300 MB total) FireWire was 16% faster than USB 2.0
160 files (650MB total) FireWire was 48% faster than USB 2.0
So when you get up into GB's there's no comparison. THEN move up to Firewire 800 and it's an Indy car vs an SUV...