HD Tune 2.54:
HD Tune 2.54 is another benchmark that tests drive performance, and it is very similar to HD Tach. The graph below details the results for access time, CPU usage, minimum transfer rate, maximum transfer rate, average transfer rate, and burst rate. Lower values are better for the first two categories and higher values are better for the last four categories.
The HD Tune testing concludes that USB is superior to Firewire, and as was seen with HD Tach, the CPU Utilization favors Firewire. It can be seen that it would be wise to use Firewire on a low end computer since it takes no CPU power to do the read/write tasks.
Real World Testing:
Real world testing involved reading and writing 697 files stored in 30 folders with a total file size of 2,000 MB. These files consist of a mix of smaller files (such as pictures, Word & Excel files) and some large files (such as CD ISO image files). The Western Digital Raptor 10,000RPM 36GB hard drive was the original location of these files for the writing tests, and was the final location for these files for the reading tests. A separate directory was used on the hard drive for reading and writing, and the system was rebooted after each transfer test. A stop watch was used to record the time it took to complete each transfer, and these values were used to calculate the effective data transfer rates.
The real world testing chart confirms that USB 2.0 is also faster than Firewire in both the read and write tests with some real life file transfers. Using USB over Firewire provides about a 6MB/s performance gain in both Read and Write operations, and the transfer rates are definitely respectable.