Well, let’s sum up the results now. I would like to start with the impression left by the HDD first. I have to admit that the drive’s functioning didn’t cause us any troubles, so that I would call this experience highly positive (here I have to disregard the unpleasant surprise with the write speed in FC-Test with FireWire interface). This external HDD model will be a good choice for those of you who need a large portable storage device for storing a lot of data, which boasts pretty high speed characteristics. The availability of two efficient interfaces, such as USB 2.0 and FireWire makes the application field for this solution much wider and provides it with high level of flexibility, which is essential nowadays for maximum performance. The accompanying software bundle allows simplifying the valuable data copy, so that it is done in the most optimized and effective way. The read speed scores obtained throughout this test session prove the manufacturer’s claims regarding the practical bandwidth of the USB 2.0 and FireWire interfaces.
Now I would like to say a few words about the highs of the supported interfaces. Despite the theoretical advantage of the USB 2.0 interface over FireWire (60MB against 50MB), the latter appears more preferable in real applications. It is true, IEEE 1394 allows transferring the data at 40MB/s while High-Speed USB supports data transfer at 34MB/s only. However, far not all the tests indicated higher efficiency of FireWire interface. The reasons for that probably have to do with the not quite adequate work of the FireWire-to-ATA bridge (or its incorrect work with the FireWire controllers we used).
It is very likely that the HDD performed the same way with both IEEE 1394 controllers. They looked like twin-brothers in most benchmarks, that is why it was really hard to single out the winner. Anyway, I would consider Agere FW323 to be a better choice. Nevertheless, let’s not make any final conclusions and do a little bit more research on that in our ongoing reviews, because we haven’t answered all the questions today, for sure. Of course, it is totally up to the user to decide which interface to choose, and will sometimes be determined by the availability or absence of this or that interface on the user’s PC.