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Laptop - Cardbus speed question

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I have a PCMCIA card with 2 usb 2.0 and 1 6-pin 1394 firewire port. Connected to the single firewire port is an external DVD burner and an external hard drive in a daisy chain. When burning a dvd from data on the external HD, the HD stops sending data to my laptop partway through therefore creating a $0.40 coaster. I imagine the firewire port is being overloaded with data when this happens. What should I do?

1. Get a different PCMCIA card with 2 or more firewire ports and connect the DVD burner and external HD to their own port (which leads into my next question).

2. Plug the hard drive into a USB 2.0 port on my laptop, let the DVD burner have sole custody of the firewire port (I tested this method and it works fine, I just dunno about keeping my HD on a USB 2.0 port rather than on a firewire port. Plus, I like being able to come home and just plug in my cardbus and have it done with, no messing with a gazillion wires and such).

3. Other.

Does a cardbus even communicate with a laptop fast enough for this to even be worth it? Is a firewire port on a cardbus going to be slower/less reliable than a firewire port built into a motherboard (or even a PCI card on a desktop)?
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Right, you need to have the 2 drives physically seperate - ie one on the laptops USB v2 port & one on the firewire. The current configuration is not gonna work - as you've found out.
Using a 2 port firewire card (one port per device) may or may not work, I wouldn't like to guarantee it though.

As far as transfer speeds are concerned, the theoretical transfer speeds of 480mbps (60MB/sec) for USB2 & 400mbps (50MB/sec) for 1394a, makes USB2 & firewire 1394a very similar in speed. The fact that the data is being transferred across controllers (ie USB to Firewire) is actually faster than transferring up & down the same cable on the same controller.

Also, DVD burning speeds & data transfer rates are not high enough to warrant anything faster anyway.

This should give you an idea of the data transfer you would require to burn DVDs
read/write data transfer rate
burning at 6x 0.9MB/sec
8x 1.2GB/sec
24X 3.6MB/sec

In answer to your final question, as far as I know, firewire on pcmcia shouldn't be any slower or less reliable than firewire built into the mobo.
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