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Review IOI FWB-EC3402 ExpressCard /34

By Tobias Winkler 06/04/2010

Connection Incomer

The faster Firewire version IEEE1394b (FW800) is almost exclusively found on Apple computers. We looked at how well this connection works in the Windows world in an accelerated trial.

We found a whole two ExpressCard/34s with a Firewire 800 interface. This extension is interesting for Mac users who have an older MacBook Pro with an ExpressCard/34 (before the SD card was introduced) and need additional interfaces. But also for those who want to switch and want to further use already existing FW800 peripherals from their Windows notebook might find interest for such an extension. Firewire's advantage: External peripherals can be supplied with energy and even a chain of several devices is possible. It isn't recommendable to use this interface for a new purchase if there aren't any peripherals already existing because of the limited distribution. eSATA is a lot more popular and USB 3.0 will also quickly become a standard.

The installation runs automatically after first inserting under Windows 7 64 bit and the external hard disk can be used immediately without rebooting. The transfer rates (read) a maximum of 57.3 MB/s in our HP Probook 6540b. Thus, you are considerably faster than with USB 2.0 and FW400 (IEEE1394a), but lags just as far behind eSATA and USB 2.0. We couldn't make measurements for lack of a test instrument, the transfer rates should, however, move in a similar field.

Verdict:

A very specific and comparatively expensive extension for a minority of persons. It has a good performance and an easy handling, seen only technically.

Technical Specifications / Measurment Results

Description IOI FWB-EC3402 ExpressCard
Form Factor ExpressCard/34
Interfaces 2x FW800 / IEEE1394b
Maximum Data Transfer Rate 57,3 MB/s
Supported Operating Systems Windows 2000/XP/7 and Windows Server 2003
  Linux 2.6.X
  Mac OS 10.4.8 or later
Price (street) starts at ca. 45.00 euro plus shipping
In Review: IOI FWB-EC3402 Firewire 800 ExpressCard/34
In Review: IOI FWB-EC3402 Firewire 800 ExpressCard/34
Typical ExpressCard size with an additional power socket
Typical ExpressCard size with an additional power socket
Transfer rates in comparison to the competion
Transfer rates in comparison to the competion
Firewire 800 is a seldom seen guest
Firewire 800 is a seldom seen guest
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review IOI FWB-EC3402 ExpressCard /34
Author: Tobias Winkler, 2010-06- 8 (Update: 2012-05-26)