Thunderbolt or USB 3.0--Which is the Better Option?

Cables connected into the back of an iMac
This year at CES, we heard quite a bit about products coming out using USB 3.0 and/or Thunderbolt. Hard drives, card readers, monitors, even laptop docking stations. Thunderbolt is becoming more and more common in PCs, while the USB Promoter Group plans to update USB 3 in order for it to reach 10Gb/s, virtually eliminating the speed gap. Many devices come in one flavor or the other, but for some, you have a choice.
aburke3's picture
Last seen: 2 years 7 months ago
Joined: 11/30/2008 - 10:00pm


Hi All,

I've been using FireWire800 for the past 6 years, and eSATA more recently.

USB 2.0 was simply never good for streaming video playback, due to the technical specs.

Are you using USB 3.0? Is it any good for HD video? I've found surprisingly little info on this topic.

Happy Editing,


ThomW's picture
Last seen: 9 years 7 months ago
Joined: 07/02/2006 - 4:07pm


every product for converting analog (VHS) to a digital format seems to have an output via FireWire to the input of my computer. But as I'm finding out not all PC's have a FireWire port. What now? Is there a USB solution or how else does one get there old home movies onto the computer that is not equiped with FireWire. For now, my friend has to bring his crap over to use my computer where then Ihave toshare so that he can get it onto his computer.

Snowbirds123's picture
Last seen: 4 years 11 months ago
Joined: 02/19/2011 - 11:06pm


Good evening,

I'm having a bit of problems with HD Writer 1.5, the program provided with my HDC-SD10 camcorder.

Each time I connect my camcorded to my PC (via the provided USB wire) and start downloading my recorded videos on my hard drive, an error pops up. It tells me that my USB connection is unstable and that I should try to connect my camcorder to a USB port at the rear of my computer.

nevart's picture
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: 06/10/2010 - 2:57pm


I'm a little nervous about trusting a USB2.0 transfer. I suspect it is going to drop frames, glitch, or get the audio out of sync, or some other annoying thing. But since I don't really know what I am talking about, over to you guys.... which do you think is best and why? And am I really going to suffer if I use a USB input?

Reason for question: Getting harder to find devices that are not cameras that have Firewire output

Phillip Hershkowitz's picture
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: 01/06/2011 - 6:40am


I'm considering purchasing a TM700, and I'd like to be able to use it as a webcam.

As far as I can tell from the specs, the TM700 has a USB port but no FireWire port. In a videomaker article on choosing a WebCam, it says if you have a FireWire port you're good to go. But no mention is made of USB ports.

Can you run this camera as a WebCam over a USB connection?


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