USB vs. Firewire for data HD on P4/ATI chipset
First post, I am a longtime off and on Ardour hobbyist. After a long while with inadequate hardware, I am going to spend time with Ardour on a P4 (I know about denormals) with ATI Radeon 9100 IGP 128MB video. It's 2.8ghz, will be used with a gig of RAM. It is in a tiny case that I cannot easily change, has only two PCI slots and no AGP. It has onboard 4-wire and 6-wire Firewire.
I have a Midiman Delta-66, I used it with Mandrake/ThacRPMs in the past, I am considering CCRMA or Debian for this incarnation (I am reasonably familiar with FedHat and Debian). The latest stock Mandriva 2006 only has a 2.6.12 kernel I believe. I am on dialup, and cannot easily do major upgrades (friends with broadband help on initial install!).
My problem I had before with old hardware was mostly disk I/O. I see the recommended hardware mentions that IDE data drive in a firewire enclosure can be nearly as good as SCSI. The question (finally!): It is mentioned that USB audio interfaces can induce latency. Will this problem extend to USB external hard drives? By spec, USB 2.0 is 480Mbs max compared to firewire's 400Mbs. There is no physical room in the tiny case, and I was hoping to try external data drive, but am not clear what would be best for latency and kernel-level stuff. Recommendations? External enclosures are about equally inexpensive for both USB and Firewire.
My intended use will be mostly recording stereo pairs (perhaps a max of 4 total inputs at once) and overdubbing. Even with the Delta's hardware monitoring, I occasionally want/need to have minimal effects on monitor. I can use an external mixer w/analog effects to ease computer resources. Eventually, I would like to work with Jamin as well.
Thanks to Paul for an amazing product!