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Daisy chain Firewire drives?

Discussion in 'Mac Peripherals' started by hayzen, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Hi all,

    My MBP has one firewire 800 port and I have one external firewire drive. I want to get another external firewire drive but since I only have one FW port, does that mean I can only use one drive at a time?

    There are times when I know I will need to transfer files from one external drive to another. Is there a way to daisy chain external firewire drives together? Also, will daisy chain slow down the file copy process or even slow down my computer?

  2. macrumors 68020

    That's one of the advantages of FireWire over USB. The drive will have two FW ports on the back. Daisy chaining will not slow down anything, unless you're daisy chaining a FW400 to a FW800 drive.
  3. macrumors 604


    Yep! Most firewire devices (excluding iPods and Cameras) will have 2 Firewire ports on them.

    Only if the files are coming off of the hard drive. Unlike USB, Firewire doesn't need a CPU to work, so the only limit is the HDD.

    You're welcome!
  4. macrumors regular

    Kool, I've just learnt something new :)
  5. macrumors P6


    yup that will be fine, provided that the first peripheral device has two FW ports. on my devices it is possible to go like this:
    computer -> HDD (via fw800) ->2nd HDD (via fw400).

    my device has a fw800, then 2xfw400, i believe they are all able to be "daisy chained" even though its sort of a multiple chain. very cool.

    just remember that the speed of the chain will be the slowest device - if you have a fw800 + fw400, both will run at fw400 speeds (400mb/s) (i think anyway)
  6. macrumors newbie

    Does Daisy Chain Order Flow Matter?

    I hope someone is still linked to this thread.

    I understand from here that a FW800 chained to a FW400 will run at the lower speed. But what about in reverse? Does it matter? What if the FW800 is first in line and the FW400(s) follow down the chain. Will the FW800 still become slower as a rule?

  7. macrumors P6


    im always here ;)

    from testing that i conducted a while ago, the first device in the chain (fw800) SHOULD remain at fw800 speeds. the fw400 device will, of course, be slower.
  8. macrumors newbie

    Thank You!

    Sorry I did not respond back to you sooner. I thought the forum site kicks out email alerts of thread responses.

    Thank you for the insight on the daisy chain order. Very helpful.

  9. macrumors P6


    when you are signed into macrumors:
    quicklinks(top right of the macrumors navbar)->edit options. copy my settings ;)

  10. macrumors 68030

    That actually depends on the devices and their FW controller. Some FW800 devices still operate at full speed even though a FW400 device is within the chain.
  11. macrumors P6


    interesting. can you provide any technical specifications of controllers that may do this?
  12. macrumors 68030

    Unfortunately not. I have however seem many reports from people around here that posted about this behaviour.

    My personal FW800 drives get throttled to FW400 speed as well once I connect my Cinema display. But than again, that's Iomega, so not really reprensentative. :D
  13. macrumors P6


    HAH! ok, thats fair enough. i will one day investigate to see which controllers act in which manner. :) thanks for the heads up at least.

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