Daisy-chaining FireWire HD and DVD-RW

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by dops7107, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. dops7107 macrumors 6502a

    dops7107

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Location:
    Perth, Oztrailya
    #1
    Currently I have a Mac Mini and a LaCie d2 200 GB hard drive. The Mini only has one FW400 port. I am considering the matching d2 DVD-RW drive from LaCie that comes with Toast7 - at £130, it's pretty good value considering Toast7 retails at £70. However, this version of the drive only comes as FireWire, meaning I'll have to share my port with my external hard drive.

    So questions...

    1) Any comments/advice on daisy chaining FireWire devices? What might happen if I try to write a large file from the HD to the DVD, both running on FW, in terms of performance? Is it a good work-around to temporarily plug the HD into USB2?

    2) What about order of chaining? My guess is that the HD, used most frequently, should be first in the chain, and the DVD runs secondarily off the HD port. However, I have a feeling (and I don't have it here at the moment) that the HD only has FW800 ports on the back. Can anyone confirm this? If this is the case then I have to put the DVD first in the chain! :confused:

    3) Might a USB version be a better option?

    4) And finally... does anyone have this DVD drive and can post any comments/experience? And can it operate in a vertical position like the HD? (I want it to look cool and match!) :p

    Thanks all :)
     
  2. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #2
    It will work very well if you daisy-chain them. The firewire controller chips will allow the data to go from the hard drive to the DVD drive without having to go to the cpu first. You'll actually get slower performance by putting one on usb because the date will have to make a stop at the cpu.

    Always put FW800 devices closest to the computer. They will continue to run at 800 speeds (assuming they are plugged into 800 ports). Add your 400 devices after that.

    No.
     
  3. dops7107 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dops7107

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Location:
    Perth, Oztrailya
    #3
    Thanks grapes, that's a great help.

    I checked the specs on the d2 hard drive - the rear ports for daisy chaining are only FW800. The d2 DVD drive is only FW400. So... at the risk of sounding a bit thick here... I guess that means I'll need an adapter of some sort? On the other hand, the HD is only plugged into a FW400 port, so is there really any gain in it being nearest the computer? :confused:
     
  4. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #4
    You can plug one into the 800 port and one into the 400 port. Or you can get an adapter and chain them. I'd chain them so you only have to plug one wire into your computer.
     
  5. dops7107 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dops7107

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Location:
    Perth, Oztrailya
    #5
    hummm... :confused: Mini: 1x 400. HD: 1x 400, 2x 800. DVD: 2x 400. I think that means I have to plug the HD 400 -> DVD 400 -> Mini 400 as a chain,

    or

    DVD 400 -> HD 800 (via adapter) -> Mini 400 (also as a chain; a chain is unavoidable here).

    Seeing as it's all FW400 anyway, any reason why I can't just do the first?
     
  6. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #6
    Sorry. I'm thinking of my powerbook even though you said Mini. :eek:

    Yeah. Order doesn't matter. Anyway you chain them will work.
     
  7. dops7107 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dops7107

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Location:
    Perth, Oztrailya
    #7
    Cool, thanks again. Looks like santa came just a *bit* too early this year! :rolleyes: Anyhoo, I'm not getting one until I get an EyeTV and check that it works with the crabby aerial they supply with it :)
     
  8. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #8
    There's no point in getting an adapter to get the 800 hard drive closer to the Mini, because the mini doesn't have 800 anyway, so the hard drive would just run at 400 speed. Do this:

    Mini
    |
    \./
    DVD Burner
    |
    \./
    Hard Drive

    All with FW 400 cables. The burner and the hard drive talk to each other without going through the computer at all, so you'll have faster speeds chained.
     
  9. dops7107 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dops7107

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Location:
    Perth, Oztrailya
    #9
    Just what I had in mind, thanks. I guess it might valso depend on what DVD burning software I am using, right? I mean, this does rather assume that there is no caching of data or anything and that the data flows straight between the two FW devices, with no intereference from the computer? :confused: Maybe I'm thinking about this too much.

    PS I wish I had infinite funds ;)
     
  10. numediaman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago (by way of SF)
    #10
    You should have no problems daisy chaining the firewire stuff. I have two burners and a hard drive connected together with no problems -- these then go into a firewire hub, as well.

    But the mini has very touchy USB ports (imo). I can not use a hub with my usb gear, but luckily I have an Apple 20" display so I plug my scanner and printer into the display, my m-audio device into the keyboard and everything works OK. When I introduced a hub some of my gear failed to work. It caused my major problems when I first got my mini (a year ago), but has been OK since I set it up without the hub.
     
  11. dops7107 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dops7107

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Location:
    Perth, Oztrailya
    #11
    Thanks for the reassurance. I think I'll go for it when funds allow.

    Might it depend on the hub? The only problem I have is, occasionally and under no obvious circumstances that I can see, my Intuos2 graphics tablet no longer works after waking up from sleep. It is plugged into a hub. I just re-seat the plug, but it's a bit annoying. And for some reason, I have a Crucial CF card reader that prevents the Mini from going to sleep at all. USB is a little touchy, I agree.

    Aside: I once used my FW hard drive with a Powerbook at work. When that would go to sleep, the drive would power down and the blue light go off. On my Mini, the drive goes to sleep but the light stays on (burning brightly, too brightly for my sleeping!). What's up?
     

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