So... when's FireWire 1600 and 3200 coming out?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by chowmein, May 9, 2009.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #1
    According to Wikipedia:
    "In December 2007, the 1394 Trade Association announced that products will be available before the end of 2008 (LOL!) using the S1600 and S3200 modes that, for the most part, had already been defined in 1394b and was further clarified in IEEE Std. 1394-2008. The 1.6 Gbit/s and 3.2 Gbit/s devices use the same 9-circuit beta connectors as the existing FireWire 800 and will be fully compatible with existing S400 and S800 devices."

    The standards have been ratified but what's taking so long?
     
  2. macrumors 601

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  3. macrumors 65816

    Sneakz

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    #3
    FireWire biggest supporter was Apple and now it looks like Apple getting ready to dump them within the next 4-5 years. USB is more "universal". Everything is USB. Firewire looses the speed advantage with USB 3.0 as it still faster than FW 3200. Personally, I think that eSATA/USB (You know those dual eSATA/USB ports that some Dells and Toshibas have) are the future and hopefully we will see them on future Macs.
     
  4. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    #4
    eSATA sucks on Macs. It may be the fastest interface but the support for it is extremely horrible.

    At the moment, Firewire 800 is the best interface for macs.


    As for USB 3.0, it may not be faster than Firewire 3200 for a while since it takes time for the technology to improve to 5Gbps. With firewire, we know it can go to the max possible speed. USB really depends on a lot of things to get the max speed, cpu + drivers + chipset all needs to be at the top game in order for USB to work well. Firewire, everything is at the firewire chipset. Unless USB 3.0 will include its own chipset to do the work, last time i check, it doesn't appear to be so.
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    Minimoose 360

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  6. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    #6
    firewire > usb , i mean practically speaking

    I hardly know enough about computers to be commenting here but still as far as i understand and have experienced fw always smokes usb. From what i have read the only real thing that seems to be keeping firewire from eating usb and esata alive is some bad royalties deal which makes supporting that technology more expensive then the competition (or something like that).

    FW can power any and every 2.5 disk with one port as the long as the sun shines ( usb and esata :p ) and more then that it can support numerable FW drives daisy-chained on that same port. So a comp only really needs 1 FW port and everything is possible.

    Target disk mode :)

    and finally what is all the garbage i always hear about usbs "theoretical" speeds? Who actually cares? When has a FW drive ever been slower then a usb drive in real life? And you know that whatever usb3s actually speeds are they will be (at best) only a little bit faster then FW 3200 if not slower in real life. and that is still minus all the functions FW can do that usb cant.

    Still everything is usb compatible and its cheaper, but then again it is a cheaper product, if u know what i mean. :D
     
  7. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
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    #7
    You realize we all effectively have FW3200 ports on all current Macs and MacBooks?

    When manufacturer's release 1600 and 3200 devices, they'll plug into the 800 port but we'll get 3200 speeds as FW800 is forwards compatible.

    There's a lot of decent USB 3.0 vs FW800 articles on the net, and the consensus appears to be FW being a much better technology than USB (which it always has been) but USB has the advantage of being slightly cheaper for iPods and things. But if I'm buying another external drive, there's no question it'll be a firewire drive and not a USB drive. USB just takes up too much of my CPU… (Firewire uses none)
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #8
    :confused:
    Please post info on this as I have never heard of such a thing, or if someone could chime in that would be helpful. But I am 90% sure this is not the case otherwise FW1600 and 3200 would have got rolling awhile ago.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    #9
    "Firewire 3200 will use the same connectors as its predecessor FireWire 800 but it should deliver at least 4 times the performance. It will increase FireWire speed from 800 Mbps to 3.2 Gbps." - http://www.firewire3200.com/

    They go on directly to state that it'll be released in 08 aha.
     
  10. macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    the 800 will not support 3200...its the same connector but a new chipset.

    the 800 is compatbile with the 3200/1600

    as the 400 is compatible with the 800 with a converter.
     
  11. Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #11
    You mean backwards compatible.

    For example, if you purchase a current MBP13 with FW800 you can connect it to FW400, FW800, FW1600 and FW3200 devices. However, the data transmission speed will be limited to your MBP13's FW800 bus. So for FW1600 and FW3200 devices you will see FW800 transmission speeds. For a FW400 device you will see FW400 transmission speeds because your transmission speed will be limited by the FW400 device.
     
  12. Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #12
    Using the same connectors doesn't mean anything, they just won't change the connector type.
    USB 1 and USB 2 also use the same connector, but using a USB 2 device on a USB 1 device won't give you USB 2 speeds, will it?

    Also the chipset has to support the transfer speeds, so Apple has to include FW3200 chipsets and ports.

    If they already did, they would advertise some small hell out of it, like being advanced and such.
     
  13. macrumors 68040

    Anuba

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    #13
    The connectors are indeed the same as FW800, but wouldn't it require a new chipset? Some things can be done with a firmware update... I remember back when Apple enabled 802.11n on 802.11g machines with a simple update.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    #14
    By what I understand this will happen:

    If you plug a device/cable using FW3200 into a FW800 port, it will run at 3200 speeds.

    If you plug a device/cable using FW800 into a FW3200 port, it will run at FW800 speeds.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #15
    That's great it uses the same cables, BUT you still need FW3200 equipment so you're mistaken. Otherwise if what you said were true everything would simply run at 3200.
    The FW chipsets or whatever in the machine need to be 3200 compliant, the ones in the MBPs are only 800, you won't see any faster out of them.

    EDIT: everyone already jumped on this really fast, lol
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    #16
    I'll admit complete ignorance, just going by what sources say:

    "...it should be noted that if you have a new FireWire 3200 cable/device you can use it with your old FireWire 800 port and still achieve 3.2Gpbs speeds."
    -PC Fastlane

    "...FireWire 3200 is also backwards compatible with FireWire 800, and you can even plug your new FireWire 3200 hardware into the old FireWire 800 ports and instantly get the new 3.2Gbps speed"
    - Techiesouls

    "Of course, there are other factors to consider; the FireWire 3200 standard is also in the works and promises to allow 3.2GHz speeds on existing FireWire 800 hardware."
    -ZDnet

    None of these are straight from the source quotes, and I'm not familiar enough to read technical specs of electronic hardware, so it's a good thing that we're all taking it with a grain of salt until the product actually comes out.
     
  17. Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #17
    That's strange, can you please post the links to those sources?

    Why wouldn't Apple advertise such a feature of being forwards compatible?

    And how does that work in reality? A firmware upgrade that enables the FW800 chipsets to then work at FW3200 speeds?

    When the specs for FW3200 were approved in the end of 2007, how could the much older FW800 work with that?
     
  18. Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #18
    This is incorrect.

    FW transmission speeds will be limited to the lowest common denominator of the controlling port and attached device, whichever is lower (slower).

    So if you have a MBP15 with a FW800 port:

    You can run at FW800 speeds when connecting FW1600 and FW3200 external devices such as external hard drives.

    You can run at FW400 speeds when connecting FW400 external devices such as external hard drives.
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    #19
    ZDnet Link - Article on USB 3.0, but compares it to FW3200.

    TechieSouls Link

    PC FastLane Link

    Again, I completely plead ignorance aha. I'm just the messenger. I don't even use FW800 so I don't really have a vested interest in this.
     
  20. Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #20
    The reason for the confusion is the connectors.

    FW800, FW1600 and FW3200 all use the same cable/connector.

    To use a FW400 device, you can have a FW800/FW400 cable or an adapter.

    However, to the best of my knowledge a FW800 port, without upgrading, cannot provide faster throughput beyond that of FW800.
     
  21. macrumors 68040

    Anuba

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    #21
    They did a similar thing before with WiFi. Apple were among the first to add Draft-N capability, and the surprise was that you didn't need to buy a new Mac -- AirPort was already prepared on previous Macs so Apple just had to flick a switch.

    I'm not saying that's what's going on here, but in theory there could be artificially crippled FW3200 hardware in the new MBP's, and Apple could then unleash 3200 in current machines through a firmware update.
     
  22. Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #22
    This could be true.

    To find out, we would need to know the chip being used.
     
  23. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    #23
    Please ignore my post before, I contacted the 1394 trade association and sushi was right, you won't get 3200 speeds through an 800 port. It seems there are a lot of mistaken articles out there…
     
  24. macrumors 68020

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    Jan 22, 2009
    #24
  25. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #25
    It doesn't have to. If Apple would just add a simple combo eSATA/USB port, it would work just as well as the internal SATA that's used for the hard drive and superdrive. Since Apple refuses to add such a useful port, we are stuck with eSATA expresscards that Apple refuses fix the drivers for.

    If Apple doesn't add something faster than FW800 to MBPs in the next refresh, I won't consider buying one. I don't care if they add USB3, Firewire 1600/3200, or Lightpeak, as long as it's faster than decade-old USB2 and 7-year old FW800.
     

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