best guess for FireWire

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by john2006wright, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. john2006wright macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    OK, I know this is a bit of a stupid question but like all computer purchases I like to get the informed opinion of the MR community first. I'm looking at buying a large external HD for archiving my DVD collection. I have a habit of scratching dvds and lending dvds to people who forgot to return them. So what ports should I get that will be of use to me in the next 5-10yrs (or whatever the lifetime of the external HD is). FW400 looks doomed, will FW800 soon dissapear also? Will USB be superseded soon also? USB2 only drives are the cheapest, so I'd like to avoid paying extra for FW and then see it disappear in a few yrs.

    I know this all speculation I just want the best ports for as long as the HD lives. I currently have a MacBook but will soon get a MacBook Pro (i'm lucky, I know).
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #2
    If you get a FireWire drive, try to find one with FireWire 800 and USB. The former should last another year or so, the latter will last until 2010 and USB 3, which is backwards compatible, anyway.
     
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #3
    That's why I like the LaCie Quadras. Not because of the drives within, which can easily be replaced... but the choice of connections, which are currently:

    • eSATA
    • FireWire800
    • FireWire400
    • USB 2.0
     
  4. john2006wright thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    Yeah, I curretly have a LaCie rugged 120Gb drive (FW 400/800 and USB) which I take with me when I'm working and keep bootbable back ups of my computer. I love it but the 1TB option for LaCie are almost twice the price of a simple USB2 drive. So i was wondering if its worth the extra pennies. I'll read up on esata, i don't know what that is.

    Thanks for swift replies!

    p.s. so you think FW800 only has a couple of years left??
     
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #5
    Well if you are so worried about the connections on your external HD, then yes, it's worth the extra pennies. To me, it isn't. I usually don't think ahead in these situations.

    Just get something with FW and USB, as suggested earlier.
     
  6. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #6
    You can get ready-made quad interface drives from OWC, or just the enclosures from them or Macpower.
     
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #7

    Not in the UK where the OP is from... the choices for enclosures here are limited and tend to be expensive, especially when FW800 is involved. In consumer stores, it's seen as a rare and high-end professional thing. FW800 cables etc. tend to not be freely available in brick and mortar stores, for instance.

    I've been through the search online too many times... with little to show for it, hence the convenience of picking up a Lacie drive from Amazon or the Apple Store. I'm not sure whether OWC ships to the UK, but often parcels can get slapped with import duties and VAT (sales tax) to then make the transaction poor value.
     
  8. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #8
    Yes, OWC ships to Europe, but I usually don't order from them because they ship only courier.

    That's how I ended up with the Macpower Pleiades Super S-Combo quad interface, and I like the design engineering better than my OWC triple interface PATA.
     
  9. cube macrumors G4

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    May 10, 2004
  10. Horst Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #10
    I second the MacPower drives and enclosures, quality built and interface.
    From the UK, you might want to consider checking some German vendors, could be cheaper and easier to get.

    As for port choice, that's a tough one.

    Depending on who you ask, Apple might or might not drop Firewire, USB 3 might or might not better the poor USB 2 performance, and eSata appears to be a work-in-progress.

    Right now, Firewire 400 and 800 are the most flexible, most reliable and fastest solutions for me, and there is no substitute in sight, afaik; much less available.
     
  11. robanga macrumors 68000

    robanga

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    Aug 25, 2007
    Location:
    Oregon
    #11
    Get external drives with all of the connections you have. I have LaCie's as well.
     
  12. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #12
    You will be fine for several years if you choose an external HD with just FW400 and USB. No sense in paying extra for FW800.
     
  13. john2006wright thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    Is the FW800 port on the macbook Pro comaptible with a FW400 port on a external hard drive? Could I buy a FW800 to Fw400 cable?

    thanks for all your advice!
     
  14. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #14
    If you have a HD with Firewire 400 and USB, you will be set for years to come. Here is just one example of Firewire 400/800 cables.

    http://www.firewire-1394.com/firewire-800-1394b-cables.htm
     
  15. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #15
    Hey, you're lucky to have a FW800 port in your new computer. Don't settle for FW400.

    Plus, FW400 ports can blow when hot-plugging. I think that was fixed with the FW800 connector.
     

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