Can enternal HD only daisy chain with FW?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Bertmg, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. Bertmg macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I heard that for external HD to be able to daisy chain and maybe convert into different RAIDs, the Hard drives must be connected to each other and to the laptop all with the same type of connections format.


    FW 400/800 + FW 400/800 + FW 400/800 = Yes
    USB + FW 400/800 + FW 400/800 = No
    ESATA + FW 400/800 + FW 400/800 = No
    ESATA + USB2 + USB2 = No

    Is this true?
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    As Firewire, S-ATA and USB are different buses, you can't daisy chain hard drives mixed via those buses.

    And only Firewire is able to daisy chain external devices, the other two don't have that option.

    With Firewire you'll be able to chain up to 63 devices together, but the device with the lowest speed (FW 400 or FW 800) will determine the speed of all the other devices.
    In other words, one FW 400 device in a chain with 62 other FW 800 devices will make the chain only work at the maximum speed FW 400 provides.

    So in short: It is true.
  3. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    Just a note on mixed 800/400:

    With mixed FW800 & FW400, and FW800 had the head of the chain, I get full FW800 speeds (or, at least the unsaturated HD transfer rate which is much higher than FW400). I have 3 FW800 HDs, followed by 3 FW400 devices (2 HD, one burner).
  4. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    It's good to know to put the FW 800 ahead of the others. I will try it sometime.
    Thanks for the hint.

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