Committed Firewire user dilemma - 2012 or 2014?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Richard8655, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. Richard8655 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
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    Chicago suburbs
    #1
    Pretty heavily committed to Firewire storage drives here. I know about Apple's FireWire to Thunderbolt adapter. But how reliable is it? I assume some sort of data communication conversion and processing is constantly occurring to make it work.

    So my question is whether the 2012 Mac Mini with it's built-in FireWire capability makes more sense than external conversion required with the adapter for the 2014? There might not be any difference, but technically I'm not sure.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. cinealta macrumors 6502

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    Dec 9, 2012
    #2
    I haven't heard of any issues. AFAIK, the adapter works seamlessly.
     
  3. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    NH
    #3
    The adapter gets quite warm with use, but otherwise seems to be seamless. I've used one on my rMBP for a couple years now.

    Oh and if you want to go there, there are a few so called Thunderbolt docking stations that have firewire ports built in and with TB pass through so you don't lose the TB port.
     
  4. Richard8655 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Ok, thanks guys. 2014 now back in for consideration.
     
  5. skyhawkmatthew macrumors member

    skyhawkmatthew

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    Australia
    #5
    I run four FireWire drives daisy-chained from my 13" rMBP via the adapter. As mentioned above the adapter does get quite warm, but performance is as you'd expect from a built-in FW port.
     
  6. MaxinMusicCity macrumors regular

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  7. Richard8655 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Good info, as daisy-chaining is also my planned approach. Glad to hear it works without issue and at the same 800 data speed. Thanks.
     
  8. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #8
    The other option is that there are thunderbolt Docks that have firewire as well. Most of those have dual Thunderbolt ports so that you don't lose your port to the firewire adapter. Obviously this is a much more expensive route, but something to keep in mind if for some reason you need dual MDP ports down the line....
     
  9. navier macrumors regular

    navier

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    Germany
    #9
    Are they Bus powered (like the WD Passport Studio Mac) or 3.5" type with external power supply?
     
  10. skyhawkmatthew macrumors member

    skyhawkmatthew

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    #10
    3 are 3.5" with their own power supplies and one is a 2.5" bus-powered drive at the end of the chain. The bus-powered drive works fine on its own connected directly to the adapter as well.
     
  11. cinealta macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    #11
    Richard, hold on. I may have found a problem. AFAIK the Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter is limited to only 7 watts. It may not be enough power to daisy chain more than one device. A single device should be fine. You may need a 2012 Mac Mini with the fully-fledged (full power) Firewire port!

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4185504?tstart=0
     
  12. Richard8655, Oct 24, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014

    Richard8655 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Good find, cinealta. I'll read through that thread carefully. That's why I posed the question and glad some background considerations are emerging. Which makes me wonder how skyhawkmathew (per his earlier post) manges his Firewire device configuration using the adapter as he describes.

    (I did spring for a 2012 Mini just to be on the safe side with this. I think I saw you did too... good move.)
     
  13. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    #13
    As long as you're not daisy chaining multiple bus-powered devices, the TB-to-FW adapter works perfectly. If your FW drives are self-powered, there's no issue at all.
     

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