Firewire 400 Devices on new MacPro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Rerun77, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. Rerun77 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #1
    I finally ordered a new MacPro Octo 2.66 to replace my aging PowerMac G5.

    I currently have a firewire 400 audio interface and a few firewire 800 and 400 external drives.

    Would it be smarter to get a firewire 400 pci card to run the firewire devices? Do all devices run at the 400 speed when there is 1 device in the chain at that speed? Are the different firewire ports on the MacPro independent?

    Thanks for your help
     
  2. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #2
    Yes to your first question. The answer to the second appears to be yes as well. I have the FW400 hub in my ACD23 connected to a FW800 port via an adapter. Separately, I have 2 FW800 drives chained on a second FW800 port. I have connected a small bus-powered FW400 drive simultaneously with the FW800 drives and the performance of the latter seemed unaffected.
     
  3. Lucibelle macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    #3
    I also have a firewire 400 audio device, by MOTU. While I have yet to actually test it, I have run two firewire 400 hard drives through a Sonnet adapter, and it's been smooth as silk. Still, even if my audio device worked flawlessly, I don't know which device you have and the results may not be the same.

    If budget is an issue, and you have the time to experiment, try the adapter first. If immediate reliability is the main factor, spend the extra on the PCIe card. Does your device use optical I/O? If so, Google your device and Mac Pro to see what comes up. Also, check the audio forums here, as well as Google for forums about your particular brand.

    Here's a link for both firewire options. http://eshop.macsales.com/search/firewire+adapter
     
  4. Frozengeek macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Location:
    Fairbanks, Ak
    #4
    Um, save yourself some money and just get a 400 to 800 cable. I did, and everything works beautifully on my Quad 2.66 2009.
     
  5. stevemishket macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Dandridge, TN
    #5
    400 to 800

    I had the same issue with a 400 firewire hard drive. For $19.95 I got an adapter cable and everything works just fine.

    Steve
     
  6. Rerun77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #6
    I have 2 adapters on the way. I know my 400 devices will work on the 800 ports, I was wondering if the 800 devices would operate at 400 speeds when the 400 devices are plugged in. Anyone know definitively?

    Thanks
     
  7. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #7
    I do now, and I just disconnected the FW400 hub as a result. I copied a 1GB file from one FW800 drive to another FW800 drive in 3 scenarios - FW400 hub not connected, FW400 hub connected, and FW400 drive mounted via hub. Then I disconnected the hub one more time to make sure the time to copy the file was consistent with the first try. The times were 25 secs, 41 secs, 41 secs, and 25 secs, so the presence of a FW400 device connected to any FW800 port certainly appears to have an effect on the entire FW subsystem. Disconnecting it again makes the slowdown go away.
     
  8. TheNightPhoenix macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    #8
    I used a Firewire 9 pin to 6 pin cable to sort my firewire 400 needs.

    Only problem i had was with a WD hard drive, after a firmware upgrade I've not had any problems.
     
  9. Lucibelle macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    #9
    Hold on, you're saying that a FW400 device will make the other FW800 ports on the MP run at FW400 speeds as well? :eek: So the front ports affect the back ports? That sucks! :mad:
     
  10. TheNightPhoenix macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    #10
    I've heard of this before and tested, but got differnt results.

    When I tested copying from 1 Drobo to another Drobo it took about 4 minutes to copy the files, I plugged in a DV deck and a hard drive and tested again. Still 4 minutes.

    But this may be because the machine has two sperate firewire buses a 400 and an 800. I think if it's an all 800 machine it might only have one bus.
     
  11. Ploki macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #11
    that would be a major screw up :eek:
     
  12. Lucibelle macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    #12
    Actually, after doing some research it seems that the FW800 ports are all on the same bus, as this is typical. :(

    Well, guess I'll be looking for that PCIe card.
     
  13. gesundheit macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    #13
    Wow, I wasn't expecting that. Yesterday I ordered a pile of FW800-to-400
    cables. Looks like I should have spent the money on a PCIe card :mad:
     
  14. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #14
    I hadn't tried the front ports yesterday so I repeated the test today. The front and back ports behave the same way - 25 secs without a FW400 device connected, 41 secs with.
     

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