FireWire 400 to FireWire 800

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by deliciousgook, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. deliciousgook macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    #1
    Hey, I'm sorry if this question has been asked many times but I recently bought a FireWave by griffin thinking that it would have an updated firewire 800, well actually i didn't know much about it, i just thought it was compatible because it said it was made for the mac and i really wanted to use my surround sound system. So my dilemma is that it came with a firewire 400 cable and I have a firewire 800 port on my mac mini which i bought recently. I've looked for some adapters and I saw one that said it accepts male firewire 400 6 pin and at the other end is a 9 pin firewire 800. it says its designed to connect your firewire 400 cable so it can be used in firewire 800 ports for newer macs. I'm not 100 percent sure what all that means and I didn't want to go buy something without being sure that's what I need. I am hoping someone can clarify what cable I need or what i can do to get this thing to work. Thanks!

    Edit: So there is this cable from amazon that i bought its this bilingual firewire 800 to firewire 400 cable which got really great reviews. I'm hoping this works. Will update when it arrives.
     
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #2
    What you described, and likely what you bought, is almost certainly what you need. There was actually a recent thread discussing exactly this in some detail; I'm thinking it was even for a Griffin device.
     
  3. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #3
    I have a firewire 400 to 800 adapter that I bought for my new unibody MBP. I use an external firewire 400 for backup, and the adapter is just a little M/F plug that connects the firewire 400 cable to the firewire 800 port on the MBP. It works with no problems. Of course you only get firewire 400 speeds though.
     
  4. deliciousgook thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    #4
    Thanks for the response, I'm pretty sure its what I need. I just hope the quality isn't bad or something. I'll look for that thread you were talking about. I heard there might have been some issues with itunes and some other programs not playing 5.1 stuff without some updates or settings adjustments. If there is a thread about that, maybe you can point me in the right direction. Thanks!
     
  5. deliciousgook thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    #5
    I was looking into adapters and I was close to purchasing one after figuring out all that pin stuff but I decided to go with a cable which pretty much does the same thing as the adapter. Its 6 feet long giving me some flexibility also. I was curious if you knew anything about sound quality through firewire 400 to firewire 800 conversions. I'm no audiophile but if you knew anything about it that would be cool. Thanks!
     
  6. jpyc7 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #6
    I don't know anything special about audio, but the fw400-800 conversion doesn't do any compression. You just get the exact same data just at the lower speed. So you'll get whatever "quality" you would get with firewire 400 speeds.

    BTW, I use a fw400-800 cable to connect my external HDD with my iTunes music to a mid-June 2009 MacBook Pro and it's just fine. Of course, it worked just fine with my previous iBook G4 laptop with fw400 too.
     
  7. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #7
    The cool thing about firewire is that is long as it fits, it will work.

    Keep in mind that the entire firewire chain goes as slow as the slowest connection though.
     
  8. deliciousgook thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    #8
    oh okayy, thank you all for the info. I just gotta wait for the cable to come. I'm sure i'll like it as i am not too picky as long as it works lol.
     
  9. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #9
    jpyc7 already said this, but to reiterate: Firewire is a digital bus. It works in an entirely different way than an analog signal, and there is no such thing as a quality difference due to conversions--it either works or it doesn't.

    Since the device is FW400--max speed 400Mbit/s--and you're trying to connect it to a FW800 port--max speed 800Mbit/s--your port is faster than the device, not the other way around. Thus, unless there's something physically wrong with the connection, the device will run at the max speed it's capable of.

    Further, note that in most cases even high-bitrate uncompressed digital audio doesn't really take up that much bandwidth in real terms. For example raw pro-quality 96kHz/24bit audio is "only" 2304kbit/s, meaning that a FW400 link could theoretically handle over 170 channels at once. The FireWave is, I believe, designed to decode Dolby Digital, which may be additionally compressed as recorded (quality depending on what the source is) and is probably much lower bitrate than that.

    Bottom line being, the quality is based entirely on the quality of the device's circuitry--the cable used to transfer data to your computer has nothing to do with it (other than latency, which is why FW is usually used instead of USB--to reduce "lag").
     

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