Firewire Advice: Adapter or New Cable?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by redsteven, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. redsteven macrumors 6502a


    Aug 22, 2006
    I have a unibody 15" MBP, which, as you probably know, has a firewire 800 port.

    I have a couple of firewire 400 cables, but I don't actually have any firewire devices. That said, I have used firewire in the past for target mode, and I've definitely found it useful.

    At first I was going to buy an adapter, like this one.
    Now, I'm assuming that if I plug an adapter into a firewire 400 cable, it'll still run at firewire 400 speed, right (just like a UBS 1.1 cable runs at USB 1 speed even if plugged into two USB 2.0 ports)

    But then I saw this item, which is actually cheaper. That cord would be able to plug into the Firewire 800 port on my MBP, and the firewire 400 port on my iMac, right?
    In that case, it won't run at Firewire 800 speed, right? Because isn't the iMac hardware limited to firewire 400 speed?

    Also, what's the difference between the above mentioned cord and this one? Is this one for connecting devices instead of another computer?

    Are there any devices that I WOULD be able to plug in using the first cable?
  2. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    The adapter will work

    the cable is a 9 pin to 4 pin adapter you need a 9 pin to 6 pin adapter
  3. redsteven thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 22, 2006
    But i linked to 2 different cables
  4. Badradio macrumors 6502

    Aug 19, 2004
    I just went through the same dilemma, and ended up getting a couple of cheap cables off ebay - a 9-6 pin and a 9-4. That covers everything, and I got both for about £6.50 delivered. An adapter would be the same price, but I'd probably lose it...

    The first cable you linked is FW800-FW400 (9 pin to 6 pin). Whatever you connect will transfer at FW400 - the slowest part of the exchange is the computer with the FW400 port.

    The second cable is a FW800-FW400 (9 pin to 4 pin) and is used most often for connecting to video cameras. Unless you have a video camera with a 4-pin FW port, you only need the first cable.

    Any of the options you mentioned will work out fine - I was just loathe to fork out cash for replacement gear just because Apple dropped the FW 400 port, so I went for the option that was cheapest/easiest at the time.
  5. redsteven thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 22, 2006
    Thanks man. And now that you mention it, I SHOULD check eBay for the cables too.
  6. izibo macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2004
  7. redsteven thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 22, 2006
    Good call Izibo. One of the Amazon merchants was selling a 6 foot 9/6 pin for 7+3 shipping, but that site you linked sells them for even less – $4.48. I can't see the shipping cost because the item is currently not in stock (ETA for them getting another shipment is a few days away), but putting another similarly priced 6 foot cable in my cart yields a shipping cost of $2.36, which is certainly reasonable.

    It's ironic that this cable is more expensive than the first one lol. I guess nobody likes the black cables.

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