Firewire Daisy Chain Questions

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Gooter, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. Gooter macrumors member


    Jan 3, 2008

    I currently have an external hard drive that has 2 FW400 ports that I use for Time Machine. I want to get at least 2 more external hard drives; one for storage of photos/videos and the other for another backup drive that I can rotate offsite with my current one. My internal hard drive is full and all of my USB ports are in use (however I do have a USB hub). I also have a Mini-DV camcorder that requires a FW400 port.

    So, I'm trying to figure out what type of external hard drives I want to build/buy. I'm a little confused about daisy chaining firewire devices and hope someone can offer some clarification.

    1. Can you daisy chain with a device that has only 1 of each type of FW port; 1 FW400 and 1 FW800? Or, does the device need to have 2 of the same type of port; 2 FW400's or 2 FW800's?

    2. Can I connect a FW400 device into a FW800 port on another device?
    2a. If I can, does it slow down both devices to FW400 speeds?
    2b. What if there are multiple FW800 devices connected in the chain? Will it slow down every device to FW400 speeds?

    3. I believe the newest iMac's only have FW800 port(s). To connect a FW400 device into a FW800 port, I need either a FW400 -> FW800 adapter or cable, correct?
    3a. Again, will this slow down any FW800 device connected in the chain?

    Thanks for the help.
  2. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    1. As far as I know, yes, you can daisy chain a device that has one of each type of Firewire port.

    2. Yes.
    a. Yes.
    b. Yes.

    3. Yes.
    a. Yes.

    Keep in mind that FW400 will still be FAR faster than using USB. I recommend saving your money and not bothering with the USB hub.

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