Firewire or USB hd for iMac

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by 2ms, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. 2ms macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    #1
    I'm just getting started with digital audio production. I have a current iMac with 2 USB 2.0 and 2 Firewire 400 ports. I need an external hard drive and am very tempted by this Lacie 500GB USB drive, but I'm concerned that as I adopt more equipment such as midi interface, general audio interface/external "soundcard", etc, I'll end up unduly consuming my USB bandwidth while not benefiting as I should from FW's capabilities.

    Basically, is you external hd a good way to use up an USB port, or is it the place to use FW 400 given the options available with my iMac?

    I know FW is smoother, faster interface. Where should one put these advantages to use first?
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
  3. ivi7 macrumors 6502a

    ivi7

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    Sep 17, 2007
  4. 2ms thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    #4
    Does this really apply to hds as much as it applies to other devices, though? I'm sure daisy chaining can be done, but I do only have two FW 400 ports and, thus, due have a limit to my Firewire bandwidth.

    I unquestionably will be getting a FW audio interface because of the advantages in more continuous, smooth, and fast transfer of data across FW. However, don't hds go through memory as buffer first really and thereby not really benefit as much from this characteristic of FW?

    Just trying to make sure I'm using my limited FW resources in the best areas. I would appreciate it if you could tell me which devices exactly benefit the most from Firewire.
     
  5. user1524 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Bombay , India
    #5
    why not get the lacie d2 , which has firewire 400/800 and USB
     
  6. samh004 macrumors 68020

    samh004

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    FW will have a faster sustained transfer rate than USB2 on your mac, but as mentioned, your audio devices would be better suited to cone through the FW ports.

    Didn't the new iMac's gain a FW800 port ?
     
  7. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #7
    Are FireWire HUBs any good?

    I'm in the same boat, too many FireWire devices for the ports I have. Are FireWire HUBs any good? I have read posts here and in other forums, some recommending HUBs and others advising against it, and I am hoping that someone can point me to some good information that would describe the pros and cons of such HUBs.

    Thanks,
    Martin
     
  8. bgd macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Location:
    SG
    #8
    Can't point you to any info but I have used a hub to connect firewire 400 devices (HDs and now a DV camera) for quite sometime and never had any issues.

    The hub was a cheap thing I picked at an Apple store.
     
  9. Plumbstone macrumors regular

    Plumbstone

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    #9
    If you look on your system profiler you will notice there is only a single firewire bus, regardless of how many actual ports your mac has. ie you already have a FW hub built in to your mac and all your ports share the same bandwidth and are essentially daisy chained anyway. As virtually all FW drives have hubs built in aswell there is no real advantage in buying a dedicated hub. You will have no increase in performance.
     
  10. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #10
    Thank you for this explanation, Plumbstone.

    If I understand you correctly, the most independent FireWire busses I can have on a Mac are two: one for 400 Mbs and one for 800 Mbs. On these buses, there is no difference between daisy-chaning and using a HUB.

    Does that sound right?

    - Martin
     
  11. Plumbstone macrumors regular

    Plumbstone

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    #11
    I have a mac pro with FW800 and 400 ports. If I look at my system profiler it still only has a single FW bus so, I may be wrong, but I assume all firewire ports share the same single FW800 bus regardless of their speed.
     

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