FireWire400 - is 6pin faster than 4pin? What's the difference?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by rawdawg, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. rawdawg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #1
    I have a FW400 external hard drive. You can attach it either by the normal 6pin FW400 adapter or a 4pin small adapter (like with digital video cameras). The other end of course would be the normal 6pin.

    Is there an advantage of the 6pin over the 4pin? If not, why didn't they make it 4pin to begin with if they were worried about the size?
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #2
    The additional 2 pins are for power. For things like bus-powered external hard drives. They have no impact on speed.
     
  3. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
    #3
    4 pin doesn't provide power, 6 pin does. (I think)
     
  4. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #4
    Yes, that's correct.

    And as robbieduncan stated, it doesn't affect speed.
     
  5. LouisBlack macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Location:
    Balham, London
    #5
    The two extra pins carry power so you can't charge a device through a 4 pin connection. As the other four pins are for data the speed is the same with both.
     
  6. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #6
    No, it's not faster. The 2 extra pins provide power. The 4 pin port is unpowered but is designed to be smaller for devices such as video cameras that already have their own battery and don't need power from the FW port. There's no speed difference.
     
  7. rawdawg thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn

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