Is Firewire 800 needed on a hard drive?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by musukosan, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. musukosan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    #1
    About to buy a new external. I don't own a Mac yet, but I will by year's end. Anyways, I would like to buy a HD with Firewire 800, but started wondering if the speeds of the hard drive can even match the speed of FW800. Is it worth the extra money?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    Carolina Beach, NC
    #2
    If you have a computer with FW800, then it is definitely worth it to get a FW800 drive.
     
  3. winninganthem macrumors 6502a

    winninganthem

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #3
    Depends on what you want to do with it.

    If you're only going to use it for backup storage, USB 2.0 is good enough.

    If you want to use it for Time Machine backup or a Final Cut scratch disk, then you need at least FW800.
     
  4. Poudresteve macrumors newbie

    Poudresteve

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Location:
    Champaign-Urbana, IL
    #4
    FW 400 is fine for Time Machine. I have a workgroup of 4 users backing up using time machine over the network to an external FW 400 drive on my Mac Pro desktop, and it works great.

    Locally, I get 20 MBPS transfer rates from my Mac Pro to my FW 400 disks, which is fine for all but the most data intensive uses (my Mac Pro only gets 45 MBPS read/write to its internal SATA disks, anyway). Big advantage of FW 400 is you can daisy chain the disks together, so I have TBs of cheap backup storage attached to my machine...
     
  5. marbles macrumors 68000

    marbles

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    Apr 30, 2008
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    EU mostly
    #5
    Yes it is worth the extra money-if you need the speed of course.

    I always recommend getting an external HD with as many variety's of port on as possible, just so if one happens to break your not stuck.

    This is a known decent drive with fw400 fw800 eSata and USB2 http://www.g-technology.com/products/g-driveq.cfm
    May be that a different drive suits your uses, Raid etc ? .
    The rest of their stuff is at this link http://www.g-technology.com/products/products.cfm?interest=all


    All depends on the Mac your planing on getting really though ....if you get the Macbookpro it has a firewire800 port ( also has express card slot for eSata!)as do the MacMini's and the MacPro's off the top of my head I think the iMac has FW 400 ?
     
  6. illegallydead macrumors 6502a

    illegallydead

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    #6
    If you are going to get a Mac with FW800, then yes, go ahead and get an external HDD that can do that too.
    However, as others have said, look at what you will be using it for. Not all applications necessitate a blazing-fast external drive, and USB 2.0 will suffice in many cases to keep your costs down.

    And yes, the internal drive in those enclosures can sure handle that speed. Most newer externals use a SATA interface internally, meaning the internal drives are capable of 3Gb/s. FW800 can do 800Mb/s, meaning the bottleneck will be the FireWire, not the Drive.

    The expresscard slot in some cases "in most if not all cases"(oops, bad wording there :eek:) will run that eSATA port at USB 2.0 speeds since that is how it tends to interface with the computer for those types of cheap cards.

    The new iMacs have 1 FW 800. Older ones have a variety.
     
  7. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #7
    Any sort of "pro app" you'll want firewire 800, although on my imac i've used FW400 while doing Stand def. in final cut and it was fine.... Its nice if you have it but so is dual 30" inch ACD
     
  8. marbles macrumors 68000

    marbles

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    EU mostly
    #8
    Now that I didn't know ...you sure ?
     
  9. illegallydead macrumors 6502a

    illegallydead

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    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado!!!
    #9
    Yup. Expresscard specs

    Unfortunately, some of the cheap cards choose the USB 2.0 option since it is easier / cheaper, and they can advertise it as "eSATA port" :rolleyes:

    I think this is a case where you get what you pay for. This practice is much more prevalent on memory card / CF readers, but I have heard it done for a number of eSATA cards, too...

    [EDIT] reading my initial wording I think the words I used were a bit wrong there. Should have said some eSATA cards do that. I think the "most if not all" applies to the CF readers I mentioned... oops :eek:
     
  10. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

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    Dec 26, 2008
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    North Korea
    #10
    If your going to be getting a Mac with a FW800 port you may as well get a FW800 hard drive because if you get a FW400 hard drive you'll have to buy converter cables and mess around with all that kind of stuff. FW400 to FW800 aren't directly compatile. You cant simply plug a FW400 device into a FW800 port.

    Its not dificult to do, its just a hassle, more cables to buy, more cables to remember and loose and get tangled etc etc.
     
  11. impakt1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    #11
    i love my gdrive portable triple.

    USB, FW400, FW800

    perfect.
     
  12. musukosan thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    #12
    Thanks for the help guys. I guess I'll go ahead and spend the extra cash for one that supports FW800. :D
     

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