macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 5, 2008
Brockton, MA
OK, IDK if this is the right place to post this. If it isn't, move it into the appropriate section please :)

With the introduction of the thin iMacs and the 13-inch retina display MacBook Pros, that got me thinking. Could Apple finally be ready to kill off having FireWire already installed on their computers the same way they did with modems?

At least this time, Apple was prepared. Unlike when the original aluminum 13-inch MacBook (Pro) was introduced it caused a major uproar on the lack of a FireWire port. You couldn't use Target Disk Mode or FireWire hard drives, and you couldn't capture video from a MiniDV or HDV camcorder (this was strange, as those early aluminum MacBooks had enough horsepower and memory to do pretty good video editing!)
But this time, Apple resolved those problems. From what I heard, you can now perform Target Disk Mode using Thunderbolt (depending on the Mac.) And of course, with the release of the 15-inch retina display MacBook Pro, Apple came out with a FireWire 800 to Thunderbolt adapter (I always figured Apple would come out with something like that, knowing how innovative the company can be.) Any "pro" users using the retina display MacBook Pro could even capture and edit video from their HDV camcorders into Final Cut Pro again :D

I think Apple is now considering FireWire to be like how they were with the modem port. This iMac is the first one since the very original 1998 iMacs to not have any FireWire port (though at least unlike those 1998 iMacs, you can use FireWire-to-Thunderbolt to get the job done nicely!) :D

I can already say that in the future, should I get a new thin iMac or retina display MacBook Pro of some sort, I'm definitely also getting the FireWire 800-to-Thunderbolt adapter for it. $30 isn't too bad a price for such an adapter anyway (especially after buying a computer that costs over a thousand bucks!)


macrumors 65816
Mar 21, 2012
I think Thunderbolt should fill the role FireWire always tried to fill, and apparently it works quite well.


macrumors 68000
Jul 30, 2012
Its a pity they never considered FW3200 (draft spec), since FW still has a lot of advantages: it the only no-brainer tie everything protocol. I even run 2 macs on 1 external FW backup drive with success! Try that with any other interface. And cables can be 5 meters, much longer than other systems.

The real pain is that no-one in the computer industry embraces HDbaseT yet. To me it is the only serious protocol for the future:
-10GBps bandwidth, on par with TB and room to grow.
-Standard CAT6 cables, up to 50 or 100m long!
-100 watt power-over-UTP. All your Apple devices and TV's could be fed from your router with data AND power! Since it uses 48Volt DC, it could be connected to solar panels directly.
-Support for DTS,SACD,HDMI and many other data formats.


macrumors 68040
Aug 9, 2009
Portland, OR
Firewire was a great technology in its time... and continues to work well today. It is good that Apple is providing a cost effective backward path to existing FW peripherals... but I think it is clear that FW is not the future. I personally would be very reluctant to buy any new FW peripherals. To the extent possible... my preference is Thunderbolt and then USB 3.



macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
IMHO, from the 15" rMBP, 13" rMBP, and new iMac introductions there is no future in FW at Apple. And as we know, FW was never a hit in the PC world Get to USB 3 and thunderbolt as quickly as possible. The good news for external drives is that you can move them from older FW enclosures to newer USB 3 or thunderbolt enclosures.


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 5, 2008
Brockton, MA
OK, it's official. My next desktop Mac will probably be the $1299 iMac, and I'll also get a FireWire-to-Thunderbolt adapter for it, as its features do look extremely tempting (I mean, it already comes with 8 GB of RAM and a 1 TB hard drive installed!) As for an optical drive I'll just use my I/O Magic LightScribe DVD burner.

I just hope at least if Apple ever updates iLife for OS X again, iMovie will continue to have DV capture support.
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