MBA Firewire compatibility

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Rasan, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Rasan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    #1
    Hello,

    as my new Semester starts in October i need a new portable machine. I am in an Informationsdesign college, which basically means i will do graphicsdesign, typography, some programming, audioproduction, etc.

    I have an 2011 27 inch imac at home, but i will need something protable to work on the university too. Also, i do audiorecording in my basement, so here is the Problem: My Interface (Motu ultralight) only has a firewire output. Is there a way to connect it to a 2011 MBA?

    I am deciding between an 2011 MBA and an 2011 Pro, both 13 inch. I would prefer the MBA because of its dimensions, its resolution and the SSD + the newer processor. However without firewire, how would i be able to record audio trough an interface, as there are no TB interfaces out right now.

    I am thinking about an 13 inch MBP with an 128 SSD upgraded, but in reality i dont want an optical drive, and i like the MBA Design more. Also, the base 13 inch MBA would be cheaper than the upgraded MBP.

    Thanks for your input.
     
  2. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #2
    I don't know of any standalone Thunderbolt-to-Firewire adapters in development, but one (albeit expensive) solution is the Thunderbolt Display that's coming out in a couple weeks. I has a FW800 port on it and connects to the MBA via the new Thunderbolt port.
     
  3. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #3
    A company called Sonnet is supposed to be releasing a Thunderbolt-to-Firewire adapter sometime this summer. They haven't released an exact date or price, but they do sell some Firewire adapters for about $70.
     
  4. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #4
    It's not the best solution, but you could get the $999 Apple Thunderbolt Display. It has a built-in FW800 port that you could use.

    Although $999 is a lot to pay for a TB hub.
     
  5. Rasan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    #5
    I would love to get a Cinema Display, but i am starving to afford the machine itself ;) Also it would be nice to take the interface with me and record anywhere i want, which would be impossible with the CD. An adapter would be nice, does anyone know if and when exactly they are coming out? Would you say getting an Adapter and the MBA is a better solution than the 13 MBP?

    Thanks for your answers
     
  6. Rasan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    #7
    This is an option, that is right. But it would limit me to the speed of USB 2.0. I guess for firewire 400 it would be okay?
     
  7. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #8
    Here is the press release. Unfortunately there isn't much information in it.

    http://www.sonnettech.com/news/pr2011/pr041111_thunderbolt.html

    If an adapter emerges, the MacBook Air would be a good solution. The base 13" MacBook Pro with an SSD will be slightly faster than the Core i7 MacBook Air (albeit also $150 more) and have the optical drive, Firewire 800 port, and more expandability. Both turbo boost to 2.6GHz dual core and 2.9GHz single core, but the base speed of the 13" Pro's processor is 2.3GHz to the MacBook Air's 1.8GHz. The GPU also has a base speed of 650MHz to the Air's 350MHz, though both boost to 1.2GHz.

    When all is said and done (adapters and all), the 13" Pro with SSD would likely be about the same cost and a bit faster than the 13" Air with the i7, but heavier, of course, and with a lower resolution but higher gamut LCD.
     
  8. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #9
    Yes.
     
  9. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #10
    I highly doubt that this adapter would work. FW requires certain controller chips to make it work. I doubt that adapter has the controller chips and I'm almost certain the MBA's USB port doesn't either.
     
  10. urkel macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    #11
    Ive never seen an adapter like that and I figured it wouldn't work for the reasons you mentioned. Is that a legit product? Does anyone have a link because i have a few drives that I can't use due to lack of FW solutions on the Air.
     
  11. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #12
    No. This would adapt the power pins from a FireWire to a USB connection. But you're not going to be able to plug a FireWire HD into a USB port using this device and expect it to work.
     
  12. Rasan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    #13
    Well, considering all this i guess i will go with the Macbook Pro.

    Ive heard that the apple stock SSDs are quite slow, would you recommend buying a MBP build to order with an SSD, or buy the basic model and build in the SSD myself? Is it hard to do? Will i void my warranty?
     
  13. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #14
    I wouldn't call them slow. They are mid-range performers (not as fast as SandForce or Intel, but not the slowest drives out there). However, they are quite reliable. Some people have had issues with SSDs with SandForce controllers (e.g. OCZ, OWC) like crashing, or BSOD when running Windows (which is now extremely rare). Plus, OS X Lion supports TRIM only on Apple-supplied drives (though there are hacks out there).

    On a MacBook Pro, you can replace your hard drive fairly easily without voiding your warranty. If you are looking for a 128GB SSD, my advice is to go with Apple's solution. However, Apple wants $400 more for the 256GB SSD than the 128GB SSD on the MacBook Pros for some reason (vs $300 more on the Air). Therefore, I'd recommend going with a third party drive if you want 256GB.
     
  14. erasr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    #15
    Why do people keep recommending a Thunderbolt display for £1000 as an alternative to there being no Firewire adaptor?!

    As if most people can just afford another £1000!
     
  15. ExnomenDei macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    #16
    OP, I hate to say this, but you're better off with a Macbook Pro. Add your own SSD, though, that's a must imo.

    Sorry, but firewire-adapters are just going to be a bag of hurt. There's a reason USB isn't used much in professional audio.

    edit: Unless a Thunderbolt-adapter comes out.
     

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