Mixing Firewire 400/800 devices= 400 for all?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by macstatic, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. macstatic macrumors 65816


    Oct 21, 2005
    Now that the MacBook Pro has been released with just a single Firewire 800 port I'm curious as to how this compares with my 1.67GHz PowerBook G4 which has two Firewire ports (one Firewire 400 and one Firewire 800 port).

    I read somewhere that if you daisy chain a mix of Firewire 400 and 800 devices, the fastest device will drop its speed down to the slowest one in the chain (e.g. if I daisy-chain a Mini-DV camcorder (Firewire 400) to a Firewire 800 hard drive, the hard drive will only be able to work at 400 speeds).
    Is there any truth to this?

    And what about my Powerbook G4 with one physical port for each speed? Are there two actual Firewire busses inside, meaning they're totally separated from each other and thus will allow me to connect say the camcorder to the 400 port, the hard drive to the 800 port and thus have the hard drive work at 800 speeds?

    Finally, is there a (free/cheap) software tool which will help me check transfer speeds for these kind of things?
  2. mugtastic macrumors regular


    Jun 22, 2006
    i'm no expert but i think that daisy chaining brings all devices down to 400. but also, on the old pro if you have a 400 in the 400 port and a 800 device in the 800 port, it brings the 800 down to 400 as well, so same diff.

    i read that in a couple places but have no experience to back it up. give it a google if no one confirms.

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