Powered FireWire hub or PCI-Express card?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by NEENAHBOY, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. NEENAHBOY macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2004
    Arlington, VA
    I need to expand the number of available FireWire ports on my parents' Mac Pro, and I'm curious as to which solution you all think would be more cost effective. I'm finding that a powered hub seems to be quite the niche product.

    I'd like whatever I choose to have at least three FW 400 slots (don't care much about 800). I've already got them hooked up with a USB hub, so I'd prefer that any hub not be a FW/USB combo, but I've accepted that I might have to settle for that to get what I want.

    Appreciate any thoughts and product recommendations. :)
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    If speed is remotely important, you'll probably do better with the card; the card is going to have one or more FW busses in addition to the computer's internal one(s), meaning that devices connected to the card can run at full speed while devices connected to the built-in port(s) can as well; if you use a hub, everything on that hub is going to be limited to the speed of a single FW400 link.

    The lack of a FW chain/hub layout might make the card a little more stable, as well--less stuff having to talk to each other in the network. (Of course, if the card is funky or has bad drivers, it could be worse, but I'm assuming a decent card here.)

    I did some shopping for powered FW cards a few years ago, since I was worried about a drive blowing the port on my motherboard, and frankly didn't find much that I'd actually want to use (the decent ones all cost a fortune, in addition). Ended up deciding a card was the way to go, and I doubt things have changed much since.

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