Question about FireWire 800 external HDD

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by koban4max, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. koban4max macrumors 68000

    Aug 23, 2011
    Is it still relevant for those who don't have nMP nor 3.0 usb? I was browsing through amazon and found some firewire external hard drive..and I thought maybe it's still fast... what say you?
  2. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Well I've used USB 2.0, FW800, and USB 3.0 drives. FW800 is better than USB 2.0, but that's not saying much.

    USB 3.0 drives are faster, less expensive, and more common than FW800. You can add a USB 3.0 card for as little as $20. If you have a free slot, that's the way I'd go.
  3. koban4max thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aug 23, 2011
    any suggestion?
  4. macs4nw macrumors 601


    You're not saying what you are running. Presuming for a moment that you only have USB2 and FW800 on your current computer, a factory-new FW800 drive would be one of the best things you could buy, external storage wise.

    If on the other hand you have TB or USB3 available on a newer machine, why not take advantage of these much faster speeds, especially at the sizes and prices of some of the latest USB3 drives.

    Fast is a relative concept. Those FW drives were fast in their day, but newer, faster technologies have come along that leave FW now appearing slow.
  5. koban4max thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aug 23, 2011
    i did mention no usb 3..but not tb..however i did mention that i didn't have nMP.
    but anyhow...
    I'm just seeking alternative ways than 3.0 usb or tb since old mac pro don't have those.
  6. macs4nw, Jan 14, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014

    macs4nw macrumors 601


    As mentioned above by another poster, reasonably priced USB3 cards by Sonnet and others are available for the old MacPro, and that would be significantly faster than FW800, but if you didn't want to go that route, sure a new FW800 external HDD will do.
  7. koban4max thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aug 23, 2011
    Thanks..but would this be something mac pro 2009 quad can use? the one with 2 usb or 4?
  8. theSeb, Jan 14, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014

    theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Yes, you can get USB 3 cards for your 2009 Mac Pro. There are threads about it all over this forum. There is one massive long one that usually hangs about in the first 3 pages or so.

    Edit: Since this thread was moved, I just wanted to clarify that I was referring to the Mac Pro sub-forum.
  9. kelub macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2010
    I have a 2011 iMac that has USB 2.0, FireWire 800, and Thunderbolt. I simply can't justify the typically ~$200 price increase for a TB enclosure/external drive, and then there's the cable purchase as well. I have an external enclosure from a couple of years back that does eSata, USB 2.0, FW 400 and FW 800, and I'm using the FW800 with my iMac. I can say for sure that it is noticably faster than the USB 2.0 was, especially since I've compared it apples to apples with the exact same drive/enclosure. I don't doubt that TB is faster, but if you have a less expensive option via FW800, then depending on your usage, it should serve your needs. Keep in mind that up until Thunderbolt and USB 3.0, FW800 was the go-to connection for photography and video editing enthusiasts. Yeah, there's faster stuff out there, but that doesn't mean FW800 isn't plenty fast if it's what you have available.

    The caveat I have with my enclosure is that because it's older, the enclosure can't recognize drives larger than 2TB. Not a big deal at the moment, and I figure that by the time I *need* externals with more space the price of TB will come down to more manageable levels (or I'll have upgraded my iMac to a model that supports USB 3.0 or whatever comes next.)
  10. 50voltphantom macrumors regular


    Jun 23, 2011
    I find FW800 to be fantastic for external backup drives. It's definitely faster than USB 2.0 and leaves your USB ports available for other items that aren't plugged in all the time.
  11. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    Get a USB 3 enclosure for the drive. You can use USB 2 until you have a computer that does native USB 3.
  12. koban4max thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aug 23, 2011
    That's what i needed to hear.

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