Using usb to FW400 adaptor on external HDD

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by HarryTipper, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. HarryTipper macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    #1
    I was looking to buy the Lacie 500GB golden drive and I've realized that it's only USB compatible. What I want to know is if I use a firewire 400/800 adaptor would that give the HDD firewire speed?

    If not I'll probably go for that Lacie shiny black one.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated,

    Thanks.
     
  2. merl1n macrumors 65816

    merl1n

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    #2
    No, it will not speed it up. The speed is relative to the slowest point on the chain.
     
  3. sou1 so1di3r macrumors 6502a

    sou1 so1di3r

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    #3
    going along with this question....

    I have a my book 500GB, but it is USB, and on my MacBook, I know there is a firewire 400 port right?

    So could I use an adapter like this to free up one of my USB ports, because right now I have a mouse plugged in and the external, and it's full, and I still have to plug in my apple keyboard, printer, iPod and other randoms.


    Besides isn't firewire 400 basically the same speed as USB 2.0? It's like 18mbps slower right, so I won't be losing much...?
     
  4. merl1n macrumors 65816

    merl1n

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    #4
    Yes you can use the adapter to free a usb port. Or you can just get a usb hub to give you more ports.

    Firewire 400 and USB 2.0 are not identical is transfer speeds.

     
  5. sou1 so1di3r macrumors 6502a

    sou1 so1di3r

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    #5
    So then If firewire 400 is faster than USB, I wouldn't be loosing any speed because I am already stuck with USB on the HDD.

    Would you recommend getting the USB>Firewire?

    I kinda thought it would be cool to look neat and save clutter.

    Because then I can use the keybaord, plug the mouse into the USB on they keyboard, and then just have a port open for when I want to use my iPod or Printer
     
  6. merl1n macrumors 65816

    merl1n

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    #6
    1. You are correct mostly. You won't be losing any speed (or minimal loss of speed) as far as I can see. But remember that the converter cable must first convert the data stream from USB 2.0 to Firewire 400. I don't think you will see any noticeable slowdown though.

    2. I never used one so I can't make a recommendation on this.
     
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #7
    No, because any adapter that translates between protocols is going to increase overhead, and it will be slower than the straight USB connection, plus a heightened risk of incompatibilities.

    A USB hub would be the preferred solution here.

    (what adapter are we talking about, anyway? A simple cable adapter is NOT going to do the trick. I don't know of an adapter that will plug a USB drive into a Firewire port.)
     
  8. sou1 so1di3r macrumors 6502a

    sou1 so1di3r

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    #8
    I was thinking of something like this

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/p...d=10314&cs_id=1031401&p_id=362&seq=1&format=2

    It's only $1
     
  9. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #9
    Those are USB to USB adaptors.

    You cannot just convert USB to FireWire. It's more than just a signal. Each is an entirely different way of communicating / talking.

    USB is essentially a "dumb" device. It sits there, and talks with the host computer (or rather the host computer talks with it).

    FireWire is essentially a network of semi-intelligent devices talking together to get the data to the computer.

    That's over simplifying it a bit. But, just illustrates how different each method is.

    You cannot just plug USB into a FireWire chain and expect it to do anything. You would have to have an intelligent device that would sit between the FireWire chain and the USB device to act as a translator and pass information back and forth. It would need to act as host to the USB device, but also communicate with the rest of the FireWire chain as a standard FireWire device.

    To date, I do not believe any such device has ever been made.
     
  10. sou1 so1di3r macrumors 6502a

    sou1 so1di3r

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    #10
    ok

    damit.


    so what is a good cheap USB hub I should get?
     
  11. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #11
    You'll have a hard time finding the difference between one and the other (other than cosmetic appearance). Just buy whatever one fits your budget, supports USB 2.0, and comes with it's own power source (to keep you from running out of USB power for devices that don't supply their own power).
     
  12. HarryTipper thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 1, 2008
    #12
    The computer store that I went to had a kit with all different types of plugs that fit USB's. It's ridiculous, I can spend $180 on a Lacie Golden that's only usb compatible or pay $160 for the black glossy Lacie one thats FW400 compatible. sound easy enough to choose but damn that golden drive is sexy.
     
  13. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #13
    Yep, gotta make sure you choose the function your desire over how much you like the way it looks.

    For cheapness, you might also consider the option of just buying an external enclosure that you can swap your hard drive into. Put in in an enclosure that supports FireWire. You can save quite a lot that way. Probably only cost you around $30 or $40 to get a bare firewire enclosure to transplant your existing hard drive into.
     
  14. HarryTipper thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    #14
    Yeah I'll probably do that if I can find something that looks really nice, I know it's probably a little shallow to buy something purely because of the way it looks but I believe that everything that is on my desk should be a beautiful as the desk it is on.

    Thanks for all your advice.
     
  15. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #15
    Well, if appearance is a big issue, then you might look at the variety of hard drives and enclosures available at Other World Computing. They have some really nice ones that have all the different connection options. And, some of them are quite attractive or designed to match the Mac computer's.

    And, almost all of their drives are also available as bare enclosures. So, if you want to re-use your existing drive, you can save a few dollars.

    http://www.macsales.com

    Personally, I just grabbed on of their ugly ones. But, I've been quite happy with it. Well, it isn't ugly, it just isn't stylish or pretty. But, it works great. If I was more concerned about it, I probably just would have gotten one of their more attractive units.

    Good luck in your search.
     

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