What should be FW 400 and what should be FW 800?

JoshFink

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 3, 2007
114
1
Atlanta, GA
I'm new to Mac's and I'm trying to learn.

For instance, I'm looking for an external hard drive and I see that I can buy them in USB2 / FW400 and FW800. Obviously I'm leaning towards FW but is it necessary to get a FW 800 hard drive?

What specifically would be a suitable candidate for FW 400 and 800?

Thanks

Josh
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,232
4
800 is typically used for video editing and such, and is a quite expensive. FW400 is great though for backing up and the like. which is what i'd go with.
 

xyian

macrumors 6502
May 24, 2004
274
0
PDX
800 is typically used for video editing and such, and is a quite expensive. FW400 is great though for backing up and the like. which is what i'd go with.
Like PlaceofDis stated, each has it's differing uses. FW400 even works for video/audio editing. The question I would ask is this: do you ever see yourself using the 800 port? If not, it might be a good candidate for your external drive. That way the rest of your 400 and USB ports are free for other peripherals.
 

whooleytoo

macrumors 604
Aug 2, 2002
6,559
628
Cork, Ireland.
Buying the USB2/FW400 drive is best if you may need to use the external drive on PCs which don't have Firewire. If possible, use the FW400 rather than USB2 connection as it should provide higher sustained bandwidth.

If you'll only be using it on your own Macs, then you should consider FW800 - though it's worth checking out what the sustained read/write speed of the drive is - if it's less than 400Mbps then FW800 is of no advantage.
 

Blazer5913

macrumors 6502
Jan 20, 2004
364
9
I am beginning to do a very large amount of video editing work, dealing with Final Cut, Motion, and starting to dab a bit into Color. I've been working off my MacBook Pro's HDD and an external 250gb one that I use with FW400, but its really just not cutting it. 1) It's just not enough space to use as a video editing "hub", backing up my computer, and putting iTunes movies reference copies onto it, at once. So I was thinking I would use this older FW400/USB HDD as a sole backup drive and hopefully connect it to an airport extreme (usb of course). But I've been looking into the 750gb Western Digital MyBook (pro edition), the one that has the FW800 option. First of all, will this be a good match for keeping raw video files and projects on an external, with fast transfer speeds, no loading times (spinning beachball while waiting for drive to start up), and 2) like one person said, is this drive fast enough (>400mb/s) that I will benefit from using FW800? Thanks guys
 

Blazer5913

macrumors 6502
Jan 20, 2004
364
9
So for something like the OWC one, it would be worth it to go and get the firewire 800 one to see great speed increases because of its speed? thanks
 

mattraehl

macrumors 6502
Feb 26, 2005
384
1
OWC drive

Barefeats is big on this OWC encloser + Western Digital HD. OWC provides benchmarks on that page, that show a major performance increase when using FW800 over FW400.
 

fbx

macrumors member
Jun 30, 2007
44
0
Buying the USB2/FW400 drive is best if you may need to use the external drive on PCs which don't have Firewire. If possible, use the FW400 rather than USB2 connection as it should provide higher sustained bandwidth.
I'm running Win XP in Boot Camp 1.4 and want to connect my external drive via the FW800 for quickest backups. I understand the FW 800 is about twice as fast as FW400 or USB2.

Does the FW800 port work with the My Book Pro when running Win via Boot Camp?
 

JoshFink

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 3, 2007
114
1
Atlanta, GA
Thanks...

Is there any advantage to buying a FW800 Enclosure and buying a seperate HD to go into it?

Can anyone recommend a HD that will take advantage of the speed of FW800?

Thanks

Josh
 

mrgreen4242

macrumors 601
Feb 10, 2004
4,352
1
I'm running Win XP in Boot Camp 1.4 and want to connect my external drive via the FW800 for quickest backups. I understand the FW 800 is about twice as fast as FW400 or USB2.

Does the FW800 port work with the My Book Pro when running Win via Boot Camp?
Twice as fast as FW400, if the drive supports that level of speed, and several times as fast as USB2. Even though USB2 SAYS 480mbps, it's not. It's much slower than that, and significantly slower than FW400.
 

Sirmausalot

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2007
1,026
251
Firewire 800 for drives

there's no doubt that for video editing, drives belong on the 800 and the camera on the 400. Despite what they say, you shouldn't daisy chain FireWire devices and camera, video drives, and system drives should all be distinct. If you're editing high def or use a lot of effects and multiple video streams, spring for a raid stripped solution. OWC is certainly a good bet

Ps I've taught filmmaking for many years and have made a few indie features www.grandfatherfilms.com
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,366
119
Los Angeles
there's no doubt that for video editing, drives belong on the 800 and the camera on the 400. Despite what they say, you shouldn't daisy chain FireWire devices and camera, video drives, and system drives should all be distinct. If you're editing high def or use a lot of effects and multiple video streams, spring for a raid stripped solution. OWC is certainly a good bet

Ps I've taught filmmaking for many years and have made a few indie features www.grandfatherfilms.com
A RAID for speed is just a wee bit of over kill for the DV or HDV consumer needs of the vast majority of people on this board.;)


Lethal
 

Sirmausalot

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2007
1,026
251
A RAID for speed is just a wee bit of over kill for the DV or HDV consumer needs of the vast majority of people on this board.;)

Agreed, which is why I only recommended RAID stripe for high def or heavy effects work. BTW, for informational purposes for the OP, if you conenct a FW 400 device to an 800, they will both operate at 400
 

mrgreen4242

macrumors 601
Feb 10, 2004
4,352
1
On a somewhat related note, does anyone know if the new iMacs have a single FW bus, or one for each the 400 and 800 ports?