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maxdog 05-10-2009 06:50 AM

Firewire Ports

Little help please;

Looking at purchasing a LaCie external drive, mainly prompted by my sony camcorder using miniDVDs which don't fit in my iMac or Macbook Pro, having researched this on Macforums looks like Firewire is the way to go. So here's the question my Macbook pro has two different firewire connectors what's the difference? is one 400 and one 800??


louishen 05-10-2009 06:54 AM

Speed,k one port has twice the bandwidth of the other

IEEE 1394 interface - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

maxdog 05-10-2009 07:03 AM


So the nine circuit is 800 Mb and the other presumably 400 Mb?

Just looked at the lacie data sheet for their blue ray external drive, states its 400Mb anyone know of a drive with 800Mb firewire?

bobtomay 05-10-2009 07:05 AM

Yes, one is 400 and one is 800. While one reputedly has twice the bandwidth of the other, in my own tests between the two FW ports in moving data back and forth between external drives, the real world difference is negligible. Both will be almost twice as fast as USB.

Here's a post of some of my tests with USB, FW400 and FW800.

edit: I have and very much recommend OWC's Mercury Elite-Aluminum Pro. You never know where or for what you'll want to use that external in 2, 3 or 4 yrs from now and you'll be ready no matter which port you want to connect to a computer. Plus, you get to pick your HD instead of getting whichever drive Lacie was able to get the cheapest. It'll be about the same money as Lacie's quad interface option with some unknown drive in it.

maxdog 05-10-2009 07:28 AM

Thanks bobtomay was looking for an optical drive but the OWC enclosures now on the wish list as well :)

bobtomay 05-10-2009 07:35 AM

Yeah, didn't read your post too thoroughly. Have never used an external DVD drive. Most of the recommendations I see are for Pioneer drives. You might check out newegg and read a few reviews though. It'll give you some ideas even though you're in the UK.

dtravis7 05-10-2009 07:38 AM

FW800 actually is 2x faster but by the time you get up to that speed, the rotational speed of the hard drive itself bogs down the results. That is why no 7200 RPM harddrive can saturate even a SATA 1.5 Bus.

I agree with Bob, FW400 is just fine, but there are many Multi Interface externals with both FW400 and FW800 and even some that include ESata.

I recently purchased a Iomega 1TB with USB2, FW400, FW800 and ESata. So no matter what the computer supports I am covered!

And for an external DVD drive, FW400 works great here. I own an external for some of my older Macs and it works great with Firewire.

baggss 05-10-2009 02:02 PM

I second the external FW DVD drive. I have 3 (all Pioneers in external 3rd party cases) and they work great.

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