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  1. #1

    pattylt's Avatar
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    iMac 27" 3.4GHz i7 8G ram: rMBP 15" i7 16G ram: iPad4: iPhone 5
    Firewire question
    I just purchased my first Mac and while being well versed in the Windows world, I am a newbie with some of the Mac connections.
    I purchased a 2T backup external that is Firewire 800 and Tbolt compatible.

    First question: In looking at Firewire cables (cause the external only comes with USB) I am confused by the designation of 6/9 pin connectors (though I do know what the "pins" are) and many list as being 400/800. Do I want to avoid these and find ones that are only 800?

    Tbolt: So far, the prices of these are extremely high compared to Firewire. If I am using this primarily as a backup/storage device, do I really need to spend so much more?

    Any guidance is appreciated as I muddle my way through my drop dead gorgeous new iMac.

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2008
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    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    As you found out, Thunderbolt cables are very expensive. Several third party suppliers have come out with a compatible cable less expensive than the Apple branded one, but still fairly high. If all you're going to use your external drive for is as a backup (Time Machine or cloning), then either FW 800 or even USB may be enough.

    You didn't mention which Mac you purchased? If it is equipped with USB 3.0 ports that will be much faster than FW 800. Take a look on the Monoprice web site for the cable(s) you need. Their cables are top notch and priced at a good discount. LINK

  3. #3

    pattylt's Avatar
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    iMac 27" 3.4GHz i7 8G ram: rMBP 15" i7 16G ram: iPad4: iPhone 5
    I bought the 27" iMac 3.4 i7 w/ 8G ram. LOVE!

    It still has USB2.0... are any Macs using 3.0?

    As long as Firewire is faster than USB2.0, I'd like to keep my options open for using the external as more than just backing up down the road... I like option... and speedy data.

    Thanks for the reply. Since this external is Tbolt compatible, I think I'll get the FW now and see if Tbolt prices come down in a year or so. I will be much more educated on iMacs OS and in a better position to know if I will use it for more than backups.

  4. #4

    chscag's Avatar
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    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    It still has USB2.0... are any Macs using 3.0?
    Yes, the latest line of Mac portables are now equipped with USB 3.0. And very probably the next iMacs will also have USB 3.0 ports in addition to the Thunderbolt.

  5. #5

    pattylt's Avatar
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    iMac 27" 3.4GHz i7 8G ram: rMBP 15" i7 16G ram: iPad4: iPhone 5
    Well, I missed out on that upgrade but I'm so pleased with this new Mac I'll just go with Firewire for now.
    Thanks so much for the help!

  6. #6

    Dysfunction's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattylt View Post
    I think I'll get the FW now and see if Tbolt prices come down in a year or so. .
    They will, other manufacturers are starting to use it. Once it gains wider acceptance prices will start to drop. Also, once people like monoprice start offering them too.
    mike
    This machine kills fascists
    Got # ? phear the command line!

  7. #7

    IvanLasston's Avatar
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    The main problem is the thunderbolt cable is an active cable - vs passive cables that USB and FireWire use.
    Why Thunderbolt cables will be expensive until 2013 | Ars Technica

    FW 800 is enough for a lot of things. I was using a FW 800 external drive as a scratch disk for adobe premiere and it worked fine. That being said I like my thunderbolt drives.

  8. #8

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Nov 28, 2007
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    Imac 27" Retina 3.3GHz, 512GB Flash, 16GB memory, OS X.11.4.
    patty it if you shoot straight over to the Bey forum there is a Thunderbolt cable for sale $35.00 shipped.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  9. #9

    Dysfunction's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IvanLasston View Post
    The main problem is the thunderbolt cable is an active cable - vs passive cables that USB and FireWire use.
    Why Thunderbolt cables will be expensive until 2013 | Ars Technica

    FW 800 is enough for a lot of things. I was using a FW 800 external drive as a scratch disk for adobe premiere and it worked fine. That being said I like my thunderbolt drives.
    That's why it's still single-source, yes. As we all know, single-source means higher market price. That'll change, as demand increases. Right now, I don't think it's quite worth it for third parties to get into it. Yet.
    mike
    This machine kills fascists
    Got # ? phear the command line!

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