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Firewire 800

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by HMHB, Jul 15, 2003.

  1. HMHB

    HMHB
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    Now that we can get firewire 800 external hard disks etc I am a little confused about the PCI cards that are on sale with these firewire 800 ports on. I'm sure I read somewhere that you can only get the full 800 speed if you are using a 64 bit PCI card and as most PCI cards (and mobo pci slots) are 32 bit I was wondering if it's worth getting firewire 800 devices.
    Does anyone know if the 32 bit cards will run at the full 800 speed ?
     
  2. MuFu

    MuFu
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    I think "Firewire 800" was coined by Apple. It's a subset of the new 1394b standard, which should scale to higher speeds (1600, 3200Mbps?) and offers a tweaked physical interface, optical/ethernet signalling compatibility etc etc.

    A 32-bit PCI slot provides 125MB/sec bandwidth@33Mhz, which is enough for Firewire 800, but won't be enough to scale (especially when you consider I/O overhead etc). I think that's where the confusion has arisen - you need at least a 64-bit or 66Mhz PCI bus to support 1600Mbps+.

    Hope this helps,

    MuFu.

    P.S. From what I've seen Firewire 800 only seems to be about 20-25% faster than 1394@400Mbps in real world implementations and was a lot more expensive the last time I checked. Probably not worth it unless you really need the fastest external storage available.

    Edit - SPG
     
  3. HMHB

    HMHB
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    Thanks for that mate - it makes sense to me now. It was doing my head in as I couldn't find the site where I'd read about it before ! I think for the time being normal firewire is going to be good enough considering the price hike for the 25% increase.
     
  4. digitalsafari

    digitalsafari
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    FireWire 800 on a Mac comes into it's own when your doing Video.

    I am runing 8bit uncompressed video on a 17inch PowerBook with a pair 180GB FireWire 800 drives daisy chained together, I could not do that on FireWire 400.

    If you only want data storage or are doing DV video FireWire 400 is fine.

    In fact I am very inpressed by how fast my 30GB iPod is with it's tiny 1.8 inch drive.
     

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