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Another question re Mac Mini Connections

 
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Fiddlerchick
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:40 pm    Post subject: Another question re Mac Mini Connections Reply with quote

Please help! I'm going out of my mind trying to find a firewire cable that can connect an unbranded 600 GB outboard hard drive to my new Mac mini! I've bought three "wrong" cables so far....

This is what I have right now and haven't returned it yet: Oyen Digital FireWire 800 to 400 9-to-6-pin Cable (9pin 6pin) - 4ft

When I ordered this from Amazon.com, I didn't realize that it was 800 to 400. The little end (Is that the 800 end? Sorry to be such a 'tard!) fits both the Mac Mini and the hard drive, but the big end fits neither. Is the problem that both devices require 9-pin 800 ends? I have seen a cable like this, but before I spend still more money and end up with yet another wrong thing I'll have to return, I wanted to check with people who understand this stuff first.

I would prefer a high data transfer speed, so I don't think putting an adapter on the big end is the way to go (I assume the big end is 400?), but I welcome expert opinions.

Thanks very much,

Brenda K
brand-new Mac user (haven't even plugged the new baby in yet 'cuz I want to make sure I've got everything right first!)
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DewGuy1999
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a 4-PIN Firewire 400 connector (usually used on camcorders/PCs):


This is a 6-PIN Firewire 400 connector (used on older Macs/external hard drives):


This is a 9-PIN Firewire 800 connector (used on newer Macs/external hard drives):


Firewire 400 can be either 4-PIN or 6-PIN, AFAIK Firewire 800 is only 9-PIN.

MonoPrice.com is a good site to get cables inexpensively, here's their page with Firewire cables.

I hope this helps with what you've got and what you need.
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Fiddlerchick
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy Thank you!! The visual aids did much to dispel the mystery! Now I know I have a wire with nine pins on one end and six on the other (800 & 400), and another with four pins on each end (400), so it looks like I need an 800 firewire with nine pins on each end to work with the Mac mini and the outboard drive I have.

However after talking with our IT guy at my day job, he said that USB 2 is faster than firewire. I got a USB 2 mini cable yesterday that fits the Mac & hard drive, but is the 800 firewire faster than that? I do a lot of music and video editing.....

Thanks again!!
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DewGuy1999
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't tell you all the whys and wherefores, but yes in the real world, Firewire 400 (400 Mbit/s) is comparable if maybe a little bit faster than USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/s) and Firewire 800 (800 Mbit/s) is much faster, also Firewire is better for use with music/video.
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Fiddlerchick
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks again!! Off to go shopping at the place you recommended, this time knowing exactly what I need.

Cheers!
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DewGuy1999
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a link I found that explains a bit about the speed differences between the two, The Apple Blog: FireWire vs. USB: Which Is Faster?
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Fiddlerchick
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm.....

I looked at the firewire page and the 9 pin to 9 pin ones said "BETA". Does that mean something, like the ends will be different than the one in the picture you posted, which fit my gear?? Again, sorry for the ignorance!

Will check out the other link forthwith!

Thanks again!
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DewGuy1999
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fiddlerchick wrote:
Hmmm.....

I looked at the firewire page and the 9 pin to 9 pin ones said "BETA". Does that mean something, like the ends will be different than the one in the picture you posted, which fit my gear?? Again, sorry for the ignorance!

Will check out the other link forthwith!

Thanks again!


From the description:
"BETA" refers to the Firewire 800 9 pin connector which is called a "beta connector." Firewire 400 connectors are called "alpha connectors."

If you look at the Large Images tab for the cable you'll see the connector is the same as the one I posted earlier for Firewire 800.
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Fiddlerchick
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Embarassed Thank you again!!
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DewGuy1999
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To make sure you're getting the right cable this is what the ports look like on a computer or hard drive:

Firewire 400 port (6-Pin)


Firewire 800 port (9-Pin)


Good luck!
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Fiddlerchick
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy Thank you so much!!!
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