Claude M. Schrader on 7 Apr 2006 14:20:03 -0000

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Re: [PLUG] firewire PCI cards

Well there is FireWire 400 and 800(max transfer rates). Firewire 400 is on
almost everything, except some new hard drives, and dvd burners and
whatnot. You may want to double check which version your hard drive
supports. I dont believe there is much to do to make it work - the
firewire ports on my Powerbook worked fine in gentoo, once the relevent
kernel settings were made.

FireWire 400 can transfer data between devices at 100, 200, or 400 Mbit/s
data rates (actually 98.304, 196.608, or 393.216 Mbit/s, but commonly
referred to as S100, S200, and S400). Although USB2 claims to be capable
of higher speeds (480Mbit/s), FireWire is, in practice, faster. Cable
length is limited to 4.5 metres but up to 16 cables can be daisy chained
yielding a total length of 72 meters under the specification.

FireWire 800 (Apple's name for the 9-pin "S800 bilingual" version of the
IEEE1394b standard) was introduced commercially by Apple in 2003. This
newer 1394 specification and corresponding products allow a transfer rate
of 786.432 Mbit/s with backwards compatibility to the slower rates and
6-pin connectors of FireWire 400.


On Fri, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:01:41AM -0400, Jeff Abrahamson wrote:
> I'm buying a firewire PCI card in order to hook up an external
> firewire hard drive.  I would suspect that the card would basically
> just work.  This suspicion is supported by a web page:
> Meanwhile, searching for "firewire PCI" at, I see an
> extraordinary selection of prices, ranging from $10 to near $100.  Are
> there some features or versions that I really want to make sure I have
> (or don't have) on such a card, such as protocol version or something?
> I'm concerned that I won't learn about this feature until I have the
> card in hand.
> Tia for any suggestions.
> -- 
>  Jeff
>  Jeff Abrahamson  <>          +1 215/837-2287
>  GPG fingerprint: 1A1A BA95 D082 A558 A276  63C6 16BF 8C4C 0D1D AE4B

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