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Old October 11th, 2007, 09:11 PM   #1
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iMac Firewire Bus...Enough?

Hey everyone, It's been a while since I've posted anything.

I've been using P.P. on a decently equiped PC, however lately it's becoming slower and slower, so I've decided to buy a new Mac. I've never had a Mac before and so I'm debating how much power I really need. I'm really leaning towards getting an iMac because of the price and the all inclusiveness. However one of my main concerns is the firewire bus. I've read differing opinions on this...Some say that even though it's only one bus you can daisy chain, others say it's too slow to have more than one device on it.

My situation is, I have a MOTU 8PRE as a firewire audio device, and my Sony PD170 as my video device. Is there anyway to tell if with the iMac I'll be able to use both at the same time? Can I get a video preview out from my camera and the audio from the 8PRE? Plus I'm sure I'll also want to get some sort of external hard drive in the future...Is that going to cause problems too? If anybody has experience with multiple devices on the same iMac bus, please let me know!

Also on a side note, if anybody thinks I'd just be much better off getting the Mac Pro, I'd be interested to hear what you have to say.

Thanks!
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Old October 12th, 2007, 12:27 PM   #2
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Matt,

my iMac has a camera connected to one of its FireWire ports; the other port is used for three external hard drives and a Tascam FW-1082 mixer/control surface (daisy-chained), and I have yet to experience a problem.

The newer iMacs have an additional FW800 port, so what I suggest you can do is hook up your camera and your MOTU to the two FW400 ports, and get a fast external harddisk (scratchdisk) and hook that up to the FW800 port. You should have no problems with this configuration at all.

I am actually going to upgrade to a MacPro in the near future, but for different reasons (nothing to do with the FireWire situation). I am looking for significantly more performance in general, as well as more internal HD capacity.

- Martin
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Old October 12th, 2007, 03:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Pauly View Post
Matt,

my iMac has a camera connected to one of its FireWire ports; the other port is used for three external hard drives and a Tascam FW-1082 mixer/control surface (daisy-chained), and I have yet to experience a problem.

The newer iMacs have an additional FW800 port, so what I suggest you can do is hook up your camera and your MOTU to the two FW400 ports, and get a fast external harddisk (scratchdisk) and hook that up to the FW800 port. You should have no problems with this configuration at all.

I am actually going to upgrade to a MacPro in the near future, but for different reasons (nothing to do with the FireWire situation). I am looking for significantly more performance in general, as well as more internal HD capacity.

- Martin
I just jumped from the iMac to Mac Pro myself last week.
Wow is all I have to say. If you do heavy Motion work, or like just about every piece of software open, this is the machine for you. I am very please at how quick tasks get done now.

Matt, I had 2 Lacie FW800 drives, 4 USB drives (with Hub) and 4 more drives with a camera on the FW400 ports. Also used with a hub. I had no problems. Only reason I went to a Mac Pro, was for the ATI X1900 video card for use with Color.
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Old October 16th, 2007, 09:34 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. If I am able to get the money, I will definitly go for the Mac Pro. The main reason I'm considering the iMac is because I will be leaving for college in a couple years and I'd rather not invest a ton of money in a system I can't take with me (or isn't a laptop). Glad to hear the firewire bus really isn't a big issue! If/when i finally get one I'll post back here to talk about how my setup is working.
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