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Old December 14th, 2004, 07:52 AM   #1
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Firewire 800

I have never had a need to learn about Firewire.
My system is all componete video in to a Kona SD card.
I am now looking for a nice big 400+ gb stand alone hard drive to store project files and thier associated media.

My G4 Dual 1.25 gbw/2gb ram has, as near as I can deduce from the 'about MAC more info window,' that my current speed is 400.
Will i need a new some kind of card to use one of these 800 drives?
thanks.
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Old December 14th, 2004, 08:30 AM   #2
 
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yes, you'll need a 1394b card. I'm not sure about MAC's, but, in the PC world, the PCI bus in all but the very newest motherboards, won't support a 1394b card. They're not fast enough.
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Old December 14th, 2004, 08:41 AM   #3
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Gracias.
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Old December 14th, 2004, 12:46 PM   #4
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LaCie has one that is like $70...

Hardware Requirements for FireWire 800:
Mac: G4
PC: Pentium III or higher compatible processor
128MB RAM or higher
PCI slot that complies with PCI Specification Rev.2.0 or
above
System Requirements for FireWire 800:
Mac OS 10.2.4 or higher
Windows 2000 and Windows XP

You can always call a place like ClubMac.com and ask them specifically if your computer supports the card. I couldn't determine from Apple's specs in the manual or their site specs if it supports PCI Rev. 2.0 or not... I would guess it does, but go ahead and ask.
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Old December 14th, 2004, 12:50 PM   #5
 
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Firewire 800 will not work at 800Mb/sec on a standard PCI Spec rev2. It will work, but, only at 400Mb/sec. You need a 64 bit PCI slot or a PCI-X slot to get 800Mb/sec.
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Old December 14th, 2004, 12:53 PM   #6
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His model has 4 full-length 64-bit, 33MHz PCI slots, but I don't know about whether it is Rev 2.0 compliant...
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Old December 14th, 2004, 03:59 PM   #7
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firewire 800 = 800 mega BITs / s = 100 megabytes /s.
Normal PCI supports 132megabytes / second (real world speeds being 90% of that taking in account overhead). You can get 1394b cards.

Hard drives (WD Raptor being the fastest one you'd put in a firewire enclosure) at best do <<70MB/s in real world situations (ignoring burst speeds, which don't impact real world performance significantly). Most normal hard drives are more like 30-45MB/s.
*I forgot the exactly figure for the WD raptor... check storagereview.com

There are websites out there that have tested 1394b versus ATA... i.e. barefeats.com
They are virtually the same speed when the FW800 drive is connected to a FW800 controller card (1 drive per controller card).

2- Are you going to be doing uncompressed with your konaSD card? Your likely need a RAID to do it.

The cheapest way to do this is:
2 Western Digital Raptors (73GB) or 250/300GB drives on a seritek SATA controller card (the seritek is faster than other SATA controllers... there may be faster ones now).

I'd ask on creativecow.net 's FCP forum about setting up an uncompressed system. A lot of folks there have them.
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Old December 14th, 2004, 04:15 PM   #8
 
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Glenn...

I'm trying to understand what you said. If you go to any of the firewire 800 PCI card manufacturers and look at the controller cards you'll see that they're all 64 bit cards. Most mobo's, except for a few server mobo's, have 32 bit PCI slots. In fact, many firewire 800 card makers will tell you in the small print that their cards will only work at 400 Mbit/sec in 32 bit slots. This is true for PC's. I don't know anything about MAC's.
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Old December 14th, 2004, 05:18 PM   #9
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For his G4, the PCI slots are 64 bit.
http://www.apple.com/hardware/powermacg4/specs.html

Glenn was also pointing out that FireWire 800 was 800 megabits, not bytes and that there is overhead for "talking" on the line. So that you would only get about 70 megabytes per second throughput, even though the PCI spec allows for up to 132 megabytes of data.

He also pointed out that this probably isn't sufficient for doing uncompressed video, so he suggested different RAID solutions he could try.

On most recent Macs you get 64 bit PCI, the variation is whether it is 33 MHz, 100 MHz PCI-X, or 133 MHz PCI-X. Surprisingly, Dell, Compaq/HP don't show the specs very well, at least that I could find, but they do often seem to have a couple of PCI slots, and PCI Express, which is a very recent implementation. So I would guess that the PCI slots are 64bit, although I couldn't confirm based on the specs I saw... Are you sure a lot of motherboards are using 32 bit PCI?
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Old December 14th, 2004, 05:57 PM   #10
 
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yep. Only the new Intel 915 and 925 chipsets have PCI-X. Unless it's an older server mobo.
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