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Old June 7th, 2005, 10:39 AM   #1
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FW800 bus the same as FW400?

I'm thinking about buying a G-Technology 250gb G-Drive for my G4 mac with Panther, 1.75gb ram and FCP 4.5HD.

I've read that you should have your camera and any FW drives on separate buses. Does the FW800 port run on a separate bus than the FW400? or should I pick up a FW card to connect my camera?

Also, I've heard of issues with dropped-frames on capturing to an external drive, but I can't imagine having troubles like that with the throughput of these FW800 drives. Any experience there? I have two computers in different locations that I edit on, and it would be incredibly convenient to use an external drive.

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Old June 7th, 2005, 10:53 AM   #2
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That's a good question. Somewhere I've read that they actually share the same bus, but I can't put my finger on it. If you're just editing DV then firewire 400 drives should work fine (I have 6 which do anyway :-)

If using the same drive on different machines you must be very careful to always set your scratch disk to the external drive EVERY TIME you move it. Otherwise some of your render and capture files will end up on the internal drives of the different machines. Then when you really need one of them... uh-oh. This bit me a couple years ago at a bad time. To be safe, it's a good idea to check for files on each machine periodically, they should be in the following places unless you specifically choose the external drive:

/Users/your_name_here/Documents/Final Cut Pro Documents/

Take a look in the Render Files, Audio Render Files and Capture Scratch folders there. There will be a folder for each project inside. You may need to manual copy the things you need to the external drive if you forgot to designate it as a scratch disk at some point.
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Old June 7th, 2005, 02:48 PM   #3
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From every block diagram I have seen, the FireWire ports all share the same bus for laptops, desktops, everything. But if it is an 800 speed bus, then I would expect you to have no problems as very few people using one 400 port of the camera and another for a hard drive have problems. More often than not, it is because of a small cache on the hard drive that people encounter problems.

You can always visit the apple developer site for hardware to see the details:
Mark Sloan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 7th, 2005, 04:26 PM   #4
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Well I don't have any experience with FW800 drives, although my FW400 experiences have all been good. But based on what I've read here and in other forums (just anecdotally, not scientifically) I think a lot of people have had problems with FW800 in the situation you describe. Somebody just posted a typical problem here today - see Cassidy's post in this thread:


And a lot of these posts seem to be about problems with LaCie drives, especially the "big disk." Like I said, this is just anecdotal and may have nothing to do with La Cie. But since (in my experience) FW800 drives are more expensive and there are less to choose from, it doesn't make me want to get one. One thing for sure though, it takes a long time to copy 100GB between two FW400 drives while doing a backup. FW800 would be nice for that!
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