If I had a FireWire 400 DVD drive connected (via a FireWire 400-800 cable) to a FireWire 800 hard drive that was then connected via a Thunderbolt to FireWire 800 adapter to a Thunderbolt hard drive, that was then connected to a Mac, would I be able to use all the drives? And would I get Thunderbolt speeds on the Thunderbolt drive and FireWire 800 speeds on the FireWire drive? Also all the drives are powered externally.

  • I've updated my answer after testing a Thunderbolt daisy-chain with two FireWire devices at the end of the chain. – user3439894 Jul 27 '15 at 0:43

Updated Answer:

Okay, It just dawned on me I have the hardware here to test daisy-chaining two FireWire devices at the end of the Thunderbolt daisy-chain and it did work. I have access to all devices in the chain, both Thunderbolt and FireWire. I could not test with FireWire devices in the middle of the chain as I'm short a cable/adapter for an in the middle configuration. However Apple has stated in the past the non-Thunderbold devices had to be at the end of the chain.

As to the throughput speed of the FireWire devices they cannot exceed what they're rated regardless of how connected.

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  • Thanks, but these reviews seem to suggest that, even when using the adapter, FW devices can be daisy chained. Why would an thunderbolt device being placed at the front of the chain cause the chain to not work? – user137867 Jul 26 '15 at 23:43

Your setup will not work. You must have separate FireWire and Thunderbolt chains, and not connect devices to both interfaces simultaneously.

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  • I've not found a 400 device slowing down 800 devices by adding it to the end. Clearly if you connect an 800 device down stream of a 400 cable/connecor - you can't fit the double bandwidth on the single channel. The main thrust of your answer TB can't connect with FW other than a FW to TB bridge that terminates the thunderbolt chain. – bmike Jul 26 '15 at 23:25
  • According to this, as long as it is added to the end of the chain and is not in constant use it should not slow down the connection of the devices above it in the chain – user137867 Jul 26 '15 at 23:39
  • I stand corrected and will edit. – IconDaemon Jul 27 '15 at 0:10

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