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I have a macbook pro 2012 non-retina which has firewire and a 2007 macbook (a white plastic one) which I use as a local server and it also has firewire. In addition to that I have my desktop PC which is a hackintosh build. I know that firewire is kinda obsolete after apple killed it off but I know that firewire has good speeds and it would be great to use for copying big files (I often do). So does it make sense to invest in a PCI firewire card (for like 10-20€) for my desktop PC so I can copy things with good speeds even though firewire isn't used anymore?

Edit: Just ordered a Firewire PCI-E Card for my Desktop (11€) and a 1.8m Firewire cable (5€). I will let everybody know how it works out once I tested everything out.

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    I'd use a crossover gigabit Ethernet cable (or run it through a gigabit Ethernet switch if you have one). It'll be easier and cheaper. Then you can access it as though it's a network drive (though if you're using a crossover Ethernet cable you'll have to assign IP addresses to each computer manually) – NoahL Jan 28 '17 at 21:23
  • I just spent like 2 hours trying to copy over a 120gb folder directly with a pach ethernet cable and didn't have any success. I heard you dont need crossover cables anymore because of something in network cards that makes it possible with ethernet cables. Under Linux I'm able to copy pc to pc with a patch cable but under macOS I couldnt make it happen and so while googling around I read firewire is a great solution. – Tanonic Jan 28 '17 at 21:27
  • Then I differ to bmike's answer – NoahL Jan 28 '17 at 21:28
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I have firewire in production still and you can usually get excellent performance / $ by buying older technology.

  • The latency of FireWire is excellent - on par with Thunderbolt
  • The bandwidth of firewire is nearly that of gigabit ethernet and way faster than any source or destination of data that you will send on that era hardware.
  • The reliability of FireWire is excellent

Why spend more for a connection that won't limit your speeds and is very easy on the wallet and reliable? I say go for it unless you really want to spend more on the card and cables or could use gigabit ethernet instead.

  • Does FireWire have any advantage over gigabit Ethernet? – NoahL Jan 28 '17 at 21:27
  • I tried Gigabit ethernet but no success... But I think Firewire is a great way to save some money. I just have one Question, how do I connect multiple machines to each other? With Gigabit ethernet I just use a switch but how do I do it with firewire? Is it only possible to have direct connections or is there something similar to a ethernet switch availible for firewire? – Tanonic Jan 28 '17 at 21:31
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    you can daisy chain firewire. You could use a dual ported hard drive (or drive controller) to chain two devices together and run networking. Sharing the storage isn't generally feasible. There are firewire hubs if you need them, too. @Tanonic – bmike Jan 28 '17 at 21:34
  • firewire hubs are pretty expensive tho, like 70€. But I'm still very interested in firewire so I guess I will give it a go. Do you have any experience with firewire PCI cards for desktop PCs? will they work with my hackintosh or are there any specific drivers needed? Also how is firewire Linux support? – Tanonic Jan 28 '17 at 21:44
  • Connecting multiple machines with Firewire just takes a cable. You can go into Network and make it a TCP/IP channel. Disks with Firewire connectors, though, don't communicate through TCP/IP... that's only computer-to-computer. – Whit3rd Jan 29 '17 at 12:00

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