MacBook revision could drop FireWire port

MacBook revision could drop FireWire port

Summary: There's a very spirited discussion going on at MacRumors about the new aluminum MacBook's port lineup. If purported spy shots of the unreleased machine are to be believed, Firewire could missing from the complement of ports on its left side.

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There's a very spirited discussion going on at MacRumors about the new aluminum MacBook's port lineup. If purported spy shots of the unreleased machine are to be believed, Firewire could missing from the complement of ports on its left side.

In the picture above (courtesy of MacRumors) a Firewire port is noticeably absent from the MB's port lineup. One interesting possibility that's being raised is that the new MacBook could support Firewire over Ethernet, which would keep prices down by dropping the dedicated Firewire port. In previous spy shots the MacBook Pro appears to retain its Firewire port.

The downside of this configuration is that you might not be able to use Ethernet and Firewire at the same time. And like the move to Mini-DVI on the MBP, it means that you'll have to carry a dongle.

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Networking

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11 comments
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  • That would suck

    One of the best reasons for firewire is Target Disk Mode. It's saved my butt a few times.
    rpmyers1
    • Agreed

      Target Disk Mode is a lifesaver. But if Apple supports it
      through USB, then it might be OK to drop the Firewire port.
      (AFAIK, this isn't the case for the MacBook Air).
      greg_glockner@...
      • Unless Apple has a couple of tricks up its sleeves we don't know about

        Target Disk over USB is an impossibility. While firewire allows
        for multiple computers to connect via firewire bus, USB is
        designed for one computer and that's it (without a special
        cable).
        nix_hed
  • Jason, You're an Air User. Do You Miss Firewire?

    I think it stinks but to be honest, I've only used FW for migration. I'm really not looking forward to using ethernet or wifi to migrate, but if it works then I'll live with it.
    Urkel
  • Apple dropped FireWire on the iPod

    And USB 2 is ubiquitous so it doesn't make sense to keep it
    going. Having said that, I preferred FireWire to USB 2 but
    hey, it's not a religion.

    Apple doesn't seem to have any sacred cows. You didn't
    mention if it had FireWire 2 or not. I use FireWire 2 for
    backups and it's fast and better. Maybe they will push that
    technology now as FireWire and USB 2 are a little slow for
    today's needs.
    mlindl
  • RE: MacBook revision could drop FireWire port

    I will never, ever go without firewire. I
    have a few USB drives that I foolishly
    bought as they were cheaper..They are
    slower by far, have a tendency to lose
    connexions when the computer goes
    to sleep and well they are
    slower..slowwwerrr..Spare me. I have
    a few dozen drives of high quality,
    some in third party cases and others
    in first class commercial external
    cases and it is always the same. it is
    true with any of my computers.USB
    requires the CPU and if you are doing
    anything USB is compromised.
    Firewire, on the other hand is not.
    nfiertel
    • RE: MacBook revision could drop FireWire port

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  • RE: MacBook revision could drop FireWire port

    Firewire800 is useful for HD video transfer and in bursmode kicks USB2 over
    for file transfers.
    On my mini, I can use the 4 USB porst for KB/Mouse/iPhone and one spare for
    USB stick, the firewire port connects to my external HDD. It would be sad
    to se it dissappear form the macbooks, but as a marketing thing, they
    probably say, the mac book is their "budget" laptop, but if you are forking
    out NZ$2000+ for a laptop it had better have everything!
    chromeronin
  • RE: MacBook revision could drop FireWire port

    In about every way you want to talk about it USB in any
    revision is inferior to FireWire and here is why:

    1. FireWire allows Target Disk mode that allows the host
    computer to be treated as an external disk drive to another
    computer. For all sorts of situations this is a great facility
    to have albeit something many users don't know about or
    need on a daily basis.

    2. FireWire's architecture is peer-to-peer and USB is
    Master-Slave which is why the very very handy Target Disk
    Mode is possible on FW. USB can not do this. It's just not
    part of the standard.

    3. FireWire has a much higher power output meaning you
    can connect a small drive to the port and power it all on
    one cable. USB requires an AC adapter or a Y cable to
    power it from a 2nd USB port.

    4. The raw published speed of of USB may be higher but in
    practice because of the architecture it ends up being very
    bursty and overall slower.

    It's sorta like comparing the old Sony Beta tape format to
    VHS. Beta was always a superior standard, it had higher
    quality playback out of the box and the tape handling
    mechanism was much simpler compared to the very
    complex mechanism and multiple points of contact the
    tape required for VHS. But VHS was cheaper and more
    ubiquitous so it prevailed.

    It is possible we could see the same thing here I suppose.
    It would be sad to see.
    jnoel@...
  • RE: MacBook revision could drop FireWire port

    Apple, please don't loose your mind and remove the Firewire which you have created and it is an excellent device for transferring files quickly. I know that USB is great but Firewire is much better.
    However just looking at the port shapes doesn't necessary show that Firewire is gone. It can be that Apple will use Firewire 800 and have an Firewire 400/800 cable. I can't tell from the photos/video. We will find later today.
    phatkat
  • RE: MacBook revision could drop FireWire port

    Well as we know they did indeed drop the firewire 400, but
    were kind enough the leave the 800. Still not sure how I feel
    about that since I have a few things that are still 400 I guess I
    would have to get a 400 express card if I switched to the
    new MacBook Pro
    Amonra