View Full Version : Questions regarding FireWire

11-03-2003, 08:44 PM
I have a FireWire port on my laptop, but I don't know too much about it. I can't find it in the Device Manager list either. If I buy a FireWire-compatible device, are there any other issues I need to worry about, or are all FireWire devices compatible? In other words, there aren't any subtle differences like USB 1.1 and USB 2.0, are there?

11-03-2003, 10:40 PM
If you have WinXP, it should have native Firewire support. I think Win2k does too, certainly on Service Pack 3. I think you have to download drivers for it for Win98 though. No idea about WinME.

You don't need to worry much about Firewire devices, they're all compatiable in that they'll be recognised by the OS as being present (whether it can also find drivers as well is another thing, but those should come with such devices anyway). You only need to worry about the size of the connector, since you can get both large and small firewire ports, so you might need a converter from large to small if you're using a laptop, but that's about it. There's also a limit on the number of devices you can chain together, but it's rather high and I doubt you'll hit it.

There's not really any major differences between USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 other than speed - all USB 2.0 devices have to work on USB 1.1 to be compliant, they'll just be very slow. Firewire has potentially faster speeds than USB 2.0 anyway, and Firewire has certainly always been more stable for me than USB 2.0, even for the same devices (my external HD can use either firewire or USB 2.0).

Dr Unne
11-03-2003, 10:57 PM
Linux has native support for Firewire too. I imagine just about every major OS does by now.