Using FireWire 400 peripherals with multimedia applications and FireWire 800 ports

Learn how to use camcorders, audio interfaces, and other FireWire 400 multimedia peripherals with computers that have only FireWire 800 ports.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

If the only FireWire connections on your Mac are FireWire 800, here are some tips regarding compatibility of your FireWire 400 peripherals.

  • FireWire 800 is backwards compatible with FireWire 400 devices. See this article on FireWire 800 technology for more details.
  • You can use an adapter to connect Firewire 400 devices to a FireWire 800 connector. These adapters may be called "FireWire 400 to 800 adapter" or "FireWire 9 pin to 6 pin adapter". These adapters are available at the Apple Online store and at many computer supply stores. Most camcorders, audio interfaces, and other peripherals work equally well on a FireWire 800 port as on a FireWire 400 port. If you have any questions about the compatibility of your FireWire 400 peripherals with FireWire 800, consult with the manufacturer.
  • If your system includes a mixture of FireWire 400 and 800 devices daisy-chained together, it's generally best to place the FireWire 800 devices closest to the computer in the chain.
Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
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