Apple Thunderbolt to Firewire Adapter

The MacBook Pro Retina Display is the 1st “Pro” Mac to ship without Firewire. However, Apple also announced that they would ship a Thunderbolt to Firewire Adapter in July. Although the adapter did ship a few days late, it’s here and no surprises – it works!

I was shopping for USB 3 drives, but I kinda just stopped looking. I figured that I could get by with connecting my existing drives via USB 2 until the adapter shipped. I’m glad I waited, because out of the box I just plugged in my existing Firewire 800 drives and up they came onto the desktop. This makes my MacBook Pro Retina Display complete.

Bonus

One of the downsides with going with the MacBook Air in the past was that you’d be giving up high speed connectivity to external drives. The original MacBook Air only came with USB 2. The last two models included Thunderbolt, but Thunderbolt drive availability was far and few between. This adapter also brings Firewire connectivity to the MacBook Air for the 1st time! I plugged in my LaCie Rugged 1TB drive into my MacBook Air via the Adapter and it just worked.

Although I haven’t done any speed tests, the speed should be the same as Thunderbolt is faster than Firewire. It should therefore be able to keep up with Firewire drives.

You can get the Thunderbolt to Firewire Adapter here.

  • Kenyon Gerbrandt

    Thanks for sharing this. I ran across this Seagate adapter at the Apple Store last week. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=840972&Q=&is=REG&A=details I’m thinking that this would work with just about any 2.5″ SATA drive?

  • Scott

    Thanks for the info, Terry. I just got my Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter in the mail today. I have an issue with it, however. While my external hard drives work just fine, I am not able to get my Echo Audiofire4 audio interface to work through a FW400 to FW800 adapter and then to Thunderbolt to my MBP. It works just fine in the old MBP, either that configuration or daisy-chained with an external HD. It only has FW 400. No USB. No FW 800. Obviously no Thunderbolt. I really need this interface to work. Do you think it might just be a matter of the manufacturers (or Apple) catching up with a driver update? Is there something out there I’m missing that might already be available? Thanks for your input, because Apple couldn’t give me too much advice.

    • http://terrywhite.com Terry White

      Did you send the manufacturer a message asking about compatibility?

  • Ash

    Hi Terry, old post I know but I just came across it while looking for this adapter. My question is, does it work the other way around? I just ordered a new TB drive and have a previous gen macbook with FW800. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks

    • terryleewhite

      Hi Ash, not sure if it would work that way and even if it did I’m not sure what the benefit would be as the Thunderbolt drive would then have to slow down to FW 800 speeds?

      • Ash

        Thanks for taking the time to reply to an old post Terry. I looked into it further today and it turns out that it won’t work the other way around as the motherboard would need a TB controller (apparently). It needs a specific FW to TB adapter, if they were to make such a thing. Looks like I will using my beaute new Lacie USB3/Thunderbolt drive via USB2! I wanted to install OSX on it and boot from it. Looks like a new MacBook on the shopping list! Thanks again.