Possible reason why there’s no MacBook FireWire


The MacBook FireWire Debacle

I've been told by people that the reason why Apple didn't include FireWire in their lastest MacBook computers was because they were phasing out support for a so called legacy port and that most video cameras and external hard drives use USB as well, amongst other reasons which I thoroughly debunked in a previous post.

Well we finally may have the real reason for why Apple removed the FireWire 400 port from the MacBook. As it turns out, it might not have been a decision by them after all, but one by NVidia who designed the new GeForce 9400M integrated chipset and graphics chip which the new MacBook uses.

Here's the kicker: according to several sites I've been reading, this chip was designed without a FireWire controller.

The GeForce 9400M does not include a Firewire controller. When asked, Rene Hass mentioned that during the design of this chips, this function was not part of the feature list.
~ HardMac.com

This seems to change my perceptions somewhat. Given Intel's lackluster onboard graphics, I can understand Apple's decision to move to a NVidia's chipset and graphics solution, especially in a computer like the MacBook. I can't help but think though that they could have at least included a separate FireWire controller, granted they are substantially bigger than controllers for USB, but if my Sony Vaio PCG-C1VM ultraportable from 2001 could include one there's no reason why Apple in 2008 couldn't.

Promotional image for the new NVidia chip comparing sizes with Intel's integrated graphics
Promotional image for the new NVidia chip comparing sizes with Intel's integrated graphics

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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