Apollo FireWire Mac Compatibility

About Mac Compatibility

  • Important: If connecting Apollo via Thunderbolt to a Mac computer, see the dedicated Apollo Thunderbolt Mac Compatibility article instead.
  • For important information about Apple Mac Pro (Late 2013) compatibility, click here.
  • Compatible and incompatible Mac FireWire systems, and tested FireWire 800 adapters, are listed below. Additionally, the host computer must meet the minimum system requirements.

Tested Mac Systems

  • Mac system compatibility identification is based on the Mac Model Identifier:

    How to find the Mac Model Identifier

    The Mac Model Identifier (e.g., “MacBookPro2,2” at right) is found in the Hardware Overview panel of the System Information application located in /Applications/Utilities.

    Tip: As a shortcut, option-click the Apple icon in the menu bar (upper left of screen), then select the application from the drop menu.


  • Intel-based Mac systems with FireWire 800 have been tested in-house. Older Intel-based Macs with FireWire 400 only (those without Firewire 800) have not been fully tested with Apollo but we are not currently aware of any compatibility issues with those models (exception: MacBook Pro 3,1 “15-inch Mid/Late 2007” is not compatible).

Partially Compatible Mac Systems

The following Intel-based Mac systems with FireWire 800 are known to run Apollo at FireWire 400 speeds only: 

MacBook Pro 1,2 (17") MacBook Pro 3,1 (17") Mac Pro 1,1
MacBook Pro 2,1 (17") MacBook Pro 4,1 (15") Mac Pro 2,1
MacBook Pro 2,2 (15") MacBook Pro 4,1 (17") iMac 6,1



Incompatible Computer Systems

  • PowerPC-based Mac systems are incompatible with Apollo
  • UAD-1 devices are incompatible with Apollo
  • The MacBook Pro 3,1 (“15-inch Mid/Late 2007”) is incompatible with Apollo

Recommended FireWire Adapters and Repeaters for Mac Systems

FireWire adapter and repeater compatibility is based on the FireWire controller integrated circuit chip that is inside the various available retail products. The “known good” controller chips that have been tested in house are:

  • TI XIO2213
  • LSI FW643

FireWire adapters and repeaters that use either of these chips should perform well with Apollo. All other controllers we tested have proven to be unreliable with Apollo.

There is no reliable way to determine which FireWire controller chip a given adapter uses, other than viewing the silkscreen numbers on the IC chip itself. All the FireWire products listed in the following tables use one of the qualified controller chips.

Apple Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter

The Apple Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter has been tested in-house and there are currently no known issues when using it with Apollo or UAD-2 Satellite FireWire.

Recommended PCIe-to-FireWire 800 Adapters for Mac Systems

The following PCIe-to-FireWire adapters have been tested for use with Apollo and UAD-2 Satellite FireWire. Please note:

  • These cards are NOT recommended for Mac Pro 1,1 or 2,1 models.
  • The previously-qualified Syba SD-PEX30009 PCIe-to-FireWire adapter card is no longer being used for internal testing.
Brand Model Format Controller Source
Sonnet Technologies Allegro FW800-E PCIe-to-FireWire 800 TI XIO2213 www.sonnettech.com
SIIG NN-FW0012-S1 PCIe-to-FireWire 800 TI XIO2213 www.amazon.com



Recommended ExpressCard34-to-FireWire 800 Adapters for Mac Systems

Important: To disconnect Apollo when it is connected to an ExpressCard-to-FireWire adapter, unplug the FireWire cable instead of removing the ExpressCard adapter to avoid system instability.

The following ExpressCard-to-FireWire adapters have been qualified for use with Apollo:

Brand Model Format Controller Source
StarTech EC1394B2 ExpressCard34 TI XIO2213 www.buy.com
StarTech EC13941A1B ExpressCard34 TI XIO2213 www.amazon.com

Recommended FireWire Repeaters for Mac Systems

FireWire repeaters are used to add additional FireWire ports to a FireWire bus and/or to provide FireWire bus power to devices that require it (such as the Apogee Duet audio interface). Repeaters are recommended instead of FireWire “hubs,” which may not perform optimally.

The following FireWire repeaters have been qualified for use with Apollo:

Product Format Notes Source
Unibrain FireRepeater 400 – 3 Port 1394A (FW 400) External Power Supply Required
(Sold Separately)
Gefen FireWire 400 Repeater 1394A (FW 400)  External Power Supply Required
(Sold Separately)
Unibrain FireRepeater 800 – 3 Port 1394B (FW 800)  External Power Supply Required
(Sold Separately)
Unibrain FireRepeater-800 PRO – 4 Port 1394B (FW 800)  External Power Supply Required
(Sold Separately)

Incompatible FireWire Hubs

Note: DO NOT USE these hubs with Apollo or UAD-2 Satellite FireWire:

  • Belkin F5U526 FireWire 6-Port Hub
  • IOGEAR Hi-Speed USB 2.0/FireWire 7-Port Hub
  • Belkin F5U507 Hi-Speed USB 2.0 and FireWire 6-Port Hub for Mac mini

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