Want to add USB 2.0 to your Mac OS X-equipped Power Mac? Need more FireWire ports too? Now you can kill two birds with one stone and not spend a mint in the process.
FirewireDirect has announced the availability of the FireWireUSB Combo PCI Card. The card works with either PCs or Macs and offers a combination of FireWire ports and USB 2.0 ports for under $100.
The card sports four auto speed selectable USB ports. Three of them are external and one is internal. As with all USB 2.0 interfaces, these will work both at the faster USB 2.0 speed (up to 480 Mbits/sec) or the slower USB 1.1 speed (12 Mbits/sec).
The card also sports four 6 pin FireWire ports. Three of them are external and one is internal. They operate at the standard FireWire speed of up to 400 Mbits/sec.
USB 2.0 is not yet an officially supported standard on the Mac. All Macs continue to ship from Apple with USB 1.1 ports installed. USB 2.0 interfaces do work, but on operating system versions prior to Mac OS X they operate at the slower 1.1 speed. FirewireDirect confirmed with MacCentral that this card will operate at the slower USB 1.1 speed when used with Mac OS 8.6 – 9.2; on Mac OS X, USB 2.0 speeds are supported.
Through December 10, FirewireDirect is offering free ground delivery shipping on the card throughout the continental United States. The deal is a pre-order special, and the card will begin shipping on the 10th.