FW 400 (400Mbits/s) is slower than Gigabit Ethernet (1000 Mbits/s) but faster than 100 Ethernet. It is a good inexpensive fast alternative since it only takes cables daisy chained between the machines, though without a repeater the cables can be only 15 feet so the machines need to be close by. FW 800 though can be wicked fast, the 800 is minimum speed, with optical cables it supports up to 3200Mbits/s, and optical cables can be 330 ft. FW 800 also runs at full-duplex (2 way communications, send and receive at the same time) instead of FW 400's half-duplex (one way at a time communication, send or receive) so it's really more than twice as fast as FW 400.
One side note on Gigabit networks, every connection must be Gigabit or the network speeds will drop to near 100 without more expensive hubs and routers to auto negotiate.
Loc: The Wizard's Balcony
Thanks for all the input guys!
To be sure, this thing is at my work, not home. As such, it's not just a hobby thing. Yes, I realize it's a nearly-ten-year-old machine, but it runs very well, and I can't see any reason not to keep it in service 'till it just dies. I'm kind of a hippie that way.
At this point, it's the only machine in here with a 100Mbps connection, so it is kind of a bummer to see how slow transfers are to/from it compared to between other machines on the network. Firewire is not an option, as there's not a firewire port on the switch, and putting another Mac with 1000Mbps and firewire down there would kind of defeat the whole purpose of trying to keep this machine viable. You know?
If I'm not mistaken, it's a first gen G4 - already near 10 years old.
I thought he said it was an AGP. Even if it is a 32 bit 33Mhz bus in the PCI model (not sure if it's 32 or 64 bit like the AGP line) the bus speed would still be slightly faster than Gigabit Ethernet speeds.
A file transfer server doesn't really need to be that powerful to give great network throughput unless it's being used for Netboot or something. Processor speed doesn't come into play much in networking, it's mostly handled by the network chip, the PCI bus, and the hard drive connection. Gigabit would still be a boatload faster than 100 base-T even on that machine.
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