Topic: USB EC/24 for UFX


I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my UFX!  I will also be getting a new 17" Macbook Pro.  I am wondering if a USB EC/24 card  would suffice as as an independant USB bus,  or does that tap into the other 3 USB connections on the MBP.  (perhaps this is a question for Apple).

Also, is it acceptable  to have your FW hard drive and the UFX connected together before plugging into your laptop FW (that always worked fine with my MOTU).