AnsweredAdvice for Firewire interfaces, what to look for ?

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iRelevant
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2018/04/20 17:08:10 (permalink)

Advice for Firewire interfaces, what to look for ?

Hi, seeing how firewire is beeing phased out ... and that there are good deals to be had on the second hand market for such soundcards ... I'm considering getting different type of Firewire cards. 1. Would be a CardBus/34 for my laptop, 2. Would be a PCI card for PC's running (XP and Win7). I'm wondering if anybody has some advise to give, latency is of major importance to me, and I've understood that the "chip set" is of importance ... how it should be from Texas Instruments to be the best. 
Looking forward to any feedback, possibly references to concrete contemporary cards that are suitable. Thank you. 
- Sven

OS:Win7x64 SP1 CPU:i5/8GB/SSD DAWs : CbB, FLS, SO2, (Reaper) etc. To much Gear, not enough wires. 
My Music : BandLab  https://www.bandlab.com/irelevant BandCamp : https://irelevant.bandcamp.com
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mrdressup69
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Re: Advice for Firewire interfaces, what to look for ? 2018/04/21 03:08:17 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby iRelevant 2018/04/21 10:56:10
I run an old rig. Dell dual Xeon quad core rig with firewire. My main interface is Focusrite Saffire 56 with a Lucid 88192 for an additional 8 channels on lite pipe, and the system is clocked to the Lucid unit. With the Focusrite mix control on Win7 64 bit it is rock solid with virtually zero latency. Very reasonable pricing for the Focusrite Saffire stuff as its getting older. With this rig I can track 16 tracks in real time monitoring with 2 separate mixes, no problems.
My 2 cents
Peace
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JonD
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Re: Advice for Firewire interfaces, what to look for ? 2018/04/21 04:15:50 (permalink) ☼ Best Answerby iRelevant 2018/04/21 11:11:33
For a desktop add-on, you should look for a PCI/PCIe Firewire card with a TI (Texas Instruments) chipset.
 
I've had great success with SIIG brand.  Whatever brand you get, stay away from combo cards (ie. FW + USB). Stick with Firewire only.

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fireberd
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Re: Advice for Firewire interfaces, what to look for ? 2018/04/21 10:37:22 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby iRelevant 2018/04/21 11:09:00
I have a SIIG PCIe FireWire card (with T.I. chipset) on my Win 10 PC.  I have an MOTU 896Mk3 Hybrid which is combination USB/FireWire interface.  I use the FireWire as I had problems on my older PC with the MOTU 896Mk3 Hybrid and USB 3.0 port (which is all my new desktop has).  However, I also installed a PCIe USB 2.0 port card and I tested the MOTU 896Mk3 Hybrid with the USB 2.0 port card and it works the same, and same low latency with either interface.  I couldn't leave the MOTU on the USB 2.0 port as I needed all the ports on the card for my CD production facility. The MOTU 896Mk3 Hybrid is still a current production device.

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iRelevant
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Re: Advice for Firewire interfaces, what to look for ? 2018/04/21 10:48:44 (permalink)
JonD
For a desktop add-on, you should look for a PCI/PCIe Firewire card with a TI (Texas Instruments) chipset.
 
I've had great success with SIIG brand.  Whatever brand you get, stay away from combo cards (ie. FW + USB). Stick with Firewire only.


Thank you very much for your advice. I was actually considering getting some kind of Combo on the Express card front, but will drop it now. Also thanks for the SIIG link, they seem to have solutions to provide for my needs. Also impressed by some of the drivers providing supports all the way down to Win98SE, which is very useful for me ... as I dabble a bit in the area of old SW and machines.

OS:Win7x64 SP1 CPU:i5/8GB/SSD DAWs : CbB, FLS, SO2, (Reaper) etc. To much Gear, not enough wires. 
My Music : BandLab  https://www.bandlab.com/irelevant BandCamp : https://irelevant.bandcamp.com
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iRelevant
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Re: Advice for Firewire interfaces, what to look for ? 2018/04/21 11:10:48 (permalink)
fireberd
I have a SIIG PCIe FireWire card (with T.I. chipset) on my Win 10 PC.  I have an MOTU 896Mk3 Hybrid which is combination USB/FireWire interface.  I use the FireWire as I had problems on my older PC with the MOTU 896Mk3 Hybrid and USB 3.0 port (which is all my new desktop has).  However, I also installed a PCIe USB 2.0 port card and I tested the MOTU 896Mk3 Hybrid with the USB 2.0 port card and it works the same, and same low latency with either interface.  I couldn't leave the MOTU on the USB 2.0 port as I needed all the ports on the card for my CD production facility. The MOTU 896Mk3 Hybrid is still a current production device.


Good to hear that also other have good experience with the SIIG Firewire cards, I will probably go for this solution. 
Thank you. 
 

OS:Win7x64 SP1 CPU:i5/8GB/SSD DAWs : CbB, FLS, SO2, (Reaper) etc. To much Gear, not enough wires. 
My Music : BandLab  https://www.bandlab.com/irelevant BandCamp : https://irelevant.bandcamp.com
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kitekrazy1
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Re: Advice for Firewire interfaces, what to look for ? 2018/04/22 17:10:23 (permalink)
iRelevant
Hi, seeing how firewire is beeing phased out ... and that there are good deals to be had on the second hand market for such soundcards ... I'm considering getting different type of Firewire cards. 1. Would be a CardBus/34 for my laptop, 2. Would be a PCI card for PC's running (XP and Win7). I'm wondering if anybody has some advise to give, latency is of major importance to me, and I've understood that the "chip set" is of importance ... how it should be from Texas Instruments to be the best. 
Looking forward to any feedback, possibly references to concrete contemporary cards that are suitable. Thank you. 
- Sven




Not the best excuse to buy hardware.  Those RME Hammerfall PCIs are going cheap on ebay.  All it takes for a motherboard with PCI to go band and not be able to replace.  With W10 being an evolving OS there may be a day where a FW unit will stop working unless they are from manufacturers with superb driver support. That's usually RME.

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gswitz
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Re: Advice for Firewire interfaces, what to look for ? 2018/04/22 17:12:31 (permalink)
I had a focusrite for a month and loved it.

StudioCat > I use Windows 10 and Sonar Platinum. I have a touch screen.
I make some videos. This one shows how to do a physical loopback on the RME UCX to get many more equalizer nodes.
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abacab
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Re: Advice for Firewire interfaces, what to look for ? 2018/04/22 23:14:56 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby iRelevant 2018/05/02 22:46:16
I have an old FireWire audio interface that I originally bought for a Dell WinXP laptop with integrated FireWire.
 
I no longer use that Dell, but migrated that FireWire audio to my most recent desktop build on an Asus mobo that doesn't have a FireWire port.
 
So I added this Syba PCIe card with TI chipset.  Works great on Windows 7/10! 
 
Syba Low Profile PCI-Express 1394b/1394a (2B1A) Card, TI Chipset, Extra Regular Bracket SD-PEX30009
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002S53IG8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1

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JonD
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Re: Advice for Firewire interfaces, what to look for ? 2018/04/23 15:25:17 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby iRelevant 2018/05/02 22:48:01
kitekrazy1
 
Not the best excuse to buy hardware.  Those RME Hammerfall PCIs are going cheap on ebay.  All it takes for a motherboard with PCI to go band and not be able to replace.  With W10 being an evolving OS there may be a day where a FW unit will stop working unless they are from manufacturers with superb driver support. That's usually RME.

 
No, it doesn't have to be RME.  I have two excellent FW devices, a Steinberg MR816x and a TC Electronic Konnekt 24d, both long-discontinued, that still have current driver support (up to Win 10) and both running rock-solid on multiple systems with a TI chipset FW card. 
 
Also, driver support and protocol support are two different arguments.  Up-to-date drivers (native Win 10) will work on any modern system.  Not so, with obsolete protocols like PCI (For example, newer boards have bridged PCI slots which make them iffy at best for an audio interface).  Firewire, on the other hand, is still widely available via a PCIe add-on card.  So, until PCIe disappears, Firewire is a perfectly viable way to go.

SONAR Platinum, Win 8.1 Pro, i7 2600K@4.2Ghz, Asus P8Z68 Deluxe, 16GB Crucial DDR3, GeForce GT 730, Samsung 32" and Dell 24" Monitors, Steinberg MR816X, Focusrite VRM Box, Kawai MP11 Piano, Event ALP Monitors, Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro, Too Many Plugins, My lucky hat.
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JonD
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Re: Advice for Firewire interfaces, what to look for ? 2018/04/23 15:27:41 (permalink)
abacab
I have an old FireWire audio interface that I originally bought for a Dell WinXP laptop with integrated FireWire.
So I added this Syba PCIe card with TI chipset.  Works great on Windows 7/10! 
 
Syba Low Profile PCI-Express 1394b/1394a (2B1A) Card, TI Chipset, Extra Regular Bracket SD-PEX30009



Yep, exactly the argument I was making above. 

SONAR Platinum, Win 8.1 Pro, i7 2600K@4.2Ghz, Asus P8Z68 Deluxe, 16GB Crucial DDR3, GeForce GT 730, Samsung 32" and Dell 24" Monitors, Steinberg MR816X, Focusrite VRM Box, Kawai MP11 Piano, Event ALP Monitors, Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro, Too Many Plugins, My lucky hat.
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iRelevant
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Re: Advice for Firewire interfaces, what to look for ? 2018/05/02 22:51:14 (permalink)
JonD
kitekrazy1
 
Not the best excuse to buy hardware.  Those RME Hammerfall PCIs are going cheap on ebay.  All it takes for a motherboard with PCI to go band and not be able to replace.  With W10 being an evolving OS there may be a day where a FW unit will stop working unless they are from manufacturers with superb driver support. That's usually RME.

 
No, it doesn't have to be RME.  I have two excellent FW devices, a Steinberg MR816x and a TC Electronic Konnekt 24d, both long-discontinued, that still have current driver support (up to Win 10) and both running rock-solid on multiple systems with a TI chipset FW card. 
 
Also, driver support and protocol support are two different arguments.  Up-to-date drivers (native Win 10) will work on any modern system.  Not so, with obsolete protocols like PCI (For example, newer boards have bridged PCI slots which make them iffy at best for an audio interface).  Firewire, on the other hand, is still widely available via a PCIe add-on card.  So, until PCIe disappears, Firewire is a perfectly viable way to go.


May I ask if there is an easy way to identify whether a modern MB has bridged PCI slots ? 

OS:Win7x64 SP1 CPU:i5/8GB/SSD DAWs : CbB, FLS, SO2, (Reaper) etc. To much Gear, not enough wires. 
My Music : BandLab  https://www.bandlab.com/irelevant BandCamp : https://irelevant.bandcamp.com
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JonD
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Re: Advice for Firewire interfaces, what to look for ? 2018/05/04 03:19:46 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby iRelevant 2018/05/04 16:03:25
iRelevant
May I ask if there is an easy way to identify whether a modern MB has bridged PCI slots ?



Easy way? Probably not. That specific info is sometimes mentioned in online reviews of boards (But mostly not, as the legacy slots become more and more rare).
 
You might try googling PCI card interfaces (RME HDSP 9632, M-Audio 1010, etc) and see if you can pick up DAW users sigs that mention their motherboard.  You could also post a request at one of the busy forums like KVR or Gearslutz (with a computer subforum) and ask any users of a PCI-card interface what motherboard they have that works well.

SONAR Platinum, Win 8.1 Pro, i7 2600K@4.2Ghz, Asus P8Z68 Deluxe, 16GB Crucial DDR3, GeForce GT 730, Samsung 32" and Dell 24" Monitors, Steinberg MR816X, Focusrite VRM Box, Kawai MP11 Piano, Event ALP Monitors, Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro, Too Many Plugins, My lucky hat.
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fireberd
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Re: Advice for Firewire interfaces, what to look for ? 2018/05/04 10:11:20 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby iRelevant 2018/05/04 16:03:53
I think the (Intel) chipset is the clue but I don't have a list of which ones do or don't.  I have an ASUS motherboard with a Z170 chipset motherboard and it does not have a PCI slot.
 
From what I've seen posted, on this forum and others, basically from the Z97 chipset and newer practically all are bridged.
 

"GCSG Productions"
Franklin D-10 Pedal Steel Guitar (primary instrument). Nashville Telecaster, Bass, etc. 
ASUS Maximus VIII Hero M/B, i7 6700K CPU, 16GB Ram, SSD and conventional hard drives, Win 10 Pro and Win 10 Pro Insider Pre-Release
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AT
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Re: Advice for Firewire interfaces, what to look for ? 2018/05/04 15:16:01 (permalink)
My TC Konnekt 48 and a host of video cameras worked through a VIA chipset, but I'd stick w/ the TI.
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Makzimia
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Re: Advice for Firewire interfaces, what to look for ? 2018/05/04 15:46:54 (permalink)
+1 on TI for Firewire if you've got to use a card.

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iRelevant
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Re: Advice for Firewire interfaces, what to look for ? 2018/05/04 16:03:14 (permalink)
JonD
iRelevant
May I ask if there is an easy way to identify whether a modern MB has bridged PCI slots ?



Easy way? Probably not. That specific info is sometimes mentioned in online reviews of boards (But mostly not, as the legacy slots become more and more rare).
 
You might try googling PCI card interfaces (RME HDSP 9632, M-Audio 1010, etc) and see if you can pick up DAW users sigs that mention their motherboard.  You could also post a request at one of the busy forums like KVR or Gearslutz (with a computer subforum) and ask any users of a PCI-card interface what motherboard they have that works well.


Thank you, very clever advice :) 

OS:Win7x64 SP1 CPU:i5/8GB/SSD DAWs : CbB, FLS, SO2, (Reaper) etc. To much Gear, not enough wires. 
My Music : BandLab  https://www.bandlab.com/irelevant BandCamp : https://irelevant.bandcamp.com
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