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What’s the consensus USB 2, Firewire, PCI?

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Prof.Sound, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. Prof.Sound

    Prof.Sound Guest

    What’s the consensus USB 2, Firewire, PCI? In order of preferance with new motherboards and sound/interfaces - what's your preferance for the faster desktops? Informal poll.
  2. d franko

    d franko Guest

    Can we add disk drives to this? I'm curious if external hard-drives perform well for audio.
  3. pandamonkey

    pandamonkey Active Member

    Hey, just a couple of thoughts.

    USB1 12Mb/s
    USB2 480Mb/s
    F.W.1 400Mb/s
    F.W.2 800Mb/s

    USB1&2 connections are cross compatible meaning a USB2 devise will still plug into a USB1 port, but the data transfer rate will default to USB1 speeds. So that's cool.

    F.W.1&2 devices have diffenent connections and you need an adaptor to plug one type into the other. Slightly annoying.

    USB2's hit the market sooner but Firewire seems to be more of a love for audio geeks!

    If you want to talk overall PCI speeds you must check out the new Mac G5, holy smacks!
    The new Mac G5 PCI-X technology have a maximum bandwidth of 2GB/s. The new PCI-X slots are also backwards compatible with PCI cards of the present. Someone please elaborate.....

  4. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    It has to do with the voltage some PCI cards logic operates at.

    Older PCI cards that require 5volts to operate properly, will not be compatible to PCI-X 3.3V & 1.5v configurations.

    Firewire was designed as a smart network, that doesn't require a computer.

    USB was originally designed for computer peripherals.

  5. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Member

    Real life tests of FW800 vs. FW400 so far are very disappointing. The actual gain in data transfer rates is just a few percent - nothing even close to a substantial improvement!

    Here is a web site that posts some USB2.0 vs. FW400 comparison. Looks like FW400 wins but I personally would also first investigate driver stability before taking a decision.

  6. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    FWIW (not much) - when I bought an off the shelf PC for DAW and bastardized it to the point of non-recognition, it had integral USB 1.1...convinient it's not, as it is deathly slow, but always reliable...started using Iomega Peerless for temporary storage and Iomega HDD for long term archiving...

    Recently added a USB 2 card, and its made life a whole lot simpler...for small (10-12 track) projects the HDD works as an internal hard drive...no latency or other issues...but I am smart enough to know that it won't hack it for 24+ projects...

    I have a FW card, but too lazy to install it, and have no PCI slots left...don't really need to, as the USB2 does what I ask of it...and its pretty stupid-proof, as well.
  7. jscott

    jscott Guest

    It's just intended to be a simple POLL type question to see what people are using? Its not really intended to be a debate over technology. I know of the various interfaces. I was just curious.
  8. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Pacific Pro Audio 80Gb firewire drive. Pro Tools certified.
    You can use up to 4 of them in a firewire RAID.

    I wasn't convinced until I saw one handle 60 24bit tracks, on a TDM system running on an ancient G4/450.


  9. pandamonkey

    pandamonkey Active Member

    Hey J.Scott,

    We love debate over here!!
    Just give us a little bait and we have a feeding frenzy of discussion.
    P.S. Who else thinks that dither is sexy??!
  10. nuclearmoon

    nuclearmoon Guest

    mmmmmmm dither........

    Firewire is very smart and reliable. I am digging on those new PCI-X slots tho........Pandamonkey do you know if they are working alright with the 001's PCI card?

    back to fantasizing about dither............dither in a little red number, dither with whip cream........ :D :D :D
  11. pandamonkey

    pandamonkey Active Member

    Hey Daniel,
    I ripped on by the Digi user's forum and came upon this post which should more then answer your question...
    Just got off the phone with the Genius Bar at the Chicago Apple store. He pointed out that the 1.6 Ghz G5 comes with the 33 Mhz 64-bit PCI slots standard while the two higher end (1.8 Ghz and Dual 2 Ghz) machines come with the PCI-X slots. These slots can support the old cards but the connections ARE different and you will not be able to use your old PCI cards in a PCI-X slot. You can run older cards if the connection is upgraded to PCI-X standards. You can also custom order the older slots on the newer machines. So, while it is theoretically compatible, you will need a hardware exchange. If you look at Apple's information on their website, they have a note to refer to the cards manufacturer for compatibility information. That was pointed out by tech support at Aurora, which is already getting the new form cards ready for distribution.

    Providing that this person was not mistaken, that should cover it all.
  12. nuclearmoon

    nuclearmoon Guest

    Thanks dewd. Me working for an Apple reseller you would think I'd have known that.......obviously I'm getting more audio gigs and paying less attention to SELLING the Apple gear as opposed to BUYING the cool Apple gear. Sometimes I drool........... :d:

    Thanks again.

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