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    dgsmith's Avatar
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    Firewire - cheap vs expensive PCI card?

    We have had issues with our Presonus sounddesk for a while and it seems that Presonus do not support the pci firewire card(s) we have been using (all fairly cheap ones, sub £20) and only show the more expensive ones on their "tested and supported" list.

    What I want to know is, why should we spend at least double in some cases to get a more expensive firewire card and would that actually be better/more reliable than a cheaper one? What are the actual differences? I know the better ones have firewire "B" ability but the sounddesk does not to this would be a redundant feature.

    Should the cheaper, low-end cards be capable of running this or is there a reason why presonus note we need to get a "beefier" one?

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    dgsmith's Avatar
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    Noone knows then?

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    The reason for getting a more expensive one in this case would be that it's supported by the supplier of the other hardware, if you use a cheaper card there's no reason why it shouldn't work as firewire is a standard but if there is any sort of problem you won't get any support?

    Ben

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    Sometimes certain hardware only works with certain firewire chipsets - our Motu 8 Pre we use for recording music students only works with a TI chip (I think) and not others.

    If it already works for you, then I don't see any reason to panic, but if buying a new system, I'd follow the supplier's advice.

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    I've got a StudioLive too, which would only work with certain Firewire cards. The TI chipset ones seem to all work, but I made the mistake of using a non-supported one first. It wouldn't even connect.

    I'd say that if it's working with the cheaper card and it's stable, I wouldn't bother with a more expensive one.

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    dgsmith's Avatar
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    That's the thing though, it is very unreliable with our cheaper cards and sometimes will work for 30mins then drop, other times work for 10secs and more often simply not connect/recognise at all.

    I just wanted to know if there was a particular reason why we NEED to use more expensive firewire cards, as I thought firewire was all the same regardless?

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    Note sure how Firewire works, to be honest, but my TI chipset card is rock solid, even recording the full 16 ins simultaneously.

    They're not that expensive, I think mine cost £29 from eBay.

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    Texas Instrument Chips are probably a good bet to be honest as others have said on here and from personal experience and research.

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