PC Firewire users

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
the_viirus
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PC Firewire users

Post by the_viirus » Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:31 am

Does anyone have firewire for PC working properly?
How did you do it?!

I have tried a slew of fixes, hot-fixes, and driver over-writes....but nothing still.

adventurepants_
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Re: PC Firewire users

Post by adventurepants_ » Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:35 am

Most problems are caused by cheap firewire controllers. Download and use DPC latency checker. If youre getting red spikes, then you most likely have some sort of issue with low level system access to resources.

List your specs ie computer, and audio interface.

My firebox runs like a dream, but I did have to buy an aftermarket TI firewire controller for it. The stock Agere one was less than useless.
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Dexes
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Re: PC Firewire users

Post by Dexes » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:09 am

Which OS are you using?
Heard the firewire problems are due to XP, not PC.
Never had any problems with my audiofire on vista (even though I have a cheap jmicron onboard chipset that causes problems for other people)
On win 7 I had a few problems at first but updating to the newest firewire & audiofire drivers solved these.

oddstep
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Re: PC Firewire users

Post by oddstep » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:24 am

I'm using a m-audio fw410 on a really average HP notebook running xp sp3. I think the firewire card is TI. Against all the odds I've been using it for roughly 3 years without any problems. Probably doomed it now!

gjm
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Re: PC Firewire users

Post by gjm » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:46 am

My Alesis iO/14 works fine on my XP Pro system, but only after changing the video card.
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apalomba
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Re: PC Firewire users

Post by apalomba » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:58 pm

the_viirus wrote:Does anyone have firewire for PC working properly?
How did you do it?!

I have tried a slew of fixes, hot-fixes, and driver over-writes....but nothing still.
I have been using Firewire on my laptop for years (XP/Vista) with no
problems. I use a Firewire 410, working fine.

I would stick to major laptop vendors. All my laptops have been
Dells. Basically it all boils down to what chipset you have.

the_viirus
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Re: PC Firewire users

Post by the_viirus » Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:32 pm

apalomba wrote:
the_viirus wrote:Does anyone have firewire for PC working properly?
How did you do it?!

I have tried a slew of fixes, hot-fixes, and driver over-writes....but nothing still.
I have been using Firewire on my laptop for years (XP/Vista) with no
problems. I use a Firewire 410, working fine.

I would stick to major laptop vendors. All my laptops have been
Dells. Basically it all boils down to what chipset you have.
My PC is a desktop system, and I think the problem is my non-TI firewire card. It will not power my firewire audiophile nor even recognize it if I power it separately.

adventurepants_
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Re: PC Firewire users

Post by adventurepants_ » Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:35 pm

That sounds more like a faulty firewire interface or audio interface. A poorly working firewire controller should be able to see and use your interface, but it will use it with glitches.

Can you successfully connect any kind of firewire device to your PC?
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H20nly
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Re: PC Firewire users

Post by H20nly » Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:01 pm

The only firewire issues I've seen on a PC were from really crappy controllers i.e. don't work at all.

I'm running an Alesis MuiltiMix via Firewire and have been for several years. Got a tower and Win XP. I think the controller is Adaptec.

adventurepants_
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Re: PC Firewire users

Post by adventurepants_ » Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:04 pm

H20nly wrote:The only firewire issues I've seen on a PC were from really crappy controllers i.e. don't work at all.

I'm running an Alesis MuiltiMix via Firewire and have been for several years. Got a tower and Win XP. I think the controller is Adaptec.
I halved my latency by putting in a TI firewire controller, compared to the Agere one. Adaptec were one of the good ones. Theres a lot of cheaply made crap now!
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the_viirus
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Re: PC Firewire users

Post by the_viirus » Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:35 pm

adventurepants_ wrote:That sounds more like a faulty firewire interface or audio interface. A poorly working firewire controller should be able to see and use your interface, but it will use it with glitches.

Can you successfully connect any kind of firewire device to your PC?
I can connect a (not bus powered) firewire hard drive enclosure, but transfer rates are slow and usually error out.

adventurepants_
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Re: PC Firewire users

Post by adventurepants_ » Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:42 pm

Id guess its the controller. If its built in to the mboard, try disabling the DVD drive, wifi, network adaptor and bluetooth, and connecting your hard drive again for a test copy. On the cheaper chipsets, these all share resources and can impact performance.
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leedsquietman
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Re: PC Firewire users

Post by leedsquietman » Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:45 pm

TI chipsets work much better than Agere and RICOH and O2 are the worst of the bunch. VIA are similar to TI.

Also, sometimes the 4 pin FW port on laptops is not ideal, the 6 pin full FW circuit as on desktops and also Macbook Pro, will run more stably.

Then after this, the quality of drivers is the next potential pitfall.

RME's audio interfaces are the best, because although they use the firewire bus interface, they don't use the firewire protocol, but their own custom protocol which allows more bandwidth and fewer errors.

Many of the newer laptops with RICOH and Agere chipsets are part of an integrated circuit which includes PCI Expresscard buss, SD card slots etc, so you cannot disable the onboard chipset, or plugging in another firewire card runs it through a subpar expresscard buss, negating the benefits.
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the_viirus
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Re: PC Firewire users

Post by the_viirus » Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:48 pm

adventurepants_ wrote:Id guess its the controller. If its built in to the mboard, try disabling the DVD drive, wifi, network adaptor and bluetooth, and connecting your hard drive again for a test copy. On the cheaper chipsets, these all share resources and can impact performance.
It is a non-TI PCI card.
I have a new TI-chipset firewire PCI card coming.

adventurepants_
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Re: PC Firewire users

Post by adventurepants_ » Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:57 pm

leedsquietman wrote:TI chipsets work much better than Agere and RICOH and O2 are the worst of the bunch. VIA are similar to TI.

Also, sometimes the 4 pin FW port on laptops is not ideal, the 6 pin full FW circuit as on desktops and also Macbook Pro, will run more stably.

Then after this, the quality of drivers is the next potential pitfall.

RME's audio interfaces are the best, because although they use the firewire bus interface, they don't use the firewire protocol, but their own custom protocol which allows more bandwidth and fewer errors.

Many of the newer laptops with RICOH and Agere chipsets are part of an integrated circuit which includes PCI Expresscard buss, SD card slots etc, so you cannot disable the onboard chipset, or plugging in another firewire card runs it through a subpar expresscard buss, negating the benefits.
The only difference between 4 and 6 pin firewire, is that 6 pin carries power. There is zero difference in stability or througput. In fact the 4 pins are less likely to be unstable during hot swapping because they dont carry power.

You can disable individual devices on shared controller chipsets. I do it all the time on one of my laptops. I get better firewire performance from the Ricoh chipset if I disable DVD/BT/Wifi. Its not as good for latency as my desktop with a TI card, but Ive DJ'd with it for over 9 hours with not a single pop or click or crash.
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