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Best firewire drivers for Windows?

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.

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szurcio
KVRian
 
541 posts since 24 Nov, 2005

Postby szurcio; Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:32 pm Best firewire drivers for Windows?

What FW audio interface would you recommend for Windows? It doesn't have to have mic preamps or many inputs/outputs just very solid Win drivers with low latency. I have had some problems with my current setup - for some reason, Asio4all works much better (and with much lower latency) than the manufacturer's driver.
BertKoor
KVRAF
 
8303 posts since 8 Mar, 2005, from Utrecht, Holland

Postby BertKoor; Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:25 pm Re: Best firewire drivers for Windows?

Take my advice: avoid all FireWire interfaces for audio. On paper it's better than USB2, but in practice it's far worse! You got to have a good FireWire chipset, and even then your motherboard can make it a nightmare. This is Plug&Pray territory...

So turn back from firewire while you can.

If you want rock-solid drivers and money is no issue: take an RME interface.
On a budget I can recommend ESI cards.
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pljones
KVRAF
 
4621 posts since 8 Feb, 2003, from London, UK

Postby pljones; Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:52 pm Re: Best firewire drivers for Windows?

I bought a PCIe FireWire 800 interface with a Texas Instruments chipset, which is using the Win8 driver. It's in a PCIe slot that has nothing else sharing the interrupt. That's connected to my Echo AudioFire4 with the latest manufacturer drivers. (Echo say it'll work on Win8.1 -- I just haven't got around to upgrating...) It's rock solid at a buffer size of 128 samples, which was the best my old PC could manage. I've not really pushed it harder than that. I only run at 44100 or 48000 samples per second. I use the on-board MIDI port connected from my TrapKAT to trigger drum samples and it feels latency-free to me.

Firewire is definitely a minefield, though...
szurcio
KVRian
 
541 posts since 24 Nov, 2005

Postby szurcio; Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:32 pm Re: Best firewire drivers for Windows?

Well, maybe I'll go back to the USB land...
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tehlord
KVRAF
 
6727 posts since 22 Sep, 2008, from Windsor. UK

Postby tehlord; Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:45 pm Re: Best firewire drivers for Windows?

Firewire is fine.

It's been fine for years and it's fine now.

You just need a FW card with a Ti chipset.

If you're trying to do it on a laptop then it's lol at you.
dsan@mail.com
KVRAF
 
2152 posts since 29 Sep, 2005

Postby dsan@mail.com; Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:14 pm Re: Best firewire drivers for Windows?

tehlord wrote:Firewire is fine.

It's been fine for years and it's fine now.

You just need a FW card with a Ti chipset.

If you're trying to do it on a laptop then it's lol at you.


Totally agree....been running Edirol FA-101 in XP, Vista and W7 for years. And prefer firewire over usb.

The trick is a TI firewire chipset. But I think the chipset has to be on the mobo if I understand it correctly.

Gigabyte still uses TI chipset, which is what I use in my W7 build. ASUS does not use TI chipset, or at least at last check. Pity.

The problem with USB card will be latency. It obviously has more but this may not affect you depending on what you are doing.

Check it out good before making a decision. Now they have such a thing as Thunderbolt. Will it ever end? :hihi:

Happy Musiking!
dsan

EDIT: OH, meant to add....avoid the M-Audio Firewire 410 if you may be considering it. I have one too and you can't get enough loudness from the outs. This has been reported by many and goes unfixed. I'm not sure if the 810 has the same problem but I thinnk it does.
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Zombie Queen
KVRAF
 
3388 posts since 1 Aug, 2005, from where butter flies

Postby Zombie Queen; Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:21 pm Re: Best firewire drivers for Windows?

Firewire is great IMO, I've got all kind of nonsense connected to USB ports, keyboard, mouse, ups monitor, external HD, external CD, some HUB, etc. I really wouldn't like all this stuff on the same bus with audio interface, sometimes when I disconnect something whole USB goes belly up until restart, too much mess there. Firewire on the other hand, only runs sound box. I have Echo Audio Audiofire 4 too, plugged to what came with my motherboard, no problem with drivers, it's rock solid. Though pres ain't too good, still they are way better than in cheap Behringer mixer I once had.
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Gonga
KVRAF
 
1815 posts since 27 Feb, 2011

Postby Gonga; Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:24 pm Re: Best firewire drivers for Windows?

Well as far as FW drivers, Windows 7 includes native drivers for many Ti chipsets, and Windows 8 also loads native drivers for TI chipsets, but some chipsets that work under Win7 don't work well under Windows 8. I can vouch for the SIIG DP FireWire 2-Port PCIe card which is $43 at Amazon (it's a Firewire controller - not an audio interface). Both Win7 and 8 include native drivers so it will just work right out of the box, no need to install anything but the card into the slot, and man, it is flawless for me. I have 4ms round trip latency at a buffer setting of 64, with 16 channels of 24-bit audio over it.

http://www.amazon.com/SIIG-FireWire-2-P ... -Port+PCIe

My interface is a Mackie 1640i mixer.
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hibidy
KVRAF
 
41051 posts since 20 Dec, 2005

Postby hibidy; Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:07 pm Re: Best firewire drivers for Windows?

I can only tell you what I have and how it works.

I have a focusrite saffire 14. I use a TI chipset (a SIIG from like 7 year ago) I run at 48k and a 128 buffer and have about 7.5ms round-trip latency. I used win7x64 ultimate.

I used to use an M-audio profire 610, which was also stable but had an annoying flaw. If for any reason the host crashed, you MUST restart the computer, or it will bluescreen. M-audio is not the only one to have this issue but the focusrite is TOTALLY solid and doesn't have that issue.

I don't know what the latency is on the USB focusrites, I'm assuming it's similar.
frankjcc2003
KVRist
 
55 posts since 22 Aug, 2004

Postby frankjcc2003; Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:52 pm Re: Best firewire drivers for Windows?

I must agree with the people that says stay away. I just upgraded my motherboard and processor to haswell 4770k. I got it all up and running and whoops no firewire. I had a saffire pro 40. Okay no problem I know just get a add in card with ti chipset. No one has it locally. I went with a recommended card from focusrite. I forget which one, but tigerdirect sells it. I was never able to open the mixer software. firewire light never lit up and stayed on. Took it back.

Next was a VIA chipset, also recommended very flakey when I turn on my (daw sonar x3) The firewire light would blink about four times before it would lock on. It just wasn't stable. That's still laying around here somewhere. I went back to look for a Motherboard with firewire, They said I think amd has one. I did see a Sabertooth board at another store that had one, but I wasn't take that chance. It looks like they are really dying out. Then it came to me.

Guitar center, Scarlett 18i20 USB, Not a single problem, everything works the way it used to , which was rock solid when I had a compatible MB, but Computer technolgy is changing so much, that It's In your best interest to get something that can take you a long way into the future, Firewire is NOT it.

That's my story, Hope it helps
hibidy
KVRAF
 
41051 posts since 20 Dec, 2005

Postby hibidy; Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:36 pm Re: Best firewire drivers for Windows?

Just outta curiosity, what is the latency and what sample rate/buffer are you running at? Those look like nice units.
frankjcc2003
KVRist
 
55 posts since 22 Aug, 2004

Postby frankjcc2003; Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:51 pm Re: Best firewire drivers for Windows?

I'm running 2ms 89samples which has 11.9 round trip.@ 44.1 It has option for 1ms 45samples round trip is 6.9ms which I just tried running bfd3 and it plays fine. I haven't upped my samplerate because I have too many projects that has 44.1 throughout and I just didn't want to confuse things. And based on old arguments about the neccessity of higher rates, I just didn't get on board with that yet. However, I think it's time to re-evaluate this. I have not used this in a larger project as of yet. Still get everything together with this Fresh Install and all.
hibidy
KVRAF
 
41051 posts since 20 Dec, 2005

Postby hibidy; Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:15 pm Re: Best firewire drivers for Windows?

I'm sorry forgive me, but I'm not used to 2ms 89samples I only know of 32/64/96/128.
frankjcc2003
KVRist
 
55 posts since 22 Aug, 2004

Postby frankjcc2003; Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:16 pm Re: Best firewire drivers for Windows?

these are the numbers that Sonar reported when I view the actual settings. Unlike mix control 3.3 the options on this device are in ms 1ms 2ms 3ms and so on. I don't see the option that I used to have like short, long, and whatever they used to set the range of latency options, which did have the numbers you describe.
hibidy
KVRAF
 
41051 posts since 20 Dec, 2005

Postby hibidy; Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:21 pm Re: Best firewire drivers for Windows?

Ok, was just just trying to get a baseline for USB vs FW. I'm about 7.5ms round trip at 48k/128 buffer.
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