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Recommend the Best Additional Firewire Card?

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Jesus Ali
Recommend the Best Additional Firewire Card?
on May 19, 2008 at 10:06:43 pm

Hello Everyone,

Could you please recommend a good replacement Firewire card to add to a Mac Pro when you use a IoHD?

I foresee needing the extra FW bus to run a FW audio accessory (to provide outputs for Surround Sound monitoring) and for students to run the occasional FW hard drive.


* * *

I've read in some reviews that the bandwidth needed for ProRes fits fine within the FW400 connection and that the FW800 is overkill.

If this is accurate, does it make sense to connect the IoHD to the New, Additional Bus and leave the original FW bus available for traditional use?

(This is especially attractive, because it would leave the ports on the front of the Mac Pro available and could help to keep students from noodling other connections behind the computer.)



Please recommend if the best action is to connect the IoHD to the Original FW bus or to a New FW PCI card bus; and if connected to a new bus, if it makes a dramatic difference if the card has FW400 or FW800. (I know I could use a 9-pin to 6-pin converter cable.)


Thank you all for your brilliance. Jesus.


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Jesus Ali
Re: Recommend the Best Additional Firewire Card?
on Jun 4, 2008 at 9:01:25 pm

Somebody? Anybody? ;)


Is anybody using an additional Firewire PCI card to provide a 2nd FW bus while the IoHD uses the other?

Can anyone recommend specific brands / models that work exceptionally well / bad?

Thanks. Jesus



@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @

Jesus Ali


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Jesus Ali
Re: Recommend the Best Additional Firewire Card?
on Jul 1, 2008 at 9:52:36 pm

Oh come on... ;)


NOBODY has purchased an additional Firewire Card to add a 2nd FW bus to a Mac Pro or G5 after they started using an IoHD?!?! NOBODY?!

I'm just looking for a little feedback here. Yah, nay? Pro, Con? Lacie? Sonnet? Newer? Garbagetown? FW400 or FW800? Running the IoHD on the card instead of the Apple bus? Making that only a FW400 bus?

Well, I'm just going to have to jump on B&H and order the first thing I see then. Is that what you all want me to do?! Make an uniformed decision? [ shudder ]


Jesus


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Jesus Ali
Re: Recommend the Best Additional Firewire Card?
on Jul 11, 2008 at 3:00:59 pm

FYI for others: I asked around the school and an IT guy was able to get me a Firewire card he had bought for an old G4 some years back.

I opened up the Mac Pro and tried to get it in and things just wouldn't fit properly. Before I forced anything into a new Octocore Mac Pro, I went and RTFM, well, the internets actually, and found out that PCIe cannot accept older plain PCI cards. Apparently PCIx (eXtended) can take a plain PCI card, but PCIe (Express) is a very different architecture and incompatible.

So yes! If you need to add another Firewire bus to a Mac Pro or last gen G5, you need to buy a special PCIe firewire card.

The only name brands I could find were Belkin and Sonnet:

FireWire 3-Port PCI Express™ Card for $90
FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 PCI Express™ Card for $160

Allegro Express FW400 for $70
Tango Express FireWire/USB 2.0/ for $90
Tango Express FireWire 800/USB 2.0 for $120


Some other cards show up on B&H and NewEgg from companies named Pyro/AV and SIIG. Has anyone ever used products from these manufacturers?



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Andres Rengifo
Re: Recommend the Best Additional Firewire Card?
on Oct 2, 2008 at 4:00:56 pm

hey Jesus Ali,

I have the same problem with the AJA IO HD and the firewire bus of my power mac G5, I am trying to get a extra firewire bus to be able to use my storage firewire disks and the AJA IO HD all at the same time.

I was wondering what was your final solution for your problem, which PCIe firewire 800 card was your pick and how does it work?

what would you recommend if it didn't work properly

Thanks,


Andres Rengifo



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Jesus Ali
Re: Recommend the Best Additional Firewire Card?
on Oct 4, 2008 at 9:36:36 am

Hello Andres,

I had a hard time finding a good value, FW800 and PCI Express.

In the end I settled on value and FW400. And got the Sonnet Tango Express with two 6-pin FW400 ports and 3 USB 2.0 ports. Didn't need the USB ports but this card ran the same as others with ONLY 2 FW400 ports.

Here's a link on B&H. The price seems higher now. I thought we got ours around $60. Maybe it's $75 now because we bought 3 of them! ;)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/481838-REG/Sonnet_FWUSB2_E_5_Port_Tan...

I am sure the price used to be lower because now it is only a $15 difference to get the same card with FW800!

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/545331-REG/Sonnet_FW8USB2_E_Tango_Exp...


So far it is working out fine. But we haven't been using everything at once very much. The students are tentative about committing to HD and a ProRes workflow.



OF NOTE: I have been connecting the AJA directly to the front port 9-pin FW800 plug on the Mac Pro. I connect the Courtesy FW 400 from the Apple Cinema Display to the Sonnet Tango card and I tell students to connect their HD's through the back of the Cinema Display and not to use any FW ports on the computer.

But I have read that the IoHD max throughput "fits" within the FW400 bandwidth limits. I just haven't tried it yet. If anything I guess it might limit the amount of ProRes video streams you can run simultaneously, but I wonder how many "additional" streams the IoHD can accelerate at once; does that effectively "bottom out" before the 400 mb/s roof is reached?

Good luck. Jesus


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Jesus Ali


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