14 Replies Latest reply on Oct 7, 2008 10:24 AM by the_wine_snob

    Best Firewire card for PC?

      Hi Folks. What would all of you suggest as the best PCI Firewire card out there for a PC? Mine only has one port working and I need at the very least 2. So, I will be ordering one pretty soon.

      Any suggestions are appreciated.

      Thanks,
      VG
        • 1. Re: Best Firewire card for PC?
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional
          Any OHCI Compliant card will do, VG.

          There are challenges with dual-port cards though -- particularly if you're going to use one of those ports for capturing. So I wouldn't recommend one.

          A better solution, if you're going to hook up other peripheral devices (including an external hard drive for video work), is to use USB2 ports. But you want to reserve your FireWire connection for your camcorder.
          • 2. Re: Best Firewire card for PC?
            New Improved Chuck Engels Level 1
            I like The ADS PYRO 1394b FireWire 800 PCI card, but it is a little more expensive than most. I got mine because I knew there wouldn't be any problems with the connection of my ADS Pyro Link, it has worked very well. I also have a second card that is just a generic brand I bought at Best Buy for $20, it works great also.
            • 3. Re: Best Firewire card for PC?
              Level 1
              I basically need a firewire card for my canon GL2 and for my new G-Tech firewire drive. They will be used simultaneously because the new drive is to store my video files.

              I don't think the ADS PYRO card will work with my GL2. It's a 400Mbps input on the camera and the card is 800Mbps. What little research I've had time to do suggests an Adaptech card is standard but that it's no longer being made.

              I don't really want one that includes usb ports. It's been my experience that those don't work very well.

              I was just wondering if there were "one" out there that most videographers couldn't "live without" , and wouldn't put a major kink in your wallet ;)

              VG
              • 4. Re: Best Firewire card for PC?
                Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional
                As I said, you do not want to share a FireWire card with your camcorder AND an external drive. Trust me on this.
                • 5. Re: Best Firewire card for PC?
                  You can support two Firewire devices simultaneously if you install two seperate Firewire cards. Otherwise, you will likely run into bandwidth limitations because of the way port speeds are determined.

                  The only superior Firewire card I have heard about is one that has the TI chipset. Most folks find that cheap cards work just fine. Just don't try to support two devices simultaneously on any one card.
                  • 6. Re: Best Firewire card for PC?
                    New Improved Chuck Engels Level 1
                    I use two firewire cards and can plug a drive into one and the camcorder into the other, this will not work with only one card I know that from experience when I only had one firewire card ;)
                    • 7. Re: Best Firewire card for PC?
                      DS_Nelson Level 1
                      I don't know if this has happened to anyone else, but I had a strange occurrence when I installed my PCI firewire card a year or so ago. Windows XP wouldn't boot. The computer would POST fine and go thru the hardware detection process, but when I should have gotten the Windows XP logo screen with the blue bar crawling along the bottom, I just had a blank screen. Nothing. The fans continued to spin, but the monitor was completely blank.

                      I don't know what prompted me to do it, but I moved the firewire card over to a different PCI slot, and bingo! The computer booted up fine, recognized the card and installed drivers for it, and PE3 found my Canon mini-DV recorder. Everything's been working perfectly ever since.
                      • 8. Re: Best Firewire card for PC?
                        Level 1
                        Wow. I had no idea and I'm also a computer tech. But then again, I haven't installed too many firewire cards for a lot of folks. Okay, so I need two. I'm looking at this card:

                        http://www.computervideogear.com/digital_video_capture_card/pyro-pci-64.htm

                        and it has the TI chipset. Look good to you guys?

                        VG
                        • 9. Re: Best Firewire card for PC?
                          New Improved Chuck Engels Level 1
                          That one will work just fine and the price is fairly reasonable too :)
                          • 10. Re: Best Firewire card for PC?
                            Level 1
                            <VideoGeek@adobeforums.com> wrote in message<br />news:3c05f39b.-1@webcrossing.la2eafNXanI<br />> Hi Folks. What would all of you suggest as the best PCI<br />> Firewire card out there for a PC? Mine only has one port<br />> working and I need at the very least 2. So, I will be<br />> ordering one pretty soon.<br />><br />> Any suggestions are appreciated.<br /><br />Several sources suggest that generic Firewire cards with the TI fierewire <br />chip(s) on them will be the better choice.
                            • 11. Re: Best Firewire card for PC?
                              New Improved Chuck Engels Level 1
                              Better than what Arny? The ADS card he links to has the TI chipset and is OHCI compliant. It is the same card I have and will work just fine.
                              • 12. Re: Best Firewire card for PC?
                                the_wine_snob Level 9
                                To add a resource to this thread: http://www.firewiredirect.com/store/home.php

                                I've bought many cards from this source (all sorts of configurations), and they have been a pleasure to deal with. Their prices seem fair, but I usually shop for product specs. and good service, before price.

                                They offer some configurations, that I do not see from most card mfgrs. and several of these have fit my particular needs perfectly. Ease of ordering in nice, shipping always quick, but I've never had any problems, so I do not know about returns - would guess that they are good, but just have never had to return anything.

                                I also recommend the FW-800 connections, as does Chuck. If one's BIOS can work with IEEE-1394b, and so can one's peripherals, it is a really fast connection.

                                One comment on multiple devices on one FW connection: I have had great luck piggybacking (both FW-800 & 400) for HDDs. Though I have never experienced a problem, I do not do this for any camera, A->D converter, or even external DVD burners. OK, I did piggyback an external burner, with no problems once, or twice, but do not do this on a regular basis.

                                Luckily my workstation has 4 separate FW busses on the MoBo and I use one of the FW-800 cards (from above source) for those 1394b connections. Never a complaint on any from a wide array of peripherals.

                                Hunt
                                • 13. Re: Best Firewire card for PC?
                                  Sorry to hijack the thread -
                                  has anyone of you ever tried installing three firewire controllers at once?

                                  I got the recommendation to connect the dvd-burners of an external automated dvd replicator by firewire - 2 burners per firewire controller. Since I have 5 Burners I'd need 3 controllers.

                                  I'd have to go for 1 PCIe and 2 PCI controllers in that case. What's your experience with that?

                                  Thanks,

                                  Mike
                                  • 14. Re: Best Firewire card for PC?
                                    the_wine_snob Level 9
                                    Mike,

                                    I have not done this specifically, but run three controllers on my workstation. One is from the MoBo (4 connections, but I do not know how the controller chips are configured - I think it is 2x2) and then a triple FW-800 PCIe card, where I run the one internal out of the case and use the two externals, as well. It is configured as 3x1 chip. Had no problem with my BIOS, but that *might* be a consideration to check out first. BTW, my 3x1 FW-800 card came from the link in post 12. Also check for the chip configuration of the various cards. You may be able to get by with fewer cards/slots, but will benefit from the controller chips on the card you choose. Getting these specs might mean a visit to the mfgr's site and a bit of poking around - or a call to FW Direct and hope you get a good tech.

                                    I have a ton of FW (both 400 & 800) devices connected, though no burners, duplicators. All external HDDs function perfectly and I often have several in use at a time - no glitches so far.

                                    Good luck,

                                    Hunt