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iMac / MB / MBP with Agere firewire chipsets can be troublesome (okt 07 till feb 08)
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#61
27th February 2008
Old 27th February 2008
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Went to the Apple store after work but the 5th Ave (New York) store didn't have any of the new Macbook Pros in stock or on display today - they hadn't even changed the info cards to reflect the new specs.

Hopefully someone else will be luckier!

-Mike

EDIT: Apparently rangda beat me to this - same smiley too! Well its here
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Last edited by celticrogues; 27th February 2008 at 02:39 AM.. Reason: beat
#62
27th February 2008
Old 27th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celticrogues View Post
Went to the Apple store after work but the 5th Ave (New York) store didn't have any of the new Macbook Pros in stock or on display today - they hadn't even changed the info cards to reflect the new specs.

Hopefully someone else will be luckier!

-Mike

EDIT: Apparently rangda beat me to this - same smiley too! Well its here
Man, I almost sold my 2.2 for a 2.4 purchase, larger HD - booted in single mode APPLE-S and sure enough (TI), built in August. Brand new LED version.

Think I will be holding on to this until I check out the Apple Store boot up.
If single mode says TI, is that just for 800? Do all the MBP and iMACS use TI for 800?

Does mine use TI for 400 and 800? Is there something I should look for at the apple store when I boot? On mine, all it says is TI, maximum speed, 800.

Thanks.
Are there really that many problems?
#63
27th February 2008
Old 27th February 2008
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Well I'm glad I saw this now... the store I bought my iMac from has a two-week return policy with no questions asked. I have a week to determine if my machine's FW chipset
are affected with this issue. How does one do the "Apple-S" thing on an iMac? I'm brand new to macs and there's nothing in the system prefs or the tiny "manual" that came with it... Thanks...
#64
27th February 2008
Old 27th February 2008
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Just hold down the Apple (Command) key and the 'S' key at the same time right after you press the power button (or right after you restart & hear the startup tone). This works on ANY Mac. To get out of Single User mode, just type "reboot" and hit the Return key.

Here's the crazy thing, which seems to throw a wrench into the consistency of these reports/problems: many machines have a 'TI' (Texas Instruments) controller according to the info that comes up when you boot in Single User mode. All the store models did when I tested them about 4 weeks ago at my Apple Store - but NONE of them worked with at least one brand of interface (a Presonus Firebox). The interface is fine though - it worked on iMacs, Mac Pro towers, and my previous-gen. MacBook Pro.

So, there's definitely something wrong with MacBook/MacBook Pro Firewire implementation in late 2007 models. Apple knows about it and most audio interface companies know about it. Hopefully it was fixed in the models announced yesterday!

Jim
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#65
27th February 2008
Old 27th February 2008
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Thanks Jim... Here I was looking for the "apple key"... "Command S" OK.thumbsup
#66
27th February 2008
Old 27th February 2008
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I just did the command - s thing (need to hold down both command keys) and it said "Lucent 5901", so I may have a problem. I guess the next step is to test it with a FW peripheral...
#67
27th February 2008
Old 27th February 2008
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Huh? You should only have to hold down (1) Command key and the 'S' key. Did it not work that way?

Yeah, it WAS the "Apple" key until yesterday ;-)
#68
27th February 2008
Old 27th February 2008
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Come again, WHAT is the problem with the Agere chipset exactly?
#69
27th February 2008
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See the beginning of the thread. Many Macbook & MacBook Pro users have had nothing but trouble with recent machines using the supposed Agere Firewire chipset. There's a fundamental incompatibility with many audio interfaces (RME, Presonus, Echo, MOTU, etc.). Some work intermittently, some don't even show up.

If you're in the market for a new Apple laptop, be sure to test one with your preferred brand of audio interface first.
#70
27th February 2008
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Thanks for the reply. i did read the beginning of the thread but could not determine how 'big' the problem is (nor what DOES work well...). So you are saying there is no problem with Mbox Pro and possible Duet? Software all runs fine and so?
#71
27th February 2008
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Haven't tried those specific boxes - you'll need to test them if that's what you use.

Here's what I HAVE tried on current MacBooks & MacBook Pros (except of course the ones that came out yesterday):

M-Audio 1814 - works fine so far
Echo AudioFire 8 - recognized, works intermittently but audio "fizzles out"
Echo AudioFire 12 - same as AudioFire 8
Presonus Firebox - does not work at all (even when using AC adapter)

These same interfaces all work flawlessly with my 1st-gen. MacBook Pro, G5, Mac Pro tower, etc. - it's just the laptops that are screwed.

People are reportedly having trouble with RME, MOTU and M-Audio products as well, but I haven't been able to test those yet. Google "Apple Agere" or "MacBook Agere" and watch what happens...
#72
27th February 2008
Old 27th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanuman View Post
Thanks for the reply. i did read the beginning of the thread but could not determine how 'big' the problem is (nor what DOES work well...). So you are saying there is no problem with Mbox Pro and possible Duet? Software all runs fine and so?
So are we talking drop outs, stutter, noise, pops, or just not showing up? I ask as if I bring in my rack to plug in to a new macbook pro (which probably won't be on the store shelfs for a few more days), if it shows up, do I assume (after opening Logic) and turning on interface, if the device shows up all is fine?

Also, read here I think that a work around would be (not to sure how good this info is) is to get say a Hard Drive with a TI firewire interface, then plug the device in that.


Have received a lot of offers for my current 5 months old Macbook Pro, 2.2, LED, 15", mint condition, iSKIN, legit programs (NFS) as I can get a new one for same price with Apple friends discount. Now I'm thinking, okay, is it worth the extra .2 speed bump, a bit larger HD and extra VRAM? For Music? When it seems this machine can handle everything quite well. Although I am concerned. I was reading at EWQL that their storm drum plug in requires at least a 2.5 duo core 2, surely that must be the older core 2 as I can't imagine it needing THAT much power as a minium as if so, then it must be a CPU HOG....

More here on requirements:

Quantum Leap SD2 -The Next Generation :: Virtual Instruments :: Sounds Online tutt
#73
28th February 2008
Old 28th February 2008
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rangda is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by composer View Post
So are we talking drop outs, stutter, noise, pops, or just not showing up?
If you go over to the RME forums, you can see threads like:

RME User Forum / Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

From what I have seen there the audio device shows up but when you go to record the Agere chipset resets the fw bus and you get no audio. So just checking to see if the interface shows up isn't enough, you're going to have to actually try to record something (with an appropriately low buffer size).

RME lists a workaround to either connect their hardware to the fw 800 port (using a 400 to 800 cable) or to connect it to a fw external hard disk. While this works, I've seen posts where the buffer size has had to be really large to avoid dropouts, pops etc.
#74
28th February 2008
Old 28th February 2008
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vinayk is offline
I'd love to know if any of you guys test a presonus firebox with the new Penryn MBPs.

I was all set to buy one also - till I read up on all of this!!! I dont mind plugging into the wall - I just need it to work with the MBP!

I'll try to get into the mac store nearby soon and take my firebox in, I assume I just take both firewire adaptors and the wall plug and see how it goes?

I'll let you all know - i've been waiting for this buy for so long! now they're stuffing it up for me ehe! I dont wan't to have to stay with xp/vista! Coz this new laptop will be it for a good while!
#75
28th February 2008
Old 28th February 2008
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Komkommer is offline
Hello. I have an aluminium iMac. I bought it in December 07 and it has the Lucent FW chipset. Im using the Apogee Duet without a single problem. Very low latency etc... Now I wonder if I can use the FW800 port to connect something like the Focusrite Liquidmix or SSL Duende Mini or TC Electronics Powercore together with the Apoge Duet connected to the FW400 port without any problems?



dfegad APPLE
#76
28th February 2008
Old 28th February 2008
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Just checked my sister's Peryn Black Macbook and it had a Lucent chipset.
#77
28th February 2008
Old 28th February 2008
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So I googled out of curiosity and found that apparently Agere was once a division of Lucent.
Disaster Of The Day: Lucent, Agere - Forbes.com
It looks like they separated in 2002 and are or were two separate companies, at least for awhile, but I'm not sure what could have happened since then. So just because a laptop reports a Lucent chip doesn't mean it will be free from the problems associated with Agere chips - it would still be useful to check these with various interfaces.

Apologies if this is old news or not relevant, but it gave me pause so I thought I'd share

-Mike
#78
28th February 2008
Old 28th February 2008
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tremendous is offline
Noit sure if this will help, but I went to my local apple store today and checked the new machines...

Macbook (all models) - Lucent 5811
Macbook Pro (15" and 17") - TI 8025

So is this good news or bad...

Thanks
#79
28th February 2008
Old 28th February 2008
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Komkommer is offline
According to previous posts it doesnt matter which FW chipset is in those new Apple Books because firewire devices keep on behaving badly! The Macbook in your store, by the way, has the Lucent chipset and the MBPro's have the Texas Instrument firewire chipset.
#80
28th February 2008
Old 28th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komkommer View Post
The Macbook in your store, by the way, has the Lucent chipset and the MBPro's have the Texas Instrument firewire chipset.
umm, yes. i know. that's what i just said?
#81
28th February 2008
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Hmmm... the Agere - Lucent connection makes perfect sense based on all the research I've done. What DOESN'T make sense is why some machines that have a TI controller (mine included) have problems. Specifically, my new MBP has a TI controller, while my 1st-gen. MBP has a Lucent chip - and that older machine works flawlessly with every interface I've tried! Very strange...

Whatever the case, I had a long meeting yesterday with some Apple Logic guys who are very high up the chain, and was encouraged to hear that they're VERY aware of this issue and it's being worked on. They didn't know the status of the machines that just came out on Tuesday, though.

So, at the very least, there are some interfaces that do work, either directly or through workarounds (FW drive in the chain, TI cardbus FW card, etc.), and Apple is working on the problem.

In the meantime, be sure to thoroughly test your machine with your interface before you buy, or within the exchange period if that's not possible.

Have a good one,

Jim
#82
29th February 2008
Old 29th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whinecellar View Post
Whatever the case, I had a long meeting yesterday with some Apple Logic guys who are very high up the chain, and was encouraged to hear that they're VERY aware of this issue and it's being worked on. They didn't know the status of the machines that just came out on Tuesday, though.

So, at the very least, there are some interfaces that do work, either directly or through workarounds (FW drive in the chain, TI cardbus FW card, etc.), and Apple is working on the problem.

In the meantime, be sure to thoroughly test your machine with your interface before you buy, or within the exchange period if that's not possible.

So Jim - in your newer MBP - does the firewire not work at all? or is it buggy?

And if these ppl are aware of the problem and working on it - then does that mean that they are looking at software workarounds? Or will it require new motherboards in machines?

My problem is that although I can test my device on the new machines in store - I have to order online to get my student discount (and free Ipod - with cashback) - so i'm not going to know what I get!

Has anyone used a firewire box on one of the new TI macbookpros yet? In theory it should work - from what i've read on here?
#83
29th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whinecellar View Post
Hmmm... the Agere - Lucent connection makes perfect sense based on all the research I've done. What DOESN'T make sense is why some machines that have a TI controller (mine included) have problems. Specifically, my new MBP has a TI controller, while my 1st-gen. MBP has a Lucent chip - and that older machine works flawlessly with every interface I've tried! Very strange...

Whatever the case, I had a long meeting yesterday with some Apple Logic guys who are very high up the chain, and was encouraged to hear that they're VERY aware of this issue and it's being worked on. They didn't know the status of the machines that just came out on Tuesday, though.

So, at the very least, there are some interfaces that do work, either directly or through workarounds (FW drive in the chain, TI cardbus FW card, etc.), and Apple is working on the problem.

In the meantime, be sure to thoroughly test your machine with your interface before you buy, or within the exchange period if that's not possible.

Have a good one,

Jim
Am confused now! I thought that the TI was the staple and that it worked? In PC land when they went to PCI-E it messed everything up. I thought the TI would be fine, its not? ? ? If so, no way I am selling my 2.2 for a mere .2 upgrade and more video ram.

Also, in OCT, I think they changed from PCI to PCI-E and maybe that is the problem? In the land of PC's when this happened a few years ago, motherboard manufactures had to redesign for audio as PCI was the best. Then INTEL became the staple for motherboards for a while. Do you think this is the problem? Has anyone checked the PCI-E spec from OCTOBER to now?

Was in an apple store and they didn't have any out but a friend let me see a 2.5 and it booted into single mode showing TI on the MBP.

Not sure what to look for for PCI-E. Wondering if mine (2.2 SEPT 07) is non PCI? I use a MACKIE firewire, no problems at all.
#84
29th February 2008
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Sorry to contribute to any confusion, and I'm right there with you despite all the research I've done!

According to all the audio interface companies, it is a Firewire controller issue. RME in particular has done thorough testing on this. And yes, a machine with a TI controller should be preferable to one with a Agere (Lucent) chip. By the way, you will never see "Agere" when you boot into Single User mode - you will see TI or Lucent (as Agere was/is a subsidiary of Lucent).

Not sure what to make of the fact that some MBP's claim a TI chip but still have these problems - that's why you need to test your machine thoroughly before you buy (if possible) or within the exchange period. We all HOPE this issue was fixed in the new models that were just announced. I've asked a friend at Apple to give me a report on the chipsets in the new AND previous models - I'll let you know what he finds.

Someone asked about the specific problems I've had. It's different with each interface - I outlined them a few posts up. It ranges from not recognizing the interface at all (Presonus) to "kinda works" but distorted audio (Echo) to works for a minute but then drops communication (RME, Apogee).

One other note, but NOT firsthand info: A friend was talking to an M-Audio rep at NAMM and asked about this problem. Their head engineer, as I understand it, was involved in the original Firewire spec at Apple, and instantly starting dishing on the issue. His statement was along the lines of "bash M-Audio if you want, but our Firewire stuff always works, and it is not subject to this problem." He also said it is absolutely addressable in the software realm, and while TI has a much higher-quality controller, it is workable with the new Agere/Lucent chip.

I take all that with a grain of salt, but it is interesting to note that in all the testing I've done, sure enough the M-Audio stuff has worked with no problems whatsoever.

YMMV, so proceed with caution ;-)

Jim
#85
29th February 2008
Old 29th February 2008
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> if these ppl are aware of the problem and working on it - then does that mean that they are looking at software workarounds? Or will it require new motherboards in machines?

Unfortunately, nobody knows for sure. The folks I've spoken to simply said they are working very hard on it as it is a recognized and serious issue.

> My problem is that although I can test my device on the new machines in store - I have to order online to get my student discount (and free Ipod - with cashback) - so i'm not going to know what I get!

If your stuff works in the store and you order the same model online, you should be fine. Like anything else though, you will have a return/exchange period, so if you do have problems, you can get it taken care of.
#86
29th February 2008
Old 29th February 2008
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ari800 is offline
Planing to buy Duende for new alu iMac 24"

Does anyone have any experience using Duende with the new iMac with the Agere/Lucent FW chip ?

(I'm currently using my iMac 24" with the Presonus Firebox and I'm quite happy with the setup... But how about the Duende ?)

Anyone ? Thanks !
#87
1st March 2008
Old 1st March 2008
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Murahachibu is offline
I went to both a local electronics shop here in Tokyo and the Apple store and I checked several different MBPs using "command S".

All of the MBP's listed TI in the Firewire line.

I called Apple here in Japan to confirm if all MBP units are now using TI chipsets and the person I spoke with would not comment, saying that they can't give out information on specific components. When I pressed the person on the phone and told her about my concerns, she noted that all of the units she had in front of her all had the same chipset (but would not name it) and said that if I order now I will most likely get that chipset (the TI wink, wink, nod, nod) as the unit I get would most likely be in the same production batch.

I asked if I could return my MBP if it did not have the TI chipset and my FW interface didn't work. She gave me the run around, but eventually said I would have 2 weeks to return the computer. She suggested I go to the Apple store and speak with someone there if I had any more detailed questions or needed additonal help with a purchase. I went to the Apple store and I got the same run around. They can't comment on specific components, and they also discouraged me from returning my computer if it did not have the TI chipset.

Anyway, it looks like the current runs are using the TI chips. Also, none of the people I spoke with were aware of any problems, but that wasn't too surprising.

Anyway I went ahead and ordered a MBP, but I was not too impressed with the level of service I got...
#88
1st March 2008
Old 1st March 2008
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elloweez is offline
Protools and the digi 002

Hello all,
My first post here on gearslutz. Has anyone tried the digidesigns 002 or for that matter any of the Digidesign stuff with the newer macs? I have read a lot about apogee not working but i don't think Ive found anyone commenting on how the firewire issues are affecting digidesigns hardware. My old G5 died and i want to get an Imac but after having read this entire thread i am a more than just a little concerned.
Elloweez
#89
1st March 2008
Old 1st March 2008
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rangda is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murahachibu View Post
Anyway I went ahead and ordered a MBP, but I was not too impressed with the level of service I got...
Apple stores are boutiques designed to sell sex and glitz to the average consumer. The only way you'd get meaningful help there is if the store happened to have an employee for whom audio was a hobby.

Regarding what you got over the phone, you will get the same runaround if you call Dell, HP, etc. (I speak from experience). No manufacturer wants to comment on hardware components or make any sort of promise that their hardware will work with some 3rd party component.

There have been numerous posts on forums stating that the new MBP's have TI, but nobody has actually tried using one yet. So whether it really works or not is still TBD.
#90
1st March 2008
Old 1st March 2008
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LLSIII is offline
Digi and Leopard

elloweez, welcome to GS from another newish member!

Digi is working on getting their software to work on Leopard, but I'd check at their website about compatibility. HD is supported with 10.5.1, but I don't think they've finished their LE support yet.

Digidesign | Support | Pro Tools LE 7.x with Intel-based iMac

The above link should get you started...
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