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PCI Vs Firewire interfaces-
Old 30th June 2006
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
beruang's Avatar
 

PCI Vs Firewire interfaces-

HI all-
I have been looking for info regarding any sonic advantage to using a PCI based a/d interface such as the MOTU HD192 or the apogee a/d 16x w/firewire (or similar). Are there any threads about this already (god there have to be!), or does anyone have concrete, non-biased (well, ok, a little bias is fine, hahaha) info on what advantages a PCI system might have over firewire?

I am selling a Digi 002 and want to upgrade to at least 16 channels in the end-and yes, I know the HD192 is 12 channels.

My computer is fast so load on the CPU has not been too much of an issue even mixing 25+ tracks at 96kHz.

Any input would be killer-thank you!
Old 1st July 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 

sonixly there is no advantage to either they are both just a means for the computer to communicate with the sound card the difference is in the converter and clock with both benifit from being outside teh computer

do a serach all of this has been discussed alot

the 192i/o does 16i/o
Old 1st July 2006
  #3
TZk
Gear Addict
 

PCI or pcmcia is a more direct path to the processor
some mention 0% cpu drain when using pci or pcmcia while firewire ofcourse do use cpu.
Old 1st July 2006
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Some new insight on PCI vs Firewire from Universal Audio:

http://www.uaudio.com/webzine/2006/july/index3.html
Old 2nd July 2006
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bugsstar
PCI or pcmcia is a more direct path to the processor
some mention 0% cpu drain when using pci or pcmcia while firewire ofcourse do use cpu.
All interfaces put some load on the CPU when they're used. It's true that FW interfaces have more overhead in having to run the firewire protocol, but then they work with laptops. In theory you should be able to get lower latency through a bus interface, though whether this is true in practice depends on how clever the manufacturer is.

And of course all FW interfaces by definition have all of their analog bits at a distance from the computer. Any bus interface that has analog ports directly on the card is a non-starter in my book--it's an electromagnetic nightmare in there.
Old 2nd July 2006
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
duetpc's Avatar
 

Hi,


1. Firewire interfaces add 32 buffers of latency.

2. Sound card manufacturers don't have any control over the Firewire protocol and/or chipset and often can develop better interfaces for a PCI or PCIe bus.

3. The testing that we and others have done shows that the Lynx II card which is a PCI card, wil run larger projects (more plug-ins & VST instrumenst) at lower latencies.

4. Sound quality has nohing to do with the Firewire or PCI bus, but with the quality of converters, filters and digital clock.

5. The DAW's sound engine also plays a big part in sound quality as some induce undesireble phasing.



Regards,

Guy Cefalu

Sonica Audio Labs
Old 2nd July 2006
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
beruang's Avatar
 

If there is no sonic advantage to using PCI, then why is the Pro Tools TDM system relying on PCI cards with about a zillion processors? I dont use TDM as I hate the proprietary nature of PT-but with that said, any input?

Does anyone know what the firewire card actually does VS the PCI card? If you use a PCI card I assume it handles the data from the coverters-but if you use a firewire port, that means the DAW itself has to handle the data-that puts another varable into the sound quality, doesn't it?

BTW-if this has been discussed at length as stated above, cite some threads here, I'll go read them. Not threads with BS and opinion struggles-with some real useable info.
good day!

And GO Germany in the World Cup!
Old 2nd July 2006
  #8
Lives for gear
 

one consideration is the future availability of pci. mac has already moved to pcie. my thinking is that you can alway buy a firewire card cheap if future computers do no have it on board.
Old 2nd July 2006
  #9
Gear Head
 

I'd like to hear as much about this as possible also. Soon I'll be in the curious position of having a very good AD convertor (Lavry Blue) going into a humble G5 Imac (firewire only). It all makes me nervous.

Lavry only has AES out, so I'll need an RME, or something to adapt the AES to FW (and in the process waste money on RME pres/convertors... doesn't anyone sell a stand alone AES to FW adaptor box?).

I've heard RME drivers are pretty reliable, but I'd like to know in practical terms, what problems I might run into here using Firewire that I wouldn't using a pci card.
Old 2nd July 2006
  #10
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atma's Avatar
just my personal experience--one advantage i've found to using firewire over pci, is that pci cards rely on your computer's power supply unit for power, which can translate into a lot of noise. i was able to lower my noise floor something like 20db by switching to an external firewire interface with its own power adapter. if i run the firewire interface directly from the PC's power supply (via firewire) rather than using its own power adapter, the noise floor jumps back to exactly where it was with my older PCI card.
Old 3rd July 2006
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beruang
If there is no sonic advantage to using PCI, then why is the Pro Tools TDM system relying on PCI cards with about a zillion processors? I dont use TDM as I hate the proprietary nature of PT-but with that said, any input?
only the process cards are inside the computer ALL Digidesign audio interfaces are outside the computer which keeps the converters and the clock away from all the interference of the computer
Old 3rd July 2006
  #12
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Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 

eventually PCI communication will be gone, period. The PC's, Macs are getting processors so fast, that there isnt any issues any more. There are alot of boxes out there, 2-5 years old, that still cant handle the transfer speed...even the slower usb-FW rates. This makes manufacturers make the products they do.... still.

That makes me almost sound like I knew what I was talking about!!!

That is what I think about the market status, I may be wrong, but Im not a PC afficionado, thats why i never post here...
Old 5th July 2006
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acoustic Cloud
eventually PCI communication will be gone, period. The PC's, Macs are getting processors so fast, that there isnt any issues any more. There are alot of boxes out there, 2-5 years old, that still cant handle the transfer speed...even the slower usb-FW rates. This makes manufacturers make the products they do.... still.

That makes me almost sound like I knew what I was talking about!!!

That is what I think about the market status, I may be wrong, but Im not a PC afficionado, thats why i never post here...
i'm not following you. are you saying that processor speed can't keep up with the current firewire interfaces?
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