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  1. Member
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    Oct 2004
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    Is there any significant performance difference when using a system that has firewire support on the motherboard versus using a PCI add-in firewire card on a system that doesn't have native firewire support on the motherboard? Specifically is one more likely than the other to have dropped frames on a DV capture from a camcorder?
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  2. Member
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    One my PCs has a PCI firewire card, and another has a built-in firewire port in the mobo. They both work the same. I've never had dropped frames on either. That's my experience, anyway. Have a good CPU and capture program, and you probably won't have problems.
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  3. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    it won't make any difference. built-in controllers and pci cards all have to go through the southbridge chip at the same speed.
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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  4. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    I agree, no difference. Some earlier on-board and audio card 1394A interfaces had problems, but they seem to have solved that with newer chipsets. I had the most problems with VIA interfaces. But, either way, they either worked or they didn't. The speed was the same when they worked. With most new MBs having only two or three PCI slots, you just about have to depend on on-board interfaces.
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  5. Member edDV's Avatar
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    I see you are on Vista and P4.

    If you were on Win98/ME/NT4 there may have been a difference. Those cards needed a driver.
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  6. Member
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    Originally Posted by edDV
    I see you are on Vista and P4.

    If you were on Win98/ME/NT4 there may have been a difference. Those cards needed a driver.
    That system has a firewire port on the motherboard. I'm looking at putting together a faster system dedicated to editing and encoding. Fry's has a Q9300 and ECS motherboard combo for well under $300 but there is no firewire port on the motherboard and that is why I was concerned. But it sounds like I don't have anything to worry about with an add-in firewire card.
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  7. A good-quality port, or one which is compatible with your Firewire device, will work fine. One which does not fulfill the first two requirements will probably not work as well.

    The actual location of the port is not relevant, EXCEPT - Mobo port is not changeable. It is also part of a bundle, the quality of the port may be guessed at by the quality of the board it is installed on.

    As mentioned, quality issues have largely gone away as these have become somewhat generic.
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  8. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Early Firewire interfaces required proprietary drivers and had multiple issues (e.g. the DV port on some audio or display cards).

    The Open Host Controller Interface (OHCI) on modern IEEE-1394 cards standardizes port control from the OS. These ports connect through the PCI bus. It doesn't matter if the port is on a card or the motherboard.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OHCI
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