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Published: Mon August 23, 2004  News Feed

As the long awaited FIREFACE800 is due for shipping soon, RME have released their test results for third party FireWire 800 PCI Cards.

If you are thinking of buying one of these then please take the time to read through this page as it contains much important information for both you.

As always, being able to supply you with the correct information at the outset will prevent possible problems in the future.
Fortunately the MAC G5 firewire 800 ports are fully compatible,  PC users however will need to make sure they purchase the recommended cards by RME as tested by the development team.

The Full Report:

A Summary of the Report

Reassuring: FireWire 400 (1394a-2000) has always functioned properly. We tested PCI FireWire cards with chips from VIA, NEC and Texas Instruments. The communication between computer, Fireface 800 and external FireWire hard drive didn\'t show any problem.

Worrying: With FireWire 800 (1394b), however, we encountered shaky communication, complete denial or strong temperature dependancy. Operating the Fireface and an external FW800 hard drive at the same time caused irregular bus resets, which were of course interrupting the audio signal.

Working Hardware

Because of the experiences described above, we recommend that all FireFace 800 users who want to use FireWire800, use only devices tested by RME. We have checked the usage of low jitter crystals, a correct supply voltage of 1.95 V and a proper function with Fireface, plus the combination of Fireface and external FW800 hard drive with the following devices.

Apple G5 Series

It actually goes without saying, but only to avoid requests: Apple\'s G5 computers with FW800 port are fully compatible.


LaCie, renowned manufacturer, delivers a good brand\'s quality. Both the FireWire 800 PCI Card and the external LaCie d2 Triple Interface Hard Drive are fully compatible.


The renowned manufacturer MacPower also met our expectations. The external hard drive enclosure IceCube 800 is fully compatible.

Alternate FireWire PCI

No-name ware doesn\'t necessarily have to bad. For example Alternate\'s FireWire Card 1394b 800 PCI, a 64 bit PCI card with two FW800 and one FW400 port.

Further information will appear on the RME website (www.rme-audio.de) as and when.

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