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UAD Apollo - Firewire Question

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UAD Apollo - Firewire Question

Postby BenH » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:19 am

I'm aiming to upgrade my audio interface to a UAD Apollo. Need some advice on Firewire ports please.

My PC (Feb 2008, HP desktop, Q6600 2.4ghz) struggles a bit with plug ins, and I thought that adding a UAD card would deal with that. Upgrading the interface from my MBox2 would also mean more ins / outs, better pre-amps etc. So Apollo looked like a good way to go, and ought to make it reasonably future proof.

UAD recommend a couple of Firewire cards that they've certified as compatible. But they're both PCIe, and the HP has PCI slots. So I thought I'd use a converter, e.g. http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0037ECAM2/ref=asc_df_B0037ECAM211635325?smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&tag=googlecouk06-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22206&creativeASIN=B0037ECAM2

I'm a bit bothered though - if the Apollo is that fussy about Firewire cards in the first place, will bunging an adapter between the firewire card and the PC muck things up?

Any advice gratefully received

thanks

Ben
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Re: UAD Apollo - Firewire Question

Postby Pete Kaine » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:23 am

I'd be interested to see if that works, as I've never tried it. However your better off finding out what controller chip is being used on the recomemended card and then finding the PCI version of it... it will exist. I'm guessing it's just a TI controller in which case you can probably find a load of cards that use it, probably best off asking the tech support whats on the cards on the validation list.
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Re: UAD Apollo - Firewire Question

Postby BenH » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:13 am

Thanks for the steer - I'll try a PCI card with a TI controller and see if that works.
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Re: UAD Apollo - Firewire Question

Postby Goddard » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:15 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:I'd be interested to see if that works, as I've never tried it. However your better off finding out what controller chip is being used on the recomemended card and then finding the PCI version of it... it will exist. I'm guessing it's just a TI controller in which case you can probably find a load of cards that use it, probably best off asking the tech support whats on the cards on the validation list.

The 2 qualified PCIe FW800 cards listed by UAD use a T.I. XIO2213 which is a PCIe FW800 controller chip (with an internal PCIe<>PCI bridge, for interfacing to PCIe). The nearest corresponding PCI FW800 equivalent would probably be the T.I. TSB83AA23, so a PCI FW800 card employing that chip might work with the Apollo.

However, I suspect the reason why UAD have only qualified PCIe cards is due to high throughput (bandwidth) requirements, which the PCI bus may not be able to accomodate. So even if the Apollo might work with a PCI FW card, it might not work very well.
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Re: UAD Apollo - Firewire Question

Postby Pete Kaine » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:53 pm

Well found on the chip model code!

Well if thats so then the OP is going to be out of luck either way, but I'd expect better results out of a proper card attached to a bus than trying to ram the data through a converter solution.

Only one way to find out in this situation I'm afraid...
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Re: UAD Apollo - Firewire Question

Postby Goddard » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:48 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:Well found on the chip model code!


Nah, simple really, inasmuch as UAD's Apollo support page lists the specific T.I. chip used (XIO2213) on their qualified PCIe FW cards:

http://www.uaudio.com/support/apollo-support

and a quick lookup of the XIO2213 at T.I.'s site reveals the PCI FW chips offering similar functionality:

http://www.ti.com/product/xio2213a

Btw, it may be interesting to note that UAD show their qualified Expresscard FW800 cards as also employing the same XIO2213 chip (the current/latest version of which is the XIO2213b (the "a" version was buggy, as was T.I.'s XIO2200 PCIe FW400 chip)).

Pete Kaine wrote:Well if thats so then the OP is going to be out of luck either way, but I'd expect better results out of a proper card attached to a bus than trying to ram the data through a converter solution.

Only one way to find out in this situation I'm afraid...


Oh, I agree, no way a converter is going to help, if it even works at all.

Odd that the OP's system lacks a PCIe slot, as I would have though any Socket 775 board would provide at least one PCIe add-in card slot in addition to a PCIe graphics card slot, but then it's an HP system so no telling.

Looking at the Windows system requirements for Apollo indicated by UAD under "About System Performance", the safest and most practical way forward for the OP is to upgrade to a newer i7 system with a PCIe slot for a PCIe FW800 card.
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Re: UAD Apollo - Firewire Question

Postby BenH » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:57 pm

Thank you both very much. I had a feeling this might end up by needing a PC upgrade too.

That'll need some budget negotiations...

Thanks again for the steer.

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