Question about usb 3.0

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CROYBOY89
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Question about usb 3.0

Post by CROYBOY89 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 4:59 pm

Hi everybody, I had an ancient computer that I was recording on with a profire 2626 Firewire interface using pro tools M-powered. I Really love my interface and my DAW, but when I upgraded my computer, all the new computers only have USB 3.0. I was told it was just as fast as firewire, and that I could buy some kind of adapter from Firewire to USB 3.0. Is this true? Would everything work as it would normally with firewire? any input would be appreciated! Thanks
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Re: Question about usb 3.0

Post by nogginj » Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:56 pm

I don't know of any firewire / usb converters ... google might but I mean I've never heard of that.

You can find a PCI firewire card that will give you some firewire ports.

I'm not really understanding the question....are you saying, you've got a new computer and it doesn't have firewire ports, so how do you use your profire?

I would say get a firewire pci card.

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Re: Question about usb 3.0

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:15 am

Forget about any FW to USB conversion. Just because USB3 has cranked the speed it's still the USB protocol.

What will be more interesting is whether Windows machines start adopting Thunderbolt....it's an Intel invention after all. Since Apple has already adopted it maybe we can finally get away from this USB/FW quagmire.
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Re: Question about usb 3.0

Post by CROYBOY89 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:03 am

nogginj wrote:are you saying, you've got a new computer and it doesn't have firewire ports, so how do you use your profire?

I would say get a firewire pci card.
Yes, my new computer doesn't have Firewire.. So I haven't been able to use my profire yet. And do you have any firewire pci cards you would reccomend?
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Re: Question about usb 3.0

Post by Ashe37 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:43 am

Windows PCs will likely support Thunderbolt once it receives chipset-level support that other vendors can buy. Sony has Thunderbolt on their new Z21 but it uses a USB 3-type port instead of the mini-displayport Apple uses.

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Re: Question about usb 3.0

Post by Hybrid88 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:22 pm

^^ mmm, starting to get messy - so does anyone know if Thunderbolt is supposed to actually replace Firewire and USB or just compliment them?

Because until products start to come out that it can interface with, it is still a waiting game. :geek:

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Re: Question about usb 3.0

Post by nogginj » Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:25 pm

Are yall seriously suggesting trying to convert to a new 'standard' that Apple is pushing? I don't know much about Thunderbolt, but every Mac I've ever had has had different ports on it.

:\

edit: Really not trying to start a flame war with that, I guess my point is how can you think adding a new interface (thunderbolt) is going to do anything to make the 'quagmire' any less complicated...now instead of usb / firewire we're gonna have usb / firewire / thunderbolt?

To CRYOBOY, I would think almost any firewire PCI interface would work. They are usually about $20.

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Re: Question about usb 3.0

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:22 pm

There is no upside to Windows and Mac championing different interconnect standards, that's why I'm hoping that Thunderbolt will become standard on Windows as well as Mac and vendors of audio interfaces will support it.

BTW the thing that is driving Thunderbolt development is video, not audio.
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Re: Question about usb 3.0

Post by Ashe37 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:24 am

Well, the 'expansion port' part of Thunderbolt is a PCI-e x1 connection, with 10 gigabits of bandwidth. Not as much as you'd want for a graphics card (graphics cards inside your system use a PCIe 16x, and this is a 1x), but much more than the 800 megabits of firewire 800 or the 5 gigabit theoretical cap on USB3.

Yes, USB 3 is half of thunderbolt, but six times firewire 800. Even allowing for the normal USB inefficiencies, its still likely to be more bandwidth than Firewire 800.

I'm also willing to bet USB 3 is easier to implement product-side unless you are simultaneously developing a PCIe internal card of the same hardware.

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Re: Question about usb 3.0

Post by Hybrid88 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:13 am

meatballfulton wrote:There is no upside to Windows and Mac championing different interconnect standards, that's why I'm hoping that Thunderbolt will become standard on Windows as well as Mac and vendors of audio interfaces will support it...
+1000, Exactly what I meant, a change in standards is only practical if everyone is on board. Which is probably why MIDI is still going strong today.

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Re: Question about usb 3.0

Post by meatballfulton » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:40 pm

Ashe37 wrote:the 5 gigabit theoretical cap on USB3
From what I've read that theoretical cap is really theoretical!

The specification considers it "reasonable" to achieve around 3.2 Gbit/s.

As an electrical engineer myself, I'm ashamed of such silly specmanship...64% of the theoretical is as good as it's going to get?
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Re: Question about usb 3.0

Post by Ashe37 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:52 pm

ok, that's still 1/3 of thunderbolt, and 4x the fastest firewire spec (firewire 800 is not 100% efficient either)

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Re: Question about usb 3.0

Post by loungedumore » Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:44 pm

Well usb 3.0 or TB as of yet , but as far as USB 3.0 goes what is the bandwidth like now ?
As 2.0 was technically faster than FW400 there was something about FW400's bandwidth that allowed for more simultaneous channels for both audio i/o and recording to external HDs .
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Re: Question about usb 3.0

Post by Ashe37 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:49 am

FW 400 had more bandwidth than USB 2.0 because it lost less bandwidth to overhead.

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Re: Question about usb 3.0

Post by meatballfulton » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:50 am

loungedumore wrote:Well usb 3.0 or TB as of yet , but as far as USB 3.0 goes what is the bandwidth like now ?
Good question, the only USB 3.0 peripherals I've seen to date are hard drives. The big deal is it allows full duplex (useful for audio applications) but you still have the USB protocol which requires the CPU to be involved.

Firewire and Thunderbolt can use DMA channels which means there is no need to wait around for the CPU. That's the main reason that FW400 always outperformed USB 2.0.

Much like the old Betamax vs. VHS wars, USB is an inferior protocol for a lot of applications but the market has spoken and we end users have to live with it.
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