View Full Version : Who has the best FW/USB PCI card for me?

07-20-2001, 01:11 AM
We're a little farther along than we were, thanks to some MWNY indulgences. I'm waiting on the Creative! sound card to ship... got a great show-only deal on it. The night before MWNY, I scored a 570W, 850VA TrippLite 850 OmniSmart PNP at MicroCenter for $175... it lists for $429, and no, the battery is nowhere near dead. It was a return and they're having an insane clearance right now.

So we can scratch the UPS and the sound card off of the wish list. I need a FireWire/USB combo solution, though, and have heard something about people having problems with FW/USB and multiple monitors.

TIA for your advice.

PowerTower Pro 225
5000-0121-05 motherboard
300W PCC OEM power supply
Newer G4 400/200/1MB processor
512MB 162244 dampened and buffered RAM
2 X 9.1GB Seagate Cheetah ST39102LW 10K SCSI hard drives (RAID-0)
Initio Miles U2W SCSI controller
1 X 45GB Maxtor DiamondPlus 54610H6 7.2K ATA100 hard drive
Sonnet Tempo ATA/PCI controller
1GB internal Jaz drive
100MB internal Zip drive
8X Apple CD-ROM [waiting on 24X to ship]
3dfx Voodoo4 4500 PCI video card --> Mitsubishi Diamond Plus 91 19" NF monitor
3dfx Voodoo3 2000 PCI video card --> Mitsubishi Diamond Plus 70 17" monitor
4 X Antec 80MM Case Cooling Fans: 1)case back 2)power supply 3)RAID box towards processor 4) Case front bottom (internal speaker pulled)
2 X Antec Hard Disk Drive Coolers (3-fan) in bottom and next-to-bottom 5.25" bays
Proline K82359 8500/9500 Bottom Bay RAID Kit (reengineered to occupy bottom-most two 5.25" slots) holding RAIDed Seagate drives

Future plans include a FW/USB card, a Creative sound card, "designer" input peripherals of some sort (suggestions welcome), a SCSI internal CDRW for burning and back-up, a 425W power supply from PC Power & Cooling to take up some of the strain, and a UPS "toot suite" to protect everything. I might even grab a few sticks of "real" 128MB RAM and break the .500 level.

07-20-2001, 09:19 AM
The best FireWire/USB combo solution according to the Gurus is the RATOC FireWire/USB PCI Combo Card for Mac $129.99 ea here http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/showrampage.cgi?ratoc.html

Read the notes on that link. I can't personally vouch for the RATOC because I have the separate xlr8 USB and FireWire cards in my PTP and intend to install that same combo of xlr8 cards today in my S900. k

07-20-2001, 01:08 PM
I've bought two of the Ratoc FW/USB cards and they have both been solid. It will cost you a molex power connector to the PCI board to get full power to the FW ports, not all cards have that. There is also another FW connector internally on the card. I imagine someday I can add an ATA drive in my PTP, put a nice Granite backplane on it, and run a FW cable internal to the connector. I've got an ATI Nexus 128 and the stock TT128 video boards in my PTP. No problems running a 19" and 17" monitors.

Nice setup TaxiDriver. Have fun and good luck with your PTP.

07-20-2001, 01:35 PM
Thanks for the compliment. I spent most of yesterday trying to lower the noise on this thing down to a dull roar.

All the case fans have been grommeted, the drive cooler fans have been shimmed with sorbothane, the drives have been placed on sorbothane matts and grometted where possible, and the inside of the case cover has been covered with Dynamat dampening material. I think I should have waited for that stuff from CAE, but I wanted to get it up and done.

I'm waiting for this thing to request permission to taxi... vroooooom!

(Buttoned up, with all that crap in it, the CPU goes no higher than 78 degrees!)

07-24-2001, 09:21 PM
i agree w k: the best, most solid option is to use separate boards, with the MAChFire and the DualPort being my faves. They are rock-solid, simple to install, and compatible w everything i have ever tried.

if you must use a combo, the RATOC remains my pick.