Audio and Video professionals swear by it, but if Microsoft sticks with its plans, Firewire may not be supported in Windows 8. This is following an industry trend with, for example, Apple itself phasing out firewire support in recent years.Firewire is still very popular in amateur and professional audio and video circles. Just read the blogs comparing USB 2 and Firewire and you’ll see how heated the conversations can become. The pro-Firewire camp purports it delivers lower “drop frames” and that Firewire has a dedicated processing chip that reduces stress on the main CPU, all allegedly leading to a purer, more complete data transfer. On the other side, the pro-USB 2 camp states lower hardware costs, faster CPUs and less niggly connectors just don’t make that marginal and mostly indiscernible increase in quality worth the trouble.
With USB 3 becoming mainstream we are likely to see a flood of new audio and video interfaces.
Intel for one recently promised better operating system and chip integration for USB 3 in Windows 8. Although non-support for Firewire will not mean the automatic death of Firewire (due to third party drivers, ect.) it will likely become a smaller and smaller niche market and probably bid us Farewell in the near future.
Nothing in the leaked slides says that. FTA: “Windows 8 will provide a better support for USB 3.0 and Bluetooth 3.0 + HS â€“ and there are no indications of Firewire 1394 meaning that we might wave goodbye to this port”. That is, this blogger who wrote about the leaked slides thinks that, because Firewire was not mentioned, it might not be supported – which is a huge, crazy leap to make.
Edited 2010-07-05 18:25 UTC
Sorry, but anyone who knows about audio or video know that the performance difference between USB2 and FW is not negligible. There is a real discernible difference. Especially in audio interfaces. I have yet to see a USB audio interface get lower latency than a FW one. Its due to the technology behind each respective interface. USB as its name implies is a serial bus, meaning it does things serially like an old serial cable. It sends stuff up and then sends stuff down. The speed of transfer almost wholly depends on your cpu and even then the maximum bitrate is only theoretical. I’ve never been able to transfer anything on a USB harddrive at the reported 400MB/s bitrate they claim. Firewire is also serial but due to the inclusion of chipsets in the computer as well as the device itself, transfer bitrates are more consistent, imo.
Whenever Apogee starts using USB3 is when I’ll move to the new interface, otherwise I’m perfectly happy with FW400/800, it still runs circles around USB2. Especially when transferring data to and from a harddrive. What we really need is lightpeak. Something like that would be great for audio and video.