Cubase users with HP laptops

Hey Cubasers!
Having just purchased an HP Pavilion Laptop. We are getting erratic and unreliable performance from the firewire card. Anyone else have this problem and is there an actual fix for it? I am an experienced Cubase User and have used another laptop with Cubase via firewire for about ten years. So I have done alll the usual tweak stuff, updated BIOS, drivers, Plugged the computer in, located the space bar blah de blah :laughing: We have contacted HP and after being interrogated for a while managed to persuade a ‘support’ person to look into it seriously folks. :laughing: :unamused: So maybe they would have a fix but we are not holding our breath here.
In the event of this huge technologically advanced company not being able to provide a solution would anybody have a plan B? External firewire card? Is anyone using an HP laptop successfully with another audio interface and if so what is it?
Comments appreciated thank you.
Stephen :sunglasses:

You could try ASIO4ALL using the internal sound card. This would help to confirm that the problem is really the firewire and not a Cubase or a plugin problem that needs sorting.

Not much other help for you I’m afraid…

I have an old 5 year old HP labptop and it works fine with ASIO4ALL, but sorry haven’t tried it with any external audio attachments so I can’t help there.

And, a few years back I had a desktop where the firewire didn’t work with a video camera I had so I purchased a firewire card for 5quid and that worked perfectly…


From what I read, HP Pavillion uses a JMicron Technologies Firewire chipset, and I’ve seen various people reporting DMA problems with this chipset with a variety of applications.

If possible get a Texas Instruments chipset - via PC card maybe?

Yes, I have an HP and I had to get PCMCIA firewire card. My MOTO 828 did work with internal firewire chipset.

I have an HP DV9000, and have been using the Siig expresscard 54 firewire 400/800 (model: NN-EC2812-S2, and also has the Texas Instruments chipset) to feed an RME Fireface 800. The system has been very stable using XP Pro Media Center and Cubase 5.5.1.

My laptop version has the Intel Core2Duo T7200 2Gig processor, and have noticed that when i’m using 96k/24bit sampling, a couple of instances NI Battery3, and finally a couple of CPU hungry Waves plugs like IR-L and L3-16…I will max the CPU…even using a 1024 sample buffer setting.

Of course the L3-16 is probably more appropriately used during a mastering session, but for the purpose of this post, it is an accurate representation of the CPU headroom limitations you might expect. I’m sure with some creative routing and sacrificing some FX processing during tracking, you can improve performance a bit!

I Googled that Siig card model number today and saw it for about $55.00 US…Check it out!


I have a HP laptop (elitebook) and I have no issues with my firewire soundcard. I use a Terratec Phase x24 soundcard and for some features I need to have their software running, but most functionality in Cubase runs just fine. (monitoring live audio is a bit buggy without it.)

I did some research before getting this notebook though, and if I’m not mistaken this one DID have an onboard TI firewire chip which is what people recommended me at the time.
Onboard soundcard is crappy though (asio4all does improve things slightly) but what would you expect :wink:

Just for the record how does one find the brand of firewire chipset. All I can see in Device Manager is 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller [presumably the driver] and no brand.

Thank you for the recommendation. I will check out the Siig express card.

Do you have a website?


[quote=“Strophoid”]I have a HP laptop (elitebook) and I have no issues with my firewire soundcard.

I did some research before getting this notebook though, and if I’m not mistaken this one DID have an onboard TI firewire chip which is what people recommended me at the time.
How do you find what brand or model of firewire chipset is on the board?
Many thanks.

I used a program called Everest Ultimate to scan my system and found that it was able to give fairly detailed information about my system. It reported that my system contained a Ricoh firewire controller chip, which has been reported to be a problem for some. Here is a link to the Everest software:

Cnet gave this software a less than glowing review for the version posted at this URL, which was 5.50.2100, so use at your own risk!!!

The version I used was 5.50.1900, and I had no problems, but I also didn’t test all of its functionality. Do some research…maybe you can find a better option or tool! :nerd:

When the Siig expresscard is inserted…you will see an additional driver that actually says Texas Instruments. One more interesting bit of info; if you get the Siig card, DO NOT install the driver that comes with the expresscard. I was told by RME tech support that it is better to just let Windows install its imbedded driver when you insert the expresscard (which shows up as Texas Instruments). Now, of course this info is specifically related to the equipment (RME FireFace 800), and operating system (XP Pro Media Center) that I’m using. But, that is one other avenue you should explore especially since you are using a different computer, which may also contain a different motherboard, firewire controller chip and operating system, etc.

No, I don’t have a website yet!

Good Luck!


Hey Al!

Thank you for the recommendation. I tested and interestingly the scan revealed three firewire controllers, two reading JMB PCI-E 1394a OHCI Firewire Controller and Memory Card Host Controller and a third just JMB PCI-E 1394a OHCI Firewire Controller.

If I am reading this correctly it looks like this brand-new laptop is only equipped with 1394a, which dates it back to 2002! Am I reading this correctly? Why would HP manufacture laptops with obsolete technologies? :astonished: :open_mouth:


Do you mean your MOTO did not work with the JM chipset? :confused:

Yea…It would be good to know how HP’s motherboard designer implimented the expresscard and firewire controllers, and if they combined them in a way that doesn’t allow access to the theoretical 2.5 Gbit/s throughput!

But I manage to get a lot done and I’m only using the 1394a connection from the Fireface 800 to the Siig card.
Even RME suggest that you only see an advantage using 1394b when you make that connection between two Fireface 800’s, and that there would be no improvement in latency if you used the 1394b connection between the Fireface and the computer.


Surely a competent designer would want to access the potential of the equipment? That is, after all, what designers are paid to do. :smiley:

As I suggested in the other MR816 post why not use the HDMI ports for data transfer? As far as I can see, Firewire was originally intended for the amateur [I believe the word is ‘consumer’] home-video market. When companies like RME realised the potential for professional audio they took the opportunity, built and tested serious audio interfaces and cornered the market. Now every man and his dog are bringing out firewire audio interfaces. The irony is the computer manufacturers are phasing out firewire, possibly for the reasons outlined above. My conspiracy theory is they do not want high-quality technology in peoples homes preferring to dole it out in deliberately throttled ‘consumer’ equipment. Am I too cynical?

I notice that the HDMI port on my laptop installs high-definition audio drivers to rout audio to an HDMI television or 5.1 surround system. Cubase does not however see these drivers for some reason. It does not sound too difficult though. Can the HDMI format support professional audio? :nerd: :ugeek:

Further to my last posting a little research reveals a new port called ‘Display Port’ tipped to be the new standard for Audio and video transfer in computer equipment. according to IDC, expected to be used in 95% of commercial laptops by 2014.
So you geeks out there, when will see the new Display port interfaces? :ugeek: