I have used my MR816 with a PC for 2-3 years, and consider now to buy an Imac i5 and 3.1GHz with 4 mb ram. I then wonder if there will be any problem/errors when I connect to the Imac’s firewire?
I run an MR816x with a Mac Pro (older 2.0G four processor) and it works well with the latest driver update ("-2"). Be sure to select direct monitoring.
You might be okay but I would have to test it on my 2011 Mac Mini. On my Mac Pro 2.66 though under OSX Lion Cubase drops the driver every time a new project is loaded. This doesn’t happen with Snow Leopard.
I own a late 2008/2009 iMac running Snow Leopard (10.6.8) that has the Lucent (Agere) Firewire Chipset that was known to have issues with many firewire interfaces (RME, Apogee, and others). I know that later models have a revised chipset that was supposed to fix a lot of problems with firewire based audio interfaces, but I can’t provide any details into that.
In my case I own 2 MR816x’s (and a Presonus D8) and have NEVER been able to use both Steinberg units (daisy-chained via firewire) reliably with my iMac. During recording the first unit and the ADAT connected D8 continue to work fine, but the second unit’s lights shut off and it takes a couple of seconds before it re-synchs to the first unit and starts recording again. It’s horribly embarrassing and pretty much made anything but small overdub sessions with only 1 unit connected to the iMac, impossible. In contrast, an old Sony Vaio SZ230p 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo works fine with the full setup (24 tracks via 2 MR’s + D8). However, it contains a built in Texas Instruments firewire controller chip.
I thought I read somewhere that this was actually a bug in Cubase 6, but even after updating the problem persists. I’m really disappointed. And to top it off the Presonus D8 will not sync to the MR816X’s wordclock (have to synch via ADAT using the D8 as the master). I think this is more of a problem with the Presonus unit as it appears to have difficulties synching via worldclock with other manufacturers’ units as well.
Anyway, new iMacs may work fine, but keep in mind that those saying their setups work may only be using one unit at a time. If you plan on using 2 or more, I’d be pretty cautious. There’s not much you can do in terms of fixing firewire issues with the iMac line.