What firewire card works?

I was wondering what firewire cards people are having success with the MR816 and Windows 7 64.
I have a TI chipset firewire card but still have to set the yamaha utility program at the extreme settings to get playback without clicks and pops. But this doesn’t work well for low latency recording so now I’m wondering if a new 800 firewire PCIe card would help.


Hi, you should tell more… why do you think you need a new firewire card? Firewire 400 is not a limitation that would cause your problem. Something isn’t right. What are your specs? What have you tried so far to troubleshoot?

As far as I know I’ve done everything Steinberg can offer.
The last of which is run the Yamaha Utility and increased the buffer size to max and changed the other option from 400 to 200. Doing that allowed my MR816 to play without pops and clicks but not good enough to plug my guitar in, turn on my Virtual Amp and play like I’m playing through an amp with no noticable latency.

Computer: i5 and 6 gig of ram. Several SATA hard disc.

Right, you’re assuming it’s the MR816x or the firewire interface that is the problem, but I’m saying I don’t think it’s necessarily the problem. I think it’s far more likely to be an issue with your computer environment. Is it a new computer? Is it a new MR816? Is it a new upgrade to W7? Are you running a heavy project in terms of tracks, effects, virtual instruments, etc? What version of Cubase are you running? What other software is running?

I use my computer in the same way you do - crank up the virtual amp and play my guitar along with a project in real time. I can set the buffer size to 64 so the latency is no issue.

Have you set your power profile to high performance? Are you running a wireless card? These are common culprits that come to mind.

Lot’s of questions. I’ll get to those… Hopefully.
I run Samplitude 11 Pro and this computer still works great with my Tascam FW-1804 which I bought this MR816x brand new to replace.
Not running heavy project just 5 tracks.
Let me go back to this. I can play this particular track with the Tascam through Samplitude Pro at 4ms out and 4ms in Latency for a total of 8ms. I can’t get anywhere close to this with the MR816x.
No other software is running. I eliminated background applications. I followed the steps on the CPU although didn’t make a difference.
I am running a wireless usb which I disconnect but not physically. just the internet connection. I could try that.
Yes, I have the comp set for high performance.
It’s Windows 7 Pro. Upgraded to Pro from Windows 7 home.
I do have Cubase AI installed but run into the same problems although I don’t have a virtual amp available for Cubase.
I’ve also tested in Reaper.

Many have reported problems with wireless and network cards with the MR816. I had it myself. It was not enough to disconnect, you have to disable the offending device (wireless card in my case). I didn’t have that problem with my earlier MOTU firewire interface. But once I turned off the wireless, it was lower latency than I could get with the MOTU. There’s a tool and a website that helps you find these problems:
It measures latency in Deferred Procedure Calls, which audio processing apparently makes heavy use of. I’m not the one to make a technical explanation, but if a device’s driver doesn’t behave correctly, it can hang up handling of DPCs or some such. The tool first measures whether you have a problem, and the web site gives advice on how to locate the offending device. Maybe it will help.

Thanks. I haven’t downloaded the program but eliminating my USB wireless adaptor I am able to get my latency down to Out=>13ms and IN=7ms. Not great, but workable for guitar. At least my guitar work. :slight_smile:.
Still kind of weird for vocals but I can always monitor hardware for 0 latency.

At this point I can’t get any less latency because of having to run the Yamaha Utility on “largest” settings to make any program, including cubase, play without dropouts which limits me to an ASIO Buffer size of 160 Samples.

Maybe this program you mentioned can clear up the mess. Thanks again.

Hopefully you solved the problem – but just FYI – Early21 is spot-on. The DPC utility will show if your computer can actually handle low-latency audio. The MR series can easily do what you want with a properly configured DAW that has its DPC latency under control. It’s possible to get there, so take your time to eliminate the DPC issues before even dealing with the Yamaha/Steinberg driver. Many devices can be DPC culprits, but Early21 hit the main one, which is wireless. But even some graphics cards can be problematic, so you’ll have to drill down and leave no stone unturned to find the culprit. If you have DPC spikes, your problems have nothing to do with the MR. There’s no need on a current-generation computer with a good TI-based firewire card to change the settings in the Yamaha utility to get great performance.

Anyway, I hope you get it sorted out – the MR is a fine-performing device once you get your other issues sorted.

As for good firewire cards, I have several TI-based PCI and PCI-e firewire 400 cards that work great. One model has worked extremely well in particular, and I’ve bought two of them for different DAWs because I like it so much. It’s the ADS Pyro PCI 64R2 card… yes, it’s the PCI version, but it works beautifully in any machine I’ve thrown it in, including two different i7-based machines. Not sure if you can still get that one, they may make a PCIe version now. The other ones I’ve bought also work fine, but the ADS doesn’t so much as give me a second thought, so I trust that more than any other right now.

Again, best of luck!

have you turned off all the thermal throttling etc in the BIOS? that’s things like speedstep,C1E etc.

i have two MR816’s and can run them at 32 samples on a small project no problem.


A lot depends also on the motherboard.

I have an Acer M5201 quad core with Acer mobo as “general usage PC” and it is impossible to get the DPC latency lower than 250 µs on it.
In my custom built DAW PC I have a Gigabyte mobo and with very little tweaking it runs at 13 µs DPC latency…

I have the same Gigabyte board, but can’t get the DPC latency below about 100 µs. What did that “little tweaking” incorporate?

I’ve made adjustments and have reduced my latency using the DPC Latency Checker 1.03 tool to right around 100us, but I’m still getting spikes over 500us every few seconds. I was able to achieve this by disabling hyperthreading and some other CPU settings in the bios.

I’ve also purchased an 800 FW ePci card and tried that and it didn’t help.

Regardless, I can’t seem to get the MR816 driver to play without dropouts without using the Yamaha tool.

But I am using a plain ole Dell, store bought Studio computer and I guess it’s just one of them things. My guess is that it’s the spikes that cause the dropouts so maybe I can find what is causing them.

The MR816 still sounds good and I’m able to record with it for now with limited latency that doesn’t seem to bother the players/singers that I’ve worked with. I also have options of recording monitoring hardware only if it does become a problem, so it’ll work for now.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions