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  • Overall Rating: 4
  • Price: 4
  • Quality: 3
  • Ease Of Use: 5
  • Usefulness: 4
Good value, great OS compatibility – Dual Port Firewire 1394 Laptop ExpressCard Adapter with Firewire Cable Reviews

posted by mpontes on 06/29/2011 Certified Owner

Involvement:Expert (understands the inner workings) - Ownership:1 day to 1 week

Pros:
OHCI compliant FireWire card. Works out of the box with OS provided generic drivers on Windows and on OS X as well. Should work in Linux, but I have no way of testing. FireWire ports get instantly recognized by the OS.
Didn't get dropped frames when doing basic DV video transfer from a camcorder.
Comes with a transparent FireWire cable (6 pin to 4 pin).
Worked on my hackintosh laptop. Have to boot any ExpressCard on to get it recognized (then I can take it out and put it back in as much as I want), but this is an hackintosh issue, not related to the card.
Good build quality overall.
Cons:
You need to hold the card while you plug in the FireWire cable(s), otherwise you will always push it in and trigger the spring, making the card come out of the slot. This is not the card's fault, that's just how ExpressCard works. Just keep that in mind.
It dangles a bit in my laptop, which has an ExpressCard/54 slot. Again, not the card's fault, it should dangle less in an ExpressCard/34 slot.
Sticks out a bit too much. Other than the large black part you can see, the thin black plastic sticks out about an extra half cm, too.
The black plastic underneath is not of the best build quality.
Other:
The chip is by JMicron. Vendor ID: 0x197b, device ID: 0x2380, revision ID: 0x0010.
I got a card with a green sticker rather than purple, but the rest seems identical to the photo.
This is FireWire 400, as displayed in the photo. I wasn't able to test transfer speeds because I have no FireWire hard drive enclosure or anything of the sort (all I could test was DV video transfer. which worked fine), but the card is working in PCI Express mode (bandwidth of 2.5 Gbit/s), which leads me to believe it should be able to handle the max FireWire transfer speed (400 Mbit/s) with no problems.
I couldn't test the two ports at once, since I only have one FireWire device.
Bottomline:
Buy it if you need FireWire and you have either an ExpressCard/34 or ExpressCard/54 slot in your laptop. No driver installation hassle, should be plug and play for all modern OSes. Couldn't be easier to get it to work.

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