How can I tell if my Firewire chipset is compatible with my interface?

Although there are many different types and brands of firewire cards in existence, only some of them are suitable for real-time audio streaming. The useability of any FireWire card is dependent on it's compatibility with the motherboard in use, the operating system installed and the drivers used in the Saffire range.

Since there are so many combinations of cards, chipsets and motherboards it's unfortunately not possible for us to test them all, though there are a few known compatibilities/incompatibilities.

In general, we would recommend PCI/PCIe/Expresscards that have a Texas Instruments chipset. The particular chipset that we most commonly come across as working with most systems as expected is TI XIO2213B. An example PCIe card with this chipset is the SIIG DP FireWire 800 (NN-FW0012-S1) :

TI XIO2200A - tends to work with most systems, however there are known compatibility problems when used with Z170 and X99 motherboards.

While we previously also recommended VIA chipsets, we have seen more incompatibility issues with these cards since the release of Windows 10.

If you are unsure about the compatibility of your firewire chipset, please download this tool, and run OHCItool.exe. If it reads "This controller is not compatible with DICE drivers" or "Compatibility Unknown", then you'll need to replace your firewire card with a compatible one.

Please note that you need to be on the Standard Windows Driver to use the OHCI Tool.  If you are on Windows 7 using the Legacy Driver please revert to Standard Driver following this guide.

*IMPORTANT NOTE: In some cases, the OHCI Tool may show various chipsets (including the LSI Chipset) as compatible, but we have seen issues with LSI Chipsets and don't recommend their use with the Saffire Range. The OHCI Tool outputting a 'compatible' reading is an indication that the chipset in question is compatible with the Saffire drivers, it is NOT an indication as to whether the card itself is compatible with the motherboard in use.

If you have any questions please Contact Technical Support