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Thread: Capture Card vs firewire on the board

  1. #1

    Default Capture Card vs firewire on the board

    I'm going to be building a system for video editing. I see many capture card options but I was wondering if there are any disadvantages to just using a firewire port on the motherboard. It would save me a PCI slot and I could have the port in the front of the computer which is more convenient.

    Any reason I should consider using a capture card instead?


  2. #2


    Firewire ports on the motherboard are really just fine.
    But if you have more money to spend, think about this:
    1. (less important) some capture cards come with both firewire and analog (s-video & composite) inputs/outputs so this could be usefull if you want to edit analog too
    2. (and here's the jackpot) some more expensive firewire cards come with bundled editing software, such as Pinnacle Studio, Ulead Video-Studio or even Adobe Premiere (although don't expect that for a $ 100 card...)
    So the choice is yours, depending on how much are you willing to spend.

  3. #3


    Thanks for the info! I've actually been wondering about this for a while.

    My video camera is digital but I do plan on capturing some analog video too. My camera claims that it can be used to take an analog input and transfer it to a video output. So I think I'm covered for capturing analog video.

    I am going to need to purchase some video editing software but I'll have to compare the prices. If the price w/ a capture card is similar I may just pick one up with the software.

    My main concern is how many PCI slots I'll have. If I add a sound card and a TV card I will start running out of space.

    Thanks again for the adivce.


  4. #4


    Ok Chris. Glad I could help. I hope we'll be "seeing" more of you on the forums.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Bracknell, Berkshire, UK


    Yep, basically, for normal capture a firewire port is all you need. My experience tells me that the only reason for an capture card is to capture analogue (from a VCR or 'old fashioned' camcorder).

    As for the firewire port though. One thing I'd just like to add, and this is not personal experience, just forum struff I've read out and about. I have heard of people complaining that firewire capture doesn't work and that the problem has been solved simply by not using the firewire port(s) on the Mobo but by investing a small amnout in a seperate PCI firewire card. I've seen this solution a few times crop up so do be aware of it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005


    ALWAYS - where poss use a pci card.
    The reason to avoid using onboard firewire is that when its on board its using more system resources. On board will work but from a performance point of view using a separate card is far more stable.

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