Is expresscard direct or reliant on a chipset in laptop

I would get an ExpressCard 54/34 Firewire controller even if the laptop had a TI controller, the ExpressCard slot bypasses the PCH/Southbridge/Ibex Peak altogether so you have a much more direct link and don't have to share it with other connections.

Have decided on a laptop with a RICOH firewire chipset. Can anyone tell me if the above statement about a direct link is true.

Some people say that the RICOH chipset will control the express card slot, so that even if I get a Texas Instruments express card, its performance will be curtailed by the inferior RICOH chipset.

Can anyone with definite knowledge answer this question for good?
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  1. surely one of you geeks knows ... sheesh :p
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