Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum: SB1394 Port
One of the big innovative features in the new Creative labs cards is the addition of an IEEE 1394 port (alias FireWire) managed by Audigy. Named SB1394 by the manufacturer, it is a FireWire port such as that you might find on a dedicated card. It is used to connect any device of this type, such as a burner, hard drive or DV camera. Creative Labs also plans to adapt the SB1394 to future devices, such as the Jukebox or an external burner. But the SB1394 does not stop there. It also has network capacities as amazing as they are attractive. You can link several PCs fitted with Audigy cards, via a cable supplied on option. The network can also be made up of Audigy cards and dedicated cards like Adaptec or Lucent, no problem. Management is handled by the FireNet software supplied with the card. So, you'll have a network that supports TCP/IP and IPX at a theoretical transfer rate of 400 Mbs.
Creative says it has paid great attention to ensuring compatibility with most IEEE1394 devices. We tried it with a Sony camcorder, the DVRP100, a QPS Que! Fire 16X burner and a QPS Que! Drive 20 GB hard drive based on Western Digital mechanics. We transferred files to test the Audigy processor's ability to process data from the FireWire port. With a dedicated FireWire card using the Lucent FW323-04 processor, a 100 MB copy to disk took 15 seconds. With the Audigy card, the same operation took 22 seconds. So don't expect maximum output from FireWire on the Creative system. However, sound occupancy on the card does not seem to hamper output since the time only increased to 24 seconds when playing music from a digital source and with a Concert Hall effect.