Don't Take Their Word For It
In the following comparison we relied on the figures provided by OrangeWare and Unibrain, and compared the readings for the ubCore driver under Windows XP SP1 and Windows XP SP2 with the results with OrangeWare and Windows XP stack drivers (with and without SP2).
As claimed by Unibrain, the tests in the lab indeed gave the advantage to the ubCore drivers over the same Windows XP stack drivers in Service Pack 2. Even if the readings in both cases were lower than the internal measurements from Unibrain, ubCore turned out around the same as the Windows stack. Service Pack 2 is, however, not yet ready and until it is delivered in September a lot of water will have flowed under the bridge. As it happens, under Windows XP with SP1, the ubCore driver produces no advantage - even though Windows does not have any dedicated IEEE 1394b drivers. The opposite is in fact the case: judging by the practical test, the standard OHCI drivers in Windows XP produce the best performance. The Unibrain and OrangeWare drivers have slight advantages only in the synthetic SiSoft Sandra and NetIO benchmarks.
Aside from this, there were installation problems in connection with various anti-virus and firewall applications. Even Service Pack 2 was very unstable and produced stable measurements only after several attempts.
Service Pack 2: Microsoft Slams On The Breaks
In the Release Candidate 2 of Service Pack 2 for Windows XP, Microsoft really slams on the breaks for FireWire S800
The preceding performance chart is a result of the still immature state of Service Pack 2 and the constantly good performance of the OHCI Windows drivers (SP1). The scarcely better improvement in performance of the Unibrain and OrangeWare drivers is also clear to see.
SiSoft Sandra was initially unable to do much at all with Unibrain.