FW800 card for Win7 x64

I’ve been scanning the forums for FW800 card info, but haven’t found any concrete conclusions which would lead me to a particular FW card, with any level of confidence.

This is what I’ve found so far from Drobo:

[quote]We have tested Drobo with the following cards:

Belkin FireWire 800 3 port PCI Card http://www.belkin.com
SIIG FireWire 800 PCI-32T Card http://www.siig.com[/quote]

The Siig isn’t available in Europe. The Belkin F5U623 is, however if you don’t have a full length PCI socket on your motherboard, I understand that it will only run at FW400 speeds anyway (which is a problem for me as my motherboard only has 2 free short PCI sockets).

Belkin have a more expensive card - which runs on PCI Express x1 (which I believe should be faster) - the Belkin F5U602. I do have a slot for this on my system.

At this point, I’m guessing that my best bet will be to try the PCI express card, and see what happens.

[quote]To obtain optimum performance in Windows, we suggest you use a third-party FireWire 800 driver such as the one from Unibrain.
If you do not use a third-party driver, Windows XP SP2 automatically treats any FireWire 800 device as if it were either a FireWire 100 or 400 device, depending on the Microsoft Hotfix applied. Windows Vista treats a FireWire 800 device as if it were connected via FireWire 400.
FireWire performance on Windows XP can also be improved by upgrading to SP3. Drobo FAQ[/quote]

Ok - I’m using Win7 x64, which isn’t discussed, but I’m assuming it is going to either work out of the box (if Microsoft have improved the native FW800 drivers to work at 800, rather than 400 - unlikely - because Win7 is heavily based on Vista), or I’m going to need a Unibrain driver, but …

[quote]The Unibrain driver has had all sorts of issues with all storage devices (Drobo and every other brand) on Windows Vista 64-bit. Please contact our support for more information. You can also check out our knowledgebase which has information on that driver and its issues (just search: firewire). You need to download the latest build of the Unibrian driver which has a fix for the 2TB issue. I believe they are still working on the Vista 64-bit issues though. Here is the link to Unibrain’s download site

Pasted from Terry White’s tech blog [/quote]

There are several posts complaining of Vista x64 BSODs, however I’ve not seen any discussion on Win7 x64.

Has anyone had success with FW800 on Win7 x64?


Is no-one using a Drobo on Win7 with a FW800 card?


I’m still using Vista x64. I’m not sure if there will be a Win 7 x64 FW 800 card in future because FW800 is mostly used in Macs.

I looked for a card for my Vista x64, but when I took a look at the driver page, I do not really found drivers. Ok, this is several months ago, but an eSATA connector on the Drobo would be better.

But you and me, we still have a Drobo with FW800, so we are looking for a good working card.

I tried to find out if Belkin has an driver for x64, but I couldn’t find any driver for both products.

Regards, Nils.

i used the belkin card

wel i say use

i mean i plugged it in - watched win 7 x64 BSOD

despaired a little

tried various fixes

in the end got it stable but still only FW400

coudlnt really spot the difference between the belkin FW800 card and USB2

gave up and ebayed it[hr]
i should have mentioned, i had the PCI express one too

This is the first day I’ve been using my Drobo on Windows 7 x64, so I’m not sure what the speeds are supposed to be. I’m using the SIIG firewire-800 card. I did notice that using the built in Windows drivers, the drobo freshly formatted to 16tb took about 6 minutes or so to boot up and was writing at about 3 Mbps (yes, 3 megabytes per second). I then installed the Unibrain ubCore Firewire drivers and instantly saw an increase in speed. For large video files I was able to write around 30-40 Mbps, while writing my iTunes library is going about 12 Mbps.

Perhaps someone can enlighten me if there’s any way to speed up the transfer. I have about 800 gigabytes total I intend to transfer to the Drobo, which at this rate will take a few days to complete.

Just to confirm, all figures in your post are MB/sec, or MBps, and not Mbit/sec or Mbps, correct?

I’m using a Drobo with Windows 7 x64 with the following card:


Needless to say the transfer speeds are “considerably” less then stellar. Right now… I’m getting about 1304KB/s (about 1.3MB/sec). Not really impressed…

Does ayone know if Windows 7 RTM x64 with the above card will take the Unibrain drivers? I don’t want “speculation” please. I’d like someone from Drobo to chime in.

Also, is Windows 7 stil subject to the same limitation as described in this knowledge base article?(basically adding a registry fix for SidSpeed)



How full is your Drobo and how often is it used?

If you want an official answer from Drobo, you’re better off submitting the question as a support ticket.
This forum is provided as a meeting area for us more than an official communication channel to DRI.

Fair questions…

Drobo is less then 5% full and used not very heavily. It’s more my backup device then anything else.