In April of this year, THG's own Shawn Watters took a look at USB 2.0 in his article entitled,
Apple, as well as some off-the-shelf PC companies, has included 1394 Firewire for some time, but it seems that the majority of motherboard makers feel that the popularity of 1394 just hasn't achieved a level that is significant enough to warrant building 1394 into the motherboard. Much of this might be due to the perceived high cost of the TI 1394 chip from back when Firewire made its initial appearance.
Although Hi-Speed USB 2.0 is just beginning to emerge, Firewire, on the other hand, has been relegated mostly to video cameras supporting the 1394 (or iLink, as Sony calls it) standard. And this support from the video camera manufacturers means Firewire isn't going to go away anytime soon. Additionally, we don't expect to see video camera manufacturers migrating to USB 2.0 in their products anytime soon, either. (At least, we have not seen any road maps that indicate this.)
Since PCI slots are often at a premium, we wanted to find a solution that incorporated both USB 2.0 and 1394 Firewire into one card. We were also looking for the internal and external connections options for both USB 2.0 and 1394 on the card, and for the card to be able to power any USB 2.0 or 1394 devices that we connected to it. This two-in-one card approach would satisfy our need to save PCI slots, while at the same time, hopefully save us a few dollars as well. Most importantly, we wanted one card that would be able to provide all of the ports that might be needed for a number of future peripherals.