fastest laptop interface...

Hello all,
I’m getting this laptop soon. LAPTOP and plan on using it for mobile recording occasionally. I’m wondering what’s the best solution for this though.

Currently I own an Echo Layla. I will get the Cardbus adapter and use it for now.

I was thinking though, I’d really like to step up to the MOTU Traveler. It’s got all the features I want and can run off the firewire’s power for totally mobile recording. So I was looking at the various Cardbus Firewire options (the onboard 1394 is the non-powered 4 pin) and started looking for the 1394B options due to the doubled bandwidth.

My plan thus far is to purchase a firewire 800 cardbus (they usually include a firewire 400 too-for the traveler) and buy a firewire 800 external harddrive for my audio drive. My main harddrive is a internal 7200 rpm 60GB drive.

I’m wondering though, is this overboard? the theoretical limit of cardbus is supposedly like 150 MBps. The firewire 800 maxes out at 100 MBps. Now… how well will it work do you think to have a 100 MBps harddrive working on the same bus as a 50 MBps soundcard? I don’t know the specifics about how a bus communicates with a processor yet, so don’t be afraid to get technical.

Now, in addition to the firewire 800 cardbus’, there’s also the sata cardbus. would this be worth looking into for the external harddrive as well? or is it overkill…

I plan on doing a max of 20 channels input and probably one 2 or so output at most. I usually use 48 khz but wouldn’t mind jumping to 96 khz for shits and giggles sometimes.

So what are your thoughts?

well I just read the the whole bus only goes as fast as the slowest link, so a 800 speed would only go 400.

Do you think the onboard port is connected to the cardbus? if they are separate I could run the traveler through the onboard port and the 800 drive off of the cardbus right?

I’ve heard that it’s generally not the best idea to put your soundcard and hard drive over the same interface (firewire/USB). That makes sense, but it’s anecdotal evidence at best.

The Traveler looks like a great combination of features. Nicely laid out front panel. Only thing less than perfect is MIDI I/O on the side, which would be clumsy when rack mounted (which isn’t really the target market anyway).

so put the traveler on firewire and the drive on USB then? I figured that would be a better idea, problem is I own a firewire drive already… :(

A PCMCIA card will not supply bus power for FireWire devices without the use of a power adapter (wall wart) connected to the CardBus.
I would think that you should do fine by using a CardBus in conjunction with the built in FireWire port. This will give you two physical FireWire controllers to separate the task of interface and external drive. I highly doubt the on-board FW controller is in any way connected to the PCMCIA controller. At worst, they may share an IRQ.
I know they are quite a bit more $$ but the P4 ProStar’s can have a second internal HDD. I wonder why the AMD’s don’t? ???