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Topic: Best Motherboard for PC DAW?

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  1. #1

    Best Motherboard for PC DAW?

    I am considering purchasing a new motherboard for my PC DAW. Does anyone have any recommendations for the absolute best motherboard? Single or Dual processer, prefer more than the limitted 2 IDE\'s of my current MB, and definitely high ram capacity.

    Thanks in Advance.

  2. #2

    Re: Best Motherboard for PC DAW?

    You can read MB reviews at http://www.tomshardware.com and http://www.anandtech.com

    The performance from most motherboards have leveled out as of late. If you go with the AMD Opteron (64-bits), then there are some early leaders, but that should level off soon. I personally like the Asus stuff. Just bought an A7V8X-Deluxe (AMD) today to replace my wife\'s recently departed machine. Some software is optimized for Intel\'s hyperthreading. If that\'s what you run, put Intel inside.

    Regarding IDE connectors, few MBs have more than two, unless it\'s for RAID, and I\'ve had problems with RAID drivers, so I stay away from them. The better MBs now have Serial-ATA support, so that\'s the best way to go for more drives. (Or 1394, or USB-2.0.) My Giga machine has a bunch of IDEs. I sprang for a PCI IDE board, and it works great. If you\'ve already got the IDE drives, a PCI board is the most universal route.

    Good luck with your system.

  3. #3

    Re: Best Motherboard for PC DAW?

    Thanks for the help!

    I\'ve used VIA chipset before (the motherboard you mentioned uses a VIA). Every single one I\'ve tried has nasty pops and clicks that have literally destroyed my recording and listening experience.

    Does using a PC hard disc card comprimise access speed/seek time at all when compared to speeds of IDE / Serial Ata connectors that are directely on the motherboard?

  4. #4

    Re: Best Motherboard for PC DAW?

    Originally posted by JonFairhurst:
    The better MBs now have Serial-ATA support, so that\'s the best way to go for more drives. (Or 1394, or USB-2.0.) My Giga machine has a bunch of IDEs. I sprang for a PCI IDE board, and it works great. If you\'ve already got the IDE drives, a PCI board is the most universal route.

    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Jon, do you have any experience with external USB 2.0 drives?. I\'m wondering how effective they\'d be for streaming samples, possibly in a live situation.

  5. #5

    Re: Best Motherboard for PC DAW?

    Ah, yes! Information on external HD\'s would also be helpful! I\'ve considered that approach as well. I\'m not too sure how reliable and stable they are in DAW workstations as of yet. It would be awesome if they could function well enough for giga use.

  6. #6

    Re: Best Motherboard for PC DAW?

    I\'m eyeing this one for my next mobo purchase:

    http://usa.asus.com/products/mb/socket478/p4c800-e_d/overview.HTM

    Seems like a decent board that will let you jump to 2GB of ram without having to spring for the expensive 1GB sticks. Lately, I\'ve had good results from ASUS mobos, and have usually been able to depend on promise controllers. Good luck on your choice, and let us know how it works out.

  7. #7

    Re: Best Motherboard for PC DAW?

    If you\'re going to go with an AMD processor, I heartily recommend going with a board which uses an nVidia chipset. The board I have (an MSI K7N2) has worked with nary a hiccup since I got it--HOWEVER, that said I must slip in that the M-Audio Delta 66 I picked up to go with it caused me nothing but headaches with the click-pop-noise thing. If I popped in my old Echo Gina20...good as gold. Now, I\'m using a Tascam US-428 as MIDI & audio interface.

    As for your question on a possible performance hit if hard drives are connected via a PCI interface card or via onboard IDE connectors...I haven\'t seen one. It\'s my understanding (or delusion!) that those IDE connectors are already on the PCI bus, so the performance should be the same no matter which way you go. I\'m using one to RAID together two 60GB drives for Giga streaming, and it works quite well. No problems!
    O.

  8. #8

    Re: Best Motherboard for PC DAW?

    Originally posted by O Boy:
    If you\'re going to go with an AMD processor, I heartily recommend going with a board which uses an nVidia chipset. The board I have (an MSI K7N2) has worked with nary a hiccup since I got it
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I just put in the Delta-L version of the K7N2 with an AMD Athlon XP 3200+ and must say that it\'s the best motherboard I\'ve had so far. For my purposes, I swithced off a bunch of stuff and that allowed me to reduce the IRQ count such that I could run in Standard PC/PIC mode and not have anything missing or with conflicting IRQs. This is the first motherboard that has allowed me to do that. I added a GeForce2 video card and things have gotten that much better.

    I\'ve suffered with Via and have had some success with SiS chipset motherboards - and can tell you without qualification that I will only use nVidia motherboards from now on.

  9. #9

    Re: Best Motherboard for PC DAW?

    I am using a FIC motherboard (AU11) with an Athlon 2000XP. It has the NFORCE2 Ultra Chipset which supports the 400 DDR. I use it with a M-Audio Delta 1010LT without any problems. I was going to update the processor to an Athlon 2.8 Barton.

    I also just built my father a DAW with a Pentium IV 3.0C Gig 800MHz FSB with an ASUS P4P800 Deluxe. Which has 2 SATA ports plus 2 IDE...nice board, built the system without a problem...most of the settings in the BIOS are auto configured which was a real nice change.

    I would check out www.newegg.com They have great service and there are quite a few user reviews on the products.

    [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] Edward

  10. #10

    Re: Best Motherboard for PC DAW?

    Originally posted by Houston Haynes:
    </font><blockquote><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><hr /><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Originally posted by O Boy:
    If you\'re going to go with an AMD processor, I heartily recommend going with a board which uses an nVidia chipset. The board I have (an MSI K7N2) has worked with nary a hiccup since I got it
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I just put in the Delta-L version of the K7N2 with an AMD Athlon XP 3200+ and must say that it\'s the best motherboard I\'ve had so far. For my purposes, I swithced off a bunch of stuff and that allowed me to reduce the IRQ count such that I could run in Standard PC/PIC mode and not have anything missing or with conflicting IRQs. This is the first motherboard that has allowed me to do that. I added a GeForce2 video card and things have gotten that much better.

    I\'ve suffered with Via and have had some success with SiS chipset motherboards - and can tell you without qualification that I will only use nVidia motherboards from now on.
    </font><hr /></blockquote><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I run two MSI K7N2-L nforce 2 boards, one being a Delta series. They are great boards, and haven\'t given me one problem. Definitely one of the best out there, at least in the AMD Athlon processors. If you ever think about doing multiple systems for music work, I\'d suggest using rackmount cases, and Antec makes some good ones, both 3U and 2U. It\'s space saving, and much more convenient, not to mention, it looks kind of cool. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    I priced a rackmount pc, excluding a keyboard, mouse, operating system, and monitor (assuming you have a KVM box) at newegg.com

    Rackmount Music Machine

    Athlon 64 2.0ghz
    2GB Corsair XMS Extreme PC3700 DDR
    Asus Athlon 64 mobo
    WD 40GB Special Edition
    WD 160GB Special Edition
    Antec 2U case with 300W PS
    Lite-On DVD-ROM
    GSIF Soundcard (ex: Audiophile 2496)
    Cheap video card (Radeon 7000, or use onboard)

    Estimated $1500

    Build 4 for about $5000, and you got an orchestral powerhouse for VSL or QLSO!

    Jared

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