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Topic: Which Motherboard...Need Advice!

  1. #1

    Which Motherboard...Need Advice!

    Hey guys, it's the famous Mac guy who uses a PC only for GIGA and knows nothing about them

    I have a P4 running XP that has caused me many problems (INTEL PROC). Since any drive that is connected DIRECTLY to the motherboard cannot be seen, and since I seemingly can no longer launch ANY program other than GsLoadtime after startup without a crash, I think I need to replace the motherboard. I mean tonight for instance, I have tried to launch Giga about 10 times, and each time I double click it, the program starts to open, then crashes and it restarts. So then I tried opening VSL Performance Tool....BOOM....crash, restart. This is a nightmare.

    I use it for GIGA, but also would like to be able to run a Digi 002 on it (have it set up and ready in case the Mac crashes during a deadline). I use the Mac currently for Pro Tools.

    SO....if I want a SCREAMINGLY FAST motherboard that is compatible with Giga....and Pro Tools.....what do I buy? And where do I find it as cheap as possible? Thanks for any advice.


  2. #2

    Smile Re: Which Motherboard...Need Advice!

    Hey Tom,

    We build a ton of machines in-house for our Giga development. If you would like I could pass your contact info off to our engineer that builds them, and I'm sure that he would be happy to let you know what parts he has been using in his latest builds, they have been very stable, and screeming fast.

    Feet free to drop me a line al (at) sonicimplants (dot) com and I will have him send you a list.

    Best regards,
    Al J.
    Sonic Implants

  3. #3

    Re: Which Motherboard...Need Advice!

    Thanks so much Al, very kind of you...just emailed you...


  4. #4

    Smile Re: Which Motherboard...Need Advice!

    My pleasure!
    Al J.
    Sonic Implants

  5. #5

    Re: Which Motherboard...Need Advice!

    No Problem, will do!

    Best Regards,
    Al J.
    Sonic Implants

  6. #6

    Re: Which Motherboard...Need Advice!

    before switching the mainboard check if your RAM is ok.

    Keep in mind that softsamplers use tons of RAM and cause continued heavy memory access during playback (sample memory, streaming buffers etc).

    So in some cases when the RAM is flaky softsamplers are applications that tend to crash quickly while the normal OS seems to work fine.

    Try to run a memory testing utily like memtest86


    If memtest86 does not report report errors then the root of your problem is elsewhere:

    Some other causes that come to mind to me:

    - windows drivers conflicts with certain hardware combinations. It could be that windows does not like the mainboard/disk combination, but this does not necessarily mean that the hardware is broken.

    - gigastudio conflicts: since it uses low level hacks in the operating system to achieve better performance, conflicts with audio drivers, disks etc could arise and those conflicts may cause instabilities, crashes etc.

    You could try to run another softsampler on the same machine and see if it's stable.
    If it does not crash then it's gigastudio's fault.

    If it crashes it could be a problem with windows drivers mainboard/soundcard/disk combination.

    You could try to swap out the current sound card, put in a cheap soundcard and run a softsampler different from gigastudio to see if it still makes troubles.

    Debugging such problems can be time consuming but if you follow the advices above you can quite certainly find the root of the problems.


  7. #7
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: Which Motherboard...Need Advice!

    I would also think this is very highly suspect. Are you certain you know how to mount drives in Windows XP and are following all the proper procedures? I'm not saying you're not, just that this is a very odd thing to be happening.

    The second thing I would suggest is that perhaps it would be great to keep the dialog about this online in this thread, rather than taking it offline in private e-mails. That way everyone here can both benefit and add their knowledge.

    The forum is the best resource when the information stays here online!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: Which Motherboard...Need Advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by tomhartman
    I use it for GIGA, but also would like to be able to run a Digi 002 on it (have it set up and ready in case the Mac crashes during a deadline). I use the Mac currently for Pro Tools.
    Man, if you want to keep this machine rocking for GigaStudio and softsamplers, I would really reconsider this and keep anything Digi far, far away from it. I'm not taking a dig at Digi, but you're essentially proposing to put two "turnkey" systems on one machine, and any time you do that, there are going to be drivers and subsystems in place which could create conflict and increase your chances of instability.

    You didn't mention your full hardware setup on the current rig. It might be helpful to others here if you'd list that. You never know, there might be some known problem or workaround related to something you have in that machine.

  9. #9

    Re: Which Motherboard...Need Advice!

    Thanks all. Will keep this online. Here is the system:

    4U Rackmount case, 400W power supply
    3.2GHZ Hyperthreading Intel Pentium 4 CPU
    Intel Motherboard with 865 Chipset
    2GB RAM
    Frontier Wavecenter PCI Audiocard
    GeForce MX 4000 AGP Graphics Card 128mg
    3*120GB 7200RPM SATA sample drive Western Digital
    74.5GB 10,000RPM SATA drive for QLSO (Raptor)
    80GB 7200RPM OS/Program drive
    Windows XP
    DVDROM/CD Burner
    Extension system for mouse/keyboard
    Promise SATA controller card and Adaptec SATAconnect controller card

    The controller cards are needed because two of the drives are not seen if connected directly to the Motherboard. They USED to be seen, but after we tried to install a new audio card months ago, something got wacked and ever since putting the WAVECENTER card back in, the drives can't be seen on the motherboard. So I had to get the Adaptec to put them on. The Promise controller card was added earlier because of the number of drives.

    I do not run softsamplers on this PC. This PC ONLY RUNS GIGASTUDIO on it. I installed Pro Tools LE only LAST NIGHT, just to see how much faster it would be than on my limping along G4. The problems were there long before. I don't really plan to use Pro Tools on the PC.

    This computer will launch things like Adobe Acrobat, or Addressbook, or GsLoadtime, but WILL NOT LAUNCH GIGA without restarting instantly. Same with Perf Tool. Interestingly, even when the computer was working properly for a few months, launching the Performance Tool after startup would immediately cause a crash. I found another guy up on VSL with the same problem. He solved it by launching GIGA first, THEN quitting, THEN launching Perf Tool. He had no idea why that worked, but it worked for me too.

    So, my daily routine until about a month ago was ....start up, launch Giga, quit Giga, launch Perf Tool, then GsLoadtime, then Giga, and get to work. Now I can't even launch Giga.

    A video card had gone out (black screen one day on startup) and Best Buy Geeksquad guys put this new one in. Once I got this home, the new card seemed to make everything even worse, but I've read where others are using it and doing fine.


  10. #10

    Re: Which Motherboard...Need Advice!


    I left the PC on for awhile...like 20 minutes. Then tried to launch, and it crashed again.

    So I left it on for about an hour.

    Then tried again.

    Launched GSLoadtime, then VSL PERF TOOL, then GIGA.....and it worked.

    Geez, this is really witchcraft. I really admire you PC guys because you've obviously spent a WHOLE lot of time learning your machines. I just don't have that kind of time. I've used Macs forever, and they just work. This isn't to start a flame war, but really, I turn on the Mac, and get to work. All this compatibility stuff has been done for me by Apple. I understand that you pay for that, compared to a PC, but right now, trying to get work done, it sure seems worth every dollar.

    I am going to leave GIGA open and this machine on forever. To heck with turning off again.


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