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Topic: Giga, baby.. it's time for you to move out (Giga on a separate computer)

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  1. #1

    Giga, baby.. it's time for you to move out (Giga on a separate computer)

    So, I've been feeling a bit anxious today, because I'm starting to realize I just might have to build a 2nd PC, and put Giga on it by itself. So, I'd like to get some advice on a PC.. normally I'd just buy a ATX mid tower case, throw a motherboard, RAM, my Audiophile card, and a hard drive in there..but.. space is a concern. A BIG concern. I've got a pretty small room I'm working with here (insanely small). Ideally I'd like to own one of those shuttle PCs, you know.. these guys:



    Aw, ain't it cute?

    Anyway, I'd like to hear from other people who have built ultra low-profile Giga boxes, and your experiences with that. Do I still need the dual HD setup (primary HD = Giga and software, secondary HD = samples)? Or will just one HD suffice? Does the CPU need to be a powerhouse or not? One thing's for sure, I'm going for 2GB RAM. And of course, the case, as tiny as it should be, needs to house my Audiophile 2496 PCI card without issue.

    Any suggestions would be beyond great. I'm getting into some heavier work now, and one PC to do everything on (Giga, Sonar, web surfing, games, e-mail, etc.) isn't cutting it. Giga is already fighting with Outlook, it seems.

    Thanks!
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

  2. #2

    Re: Giga, baby.. it's time for you to move out (Giga on a separate computer)

    Depending how you want o hook these two up, you might be able to avoid getting the second audio card. If you're using GigaTeleport, it has a virtual GSIF driver so no audio card needed.

    steve

  3. #3

    Re: Giga, baby.. it's time for you to move out (Giga on a separate computer)

    Quote Originally Posted by MDesigner
    Anyway, I'd like to hear from other people who have built ultra low-profile Giga boxes, and your experiences with that.
    I've had Giga on two Shuttle models with good results, SB61G2V3 and the now defunct SN45G2.
    Do I still need the dual HD setup (primary HD = Giga and software, secondary HD = samples)? Or will just one HD suffice?
    Yes. Plenty room for 2 drives, and if you don't mind a bit of messing around at install you can squeeze up to 3, possibly 4 - i've run 3 (1x PATA, 2X SATA) with no issues.
    Does the CPU need to be a powerhouse or not?
    Not necessarily, but Gigapulse does love CPU ;-)
    And of course, the case, as tiny as it should be, needs to house my Audiophile 2496 PCI card without issue.
    Should be OK, though you may need to gently flex the back edge slightly to allow the drive cage to drop in.
    Any suggestions would be beyond great.
    Don't even consider a model without the SilentX PSU - anything v3 and up should be OK, wattage wise they're OK. It will NOT be as quiet as a well specced (i.e. Zalman-ed) tower, quiet, but not whisper. The stock ICE fan can be swapped for a Papst or/Zalman equivalent & thermistor if you like , but i never found it made much difference in terms of overall db's.

    The cases are v.tight, if you're happy in tight spaces ands have smallish hands you'll be OK, plan carefully before assembly and pay close attention to the somewhat cryptic instruction sheet - despite appearances it does contain useful tips on assembly. Watch out for the screws, aluminium case = v.easy to strip threads. Buy a cheap GFX card rather than use the onboard GFX, an old GeForce 4 or similar would be fine.

    Downsides :

    Noise : Again, on the lowest fan settings, it's quiet, but might not be quiet enough for you, very much depends on individual taste and ultimately the machines location.
    Fan controller : The onboard fan speed controllers can give up suddenly, i had 2 go, this leaves the ICE fan revved up to max with attendant wind tunnel noise. OK so it's rare and i was probably unlucky, but if it happens the whole box is dead....

    Overall - I had great results with the SB62G2V3 based systems, (P4 and ICH5R) no heat problems, great performance etc.

    Having had them die on me, would i build Shuttle based systems again? Maybe - a 'conventional' tower style though will always be quieter, and provide for a larger no. of drives, if like me you never have enough HD space.

    As long as you're aware of their limitations, they can make a perfectly good Gigabox.

    (Disclaimer -the above is based on the older style 'classic' shuttle style case as in your pic, i have no experience with the newer SN85 type cases.)

    Additional warning - Don't even consider Asus Pundit-R models (P4PE based), they're great office machines but a fundamental flaw in the PCI buss means they're effectivley crippled for audio work.

    HTH

  4. #4

    Re: Giga, baby.. it's time for you to move out (Giga on a separate computer)

    Get the Shuttle an ethernet card and Gigateleport. You're on your way to a beatiful way to work. I know guys running extra giga's and Kontakt on amd2200 with 2gigs or ram on one HD and doing fine. If you got nothing else going on then 1HD is really all you need. No need to overkill.

    I use to run all my sample stuff on a 1 ghz machine with one HD and internet, and though I wouldn't recommened it, I never had one problem not even a click or a pop. So if you have nothing else on it 1 good HD will be fine imo.

    Ars

  5. #5

    Re: Giga, baby.. it's time for you to move out (Giga on a separate computer)

    Hmm, why would I need a GeForce card? What's wrong with the Shuttles on-board graphics? I don't need anything fancy at all, it's just going to be running Giga.

    So, let me just make sure I have this right:

    Machine #1 (main machine):
    - Sonar
    - Just a basic sound card, nothing special needed (like a Soundblaster Audigy)
    - LAN cable plugged into router (100baseT)
    - GigaTeleport

    Machine #2 (Giga machine):
    - Giga 3.12
    - LAN cable plugged into router (100baseT)
    - no sound card
    - GigaTeleport (on this box too?)
    - VSL Performance Tool

    Or does the VSL Perf Tool go on machine #1? Where does the VSL MIDI Router go?

    Actually, my router is the LinkSys WRT54G.. not sure if that supports gigabit LAN (1000baseT). If not, I'll need to figure something out.. because doesn't GigaTeleport require a gigabit LAN connection between the two machines?
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

  6. #6

    Re: Giga, baby.. it's time for you to move out (Giga on a separate computer)

    More questions...

    Right now, on one machine.. dumping a piece to WAV is easy. I just make a new audio track in Sonar, and hit record. The piece plays, and it dumps to the WAV track.

    But.. using GigaTeleport.. how would this work? Where does the audio go/come from? Do I need 2 sets of speakers? Does the Giga box need speakers at all, or does the audio somehow come to the main workstation?

    Oh, PS.. nevermind about the other question.. 1Gbit LAN is required it seems. I don't think my LinkSys router (WRT54G) supports that.. the spec sheet says the 4 ports in the back are 10/100. Now I gotta buy a new wireless router that has 1Gbps ports in the back.
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

  7. #7

    Re: Giga, baby.. it's time for you to move out (Giga on a separate computer)

    OK, this whole thing is on hold for now. Using Matthias's memory tool, I was able to squeeze 66% mem usage out of Giga! (default settings were getting me about 40%...blech). And, Outlook (as well as my other apps) work just fine.
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

  8. #8

    Re: Giga, baby.. it's time for you to move out (Giga on a separate computer)

    I've had one of those running for about a year now. Base model with onboard graphics and 1GB of RAM. Two HDs. It's a PIV, 2.8. Keep it simple. Runs flawlessly.

    - G

  9. #9

    Re: Giga, baby.. it's time for you to move out (Giga on a separate computer)

    OK, I'm going back & forth here. Yes, the mem tool worked..but.. at the expense of the performance of my other apps. It's almost like RAM caching is off.. if I run Outlook, close it.. and run it again.. it doesn't come up in a flash like it normally would (because it was previously loaded). The mem tweak changes the pool & paging.. so.. apps aren't cached. This is bad for a general use PC

    So I'm gonna buy a Shuttle PC. I'm looking at grabbing one of these two:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16856101467
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16856101456

    OK, so my main DAW already has a NIC card in it and is connected to my router.. it's a general use PC as well. I plan on directly connecting my DAW to the new Giga box.. and I mean DIRECT, not through the router (cuz the router ports are 10/100.. won't support 1Gbps LAN, which is needed for GigaTeleport).

    So.. I will buy a 2nd gigabit NIC card for the DAW, and make sure the Giga box has gigabit LAN, and use a CAT-6 crossover cable to directly connect the two. That way the DAW/general-use PC can still be on the router & on the network.. and it can also talk to the Giga box.

    Getting this NIC:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833130103

    Any advice/suggestions? My only question now is, on the Giga box, can I just have one single HD with XP, Giga, and the samples on it? Or should I still have a second HD for samples?
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

  10. #10

    Re: Giga, baby.. it's time for you to move out (Giga on a separate computer)

    Quote Originally Posted by MDesigner
    My only question now is, on the Giga box, can I just have one single HD with XP, Giga, and the samples on it? Or should I still have a second HD for samples?
    Definitely a second hard disk. Consider a third, even, rather than two giant disks: then you can split your samples across two disks. My current favorite set up is a smaller eide system disk, and two big but not giant sata sample disks. Gigastudio (the program) can easily go on the system disk. Never been sure about where gigapulse installation goes best; maybe others have worked that out.

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