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Topic: Couple of PC Questions:

  1. #1

    Couple of PC Questions:

    I am looking at replacing a couple of aging machines, which are running Ahtlon 64 3800+ socket 939 processors.

    This means new M/B, CPU, memory etc, so essentially new machines.

    Having not paid attention to DAW building for nearly 18months, I am a bit out of date so I have a couple of questions.

    I am intending to build using Quad Q6600 processors (the energy efficient ones). So I would like to know a couple of opinions.

    1. Assume IP35 chipset is the current norm?
    2. Makes to avoid (or recommended M/B)
    3. I assume as much RAM as possible is still good.
    4. WinXP 32bit / 64bit or Vista 32bit/64Bit.. (unsure about this one).
    5. NAS - Did contemplate having a NAS (gigabit) to stream samples from is this a good idea?
    6. Given that performance is now better can I get away with one machine, and not build a seperate one for Gigastudio or other sample engines, and stream from the NAS above.
    7. Still a good idea to have 1 O/S drive 2 Applications / Audio 3 Samples on different physical disks.
    8. Still a good idea to RAID Sample drives?

    9. Any recommendations on a good case (Sonata II might not cope anymore).

    Any help on the above would be great.

    For reference, running a MOTU HD192 and Sonar 6 Pro at the moment.

    Thanks Steve

  2. #2

    Re: Couple of PC Questions:

    I currently have 3 DAW's each packed w/ 3 x Scope 15 DSP cards. These will run on a P3 Tualitin still as their needs are for DSP power instead of CPU.

    But my Giga 2.54 DAW runs a Supermicro P4SCT+II w/ Raptors and earns me a steady live production check weekly. When I upgrade the software, I will usually upgrade the hardware. But this DAWg still hunts, so it will remain as is. It has the content HDD in a RAID 1 setting since it gets a serious workout weekly. But it has never been used in 4 years, so it will also remain unchanged.

    My Gigastudio 3 DAW was upgraded because of the CPU power needed for Gigapulse, and VST FX, which I don't use. I prefer the DSP based mixers and effects. This app doesn't support multiple cores, so it stays as is w/ the Intel DP965LT / E6800.

    My Scope / GVI, K2 DAW will be upgraded in late December as I found that it can use the LAA 3GB switch. This is my live performance DAW I personally use nightly so it is first to be upgraded from a 965 / E6700 to the DFI P35 w/ an E6850.

    If the application demands more power, then I usually upgrade, but only on tested and proven hardware like the P35.

    X38's, and 48's sound tempting, but I have researched various OC'ing sites and find that a 10% increase on an unproven platform is not enough to get me excited. Add the 60-70% chance of instability that inherently comes w/ new unproven technology, this makes my decisions much easier.

    I need an upgrade for my live DSP / VSTi DAW so I can run the LAA switch w/ optimum results, but it really loads plenty of content now, I am just bored w/ certain libraries and wish to add more VSTi's. My DSP synths and FX are supplemented by analog hardware synths, and Lexicon PCM91, and 81 reverbs. This is what makes Scope so awesome. I route all hardware into it and never stress the DSP's or CPU's for reverb. I do use pedal down impulses, and ER's thanks to GigaPulse, as it really works great with hardware FX when used sparingly, but until I hear a VSTi synth, or VST reverb that sounds as good as my analog synths, DSP synths, or Lexicons, this will not change.

    I love using the best samples, effects, and synths. I still must use hardware to achieve this, but thankfully Scope's routings, and awesome power allow complex performances live with superior audio quality.

    I wish Scope would upgrade this century, but they still have such a superior sound to the VST's and VSTi's on the market, that I will continue to use them till the cows come home.

    The only problem is, Intels new PCI 2.0 architechture has started dropping the amount of 32bit PCI slots, so that's why the P35 will probably have to work for 2 or 3 years until Scope releasese new hardware.

    Think about it though, that's 10 years of 24/7 live and studio work w/o a single crash, and it's vast amounts of drivers have covered all ASIO and GSIF needs. That alone is a remarkable achievement. I read a Hans Zimmer interview last century where he commented they were his secret weapon, I went out and dropped the cash for those puppies, and have used them since !! What an ROI schedule !!

    Unless you are doing large video / audio dubs, stay away from RAID.

    Intel is urinating on all of our backs right now, and trying to tell us that it's raining,.........hear your head, and not the hype.

    The 3GB LAA switch will carry us over until stability w/ 64bit apps is achieved, I need it for live work, but in the studio where multiple takes are tolerated, it seems unimportant.

    Good Luck, Be Fruitful And Multiply.

  3. #3

    Re: Couple of PC Questions:

    Just one bit of advice: Try to find someone who will sell you a pc with the full version of Win XP Pro (rather than VISTA).

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