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Topic: New DAW: bad timing?

  1. #1

    New DAW: bad timing?

    Hi fellow musicians,
    although I am no pro, more of a home recording singer/songwriter, I'd love to get some advice on this:

    I want to build myself a new daw for Cubase SL3 and Halion 3
    (ie. VST instruments and effects + sample libraries streaming)

    shall I go for

    1 what's known to work both yesterday and TODAY (for example socket 478 P4 + an intel chipset based motherboard)

    2 a more futureproof setup, that may work today and prolly tomorrow (for example AMD64 socket 939 + an xx chipset based motherboard)

    3 shall I wait a month or two? (new AMD64 stepping, fixing the dual channel memory issue, better motherboard revisions, maybe better prices)


    maybe I'm a bit too cautious, or my timing is unlucky. Last time I upgraded, I think I was one of the last ones to buy a PIII, which was a bit underpowered comparing to the first P4 or Athlon XP rigs people was getting, I consciously chose stability rather then longevity or "bang for the bucks" ratio.
    This old PIII 1,13 Ghz has served me well in the last three years, eventually hitting the wall now that I started appreciating cpu-hungry VST's and the joys of sample libraries.

    Before I started making some serious research I thought I'd go with route 1, p4 3,0 Ghz or so, Asus mobo, 1 GB ram, amen, then I learned that the P4 Prescotts have heat (which also can equate to noise) issues, and that this new AMD64 socket 939 is the name of the game. Dual processors are a few months ahead and Windows XP 64-bit will be released before summer

    other things that confuse me:

    1 the socket 478 is an end of life platform. Socket 775: not an option, tricky to mount, no AGP, don't like the idea.

    2 I'm a sucker for this new 64-bit thing to come, but when will I really need it?

    3 I know for sure that my soundcard, an Echo Layla24, won't work with most of the via chipsets for AMD's socket 939, which means I'd have to chose a nforce3 based solution. To complicate things further, I'd rather not discard the Echo card, as I think it can serve me well for another year or two.
    4 my dream about having 2 or even 4 GB ram is incompatible with the AMD64 current stepping, as the onboard memory controller rarely grants to run 4 dimms in dual at 400 Mhz FSB. As I wrote above this appears to be a stepping issue that will be fixed with the next generation, due to be released...yeah, that's the icing on the cake, it could take 2 weeks or 4 months for these babies to be released.

    What do you think?
    Thank you in advance!

  2. #2

    Re: New DAW: bad timing?

    I went with the Socket 939 solution, and am mostly happy. I've had some problem with my Echo MIA and the VIA chipset though. I'm now running an Audiophile 192 with great performance on the GSIF and ASIO drivers.

    I'd go with an nForce3-based mobo. They're mature and support AGP. Their only drawback is that they use chipset fans, which is a bummer for silent PC types, like me.

    Another thing about Intel is that their current motherboards/sockets will not support dual core, so the 775 won't have a long life. I've read reports of people seeing AMD dual core prototypes working in a current 939 mobo. Combine that with the lack of 64-bits for Intel, their lagging performance and their more expensive DDR-2, and all roads lead to AMD.

    If I were to buy today, I'd get the MSI nForce3 board. I went with the 3000+, which is relatively cheap, uses the new process for lower heat consumption and takes to overclocking well, in case you are so inclined.

    All the best!


  3. #3

    Re: New DAW: bad timing?

    I just built 2 AMD rigs for all my Giga samples and softsynths.

    Athlon64 4000+
    Corsair PC4400
    (2) nVidia 6800 GT

    MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum nVidia3
    Athlon64 3500+ (Winchester)
    Corsair PC4400
    Matrox G450

    It's been working perfectly for a couple of weeks now. It beats the pants of my Intel Prescott rigs.


  4. #4

    Re: New DAW: bad timing?


    I sent you email but just in case you see this first...

    I'm thinking about building a DAW rig around the MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum nVidia3. Any comments (pros or cons) about it since your last post?
    Am I correct iin thinking that the nForce chipset is passively cooled on this motherboard?

    Colin (Scotland, UK).

  5. #5

    Re: New DAW: bad timing?

    Is the PATA, rather than SATA going to be a disadvantage on the MSI nforce? Am I missing something here? Does it really matter?

    Edited: Nevermind. I'm an idiot. My only excuse is that I have been working since 9:00 p.m. last night. It's now 5:52 a.m. and I noticed it does have SATA.
    Last edited by Danimal; 04-30-2005 at 05:53 AM. Reason: idiocy
    "They get what they vote for." PaulR

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