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Topic: General Advice Needed re DAW

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  1. #1

    General Advice Needed re DAW

    I have a few issues that I am hoping you all might be able to clarify for me.

    Currently my aging DAW is a P4 2.26, with a MOTU HD192.

    I'm looking at building a new DAW, but I have a few concearns over a couple of issues. Currently the choice is down to either going for a dual opteron system on a K8WE, or high spec AMD / X2 on a Gigabyte K8NS-ultra-939.

    (Possibly using me existing DAW as a dedicated Gigastudio box).

    Firstly there is a large difference in price between these two motherboards, and of course the price of the cpus that would be used, and memory (as the Tyan require Registered memory).

    Secondly, MOTU do not provide a 64bit driver for the PCI-424, so I would be limited to using WinXP 32 bit which would mean ( I think ) that I am still limited to 2Gb of memory. This does imply to me that the additional cost of going dual processer is really not worth the outlay, until ( or if ) MOTU can provide 64bit drivers.

    Can WinXP 32bit only access 2Gb of memory?

    I'm basically wondering that given this setup (and the MOTU is really too expensive for me to change), if I would be better served with the single AMD (maybe dual core if the board can cope with it)?

    4Gb would be ideal, but I'm a little in the dark here.

    Thanks for any help
    Steve

  2. #2

    Re: General Advice Needed re DAW

    Did anyone have any comments on this..

    Thanks

  3. #3

    Re: General Advice Needed re DAW

    Quote Originally Posted by Azaniah
    Did anyone have any comments on this..

    Thanks
    I'm not much help yet, but I'll be happy to trade you for my 900 mhz DAW.
    "They get what they vote for." PaulR

  4. #4

    Post Re: General Advice Needed re DAW

    Hi Steve-

    I'm reading this on the fly, but the proposed configuration sounds remarkedly close to what I just finished upgrading to. I *had* previously used a P4 3.4 H/T Carillon box with 2G Ram, SATA drives, etc. etc. Basically, their high-end single CPU spec as of 12 months ago, but found that I was exhausting the box with any number of combinations--- Cubase SX with enough instances of Wave plug-ins (note: I also had/have 2 UAD-1 cards), but in particular, attempting to run any sampler as a VST plug-in and/or via Rewire was futile. At that time, it was Kontakt V1 (as a VSTi), but rather than blame any one of the components, I just came to the realization that it was time to "distribute" the work load.

    Concurrently, I began researching Giga Studio, and really found that platform ideally suiting me given the types of sample libraries that comprise my interest. But I also found, more fundamentally, that there are trade-off's between GSs approach and that of virtually everything else- RAM-based sampling.

    Fast forward to today.... Lessons learned:

    1) A sampler - given GS or K2 - merits a dedicated piece of kit. Period. Mentally, I just view the computer as a modern day version of a racked sound module, and arguably much cheaper given the scaleablility via libraries.

    2) Be mindful of the trade-offs of a disk-streaming v. RAM-based sampler. I use both GS 3.1 and K2 interchangeably on my dedicated sampling box - and directed my funds to the fastest set of SATA drives possible. 1 pair of 10,000 RPM drives (for piano samples exclusively) and another pair of high-capacity 7200 RPM drives for VSL, etc. etc (large foot print stuff).

    3) A DAW - regardless of platform - merits its on box. While the DAW, in and of itself, won't tax the overall box as much as a sampler, the added burden of plug-in's more than rounds out the utilization. Fortunately, most modern products provide work-arounds like track freezing, etc.

    4) Any notion of using rewire or a VST (to embed) real-time sampler integration into a DAW has a limited scale factor. I'd personally rather use that set of resources for effects processing and/or other less taxing VSTi(s) -and that's a pretty slim list these days.

    Getting back to the choice of AMD vs. Intel; obviously, subjective, but I've been VERY VERY pleased with the performance and headroom on my new AMD boxes: DAW- Dual Operton 64s on a Tyan M/B; Sampler - Single Operton on a Tyan... all built by ADKProAudio (solid, TASCAM-certified provider).

  5. #5

    Re: General Advice Needed re DAW

    if you are using nuendo cubase then gor for a nforce 4 with a amd x2. this does not need a 64 os right now and you can adress 4gb of ram. later you can upgrade onto xp64.
    Digital AudionetworX

    ______________________________
    http://www.digital-audionetworx.de
    mac - pc - gigastudio
    berlin - germany

  6. #6

    Re: General Advice Needed re DAW

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital AudionetworX
    if you are using nuendo cubase then gor for a nforce 4 with a amd x2. this does not need a 64 os right now and you can adress 4gb of ram. later you can upgrade onto xp64.

    VERY VERY WRONG!

    do not use an Nforce 4 motherboard its the worst thing you can do for Audio.
    same goes for KT890 (PCIE and AMD do not mix)

    Nforce 3 or Via KT800.


    Scott
    ADK

  7. #7

    Re: General Advice Needed re DAW

    Scott,

    This is what I've read and heard (i.e. don't use Nforce4), hence me looking at the gigabyte (nforce3) and the tyan.

    My underlying problem is, does it warrant the extra cost of the dual opteron board, when I know my MOTU will not work with 64bit windows ( and may never do so as I've heard nothing from MOTU). Sure, I end up with more raw power, but I am still going to limited to 2Gb of memory.

    So for the time being, would an X2, on the Nforce3 board, with 2Gb will be a good move?

    Sorry to be confusing..

    Thanks Steve

  8. #8

    Re: General Advice Needed re DAW

    Quote Originally Posted by Azaniah
    Scott,

    This is what I've read and heard (i.e. don't use Nforce4), hence me looking at the gigabyte (nforce3) and the tyan.

    My underlying problem is, does it warrant the extra cost of the dual opteron board, when I know my MOTU will not work with 64bit windows ( and may never do so as I've heard nothing from MOTU). Sure, I end up with more raw power, but I am still going to limited to 2Gb of memory.

    So for the time being, would an X2, on the Nforce3 board, with 2Gb will be a good move?

    Sorry to be confusing..

    Thanks Steve
    HI Steve,

    first the X2 is more powerful than a standard Dual Opteron.

    2) Motu will follow suite along with everyone else in providing 64 bit drivers
    however they have always been nortoriously slow at this.

    3) there are ways around the 2Gig thing.

    4) the only reason to go to a dual CPU platform at this time is becuase you have a numer of PCI cards (multiple bus'), or think you will need to power of Dual Dual cores, which is only like 5% of total Audio users.

    5) even the Intel Dual Core kicks butt, outperforming the Dual Xeons and should not be dismissed as an option.

    Scott
    ADK

  9. #9

    Re: General Advice Needed re DAW

    Scott,

    Do you have any more details (or even links) about the ways around the 2Gb Limit?

    If this is achievable, then this would be appear to be the best way forward..

    Thanks Steve

  10. #10

    Re: General Advice Needed re DAW

    Couple of further questions...

    If I were to look at the K8NS-939-ultra, I'd also want to think about dual core processors. I read somewhere that the F7E bios (which is beta) works for this m/b. However, if I were to use this machine to also run Gigastudio (whilst I look at building a dedicated GS3 machine), I'm going to be in trouble am I not?

    Has anyone even tried GS on dual core?

    If this doesn't work I think I'm going to have to stay with a fast single core processor.

    Also, did anyone have any points on the more than 2Gb issue in 32Bit Win XP?

    Cheers

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