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A few PC questions...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by SonOfSmawg, Jun 5, 2001.

  1. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    AMD Athlon T-Bird 1.5Gb with Iwill KA266 mobo.
    Any known issues with this mobo?
    Matrox G450 32Mb video card...any issues?
    Diamond Multimedia Supramax modem...USB or PCI?
    CDRW questions...hmmm...to SCSI or not to SCSI...
    thinking Plexiwriter PX-W1210TSE/SW, but would an Adaptec 39160 or an Iwill DU3160 be better with it?
    Or is this a bad time...with Ultra 320 around the corner? How about the Firewire CDRWs?
    Last issue for right now...any good cooling advice would be great...thanx y'all...
     
  2. simonsez

    simonsez Guest

    Hello, SOS
    Sorry no answers for you , just more questions..........It sounds as though you are on the verge of building a PC, are ya?
    I ask because after much thought and research
    I have decided on a new PC also. The only question now is building it my self or having someone else do it.
    Let us know what you are up to buddy!!!
    How much do you plan on spending?
    New soundcard too?
    What software?
    I think you have probably done a LOT of great research, sooooooooo......
    Details if you could.....
    thx
    simonsez
     
  3. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    It's not the motherboard that really has the issues..it's the chipset/processor combination that could cause issues. It's widely known that certain chipsets dont have what it takes to truly be compatible with certain audio cards. Having been around the block or two in dealing with these issues I tend to stay away from anything Non-intel based systems. Yes AMD has some great processors and they are really fast but the honest truth is that they arent for audio. Yes there are several people using them without a problem but then again they are serious computer geeks most likely and have to hunt down certain patches and pray that certain drivers work for them!
    SCSI is nice but it's not neccessary these days with the advent of ATA100 and the PC133 bus speeds! SCSI is another PCI card taking up resources that could be used for audio cards and other neccessary additions to the PCI bus.
    Matrox G450 video cards are fine..the first release if the G400 cards drivers were buggy but they fixed that. Modem? you still use Dial-up?!! wow!! I thought those days were over!! LOL!! get yourself a NIC(Network Interface Card) and get DSL or cable hookup..you wont regret it. Any modem should be fine but it's the IRQ issues that are perevelant.
    Cooling..hmm...good question indeed..there's a water cooled PC Case system that looks pretty damned cool..really quiet and really cool(no pun intended either!) Most heat sink fans are pretty well designed now and it's not really an issue.
    As far as CDR/CDRW's go...Plextor models are one of the best. Most burners are pretty efficient and cheap. I bought myself a 12x8x32 CDRW for 110 buckaroos...man does it do the job fast and quiet!
    Building a PC can be a pain if you dont know all the issues that exist in them..if you buy a non Asus or Abit board make sure all drivers are installed for them..go to the Mobo manufacturers site to find out if any patches or drivers are needed..That's why I stay with Asus..no drivers needed for their Mobos...it also makes no sense to me to have to load drivers in for a mainboard!! It should allready be ready for use!!
    Just bewarned again about chipset issues with certain audio cards
    Opus
     
  4. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Hmmm...what AM I up to?...doing my homework still.
    In considering my next DAW, I'm leaning toward Soundscape or Paris. They both run on PC. I also want to get into making videos for promo packages for "bar bands". I'm now running digi001 on a Mac G4-400, but in the research that I've done and the advice I've received from those more experienced, I won't be upgrading with either of them.
    The expense of a mix system is unjustifiable for me. Either of the systems that I'm looking at can do what I need for about half the cost. And quite honestly, I don't like digi's business dealings. After falling into the 001 trap as a newbie, I feel like a victim of a bait and switch tactic. If I'd started with a Paris system, for example, I'd be wide open to upgrading now. Instead, I'm going to lose money by having to sell my Mac and the 001. So, let the buyer beware, and don't make the same mistake twice.
    As far as Macintosh...I love my Mac, but the reality of it is that they've hung themselves. By not allowing others to clone their machines, they've cut-off the exponential growth effect for the Macintosh platform that is currently happening for PCs. You have a hundred times as many people working to advance PC technology, and it's leaving Mac in the dust. Also, the initial and ongoing cost to be a Mac user is way out of line. One example...dual monitors...do your homework on this one to find out for yourself...it'll either give you a big chuckle or make you toss your cookies...or dump your Mac.
    Indeed I have been doing my PC homework. I know a guy here in Pahrump who repairs and builds PCs. He is a retired college professor. He has given me a lot of advice on the direction to go with it, things to avoid, and reasons for doing one thing and not the other. He has given nothing but good advice that is backed-up by documented facts.
    When it comes to CPUs, it's AMD hands down. It's a no-brainer. If you do very simple homework on the internet, you'll quickly know why.
    The Iwill KA266 and KA266-R mobos are the choice of most of the builders now. They work seamlessly with the massive T-Birds. They have 3 Dimm slots, allowing you to use 768 megs of PC2100 266Mhz DDR SDRAM without breaking the bank. Most of the other 266Mhz mobos only have 2 DIMM slots, so in order to have more than 512Mb of ram, you have to pay through the nose for the 512Mb DIMMs. A high quality 256Mb Dimm is now only $62. Again, a little internet homework will explain why. The reason that I posed the question here was to find out peoples' experience with it in audio apps. Compatibility is always an issue here, no matter how good a product is otherwise.
    Opus2000 is absolutely right when it comes to harddrives. There is one particular harddrive that is the one to have. It's a 40Gb (actually 41.17) IBM Deskstar 60GXP (IC35LO4OAVER07). It has only two very high density platters. And again, a little homework on the internet will show you why it's a TOTAL waste of money to buy SCSI harddrives now.
    SCSI is a MUST when it comes to CDRWs. I currently have a Yamaha 8x4x24 on an Adaptec 2906 card, but when I get my PC, I will upgrade to a better, faster one. The Plextor PX-W1210TSE/SW is praised by all of the audiophiles, as well as puter techs and engineers.
    The downside is that with the ultra160 card, it'll cost you over $600 to get there, but well worth it. The Adaptec 39160 is the industry standard, but I'm considering the Iwill SIDE-DU3160 for any possible compatibility reasons (with the motherboard and chipset).
    And yes, I still use a plain old modem, and will continue to do so for a while. Where I live, we don't have cable. To get the satellite system is almost $500 up-front and $60 a month. Screw that. I'll pay my $15 a month to my ISP and be satisfied. They project that cable will be here in two to three years, then I might consider that. I'm not in such a big rush that I can't wait a couple hours for a big download, or wait a few extra seconds to flip webpages.
    I guess that's about it for now...hehehe that's enough.
    Any further questions, comments, help, or advice are most definately welcome...
     
  5. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Oh,BTW, Opus200...is this the system you meant?... http://www.sys.com/products/cold-fusion/desktops.cfm
    It looks great...1.8Gb Athlon...but the cost is ridiculous.
    There are a lot of other low cost options out there, and I'm just wondering if anyone has any good advice in this area. I have a few tricks up my sleeve here, but I'm looking for as many options as possible. The cooler an Athlon runs, the better it performs.
     
  6. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Here are some maniacs who go to the extreme in cooling for overclocking... lots of neat info about cooling systems. Maybe some that would help with the Athlons.

    ProCooling
     
  7. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Yes, the AMD processors are indeed kicking ass and taking names..but for what tho? Graphics? Games? You have to be careful when dealing with audio hardware issues..this is the key for DAW based machines...staying away from Athalon and Via chipsets for audio, plain and simple...more and more people find that they get better stability for DAW machines when they switch their non Intel machines for Intel machines. Yes, people who build and repair PC's know their stuff...but do they deal with audio hardware and the may cards that are used for that purpose only?!! You have to know that they dont really get into that aspect of the machines. Having spent over a year and a half as Sweetwater's lead PC tech I came across so many issues with every piece of hardware concerning a Via or Athalon based chipset. Why put yourself thru the trouble of trying to solve issues like that!
    You're absolutely right about the PC's hitting the market hard..
    I specced out a system for under 1,000 dollars..Dual Processor board with two PIII 933's..512 PC133 SDRAM..two 40GB Western Digital drives..Matrox 32MB G450 and I'm still amazed at the price..a Mac starts at around 2000$!!!!
    as far as the cooling tower goes...koolance.com
    check it out..pretty snazzy stuff..of course this is going to be pricy!! It's new and it's complicated!!!
    Opus
     
  8. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Opus2000,
    Point well taken. I guess since you are so adamant about the Athlons being a problem for audio work, I should look into this a lot more. I certainly appreciate the fact that you are advising me in this area.
     
  9. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    That's why I'm here bro!! I want to make sure everyone has a solid experience with DAW machines..hate to see it turn from fun to a freakin nightmare just to have fun! Good luck and let us know
    Opus
     
  10. Rader Ranch

    Rader Ranch Member

    Originally posted by SonOfSmawg:
    the initial and ongoing cost to be a Mac user is way out of line. One example...dual monitors...do your homework on this one to find out for yourself...it'll either give you a big chuckle or make you toss your cookies...or dump your Mac.


    ??weird...less than $300 for a Promax and my bud got dual monitors on his G4 400 no sweat...only problem is that he lost some gaming capabilities...
     
  11. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Rader,
    Thx for making my point for me, as you said, "no sweat". Hehehe $300? No sweat? That's how Mac users are accustomed to thinking.
    Are you aware of the fact that the same function is achieved on a PC for 1/4 the cost??? The Radeon VE is going for $73, and the Matrox G450 (32M) is $87!!!
    Mac users are so accustomed to being totally ^#$%ed in the ass for every single component that they think it's "no sweat"! So, when they sell you a promax or an Appian Jeronimo 2000 AGP, they should at least include some Vaseline, a reach-around, and a kiss!
    BTW, games work great with either of those PC cards.
    I hope you can see my point...anytime you want to replace, upgrade, or add something to your Mac, you're going to pay a ridiculous price.
    Look at the Mac G4s...the 450 is $1699, and if you're real lucky, someone might take $100 off the price, or throw in a "free" 256Mb of Ram. For $1000 you could have a PC that'll totally blow it's doors off!
     
  12. Rader Ranch

    Rader Ranch Member

    glad i could lob one up for you :D

    and $*^t, you certainly shouldn't let Digi sour you on macs, as they ^#$% folks just as good in the PC world! just look at the way they're trying to offload all the MIX DSP farms now before they announce a new super DSP farm, by AES no doubt...

    and i'd love to start a rant about the bombardment of broadband adverts that mock those of use with few (read 1) shitty expensive choices of service..and did i mention i'm 4 miles from the old Earthlink home office and a couple from JPL/NASA and i'd still have to pay $110+/month on top of a normal cable bill for anything approaching true broadband speed :mad: :mad: :mad: ???? dammit, i did start ranting...sorry.

    (Dead Link Removed)
     
  13. cab

    cab Guest

    Hi Opus,
    what motherboards did you spec out for your dual system if you're not hot on the VIA chipset? I had built a dual system recently (sticking with intel chipsets in the past) and found that my only options really for duals at the moment were the 694D VIA chipset. Needless to say, i didn't like it much and went back to a single 1ghz system on an 815 motherboard (stable as a rock). I decided to wait it out and see what comes down the pipeline in the near future.

    what has been your experience?
    thanks.
    clint
     
  14. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    I specced out a Abit BP6 with a 440BX chipset..the 440 series chipsets are the most stable made chipsets so far. It's amazing how many people have issues with Via based motherboards, and I keep hearing more, like yours. I havent built mine yet and look forward to doing it very shortly. I have a couple people interested in me building the same type of machine for them as well.
    I'm always keeping an eye out for dual processor motherboards but I only stay with Asus or Abit motherboards. The only ones I trust to be honest. Other brands tend to use cheap parts and cut corners by not installing all the right drivers and so forth.
    Opus
     
  15. cab

    cab Guest

    agreed on the ASUS. Have always bought those with the exception of the dual MSI VIA board...which i sent back. Now i'm using an ASUS again with a 1ghz single and it screams. at this point i'm in a wait and see mode on the duals (even though the extra horsepower is quite nice since my main audio app is multi-processor threaded). I have to say, the 440bx chipset is solid as a rock, but i have noticed an increase in power using the 133fsb.
    thanks for the reply.
    clint
     
  16. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    What do you think of the Intel mobos? Seems like it could make sense- same idea, I guess, as going with Mac- reduce the number of manufacturers in there. I'm looking at a couple of networked Win2K computers- office and studio, with possibly a dual in the studio. Probably running Nuendo, although I haven't gotten off my ass to really look at the alternatives. I've got an Abit BH6 in my current hack-around computer, and that may end up doing the office job.

    Originally posted by Opus2000:
    I specced out a Abit BP6 with a 440BX chipset..the 440 series chipsets are the most stable made chipsets so far. It's amazing how many people have issues with Via based motherboards, and I keep hearing more, like yours. I havent built mine yet and look forward to doing it very shortly. I have a couple people interested in me building the same type of machine for them as well.
    I'm always keeping an eye out for dual processor motherboards but I only stay with Asus or Abit motherboards. The only ones I trust to be honest. Other brands tend to use cheap parts and cut corners by not installing all the right drivers and so forth.
    Opus
     
  17. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    The problem with Intel boards is that frequently have built in audio and/or video cards. Yes you can disable them but it still takes juice no matter what! I agree that sticking with one company may be a good indeed but not always the smartest approach. Asus and Abit are the top brands for a reason when it comes to motherboards...configurable, flexable, and most of all...reliable!!!
    Opus
     

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