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AMD or Intel DAW...last time.

Discussion in 'Recording' started by seven, Dec 20, 2001.

  1. seven

    seven Active Member

    Any experience driven opinions? What are the pros and cons of an AMD cpu compared to an Intel (namely P3) for a DAW?

  2. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    The main difference is the chipset. AMD chipsets tend to not work too well with certain audio hardware. Via chipsets used to be a pain in the ass but have gotten better with the newest 4in1 driver patches available. AMD processors are fine..in fact pretty damn fast these days with the combination of the DDRAM.
    Intel is truly the way to go with Intel chipsets since they are the most stable chipsets. If you go with Intel go with the Asus TUSCL-2..Intel 815E chipset!! Absolutely no issues whatsoever!!
  3. LittleJames

    LittleJames Member

    I disagree. I've used AMD for a while and never had a single problem. I happen to have a mother board with the VIA KT133a and it rocks. Also VIA isn't the only one that makes chip sets, AMD makes it's on chipsets (i.e. 760mpx).
    I'd say go with an AMD Athlon or XP(there marketing gimick) it's cheaper and from what I've seen it's faster. Check out this article.


    I even have my AMD chip over clocked and never had any issue with it. Most say that this is a big no no for audio but I've never had any problem. I use Nuendo with compression, eq, reverb, and a few other plugins, on more tracks and group tracks than I can use, plus having the Halion running or Reason through ReWire with no problem. I can run this chip ragged and it doesn't flinch.

    Gone are the days of Intel only Native systems. I admit that AMD(read VIA) had problems a year or two ago with audio applications but there on top now in my opinion. And if your worried about VIA buy a board that uses an AMD chipset and have no fear. Also alot of people I know that had problems with their AMD and Intel systems is because they bought the cheapest piece of crap mobo's on the market.
  4. zip

    zip Guest

    Intel PIII. :D
  5. AthlonXP all the way. they out perform P4's with ease. via chipsets arn't the best for Daw's, but i know many people using athlon or athlonXP's on via chipset mobo in there studios, not one problem
  6. LittleJames

    LittleJames Member

    Athlon MP's are a good bet if your planning on building a dual processing machine, just make sure you have software that can take advantage of two processors. You'll spend a little more but you can use more plug-ins.

    Opus, I think I remember reading a thread where you were talking about building an MP machine. Have you had any luck or have you scrapped that idea.
  7. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Well...James, I think you misunderstood me...AMD "Chipsets" not the processors!!! Via is allright now as I said..
    As far as the MP machine...everytime I think about building one I get this strange feeling I'm going to regret it due to Processor envy(sort of like Penis envy!!! lol!! :p ) I want to build a dual Athalon but I also am now thinking..well, whats coming out next month...and if I wait that long shouldnt I just wait another month for 2Ghz? and so on and so on!! I've decided I'm waiting till the beginning of next year to start the build..procrastination at it's best!!!
    Peace and happy holidays all!!
  8. LittleJames

    LittleJames Member

    Hey Opus sorry about the rant. My soapbox was getting a little rusty. I've always gotta root for the underdog. In reference to holding out on building an MP machine,I know what you mean. By this time next year who knows what we'll see in terms of processing power, price, and reliability.
    So many choices so little time :D
  9. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    I'm in the same boat- my deadline for having a PC in the studio is rapidly approaching, and I am still bouncing back and forth between a Tyan Tiget/Dual MP setup, or just a big P4 with RDRAM. I'm not sure I really need the horsepower above and beyond the 1.8g or so P4, especially if there is any configuration/reliability tradeoff.

    If I hadn't been doing so much mastering, I probably wouldn't *have* a computer in the studio.

    I dunno. Just shoot me.
  10. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    I was gonna post this message in seperate thread, but after following this one for a while, I think what I have to say is on-topic...it is all about CPU horsepower, and the need for more!!!

    I am running into processer starvation...I am using a PIII 1 GHz, and I can get between 24 and 32 tracks on Cubase/32 5.1 just fine..but then when I start adding plug-ins...things start going downhill in a hurry...I can get about 4-5 (depending on the plug-in) before I start getting pops and crackles...The CPU indicator in Cubase is still below about 50%, so I am wondering if it is the hard drive...Since my audio storage drive is "Drive D:", the hard drive indicator in Cubase shows 0% usage (I am assuming it monitors the C: drive by defalut...anyone know how to change that, btw???). So I really have no idea how hard my hard drive is working. But since I only start having problems with the extra plug-ins I am assuming it is CPU problems. (I use mostly WAVES plug-ins...DirectX, *not* the new beta VST ones...)

    Now more specifically to my questions:

    1) How to change the Cubase hard drive indicator to drive D:?

    2) Does this sound like a CPU problem? With only 50% usage???

    3) I am considering going to the Universal Audio plug-ins using their DSP card...anyone had any experience with it...I keep hearing good stuff, but would like to hear from someone that is actually using it rather than someone "who knows someone that is using it".

    Thanks! And everyone have a Happy Holiday (I am off work for 2 weeks...time to get some recording and mastering done!!! :) ).

  11. seven

    seven Active Member

    Okay, well...check this out, by the way, this is really the last time I will ask for help with this decision... :p
    While in the process of ordering my system, I was offered an alternative (which appears to be better) for the same price. Originally I had decided to go with this...

    Mid- 300watt ATX Case
    PIII-1000Mhz CPU
    Asus TUSL2-C
    512 megs of PC133
    ATI 32Meg Rage Pro Video
    40gig ATA-100 7200rpm (OS) Hard Drive
    60gig ATA-100 7200rpm (Record) Hard Drive
    48x Cd-Rom
    TDK 24x10x32 CDRW
    56k Modem
    Microsoft Internet Keyboard
    Microsoft Intellimouse
    Microsoft Windows 98se, Me, 2000, XP.

    But... now I find out that I can get this system at the same price (+$50. for Win2k)...

    Uneec 300watt ATX Case (Heavy Duty)
    AMD XP-1600
    Asus A7v266e Raid Motherboard
    256 megs of DDR PC2100
    ATI 32Meg Rage Pro Video
    40gig ATA-100 7200rpm Hard Drive
    80gig ATA-100 7200rpm Hard Drive
    TDK 24x10x40 CDRW
    56k Modem
    Microsoft Internet Keyboard
    Microsoft Intellimouse
    Microsoft Windows 2000
    *I'll be using a Tascam US428 interface
    So...what do y'all think?
    Decisions, decisions :confused:
    I'm really trying to get this proverbial ball rolling.
    Pros, Cons? ...please, only the facts man.
  12. seven

    seven Active Member

    Is this true?

    (The AMD XP) "...is a 1400 MHz part, now marked by AMD as "1600+" on the box. Nothing on the box identifies the CPU as a 1400 MHz part."

    Read the whole article here...
  13. LittleJames

    LittleJames Member

    Hey Seven it is true about the Athlon 1600 is really a 1.4ghz chip. But it still performs better than a 1.9Ghz Pentium IV, and somtimes it beats a 2ghz Pentium IV. Check out these bench marks. http://www.anandtech.com/cpu/showdoc.html?i=1543&p=7

    It's a long article, but the proof is in the pudding.

    For some reason AMD decided to market the chips with a different number as apposed to their clock speed. I think they felt that if they gave they correct speed no one would buy them unless they understood that a 1.4ghz AMD XP would easily out perform a Pentium chip that is the same "speed" as the XP chip. Before you decide on which cpu you will it's always a good idea to see the benchmarks.
  14. Dedric

    Dedric Guest

    Seven, FWIW, I am researching the same thing for my Logic 5 rig. I think I have settled on an Athlon XP 1900 with AMD chipset (haven't landed on a mb yet), upgraded fan/cooling, 400W power supply, 512M DDRAM, two ATA100 drives, and WinXP Pro (for future dual proc use and the fact that I get the impression WinXP Home doesn't have full preimptive multitasking). I debated the 2 cpu thing, but think it is still too early for me since Logic doesn't really gain that much yet. (i.e. too much money for the extra 10 or 20% power and potential headaches).

    Why AMD? Everything I've read indicates quite a bit better performance (plugins, trackcount, etc). I would have no problem going with Intel for stability, but there seem to be plenty of AMD users with 0 problems. Most Emu Paris/PC rigs are AMD - it seems to be the best for Paris for some reason - perhaps it really comes down to higher plugin counts and better DSP performance from the CPU vs. PIVs (hence the new designations e.g. 1900 for a 1.53GHz cpu).

    It does pay to research compatibility with every other piece of your system (audio card, all software, periferals, DSP card(s), Midi interface, OS, etc). i.e. the UAD-1 card has/had problems with an MSI mb.

    The one fact to take comfort in - whatever you buy now will be completely obliterated within 2 months by something faster, more powerful, more stable, more flexible, more fun and less expensive. I figure if I order my system via Fedex overnight, it might be cutting edge for a week. :D

  15. seven

    seven Active Member

    I know it man! :D And speaking of incompatability...check this out!...this sucks... I had finaly decided on three things, one a Tascam US428, two Sonar, and three Win2k. After an ample amount of researching compatability I read that, one the US428 does not support Sonar and, two Cubasis is not compatible with Win2k. So, now I'm back to deciding on a sound card or a different app. I have, however, decided to try out the AMD system. I haven't heard as much about them (AMD's) as the Pentium systems...it intrigues me :D but...oh well, in due time.
  16. seven

    seven Active Member

    You know what man? Screw it! I'm going with the P3 system and that's frickin it! Way too many daggone incompatability issues with the AMD to fit my...now extended...budget. I'm going with the P3, the MIA sound card and Sonar. AAhhh...that feels much better. :)

    Thanks a bunch for all of the input.
    On December 15th, I didn't so much as even know what DAW stood for...well...after reading posts after posts, and surfing the web for hours after hours...after hours, I am now giving other people information to get going...God bless the internet!
    Now if I could just redirect this energy towards studying for my A+ and Network+ exams, I'll be allright :D

    Thanks again,
  17. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    lol!! Welcome to the wonderful world of computer recording man!! Sonar isnt supported but....there is a template on the Tascam site created by DoctorDale(428 user on the Tascam BBS) that works great!! Have you posted on there yet and asked him about it? It does work with some minor bugs but it's there!!
    The MIA is a great solution man...hope you like your system and hope you have fun with it as well!!!
  18. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    You should *never* buy something based on a future feature that is "due out anyday now...", you'll get burned everytime, but going back to Opus' post re: the TASCAM 428 and SONAR...there is the patch by the good doctor as mentioned above, and from what I've heard, seems to be working well enough that a ton of people are using it successfully...

    but also...

    Cakewalk is promising support for the 428 from within SONAR soon...like I said, don't base buying decisions on something that is not yet released, but the 428 is too good a piece to pass up just because Cakewalk doesn't yet support it...use the patch and the 428...you'll be glad you did!

  19. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    This seems to be the main topic around here, but I have four home built machines , two Intel and Two AMD, here's the one that rocks:

    AMD Athlon XP1600 $140.00 newegg.com
    ECS K7S5A motherboard(SIS chipset has awesome PCI bandwidth)$59.00 newegg.com
    512Mb PC2100 DDR ram by Crucial.com $140.00
    Matrox G450 Dualhead $79.00 newegg.com
    IBM P76 17" Trinitron and KDS 19" monitors $139.00 and $199.00 tigerdirect.com
    Two IBM 7200 30gb $160.00
    Sea Sound Solo 24/96 $125.00 sam ash closeout
    Lite-on 24X CDRW $84.00
    Homemade rackmount soundproofed case with400w p/s
    Windows 2000 Pro and Win98SE dual boot
    Johnson J-Station $150.00

    I love building machines specified for my own purposes while saving money.But there are increasingly good deals on pre built computers lately(economy woes?)
  20. LittleJames

    LittleJames Member

    Hey Tommy P.

    I'd like to know how you made your "homemade" sound proof rack mounted case.

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