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Building The OPUS2000 SDFC

Discussion in 'Recording' started by CustomProd, Mar 9, 2002.

  1. CustomProd

    CustomProd Guest

    Opus - I am in the midst of gathering all of the pieces needed to duplicate your rig. The Asus P4B266 Mobo is starting to give me a headache. I am finding so many variations of the damn thing. You have said to get the plain jane (no -C version) board. I have now found info that says that there are 2 versions of the chip sets. A 845 and an 845D.

    Which one is the right chipset? :)
  2. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    I have the one with the 845D chipset...did you go to mwave.com? that's where I got mine..so far I've built two of these systems for myself and one very similar for jetoney...
    so far so good except fir jetoney's machine is acting up...keeps rebooting itself? ...we're troubleshooting it right now...we'll let you know
  3. CustomProd

    CustomProd Guest

    Opus - Thanks for the clearity :)

    No. Didn't check them out. I'll do it now though. I did win the chip auction. $160 for the 1.6a Now if I can keep the board price to about $120 I should be golden.

    Hope you don't mind the thread title. I figured this would be a good time to start a new thread to trade ideas specific to your machine build.

    Each day I just get more jazzed about seeing this machine for myself.

    Thanks again,

  4. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    I like the thread title!! lol
    You will see an amazing display of power once you get the machine up and running....I promise you that!!!
  5. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    Hey, is this gonna be the thread ? Great!
    I have mine up and running @ 2.1

    So far everything was smooth, the hardware monitor showed Vcore at 1.47, so I bumped the voltage to the CPU one click up. The stock Intel CPU fan is pretty quiet @ only 2500 rpm.

    My DAW rig so far:
    ASUS P4B266 revision 2.01
    P4 1.6a @ 2.1
    2x256 Crucial DDR
    Maxtor 40GB 7200
    Lite-On 24x10x32 CDRW
    Toshiba 16xDVD
    Matrox G450
    Realtek 10/100 network card
    Seasound Solo 24/96
    Powmax/Leadman 400watt P/S
    Black 17" IBM Trinitron and KDS 19"
    Win2000 Pro
    no case, just the old steel frame of an Enlight laying sideways for now.

    notes: I formatted the drive fat32 instead of NTFS because I need to move files across my home network with some computers that will be running Win98SE. Opus, do you think I should have used NTFS? I don't know the benefits for a DAW. Thanks.

    EDIT: Intel Application Accelerator takes away all DMA choices from the usual place(device manager), but running a report from the IAA program shows all is good. I changed my DDR cas settings from 2.5 to 2. I don't plan on running my PCI bus out of spec, but I'll try turbo1 and turbo2 and see what Sandra reports.

    Tommy P.
  6. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Allright!!! Nice job!
    In my BIOS setting all I did was disable the Serial ports, change the LPT port to EPP and set the cpu speed to 2133Mhz..I didnt change any CAS settings or multiplier settings..it's working like a charm..
    400Watt psu eh? that'll cover just about anything you put to it!!
    You dont need to format to Fat32 if you're just doing some network transfering..networking will see NTFS drives even from a 98 source machine. Going FAT32 means that you can pull the drive out and put it into a 98 machine and see it..98 wont see an NTFS drive physically inside the machine.
    NTFS is better since now you can shut the machine down with the power switch and not worry about the file data being corrupted..it's a better stream anyways with NTFS..
  7. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    Thanks,I'll probably re-format to NTFS or get some removable drive bays to keep my pro rig separate from the home stuff.

    My Sandra benchmarks were slightly less than what you had posted for your set-up. I did reach similar or better when I chose turbo2 mode for the RAM, did you use those settings also? ;)

    EDIT: its a confirmed bug, the BIOS temp readings get stuck at 40C. The chip seems much cooler, barely warm to the touch. No fix from ASUS yet. I'm runnung BIOS ver 1003, I can't get into any ASUS BIOS websites
    EDIT2: the CPU voltage reading is stuck too @ 4.75V.
    Finally got into the ASUS BIOS download area. Looks like ver 1005 is available and ver 1005b004( a beta). Which one? :confused:
  8. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Indeed I do see the same thing about the temp in the BIOS setting..My system is working great..I aint touching no BIOS upgrade..that's a mishap just waiting to happen! lol
    If it works dont try and fix it..ya know what I mean!!!
    I'm not too worried about getting the latest BIOS updates..
    If you're not getting the same results as me then you tweaked too much on your BIOS..as I said the ONLY things I did in the BIOS was to set the speed of the CPU from manual to 2133Mhz and also disable the Serial ports...pretty much it.
    Good luck on the SDFC setup!! lol

    P.S...my machine is doing 16 tracks of 24/96 with CPU topping out at 25%..if that
  9. Fredrik

    Fredrik Guest

    Hey Opus...
    Is there a particular reason you got the ASUS P4B266 (plain)?
    I've got the ASUS P4B266-E with the RAID option. I have good a good experience with the Promise Fasttrak100 PCI-Raid, which I believe is integrated in the ASUS P4B266-E. Is there any other differences between the "E" and the "plain"?
    I've also got a silent NoiseControl chassis with a Zalman 300w (silent) powersupply. I haven't put any of this together yet and I still have the option of changing parts.
    Isn't 300w enough if you stuff the computer with drives and PCI-cards?

    Thankful for your opinions...
    Fredrik Lidin
  10. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    I went with the non Raid version because of boot up time and I like to keep onboard peripherals to a minimum if I can help it. Plus when I was building the P4S333 system I needed a mainboard quick and found that one at Fry's Electronics..I grabbed it on the whim but was fully aware there is a RAID version. I would rather install my own SCSI or ATA controller than be stuck with the onboard one.
    300Watt will be sufficient enough to handle what you throw at it.
    I dont know of any major differences other than the RAID between the plain and the E version..there's also an SE version of the P4B266 which I believe I have since it's the 845D chipset..if I'm correct the first run of these boards only had the 845 and not the D version..havent really found out what the differences are..probably just revision and erratta issues
  11. Fredrik

    Fredrik Guest

    Thank you for that input...
    Now, isn't it possible to discard the onboard RAID-function if I decide to just use the onboard connectors as normal IDE-channels? And possibly create a RAID-array from a PCI-card instead. Maybe for better performance in the future?

    Or are the connectors always functioning as RAID-arrays? Is there some drawback (other than boot-time) to use these RAID-connectors as "normal" IDE?

    Appreciate your (or anybody's) thoughts on this.

    Best to you,
    Fredrik Lidin
  12. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    I just moved the whole rig into a lightweight all- aluminum silver rack mount 4U. I've never encountered this kind of quality in a case before. I drove a hefty 60 miles round trip to get the last one. Check it out:
    http:// :D

    I'll be getting some removable drive bays when I get the cash
  13. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    You can use the RAID as normal IDE connectors with no problems..not sure what the settings for it would be but I know you can do it...not sure if you can disable the onboard RAID from the BIOS or not..I think it's just there permanently...Never got a system with one built on so I wouldnt know!
    The onboard Primary and Secondary controllers are not RAID configurable..using a PCI card for RAID at that point would be redundant..if you have the RAID built on, use it!

    Tommy...that's the exact case I got from Mwave..it's a generic shell that people slap their compant name on!! Nice aint it?!!
  14. jscott

    jscott Guest

    The answer is yes. In most cases the setting is located under the Integrated Periphials section of the BIOS and its called Onboard ATA/RAID Device, you simply select Disable and it no longer funtions as a RAID or ATA controller.

    However, this really isn't required as pluging in yet another controller just gives you more resources and keeps the ATA function of the extra 2 connectors intact. But the option is there if you so desire to use it.
  15. Fredrik

    Fredrik Guest

    I think you're right. I'm gonna keep the "E" version of the P4B266-board. Use the RAID function, and if desired, add another RAID controller to the system.

    Here's another question: In the manual it says that there's an option of a setting that lets you control all the DIP-switches via software BIOS. Why shouldn't I use that option?
    It definately seems more handy to control the CPU-clocking and such in the software. I thought this was a default preset on all modern mobos?

    Why on earth would I want to open the chassis and press some DIP-switch or change a jumper-setting when configuring the computer?

    Fredrik Lidin
  16. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Fredrik - You are right about setting the board up to use bios settings instead of dipswitches. Also, J.Scott is at least half right about setting the raid functions from bios. (J, judging from the accuracy of your posts I'm probably flogging a non-existent horse, sorry if that's the case...)I haven't downloaded the manual for your MoBo, so this may not apply to yours at all, but the 4 different MoBo's with built-in raid controllers that I DO have manuals for ALL use both jumpers on the board AND bios settings to control all the functions of the raid. The way all the boards I've looked into do it is this: a jumper on the MoBo sets whether the raid controller works AT ALL - If you enable it with this jumper, THEN you have the option in BIOS to decide whether it is just two more IDE channels, or raid 0, 1, or raid 0+1. So far I haven't seen a Promise embedded raid chip that allows 0+1 (striping AND mirroring of drives) but all the HiPoint embedded raid chips I've seen DO allow all 3 modes.

    Since I have not looked at the particular MoBo you're using, I could easily be 'way off base. I only mentioned this in case you can't get things to work by just using BIOS settings - there may be a jumper on the board. I would strongly recommend downloading the .pdf manual for any MoBo and studying it before you buy. That has saved me from ordering two different MoBo's so far. In fact, if Soyo ever gets off their ass and sends me the manual they promised me 2 weeks ago, hopefully my quest will be over... Steve
  17. Fredrik

    Fredrik Guest

    Thank you. Your conclusion regarding the jumper-enabling of RAID is correct.
    What I want to do is to have one disk for OS and apps and two additional disks striped for performance. On the striped pair is where my audio-files and GigaStudio-samples will be.

    That should be possible, shouldn't it?

    Anyway, thanks for your input... :)

    Fredrik Lidin
  18. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    If you have a moderate amount of audio and a good number of Gigastudio tracks playing back at the same time, you may actually get better performance by leaving each to it's own non-striped drive. That way, you can potentially double the amount of playback. You won't get that kind of performance increase with raid. Plus, striping by itself is not a very safe way of doing things- lose one of the two drives, lose everything.

    Just my two cents!

  19. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Jon, looks like we're in total agreement on the raid thing - that's one of the reasons it's taking me so long to find a MoBo - I've had to narrow it down to the ones with the HiPoint raid chip, due to the 0+1 thing. I am not sure I want to use raid at all, but if I do I want all the options I can get, so I can make a fact-based decision on whether to go 0+1, just 1 with daily backups to a separate drive, or? The way I look at the math, if one drive has a MTBF of 10,000 hours, then 4 drives in raid 0 would have a MTBF of 2500 hours at best (sorry, at goodest; that was a bad pun even for me...) So, depending on benchmarks with real audio tracks, there's a good chance I will end up using the raid function as 4 separate drives. (Looking at a Soyo Fire Dragon MoBo, if the turkeys ever get me a manual) Hopefully, I can get hold of one this week sometime, and end up with a floor full of parts like you...

    Sometimes I think I should use all the time it's taken on computer crap to get a part-time job and use the money to buy a used SSL and Ampex 1200 24 track. (Don't remember the audio version's model #, I used to work on the video 2" machines - same basic transport except for electronics and head stacks)

    Hope your "PC Hell" is starting to gel... Steve
  20. jscott

    jscott Guest

    Based upon the information I have, I believe you can accomplish all you need to by using the settings in the bios, no mobo jumper changes will be required.

    Nonetheless, no offense taken, I'm as interested in being accurate as possible, and maybe there is something else I'm unaware of? I based my comments on the requirements of the Gigabyte 8IRXP, and a few others I've looked at.

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