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Dell crap- NO PCI SLOTS

Discussion in 'Recording' started by ManicMonkey3, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. ManicMonkey3

    ManicMonkey3 Guest

    I bought a Dell computer with an i7 a month ago. I want to use it for several things, but I was hoping to record on it as well. I told the MicroCenter employee this. I saw the 4 PCI slots in the back and felt comfortable. It is a fast PC. A month later, I open up the back to stick in a sound card and see it has only one slot- which is currently occupied by a graphics card. The others are those little slots for a firewire or modem, etc. not a real PCI card. So now PCI cards are out. I already tried my Firebox through the Firewire port built into the motherboard and it was noisy. I think this will go away if I install a firewire card- which I think I can. However... I am using Cubase SX3 and it will not run on Vista 64- which came with this machine. I thought I could get around this by running Virtual PC. I got Cubase sx3 to run on that but Virtual PC cannot use firewire. It can use PCI. I am just so mad right now I want to throw this DELL piece of crap into the ocean. I just couldn't believe that an $800 PC had no PCI slots. I guess that's the way things are going. A desktop is basically as limited as a laptop only big and clunky. I had no idea PCI slots were drying up.

    Now I wasted $800 or I can buy all new software, a new PC, or stick with my 2002 piece of junk that can barely run the software I use. Hopefully you can learn from my $800 mistake. The built in sound on the Dell is of course CRAP.

    I guess I could again get good sound with a Firewire card, RME Fireface, and all new software for $2K when I already have a good sound but just wanted more CPU power. The RME has better converters than my Firebox of course. I don't use the mic pres anyway. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
     
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The type of FireWire connection in use (motherboard or expansion card) is not going to make your interface "noisy". Incorrect FireWire drivers or settings could cause pops and drop-outs in the audio, but not noise. Persevere with this FireWire connnection, as changing to connecting through a PCIe card is not going to solve anything unless the drivers for the PCIe card happen to be more compatible with V64.

    If you bought this PC as recently as you say, did it not come with the option of a Widows7 upgrade?

    Maybe what others can learn from this is: do your homework before purchase!
     
  3. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    Are you sure that it doesnt have PCIe slots? They're really small compared to standard PCI and there are several sound cards that will work with them I think, MOTU for one.
     
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    PCI slots/cards are different than PCIe slots/cards. They are not compatible with each other.

    What is the model/service code of the Dell computer you purchased?
     
  5. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    "which is currently occupied by a graphics card. "

    AGP...

    edit.
    You are bitching at the wrong people...we could care less how the makers of computer products are shrinking these items.

    Let the buyer be aware.
     
  6. ManicMonkey3

    ManicMonkey3 Guest

    Well, it turns out they were PCIe slots. The old PCI had been going for so long, I wasn't expecting the change. There aren't many cards out yet that are PCIe. Dell said to upgrade the bios and that should fix the Firewire noise. They said they were aware of the problem and it had been fixed. I haven't actually downloaded the upgrade yet to see for myself.

    As it is my Presonus Firebox, Emu PCI card, nor Cubase SX3 run on this computer and I was just so worked up that I angrily posted this.

    I know I can't expect companies to keep from innovating and that my stuff will all become obsolete someday. I guess I can't complain. I guess I'm a real jerk. Thanks for pointing that out... last guy who posted. I know you are probably a more logical, rational person than I am and lead a more fulfilling life, free from anxiety about trivial things. I want to be more like you.

    I do have a free upgrade to Windows 7 and maybe I'll get lucky and my Firebox and Cubase SX3 will work on it. I was thinking of getting a Motu MK3 to replace the Firebox... but not if I can't fix the firewire problem with the bios update. I haven't tried it yet since Cubase doesn't work anyway.

    I suppose Dell sells decent products at a reasonable price. :)

    I am going to just keep all my old equipment around and if I can't get my newer faster machine to run it, I'll just stick with that. I don't want to spend a thousand more just to get back to where I am already just so I can run more plugins at once on my CPU. There are ways around limited CPU power of course.
     
  7. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    I still fail to understand how the firewire driver affects the audio signal.

    If the signal is not dropping out or clicking then any static noise must be caused by analog components and not the part that transfers digitally.

    Maybe that's the programmer in me assuming that some of the recording chain works as documented.
     
  8. ManicMonkey3

    ManicMonkey3 Guest

    I downloaded the new bios and hopefully that solves it. It almost seemed like something wasn't grounded. It sounded like it might be the monitor amps, but they didn't have that problem with the other computer. There are two Firewire ports. I could try the other one.

    I see at MicroCenter that the PCIe Firewire cards cost a lot more than the old PCI ones. The one I saw was like $40. I hope I can get away with the built in one.

    I may just have to keep recording on my 2003 PC 2.6 PIV because I don't feel like buying new software, new soundcard interface thingy and perhaps even new plug-ins.

    I love how fast the new machine is. It will even edit my HD home videos, but none of my recording stuff works... yet. Probably never will.

    I had read that I could run Cubase SX3 on Vista in Virtual PC mode. I got the program running on Virtual PC but it will not see my Firewire Firebox. I read that it can not see Firewire devices in Virtual PC. Then I saw that a PCI card should work fine, so I popped in an old Emu 0404 I had laying around and tried that only to find that there were no old fashioned PCI slots. Foiled again. Maybe I'll buy Cubase 5 in a couple of years if I am still recording semi-regularly. It's just a hobby, but I want it to sound good or there is no point. The old computer and Firebox seem to have problems when recording. Sometimes it studders and I have to rerecord the whole track. I have to turn off plug-ins and such to reduce CPU and memory strain. Annoying. It won't even play back an MP3, WAV or CD without a few skips and studders in there. This new machine is smooth as silk- but nothing works. Oh well. At least I can use it for other things. I have a switch and can switch between the old and new pc in a second. That's convenient.

    95% of my PC use is non recording anyway. It's just nice to have something new work without having to replace everything else along with it. At least I can use my mics, guitars, and amps.
     

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