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Motherboard selection help Please.

Discussion in 'DAW's, Computers & Software' started by Ronny, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. Ronny

    Ronny Active Member

    Dec 17, 2012
    Hello All,

    I am about to upgrade my recording computer and need to decide on a motherboard. So I have a few questions.

    My audio interface is a MOTU 2408 mk3 and the 24 i/0 addition. I would like to be able to run at least 24 tracks with various plug-ins smoothly. Or even for that matter record 24 tracks at once.

    This computer will only be for recording and internet to update software.

    I will be running Windows 7 on it.

    I'm thinking either the i7 3770k 3.5Ghz or the AMD FX 8350 Eight Core for a CPU.

    Canada Computer says I should be good with the ADM and the Asus M5A99X Evo mobo, but I am not so sure.

    So the questions I have are:

    1 - What considerations in a motherboard do I need to look for when using it for recording.

    2 - Should I go with a Server/Workstation motherboard and different type of CPU? If so, why and which one?

    3 - any suggestions of motherboard for the i7?

    I now this is a lot to ask from you all but I need to make sure that I start off on the right track if I am to capture some great music and performances.

    Thank You in advance, Ronny
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Moderator (Distinguished Member) Resource Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    Probably your best bet is to contact the manufacturer of the program and hardware you want to use and simply ask them what their recommendation is.

    You'll want to present them with the choices you can afford, just like you did here. Also, ask about video acceleration / memory as well. You may want to use multiple monitors at some point. This has become very popular with users who like to have their track time line on one screen, while having the virtual console display on the other. Make sure that whatever MB you go with can handle that set up.

    I'm not saying to ignore the suggestions that may follow this post, there are some wickedly smart people here on this forum and you should definitely consider what they have to say, but it always helps to talk to the manufacturers and get their take on what they recommend to be the best bet, the most bang for the buck, so to speak. In some cases, they may even make suggestions based on what they have in development, and be able to tell you what you should get in relation to upgrades or updates that they are working on.

    If you can afford it, try to avoid using something that meets the minimum requirements for your software. Both the software and hardware industries are advancing so rapidly that you'll want to spend the extra money to insure that you are covered for as long into the forseeable future as possible. The last time I upgraded my PC, I contacted Sonar (Cakewalk owned it at the time) and they were very helpful in telling me what I should look at from a PC standpoint regarding chipset, processor speed, ram, video memory, etc. I followed their recommendations.... and the software ran flawlessly.

    It's a funny circle... generally, it's the software industry that drives the hardware industry to advance, but occasionally it's been the other way around.

    It wasn't all that long ago that a dual core was all that was really needed, and in most cases, it was all that was available anyway. These days, a dual core is the bare minimum you'd want for powering most of the popular
    multi media progs, be it audio or video.

    While it's good to have an idea of total track counts and track at once projects, don't ignore the very real possibility that you will be adding quite a few different plugs; processors, effects, soft synth instruments, etc. So don't just look at the total track count, or how many tracks you can record at one time, as your basis for upgrading your hardware. Consider how dense your projects may be in relation to what you will be using or doing with each individual track.

  3. Ronny

    Ronny Active Member

    Dec 17, 2012
    Hello DonnyThompson,

    Thnx for the reply. I have already contacted Samplitude. They sent me a list of places that build recording computers. I went to their sites and read up on what they offer. At the end of it all Im just left with more choices...LOL

    I've been doing a lot of reading up on mobo's and cpu's xtra. Waht I can't seem to find is the right questions to ask. If I was building a gamer computer no problems. But what questions should I be asking for a recording computer.

    Yes there is the whole memory and speed aspect of it all. But what about USB, Firewire, Video, computational ability, slots needed, etc, considerations?

    What stats do I need to look at when building this type of computer.

    Do I need blue-ray for example?

    I see a lot of people asking, on the net, what type of mobo they should get. But it seems no one has the answer but just more questions.

    Maybe the questions we all need to ask is what are the requirements, we as audio engineers, need from a cpu and mobo?

    What is it that we need to do and what do we need it to do?
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    Most obviously, you're going to need a motherboard that will still support multiple PCI cards of the original PCI variety. But you'll also want to have PCI e slots also. Gigabyte is another motherboard to look into as it also comes highly recommended by numerous manufacturers and end-users. I personally have gotten along fine building my own machines since 1996 with ASUS motherboards. And I was recording 24 simultaneous tracks through my 2408 MK I I with a single core Pentium 3 ten years ago. Of course processing and plug-ins all had to be rendered not in real time back then. So any modern-day CPU and motherboard will have no problems recording 24 simultaneous tracks or more. And with faster multi-core processors, you'll be able to run most of your processing and plug-ins in real time. Or just have really nice fast renders of a complete mix in mere seconds? Why wait if you don't have to? LOL who needs real time anymore? We want faster than real-time! And so that blows ProTools out of the water. Screw real time. I want drive through.

    I'm going to put a hook on my front fender so I can do this faster at McDonald's.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  5. Ronny

    Ronny Active Member

    Dec 17, 2012
    Ya, Im going with either an i7 3770k 3.5Ghz cpu and Asus P8z77-V-Pro mobo or an Asus M5A99X Evo Pro 2.0 mobo and the AMD X8 FX 8350 cpu.

    I was looking at Server/workstation mobo, but my get in price is the bottom of the heap. I don't have $2000 for a good cpu .. ;)

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