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Newbie DAW questions

Discussion in 'Recording' started by delgado, Sep 16, 2002.

  1. delgado

    delgado Guest

    Hi everyone,

    This is my first time posting on this forum, and I've got some questions about upgrading my crappy old PIII-733 DAW - basically, what would you recommend? I'm after a CPU, mainboard, and RAM to go along with my Delta 66 and vidcard.

    I've noticed that there's been a few posts recommending ASUS motherboards - I'm a big fan of em, never had any problems with the one I'm currently using. The processor I'm looking at is an Intel PIV 2.4 ghz (but that could change if anyone's got any better suggestions), so I was wondering what board would be best for that particular processor.

  2. bgober

    bgober Guest

    do a search on ANUS in this forum. you should get enough info to get you going in the right direction.
  3. That P4 2.4Ghz sounds very nice! Check with Opus for specific processors, mobos, etc. he's the main man around here (although everyone else contributes a lot as well). Just to give you an idea I have a P4 1.6ghz with a Maxtor 40g system drive and 60g WD data drive. I can play back at least 25-30 48khz 24-bit wav files with a few plugins. With the better processor, you should be able to kick my butt in terms of plugin count. Try to get around 512mb ram. Like I said, Opus will hook you up with a killer setup,

  4. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Hey Del...welcome to RO!!! :D :tu: )
    Well, the 2.4Ghz has two flavors...A and B
    the A is the first generation Northwood with an FSB of 400 and the B is the newer generation with the 533FSB...so that's the biggest factor at this point. The reason being it's the biggest factor is it will decide which motherboard to get.
    The one I always recommend is the P4B533-V since that has the 845G chipset which allows for a better memory overhead. This is the 533FSB based board. If you choose to go the 400FSB route choose the P4B266(no letters on that one, just the plain old model)
    That has the 845D which allows for DDR and isn't much less money. The biggest cost on this factor is the processor due to the 400 vs. 533Mhz difference.
    So, decide which FSB size you want and come back with more questions and we'll narrow it down for ya!
  5. Hey Delgado.

    Even though I consider myself a newbie too, I have spent many nights reading through all the threads and have drawn a few conclusions. I just built my first DAW using the following:

    - Asus P4B533-E
    - Intel P4 2.4B GHZ 533FSB
    - MAXTOR 20.0GB EIDE ULTRA-ATA 133 for the OS
    - WD 120GB WD1200JB for the noise files
    - KINGWIN KF-21 removable HD bays
    - 2 x KINGSTON KVR266X64C25/512 512MB PC2100
    - Philips 40x12x48 (PCRW4012/17)
    - ENERMAX FS-710B tower with 330W enermax power
    - Samsung 152T (DVI) and a 151V (analog) TFT screens
    Everything except the CDRW (BestBuy $69)and the 151v (Best Buy $349)was purchased and picked up at mwave.com (even cheaper than Newegg.com for this order)

    This mobo has 6 USB2.0, 2 Firewire, SPDIF in and out, LAN, Game Port that has MIDI in and out, and 4 IDE inputs (1 set with RAID capability)

    Now Opus has pointed out that midi from the mobo and Raid are pretty much not done on the DAW. However, if you want to use the PC for non-DAW things by switching out your DAW hard drives for your office/gaming/internet harddrives then Firewire, gameport and LAN do come in handy. And I like the extra SPDIF's

    Another reason I went for the P4B533-E over the -V was the thread on the Erata on the 845G (just search the forum on '845g') which scared me away. Opus - is this no longer an issue?

    However, Opus is the boss around here, and I only just started.

  6. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Well, the erata is not specific to the 845g but to the ICH4 which is used by all 845 chipsets with the 533 FSB's.....so you're screwed any way you look at it! Ouch you say! Well, so far so good on all systems with those chipsets and doesn't seem to be affecting anyone in any way....at least not that we know of. Remember that the on board RAID is using the PCI bandwidth...it's the same as if you got yourself a PCI RAID card. Either way it's not going to get you any performance in any way. Just another bottleneck on your PCI bus.
    Also remember that the onboard game port(well, it's an adaptor that takes up a PCI slot) does cause issues with the USB 2.0!! Also remember that 6 USB ports takes up more IRQ's! Same with FireWire....I do like the fac that more and more mainboards are coming out with onboard FireWire but I'd like to see one without RAID and only a couple of USB ports....unfortunately all I'm seeing lately on newer systems are Sys chipsets which still aren't on my OK list....yet... I need to do more researching on it and will do so in the not so fat distant future..
    My issue is the waiting game again. I'm waiting on the new Intel chipset/processors to come out next year before I build a new system for myself.
  7. wiz1

    wiz1 Guest

    So Opus,

    Should i NOT be running my 2 wd drives on the RAID on my p4b533E? I know it's on the PCI bus, but i'm using a tascam controller/soundcard on USB. Would i get better performance from just connecting the WD drives to IDE2?


    (the dude that got the p4b533 the first weekend it came out at the Pomona Computer Fair)
  8. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Well, Because RAID uses two drives as one(only config you can do with two drives) Striped config...you aren't gaining much but at the same time you are risking one drive to fail(not that it will happen in our DAW usage) and at that point you lose half of your data.
    In regards to the WD drives since they have the 8MB cache I wonder how the performance on a RIAD striped config truly operates...I'm sure it's amazing! If your board only has the RAID and not the firewire and all the other USB ports enabled it will be fine. I'm sure you won't notice any difference if you put the two WD drives on the secondary IDE...I'm curious to know though. It's a tough call on that one but my instinct says if it's working great..don't change it!!
    Opus :D
  9. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    From what I've read so far, on-board raid or PCI plugin raid makes no difference. Both use PCI bandwidth. Seen tests of 4 WD "j" drives where there was only about 10% improvement in thruput with 4 drives striped vs a single drive (still with WD 8 meg cache drives. The conclusion I've come to is just use the extra IDE ports as places for individual drives. All the Mobo's I've seen with onboard Raid let you enable the raid but just use it as 2 more connectors. this lets each drive be on its own channel if you only use 4 drives total, or 8 drives total, pairing them for best performance in your particular system.

    All the other onboard extras can be disabled in bios, so if you don't need them you just shut them off. In any DAW, if you ain't usin' it and don't have it disabled, it's yer own damn fault. That's what Hardware Profiles are for, among other things. If you're not using USB peripherals, for example, and don't have any of that $*^t software that requires a USB dongle, DISABLE IT !!! Same for firewire - If you use the machine for Video Editing, create a separate Hardware Profile and enable just what you need for Video in that one, just what you need for audio in the DAW profile. If it works for you, create yet another "internet" profile that enables the NIC or Modem so you can get updates, etc -

    You can even use the "GoBack" system snapshot stuff with a DAW if you only turn it on BEFORE you make any changes, make the changes, save the snapshot of BEFORE and AFTER, then turn the "GoBack" stuff OFF before you use the DAW profile again - That way, you don't have to put up with the resource hit from the "GoBack" stuff and you still get the safety net.

    With ANY changes in a PC system, you need to first know what you have in terms of performance, then do the change, then re-check performance and if it gets worse, UNDO it. Just basic scientific method - only change one thing at a time, or you have no idea what caused what... Steve

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