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The New Computer Blues......

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Opus2000, Mar 2, 2002.

  1. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Oy...Catchy song name but not one I want to be writing to be honest!
    So..my new system aint doin so well guys :(
    Here's my setup and my trials and tribulations so far....
    Asus P4S333 W/P4 1.6a(northwood) and 512MB PC2100 DDR-300Watt ATX PSU(with the 4 pin 12v)
    Appian Gemini 16MB AGP Dual Analog Monitor
    10GB Fujitsu 7200RPM(OS and Apps)
    40GB Maxtor 7200RPM(Audio data)
    CDrom and CDR/W
    Echo Layla 20
    Tascam US428

    So, install all hardware into case...very sweet case by the way..Got to love Rackmounts!!
    Installed OS(Win2k) Installed Service Pack 2 for Win2k...installed all drivers..etc etc..blah blah blah...
    Open Nuendo..load a pretty heavy track/plugin song...press play...AAARRRGHHHH!! Music stutters and drops out..glitchy scroll across the song in the tracks overview window..I mean the scroll happens..but it will stop(along with the music) then jump a little bit to where it should be..sometimes racing to catch up to the audio..
    I tried every combination of IDE combos..even with just the main hardrive..even tried a different harddrive for the OS(17GB Maxtor)
    same friggen thing!!
    Flashed the BIOS from 1001 to 1004...nope..Looked on Sis.com for any updates or patches I might need...nope..Looked on ASus.com for any updates of any other importance besides the BIOS!! AARRGGHHH!
    Thought well, maybe it's the Memory..went out and bought two sticks of 256MB PC2100 Crucial Non-Ecc ram...took out the one 512 stick I had and tried the two new sticks...nope, same issue..
    So I figure..ok, AGP card is quite old and is only 16MB I could use a new one anyways...got me a Matrox G550...nope, that didnt resolve it..
    I have tried every BIOS tweak I know of..default settings to one tweak at a time...
    The only thing I havent replaced is the motherboard :eek:
    Could I have a bad batch syndrome?
    The only time it seems to do this is with audio programs..
    even wavelab was doing it..
    So I installed Sisoft Sandra which can totally find every little detail about your machine and system information..quite a useful tool I tell ya!!
    Turn out that the PCI latency time on the Layla card is 192 clocks! Ouch! Now, I know I'm a tweakhead of sorts but how the hell do you lower that one?!!! Also I'm not so sure if it even is giving me higher than 33Mhz on the PCI bus..
    Also it says for tips and performances that BIOS Shadow is disabled and can be enabled...I've looked in the BIOS and cant find the damn BIOS shadow option to enable it!!
    So now I've got
    Asus P4S333 w/P4 1.6a(northwood), 1GB PC2100 DDR 266, Matrox 32MB G550 and the rest the same....
    One thing to note as well...if I turn the disk buffer size from 128(default setting for Nuendo) to 32...things seem a hell of a lot better...
    I've played around with the settings for the Layla as well to no prevail...
    Have to say I'm stumped at this point..Just perusing thru the system seems totally fine tho!! Also I definately notice most installations going a hell of a lot quicker as well..
    I'm not sure I'm sold on Sis if this turns out to be an issue with that chipset..looked soooo damn promising too..well, looks like I might go for that Asus P4B266 model..Intel 845!
    Well, any thoughts folks? I know this was a disapointing post and all but if you thought I enjoyed it..well, ^#$% ya!! I love troubleshooting!!!! lol!! But I do want to have fun as well and unfortuantely this motherboard isnt lettin me have that fun just yet..
    Any thoughts on BIOS setting? Tweaks? Ideas? Anything?
  2. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    OK..So I'm using Reason right now with the Laya as the audio out and it's playing fine..
    interesting aint it? Using the Asio WDM Echo driver...
    Even the Us428 is fine with reason as well...
    I'm going to create a huge techno song and see what happens..so it might be application specific here folks? hummana hummana? Could it be that Nuendo is not truly P4 ready? Yet Reason is?!!
    I left my copy of Cubase 5.0VST32 at work so I'll have to try that out..
    hmmm...very interesting
  3. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    Hey Opus - Only thing worse than waiting for the parts for a new rig is getting them...

    1. Layla 20's hated anything non-intel for chipset - said so on their website, so I took 'em at their word. Layla 20 is about the same vintage as the DSP Factory, I have one of each in my old DAW. Both cards were 33 mHz PCI bus. Now that Event is out of the picture, maybe Echo has better drivers but you've prob'ly already been there - I haven't checked for drivers lately, latest ones I've downloaded are the WDM beta.066 and ASIO 5.06, and that was moons ago.

    2. You said earlier you were gonna do Win XP, now you say 2k - Since you've done several systems with 2k, I doubt if that's the problem - However, rumor is XP stops playin' Kellogg (snap, crackle, pop) when you update EVERYTHING at the MicroSlop site. Anything like that available for 2k beyond SP2?

    3. Video - Bitten me in the ass so many times - Samplitude works best with maybe half of the available accelleration max, 1280 x 1024 max, 256 colors max. Latest drivers from Matrox ? FAQ from their site?

    What burner software? All versions of CD Creator I've ever dealt with ^#$% with your settings every time you install OR upgrade. My old system has a burner, single Plextor, and two 5-disk Nakamichi changers, all SCSI - CD Creator burned me twice before I caught on: Every time you apply an update patch or install from scratch, CD Creator TURNS ON AUTOINSERT Notification on ever single optical drive in the system. You have two drives, my system effectively has TWELVE - I would call up Explorer, wonder why it took 5 minutes to refresh - noticed the SCSI indicator lite blinking, found Autoinsert on on ALL 12 CD devices. (I had turned all 12 off)

    4. Packet writing software - There is only one brand of packet writing software in the world (PC) that doesn't cause glitches in audio, and since I don't remember which one it is, I shitcan it. (Don't let your burner software install that option)

    5. DMA checked on both drives (don't yell at me, I'm listing everything I can think of, not just what I think you might have missed...)

    Long day, short memory - after you've bitched me out about all the obvious crap I mentioned, take a deep breath and hold it, hold it, hold it, hold it, (There, that aughta take care of the leetle prevert...) :=))... Steve
  4. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Well, tested it on Win2k first then went to Xp ..updated everything..and still got the problem.. :confused:
    Then I went back to Win2k..well, my brain is spent..time for bed!!
  5. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Well..to answer your questions Steve...
    No CD burning software installed yet...
    In device manager under IDE settings it says DMA mode for hard drives and PIO for CDROM and CDR/W..
    I dont think there are any other places in Win2k to make sure DMA is actually on..unless someone else knows of some trick..never had to do that before...
    I'm not so sure it's the chipset conflicting with the Echo card..as I said, it works great with Reason..in fact I opened up Nuendo and put Reason into Rewire mode and played the song thru Nuendo..no problemo! Now, when I actually record audio in Nuendo along side the Reason tracks it starts the problem again..it stutters! It's like it cant handle the data throughput or something of that nature..
    But why? Chipset has the balls for it! My old 440BX chipset could handle it!! Why not this machine?! Hmmm.....
    I think I'm going to see if some store around me has the Asus P4B266 with the Intel 845 chipset..I'll give that one a whirl and see if that does any better...if so then I'll have to say either I got a bad motherboard or this chipset is just not good for audio..
    I'm going to install a video game today and see how that reacts..
  6. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    OK...more new from the front!
    Installed Pod Racer...works like a charm..no hiccups or anything!
    Using Nuendo..If I set the Echo to a buffer size of say 2048, disk buffer of 32..it works fine..mind you the disk meter kind of goes nuts but doesnt crackle or stutter from it..CPU performance seems ok..but the meter should be lower especially with 1GB of RAM!!
    I've been playing with the latency timer in the BIOS for the PCI bus..I think that's helping but I'm not so sure at the moment...
    I know that EnableUDMA66 is the key for Win2k on that aspect and has been entered into the registry so I'm not so sure that's the issue at hand...
    using Wavelab to play back tracks and do batch exporting is fine on the layla..US428 isnt so good tho!
    It's definately starting to point at the chipset at this conjuncture. Sad..so promising...I guess that's what you get for trying to be on the cutting edge of technology!
    Well...I think I may need to contact MWave tomorrow and say...can I swap mainboards PUHLEEAAASEE!!!!!
    I should be able to run this without having to tweak the buffer for the audio card and audio program..
    This sucks.. :( waah waah
  7. CustomProd

    CustomProd Guest

    Opus - I have been following your adventure in getting your new machine. Sorry to hear that you are having problems. I've been searching for info to assist with. Try checking out this link: http://www.bluelifeaudio.com/~pcconfig/ It has a W2k optimization brief for you to follow.

    The other idea that I have has to to with a major difference between Win9x programs versus the Win2k/NT types. From my understanding, Win2k/NT/XP doesn't like it when 3rd party software trys to access the Hard Drive directly. I've read that when it happens, 2k/nt/xp kicks out something like 300 pagefaults-per-sec. Not truly sure on this but the stuttering rings a bell.

    I sure hope you find a winning combo. I am sure that there are at least 4 of us out here waiting for our beloved guiene-pig to either smile and be happy, or snap and start shooting. We wanna see ya smile!!

    Good Luck!! Keep us posted.....and Thanks

    Mark Staite
  8. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    Opus, sorry to hear you're not having any of the music making fun( just the tech-geek type, LOL), doesn't seem right in a modern board like the P4S333. I may drive to the city on Monday and pick up a chip, and just cancel my order with Gateway so I can join in on the fun!

    I have a P4S333 board and a manual though, I'm just looking through the pages.

    This is how I will start off with my set-up(I'm sure you're 100 steps ahead of me on this stuff):

    Download new bios, AGP drivers, ect and burn to cdrw

    Setup with monitor, vidcard, two cd drives
    Startup from Win98cdrom, flash bios in DOS(that online ASUS flash stuff is too scary)

    then, put the rest together
    Audio card in slot three( 3 or 4 looks like the best place on this board, what do you think?)
    Jumper free mode- on
    DDR voltage selector -2.5
    CPU Rise- 0.2 (jumper in upper left hand corner)
    CPU speed -manual
    CPU/PCI frequency- 133/33
    CPU/memory frequency- 1/1 (gotta run syncronous for a DAW!)
    CPU Vcore 1.55 (will actually be higher because the above jumper does the "pin trick")

    Sdram- user define
    cas-2( i know my Crucial will do it)
    ras to cas- 6
    precharge- 3
    sdram -normal
    video memory -USWC ( with a Matrox dual 450)
    PCI 2.1 -enabled (I believe my Seasound Solo is 2.1)

    PCI configuration-all slots set to auto
    AC97 audio -disabled( I've forgotten this one before)
    AC97 modem -disabled
    Plug and play OS-yes (I used to set this off in 98SE, but Win2k gave me grief with it off, so its on now!)

    The machine should boot to 2.2Mhz, I'll clock it back down to install Win2K then go to Microsoft for the updates(cable modem pays for itself here, :D )

    I now use Sonar because of the WDM driver support in WIN2K. I couldn't use Cubase or Nuendo, because the ASIO drivers were buggy with my Seasound SoloEx card(even in 98SE). No WDM drivers present in Cubase or Nuendo, or am I mistaken? :confused:

    Tommy P.
  9. llornkcor

    llornkcor Active Member

    May 8, 2001
    Brisbane, Australia (originally Boulder, CO, USA)
    Home Page:
    Did you say P4?!?!

  10. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    P4? Who said that? Where? lol!!
    Ok..so this is whats going on...I got a P4B266 and am formatting the drive as we speak for a fresh Win2k install...
    I gave up on the P4S333..Tommy, I would encourage you to do the same!!Maybe I'm jumping the gun to soon but if I install this machine right now with the new mobo and dont have to tweak anything right off the bat to get good audio performance than the verdict will be that the Sis645 chipset is no good for DAW!!
    The fat lady hasnt sung quite yet but she's a warming up!!
    CustomProd..thanks for the links but I've allready got the Win2k tweak down!!
    Indeed I will be a smiling..gaurantee that much!
    Will post in a bit!!
  11. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    Give us the good word.... :D
  12. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    Hey Opus - I forgot last post that you are a US428 nut - Hope you didn't have your layla in the same PCI slut that shares IRQ with the UnSatisfactoryBus - any MoBo with more than 4 PCI sluts shares IRQ's, most of us know about slut 1 and AGP sharing, but the USB also shares with another PCI slut. I think that varies with the manufacturer, but pretty sure they all do the dastardly deed. Hopefully the manual tells you somewhere, if you have the .pdf version it's faster to search on USB til you find which slut gets to share with it. Then use that slut for your NIC, and disable it (the NIC)in the audio profile. (Or something equally cool)

    BTW, the Sis645 chipset should be able to support PC2700 ram (DDR333) But, now that you don't care, the P4B266 will be doing a shitload of IRQ sharing, what with its 6 PCI sluts and all - before you even plug in a card (other than the Matrox, maybe) I would be all over the manual and make a map of which slots share IRQ's with which onboard crap; I always take one of those permanent Avery labels and stick it in a very prominent place in/on the machine, and spell out just exactly which slots and features share IRQ's with what. Then I don't have to keep going back to the manual every time I want to add a card - I just look at the map, decide "OK, that can share with that", or "no way, gotta move this over because that card needs an exclusive IRQ -

    Speaking of which, the i845D and i850 chipsets both support the 8 extra IRQ's supported by Win XP - check your manual for info, or you might need a bios update, but you may be able to eliminate the sharing crap entirely if all this isn't still wishful thinking by Intel/MicroSlop...

    Gotta go, Alias is on now, and we all have our priorities... Steve (with tongue dragging on floor)
  13. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    yeah yeah ..blah blah..IRQ this...IRQ that...
    C'MON MON!!! Who are you speaking to here...ya bloodclot!! Cha mon...LMAO!!!!
    Yeah, I made sure to check that..I ran the P4S333 with and without both cards in both configurations...If I have to ^#$% with a board for more than a day than I get rid of it...plain and simple!

    Anyhue...I'm making a ghost of my Win2k Image and then installing WinXp to see if there's a difference!!

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