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What is the best PC DAW hardware???

Discussion in 'Recording' started by hcmc, Mar 30, 2001.

  1. hcmc

    hcmc Guest

    Hello.
    I want to use Steinberger-NUENDO DAW software and I want to know what is the best PC Hardware with multiprocessors (2 to 4 Pentiun III)under Windows 2000 to use with it?
    I intend to use more than 72 track and lots ofplug-ins, inclusiv surround Dolkby and DTS encoding.

    Best regards

    Herminio Cerqueira
     
  2. Amyd

    Amyd Guest

    First of all: Get a good Nuendo system integrator! That way, you will save yourself lots of headache in the future.

    If you preffer the hard way:

    A. wait a month or two for the Dual Processor Athlon boards with DDR-RAM support, and put 2 1.3-1.5 Ghz Athlons in that (this will be risky, as they probably won't be certified for Nuendo) or:

    B. Get a MSI dual-proc board with VIA chipset+RAID support and add 2 Pentium III at 1Ghz processors. This solution has the advantage that is available now, and that is sort of certified.

    Either case, get at least 512 MB RAM (just cause RAM is so damn cheap atm), a solid 10 to GB ATA66 drive for the OS and software (Quantum Fireball AS will do nicely).

    For the audio hard drive system, you have to decide how much money you want to spend. If price is an issue, get 2 or 4 7200 rpm EIDE drives and stripe them on a RAID setup.

    If you have money to spare, get yourself a SCSI controller (Adaptec) and 4 to 6 SCSI drives, and setup them in a RAID 3 or 5 safe-array - that way you'll be pretty well protected in case of HDD failures and such.

    Hope this helped,
    Andrei
     
  3. KellDammit

    KellDammit Guest

    i would agree most with suggestion "a".
    it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense to drop a ton of $ on a dual 133mhz bus system, when dual 1.3Ghz/266mhz fsb is just around the corner. i have a dual pIII (bx440 chipset) mobo and nothing else seems to offer enough of a real performance increase to make the cost worthwhile...so for now, i wait.
    if you can't wait, rme audio has demo machines (and lists the parts for them)...check out http://www.rme-audio.com
    insofar as drives, at100 ide(7200rpm) or scsi 160 (or at least scsi2uw lvd) would be your best bets, performance-wise.
    i get 45+ tracks out of my 9g scsiu2w 7200rpm drive (without nuendo's hd activity meter even hitting up), so...

    make sure to compare sustained transfer rates (the higher the better) and seek times (the lower the better) before you buy. often the manufacturers will flaunt burst transfer rates (they look much more impressive), so you may have to dig a little.
    those numbers may help you make the best decision if you're torn!

    cheers,
    kell
     
  4. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Hardware has always been a heated discussion no matter where you go for advice...a lot of cards dont work well with certain Athalon or VIA chipsets...The way that they dont support the Motorolla chips causes glitches and bad performance issues...altho the VIA KT133 series seem to be makng some headway lately..another issue is Dual processors and what OS platforms and Applications actually take advantage of that is another issue...sure Win2k is a very stable platform but it doesnt have the proper threading for audio yet..it's a client server based OS which means there is a lot of junk runnning underneath that causes programs to be interrupted or MIDI drivers to be cut loose, etc etc etc..Win98SE is the most stable there is right now especially when you know how to streamline it. DDR based Ram will be going up in Price very very soon due to the whole court litigation issues...SDRAM is sooo cheap and does the job
    As far as what hardware..Sure..RME(Nuendo's name slapped on it doesnt make it Steinbergs...they make software not hardware)is great on the latency and performance but you have to get a bunch of their stiff to make it all happen...9652 cards are only lightpipe and require a digital interface console...then you get to deal with clocking and all that fun stuff...but that's just the nature of the beast..Echo makes great interfaces with rock solid drivers..the only reason they are so hidden is due to their rash decision to leave Event...they shot themselves in the foot on that one...MOTU of course is hot but the fact of the matter is they are not a PC based company..their drivers still need some help and also that the card takes a lot of strain when dealing with multiple inputs going thru the PCI bus..Then there's Aardvark who IMHO is slowly going down the tubes due to lack of support and their constantly changing drivers..With the advent of the 428 and soon to be other USB audio devices we are jumping into a whole new world..I like the idea of this forum by the way and lets make it a good one too!!

    Opus :D
     
  5. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    << I intend to use more than 72 track and lots ofplug-ins, inclusiv surround Dolkby and DTS encoding. >>

    You are pushing the limits of current host based systems with this requirement. If you want 72+ tracks and a lot of good quality plugs, I don't know of anything that will realistically handle this. A dedicated DSP system like ProTools TDM or SoundScape could do it but be prepared to pay.

    Greg
     
  6. Randyland

    Randyland Guest

    Actually, the 72+ track counts don't seem that unrealistic to me. I've been running over 60 tracks (32bit FP in Cubase) with lot's of plugins, with very little problems (unless I put Mic Modeler on about twenty channels simultaneously :). I have an Athlon 1GHz, 512MB, and a couple of Seagate ATA100 20GB HD's in a RAID. The hard drive performance meter peaks out at about 30%. It's all in the setup. Hope this helps.
     
  7. blazer

    blazer Guest

    ...Just had to chime in here...

    What in God's name are you recording where you need 60(!) tracks....OhmyGOD!...

    Oh and how do you keep track (pun intended) of all of that.
     
  8. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    This post and one previous brought up probably the most important thing- you have got to set up your drives in a RAID array, if you want to get anywhere near that track count. Do a lot of research on the RAID controllers you look at- if you do it right, you could do a decent system with 7200rpm ATA66/100 drives and be OK.

    Originally posted by Randyland:
    Actually, the 72+ track counts don't seem that unrealistic to me. I've been running over 60 tracks (32bit FP in Cubase) with lot's of plugins, with very little problems (unless I put Mic Modeler on about twenty channels simultaneously :). I have an Athlon 1GHz, 512MB, and a couple of Seagate ATA100 20GB HD's in a RAID. The hard drive performance meter peaks out at about 30%. It's all in the setup. Hope this helps.
     
  9. gtrmac

    gtrmac Guest

    I would definately consider a SCSI adaptor like an Adaptec 29160 with IBM 10k RPM drives as a solution. Since SCSI reduces the CPU overhead compared to IDE it could be worth the additional cost. We use an Adaptec card typically with one drive for audio data to get maximum performance and it works very well. We have installed a system with 48 channels of I/O and it is very reliable. You may also want to consider a dual CPU system based on something like an Asus CUV4X-D with two PIII 1GHz CPU's. This will enable you to get the maximum number of plugins running as well.
     

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