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What makes a good DAW motherboard???

Discussion in 'Recording' started by JLiRD808, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. JLiRD808

    JLiRD808 Active Member

    This is my first build ever.

    I've taught myself a buncha stuff and have some good people advising me (non-musician techy guys) but now I wanna ask recording.org.....

    What are we looking for in a mobo? Or...what makes a good DAW motherboard???

    I've picked out a bunch of LGA775 Intel boards with big FSBs and dual-channel DDR2 RAM support. They've all got at least 2 PCI's and some PCI-E's, 3GB/s SATA drive handling, and plenty of USB and Firewire ports for peripherals.

    What else do I need to look for in a motherboard?

    Can I get a good one for around $100? What are the DAW builders here running on and what did you spend?

    BTW...I was thinking of starting off Pentium D (820 or 915) and then going C2D within a few/6 months or so.

  2. Scoobie

    Scoobie Active Member

    You need to make sure it has the right chipset on the board that will work with your interface, no matter what brand you buy.

    I have three Daw's , one has a gigabyte board.
    One has a Asus board and one has a Iwill board.
    They all work flawless, guess I'm lucky.....

  3. JLiRD808

    JLiRD808 Active Member

    Well I run a lowly/humble E-mu 0404 DSP PCI card as my interface.

    I just checked it's website spec requirements and it says it's compatible with all Intel chipsets.


    Is that all? Howz my price range looking? What did you spend? I didn't really wanna cross $150.

    Howz this one?:


  4. Mises

    Mises Guest

    Just don't make the mistake of putting Windows Media Center edition on there.... just to quickly touch upon the software end of it, even though you didnt ask. Thats just asking for trouble.
  5. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    I would avoid the SLI garbage. You don't really want that on a DAW. If it was me, I would get something like this:
    You could even go quadcore later if you wanna get crazy. 3 PCIe and 3 PCI slots for all the UAD cards you will be wanting. For some reason it doesn't look like they have firewire though. A card is easy to add if you need it.

    XP Pro would be a safe bet for now; I think it is supposed to be supported by MS longer than XP Home.
  6. JLiRD808

    JLiRD808 Active Member

    Yeah this is exactly what I was thinking. I don't know how I got the SLI mixed in there. That's a "gamers" thing I guess.

    But yeah I want all those PCI-e's and PCI's, Firewire, and an LGA 775 socket that allows C2D and could be possibly be upgraded to C4D later. I'm trying to shoot for 1066 FSB and DDR2 667 or above.

    How about power supplies? With all these add-ons (including Firewire) I did an add-up on www.psucalculator.com(?) and it looks like I need to go 500watts or more. Does that sound about right?

  7. JLiRD808

    JLiRD808 Active Member

    I'm in no rush to go Vista. Though 64-bits would be nice to utilize, I don't hear good things from other forums about software compatability. Not even from Win XP 64. Pretty soon hopefully.

    Thanks for the links too.

    I've heard that the Gigabyte boards are known for their overclocking abilities.

    U into overclocking?
  8. I wouldn't worry about getting WinXP 64 or Vista at the moment. The audio subsystem in Vista is quite different from what currently exists in WinXP. With time the important audio software packs will support this subsystem properly and the drivers for equipment will work well, for now I would recommend that you hold off on Vista for a year at least. To ensure maximum compatibility you are best to stick with WinXP, whether you get Pro or Home will not make much difference, support for both of those will be around for a few years yet. The difference between Pro and Home are not relevant for audio editing.

    If what you really want to do is edit audio, do yourself a favor, do not overclock unless you really know what you are doing and you have some time to mess around getting your settings right. Most people overclock with expensive motherboards and expensive RAM because both are usually more stable/dependable at higher operating frequencies. There are some exceptions to this rule, but as a general rule, don't overclock and then when things mess up at least you know it is not because you are pushing your machine beyond the limits it was designed to handle properly.

    So who makes a good DAW motherboard? You are safe to go with pretty much any motherboard, whether it has SLI or not will not make much of a difference to you, it will not decrease the board's performance or stability. Any board with an Intel, NVidia, or VIA chipset at its heart should perform adequately and meet your needs. The Intel chipsets have good RAID support if that is important to you. Purchasing a good power supply is a safe thing to do, you could check out the Antec Sonata II case (very quiet case) which comes with a decent Antec power supply (450w). I am running a Pentium D 820 with 2GB of RAM and 4 Seagate 320gb sata drives and the system has never missed a beat. Oversizing the power supply is not a bad idea, just remember that the quality of the build comes into play as well.

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