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Why are PC DAW recommendations always superseeded parts??

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Potex, Apr 24, 2005.

  1. Potex

    Potex Guest

    Why is it that when ever I read information on building a PC DAW the parts that are recommended are outdated parts? It seems that it is done with everything from Mother board to RAM?

    Why are nForce 3 boards recommended over nForce 4?
    Socket 754 over 939?
    Single channel Ram over Double channel?
    AGP graphics over PCI-E?

    I am set to build myself a completely new system and it feels wierd listing all these parts that are already outdated! We all know how quickly technology moves these days, it seems buying a PC based on these tips will mean your rig will be a clunker in 6 months!

    I mean wouldnt you be better off with a dual channel 939 board, so you can benefit from the faster ram speed?

    Can anyone enlighten me?
  2. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    My assumption would be because new the equipment/technology hasn't been around long enough to be tested.

    I put together my system over a year ago. It costs way to much to constantly upgrade to the latest motherboard or audio interface every time a new one comes out. I can't say for sure but I'll be willing to bet that most studios don't upgrade their hardware to keep up with the latest technology....unless it's a new mac. If a G6 came out tomorrow, I'm sure recording studios would have the bulk of new orders placed.

    I don't have the money to be on the cutting edge and buy every new thing when it comes out. I can't afford to buy something that may or may not work. I'd rather wait and let someone else spend the $$$ and time to make sure it's worth it before I upgrade.
  3. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    before asking such a question i recommend you read some forum posts, all the answers are right here on the first page

  4. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Welcome to RO Ben,

    There are many reasons for the conservative hardware choices used in DAW's. It all comes down to the key issue of stability. A DAW is useless if it is not stable and state of the art gaming hardware running on the ragged edge is anything but stable. Proven hardware designs and drivers that have the kinks worked out provide that stability.

    Another issue is money. Why pay for a high end 3D graphics card when all you will ever need is 2D? The money saved on the graphics card could be spent on more or larger hard drives.

    It's issue of AGP vs. PCI-E. nForce 3 utilizes AGP graphics, nForce 4 PCI-E. According to Scott of ADK, PCI-E performs poorly on audio at least on AMD based systems.

    Actually 939 is recommended over 754 due to dual channel support but 754 has more MOBO choices with the nForce 3 chipset. Most 939's offer nForce 4 but a few utilize nForce 3.

    Dual channel is prefered but again with AMD your MOBO choices may be limited.

    See above

    Your DAW won't be a clunker in 6 months. Unlike a gaming PC the hardware will not be outdated that quickly. A DAW built today will be good for many years to come. Performance is important but remember stability is key.
  5. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member


    So the issues with NF4 are still there? :(
  6. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    yes and wont go away with a driver update.

  7. Roly

    Roly Guest

    Hi Scott
    Can you offer more info or point me to a site with more info about the nforce 4 chipset not being good for a daw.
  8. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    I'm not Scott but here is a thread that covers the PCI-E subject.

    (Dead Link Removed)
  9. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    and another,

    However the new Tyan 2895 (dual opteron)
    is a n4 Pro board which rocks. its the first and only N4 board to date. its designed entirely differant from single chip N4 boards

  10. SONICA-X

    SONICA-X Guest

    Here is another point of view on PCIe.

    Click on number 5 from the top.


    Guy Cefalu
    sonica-x support.
  11. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    I have read the link Sonica-X. It looks like this guy does not agree with what I encounter on this forum. Unfortunately he doesn't go in that deep. I would love nF4 to work for audio.

    So if indeed s939 nF4 sucks for audio, that's a real dissapointment. We could do with the NCQ that the nF3 does not support. What I would like to know is: how bad is nF4 really? :?

    Can it play 24-tracks audio 48KHz/24bit with a couple of effects, 4 stereo synths and enough drumsamples to emulate a complete drumkit all at a reasonable latency of 6-2ms? I also plan on doing our family DV-movies on that machine (that's why the dualcore). This will be a true workhorse.

    What I planned to buy:
    s939 3500+ single or equivalent dualcore, dunno yet
    MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum (but now of course I am not so sure :( )
    Asus Extreme AX300
    2x 512MB Kingston Value Cas 3
    Maxtor DiamondMax 10, 250Gb, 7200rpm,16Mb SATA150 for audio only, maybe even an extra seperate one for video

    Of course a seperate sysdrive and a couple of other goodies, but these would influence the performance most, I guess.

    I am also asking because it is hard to quantify any of these testreadings when you cannot perform them yourself until you actually have a DAW.
  12. SONICA-X

    SONICA-X Guest


    You won't be able to get that board to 3-2 ms but here is my advice;

    Don't look at the system you are building as a computer, look at it as a dedicated multitrack recorder.

    Forget about what's inside and concentrate on what it can do.

    If the nF3 solution can do the number of tracks, synths, and efects that you are looking for, then go for it!

    If having PCIe is important to you then go for an intel solution.

    As far as I am concern, lots of CPU power and high PCI bandwidth are more important than PCIe video or NCQ.

    If you need better hard disk transfer rates add another Maxtor with 16MB cache and set them up on a RAID 0 configuration.

    Forget the parts, concentrate on what it an do and start making music!

    Guy Cefalu
    sonica-x support.
  13. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

  14. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    nF 4

    Thanx Sonica X and ADK audio for a clear answer.

    It wasn´t the PCI-E that got me interested in nF4. It was the NCQ that I thought might come in handy. It's not a tragedy to give that up.

    There's a still a couple of nF3 boards out there. 8) We can sit this one out until a better chipset comes our way.
  15. tundrkys

    tundrkys Guest

    Re: Why are PC DAW recommendations always superseeded parts?

    As mentioned earlier, it's about stability. As far as a clunker in 6 months, I built my system 3 or 4 years ago. The first incarnation of the Opus Anus build. 1.6Ghz(clocked to 2.1Ghz) 512mbRam, 2 7200rpm HDDs, etc.... The project you described, I could run with about 40% cpu usage, and a few ticks on the HDD meter every now and then.

    Most of what I do, falls in the range of the project you mentioned, with the performance I am getting, I don't feel a need to upgrade. I probably will here in the future, so I can pass this Dinosaur on to my daughter whose 600Mhz PII is getting a little long in the tooth.
  16. imagineaudio

    imagineaudio Active Member

    I got my system about 2 years ago, it wasn't cutting edge then either:

    P4 2.4
    asus P4PE
    agp graphix
    1gb 2700 ram
    60GB SATA
    120GB ATA
    Dual Head graphix card

    My last project was about 20 tracks 48.8/24bit Plugs on every channel, running kontakt and crystal synth (cpu hungry free VSTI)
    my machine was running about 70% with no hiccups (i'm sure there are ways to get that load down (mainly rendering the VSTI's)

    It has never crashed while tracking, and has only froze on me once while mixing (auto save enabled so no big deal)

    I would consider another 1gb ram stick and a UAD-1 card and (fingers crossed) get another couple years out of it before parts start to where I out ( I always really start having problems with computers 5+ years old, but 5 years ago the technology seemed to be changing much faster)

    hardly a clunker In 6 months

    ,,,,,and it does help to buy components that are proven and well built......

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