A8V vs. K8NS Ultra 939

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by cd-card-biz, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. cd-card-biz

    cd-card-biz Guest

    My first post to this esteemed group. I have been lurking and learning so much about what I wish I had done differently.

    Since building my DAW around an Asus A8V, I have had real performance problems with track count and my Firewire devices. With very few (like 5) tracks and two VSTi's, the audio will start "skipping" after about 3 minutes of play (looping 8 bars - Ableton Live). At which point, all audio sent to the Firebox is hosed. The only cure is to reset the Firebox driver. I have tried every available ASIO latency setting.

    After reading about numerous problems with VIA chipsets on DAWs, I purchased a Gigabyte K8NS Ultra 939 and plan to replace the A8V. Throwing money at the problem, as usual.

    I am fully comfortable in swapping out the motherboard and doing an XP "reinstall" to the new hardware. However, I'm just wondering if anyone has done this and how all my registered plugins are going to like it?

    I know the really best way is to start fresh (again), but I'm basically lazy and looking for an easier way. All thoughts and advice appreciated!

    Thanks, Bill
  2. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2004
    Quakertown PA
    Hi Bill welcome to RO.

    I just built my new DAW with the K8NS and am very happy wth the performance however Guy of Sonica DAW's says he just stopped using the K8NS in favor of the AV8 so I would assume it must be a pretty good board as well. In spite of the fact that it has the VIA chipset (which I am not a fan of) he says it performs well so your issues may not be with the Mobo at all.

    Since Guy has some experience with this board he may know what your issue is (if it's related to the Mobo) before you go swapping out hardware.

    I would suggest taking a look at the usual suspects as well as the Firebox. Even if the Mobo were a peice of crap you should still be getting way better performance out of a machine that fast.

    BTW, you may want to retitle this thread AV8 vs. K8NS. It may get more attention that way.
  3. cd-card-biz

    cd-card-biz Guest

    Thanks Big_D!

    Well darn! I had high hopes that the K8NS would solve it for me. I do like that it has TI chipset Firewire. Based upon glowing reports from most users of the Firebox, I'm not yet ready to think it is the problem. I can get my hands on a Gina 3G to try, however there are confirmed known problems with it and the K8T800 Pro (VIA) chipset.

    I have done all the usual stuff, no IRQ problems, set XP background processes, tweaked down the latency of my Radeon 9700, patched XP SP2 Firewire drivers. Based on several posts on this forum regarding VIA chipset for audio, I had myself convinced that nforce3 was going to be the Holy Grail for me.

    I am particularly humbled since I have built *lots* of PC's for general office use. Obviously, proper configuration of a DAW can be a different animal altogether. Big respect to all of you that have worked through it.

    Thanks again for the reply, and I'll keep looking for the answer.

  4. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2004
    Quakertown PA
    I agree with you on the issues with VIA. I wouldn't buy one myself but Guy seems to think it's a pretty good board.

    I was just suggesting that you see what he has to say before swapping hardware. He may know something about it that we don't.

    It sounds like you've got everything setup correctly so maybe the issue is driver related, it's hard to say.

    Anyway if it turns out to be the board you already have a replacement that shouldn't give you any problems.

    Good Luck!

    SONICA-X Guest


    we have been selling both the Gigabyte Ultra 939 and the ASUS A8V and have not seen any performance problems with ither board.

    The original testing was done on the ASUS A8V as the X2 BIOS was ready first.

    We run the Thonex test at 1024, 512, 128 and 64 buffer setting without any issues at all with both Firebox and Fireface 800.

    Then we started shipping systems with the Gigabyte Ultra 939 as it was our board of choice and 3 Nuendo customers duplicated the same results we got with the A8V on the Gigabyte Ultra 939.

    So, performance is identical on both boards over Firewire 400.

    The new VIA chipsets don't have the PCI bandwidth problems they had in the past. All is well now!

    Over the past 4 weeks we have shipped many systems with Fireface 800s, Firepods and to 002 customers. No customer has reported a problem yet.

    The only problems reported have come from systems that had the Gigabyte Ultra 939 board and they are related to incompatibility of the nVidia 3 chipset and Sound Forge. We have replaced the boards on these systems with ASUS A8V.

    Also UAD-1 users are reporting problems with the Gigabyte Ultra 939;


    See post by Glinco.

    I hope that this information will help.

    My best.

    Guy Cefalu
    Sonica Audio Labs
  6. cd-card-biz

    cd-card-biz Guest

    Guy - Thank you very much for the information. I value your experience as a builder of professional DAWs.

    I am going to spend another day with the A8V setup and try to make some progress. If you have the time could you tell me:

    1. Do you use the standard VIA drivers, Including 4-in-1?

    2. Do you use an IDE OS drive?

    3. Do you use both the VIA and SIL SATA controllers?

    FWIW, following is a quote from the Cakewalk forum. It is regarding K8T800 Pro compatability with the Echo Gina 3G. Just wanted you to be aware in case you have a customer who uses the Gina 3G.

    "I posted just a second ago (and of course, several months after this
    message appeared - sorry, latecomer to the group) about my own experiences
    with incompatibility between the Echo Gina 3G and the VIA K8T800 pro
    chipset that is featured on my ASUS A8V board, a socket 939 / AMD Athlon 64
    3500+ setup. According to Echo tech support, this is the only chipset that
    has a known issue with the Echo cards. I only mention it since for those
    looking into socket 939 mobos there isn't much choice outside of the
    popular VIA K8T800 - which is supposed to be some really great chipset,
    otherwise - and the nVidia nForce series, which I suspect can get kinda
    noisy. "

    Guy, thanks again for the information.

    SONICA-X Guest


    yes to 1 and 3 and only VIA on 3.

    Thank you.

    Guy Cefalu
    Sonica Audio Labs

Share This Page