Do I need a new sound card?

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by SoundsGood, Mar 21, 2002.

  1. SoundsGood

    SoundsGood Guest

    Hi guys

    I'm not particulary new to PC audio stuff, though I am new to this forum, and you lot seem to know your stuff! I've just got a quick - and hopefully simple - question. I've recently upgraded my PC to what should be pretty f***ing fast:

    ASUS P4TE motherboard
    Pentium 4 1.8 (Northwood)
    512 MB RAMBUS memory
    80 GB 7200rpm IBM deskstar drive
    ATI Radeon 7000 video card

    I'm running Vegas under Windows 98SE; the performance is good, but not quite as good as I was expecting. I've clung to my old, rather crappy, Maxi Studio ISIS soundcard. The quality of the inputs and outputs aren't really an issue as I'm doing mainly post work, using the SP/DIF ins and outs. But my question it this old, not very good soundcard, that's impairing my system's performance? I mean, does the sound card affect things such as track and plug-in count? I'm happy to get a new card if this is the case.

    Thanks in advance
  2. teddancin

    teddancin Member

    Mar 16, 2002
    I'm not the soundcard guru, so I unfortunately can't tell you if your sound card is the problem or not. I can tell you that for NON sound specific programs (like video games and stuff), the sound card definately shouldn't slow down your whole system (especially if it's PCI and not ISA or older).
    The other thing that I can tell you is that 98 (se or fe) is far inferior to windows 2000pro (with service pack 2 of course). It's way newer, it uses NTFS as opposed to FAT, it has multi thread support.... it's just all around better, and hardly ever crashs. Just my thoughts on the subject.
  3. Nick Driver

    Nick Driver Guest

    Have you checked to make sure the soundcard is not sharing it's IRQ with any other device? When you leave Plug-n-Pray enabled on any of these newer mobos, it has a tendancy to assign IRQ 9 to everything and share it, especially if you use Win2000 or XP, dunno about Win98. Also some motherboards will share an IRQ between the AGP video slot and one of the PCI slots and that's often hardwired into the mobo, requiring you to pick a different PCI slot to get a unique IRQ assignment.
  4. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    Funny you should mention that ISIS card. I was about to put my old one in the new P4 rig tonight, to see how it sounds next to the two Solo cards. It was always a musical sounding card and does 16bit/48Khz 4in, 8out.
    Nick is right about PCI slot choices, try slot #3 and avoid slot#1. Also I read here at DAWworld that there may be issues with the Intel 850 chipset, I don't know for sure, ask Opus, he would know.

    Tommy P.
  5. SoundsGood

    SoundsGood Guest

    Thanks for all the speedy replies. Thing is, I guess I'm not too sure what sort of performance I'm supposed to be getting from this setup - I suppose it ain't that bad really. With Vegas 3, I'm getting:

    - 20 stereo tracks
    - On 9 of those tracks, am running the same chain of three plugins - Waves RCL, TC Native Parametric EQ, and Hyperprism Hyperverb.

    So that's a total of 27 plugins and 20 tracks. Errr, maybe that's not so bad after all?!? Opus, what sort of track and plugin count are you getting from your rig?

  6. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Yes, Intel 850 chipset has a 90MB data corruption big or something of that nature..
    Read it here:

    and here:

    Soundcards dont slow systems down..conflicts or improperly configured systems do that
  7. SoundsGood

    SoundsGood Guest

    Damn, if only I'd known that a couple of weeks ago! I was torn between the motherboard I've now got and the one you're using, Opus! Looks like I made the wrong choice.

    So what sort of track/plugin count are you getting?
  8. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Well...did a 40 track song the other day..21 Tracks of audio and 19 tracks of Reason instruments. All Audio tracks had a Waves C1 Compressor and a Waves Q10 EQ....CPU Performance was at tops 25-30%! The Reason Rewire channels coming in had about 3 or 4 Waves C1 and a True Verb on the snare :p
    So far so good man...
    Working on a project right now, not a huge track count so far(well, havent done vocals and any touch up stuff yet :p )so I'm sure it will go up..I'm using the B4, Reason and sample tank(of course Nuendo being my main audio program..thought I'd mention it for those who dont know what I informative huh? :roll: ) and a smattering of waves plug ins!
    That hasnt even touched 10% CPU useage....I think you get the point! I'd say this machine is friggen dream come true man!
  9. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    Holy Schnauzzers!!! In-friggin-credible!!! I am blown away (I do enjoy that from time to time!). Even with my UAD-1 card, I get about 50-60% CPU usage with about 24-30 tracks, and just a few (maybe 10-12) plug-ins (I am using a *lot* of the UAD ones).

    I am waiting to build a new box for when I go to Cubase SX or Nuendo 2, but I was hoping to go dual processor...but with the performance you are getting with this machine...whoa!
  10. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Reverbs are notorious CPU hogs- try putting one or two reverbs on aux sends, and sending what you need to them.

  11. SoundsGood

    SoundsGood Guest

    I know - I was just sticking on as many plugins as I could before the audio began to stutter, to see how much I could push the system. Do you think I'm getting a good plugin and track count (above) for my system; should I be expecting more or am I being greedy?

    Thanks again.
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