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Any comments on these two mobos?

asg

New Member
I think it time for me to consider upgrading. I use 2 UAD-1, 1 Powercore Mk2 DSP and a Lynx L22 soundcard all PCI so I need at least 4 PCI slots. I'm using a Athlon 64 3700+ at the moment but issues with the Powercore and the AMD X2 and issues with UAD and various nForce chipsets have led me to Intel CPU and chipset (unless anyone knows different).

So far I've shortlisted these with Core 2 Duo and Intel chipsets and 4 PCI slots,

Asus Commando

http://uk.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l ... odelmenu=1

Asus P5WDG2 WS Professional

http://uk.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l ... odelmenu=1

Both quite pricey but seem reasonably future proof (AFAIK)

There is also the Asrock Conroe 865PE others have mentioned, far cheaper but an interim solution at best - but maybe DSP cards are as well?


Any thoughts, comments, other suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks, Andrew
 

Agent Cooper

Established Member
Hi Andrew,
Fwiw I'm in the same boat needing 4 PCIs.
The Conroe 865 is a fine, stable board and, contrary to public belief, really fast. It's got one big drawback - lack of memory remapping, resulting in 2.6 GB out of 4 GB on my system.
It might be a good idea to go for a Penryn-ready board with P35 chipset if you can wait till 3/2007, the Penryns will run much cooler (45nm), and you can get a Quad for relatively small money.
This will mean changing one PCI card to PCIe or (my hope atm) use that cheap Magma clone posted here several times (no user reports yet, I'm afraid).
Hope that helps,
Cooper
 

asg

New Member
Thanks

Yes, I've been looking at the \"Magma\" clone but as you say no else has reported on it yet - I'd take a punt if I was sufficiently technical to make sense of any issues that might arise. The proposed mobo upgrade would be my first (although I've swapped out other components before).

I'll do some research on Penryn.

Regards, Andrew
 

do500

New Member
Maybe you should look to MSI 945P NEO3, I useing this with uad1+poco pci+xfi+1212m+audiofire2,no problem at all.
 

wabisabimusic

New Member
I went with the Asus commando 3 weeks ago, and so far everything is running really well. I'm using 2 UAD-1 cards and 2 RME Hammerfall DSP PCI cards.

Greetings

Chris
 

asg

New Member
That's good to know. It's still on my shortlist. I'm probably going to wait to see about the \"magma clone\" mentioned elsewhere.

Regards, Andrew
 

Stuart Stuart

Active Member
The commando is going well for me with 2 x UAD PCI, 1 x UAD PCIe, 1 x PCI Powercore (the extremely long version) and an RME 9652. Recommended.
 

asg

New Member
Stuart, I think you've sold me, particularly as the Magma clone appears it may not work with the Powercore.

Regards, Andrew
 

kostas

New Member
Agent Cooper said:
lack of memory remapping, resulting in 2.6 GB out of 4 GB on my system.
Is anybody else using the Asrock Conroe 865PE experiencing the same thing?

That mobo (asrock 865) is on my list for quite some time and now the q6600's are so cheap I'm thinking of getting on with this cheap upgrade scheme.

@Agent Cooper
Considering that eveything is set up properly (dual channel, 2T, frequency and latency figures, voltage etc) -as I'm sure it is- could it be some other variable causing this limitation?
For example- MS help & support Article ID: 888137
I've never had this problem but you mentioned 2.6GB...dunno.

uad, poco, ddr400, agp praphics, sata and pata.
Alternatives to the Asrock Conroe 865? (5 PCI slots, Quad ready, AGP and ddr400)?

Any comment would be very appreciated.

Regards,
Kostas
 

Agent Cooper

Established Member
kostas,
no, I'm sure this is true.
Fwiw, my current board (Asus P5K-E WiFi-AP) only gives me about 2 GB when remapping is switched off, with remapping it's 4 GB in 64bit OS and 2 GB in XP Pro.
The Conroe865/6700 will go in my internet machine once the Penryns are out.
And there are no alternatives to the Conroe865, by all means forget its VIA based cousins.
The Conroe865 is discontinued either afaik, good luck finding one !
Cheers,
Cooper
 

kostas

New Member
Thanks Cooper

Though I haven't read all the PAE related literature or the CPU/mobo specs I would try the /PAE switch juuust in case.
If it doesn't work it can be removed by booting in safe mode.

Not VIA for sure, got that. I have two PCs on those and I've seen what they (can) do.

Maybe it's time to hook up this magma I have here and spend some on new ram and graphics card but Penryns and Barcelonas aside, a £250 upgrade to a quad system with the Asrock board sounds very cool even with this memory flaw.

Thanks again.


Regards,
Kostas
 

kostas

New Member
Hey Cooper

It recognises ~3.66GB Total Physical (task manager) here.
XP pro sp2, /3GB switch.

I opened up some ram-heavy projects in Nuendo3 and it's all good, no complaints or glitches, so I guess it's all working as it did with my previous setup (only the mobo and the cpu changed).

The transition to 865PE and Q6600 only took a windows repair to get it going, and with all ram, agp, 5 pci's, dvd's, 2 pata and 2 sata drives in the box already. Painless upgrade.

The ram I use is Corsair xms twin 2048 C2 PT.
4GB in 2 mathced pairs and I have it running at 2.5, 3, 3, 6, 8.

I haven't done any stress/benchmark tests yet.

Let me know if you need more info about the specs and settings.

Kostas
 

Agent Cooper

Established Member
Hi Kostas,
thanks for sharing your experience !
Some questions:
How many cards do you use ?
My 2.7 GB were with 3 UADs and a HDSP PCI, already at BIOS level (so Windows was not a factor).
What BIOS version are you on ?
I did finally bite the bullet and got me an ASUS P5K-E WIFI AP, had to upgrade to a PCIe hostcard for my Digiface though.
And as soon as the Penryn Quads arrive I'll put my current 6700 back in the 865PE and it'll be a fine allround/internet machine no doubt.
I'm very interested in your case/cooling/heat experience (please try with Intel TAT if you don't mind, everything else is cheating imho) since I'm planning my Quad system atm.
Thanks and have a nice weekend,
Cooper
 

SoniA

Member
A great solution would be a \"magma clone\" by Universal Audio with PCI and PCI-e host for 4 or more UAD DSP card.

Oye... UAD.... Despierta, anda ya !
 

kostas

New Member
Hi Cooper

There are two TC powercores (old and Mk2) and one UAD-1 card on this machine.
The other 2 PCI slots are populated by a megabit NIC card (LAN) and a TI 1394a card.

The mobo's BIOS version is 1.6

I think each UAD-1 card gets 100-200MB RAM.
If that is correct then you should have at least 3GB available in the task manager. I might be wrong..

I agree it has to be at BIOS level, I changed quite a lot there and it all had an effect on how much RAM is recognised at boot. The mobo's manual is quite ok about the settings. I think if you go through it you'll find the offender.

Besides the BIOS settings theres a cap you have to move from its default position on the mobo if you're using a 1066 MHz FSB processor. It's the FSB1 jumper.

Maybe it's the RAM itself. I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case.

TAT only accounts for the first two CPUs. With 90% workload level the first goes up to 55 C digital and the second up to 51 C digital. I'm not sure if these reliable figures because the MOBO's sensor showed 47-48 after half an hour of loopinng a ~90% CPU test project.

The case is www dot trustedreviews dot com/peripherals/review/2005/12/10/A-XBlade-Full-Tower-Case/p1

Two fans, one infront of the 4 HDDs and one at the side of the PCIs/AGP (DIY fitted) are the SilenX 120x120x38 14dBA ones, driven by a Sunbeam Rheobus RHK BA fan controller (but even at full speed these fans are more than acceptable).

The CPU is on water cooling, Zalman Reserator 1.

The AGP is a fanless Matrox P650 and the PSU is 550W (I think) with a fan that's only run at high temps, I have never heard it and I can't remember the brand, one of the standards though.

If you want to go through more details let me know.

Regarding the system success, I spoke too soon I'm afraid. After a couple fo reboots the pocos started failing to boot, even if I resetted during booting or set the boot device priority to DVD, then floppy etc so boothing would take longer. And what's more is that when I reinstall the Pocos then the UAD-1 doesn't work....crap. The UAD-1 in that machine is solid by itself though. I'm sure it's the pcocs causing this and there's probably a solution, but it's irritating nontheless.

I'll swap the PCI cards in the slots just in case, try a couple more things and contact TC but I'm not particularly patient with the pocos any more.

Thonex2, set me free, five towers and other tests show great results, up to the expected standards.

Cheers
Kostas
 

Agent Cooper

Established Member
Hello Kostas,
thanks for the detailed info !
Posts like that do help a lot.
-- good to hear your PoCos are working, afaik you're one of the first guys trying this.
-- sorry about TAT, for Duals it's the hardest test I've found yet, and it's so convenient, test and measurement in one app. Didn't know it doesn't work with Quads
-- The temp difference is normal, TAT reports digitally measured core temps (inside the CPU), afaik the board uses conventional sensors
-- that case looks nice, might be an alternative to the P182 I'm considering atm although it's quite different in concept
-- yes, that Reserator is high on my list, too. I haven't found another Quad report yet
-- the memory loss here was partly due to the UADs still thinking they're graphics cards, without UADs I was getting 3600MB+, too
-- IOU, count on me whenever you I can help you out :)
Have a nice day,
Rhino
 

kostas

New Member
Glad I could give some info, even more glad it works fine.

The internal USB connectors for the front panel of the case are next to the bottom PCI slot. If you connect them then there' limited access to the bottom PCI slot, making it impossible for a uad/poco etc to fit in there. RME PCIs should be fine. An alternative would be to leave them unconnected, use a usb hub for the dongles and settle with the rest 3 usb slots at the back.

Cheers
 
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