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Building a new DAW-it's been a while



I'm mostly a lurker here. I haven't had much to contribute to this group because I've been fortunate enough to have hit upon a very stable configuration with my current rig which is an old ASUS A7V8x mobo, and an AMD XP 3000 running 2 g DDR, 2 x RME HDSP 9652's, an RME Multiface and 4 x UAD-1 cards in a 32 bit 13 slot Magma chassis. I've been running Cubase SX 3x on this machine.

This place has always seemed to be to be one of the premier places to get info on building a native DAW. My old workhorse is getting long in the tooth and I've been needing to build a new one.

I need much more horsepower. I was consindering an AMD 64 x 2 CPU. I like the Matrox video cards (I'm using a pair of G450's (AGP & PCI) right now and pushing 4 x CRT's. I'll probably want to move on to a P750 or Parhelia. My experience with Matrox and VIA chipsets has been a good one so I'm considering the ASUS A8V-Deluxe mobo. I've seen a few threads here discussing this and it looks like a contender. The only thing that makes me hesitate is that this board uses the AMI bios. I have found this bios to be less friendly than the Award bios when I've had to abandon ACPI and migrate to Standard PC mode. I don't anticipate having to do this, but I always like to have options and IRQ assignments have been easier to accomplish in Standard PC mode with the Award bios, in my experience.

I have also had recommendations for the DFI nF4 SLI-DR mobo. I had never heard of it until recently. The person who recommended it is using Lynx hardware. Anyone using this with RME/UAD hardware?

My aim is to be able to work at 1.5ms latency as much as possible and I've heard that though an AMD 3800 x2 will give plenty of horsepower for projects of 48 or less tracks, things can get a little \"iffy\" when stacking a few VSTi's into the mix (unfrozen) so I was thinking about going to a x 2 4200 or more.

I apologize for this long post. It's been a while since I built a DAW (around 2 1/2 years) and a lot of changes have happened since then so I'm just trying to re-educate myself.

Thanks in advance for any feedback/insights/good or nightmare stories, etc.



Active Member
Well, 1.5ms is going to be hard to come by if you are using any Native plugins and some VSti's

with Steinberg, I have found this to be a little unstable.
Although it will work, getting it to be stable is another.
Keeping Cubase CPU to 30 percent or lower you may get by, but you will need at least a 4200 overclocked to 2.6 ghz (good air cooling necassary) to achieve.

Open up the demo on the cubase DVD, installer. And try it at 1.5ms.

I have been testing and found that 3ms is reliable to about 50 percent CPU, then I need to move to 6 ms to stop the pops and clicks.
I am using 4 Kontakt 1.5 intances at an average with 32 input tracks coming in and another 8 for externals.

The only people I know getting solid 1.5ms PB are the Dual Dual users.

With direct monitoring you should be able to achieve what you want with a little higher buffer.

I am in my 3rd testing round with the A8V Deluxe, 2xRME9652HDSP and a UAD.
There are things like more RAM that in my latest test showed worse response CPU wise than 2 gigs.
It is a timing thing. With 4 populated slots, 2T is the default and you can't get it to run 1T.

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