1. avatar ryanego
    I currently record and mix on my pc which has a 3ghz processor and 1gb of ram. I track and mix using my firewire soundcard/interface and its great until I get about 20 tracks with a couple of plugins on each, at which point it starts to make weird noises then cut out altogether. I have a decent PCI soundcard which happily takes a lot more tracks/plugins, but can only simultaneously record 4 tracks compared to the firewire 8. The obvious thing to do would be to record with the firewire and mix with the PCI, but I've had some problems flciking between the cards.
    Would an extra GB of RAM give me more headroom to mess about with plugins etc, or is the bottleneck at the processor?
  2. avatar ryanego
    Also, a friend of mine suggested that using the firewire slot on the motherboard might be slower and said a dedicated firewire PCI card might be better? I'm well aware of the fact that that may not have made sense.

    Cheers
  3. avatar drakeguild
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  4. avatar ryanego
    Thanks very much, thats cleared things up a bit :-)
  5. avatar Speed Demon
    [quote:f5f1c2af47="drakeguild"]Dedicated devices are not as reliant on CPU power. Anyone serious about gaming, photoshop etc will almost always have dedicated PCI cards.[/quote:f5f1c2af47]Eh?
  6. avatar drakeguild
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  7. avatar Speed Demon
    Whether a device sits on the PCI bus or not (i.e. is on the motherboard and interfaced to the processor(s) in another way) is not really significant in how autonomous it is.

    A PCI device can be really stupid, or an integrated device can be really smart. You can't tell, except maybe by looking at how big the driver software is.

    A feature of Windows™ specific PCI devices is that they can be very, very stupid and only work with high levels of processing by the CPU.
  8. avatar drakeguild
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  9. avatar drakeguild
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  10. avatar Pete
    Ryan, it sounds to me like it could be an issue with shared IRQs or PCI latency. In particular some sort of bandwidth problem caused because I reckon your onboard firewire chipset and hard drive controller are sharing the same resources. As your track count increases there is more data streaming from the disc and is causing a sort of track jam at the firewire end.

    If you were to follow your friends advice and get a PCI Firewire card and put it into the slot your PCI soundcard is currently in (it has no problems so I assume that slot is using different interrupts) then your Firewire sound interface should work fine.

    Check with the interface manufacturer for what type of firewire chipset they recommend (Motu for example advise the use of Texas Instruments based firewire cards). And don't forget to turn off the onboard firewire in the BIOS once you install the PCI card, it will keep things cleaner.

    I do not think an increase in RAM will be of any benefit as far as the problem you describe, but it will have other benefits for sure.
  11. avatar feline1
    Some suggestions:

    - If your motherboard supports more RAM, then buy more RAM! It's cheap and makes your computer better :)

    - Make sure all your BIOS and Windows and chipset drivers are up to date.

    - Google for "doubledawg PCI latency timer", download the wee app and use it to tweak the latency of things plugged into your PCI bus, it can solve a lot of glitchings.

    - Ignore crap advice spouted on Fastfude by eejits who have no clue
  12. avatar Pete
    [quote:3db3a983fb="feline1"]doubledawg PCI latency timer[/quote:3db3a983fb]

    I see it's been updated to allow automatic running on boot up, which is handy. It solved a few problems for me back in the day when I used a pentium 3 with a terratec soundcard but you had to set the whole thing up every time you restarted the computer which was a pain in the ass.
  13. avatar drakeguild
    [quote:8eedf1d8a9="feline1"]Some suggestions:

    - If your motherboard supports more RAM, then buy more RAM! It's cheap and makes your computer better :)

    - Make sure all your BIOS and Windows and chipset drivers are up to date.

    - Google for "doubledawg PCI latency timer", download the wee app and use it to tweak the latency of things plugged into your PCI bus, it can solve a lot of glitchings.

    - Ignore crap advice spouted on Fastfude by eejits who have no clue[/quote:8eedf1d8a9]

    Everything I said made perfect sense. I answered his questions mofo. If you want a competition of who knows more about the inside workings of a computer, why not get yer man there to write a test and send it out to us? The winner will win a night with a 21yo Russian lady.
  14. avatar comprachio
    [quote:fb2cb6934d]The winner will win a night with a 21yo Russian lady.[/quote:fb2cb6934d]

    er, or man.
  15. avatar feline1
    [quote:49f0cd6092="comprachio"][quote:49f0cd6092]The winner will win a night with a 21yo Russian lady.[/quote:49f0cd6092]

    er, or man.[/quote:49f0cd6092]

    lesbian?
  16. avatar clairegodublin
    [quote:0ef92dcce9="comprachio"][quote:0ef92dcce9]The winner will win a night with a 21yo Russian lady.[/quote:0ef92dcce9]

    er, or man.[/quote:0ef92dcce9]

    True
  17. avatar comprachio
    our dear Feline is a sodomite and heretic...
  18. avatar ryanego
    an there was me near takin his advice...
  19. avatar ryanego
    seriously though, cheers everyone :-)
  20. avatar ryanego
    One final question if anyone is still reading;
    Is firewire in an ideal world as fast as PCI?
  21. avatar Daithi jasper
    I would suggest its fast enough for your needs. I have had no problems even with USB 2.0.
  22. avatar Pete
    Firewire 800 is almost as fast as a bog standard PCI slot when it comes to pure data transfer speeds. Remember a firewire card has to connect through a PCI slot anyway, so it can never be faster. There is PCI-E to take into consideration as well though (PCI-E x16 slots are about 4000MB/s and are therefore off the scale of the graph below!).

    [img:673ce4d5ec]http://www.mobl.com/expansion/products/comparison/images/comp_speed_MB-sec.gif[/img:673ce4d5ec]

    BUT Firewire 400 will handle well in excess of 24 simultaneous and discrete tracks both input and output. So "speed" isn't a worry. Firewire and USB2 interfaces are so much easier to deal with and often have far better feature sets that are possible with external boxes. Mic pres, headphone outs, instrument DIs, metering etc etc.