Re: [linux-audio-user] Motherboard recommendations

From: Thomas Ilnseher <illth@email-addr-hidden>
Date: Sun Apr 09 2006 - 01:36:24 EEST

BJaY wrote:
> I've just managed to lay my hands on enough cash to upgrade to a decent
> computer for audio, and I haven't got a clue as to which motherboard to go
> for. I'm thinking of AMD64 3700+1Gig RAM (I use big sound fonts). I'm a
> little confused by the motherboard blurb, there seem to be loads of boards
> with similar specs but very different prices. If anyone could help with the
> following questions I'd be grateful (sorry if some of them are a bit OT):
> Is integrated graphics still bad ? Will I run into driver availability
> problems if I'm stuck with O/B graphics ? Will memory bandwidth be a problem
> ?
if you are running your 17/19" TFT at 1280x1024@ 32bit and 60Hz, this
will eat up
approximately 300MB/s
1280x1024x32x60/8 = 314572800bytes/sec = aprox. 314MB/sec where MB =
10^6 Byte.

the dualchannel DDR400 interface of the A64 can carry 6400MB/sec
(MB=10^6..), so this will
eat 5% of your raw memory bandwith. that doesn't hurt that much, if you
also take into account
that the integrated graphics uses large bursts on the main memory, this
should decrease your cpu performance
by only 3% or so.

back in the days where there was PC133 Memory, integrated graphics
really sucked, cause it would eat 30% of the avail mem bandwith.

But integrated grafics still sucks when you want to play 3D games, etc.
Also, i have geared there were driver issues with the 8178 driver
dunno if they are fixed in the 8756.

if you are using an CRT with 100Hz, a tft that can do 1920x1200, or any
other wired display device, i would go for a discrete graphics card,
as these might decrease the performance more then 3%
> Do I want to pay extra for SATA 2 ?
every mainboard comes w/ sata. sata hdd's are only 0-3 more exepensive
than then pata, so go for sata.
not because sata is any faster, butbecause you still can uses this disk
in the future when there are no
pata connectors on the mainboards any more.

sata2 over sata ... i don't think this will give you any performance
increase. but its only minimal more expensive, so
you should get it.
> Is AMD still better for Audio ? I'll be using loads of LADSPA effects. Is
> there a value for AMD's advantage with the De-Norm problems ?
> Is processor cache size an issue for digital audio ? Do I need to go for the
> processors with larger cache's ?
> Is NFORCE4 chipset OK now ? It seems to be on alot of the cheap
> motherboards.
i think it is ok, but on most mobo's there is a fan on this chipset,
this (imho) sucks. gigabyte is an exception.
i would get the new uli chipset, as the board is cheap (and has no
fans). but i also oly have a 3000+. an 3700+
is expensive enough to combine it with an better board ...
> Can I still use my old ATI Rage Pro AGP on the new motherboards with AGP x4
> and x8, is there a bandwidth penalty anywhere for using an older card ?
all new agp 4X/8X boards for the A64 i know of support only 1.5V and
0.8V signal levels.
IIRC the Rage Pro is an old AGP2x card with 3.3V signal levels. if you
manage to stick this card in such a board,
this will kill the board. luckily there is a key on the agp connector.

there is a notch inside the agp connector of the card. if it is on the
right side, it is a 3.3V only card.
if it is on the left side, it's a 1.5/0.8V only card. if it has 2
notches, it does support 3.3, 1.5 and possibly 0.8V.

on the board's connector, there is a "bridge". no bridge=> 3.3 and 1.5,
left bridge 1.5/0.8, right bridge =>3.3

> Cheers, Bruce.
Received on Sun Apr 9 04:15:02 2006

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