Old 05-06-2011, 05:27 AM   #1
Dopey
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Default Building a PC dedicated to REAPER

Hi there !

I'm currently planing on building a computer specific to REAPER.

Here is what I came up after some research :

- ASRock 890GM Pro3 (AMD 890GX) - Micro ATX
- Motherboard integrared ATI Radeon HD 4290 (Side Port Memory 128 Mo)
- AMD Phenom II X4 965 (quad core)
- Kingston 4 Go (2 x 2 Go) DDR3-SDRAM PC8500 CL7

I plan to use this setup with a Focusrite saffire PRO 24 (firewire), on Windows XP 32bits.

What do you think about this setup (motherboard/cpu mostly) ?
Is it good enough for reaper ? loading/processing vst etc ?

Thanks for any advices...
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:49 AM   #2
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I see every now and then people have issues with some plugins because it's AMD, so go safe with Intel is my advice.

Don't know ASRock, but again, ASUS is I think the safest bet.

But I see you're playing safe and trouble free with XP 32, so continue that philosophy all the way. (You'll only get 3GB memory but that's good enough)

I guess you have the Firewire card already or I would have said PCIe.

When I did my machine, I went for the Intel/Asus combo after many recommendations, and despite being a bit more pricey so couldn't afford the top speeds of others, it's been a very good decision as it's never any issues at all and the speed is there.

But absolutely don't skimp on cooling (hard disks too), and even PSU. Get a ton of cheap fans and stick them everywhere, then buy long cables so you can have the whole box in another room for 0db joy and reliability.
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Old 05-07-2011, 01:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V'ger View Post
I see every now and then people have issues with some plugins because it's AMD, so go safe with Intel is my advice.
I've not experienced any issue with VSTs on my home built AMD/Asus machine (Phenom II x6, M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 mobo), but then I almost exclusively use free VSTs.

Other than that, I agree totally with V'ger. The cooler that comes bundled with the CPU is not the most silent. I went for Noctua UP-12, it is huge and just barely fits into the computer case. So you better make sure your case can hold the cooler you choose.
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Old 05-07-2011, 11:21 PM   #4
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Thanks for your advices guys.

I go for AMD because they are cheaper and I get high performance.

I hope cooling is not gonna be an issue because I planed on using this case :
http://img534.**************/img534/9...0007007492.jpg
and it's micro ATX...

I want to put a big shuriken in it (I think it fits).

- Does two hard drives will make *huge* differences in performance when recording ?

- Fabian, are you using the integrated firewire400 port of your motherboard for your audio interface ?
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Old 05-08-2011, 12:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopey View Post
......
- ASRock 890GM Pro3 (AMD 890GX) - Micro ATX
......
I plan to use this setup with a Focusrite saffire PRO 24 (firewire), on Windows XP 32bits.
Since you use a Firewire interface, to avoid disappointment it is an important point to check:
FW chipset must be from Texas Instruments.
This does not seem to be the case with this very attractive Asrock motherboard.
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:46 AM   #6
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@Zblogny
Yes I heard that to avoid firewire issue the chipset must be TI.

How do you check if it's a TI chipset on a motherboard ?
I mean, even on the asus website they do not mention the brand of the chipset ?


I wonder if I keep the mini-pc case, or if I go for a bigger one to avoid heating problem :s maybe I should take that one : ASUS M4A88T-V EVO (AMD 880G)
But, I don't know the firewire chipset brand :s
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Old 05-08-2011, 03:14 AM   #7
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As the problems related to the FW chipset mainly concern musicians, who are only a small minority of customers, these details are rarely shown in the technical specifications.
Maybe you should contact Asrock technical support for more detailed information.
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Old 05-08-2011, 06:21 AM   #8
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I think I'll take a mobo, try to use the integrated firewire. If it fails, I'll buy a PCI firewire extension card with TI chipset...

I'm currently searching the forum to see if people have problems with their AMD config...
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Old 05-08-2011, 06:35 AM   #9
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I made a dedicated REAPER workstation two, three years back. Went for Intel Q6600 CPU on Intel board, TI 1394A as standard, added a second, basic TI board, used good but not hyper NVidia graphics and the best RAM I could afford at the time. Hitachi and WD 7200 HDD to finish it off and the machine does not crash.

Glad I took some time over it, most stable machine I've ever had. Paid a little more than I could for the same spec, but reliability is not considered when using it.

Next machine will be Intel/Intel if I can get a recommendation.

Only time I ever lost work is when my 18-month daughter pressed the reset button ... :/

>
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:47 AM   #10
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I would advise against that case. I've built several computers in them and they are very sharp inside, and very cramped. I would suggest going with a tower style mATX case rather than that Apevia QPack/Micro Fly, because they're just a pain to work in.

Antec makes some nice smaller mATX cases, but so does Cooler Master. Antec is a bit pricey, but I run Cooler Master cases myself, with no problems with them at all.

I'm not going to get into the AMD/Intel battle, because I've never had a problem with either one.

As for the Firewire chipset, the ASRock 890GM Pro3 motherboard uses a VIA chipset I think. I'm not 100% sure though. I will say though, you could get any motherboard you want, and make sure you get a dedicated FW card with a TI chipset (I have a list if you'd like some suggestions), and make sure your interface uses that, and you could set up external drives using the other ports without any problems.

The Scythe Big Shuriken might fit in that case, but I'm not going to say for sure yet, the positioning of the socket looks good (going by your original choice), but without having the parts on hand, I couldn't say for sure.
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Old 05-08-2011, 11:30 AM   #11
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@JGrabowMST
1) For the case, I'll go for that one : a lot more space in it as you said :

http://www.nokytech.net/images/news/...e-RC-360-3.jpg

What do you think ? Should I keep the mATX mobo or switch to an ATX one ? (like the ASUS M4A88T-V EVO (AMD 880G) ?)

2) Another question : If I buy an external PCI firewire (TI) card, I could plug my audio interface on it, and plug an hard drive on the motherboard fw port ? So, the 7200rpm is for the OS, and the external fw drive to record ? is that correct ?


@planetnine
I disabled the reset button because of that : same little fingers here at home
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:17 PM   #12
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When it comes to the motherboard, I'm mixed.

Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H

That might be a good motherboard to try out, but it depends more on your budget and what you want to get.

About #2, yes, you can plug your interface into the dedicated FW card, and you can use the motherboard plugs for your hard drives. 7200RPM for all drives is a safe bet to get good performance. I would also go so far as to say if you have it, eSATA external hard drives are also a good option, but again, your budget and what you can find are what determines what you get.

As for that case, the 360 is decent, I would say definitely look for the Elite 330 or the Elite 340, depending on whether or not you want ATX or mATX. I personally have an Elite 330, and have been using it for 5+ years with no complaints at all.
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Old 05-08-2011, 11:23 PM   #13
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JGrabowMST, I see you have Delta 1010 pci cards.

I don't know what to choose between the focusrite saffire pro 24 and a PCI delta 1010 ? If I take the 1010 I would be able to spend more cash in hardware.

What do you think ? Are there any BIG differences between those two interfaces ?
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:08 PM   #14
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I would very strongly suggest going for the Saffire Pro right now.

The interfaces alone are very close in capabilities, but without a doubt in the world, the Saffire will behave infinitely better. My Delta cards are good, and I've got not complaints with them (running totally solid in Reaper and Audition 3.0) but the driver issues will never make me suggest them 100% to someone unless they're willing to put a lot of time into configuring a system that's been tested through and through.

I don't have any very new computers set up that I could try it with my cards, I also don't like taking my current setup apart to test new ones.

If you're looking for the most pain-free route, go for the Saffire. If you want to have more trial and error, I'd say you could try a Delta 1010, but if you want to go with that, I'd give you a very limited hardware list of motherboards that I definitely know have been tested, but you'll need to be comfortable fooling around in your BIOS, because for a lot of motherboards, it'll be necessary.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:05 PM   #15
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Ok, I'll go for the saffire.

About that saffire pro 24, I read it have 2 preamps : it means I can plug a mic in it. But can I plug my guitar directly into it ? if yes, do I have to plug it in the preamp IN or the normal IN ?

Sorry for the noob questions :s
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:27 AM   #16
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http://c0000541.cdn3.cloudfiles.rack...1466443pop.jpg

Straight from Focusrite's website. Looks to me like if you're recording a guitar, you'll want to plug it in through the front inputs, and not the back inputs.

The line level inputs in the back wont be able to use the low output of the guitar without the help of a Direct Box or something similar.
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:42 AM   #17
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I see. I think the two front input are the preamps one... I though the guitar would blow the preamp if I plugged it directly into it.

Good news is : I found that almost all gigabyte motherboard have a TI firewire chipset. I'll go for the gigabyte GA-880GM-UD2H

Thanks a lot for your informations
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:19 AM   #18
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The front two with XLR and 1/4" combo jacks are preamps, but no, a guitar shouldn't be able to damage them. If you took a guitar through an amp, and the amp into those inputs, then you'd see some damage happening over time.

You'll definitely like the Saffire 24 though, very good, very high quality unit. Focusrite, IMO, is among the best for budget home studios, even very good gear for the pros.
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:21 AM   #19
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By the way, I'll start with only one hard disk. I hope it won't cause too much trouble (high latency etc)... I'll only be recording one track or two at a time...
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:29 AM   #20
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You should be just fine. I know that everyone tends to have their own opinion on how things go, but you shouldn't have a problem doing it. Save the VST's for the end (don't record with them enabled), and you'll get a feel for what your computer can handle.

My machine tends to handle things just fine, but I do have a limit with VSTs where after a while, playback will stutter.

Your latency should be pretty low, so I wouldn't worry about it. My MacBook Pro with onboard audio and the 5400RPM 750Gb drive gets ~11ms, so I would expect your desktop running Reaper to be close to that.
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:32 AM   #21
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I should record "dry" and then add the effects ? I plan on using some reverb for the voice, and guitar rig for some guitar fx.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:55 AM   #22
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I always record dry until I know what my computers are capable of...sometimes they aren't too good...

Once you build it, and you start using it, decide for yourself.
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Old 05-13-2011, 09:09 AM   #23
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@JGrabow - you mentioned you know of some TI chipset FW cards. Can you list them for me? I'm building a new Sandy Bridge PC with P67 board, and I currently use a TC Electronic Konnekt 24d firewire. I'm thinking of getting an ASRock motherboard, but I don't think they use TI. A list of TI firewire cards would be great!! Thanks!!
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:30 AM   #24
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I know the gigabyte ud5 boards use TI, cheaper ones have VIA. Also the intel dp67bg has TI
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Old 05-13-2011, 11:25 AM   #25
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Thanks mplay, but I don't want to pay and extra $100 plus when I can just get a firewire card. If anybody knows of some TI cards I'd love to hear from 'ya!
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:09 PM   #26
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ADS Tech PYRO API-315
Lycom PE-101
SIIG NN-831012-S2
Adaptec AFW-4300A LP

Those are the list of the ones I know of that DEFINITELY work.

These are some that are not confirmed working:
SIIG NN-FW0012-S1
SIIG NN-E38012-S3
ADS Tech API-316


If you tell me what type of FW card you're looking for, I can do a bit better (Express Card, PCI-E, PCI, PCMCIA, etc).
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:41 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGrabowMST View Post
If you tell me what type of FW card you're looking for, I can do a bit better (Express Card, PCI-E, PCI, PCMCIA, etc).
You know, I'm not really sure!! I've mostly seen them in either PCI or PCIe format. Maybe you could educate me a bit? What DO I want? I'm using it for my TC Electronic Konnekt 24D firewire interface. I've read that PCIe is "faster" than PCI, but is it really when it comes to firewire 400? The motherboards I'm looking at have pretty much ALL the PCI configurations. Thanks!!
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:58 PM   #28
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http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=80359
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:35 PM   #29
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All the hardware has arrived.

Now it's time to build that PC !

Only problem is : I have the stock AMD CPU fan :/ hope it'll be enough to cool my cpu.

If it's too hot, I'll had some case fan too...
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Old 05-17-2011, 12:15 AM   #30
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Only problem is : I have the stock AMD CPU fan :/ hope it'll be enough to cool my cpu.
It's probably good enough to cool... but it may be noisy. I replaced mine with a Noctua NH-U12P
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Old 05-17-2011, 12:18 AM   #31
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Wow that's a huge one !
I'll see and maybe replace it with the noctua or the big shuriken.
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:33 AM   #32
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Quote:
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Now it's time to build that PC !
Can't wait to hear how it all turns out! If you have any tips or tricks to share after building it, please let us "future builders" know! Thanks!
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Old 05-17-2011, 11:40 PM   #33
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Some news from the build... I've got problems !

(I keep a note here so it can serve others people...)

First, I assembled everything into the case, plugged it and... nothing ! Fan spins, but no output on the screen.

Motherboard gave me 4 long beeps. A quick look at the manual and... not referenced. I though Google was my friend but... not really. Finally I found the problem : I put the two sticks of RAM in slot 1 & 2. I had to put them in slot 2 & 4. Something to do with dual channel or what. I don't know but it works and the BIOS see my 4GB now.

The temperature are a bit too hot for my taste :
motherboard 31°c
CPU : 41°C

I wonder if it's the crappy AMD fan... I also have 3 fans on the case.

Then, I plugged my USB stick with the lite version of Windows XP from Duk on the forum. It boots to the installer, load some drivers, then : Blue Screen Of Death ! Message is : SESSION3_INITIALIZATION_FAILED

I'm still searching a solution... I'll keep you posted.


edit: After some research on the great internet, I listed the possible reasons :

- Windows setup need driver for the SATA. I don't have a floppy drive... I'm done :/
- Sata hard disk is in RAID mode : need to be IDE mode. but I'm already in IDE mode
- Xp disc have scratches I'm using a usb key... I'll try to burn the ISO on a real CD and see if it works
- Bad optical drive But I'm not using one at the moment...

Last edited by Dopey; 05-18-2011 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:15 AM   #34
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S

Then, I plugged my USB stick with the lite version of Windows XP from Duk on the forum. It boots to the installer, load some drivers, then : Blue Screen Of Death ! Message is : SESSION3_INITIALIZATION_FAILED

I'm still searching a solution... I'll keep you posted.


edit: After some research on the great internet, I listed the possible reasons :

- Windows setup need driver for the SATA. I don't have a floppy drive... I'm done :/
- Sata hard disk is in RAID mode : need to be IDE mode. but I'm already in IDE mode
- Xp disc have scratches I'm using a usb key... I'll try to burn the ISO on a real CD and see if it works
- Bad optical drive But I'm not using one at the moment...
Are you sure the image on your USB stick is clean. Several reports of virus infection report SESSION3_INITIALIZATION_FAILED.
http://forums.techarena.in/windows-x...ort/867056.htm
http://forums.techarena.in/windows-x...rt/1344512.htm
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:22 AM   #35
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Yes, it's virus free, I'm 100% positive. The ISO image is the one found on the forum and used by many people. I ran it (and the usb key) into two antivirus just to be sure, and it's clean.

It really seems to be a sata driver problem. And it seems the only solution would be to make a special XP ISO with NLITE so the Gigabyte sata driver would be included... unfortunately, this is way too complicated for me.
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Old 05-18-2011, 01:15 AM   #36
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case:
http://www.fractal-design.com/
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:01 AM   #37
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I would install Windows 7 on this box, no doubt.
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:33 AM   #38
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Quote:
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Thanks mplay, but I don't want to pay and extra $100 plus when I can just get a firewire card. If anybody knows of some TI cards I'd love to hear from 'ya!
I missed the gigabyte H67-ud3h. Reasonably priced and onboard TI.
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:59 AM   #39
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Quote:
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I would install Windows 7 on this box, no doubt.
Yeah, that's an idea but... what about the performance ?

I only have 4GB of ram. I know the memory footprint of W7 is quite high.


And I don't know if the focursite saffire pro 24 will run smoothly on Windows 7 (I mean, the driver, firewire support on 7, etc...)
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Old 05-18-2011, 06:57 AM   #40
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Sweden
Posts: 5,436
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopey View Post
Yeah, that's an idea but... what about the performance ?
I compared W7x64 with DuX' XP on my laptop a year or so ago, double-booting the same HW. Once I got W7x64 drivers for my gear, W7 actually gave me lower latency. But they were rather comparable, and W7 was more "aggressive" on the dual core CPU (there's a thread on this somewhere on this forum).

About FW and Saffire on W7, I know nada...
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