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Old 11-04-2011, 10:06 AM   #1
captain caveman
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Default Mobo recommendations (AMD or Intel, new or old(ish))

What AM3 or i3/i5/i7 compatible mobos would the board recommend?

What I need is a full sized board to fit in my case and good firewire/reports of good firewire performance with PCIe card. DDR2 compatibility would be a welcome miracle but I'd really, really like to be able to reuse my PATA system drives.

New or old (but AM3/iX compatible), I don't mind.

Thanks for any pointers.
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Old 11-04-2011, 10:07 AM   #2
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GIGABYTE.


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Old 11-04-2011, 10:15 AM   #3
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GIGABYTE.


</thread>
Haven't tried them all, but the newer GIGABYTE boards are good, I have one, well solid.

I would avoid going for cutting edge fantasia, I had problems with them in the past
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Old 11-04-2011, 10:55 AM   #4
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+1

GIGABYTE, undoubtedly the best.
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:22 AM   #5
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Nothing but trouble with gigabyte graphics in the past for me.

I`m using asus mobo atm and I`m perfectly happy, really stable for OC
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:59 AM   #6
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The topic is motherboards, not graphics cards, friend Gigabyte sure knows their shit when it comes to motherboards!
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:30 PM   #7
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just sayin... these days, I guess it`s all the same anyway
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Old 11-04-2011, 04:14 PM   #8
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It most definitely isn't.

EVGA is not Gigabyte is not Asus is not MSI etc.
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:00 PM   #9
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BTW, Gigabyte.
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:32 PM   #10
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So Gigabyte are turkey free? Good to know.

I didn't realise socket AM3 processors where backwards compatible with socket AM2 motherboards (depending on BIOS support). Looking good for a cheap upgrade!
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain caveman View Post
So Gigabyte are turkey free? Good to know.

I didn't realise socket AM3 processors where backwards compatible with socket AM2 motherboards (depending on BIOS support). Looking good for a cheap upgrade!
Looking for best buck for buck with good upgrade path - choose AMD. don't expect Intel performance but chances are you won't actually need it. For audio AMD Hex cores are cheap, cool and will cost less for the whole platform spec for spec. My Quad doesn't get warm and fans barely move, even overclocked - quiet as a dead mouse

I just had a windfall and reckon I'll upgrade to a hex core, wanna buy an AMD 965 black edition cheap? - like £40


I thought not
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:48 PM   #12
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Just upgraded my old Gigabyte board to a - new Gigabyte board. Cant go wrong.
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Old 11-05-2011, 05:28 AM   #13
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I just had a windfall and reckon I'll upgrade to a hex core, wanna buy an AMD 965 black edition cheap? - like £40
I'm interested, when's the soonest you can get rid of it? £40 inc p&p is a great deal!
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Old 11-05-2011, 06:02 AM   #14
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I'm interested, when's the soonest you can get rid of it? £40 inc p&p is a great deal!
Yeah I guess it's a fair deal, it's about a year old I think. You are in the UK aren't you CC?

Anyway, if so, as soon as I get the hex core, can't do without a puter for longer than about 20 mins these days (I know).

So I could order one today, prolly have it by Tuesday/Wednesday and send the 965 the same day

NB. If you don't run billions of VST's it won't bust a gut - tested about 50% with 16 instances of Headcase @ 64 samples on M-audio 2469 card. Cpu didn't sweat but the 4 Gigs of ram ran out
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Old 11-05-2011, 06:16 AM   #15
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Cool, no worries. I'm happy with the performance of my ol' E6600 anyway so it'll be at least a smidge faster than that. I've scoped out a Gigabyte mobo that takes DDR2 too. I'll PM you to swap info!

Cheers
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:38 PM   #16
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EvilDragon (or whomever), which Gigabyte board do you recommend for Kontakt 4? All I want a new DAW for is REAPER/K4. Plus the following...

CPU: i7 2600K
RAM: G.Skill 2x4GB DDR3 F3-12800CL&D-8GBXH
GFX: EAH5450
PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 600 Watt
Cooling: Zalman CNPS10 Extreme 120mm

I also have an Asus P8P67 Pro (rev 3.1) on the list. Should I scratch that? And if so, why? In what way(s) would a Gigabyte board be better? (Aside from obvious stuff lke USB port count, etc.)

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:44 PM   #17
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Been pretty happy with Gigabyte. I try to avoid things with VIA chips on 'em, and if something has Realtek network hardware, it may be worth looking into an alternative. I recently put a 10-year old Intel ethernet PCI card in a machine and turned off the Realtek, and the whole machine got noticably more responsive. Stupid Realtek.

I disrecommend MSI anything, because one time I filed for a rebate, they stiffed me on it, and when I complained they took the rebate information (which they had) and used it to sign me up to a bunch of spam lists and file fraudulent credit apps for me.

... Yes, really.
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:20 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeroephonics View Post
EvilDragon (or whomever), which Gigabyte board do you recommend for Kontakt 4? All I want a new DAW for is REAPER/K4. Plus the following...

CPU: i7 2600K
RAM: G.Skill 2x4GB DDR3 F3-12800CL&D-8GBXH
GFX: EAH5450
PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 600 Watt
Cooling: Zalman CNPS10 Extreme 120mm

I also have an Asus P8P67 Pro (rev 3.1) on the list. Should I scratch that? And if so, why? In what way(s) would a Gigabyte board be better? (Aside from obvious stuff lke USB port count, etc.)

Thanks,
Mike

Motherboard isn't the highest of your concerns. Kontakt needs a fast hard drive and a lot of RAM much more than it needs a particular motherboard. I'm just favouring Gigabyte personally - doesn't mean Asus MBOs are necessarily worse. But I don't see me switching from Gigabyte any time soon.

BTW, if you can stretch to 16 GB of RAM, that would be a wise choice. Kontakt will say "thank you".
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:49 AM   #19
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While I agree that gigabyte builds outstanding mobos, I built my current rig (i7 2600K, 16GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Win 7 pro x64) using an ASRock Z68 Pro3 board, because at that time there weren't many Z68 boards and the ASRock had great features for the money. And I've never regretted it, it runs (AS)rock-solid.
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:51 AM   #20
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FWIW: Been using Asus and Asrock for years with zero problems. Probably built a couple of dozen MAD based systems using one or the other.
Current box is a 6 core AMD with the M4A89GTD Pro USB3 board that I bought a year or so ago.

The only AMD Gigabyte boards I have used were not that great at all.

So maybe Gigabyte is an Intel thing.

But I can nearly build 2 AMD systems for the same price as one equivalent Intel box...

And when it comes down to price vs performance, I have to go with bang for the buck in my parlous financial state.
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:05 AM   #21
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But I can nearly build 2 AMD systems for the same price as one equivalent Intel box...
Slightly exaggerating: depending on what you're doing with those systems, you actually might need the CPU power of those two systems to match the speed of the Intel system.

Let me quote Angus from FXpansion:
Quote:
I should add, AMD chips are under review - we support them right now, but if they continue to lag on FPU performance, that may not go on forever
source
Quote:
It's not something we're going to do tomorrow, but if they continue to lag behind in the all-important FPU performance, as well as pro-audio market share, for a few more years, we'd have to ask whether to devote QA time & hardware to it. Kind of sad, actually - have owned some great Athlon machines over the years, Bulldozer seems like a real disappointment so far - hope they can turn things around, but the whole business of one FPU/SSE per 2 cores, and trying to get everyone using GPGPU, looks like a disaster for audio.
source

I haven't used AMD CPUs in years, but from what I've heard, they currently have severe performance issues in certain use cases. Sharing one FPU unit per two cores isn't great for audio applications I suppose.

This isn't supposed to be flaming, I'm just reiterating what I've been hearing lately: AMD CPUs tend to be cheaper, but if they're really better bang for the buck depends on what you're doing with them.

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Old 12-20-2011, 04:08 AM   #22
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+1 on above said. Intel is the only serious choice for a pro audio workstation IMHO. Yes, it costs more. But yes, it pretty much kills AMD in just about anything, core for core.

And yeah, I would say that Gigabyte does much better motherboards for Intel than AMD. Even though I have a friend that has used GB throughout the years with AMD and has had zero issues whatsoever.
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Old 12-25-2011, 12:14 AM   #23
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EvilDragon, I know you're a big Kontakt user. Do you use a Gigabyte board with Kontakt (v4?) If so, what model?

Basically all I want to do is
1.) Run Kontakt 4 inside REAPER (with my 144 TCP template)
2.) Some ReaEQs on aux output TCPs plus send to 3 ReaVerbs.
3.) Run projects @ 64 samples/44.1kHz ASIO latency with no buffer under-runs.

Is this a reasonable request? It's basically all I'll use the machine for.

The Asus P8P67 Pro (rev 3.1) is my other option. I'm told it is a great board for i7 builds.

Thanks
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Old 12-25-2011, 01:55 AM   #24
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Yeah I use a Gigabyte board, but it's 4 years old now (Intel i965 chipset, so waaay old, the fastest CPU I can install here is the old Q6600!) Soooo, I'm due for an upgrade next year myself.

You just need a stable and good motherboard. Now, I've been out of the loop with new hardware lately, but I'm still confident in Gigabyte quality, so I guess it wouldn't make any difference if I check some reviews on the 'net or if you do that for yourself. That being said, for Kontakt you really need a fast hard drive and a lot of RAM, with good soundcard (soundcard drivers are probably the most important part of the "no buffer underruns" equation). Motherboard is less of a factor here.

With that said, I think that i7 2600K with 12 or 16 GB of RAM will do what you need. Of course, if you have a FW audio interface, you gotta look for motherboards with TI chipset for FW.
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Old 12-25-2011, 02:02 AM   #25
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Thanks, ED. I'll have 16GB RAM in the i7 DAW for sure (4x4GB sticks.)

My soundcard is an M-Audio Audiophile 2496 PCI from 2004. Win7 64-bit drivers. It's still running great!

CPU is currently a Q6600. Nice chip, but it doesn't deliver what I'd like.
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Old 12-25-2011, 05:13 PM   #26
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But as always opinions are just that.

And fwiw my brother just priced up a hex core system like mine and then did the same with a similarly spec'ed quad core Intel system and the intel rig was going to work out at 50% more for cpu mobo and cooler.

And what made the difference for me was fast SATA3 hard drives and a bunch of fast DDR3 memory.
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Old 12-25-2011, 05:18 PM   #27
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But the real shame is that Intel's 4 cores pretty much kill AMD's 6 and 8 cores... That's pretty much the only reason AMDs are cheap. They cannot compete core by core simply because Intel has better multicore technology.

I know though, when money is tight... But for best performance, price has always had to be paid.

Last edited by EvilDragon; 12-25-2011 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 12-25-2011, 08:59 PM   #28
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It's been a long time since I had to do anything where I was anywhere near CPU-bound, except video games.
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Old 12-26-2011, 12:13 AM   #29
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Concerning Gigabyte mobos - I use(d) LANParty mobos for AMD for years. No issues at all. Somewhat more expensive than mainstream Gigabyte mobos, but packed with features.

I can safely guess that LANParty for Intel would be similarly great.

My 2 cents.

p.s.
Most stable mobos I've ever used were DFI ones. Not fastest in the world, but stable as hell, and everything worked out of the box.

p.p.s.

New Intel chipsets are coming very soon, so maybe it would be wise to wait just a little bit more to get some great deals on current mobos/CPUs.
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Old 12-26-2011, 12:51 AM   #30
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I built this last system from a ASRock M3A770DE AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard. I paid $35 for it shipped when on sale last year. With the BIOS update I can now drop in a AM - AM3 6 core up to 3.3GHz with no problem, and it handles up to 16gb of DDR3 1600 in 4 slots.

I got it for a few reasons.....

It has 3 PCI slots

It has a IDE port, along side 6 SATA ports

It unlocked my AMD 3 core to a Phenom 4 core with 6mb cache.

Overall I have had nothing but problems with Intel CPU's, so this has been an AMD house for years...
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Old 12-26-2011, 02:27 AM   #31
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I can agree with Smurf. For some strange reason Intel has problems concerning I/O operation with most of their chipsets. AMD is much better in that regard. In raw CPU power, though, Intel wins hands down.
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Old 12-26-2011, 02:43 AM   #32
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But the real shame is that Intel's 4 cores pretty much kill AMD's 6 and 8 cores... That's pretty much the only reason AMDs are cheap. They cannot compete core by core simply because Intel has better multicore technology.

I know though, when money is tight... But for best performance, price has always had to be paid.
Absolutely.
And fwiw I am currently ale to run at 32 or 64 buffer depending on what I am doing when tracking with no real effort, although I very very occasionally have to go to 128 when the track counts and VSTi's are high.

I suppose if I were hitting any ceilings when tracking I would explore the Intel options, but wow that price differential is massive for the most part.

As a matter of curiousity, what are you running that necessitates that much horsepower, ED?

I routinely run as a minimum Kontakt4, SD2 or EZD (and now SSD4)
and a couple of my preferred keyboard VSTi's, the rest being guitars, bass voice etc tracked live but of course via the odd VST or two.

I suppose the biggest difference between your methodology and mine is likely to be the sheer number of tracks used.
Seldom if ever exceed 16 tracks on my stuff.

So I am veery curious to see what your typical session consists of.

Forgot to say that when "the boys" come round we track 2 guitars, bass, guide vocal and E-drums simultaneously, which I guess would be the highest stress situation for my system cpu-wise.
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:05 AM   #33
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As a matter of curiousity, what are you running that necessitates that much horsepower, ED?

I routinely run as a minimum Kontakt4, SD2 or EZD (and now SSD4)
and a couple of my preferred keyboard VSTi's, the rest being guitars, bass voice etc tracked live but of course via the odd VST or two.

I suppose the biggest difference between your methodology and mine is likely to be the sheer number of tracks used.
Seldom if ever exceed 16 tracks on my stuff.

So I am veery curious to see what your typical session consists of.
Well, so far I'm managing with my 4 years old PC. Yeah, it needs an update! It's not so much the track count, it's more likely the voice count in Kontakt (if I load a lot of instruments in it, which can happen), then after that come the VST instruments that eat some CPU (like Waldorf Largo, u-he Diva or ACE, Zebra 2 is a bit easier on CPU), that's basically it. Can't do much more with current config.

But next year I'm gonna go Intel hex-core (i7-i3930K) and that should last me some good 4-5 years I hope, and along with 16 GB of RAM that should provide sufficient for even full orchestral mockups, if need be!
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:30 AM   #34
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...
But next year I'm gonna go Intel hex-core (i7-i3930K) and that should last me some good 4-5 years I hope, and along with 16 GB of RAM that should provide sufficient for even full orchestral mockups, if need be!
I'm hoping the i7 2600K will serve this role beautifully!

I'm also considering getting a 256GB SSD SATA drive for sample streaming only. I already have 3 identical 500GB SATA 3Gb/sec platter drives for this role. Should I just stick with those? I'll definitely see where they perform before I seriously consider buying an SSD drive.
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:13 AM   #35
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Maybe worth checking out what DAW builders are doing lately,even just for ideas.Scan UK build 3XS systems of different spec and have a good reputation.This is an excerpt from Aug 2011 musictech mag review of their i7 2600 workstation (£1,244 9/10stars).

"The additional 60GB SSD drive works in a similar way, except that it employs a special feature of the motherboard to cache the most frequently used files. As an example: if you’re working on a DAW project with audio files and some instances of Kontakt that use samples, these files would be cached in the SSD; next time you opened the project it would open more quickly. Again, it provides speed boosts without the considerable extra costs of a large SSD. Until solid-state drives come down inprice these seem like good, low-cost workarounds to disk access speed issues, especially for those using sample-heavy instruments."

Quick review (full review £0.99) http://www.musictechmag.co.uk/mtm/re...owerdaw-review

Scan UK 3XS SA68 PowerDAW -(click on configure,also on Scan Pro Audio Blog for all sorts of info)
http://3xs.scan.co.uk/ShowSystem.asp?SystemID=1381

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Old 12-26-2011, 07:24 AM   #36
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I'm hoping the i7 2600K will serve this role beautifully!

I'm also considering getting a 256GB SSD SATA drive for sample streaming only. I already have 3 identical 500GB SATA 3Gb/sec platter drives for this role. Should I just stick with those? I'll definitely see where they perform before I seriously consider buying an SSD drive.
2600K is still good - probably will remain to be good for at least a year or two at most.

Definitely get an SSD if you're using some very demanding orchestral libraries. And as time goes, replace your HDDs with SSDs.
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:44 AM   #37
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What AM3 or i3/i5/i7 compatible mobos would the board recommend?

What I need is a full sized board to fit in my case and good firewire/reports of good firewire performance with PCIe card. DDR2 compatibility would be a welcome miracle but I'd really, really like to be able to reuse my PATA system drives.

New or old (but AM3/iX compatible), I don't mind.

Thanks for any pointers.

Firewire is getting scarce on mobos so best way to go is buy an add on card.
One with the Texas instrument chipset

http://www.sunix.com.tw/product/fwb3414g.html

http://www.sunix.com.tw/product/ufc2412.html

Pata on new mobos is extremely rare and the performance (loading speeds) not good compared to the new ones.

Either use something like Acronis to clone your disks.
Just note that cloning your data to a new SATA disk will probably mean you have to activate windows again. And depending on whether you bough an OEM or full retail version this might or might not be a problem for re activation.

You might have luck with an IDE converter like this one but I dont have any experience with it
http://www.sunix.com.tw/product/sabr1000d.html

Regarding a motherboard.
Get something with USB3 and SATA6G.

http://www.sapphiretech.com/presenta...pid=1239&lid=1

http://www.intel.com/content/www/uk/...rd-dp67bg.html

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD...specifications


If your budget allows it get the new ones that support PCIe3.

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Int...55/P8Z68VGEN3/

Last edited by franV; 12-28-2011 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:28 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
Well, so far I'm managing with my 4 years old PC. Yeah, it needs an update! It's not so much the track count, it's more likely the voice count in Kontakt (if I load a lot of instruments in it, which can happen), then after that come the VST instruments that eat some CPU (like Waldorf Largo, u-he Diva or ACE, Zebra 2 is a bit easier on CPU), that's basically it. Can't do much more with current config.

But next year I'm gonna go Intel hex-core (i7-i3930K) and that should last me some good 4-5 years I hope, and along with 16 GB of RAM that should provide sufficient for even full orchestral mockups, if need be!

Not a prayer! GAS will get you way before then - look at you now!
Champing at the bit after 4 years and you expect to survive FIVE with the new toy?
(grin) ....and I will have been making music on my "slow old" 24 core AMD with 256gb of ram for at least a couple of years before you get your super humdinger Intel marvel cpu/mobo!

Seriously, I take your point and of course everything you say about performance is true, but I am a retiree on a small fixed income, so the coat gets cut according to the cloth I have.

I just know you are gonna LOVE that i7 when you get there.
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:36 PM   #39
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You said it right!
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:51 PM   #40
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I checked out Newegg again tonight. They're got some nice prices today. The i7 2600K is down from $319.99 to $299.99. Here's what I'm looking at. This comes to $824USD, with $60 in rebates. Not too bad!

ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.1) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131771

Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819115070

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835103065

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820231431

ASUS EAH5450 SILENT/DI/512MD3(LP) Radeon HD 5450 512MB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814121444

OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817341018
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Please check out these MIDI requests: http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=103192
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