[Ardour-Users] Motherboard hints and tips?

Thomas GH Dorsch||Pianist & Composer info at pianowave.com
Thu Jan 31 15:15:59 PST 2008

I had a ServerBoard with no AGP Slot, so I needed to work with a PCI 
graphic card. Together with a PCI Soundcard, guess what happened?

Clicks and noise every time I moved my mouse to move a window on the 
screen - that was with a Windows XP  Pro System.

Now, I have a different computer, Graphics built into the mobo, Suse 
Linux on it. Whenever I use the mouse to move a window, clicks and 
noise. I also used Windows before on this newer computer, everything was 
fine then. Now that I am in Linux I am facing an old problems due to 
different reasons again, I believe it's called xruns.

Perhaps you can read some help in choosing your hardware out of this, 
perhaps you could give me a tip as well. You may need to know, that I am 
using a sampler software which needs almost all of my ram. However, when 
I ran the same program in Windows, it used only half of my ram, which I 
find hard to believe.


Mark Greenwood wrote:
> Wow! What a helpful and rapid bunch of responses, you've all helped 
> clear up most of the confusion that was in my head.
> I'm afraid I'm still not completely convinced about the practicalities 
> of 64-bit systems. I completely understand the technical arguments why 
> they're a good thing, and if I was building a system entirely for audio 
> I'd go straight for a 64 bit system without hesitation. But as I said, 
> I'm building a compromise system which has to do everything, and do it 
> without great hassle. From reading the Mandriva forums I'm not going to 
> be able to get things like Flash player and the like to work without 
> using a mixture of 32-bit and 64-bit apps, and that just sounds to me 
> like a whole load of hassle I can do without. I don't need 
> out-of-this-world performance, but I do need something that is simple to 
> set up. So it's 32 bit for me. Also, quietness is very important for me, 
> I want to build a system that is as inaudible as possible on my limited 
> budget.. so the cooler the processor runs the slower the fans can run 
> and the queiter the system will be. I've found out that with the right 
> heatsink you can run a Core 2 Duo with no fan at 3GHz... that's a 
> selling point for me.
> I investigated Asus and Tyan motherboards.. they're a little out of my 
> price range unfortunately. From comparing specs and reading reviews I've 
> decided on a Gigabyte board. Anyone have anything to say about Gigabyte 
> motherboards before I spend cash?
> It's just occurred to me that it sounds like I'm just ignoring 
> everything you've all said and making my own mind up... :-) I'm not, 
> everything that's been said has helped me and it all gave me a place to 
> start.
> Two final questions: It seems impossible to get a decent mobo which 
> doesn't have a pci express 16x slot on it. So I may as well stick a 
> graphics card in it. But are there downsides to using 'big hoofer' 
> graphics cards (like bus-hogging?) and would I be better off with a 
> cheaper PCI card, or a lower-spec pci-e 1x card?
> Secondly every mobo I've looked at today has 5.1 or 7.1 audio built in. 
> It's not a problem for me as I'm using a firewire audio card anyway, but 
> are these audio chips likely to cause me any issues? On my current PC I 
> keep ALSA running on the on-board sound card just for non-jack-aware 
> apps and it's useful to have so I don't always have to run jack.
> While I'm at it, for a laugh, I'll tell you what's going on on my 
> current mobo... VIA chipsets everywhere... graphics card shares an IRQ 
> with the ethernet card and a USB controller, my firewire card shares an 
> IRQ with the IDE controller... there's no way to change it.... jack at 
> idle in RT mode (not with the rt patch though) consumes 5% of CPU 
> time.... 4 tracks in ardour and I'm at 30% CPU usage... Moving windows 
> around while playing audio back causes dropouts (but no xruns..??..) I 
> really couldn't have a worse machine if I tried :D And Ardour just keeps 
> on going..... unless I let the screensaver cut in at which point 
> everything connected to jack loses its connection... sigh... this is why 
> I'm so grateful for all your help :)
> Mark
> Wilson, Jed S wrote:
>> Can someone post a few relatively authoritative links on "quiet" computers
>> -- i.e., those one can have in the same room as recording microphones.
>> I can use my laptop now [very quiet], but would eventually like to have a
>> desktop/tower that won't generate the vast quantities of noise I'm getting
>> now from my current multi-fan wonder].
>> Aside but related:
>> I realize "recording microphones" is a very general statement [e.g., SM57
>> behaves differently than a very sensitive condenser/ribbon].  Ideally one
>> would have an isolation booth.  However, at present for me this is
>> impractical.
>> Cheers,
>> Jed
>>> On Thu, 31 Jan 2008 10:44:47 -0600
>>> "Brett Clark" <brett.clark at zirous.com> wrote:
>>>> I recommend spending the extra money on the variable
>>>> speed fans.  They may cost $20 - $30 dollars, but they will be much
>>>> quieter.
>>>> Same with the CPU cooling fan.  The one that comes boxed with the CPU
>>>> is probably the cheapest one that they could come up with.
>>> I can't agree more with this.  I have a system that started out as a
>>> prepackaged "quiet" PC based on a Pentium III CPU.  I upgraded to a P4
>>> a while back, and now the only piece that's original on it is the case!
>>> I knew the original PIII power supply wouldn't fit, so I got a quiet
>>> PS, but hadn't realized that the stock P4 fans were so bad.  I finally
>>> went and got a Zalman CPU fan and was amazed at how quiet it is.  The
>>> loudest noise now comes from my hard drives.  (I went with a lower-end
>>> graphics card to avoid a fan on it.  I really don't need a whole lot
>>> of GPU power to run ardour!)
>>> --
>>> ======================================================================
>>>        Joe Hartley - UNIX/network Consultant - jh at brainiac.com
>>> Without deviation from the norm, "progress" is not possible. - FZappa
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