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shindigger
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Can someone recommend me a motherboard please.
      #1052729 - 16/06/13 11:57 AM
£150 tops. Planning on using an i7 3770k. Though am unlikely to overclock.
1600 RAM speed will be fine i think.

My only expansion needs would be PCIE for a Firewire card, or maybe 2 Firewire cards. I am assuming tha Firewire is better handled over PCIE rather than PCI.
My most recent experience with PCI Firewire would seem to confirm this.
Will be using this with an N12 desk.

Not planning on needing an additional video card.
Would ideally like a dedicated SSD connection.I know some Gigabyte boards have this.
I assuming everything sold today has USB 3 and SATA 3.
My main concern is the DPC scores. Gigabyte seem to do ok in this regard, but i'm still unconvinced by some reviews i read.

So with that in mind does anyone have any suggestions.

Cheers

Edited by shindigger (16/06/13 12:01 PM)


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shindigger
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Re: Can someone recommend me a motherboard please. new [Re: shindigger]
      #1052803 - 16/06/13 07:55 PM
Ha!
Maybe if i pretend to be female things might perk up around here......


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5349
Re: Can someone recommend me a motherboard please. new [Re: shindigger]
      #1052807 - 16/06/13 08:07 PM
Look on the Scan Computers website and see what board/CPU combinations they are offering.


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twotoedsloth



Joined: 26/01/08
Posts: 580
Re: Can someone recommend me a motherboard please. new [Re: shindigger]
      #1052856 - 17/06/13 02:27 AM
You can daisy chain firewire devices so you might not need 2 firewire cards.


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
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Re: Can someone recommend me a motherboard please. new [Re: twotoedsloth]
      #1052909 - 17/06/13 01:31 PM
Quote twotoedsloth:

You can daisy chain firewire devices so you might not need 2 firewire cards.




They generally have more than one socket anyway.

One for your soundcard I imagine? if the other is for external storage, there's always eSata or USB3. Better still, an internal drive

I see Seagate external drives are now equipped with a combination port offering all three, though only a USB cable is supplied as standard.


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shindigger
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Re: Can someone recommend me a motherboard please. new [Re: shindigger]
      #1052923 - 17/06/13 02:17 PM
Hi
Am erring toward this board.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6089/asrock-z77-extreme6-review-legacy-bites -back

It seems to have a good DPC latency score, without shelling out for an ASUS PRO.
I also chose it cos it has one firewire 400 on it already. Rare these days by the looks of it.
I am still planning on buying a PCIe card too.
The on board F/W is a VIA chip, i believe.
The PCIe expansion card will be a Lycom or Siig.
The reason i'm thinking this way is that with my last rig the Startech TI card i had, was totally outperformed by a Belkin non TI card.
Still wasn't 100% but the CPU spike i had on Core 0, was about 20% of what it was while connected via the TI card and it stayed connected.
I note that my 2006 iMac has a non TI chip amd that hasn't missed a beat in 7 years with 3 different interfaces in front of it.

So this way, i have best of both worlds, hopefully one will work. I also read in a few differnet places that VIA, Agere, LSI, chips work better over PCIe than TI.
My experience with PCI would seem to bear this out.
I also have a Duende Classic which i'm hoping will run on one or the other spare FW ports.
Daisy chaining wise, i would only do that with another N12,should the need arise.

I'm planning on buying a Fractal R4 case and a i7 3770k to go with this.
Sound OK?


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Pete Kaine
Scan Computers


Joined: 10/07/03
Posts: 3497
Loc: Manchester
LOST *DELETED* new [Re: shindigger]
      #1052928 - 17/06/13 02:54 PM
Post deleted by Pete Kaine

--------------------
Check out our currently running, audio creation competition with a huge selection of prizes @ Scan Velocity 2014


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Pete Kaine
Scan Computers


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Re: Can someone recommend me a motherboard please. new [Re: Pete Kaine]
      #1052931 - 17/06/13 03:03 PM
I wouldn't touch an Asrock if you gave me one. Asus, Gigabyte, Msi, Supermicro, Intel etc.... I'm happy to use all day long, but I've never had a good experience with Asrock. That generation I pulled one one to try, off the back of all the "rave" reviews that cropped up. It self destructed on me and went in the bin in the first 30 mins of use.

*edit* perhaps that reads as a little bit harsh, but I really don't have anything good to say about them.

Quote shindigger:


The on board F/W is a VIA chip, i believe.





Probably, I haven't seen a TI chip on anything in a few generations now.

Quote shindigger:


The reason i'm thinking this way is that with my last rig the Startech TI card i had, was totally outperformed by a Belkin non TI card.





Define "outperformed"? Did you put the Startech TI into legacy driver mode?

Quote shindigger:


Still wasn't 100% but the CPU spike i had on Core 0, was about 20% of what it was while connected via the TI card and it stayed connected.






Context? What are we talking about in this instance, causing the spike?

Quote shindigger:


I note that my 2006 iMac has a non TI chip amd that hasn't missed a beat in 7 years with 3 different interfaces in front of it.





It's far easier to write and test drivers when the vast majority of your market is on the exact same chip. You can't compare Mac and PC FW controllers at the driver level for this reason.

Quote shindigger:


So this way, i have best of both worlds, hopefully one will work. I also read in a few differnet places that VIA, Agere, LSI, chips work better over PCIe than TI.
My experience with PCI would seem to bear this out.





The vast majority of the FW cards out there use exactly the same FW chip on both designs but changes the controller chip that talks to the buss... shouldn't be any real difference between the two however.

--------------------
Check out our currently running, audio creation competition with a huge selection of prizes @ Scan Velocity 2014


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shindigger
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Re: LOST *DELETED* new [Re: Pete Kaine]
      #1052936 - 17/06/13 03:15 PM
Blimey. Thats a welcome insight.
I do seem to remember that back in the days of Digital Village building systems, that they used ASRock boards on their budget range.
I had always given them a swerve, but from the many reviews i'd read, thought that maybe they'd improved.
Not wishing to come across snarky, but you've got 2 ASRock boards available on your Z77 page, on the Scan site. Are these the exception?

The other one on my shortlist was the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H.
Maybe i'll opt for that, also does well in the DPC stakes as far as i can tell.

EDIT.
Yes, i had it in legacy mode.
I guess the spike on core 0 was caused by something else which i could not trace, but the Belkin appeared to be much more forgivig of it.
I had a regular 100% spike prior and only 20% after i changed cards.
And it stayed connected.
I spent a LONG time trying to get the bug out of the last machine. Tried all the usual nips and tucks in the BIOS ETC. Made no difference.
I'm just looking for insurance policies really.
And one way of doing that is not to use ANY similar components in the next machine.
I also had an awful radio noise through my monitors, tweaking the power settings in BIOS helped a lot but it was still there. That was an ASUS motherboard fwiw.
I'm going to have a crack at self building it, if i balls it up i'll take it to a local guy who knows his stuff.
I certainly won't waste the month or so i did on the last POS.
And it'll still be cheaper even if i need help.
"Custom built Music PC" my arse.

I am not referring to Scan i might add.....

Edited by shindigger (17/06/13 03:38 PM)


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5349
Re: LOST *DELETED* new [Re: shindigger]
      #1052949 - 17/06/13 04:45 PM
I repeat, you'll probably find the most informed advice on board, FW card etc. round here by looking at the specifications of Scan's music computers and copying them. Don't obsess on saving a few quid.


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shindigger
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Joined: 01/04/03
Posts: 201
Re: LOST *DELETED* new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1052963 - 17/06/13 06:41 PM
OK, thanks for the repeated advice.
The most i can glean from Scans website is that the boards are Z87 and (i guess) H87, and that the boards used seem to be ASUS? Is that correct?
But there are numerous ASUS A87 boards. A,K,C,PRO,PLUS,MAX,DELUXE.

I'm ready to consider going down that road, as i've just seen that the Haswell prices are only slightly more than what i was about to pay for a 3770k.
The only scary thing there is that (i read) there are more C states to knock out for DAW use.

I'm not trying to be tight, i'm trying to avoid all the mind numbing drudgery of my last machine.
I really wouldn't mind knowing what is a good Z77 Mobo to pair with an i7 3770k for DAW use.
That info is not on Scans site, as they have moved on to Z87.
Cheers.


EDIT
Ironically there's more info on another UK PC Music specialist site but i'm naturally a bit sceptical....

Edited by shindigger (17/06/13 07:14 PM)


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Pete Kaine
Scan Computers


Joined: 10/07/03
Posts: 3497
Loc: Manchester
Re: LOST *DELETED* new [Re: shindigger]
      #1053086 - 18/06/13 10:14 AM
Quote shindigger:

Blimey. Thats a welcome insight.
I do seem to remember that back in the days of Digital Village building systems, that they used ASRock boards on their budget range.
I had always given them a swerve, but from the many reviews i'd read, thought that maybe they'd improved.
Not wishing to come across snarky, but you've got 2 ASRock boards available on your Z77 page, on the Scan site. Are these the exception?





Nope, we'll stock whatever is popular (i.e. what we get asked for) parts wise and as you've already noted some of those boards got fairly good reviews so my buyers will bring them in regardless. We keep the parts and systems seperate in those regards, so whilst I can order and spec what I want, I don't get any input in the parts we carry outside of that.

Reviews are a funny business. Unlike the audio world where you expect the reviewer to live with your kit for a month or two using it daily basis and really getting to grips with it and you get products that might be on the market for a decade so, reviews are done properly as the isn't anywere as much kit to go around. On the computer side your average motherboard has a maximum 12 - 24 month shelf cycle and they'll bring out a dozen new models or updates every few months and on any given revision most people won't notice a boards flaw in that few days of testing.

That as a given, every review site want's to be the first one's up with a exclusive product so you find a situation where the hot kit often only get's benched and tested for a few days before those *glowing* reviews are published and often the is a such a deluge that in the event someone does do an extended test, then they are going to be buried under all the garbage ones already claiming something to be the best thing ever.

I learnt back on the NForce 4 release (mid 00's) how badly this can go when they rushed out a board that was supposed to be the overclockers wet dream and it picked up awards left right and center... the dirty secret was that it was broken out of the box and they only gave reviewers 3 days to play with it before launch so that the issues wouldn't have time to crop up. I was support tech at this point and had no input into specs so a load of systems were sold, it took them 5 months and up to bios revision 16.4 to admit to and fix 3 board crippling issues that I reported on launch day, which I then spent months fending off angry customers who wouldn't believe that a highly awarded board could be so fundamentally broken.

Jumping forward to the start of last year, one of the big parts forums got rather excitable over the Asrock board you mentioned off the back of a few glowing reviews and started recommending it for every new build going, I think I fell out with a few users after being about as positive about it as I am being in this thread to the extent I didn't check that board for a good half a year... I went back a few months ago checking up on something else completely unrelated and noticed that strangely the board has moved on from that obsession after a large number of users started complaining about board failures & instabilites after a few months of use.

In the computer industry by the time we learn about mid term reliabilty the product is probably already replaced and the spotlight has moved on. As a support tech however any companies product line up is only as strong as it's previous generation... if a company puts out a product that wastes my time they'll get canned from the system list for a generation or two before I even consider using them again, something a few reps have learnt the hard way.

Quote shindigger:


The other one on my shortlist was the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H.
Maybe i'll opt for that, also does well in the DPC stakes as far as i can tell.





Resonable board and well tested as far as audio and DPC goes. My one sticking point with GB these days is that during the X58 cycle they made some adjustments to how their Memcheck cycle works to fix another start up issue (caused by Intel, it affected all brands) which has the unfortunate problem of causing the bios to randomly dump it's settings (reset to stock) on every few dozen random reboots when the rig is overclocked (no problem at stock). It can be quickly fixed by entering the bios, saving and exiting or even simply rebooting (and as such most users might not even realise it's happeneing) but it's still something they've not managed to fix since that point. I have hope that the situation now with the bios being switchable on Z87 will fix it (in fact as far as I can see, it does but I've not tested enough to be sure) but the boards are no better than the Z87 Asus solutions currently and those guys bent over backwards to fix the same issue for me, so no plans to migrate back to GB just yet.

Aye, we've moved on to Z87 now. I was using the Z77 - V series (pro/deluxe/standard/LX) for that generation. They are all based around the same chipset and core features with other devices/features being added / removed depending upon the board feature set. As such they all work fairly much the same and you should be picking them based on the required feature set.

--------------------
Check out our currently running, audio creation competition with a huge selection of prizes @ Scan Velocity 2014


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shindigger
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Re: LOST *DELETED* new [Re: Pete Kaine]
      #1053119 - 18/06/13 01:46 PM
Awesome.
I'm going with the ASUS Z77 ProV i think.
It seems to come out with the lowest DPC on the Anandtech review as well.

I initially wanted to avoid ASUS as i had an ASUS board in my last Sandy Bridge machine that had a bad screaming problem (radio noise)which was 80% reduced with a BIOS tweak, and the aforementioned Firewire grief. Though it might not be fair to attribute all that to the MOBO.
I think i will be using your Lycom PCIe cards this time however, as that's a more direct feed to the board.
Is that right?

I completely take your point about things creeping out of the woodwork long after the reviewers have moved on. I think DV stigmatised ASRock in my head when they used them in the budget DAWs.
I am still at the mercy of the Steinberg driver for the N12, which SEEMS ok.
Was solid on XP, i've not had so much luck under WIN 7 though.
I just wish i didn't like the N12 so much. Would make it easier to move on to RME etc.

Any sign that the Z77 series generally, (and the 3770k come to that) will drop in price anytime soon?

Thank's a million.


Edited by shindigger (18/06/13 01:48 PM)


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Scramble
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Re: Can someone recommend me a motherboard please. new [Re: shindigger]
      #1053129 - 18/06/13 03:22 PM
>Any sign that the Z77 series generally, (and the 3770k come to that) will drop in price anytime soon?

Intel tend not to reduce the price very much on the older series even when the new one comes out.


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Pete Kaine
Scan Computers


Joined: 10/07/03
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Re: LOST *DELETED* new [Re: shindigger]
      #1053133 - 18/06/13 03:30 PM
Quote shindigger:


I'm going with the ASUS Z77 ProV i think.
It seems to come out with the lowest DPC on the Anandtech review as well.





The Anandtech review whilst not perfect (they leave on all sorts of stuff, you could turn off as an audio user) does give you a good baseline to work with, I wouldn't be surpised if you dropped that DPC score even lower.

Quote shindigger:


I initially wanted to avoid ASUS as i had an ASUS board in my last Sandy Bridge machine that had a bad screaming problem (radio noise)which was 80% reduced with a BIOS tweak, and the aforementioned Firewire grief.





Aye, and remember all boards even from the same manufacturer are not created equal. The aforementioned Nforce 4 issue was an Asus board and I swore off them for 3 years... took them a lot to get back in my good books! The V series is extremely well tested out in the wild through, I suspect you'll be happy or at least you'll have the knowledge that if something does go wrong this time, you'll have to look somewhere else in the signal chain to establish the problem as the spec is known working.

Quote shindigger:


I think i will be using your Lycom PCIe cards this time however, as that's a more direct feed to the board.
Is that right?





Get the PCIe one and plug it into a 1 16X slot on the motherboard. The 16X slots have direct access to the CPU and bypass the buss controller which can cure a number of issues, althrough it can create a few as well if the drivers for the interface are badly written. The 8X / 4X / 1X slots all go through the same controller as the PCI slot.

Quote shindigger:


I completely take your point about things creeping out of the woodwork long after the reviewers have moved on. I think DV stigmatised ASRock in my head when they used them in the budget DAWs.





They were using ECS prior to that (I inherited one) with the worst cooler I've ever seen in a system (circuler tube design, only covered around 70% of the cpu core itself on a running hot, williametta core Prescott) so it wouldn't be the first time I've questioned some of thier parts choices.

Quote shindigger:


Any sign that the Z77 series generally, (and the 3770k come to that) will drop in price anytime soon?





Boards/CPU's have very little margin in them. You might see a few get discounted if firms get twitchy about holding old stock, but I wouldn't expect any major league bargins I'm afraid.

--------------------
Check out our currently running, audio creation competition with a huge selection of prizes @ Scan Velocity 2014


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shindigger
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Re: LOST *DELETED* new [Re: Pete Kaine]
      #1053165 - 18/06/13 07:47 PM


Looks like a weeks worth of bug eyed "research" is now bearing some fruit!
Re The PCIe card info. Very good to know, thanks.
I also note the Asus V PRO has 2 X x16 slots.
I know Firewire is dead (ish), but where are all the Thunderbolt doo-dads?
Many thanks again, all very helpful stuff.


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