You are here

Martin's PCIe Article

For anything relating to music-making on Windows computers, with lots of FAQs. Moderated by Martin Walker.

Re: Martin's PCIe Article

Postby little person » Sun Nov 20, 2005 2:02 pm

PaulD wrote:Hi
Since the Mac world is already PCIe only for new models, and ProTools will have to be migrated to that to sell to Mac users, then no doubt others like MOTU will develop PCIe kit (all of which presumably will have to be useable in the next generation of Intel Macs).


We have G5s and Pro Tools HD at work and have a PCI expansion chassis connected to each system already.I agree, I think digidesign will pave the way for others to follow....
little person
New here
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2002 12:00 am

Re: Martin's PCIe Article

Postby Wurlitzer » Sun Nov 20, 2005 2:39 pm

Peter C wrote:So nobody - but nobody - should still be buying PCI soundcards, or indeed a PCI anything if it costs more than Peter C0. A soundcard is an expensive investment, and typically lasts through two or three PC systems.

If you build a new DAW and use your existing soundcard, no problem. But if you are planning a totally new DAW including a new soundcard do you really want to invest in old technology?

Well, people have different attitudes to such things, but I personally would not have a problem with buying a PCI card now.

Some soundcards might last through three systems, many will not. While the soundcard itself might still be working perfectly well in seven year's time (with each system lasting say three years), it's highly likely that the user's needs will have developed to the point that they want to revise their audio setup as they upgrade their computer. It's also virtually certain that they will be using a different OS by that time, and highly probable their software configuration will have changed and developed, opening up new possibilities and imposing new demands. Will there even by drivers for the soundcard that work under the new OS, regardless of its connection protocol?

Personally I've long ago given up worrying about what will be compatible with what in that kind of time scale. It's hard to make systems that not only work together happily, but also fufill all one's musical needs with the best possible interface and workflow. By the time you consider everything that needs to be considered, you're doing well if you can just get everything right NOW. Worrying about how it will look in five or ten years' time just makes it impossible - there are too many variables.

Others may think differently, but if the right soundcard for my needs happened to be PCI, and that suited the rest of my system, I'd buy it. It MIGHT be rendered obsolete when I next upgrade my system, or it might not. PCI cards might still be around by then, or there might be a perfectly well-functioning bridge or adaptor that can do the job. I might want to replace the soundcard by then anyway, or my studio might have blown up rendering the whole question academic. Then there's the fact that there are no PCI-E soundcards on the market now, and when the first ones come out, we have no idea what they will be like or how well they will work. The cutting edge is not the best place to be when it comes to something as delicate and temperamental as computer-based audio.

Like I said, too many unknowns. PCI soundcards in known good mobos with PCI slots work now. That's good enough for me.
Wurlitzer
Regular
Posts: 403
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2002 1:00 am

Re: Martin's PCIe Article

Postby Jon Jon Jon » Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:54 pm

I have found a similar rant going on over here
http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.cfm?catid=27&threadid=1701961

there is also a link to why EMU arnen't manufacturing PCIe cards.
User avatar
Jon Jon Jon
Poster
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Martin's PCIe Article

Postby *INACTIVE USER* » Sun Nov 20, 2005 9:16 pm

Some soundcards might last through three systems, many will not. While the soundcard itself might still be working perfectly well in seven year's time (with each system lasting say three years), it's highly likely that the user's needs will have developed to the point that they want to revise their audio setup as they upgrade their computer.


Lots of this depends on how you plan and invest. When I decided it was time for a new soundcard I went totally over the top. So after 6 years my rme 9652 is still more than ample.

But at the same time I regret buying a pci-x raid controller, I should have bought a pci-e one. This one might get a second live, but it won't get 3 like the soundcard.

So if I change soundcards, it will be usb, whatever version is then current.
*INACTIVE USER*
Regular
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:00 am
Expert in non-working solutions

Re: Martin's PCIe Article

Postby ghr » Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:17 am

Meh, whatever, if they do bring out PCIe soundcards, then clearly the price of PCI ones will drop so much that we can buy for example, 3 M-Audio Delta 1010's, for around £50, and have them on our old Nforce 3 motherboards, and be well happy that everyone else is getting ripped off with PCIe and the latest stuff. Hey, we might even be able to get a current (as in current NOW) Protools HD system for not so much in the next few years. Bring on PCIe 8-) :headbang:
ghr
Poster
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2004 1:00 am

Re: Martin's PCIe Article

Postby Peter C » Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:15 am

Hi,

Especially Wurlizer and Havoc.

I feel quite strongly about this, so I may have exaggerated a bit to make my points. On purpose.

That's why I put my oprignal post in [rant]...[/rant] brackets, which for some reason does not work in this forum. (aside: I'm sure Martin can fix that :))

Clearly the decision criteria I describe do not apply to everyone, and certainly not to everyone all the time; but I still think they are trends that will impact the market.


Peter
Peter C
Regular
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:00 am

Re: Martin's PCIe Article

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Nov 21, 2005 6:55 pm

Sorry Peter - I'm not in charge of SOS web site design, although I can certainly pass on your request to the powers that be ;)

I tend towards Wurli's view on all this - I already have perfectly good soundcards in my PC, and am perfectly satisfied with their performance. While like the majority of PC Musicians I can always find something to do with extra processing power, my audio interfaces stay put until seomthing significantly better comes along For instance, I was quite happy with my Echo Gina 20-bit interface until I'd reviewed the Echo Mia, when the improvement in audio quality was obvious. Nevertheless, I added a Yamaha SW1000XG because of its excellent MIDI functions, and similarly, I added an Emu 1820M to my system after I'd reviewed that, because its audio performance once again jumped up a notch. However, I haven't auditioned any other interface since that's made me want to get my credit card out again.

On the other hand, I almost have to upgrade to a new PC with PCI Express slots to cope with any future reviews of compatible soundcards, and even though I'd prefer to carry on with my three PCI cards I may have to abandon the Yamaha and Echo in the process. Most new trends in the PC world are driven by 'must have' features. However, in the case of PCI Express it seems at the moment as if many of us will have to go with it whether we want it or not. PCI is perfectly adequate for my current requirements.

However, I do agree with Jim that it's about time we got audio interfaces with drivers that could survive the occasional 'dropped frame'. I know the normal argument is about 'real time' transfers as compared those where repeated requests for the same bits of data can be accommodated, but most of us are well within bandwidth limits, so there should be plenty of time to cope with the odd click or pop 're-send' if it could be detected.


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 15172
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Martin's PCIe Article

Postby Frankii Elliott » Mon Nov 21, 2005 8:41 pm

Also keep in mind the following analogy.....

When MACS came out, they where the creative force for creative persons. The IBM on the other hand was used for offices.

Then gaming came out which drove the GPU cards to newer and faster limits...Mac tried to keep up, of course swithing to intel is a solution now.

That said, FW800 should be supported in Windows Vista as well as a similar audio codec like Mac's audio core, in addition, Vista will be geared toward multimedia, firewire, creative and so on, plus I have read faster Firewire devices and protocols to come out soon.

Only time will tell.
Frankii Elliott
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Martin's PCIe Article

Postby *INACTIVE USER* » Mon Nov 21, 2005 9:00 pm

However, I do agree with Jim that it's about time we got audio interfaces with drivers that could survive the occasional 'dropped frame'. I know the normal argument is about 'real time' transfers as compared those where repeated requests for the same bits of data can be accommodated, but most of us are well within bandwidth limits, so there should be plenty of time to cope with the odd click or pop 're-send' if it could be detected.


Problem here is the limited memory onboard of soundcards. If you had that then there was no problem. Detecting should be no problem, with linux I get that information from jack all the time, so it should be possible in windows as well.
*INACTIVE USER*
Regular
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:00 am
Expert in non-working solutions

Re: Martin's PCIe Article

Postby jcschild » Tue Nov 22, 2005 3:22 am

Hey Peter,
well cant say i didnt tell you.

of the 6 manufacturers i asked they all said not now mabye later.

truth be told for the average guy a firewire interface is fine.

for more advanced studios a madi card etc is the answer.

however i agree PCIe is here to stay. and PCI will most certainly disapear quicker than ISA.

i think the big issue with alot of them is waiting on real PCIe spec to appear. or at least the real controller not PCI to PCIe bridge crap.

i think when Vista ships and has its first service pack you may see PCIe in force. remember the real PCIe requies a controller which requires a re-write of code, alot of re-write.

Ahhh it just keeps getting worse......

Scott
ADK

PS i will email you one of these days been very swamped
jcschild
Poster
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Martin's PCIe Article

Postby Peter C » Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:45 am

jcschild wrote:Hey Peter,
well cant say i didnt tell you.

of the 6 manufacturers i asked they all said not now mabye later.

You did, and you may well be right.

But I still think it's equally possible that those guys have prouducts under wraps and are holding out on us because they have not decided when to jump and don't want the competition to know what they are planning...

I have predicted 2006Q1... and (fool that I am) I'm sticking with that. Come April 1st we'll all know if I am right or wrong. At that point, if I'm prved wrong, you guys get to choose - an appology or a drink - but not both.



Truth be told for the average guy a firewire interface is fine.

True, but I have my doubts about attaching low latency equipment to any shared bus. PCIe is the right answer - tons of bandwidth and QoS capability; plus I personally prefer to habe expensive stuff inside the case where it's neat and protected.

We are in a transition phase, and this lack of PCI soundcards is a hicccup. I'm quite certain the future is PCIe-shaped.


for more advanced studios a madi card etc is the answer.

Yes... but isn't the MADI interface to the DAW a PCI (opps, shouldn't that be a PCIe) card?



however i agree PCIe is here to stay. and PCI will most certainly disapear quicker than ISA.

i think the big issue with alot of them is waiting on real PCIe spec to appear. or at least the real controller not PCI to PCIe bridge crap.

i think when Vista ships and has its first service pack you may see PCIe in force. remember the real PCIe requies a controller which requires a re-write of code, alot of re-write.


Seems you have an insight on how PCIe works and it low level OS interface that I lack.

DOS runs on a PCIe mobo. I thought the interface looked the same and only hardware had to change; and that's why, for instance the PCI device addressing scheme has survived into PCIe.


Peter
Peter C
Regular
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:00 am

Re: Martin's PCIe Article

Postby Peter C » Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:54 am

Martin Walker wrote:Sorry Peter - I'm not in charge of SOS web site design, although I can certainly pass on your request to the powers that be ;)

Thanks... that's exactly what I meant when I said I was sure you would fix it.

Let me know the e-mail of the guy who will be responsible for implentiong this,and I'll forward him the spec...

But in general terms, stuff in [rant] brackets will have its monochrome backround replaced with a video of a flickering frame interspersed with shots of mopderates like Billy Graham or Stalin at the climax of one of their more entertaining (aka controversial) speeches.

Plus, if you have embedded rants, the inner rant will (provided you have a full 3D virtual reality monitor) reach out to you and throttle you (in the nicest possible way), just to make sure you are paying attention.

...

Nothing too ostentaious



Peter
Peter C
Regular
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:00 am

Re: Martin's PCIe Article

Postby spjessop » Tue Nov 22, 2005 1:54 pm

Peter C wrote:Yes... but isn't the MADI interface to the DAW a PCI (opps, shouldn't that be a PCIe) card?

It is indeed a PCI card.

I wonder what you could achieve with a FW800 digital only fireface? A FireMADI anyone? Firefaces are meant to be stackable...
spjessop
New here
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:00 am

Re: Martin's PCIe Article

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Nov 22, 2005 1:58 pm

Ah, nothing too complex then, and still suitable for anyone here who still hasn't got broadband :beamup:


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 15172
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Martin's PCIe Article

Postby Peter C » Tue Nov 22, 2005 1:59 pm

Absolutely


Peter
Peter C
Regular
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:00 am

PreviousNext