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.