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PCIe to PCI Expansion Bay

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PCIe to PCI Expansion Bay

PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:12 pm
by C.LYDE
I imagine that quite a few users must have come across this situation before, maybe some sooner than others?

I am thinking of extending the useful life of my old RME 9632 & UAD-1 cards by using a new MB and latest uP with a PCI expansion bay.
Has anyone done this (or something similar) :?:

For reference:
https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advi ... ity-issues

Re: PCIe to PCI Expansion Bay

PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:32 pm
by Martin Walker
Hi C.LYDE,

Thanks for resurrecting my vintage feature there 8-)

Yes, it's a possibility, but in my experience PCI expansion bays tend to be expensive, and you're only prolonging the final curtain for your beloved RME cards.

Many (if not the majority) of us eventually face abandoning the 'soundcard' format despite having perfectly adequate audio interfaces, largely because drivers for the latest operating system aren't forthcoming. RME are angels in this regard, but there comes a point when you simply have to give in and accept the inevitable.

Others may disagree, but price it up and see your yourself :beamup:


Martin

Re: PCIe to PCI Expansion Bay

PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:17 pm
by Mixedup
Good lord... are you sure you really want to go down this road?

I have a 7-slot PCI:PCI expansion chassis filled with four UAD1 and three Powercore cards... It's not seen use in several years now. When I built a first-gen Core i7 machine almost a decade ago, it was old tech and I struggled to find a high-end board with a single PCI slot alongside the PCIe ones.

If you REALLY want to keep those things going, I'd urge you just to install them in an old machine and maybe expand that with a PCI:PCI expander. It's not only going to be cheaper than the Heath Robinson attempts to get PCI and your cards with 32-bit software to play nicely with modern mobos, processors and OS... but it's likely more stable too. You can then sync a DAW on that machine with another on a more modern one.

If you REALLY want to.

But seriously? If I were buying/building a new machine, I'd just get shot of that stuff... Life's too short!

Re: PCIe to PCI Expansion Bay

PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:10 pm
by James Perrett
Mixedup wrote:If you REALLY want to keep those things going, I'd urge you just to install them in an old machine and maybe expand that with a PCI:PCI expander. It's not only going to be cheaper than the Heath Robinson attempts to get PCI and your cards with 32-bit software to play nicely with modern mobos, processors and OS... but it's likely more stable too. You can then sync a DAW on that machine with another on a more modern one.

Amazing as it may seem for a product first released in about 2003, the 9632 is still a current product and the latest driver update was released in June this year. However, if you want to use it in a more modern machine I would suggest looking for a new Mobo with PCI slots from an industrial PC supplier like the ones at

https://www.steatite-embedded.co.uk/pro ... herboards/

Re: PCIe to PCI Expansion Bay

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:11 am
by n o i s e f l e ur
You could always try a cheap Star Tech PCI to PCIe adaptor, and if that works out without a hitch (or a glitch!) I believe Netstor PCIe expansion chassis are endorsed by RME as working well with their cards.

Like James says though, the 32bitness of the drivers etc are likely to prove harder and harder to live with as time goes by, unless virtualisation and device-passthrough can deal with it.

Reckon vintage UAD is easily surpassed by native plugs these days - hell, even modern UAD2 struggles to provide value in the sense of offloading from the CPU, even if the plugin quality itself is excellent.

Re: PCIe to PCI Expansion Bay

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:24 am
by James Perrett
n o i s e f l e ur wrote:Like James says though, the 32bitness of the drivers etc are likely to prove harder and harder to live with as time goes by, unless virtualisation and device-passthrough can deal with it.

Reckon vintage UAD is easily surpassed by native plugs these days - hell, even modern UAD2 struggles to provide value in the sense of offloading from the CPU, even if the plugin quality itself is excellent.

Erm - we're dealing with a currently supported RME card that has 64 bit drivers which has nothing to do with UAD. The card just happens to have a PCI connector rather than a PCIe connector. I guess RME still sell enough of them to keep them in the catalogue - or they had a large batch made up and are still selling old stock. It was Matt (Mixedup) who mentioned UAD and who thought the RME was obsolete (he was probably confusing it with the older 9636).

Re: PCIe to PCI Expansion Bay

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:32 am
by n o i s e f l e ur
C.LYDE wrote:I imagine that quite a few users must have come across this situation before, maybe some sooner than others?

I am thinking of extending the useful life of my old RME 9632 & UAD-1 cards by using a new MB and latest uP with a PCI expansion bay.
Has anyone done this (or something similar) :?:

For reference:
https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advi ... ity-issues

Maybe you are James, but I'm responding to the OP - and I believe UAD-1 stuff is 32bit.

[edit] Ahhh, I see! Yep, I see it was Mixedup who mentioned 32bitness and not you, but the point remains valid either way, no? Apologies for the misattribution. :)

Re: PCIe to PCI Expansion Bay

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:46 am
by n o i s e f l e ur
Anyway, I'd give the Star Tech adaptor a whirl before splashing out on an industrial PC. If nothing else you can use a single adaptor to test both the RME and the UAD-1s ahead of any final decision, and try out virtualisation and device-passthrough etc.

I think the UAD-1s are probably not worth much more hassle than that.

Re: PCIe to PCI Expansion Bay

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:48 pm
by Mixedup
James Perrett wrote:It was Matt (Mixedup) who mentioned UAD and who thought the RME was obsolete (he was probably confusing it with the older 9636).

The OP mentioned both UAD1 and the RME!

The UAD1 and drivers are obsolete. The RME isn't but it might as well be. I'd personally be wary of using 'unusual' motherboards that most audio interface manufacturers will never have tested their products with. Though RME are likely to play better than most I had a nightmare when I opted for an 'industrial' board once... (dual Xeon system back in the day). Lots of hardware conflicts...

It probably could be done with the RME. Personally, unless this card offers some amazing facility you can't get for relatively cheap now (ADAT and S/PDIF, stereo analogue plus headphones is not rare or expensive functionality...) I'd lay this one to rest. Save money building the machine, sell the RME, and put it all towards a different interface. But YMMV of course.

(If you still want to plough ahead, are in the UK, and have need of a 7 slot Magma PCI:PCI chassis do let me know... :headbang: )

Re: PCIe to PCI Expansion Bay

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:16 pm
by James Perrett
Mixedup wrote:The OP mentioned both UAD1 and the RME!

Sorry - I missed the UAD reference in the first post.

I latched on to the RME mention because I think I'm going to have to replace my ancient RME card at some point soon so I was looking around recently and noticed that Scan had a good deal on an HDSP PCI card. I was surprised that they were still available but they certainly seem supported. However, in my case, I probably ought to look at the future as well - the Windows XP studio computer won't go on forever so maybe the RayDAT would be a better choice (but it was much more expensive than Scan's price on the HDSP).

Re: PCIe to PCI Expansion Bay

PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:59 am
by Mixedup
James Perrett wrote:the Windows XP studio computer won't go on forever

There's the rub!

Motherboards and chips won't support PCI cards forever. Those that do will be more expensive specialist devices, and will rarely have been tested and confirmed working by manufacturers... and you might be trading other important features for them.

I'm using an RME MADIFace USB now. Couldn't be happier with it, even if a MADIFace Pro or XT would be even better. A Digiface USB would give 32 channels of ADAT for a few hundred quid. All of these will probably be supported for a good couple of decades yet, and work with pretty much any motherboard.

And even on the UAD front, a used UAD2 Duo PCIe isn't exactly expensive and can run the same plug-ins as the UAD1 and more...

I know which road I'd be going down! :headbang:

Re: PCIe to PCI Expansion Bay

PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:47 am
by ceejay
James Perrett wrote:the Windows XP studio computer won't go on forever

I'm running a couple of FM radio stations using Orban and Echo MiaMidi PCI cards in a 2007 Dell and custom-built 2005 PC running Windows XP. They continue to be reliable because they perform only one (continuous) task and are not connected to the internet. USB cards just don't cut it for this kind of application and there's very little else that's affordable in PCIe.

Yes, one day they will be replaced, but right now I'm hoping that they keep on keeping on for a good while longer!

Re: PCIe to PCI Expansion Bay

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:33 am
by Pete Kaine
James Perrett wrote:Amazing as it may seem for a product first released in about 2003, the 9632 is still a current product and the latest driver update was released in June this year.

The AIO replaced it years ago and I thought the 9632 was long gone, but I do see the listing on the Synthax site. Certainly another strong point of recommendation for them and given they've standardized the drivers between both models, I'd be surprised to see the 9632 support disappear anytime soon.

(stated hopefully as a 9632 owner of well over a decade)