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Audio Express and Ivy Bridge

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Discussion related to installation, configuration and use of MOTU hardware such as MIDI interfaces, audio interfaces, etc. with Windows

Audio Express and Ivy Bridge

Postby lloydev23 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:42 am

Recently I finished a new DAW build and I just wanted to share my experience with the community.

Main components:

Intel Core i5 3550 Ivy Bridge
Gigabyte Z77 DS3H
128gb Crucial M4 SSD program drive
500gb Western Digital Caviar Blue data drive
8gb Corsair Vengeance 1600mhz
Audio Express
OS Windows 7 Ultimate

After performing the usual Windows tweaks http://www.native-instruments.com/knowl ... Processing
I must say that I am VERY impressed with the Ivy Bridge. I have tested some projects in Sonar running 5 or more Vst's each with side channel compression plus multiple audio tracks each with multiple effects and am barely pushing the CPU at all. It will change the way I record and master because I cant imagine under any normal conditions the need to freeze or bounce anything. This is all running ASIO drivers with Audio Express set at 44100hz at 128 samples. If you are just using as a DAW I can see no reason to overclock an i5 or i7. Plenty of power with room to spare.

As an added bonus, I spent less than $600.00 for the hardware in this build. Purchased everything from Amazon. Good luck getting results this good from a boutique builder for less that $1800.00

Also, BIG PROPS to Motunation user torrentg. He gave me some invaluable tips when I thought that a sound issue I was having with Kontakt 4 (turns out it was a software bug) was related to my system settings or hardware settings. Users like him are what make this site the best. Thanks again torrentg.
Audio Express interface - Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit - Gigabyte Z77 DS3H - Intel Core i5 3550 - 8gb Corsair RAM - Sonar X1 Pro
lloydev23
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:55 am
Primary DAW OS: Unspecified

Re: Audio Express and Ivy Bridge

Postby Dj Noop » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:57 pm

Hey, congrats on the build. Just out of curiosity, what kind of DPC latency are you getting out of it? I ask because I'm on the fence between using, and possibly investing more in, a desktop from 2005 (Athlon XP 3200+), or making a new build. I've got a good modern laptop with plenty of power, but doesn't have firewire, nor the 'speed' of a desktop.

My recordings are all going to be done at 96kHz which would probably tax the system a bit more, and I'd like to keep the sample buffer down to the lowest minimum. My understanding thus far is lower DPC latency = lower possible sample buffer = lower achievable audio latency. What's your experience on this?

-Anup
Dj Noop
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 7:18 pm
Primary DAW OS: Unspecified

Re: Audio Express and Ivy Bridge

Postby lloydev23 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:58 am

My basic understanding of DPC Latency is that it has more to do with drivers & software and there are many, many reasons why you might get spikes. There are some posts on this thread that explain it well http://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-co ... tency.html Also, the link on my original post has some info on how to use DPC Latency Checker. Its more an issue of stability. No matter how fast your processor and RAM are you will still have pops and clicks if drivers and processes are not working well together. My round trip audio latency at 44khz and 128 samples is between 6ms and 10ms which for me is plenty low enough. I'm guessing that round trip latency is what you are most concerned about right? I will run some tests this weekend at 96khz and share my results.
Audio Express interface - Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit - Gigabyte Z77 DS3H - Intel Core i5 3550 - 8gb Corsair RAM - Sonar X1 Pro
lloydev23
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:55 am
Primary DAW OS: Unspecified

Re: Audio Express and Ivy Bridge

Postby Dj Noop » Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:42 pm

Thanks man, that info would be pretty useful.

I know a bit about the causes and cures for DPC latency spikes. I was wondering more on what can lower that base latency when there are no spikes. My laptop from 2010, when optimized, has a DPC latency between 80-190us. My old desktop, when optimized, stays between 16-28us. Maybe it's an irrelevant question, but what makes up this difference? Does it have to do with actual FSB (not the rated FSB), or because the desktop is designed without power conservation in mind? (I did push all settings to full power and disabled Microsoft's ACPI Battery Control) Or is it that modern desktop technology is made to do more per cycle but run 'slower'? Last I checked Z77 chipsets had an actual FSB speed of 100MHz, while my old desktop has an actual FSB of 200MHz..

-Anup
Dj Noop
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 7:18 pm
Primary DAW OS: Unspecified

Re: Audio Express and Ivy Bridge

Postby lloydev23 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:40 pm

After disabling my network connections and doing nothing else, my DPC Latency runs steady in and around 60us with occasional spikes up to 94. Running the DPC monitor while playing New York Grand instrument in Kontakt 4 at 96khz with 128 samples it stayed around 90us with spikes up to 120's. That instrument is as CPU intensive as any and I was playing with sustain locked down and running all over the keyboard. I did this for about 15 min and never had any problems whatsoever. The round trip latency at 96khz with 128 samples was 2.9ms 128 was as low as I could go.

As far as all of the technical details regarding DPC Latency I know just enough to get us both in trouble. Obviously, with process of elimination you can isolate what processes cause the spikes, but as far as I know anything less than 500us and you should be fine. I would not take my word for that. However, I can tell you that with my own testing like the one I mentioned above, my system is as smooth as silk. I have not even needed to go in and really dig deep into tweaks because I already have the results I need.

For REAL advice, I would message torrentg. He is the man.

Hope this helped some.
Audio Express interface - Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit - Gigabyte Z77 DS3H - Intel Core i5 3550 - 8gb Corsair RAM - Sonar X1 Pro
lloydev23
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:55 am
Primary DAW OS: Unspecified

Re: Audio Express and Ivy Bridge

Postby Dj Noop » Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:06 am

That sounds awesome! I've been digging and tweaking so much ever since my friend bought a Presonus Firestudio project and had major issues running it through his Windows laptop. His system at the time was pretty modern at the time, so it annoyed us to no end how we got pops and cracks. Since then I've been picking up every tip I can on how to lean down Windows and turn a computer into a proper DAW. Then again, I haven't had the pleasure of working on a new Intel desktop, so if all goes well, I might get myself a similar i5 system.

I've been on these forums only a short while, yet from the day I joined I realized torrentg is the man. No question =)

-Anup
Dj Noop
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 7:18 pm
Primary DAW OS: Unspecified

Re: Audio Express and Ivy Bridge

Postby torrentg » Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:08 pm

Thanks for the compliments.

If anyone is having problems with wireless card and latency:

Most of the wireless adapters, say a good 80% of them, are Atheros based.

This website always has the latest Atheros drivers:

http://atheros.cz

Any poor firewall installed to the system can always destroy stability and or latency measurements with regards to the network adapter(s).
torrentg
 
Posts: 526
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:18 am
Primary DAW OS: Windows

Re: Audio Express and Ivy Bridge

Postby Dj Noop » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:30 pm

What would you suggest to be a stable firewall? I've been using Avast antivirus for years without problems. It replaces Window's firewall, and as far as I've seen with DPC latency checker, it doesn't really get in the way. What do you use?

-Anup
Dj Noop
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 7:18 pm
Primary DAW OS: Unspecified

Re: Audio Express and Ivy Bridge

Postby torrentg » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:07 pm

If it's not causing problems then more power to ya.

I use ZoneAlarm + antivirus since the late 90s or early 00s (or different versions of ZA).

Some people run into issues with it because of poor network configurations and sharing configurations. Then they wind up with 0x7f stop errors (bsods) because of issues with UDP protocol. But that's rather rare.
torrentg
 
Posts: 526
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:18 am
Primary DAW OS: Windows


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