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skinner22 03-11-2017 01:59 AM

digidesign hd system help
2 Attachment(s)
I've recently purchased a set of Digidesign Avid HD Core and 2x HD Accel cards brand new in the box off of ebay. bad thing is that they are PCI and not PCI-E so i cant use them with my current Computer because the motherboard only has 1 pci slot

i wanted to build a new pc just for the HD sytem but i need to know from the members in the forum what is the best way to go as far as operations systems and pro tools versions i can use with them

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Neil H 03-11-2017 05:25 PM

Re: digidesign hd system help
My advice ditch them asap/sell them on asap if you are not already deep into ownership of an HD rig it will be a money pit with very little if any returns on the investment.

There are many good reasons why you got these cards cheap.

HD TDM is old outdated and under powered compared to whats out there on a native system.
Even if you built an incredibly powerful computer to use the cards with you would not be able to take full advantage of the computers native power because the HD cards will be a restricting factor as they will max out of voices first.

First you need a computer with native PCI slot bus support which ended some years ago now on most boards I think the only to still support it are intel B series and then you need enough PCI bandwidth to handle the cards all running at once which was a huge headache when trying to build systems for TDM use, boards with such features are hard to find if not now impossible.

Then you'll have to be running 32 bit Pro Tools and the latest version you can use is PT10 (this has to be PTHD10 not just regular native PT10 and is very expensive compared to the native version) 32bit Pro tools has a RAM limitation where it can only take advantage of a maximum 3.5GB of RAM even if you full your machine with 64GB. 3.5GB is a very small amount these days and will get eaten up very quickly with plugins and don't even think about virtual instruments!
Then there's the plugins, To take advantage of the TDM DSP chips you'll need HD TDM plugins not native, although native will work with Pro Tools you'll soon eat up your voice count bussing back and forth to native plugins and you can'y real time monitor though them on record without a TDM plugin inserted in the first slot.

If you cant find a board with enough slots and PCI bandwidth your next port of call would be a Magma expansion chassis such as P7R4 or PE6R4i which again is more investment (will cost a few hundred) Or you can buy an OLD G5 Mac that had PCI slots and will be a slow as a snail that's just been squashed.

Then you'll need an interface such as a 192io or a 96io (another few hundred) to get the audio in and out.

If not much of what I'm saying is making sense to you then you have a lot of learning ahead of you so stop right there and get rid of the cards and try to make your money back, or you can of course ignore me and prepare yourself for spending a lot of money on a lot of headaches for no more gains but quite a few more limitations to a regular Native CPU rig.

I've had several TDM systems over the years and still have one in my studio but only because i'm heavily invested in 5x cards in a magma chassis lots of TDM plugins, 4x interfaces, a Pro Control and 2 fader packs so do have plenty of experience.

If you are still dead set on using them and i haven't put you off yet, You could look for a used HPXW8400 PC which will take the cards, Run Windows 7 and Pro Tools HD 8,9 or 10 and I wish you the best of luck !

albee1952 03-11-2017 06:07 PM

Re: digidesign hd system help
Or buy a Magma chassis that has PCI slots, with an interface card for a PCIe slot in the new computer:o You will be limited to PT 10 HD though:rolleyes:

Neil H 03-11-2017 06:17 PM

Re: digidesign hd system help

Originally Posted by albee1952 (Post 2417732)
Or buy a Magma chassis that has PCI slots, with an interface card for a PCIe slot in the new computer:o You will be limited to PT 10 HD though:rolleyes:

I covered that ;)

skinner22 03-11-2017 08:12 PM

Re: digidesign hd system help
thanks. i was moving too fast on ebay and thought they where pci-e but didnt realize it until it was shipped. and i was just about to buy a 192 digital i/o

Neil H 03-12-2017 06:22 AM

Re: digidesign hd system help
Many of the same issues exist for the PCIe cards too, the DSP is not all that useful these days because Native power far exceeds what the DSP can do and trying to do DSP/Native hybrid processing is a resource hog on the voice count so you still run out of power before you hit maximum CPU.
Plus you still have to buy a copy of Pro Tools HD which is expensive and harder to find used (plus ownership transfer can only be done with accompanying hardware).

Sugarnutz 06-23-2017 12:49 PM

Re: digidesign hd system help
You can always get this motherboard (if you can find one):

JetWay JNAF93-Q77 LGA 1155 Intel Q77

It has 4 PCI slots and runs HD 8.1 fine under Win 7 64 bit. Mine has an i5 and 16 Gb of RAM. A license for HD 8 is $50 on eBay. Get some 192 interfaces cheap and have at it. I clock mine from a Antelope Zen Studio plus with the mic pres out into the 192 or Omni via ADAT. I'm also looking to get another couple of 192 Digitals for feeding from separate VI computers. I've got 24-28 mic pres into mine (depends on sample rate 28 @ 44.1/48 KHz and 24 @ 88.2/96 KHz). I mix with my "Vanilla" PT listed below. All kinds of fun can be had with these things if you go in with an open mind. Have phun!

YYR123 06-23-2017 01:42 PM

digidesign hd system help
As Neil said....I agree with all of it....but

If you want to go that route you have to go all In..... HD7, magma chassis, and fully commit to the old tech....it's not without its benefits (what's the spec 1.8m/s latency)

But you have to buy a bunch of gear, you can't do any real work with a HD2 or HD3 imho - max that sucker out and get HD6/7 and go all in....All TDM plugs and tons of 192's

It's a great environment to work in, but it does have its own limitations (mainly close to zero native power compared to today's standard)

But you have to ask yourself "is that what you need?"

if it fits what you need then there's nothing like it

Also the PCIE cards have more DSP power than the PCI-X cards

Neil H 06-24-2017 08:43 AM

Re: digidesign hd system help
Actually only the PCIe core card is the only card that's more powerful because they made them into accel cards.

So PCIe systems consist of an Accel Core and then Accel cards.
A PCI system consists of a non Accel Core and Accel cards.
You can also use the older non Accel PCI "process" cards that have the same DSP as a non Accel core but I wouldn't bother as it's a water of a PCl slot and most of the TDM plug inside were updated to require accel processing so a process card would be next to useless.
You also want to be careful just fully loading a system with cards because bandwidth can quickly become an issue on some motherboards I would say go with an HD5 to start with and see how that goes before investing in more cards.

ddayson 10-14-2017 10:26 AM

Re: digidesign hd system help
Hmmm, we're running three 3.4Ghz i7 Dual Threaded Quad Core (8 cores to PT HD), PC based PCIx HD4 systems with UAD-2 Octo cards, and they work great in our experience (PT HD 8.0.5/9.x).

Fast PC's with native PCI slots are harder to find, but still out there as of a few months ago, and we used...

JetWay JNAF93-Q77 LGA 1155 Intel Q77 - 4x PCI slots, 3x PCIe slots

Intel Core i7-3770 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

Power supply:
CORSAIR CX series CX750 750W ATX12V / EPS12V

Rosewill Blackbone Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower (needs some internal trimming to fit all four PCI Cards, simple with Tin Snips).

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM

The builds cost about $1K each with HD's. These PT HD systems work great and have more power than we'll ever need, and we get around the 32 bit limitation with external PC VI Host(s). TDM has low latency for tracking, and the 8 Cores in addition to the HD/UAD-2 cards is more DSP than we'll ever use for simple stereo music production.

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