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-   -   Allenstein OctaPC(8-core) and Quadzilla(4-core) *OS Update (http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=165760)

Shan 04-15-2006 04:26 PM

Allenstein OctaPC(8-core) and Quadzilla(4-core) *OS Update
The best price/performance Quad to build at this point in time is here.


**XP or Vista? The Quad below using Opteron 2214 CPUs gets 115 Dverbs with Vista and 183 Dverbs with XP. Do not use Vista, you'll gain nothing and lose everything. Add the performance hit we get in PT 7.4 with Vista and we are not making progress, we just went back in time.

XP is supported by Microsoft until 2014, so as long as Digi keeps the drivers going, XP is were I stay for now. I do not recommend Vista for a DAW running Pro Tools.

The Tyan/AMD Quadzilla(4-core) and OctaPC(8-core):

-Windows XP Pro SP2

-Tyan Thunder n3600B (S2927A2NRF) motherboard. **Providing there is a BIOS update from Tyan, we will be able to use this board with the AMD Barcelonas for some 8-core action!

-Two AMD Opteron 2000 Series processors.

-4G x Corsair Memory, Inc. CORSAIR 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM ECC Registered DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Server Memory.

-ASUS EN7600GT/2DHT/256M GeForce 7600GT 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card.

-Graphics Driver v94.24

-Western Digital SATA 36G Raptor hard drive or a regular WD 7200 SATAII drive.

-Western Digital SATA 74G Raptor hard drive or a regular WD 7200 SATAII drive.

-Lite-On DVDRW SHW-1635S

-PC Power & Cooling Silencer 610 EPS12V Power supply

-Tsunami VA3000SWA case

-Platform Drivers v921.

The above is our current next gen system with the main purpose being expansion on one system only. We want this to be rock solid from a simple dual core all the way up to an 8-core. A few users have reported that this system also works with the UAD-1 DSP cards. It's time to pave a new Quadzilla/OctaPC road. Special thanks to MattP and every Quad user who contributed to this thread! All of us combined made this what it is today. Thanks to all!!

*Our 8-core venture will use the AMD Phenom in the final spec. At this point in time the Phenom is not yet released so we will wait until we can do a build.

The Original Tyan Quadzilla:

Do not build this system below. Many components including the mother board are now discontinued. Everything below is now part of our "History Book" but still has valuable information until I completely overhaul this post...

Thought I'd start this thread for all the Quad builders who have emailed me to help them with their Quad systems. We now have a ton of happy Quad owners with more on the way. These Quads rock!

At the time of this posting, a Quad can be built for the $1500 and under mark.

Please Note: I have been bombarded with emails regarding quad systems. It's awesome to see alot of you guys get into these Quads! These Quads are amazing! My purpose of this post is to help the first couple guys out, and then they can pass their knowledge on to future Quad builders. If you want to build a stable working system then stick with what is on the list below. If you want to deviate, then you will be on your own and I wont have the time to trouble shoot your system for you. My day job is in the studio 12-14 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A few of us have went through the teething process already and made some very costly mistakes. I myself even destroyed a 002 and firewire drive during the whole process. Myself and Matt P spent hours trouble shooting and testing to get these things going. If we could all do this again it would be very different indeed. The Quad road has been painfully paved and is now smooth.

Do not send me an email with an altered list asking me if it will work or if your altered parts are ok. I dont know. If that is the route you want to take, then build it and try it and let us know. You just might end up with the killer quad system of all time.

Here is the spec of the Quad I have that is working and stable:

-Tyan Tiger K8WE (S2877ANRF) Motherboard - Detailed specs here.

(Purchased from Antares Digital)

-Two Opteron 265 Dual-Core CPUs

-4G of Corsair CM72SD1024RLP-3200 (1024MB Registered DDR400, 2 Ranks)

-Two ASUS EN6600/TD/256 Video card(I needed two for some post work but currently only use one in my system)

-Western Digital SATA 36G Raptor hard drive

-Western Digital SATA 74G Raptor hard drive

-Lite-On DVDRW SHW-1635S

-OCZ Powerstream 520W Power supply

-A very well ventilated generic case(I have a machine room so noise is not a problem) *Update*-The Tsunami VA3000SWA is now my current case.

-Digi 002 Rack with PT LE 7.1cs6. Very stable with no issues other than the odd plug-in when PT LE 7 was first released.

Dverb test gives me 134 Dverbs with the ability to play/stop and record on all 32 tracks in a 24bit/48K session and a hardware buffer of 1024.

My choice for the Tyan motherboard was because it is loaded with PCI slots which I plan to use for HD-1, UAD-1 and Powercore cards(I have yet to do this so I cannot confirm if these cards will work without problems yet) There are two PCIe slots and 4 PCI slots. **Update** We have been unable to get the UAD-1 card going on this Quad. Resident Quad user and UAD-1 guru Alek Lakis along with a few others have been unsuccessful getting the UAD-1 cards working. The TC Powercore has yet to be tested. HD-1 works amazing and has been tested by myself and a few others.

**How to attach the firewire connector on this board** If you do not attach this correctly, you WILL fry your 002 motherboard and any other firewire devices attached. Triple check this connection. This connection has been fixed on the newer revision boards.

Further tests have shown that more ram will give you a higher Dverb count. My Tyan system does 128 Dverbs with 2G of ram and 134 Dverbs with 4G of ram.

The Tyan Quadzilla with HD 1 core card:

Dverb test gives this system 135 RTAS Dverbs with the ability to play/stop and record on all 32 tracks in a 24bit/48K session, a hardware buffer of 1024 and CPU limit to 95%.

One HD Accel PCI card: Dverb test gives this 38 TDM Dverbs in a 32 track 24bit/48K session.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you can build a Quad system and start out with only one CPU(The Quadzuki). The second can be added as your budget allows.


How to build the Tyan Quadzilla:

Since my system has been rock solid stable, I thought I would share with everyone how I set it up including the minor tweaks I did. I wont go into exact detail such as how to get into the BIOS or how to partition a drive etc, so you will still need some basic computer knowledge as some of my steps will be general.

Part 1: Setting up the mother board.

The obvious I wont include here. Just the common email questions I get.

- Put your 4G of ram into CPU1 DIMM0, CPU1 DIMM1 and CPU2 DIMM0, CPU2 DIMM1.

- Graphics card goes into PCI Express x16 (SLOT 5)

- System drive into SATAII 0 and Audio drive into SATAII 1.

- **Attach the firewire connector like this** This is VERY important. Triple check this connection. I have done tests using the onboard firewire and my FireWire 800 PCI-32T. There was no difference in performance. I have been using the onboard firewire for months with no issues.

- No jumper settings changed.

- Attach all other items such as CPUs, Front panel USB connectors, fans, PSU etc

Part 2: BIOS(V1.03) Settings.

These are the BIOS(Version 1.03) settings I did:

In the BIOS go to:

Main > Installed O/S > [WinXP Prof]

Advanced > Integrated Devices > Audio Codec: [Disabled]

Advanced > NV RAID Configuration > [Disabled]

Advanced > PCI Configuration > Onboard Device Control > IEEE1394 control > [Enabled] (This one doesnt seem to matter too much if you are using a PCI Firewire card. If you leave it enabled you will have access to both. I have used both the onboard Firewire and my PCI SIIG Firewire and both get the same Dverb test)

Advanced > IDE Configuration > (This is where you will have to set up what is used on your IDE cables. It should make sense)

Advanced > Floppy Configuration > Legacy Diskette A: [Disabled]

Advanced > Floppy Configuration > Legacy Diskette B: [Disabled]

Advanced > I/O Device Configuration > Serial port A: [Disabled]

Advanced > I/O Device Configuration > Serial port B: [Disabled]

Advanced > I/O Device Configuration > Parallel port: [Disabled]

Advanced > I/O Device Configuration > Floppy disk controller: [Disabled]

Advanced > IntruderSupport [Disabled]

Boot > QuickBoot Mode: [Enabled]

Boot > POST errors: [Enabled] (Keep this on for now just in case)

Boot > Boot Device Priority > (This should make sense. You'll have to arrange all this.)

Power > AMD PowerNow [Disabled]

F10(Save and Exit)

Part 3: XP Pro Settings.

- Install XP Pro with Service Pack 2 only and nothing else. When installing XP, make sure that only your system drive is plugged into the mother board. Do not have any other drives connected to the board when you are installing XP Pro.

- Partition your C drive. 15-20G will be fine for XP, PT LE and plug-ins etc. The remainder will be used for storage such as drive images, install apps, Everest, san2005 etc. On my system I made the C drive 15G and the rest is for storage in which I called the drive partition "Storage".

- Install True Image.

- Using True Image, immediately make a disk image of your C drive and store it on your Storage partition in a folder called 'Restoration Images'. Call the restoration file "XP Only" or something similar. You now have a drive image of XP without any drivers or other software. This will save you many hours and even days if you ever have to trouble shoot. Trust me. Been there, done that.

Next we will tweak a few things in XP...Stay tuned.

Under Construction

Until then, here is a rough outline for the next steps.

- And if needed, here are some steps on how to quiet your Quadzilla. By resident Quad user Alex Lakis.

That's all for now. Keep the Quads coming boys!


Shan 04-15-2006 04:55 PM

Re: The Allenstein Quadzilla Machine
Wildcard Bill


My first post to the duc. I've been learning a lot here (Thanks!!). My proposed upgradeable quad system for review:

Excellent. Lets see if we can knock the price down a bit on your system so you can get that second CPU.

First off, Let me know what you are going to use your system for and what type of plug-ins you will be running like BFD, softsynths etc. This info will be important. Also, are you going to use any 3rd party DSP cards such as the UAD-1 or Powercore etc?


MB: Asus K8N-DL dual socket 940 $235

Good. The onboard firewire works with this system.


CPU: (1) Opteron 265 $330

Good. Two would be best.


Video: Geforce 6600GT 128MB PCI Express x16 $120

I'd go with the Asus N6600 because we already know it works with my Tyan board and guitardom's Asus board. And when you think about it, an Asus board will work best with an Asus graphics card. Less problems for driver conflicts etc.



You could probably find a cheaper generic case but make sure you get the dimensions of that Asus board from their website to see if it will fit.


Power Supply: OCZ PowerStream OCZ520ADJSLI 520W $135

Good. Depending what you are going to have in your computer, you could aslo get by with the 420W version of the Powerstream.


Memory: (3)512MB OCZ CAS2 PC3200 ECC 3X80 = $240

Use the same memory that I have on my list. You only need 2G. It has proven to work with the Tyan and Asus board.


HDs: (2) Maxtor DiamondMax 10 6V250F0 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 88x2= $166

These should work. You may want to get the smallest drive you can for your C drive.





Input: Belkin Wireless Keyboard & Mouse $30

You could probably save some bucks here and get USB versions of both.


Total: $1366

Your price quotes seem a bit steep. If $1400 is your budget we could probably get the second CPU for your system within this price point. Check out www.newegg.com and definitely www.pricewatch.com


PT Rig: PT M-Powered 7.1 / ProjectMix I/O

You'll be the first with this setup.



Good. I also highly recommend Acronis True Image so you can create restoration images of your system at various points. (trust me on that one )


guitardom 04-15-2006 05:38 PM

Re: The Allenstein Quadzilla Machine
hello there, my quad was a bit more expensive.

Asus k8n-dl motherboard *

2 opteron 270 dual cpu's

2G of Corsair CM72SD1024RLP-3200 (1024MB Registered DDR400, 2 Ranks) (same as shan)**

ASUS EN6600/TD/256 Video card (same)

Western Digital SATA 74G Raptor hard drive for audio (same)

Western Digital Sata 250G hard drive partitioned for system and samples



ThermalTake Xaser V V7000 CASE *

***ThermalTake 600W Power Supply (have an ocz 520 on the way to replace it)

* Note about the case and cpu: the K8N-DL is an ATX Extended Mother Board. You must have a case that can fit this size MB, so research this before buying any old case.

** Note 2: The Ram must be in Dimm slots a_1 and a_3 if only using 2 sticks of ram. they must be matched pairs as well. Putting them in the wrong slots made my keyboard not work, usb or serial, and not want to boot in any way past a screen displaying the MB

*** Highly recomend not experimenting with power supplies. Both the Tyan and the Asus take an 8 Pin 12V conn. which the selection for these seems small at the moment. Yes i found this out the hard way.

002 Rack and PT V7.1 cs6, got 139 on the D-Verb Test and 24/48K

I dont use any pci cards except the video card. This board does not seem like it will sit many card comfortably, maybe 1 more full size PCI comfortably. The video card eats into the slot next to it and not sure if you could fit one in there, it would be very iffy, then the slot after it will fit one fine.

guitardom 04-15-2006 09:33 PM

Re: The Allenstein Quadzilla Machine
wildcard bill, here is a post to the asus vid card, it is 40.00 cheaper than the one yo are looking at, and i checked and the mother board did go up, i paid 219.00 last week for it.
asus n6600

guitardom 04-15-2006 09:39 PM

Re: The Allenstein Quadzilla Machine
sorry bad post
asus n6600

also here is a link to the ram which is also about 20.00$ cheaper than what you had put in originally (140.00$) these are 108.00$ each
corsair ram 1G

i also checked, the board does come with a firewire card with 1 port on it, and a usb/gameport card. that should take care of the firewire issue you asked about, with 2 firewire ports.

scottedog 04-16-2006 10:41 AM

Re: The Allenstein Quadzilla Machine
I've been looking at putting a new system together slowly, piece by piece and I think that although for me right now the Quad is overkill I'd be better off building it than a smaller dual core system. Who knows where software will be in 3 or 4 years, or me for that matter. The more powerful computers get, the more powerful software gets to make use of that power.
So thanks for compiling this, Shan. Saved me from search thru the Best Desktops thread.
I'll be picking away at this slowly, so, being another Canuck, where did you find was the best places to shop?

Shan 04-16-2006 10:49 AM

Re: The Allenstein Quadzilla Machine

... so, being another Canuck, where did you find was the best places to shop?



lemix 04-16-2006 10:56 AM

Re: The Allenstein Quadzilla Machine
Hey scottedog,
Truly sorry for the OT..but; would you know where the Canucks will be golfing soon ?


scottedog 04-16-2006 11:57 AM

Re: The Allenstein Quadzilla Machine
Last I heard both them & the Leafs were laughed off the golf course.

Almost every team I ever played on was a Flyers team so... Go Flyers Go!

Thanks, Shan. Looks like that motherboard is hard to come by.

The Weed 04-16-2006 02:01 PM

Re: The Allenstein Quadzilla Machine
It must be spring...The Buds are out.


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