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Old 04-15-2006, 05:26 PM
Shan's Avatar
Shan Shan is offline
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Posts: 13,547
Default 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!

Pro Tools Power User Editing

Give your plug-ins a facelift...and skin 'em!

"Music should be performed by the musician, not by the engineer."

Michael Wagener 25th July 2005, 02:59 PM


Pro Tools|HD Native 9.0.1 | Pro Tools|HDX 10.2 | Studio One | REAPER 4.22 | HD OMNI | HoboMac Pro 2.26Ghz Quad-Core | W7 Ultimate 64-bit
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