jchung

Pci-x Cards...

Recommended Posts

Well... the components I orderd for my Dual Opteron upgrade should be coming in next week. Since I got the Tyan Thunder K8W, and since it has only one 32bit/33Mhz PCI slot... I was wondering if anyone knew of any PCI-X sound cards or USB2.0 cards?

Specifically, looking for either 100Mhz or 133Mhz PCI-X compatible cards. I know I can run the 32bit/33Mhz PCI cards in the PCI-X slots, but then the entire bus would slow down to the slowest card.

Thanks!

Joo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think either are available in pci-x.

That board has two faster pci busses. It has two pci-x slots at 133 and two at 100. Do you have more than 3 pci-x devices that you were planning on adding?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not really. Its not that I'm planning to add a lot of PCI-X cards, just that I might add more than 3 non PCI-X cards. And I wouldn't want to slow down the bus that the GigE interface was on.

Joo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What exactly do you want to use this computer for? For one, it has built-in 6 channel sound, but only v1.1 USB...so you can just pop in a v2.0 card in the single 33MHz slot and not have to worry about slowing down the bus...but if were looking to putting in an Audigy2 for gaming, then you're gonna slow down your PCI bus one way or another...you can also hang a USB soundcard externally and not worry about losing bus bandwidth...

rgds,

RedShadow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

jchung

There are plenty of USB soundcards, can't tell you all right now, but I think philips, hercules and certainly creative have a number of USB sound cards. However if you want a good sound quality I'd suggest you get a pro/semipro soundcard like m-audio.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply about the USB sound card, but I'm not exactly looking for that. I was looking for either a USB 2.0 PCI-X card or a PCI-X Sound card.

I can't seem to resolve www.dolphinmusic.co.uk. Hmmm....

Joo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn't that board have two PCI-X buses? If that's the case you can run one at 32-bit 33 MHz and the other at full speed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There aren't any PCI-X soundcards. The bandwidth isn't necessary. Pro soundcards will generally use USB or Firewire. Also, I seriously doubt that there are any PCI-X USB 2.0 cards, but I will admit I haven't looked.

I strongly recommend a USB soundcard. They are actually, in general, better quality than internal sound cards. There are many to choose from depending on what feature set you need. If you use headphones I suggest an M-audio transit or even a Bithead. If you need surround, but have a reciever then the Transit is still probably the best choice. If you don't have a reciever and need surround then the Sonica is probably your best bet.

By the way, I see you went with the Opterons, congratulations ;).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HMTK,

Yes. The board does have two sets of PCI-X busses. Each bus has two slots. There is also one 32bit / 33Mhz PCI slot, for a total of five. My concern was that I might at some point have more than 3 regular PCI cards (i.e. non PCI-X) and I wouldn't want to slow down the PCI-X bus that the GigE interface is on.

Gilbo,

Thanks for the input. Wouldn't the USB audio interfaces generally have higher CPU utilization than a bus mastering PCI card? I guess I would be more inclined to go Firewire as opposed to USB. Some of the links to the Firewire audio interfaces seem interesting, but will they work with games? I would of course be doing some light gaming on occasion (can't pass up HL2 when it comes out or Doom3). I'll give them a deeper read, but at first glance, I'm not certain how they would work for general computer audio. I won't be doing much that requires Pro audio, but I'm uncertain as to the quality of the onboard sound on the Tyan Thunder K8W and I've been generally pleased with my (pretty old now) Soundblaster Live! card.

Joo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gilbo,

forgot to add... yes... I went with the Opterons! :} I got a pair of 248s and two sets of matched OCZ PC-3200 ECC Registered DDR sticks (each set is two 512MB sticks).

For now, I'm going to run WinXP and wait for the NUMA aware 64bit WinXP to come out.

Joo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well you could just plug an Audigy 2 into one of the PCI-X slots they are backwards compatible you know ;) Well the card needs to have a key about a couple of cm in from the front of the card (the external interface) which is to do with voltages, but other than that it should work. You'll most likely slow down the PCI-X bus to the speed of PCI though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well you could just plug an Audigy 2 into one of the PCI-X slots they are backwards compatible you know ....  You'll most likely slow down the PCI-X bus to the speed of PCI though.

I believe the OP is aware of this:

I know I can run the 32bit/33Mhz PCI cards in the PCI-X slots, but then the entire bus would slow down to the slowest card.

jchung,

I have to admit, I really don't know much about audio for gaming.

I don't think the Sonica does 3d gaming audio in hardware, but then, no USB soundcards do this to my knowledge (not even the new USB 2.0 Audigy 2 NX). The Edirol firewire card certainly doesn't. In fact, it doesn't do surround at all, as far as I can tell.

If you want gaming performance, you pretty much have to bite the bullet and go with a PCI Audigy 2. It seems to be well-designed for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well you could just plug an Audigy 2 into one of the PCI-X slots they are backwards compatible you know ....  You'll most likely slow down the PCI-X bus to the speed of PCI though.

I believe the OP is aware of this:

Good point teach me for not reading carefully ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thank you all for your replies. Given the lack of PCI-X cards for what I'm looking for, I'll sacrifice one of the PCI-X buses and put in a regular PCI card there. Now I'll just have to go look for a decent USB 2.0 PCI card.

Joo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No-one's mentioned this, but although the frequency of the PCI-X bus will drop to 33 MHz, it will still retain its 64-bit capability, and hence still offer 266 MB/s (less whatever the other card uses) to any 64-bit devices you connect to it. I'm too lazy to check if the onboard GBE has a 64-bit connection, but if so, you'll have plenty of bandwidth even at 33 MHz.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats an interesting point SPOD. I never new that the PCI-X bus would still be 64bit for 64bit cards. I'm not concerned about the GigE interface, since that is on the other PCI-X bus. I'll sacrifice the PCI-X bus that the GigE is not on.

Joo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now