Question VST hardware: mATX Motherboard, Onboard graphics, RAM and CPU

TheJay

Active Member
Hello, I've got a problem as the motherboard I was going to use doesn't boot despite trying many different fixes. My only conclusion is that it's a faulty onboard graphics chip.

My plan was to use the following hardware to run a VST for eDrums with Superior Drummer 3:

Asus M3A78-CM Motherboard with a
Phenom II X6 1090T CPU,
4X2GB 8GB DDR2 PC2-8500U 1066MHz 240Pin DIMM RAM with a Samsung 860 EVO 1TB SATA 2.5" Internal SSD

I'm faced with a dilemma now as I would like multiple USB 3 ports and need to decide whether I get an identical motherboard, upgrade the motherboard to the best spec that the CPU will fit in (potentially having to get more RAM that is compatible) or upgrade everything (in which case I don't know what to go for). Whichever way we go, I need onboard graphics and a PCI slot.

I don't want to spend loads/more than absolutely necessary. I thought having a six core CPU would be good but have read Intel can do better with less cores and there are less latency/buffer problems with Intel CPUs.

Can anyone please share their thoughts?
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
USB3 ports aren't a big deal, you can always add a PCI-E USB card - assuming you have the space.

Cores just multiply the amount of work the CPU can do, much like clockspeed. Different designs can do different amounts of work per core, and there's a general increase in that over time. The Phenom II design is ten years old now so technology has moved on and it's not a particularly fast CPU.

You're after an old fashioned PCI slot rather than a PCI-Express slot?

If that's the case then the cheapest easy route is probably to snag a new AM3+ motherboard (£40-50) and swap your DDR2 memory for two 4GB DDR3 sticks (£6-7 each from CEX or similar).
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
PCI-Express is much faster than USB3 because it's a short range protocol developed for much tighter tolerances (no need to deal with random third party cables and so on). Even an x1 PCI-E 2.0 slot is capable of nearly 500MB/s - USB 2 is about 30MB/s and USB3 about 400MB/s.

I know nothing about audio editing so I can't tell whether something would be quick enough for your particular requirements.

You can still get a new system. PCI slots are right on the verge of being discontinued for home system. There are still one or two current motherboards that support them (Socket 1151 or AM4) but I'd imagine they won't be replaced when they're done.
 

TheJay

Active Member
Everything leads me to think I'd be better off with all new components.

I've got an M-Audio Audiophile 192 AP192K High-Definition PCI Audio Card that I will connect using a 2.6 FT PCI-E Express X1 to Dual PCI Riser Extend Adapter Card With USB 3.0 Cable (the card wont fit in the case installed normally, this also allows the cables to come out the front of the case).

I've seen good reviews for the AMD Ryzen™ 5 3400G w/ RADEON™ RX VEGA 11 Graphics, AM4, Zen+, Quad Core, 8 Thread, 3.7GHz, 4.2GHz Turbo, 4MB, 65W, CPU from people who use their PC for the same purpose.

I'm thinking of combining that with an ASUS PRIME A320M-K, AMD A320, S AM4, DDR4, SATA3, M.2 (PCIe/SATA), Realtek GbE, USB 3.1 Gen1 A, MicroATX and 16GB (2x8GB) Corsair DDR4 Vengeance LPX Black, PC4-28800 (3600), Non-ECC Unbuff, CAS 18, 1.35V, AMD Ryzen Optimised (total £306.47).

Why don't these boards have WiFi built in?
 
Last edited:

Helios451

Active Member
Why the 3600 MHz RAM, when that board is set up for 3200 MHz RAM?

You can get the Corsair Vengeance in 3200 speed too, Ryzen optimised and probably a little cheaper too and it will run better in stock settings. If you want faster RAM you can still overclock the 3200 quite along way, though.

You generally need to spend more to get more features. I'm building a new rig and had to go up market a little to get on-board wi-fi.
 

TheJay

Active Member
Thanks for your reply. I was looking to reduce latency to CL14/16 and underclock to 3466mhz using a ASRock B450 mini-itx, which features WiFi and Bluetooth.
 

daveteauk

Active Member
PCI-Express is much faster than USB3 because it's a short range protocol developed for much tighter tolerances (no need to deal with random third party cables and so on). Even an x1 PCI-E 2.0 slot is capable of nearly 500MB/s - USB 2 is about 30MB/s and USB3 about 400MB/s.

I know nothing about audio editing so I can't tell whether something would be quick enough for your particular requirements.

You can still get a new system. PCI slots are right on the verge of being discontinued for home system. There are still one or two current motherboards that support them (Socket 1151 or AM4) but I'd imagine they won't be replaced when they're done.
As far as I'm aware, there are no PCI slots on any 115x or AM4 MoBo, they disappeared years ago. Modern USB3 can deliver up 10GB/s, for USB3.2, and 5GB/s for USB 3.1
 

TheJay

Active Member
That's okay as I found a 2.6 FT PCI-E Express X1 to Dual PCI Riser Extend Adapter Card With USB 3.0 Cable.
 

daveteauk

Active Member
Why the 3600 MHz RAM, when that board is set up for 3200 MHz RAM?

You can get the Corsair Vengeance in 3200 speed too, Ryzen optimised and probably a little cheaper too and it will run better in stock settings. If you want faster RAM you can still overclock the 3200 quite along way, though.

You generally need to spend more to get more features. I'm building a new rig and had to go up market a little to get on-board wi-fi.
3600MHz is the way to go, that's why. Corsair RAM is crap for Ryzen, stay well clear of it as it's dog slow - CL18?! Really!? AND, the next two figures will be something like -22-22, folowed by another dog slow -40. So unless you pay a fortune for Corsair, don't waste your money. Much cheaper and faster RAM for Ryzen is available. Don't spend extra on Wi-Fi if you've got Ethernet, it's also just a waste of money, as many boards are £50/60 more expensive, just for the Wi-Fi version.
 

daveteauk

Active Member
Thanks for your reply. I was looking to reduce latency to CL14/16 and underclock to 3466mhz using a ASRock B450 mini-itx, which features WiFi and Bluetooth.
Check out the new STORMIN 3300x, it's cheap and REALLY fast. Pair it with some TeamGroup Dark Pro RAM for about £120, at 3600MHz and 16-16-16-36. You could downclock it if you want, to 3200MHz and,, wait for it, 14-14-14-28! Corsair~?!? Do me a favour, it's crap. Good for Intel, as Intel isn't too fussed about timings, but too slow for Ryzen as Ryzen really takes advantage of low latency. All you need then is a Samsung 970 EVO Plus and you're screamin, presuming your MoBo has an M.2 slot; if it hasn't buy one that has, the difference isn't subtle.
 

TheJay

Active Member
I already have my eyes open for the Samsung Evo Plus 970 1TB. There is a slot for it on the ASRock B450 mini-itx motherboard.

Looks like we were already thinking exactly the same about the RAM and how best to use it.

3300x looks good, I need to know what the cheapest half height GPU is that supports display port and will manage 1080p, YouTube videos, other tutorial videos and Windows 10 graphics. This is going to be a dedicated VST machine so I won't be using it for gaming and don't want to overspend on a GPU.
 

Helios451

Active Member
Check out the new STORMIN 3300x, it's cheap and REALLY fast. Pair it with some TeamGroup Dark Pro RAM for about £120, at 3600MHz and 16-16-16-36. You could downclock it if you want, to 3200MHz and,, wait for it, 14-14-14-28! Corsair~?!? Do me a favour, it's crap. Good for Intel, as Intel isn't too fussed about timings, but too slow for Ryzen as Ryzen really takes advantage of low latency. All you need then is a Samsung 970 EVO Plus and you're screamin, presuming your MoBo has an M.2 slot; if it hasn't buy one that has, the difference isn't subtle.

It's an interesting point as the question is not whether the Corsair silicon or design is good (the persistent sales of the LPX range bear out a lot of happiness with it in the market). What is more relevant is the actual spec of the sticks. For instance, there are two different LPX 2 x 8GB 3200 sticks, one 'Ryzen optimised' the other not. At face value there spec really is identical, however the serial numbers are one letter different: CMK16GX4M2B3200C16 and CMK16GX4M2Z3200C16.

The real rated SPDs, per the Corsair site itself are quite different:

CMK16GX4M2B3200C16 is 2133MHz 15-15-15-36 at 1.2V, and CMK16GX4M2Z3200C16 (ryzen one) is 2666MHz 16-18-18-35 at 1.2V. The latter is the 'Ryzen optimised'.

What Corsair has done is factory 'overclock' both to 3200Mhz 16-16-16-36 at 1.35V. I'll be testing both sets using a 3900X on a X570 board to see what the individual and comparative performances are.

Also, yes the M2 will be monster fast - especially if it's wired directly into the PCIe and not SATA.
 

daveteauk

Active Member
I already have my eyes open for the Samsung Evo Plus 970 1TB. There is a slot for it on the ASRock B450 mini-itx motherboard.

Looks like we were already thinking exactly the same about the RAM and how best to use it.

3300x looks good, I need to know what the cheapest half height GPU is that supports display port and will manage 1080p, YouTube videos, other tutorial videos and Windows 10 graphics. This is going to be a dedicated VST machine so I won't be using it for gaming and don't want to overspend on a GPU.
1TB Sammy is overpriced - the 1TB Sabrent Rocket is £50 cheaper, and faster, and MUCH faster if/when you upgrade to an x570/B550 MoBo in the future with their PCIe v4 speed - 3500 for Sam v 5000 for a PCIe v4 M.2. I don't think you'll get CL14s' on that B450 at 3466 - fairly sure of it, even if that board allows over volting the RAM, I still doubt it. You must state the other numbers also, not just the 1st. Like Corsair try and drag people in with their eg, C18 (which is slow anyway), but when you look at the following three digits, it's laughable.
 

Helios451

Active Member
3300x looks good, I need to know what the cheapest half height GPU is that supports display port and will manage 1080p, YouTube videos, other tutorial videos and Windows 10 graphics. This is going to be a dedicated VST machine so I won't be using it for gaming and don't want to overspend on a GPU.

How much can you afford on the GPU?
 

Helios451

Active Member
1TB Sammy is overpriced - the 1TB Sabrent Rocket is £50 cheaper, and faster, and MUCH faster if/when you upgrade to an x570/B550 MoBo in the future with their PCIe v4 speed - 3500 for Sam v 5000 for a PCIe v4 M.2.

I would get the Sammy for the quality and reliability, and personally wouldn't touch anything else for M2 storage.
 

daveteauk

Active Member
It's an interesting point as the question is not whether the Corsair silicon or design is good (the persistent sales of the LPX range bear out a lot of happiness with it in the market). What is more relevant is the actual spec of the sticks. For instance, there are two different LPX 2 x 8GB 3200 sticks, one 'Ryzen optimised' the other not. At face value there spec really is identical, however the serial numbers are one letter different: CMK16GX4M2B3200C16 and CMK16GX4M2Z3200C16.

The real rated SPDs, per the Corsair site itself are quite different:

CMK16GX4M2B3200C16 is 2133MHz 15-15-15-36 at 1.2V, and CMK16GX4M2Z3200C16 (ryzen one) is 2666MHz 16-18-18-35 at 1.2V. The latter is the 'Ryzen optimised'.

What Corsair has done is factory 'overclock' both to 3200Mhz 16-16-16-36 at 1.35V. I'll be testing both sets using a 3900X on a X570 board to see what the individual and comparative performances are.

Also, yes the M2 will be monster fast - especially if it's wired directly into the PCIe and not SATA.
Yeah; The Corsair - how much is the 3200MHz - 16-16-16-36? I bet it ain't cheap. THE very best modules on RAM stick are made by Samsung; their B-Die chips, which are THE best chips to have in your RAM. There are only three makers of RAM chips, Samsung, Crucial amd Hynix. ALL sticks of DDR4 have those chips in them, ALL, no matter who the supplier, and Sam B-Die are the Daddies. Those (expensive) Corsair 3200 - 16-16-16-36, why buy them? You can buy 16GB G-Skill, also expensive, at 3600 16-16-16-36, or silly expensive 3600 14-15-15-35 using Samsung B-Die (maybe £400!) or TeamGroup DarkPro 3600 16-16-16-36, also Sam B-Die, for UNDER £120! With a lifetime warranty! It's a no brainer IMO. As long as you don't want flashing lights that is!
 

Helios451

Active Member
Yeah; The Corsair - how much is the 3200MHz - 16-16-16-36? I bet it ain't cheap.

They were each just over £80 for the two 8GB sticks.

THE very best modules on RAM stick are made by Samsung; their B-Die chips, which are THE best chips to have in your RAM.

Totally agree!

There are only three makers of RAM chips, Samsung, Crucial amd Hynix. ALL sticks of DDR4 have those chips in them, ALL, no matter who the supplier, and Sam B-Die are the Daddies. Those (expensive) Corsair 3200 - 16-16-16-36, why buy them? You can buy 16GB G-Skill, also expensive, at 3600 16-16-16-36, or silly expensive 3600 14-15-15-35 using Samsung B-Die (maybe £400!) or TeamGroup DarkPro 3600 16-16-16-36, also Sam B-Die, for UNDER £120! With a lifetime warranty! It's a no brainer IMO. As long as you don't want flashing lights that is!
This was on Reddit:

B-Die Finder
https://www.reddit.com/r/Amd/comment...5/bdie_finder/

You can search by RAM company and it will tell what kits have B-die,and what retailers sell them. You certainly pay for the low latency B-Dies.
 

daveteauk

Active Member

daveteauk

Active Member

Helios451

Active Member
Show me where 16GB of 3200 at 16-16-16-36 is available for £80.
I bought Corsair CMK16GX4M2B3200C16 Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4 3200 MHz 16 18 18 36 for £79.95 on 12 May from Amazon EU S.a.r.l. and I bought Corsair CMK16GX4M2Z3200C16 Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4 3200 MHz Ryzen Optimised 16 18 18 36 on for £81.97 on 15 May from Scan Computers International Ltd.
 

TheJay

Active Member
£68.99 TEAM GROUP DARK T-FORCE 16GB (2X8GB) DDR4 PC4-25600C16 3200MHZ DUAL CHANNEL KIT - BLACK/GREY
TDGED416G3200HC16CDC01, 3200MHz RAM Speed, CAS 16-18-18-36 Timings, 1.25-1.35v VDIMM, Lifetime Warranty with OcUK.
 

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