Dell Worries!

Hey All,

I’m a 15+ year vet of cubase, currently running 5.5.2 on my custom XP box. Runs with NO issues (obviously ram limitations)

On the other side of the room, my other webdesign computer died. I ordered a DELL Studio XPS 9100, i7 930, 2.8GHZ, 8gig RAM, Win 7 ultimate 64bit to replace.

I’m wondering if I should move Cubase to the Dell and use the XP box for my webdesign?

I’m nervous about moving and reloading all my music software when I’m not sure how this dell will perform.

I’ve always used Dell products for business but not for music.

Honest opinions from the form will be GREATLY aprreciated.



With my limited experience, Cubase should be fine on your dell. If you need to use Firewire though (For your audio interface), you will need to make sure the Firewire in your dell is made my Texas Instruments (It probably isn’t). If it isn’t you should add a Texas Instruments Firewire card. It would be good to keep the Cubase software on your old machine while you install and test it out on your dell and see how things go.

You should be fine in theory, but don’t forget to check what upgrade possibilities you have on that PC. Dell make their own motherboards and don’t give you many options for installing expansion cards.
I have no experience with the Dell firewire drivers and chipsets so that you would have to try.

Just make sure you uninstall all the worthless junk they put on your PC as I find it slows your PC down right from the start already while you really have no reason to use any of the ‘maintenance’ software they provide.
Purely based on specs your new Dell should be awesome!

Hey guys.
Just the thread I needed to see.
I purchased the Dell XPS 8100 2 months ago and only had a week to experience its ability due to an unexpected financial reason. ( I returned it)

Now that I have no financial issues I am ready to purchase it again but, I want newest model. ( Dell XPS 9100).

Within the one week I had the XPS 8100 I did come across the issue with the TI chipset for the firewire card with my Motu 828.
I went back and forth with Steinberg and Motu to find out what the problem was and finally it was the chipset issue as mentioned in this thread.

I must make mention that everything else worked flawlessly. Supper quite machine, couldnt tell if it was on until I moved the mouse to wake up the monitors. My two Gateway HD monitors viewed very crisp and clean I might add. I’ve always knew they were HD 1080p but” WOW” the picture was so sharp. I watched an off the market DVD (Bootleg) and the picture was still so clean. I had these monitors for a little while and never had the chance to hook them up with a digital connection (DVI).

One of the monitors started flickering and I tried to update the drivers from Gateway and it worked but keep in mind I only had the XPS 8100 for a week so I don’t know if that was a permanent fix.
Again, for the short time I had the unit the only complaint I had was the fire wire card and that I couldn’t get a true experience of working with Cubase because I am still on CB 5 :cry: .

I guess my question(s) here would be:

Does Dell sell or can they install a firewire card with the TI chipset?

Can I use my old firewire (PCI) card in the new unit?

Can I purchase a firewire card from (bestbuy etc.) and install it myself?

Did anyone have an issue with their monitors?

Most important; Is there anyone out there using this machine foe music production?

So far that would be my main concerns based on my short experience with the XPS8100 so if anyone has any additional technical expertise to share before I buy XPS 9100 unit please unleash!!!

Thanks for posting this thread. It was exactly what I was looking for.
Happy producing!!!

Does Dell sell or can they install a firewire card with the TI chipset?
Don’t know, but you’re probably better off buying one elsewhere and installing it yourself. It’s cheaper and very easy.

Can I use my old firewire (PCI) card in the new unit?
That depends on the drivers available for it. You’ll need drivers for the operating system you are using, I’m guessing Windows 7 64-bit? If those drivers are available, then all you need to know is if your new PC has a PCI slot. Easiest way to tell is to open up the case and see if you find one there. To install the card, simply unscrew the little backplate where the firewire connection will be, nudge in the card and you’re good to go. Do power off the machine first obviously, and disconnect the powerlead as well just to make sure.

Can I purchase a firewire card from (bestbuy etc.) and install it myself?
Yes, all you need to know is if it has drivers for your Operating system and if your motherboard has the correct expansion slot. (usually PCIe which you probably have as well.)

edit: as for your monitor issues, it’s probably just a driver thing.

Thanks for your response.

Hopefully all will be ok with the fire wire card and monitors with my next purchase of the Dell XPS 9100.
I look forward to getting this machine back and upgrading to CB6.

Thanks again for this thread. :smiley:

Hey all,

Thanks for all the great knowledge.

So I recieved the Dell XPS Studio last week (the thing is 35lbs…it’s a beast). Anyway, glad to report everything loaded flawlessly. I did nervously installed my own HD video card which used up the 2 remaining PCI express slots. That left one slot for my PCI based sound card (layla by echo). An obvious concern was them being so close together but I have had no problems. The box runs smoothly and astoshingly quiet. It also read all my updated midi controller drivers withous issue.

As far as CB 5.3, once i figured out the WIN 7 system I had that up and running in no time. It just feels very stable. I brought in a few songs, some with video. Besides the missing plugins, they ran great. The BIG issue is the VST bridge stuff (wow you should read the irate posts about that). I purchased jbridge, the life saver program and was able to get about 80% of my 32bit plugins to work. I can live with that.

I do suggest some tweaking with the Dell pre-installed programs to reduce ram and power. Win 7 uses 22% of my 8 gigs of ram just to run.

So, bottom line is so far Dell seems to be holding its own with my music programs.

Next dilema…I’m thinking about running my webdesign stuff on this same powerful machine…Nah, I’m not that crazy…am I?

Again, appreciate the info.


Learn to multi-boot with hidden partitions and you could do that easily. :wink:

Ok, I had my Dell XPS 8300 since March 2011.
Been busy with school and haven’t produced a thing yet.

This machine did not come with a fire wire card and of course I need one with the TI chip to work with my Motu 828MkII.

I need to know who out there has the Dell XPS 8300 with win 7 64 bit and if you purchased a PCIe fire wire card which one did you buy and does it worked?

Even if you don’t have my same pc, can you let me know which one you purchased and does it work with your external audio interface?

Thanks for any information leading me in the right direction.
Happy producing.