Question about CHIPSETS

I’m throwing out my very old Motherboard, CPU & Ram to make room for new ones.

Here is what I kept:

  • ATX case
  • Power Supply Unit (850W)
  • Graphics Card (EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 2GB)
  • 2x Crucial SSD drives
  • M-Audio FAST TRACK II (USB) Audio Interface.
  • Cubse 10 Pro
  • Windows 10

In the last few days I have been trying to decide which combination of CPU & Motherboard to buy.

But now this article from Steinberg has confused me about Chipsets:

“The chipset used on any motherboard is one of the most crucial components of a DAW … We can tell from our experiences that not all chipsets are equally suitable for demanding audio applications … Some chipsets are either completely inappropriate or highly recommended for audio production … We recommend that you contact the manufacturers of the audio and/or DSP cards of your choice. They can provide information on compatible chipsets, as well as the chipsets you should avoid.”*

Here is my question:
As far as I am aware, when I finally decide which Motherboard to buy, the Audio Card will be built into it… or am I wrong? or is the Audio Card within my FAST-TRACK Audio Interface ?
I dont understand how I would need to match a Motherboard Chipset with the Audio card which is built-in to the same Motherboard.

Have i misunderstood this?
What exactly is the Motherboard chipset supposed to be compatible with?

PS: I’m not buying any fancy stuff… Just the things in my list above.
i’m a home-based song-writer & hobbyist… But also dont want to make a terrible mistake with chipset compatibility!

Visit a few sites that specialize in building DAWs (I get mine from ADK Pro Audio) and take a look at the chipsets they are using. They generally verify that the components they use play nice with audio applications. They did the research, but you can use the results.

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Thanks, but it didn’t quite answer my question.

The chipset determines how other components (memory, network interfaces , printers, etc. etc) interact with the CPU. A bad chipset design can ‘hijack’ the CPU and cause high latency so even if you have a fast CPU it will seem sluggish even at low usage because it will be waiting for an interupt when it should be processing.

You’re wrong indeed :slight_smile:

They do mean your external audio interface, since it effectively acts as the the audio card for Cubase.

So, do you mean that my Audio Card is the M-Audio FAST TRACK II (USB) Audio Interface ?

  • in that case, does it mean I have to check whether the Chipset on my Motherboard is compatible with my Audio Interface?

To elaborate on Nico5’s answer: A new motherboard will have an internal ‘sound card’. And your Fast Track is an external ‘sound card’. Cubase can use either one. Which ever you decide to use (hopefully NOT the internal), the 1’s and 0’s will reach the CPU through the Chipset.

And as I stated above, everything else also passes through the chipset. So depending on how the chipset prioritizes interupts, that will effect latency.

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Thanks mhazdra.
you explained it clearly :wink:

So, it will be better to use my M-Audio FAST TRACK II (USB) Audio Interface, rather than my Motherboards internal Sound Card.

I guess I now have to start searching which Chipsets are compatible with my M-Audio FAST TRACK II (USB) Audio Interface… And then I need to buy a Motherboard which uses one of these Chipsets.

Does that sound like I have understood it ?

By the way, do you think i am limiting myself by using the cheap and old M-Audio FAST TRACK II (USB) Audio Interface ?
I’m on a budget, and a hobby/home user. so I dont want to over-spend.

No not at all.

Again, thank you msazdra.
ok, so I will have to make sure that all my hardware is compatible with the same chipset.

On that note:
I’ve just spent the past 20 mins trying to find out what chipset is compatible with the M-Audio FAST TRACK II (USB) Audio Interface… and I cant find any info about this online!

Even the M-Audio spec doesn’t list anything about this.
Or, is it a case of me finding out what motherboards support the M-Audio FAST TRACK II (USB) Audio Interface ?

Compatibility with the Fast Track is secondary to finding a motherboard/chipset that will prioritize real-time audio processing.

Try google “best motherboard for music production”


ok, understood, But then why would Steinberg say (on their site):

“… We recommend that you contact the manufacturers of the audio cards of your choice. They can provide information on compatible chipsets, as well as the chipsets you should avoid.”

Also, doesn’t Steinberg produce a list of Chipsets which are most compatible with Cubase?

Surely that would take a lot of headache out of everybody’s research, and prevent people from buying incompatible motherboards.

You may want to re-read the earlier post in this thread by @raino, who’s answer you dismissed, but hopefully now you better realize it’s value:

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Because it is not just about the chipset. It’s not just about the soundcard. It’s not ONLY about if the sound card is ‘compatible’ with chipset. It’s not just about the motherboard or the CPU or the memory. All the pieces have to work together. There are just too many variables to make it easy or to provide a standard answer. That is kinda what that video is about. All you can do is read the recommendations and do the best you can. That is why, in an earlier post, somebody recommended checking out what people who build music computers are using.

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I am starting to understand it now :smile:

Here is an example of a DAW build from a UK company called SCAN:

ASUS PRIME B550-PLUS £139.99
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X, Zen 3, 6-core with SMT, 3.7GHz, 4.6GHz Turbo £209.99
be quiet! Shadow Rock 3 fan £44.99
16GB (2x8GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX - 3600MHz CAS18 (2 empty slots remain) £64.99
2GB MSI NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 - Passive - 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.0 £83.99

If I were to mimic this sort of build, does it mean that I can use any B550 chipset, by any manufacturer?
Basically, does it mean that any B550 chipset is compatible?

That would be a fairly safe assumption, yes. However it is critical that the chipset matches the processor.

1 Like › tech-specs › chipsets-for-amd-5600x

Which Chipsets Work With AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600X CPU?

Jul 6, 2022Ryzen 5000-series CPUs, which includes the Ryzen 5 5600X, are compatible with all 400 and 500-series consumer chipsets. Supported chipsets include the X570, B550, A520, X470, and B450. To use Ryzen 5000-series motherboards with the 400-series chipsets, you’ll need an updated BIOS.

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Thank you for your answers and helpfulness :wink:
I think I can go forth and narrow down my research.

  • i honestly never guessed it would be such hard work (3 days in total) to decide what motherboard & cpu to get :rofl:
    I’m probably going to find later today that certain chipsets are better for cubase more than others, Lol
    ok, thank you ‘everyone’ for your help :slight_smile:
    I have appreciated the time you took to reply.

  • hopefully some other people find this thread in the future and benefit from it too :wink:

But he did give you very good advice. The motherboard is the heart so choosing one that is known to work well for audio can be essential. Knowing what the chipset does will not help you choose the right motherboard but checking what audio pc makers use will.

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PLEASE stop stressing about that…
I’m amazed by the proportions this thread has taken!
Any recent machine will have a chipset capable of handling an audio interface without a sweat!