Recommend new Mobo with PCI slot for RME Hammerfall?

I’m doing the research to upgrade my system. I want to go for an Intel Core i5-4690K CPU, but still use my RME Hammerfall DSP Multiface (first version) which uses a PCI slot. So far I have found this motherboard:

Asus Z97-A Motherboard -

Anyone know if this would work OK? Or are there problems with PCI slots in newer motherboards?

I can’t offer any help with your question, but in my own experience, there’s a limit on how far you can do a complete computer upgrade, yet still re-use much in the way of anything…even audio interfaces, which I don’t have any specific knowledge of your RME on how far you can extend it’s use.

But for the exact reason above, specifically because of my own audio interfaces, which came to a realized limit for me, I very happily stopped upgrading…instead I began what I call ‘outgrading’ …that is I use multiple computers, all with older specs that will forever be compatible with each other. By ‘outgrading’ I at least can add more CPU/RAM resources at will to run as much as I need.

That motherboard seems to have 2 PCI slots and may be ok but I do vaguely recall reading about problems.

Another thing is, does your RME card have 64bit drivers? Some of the older cards were discontinued some years ago and RME decided (for technical reasons?) not to write 64bit drivers for them. That limits those cards to a 32bit Operating System which places severe limitations to the amount of usable RAM, which is about 1.5GB, regardless of how much you have installed in your machine.

Before you go any further I would suggest you ask about this on the RME forum, I’m sure you’ll get good info there, here’s the link:

Post there what you have posted here.



Sorry, no experience with Z97, but I have Asus Z87 motherboard and was unable to use PCI for FireWire audio. Had to upgrade to PCIe.

i’m using an asus P9X79 mobo with a pci slot with a multiface ii, currently no issues, using RME’s newest 64bit drivers and totalmixFX. i’m not sure if the CPU you’re looking at is the same socket… i’m using an i7 4930K.

Problem is those PCI slots are usually bridged and therefore not suited for anything that requires near realtime performance. Save your time and money and get a PCIe card, PCI is dead, long live PCIe :-/

That’s what I seem to be hearing about PCI bridging. The thing is, the card works fine, and a new PCI-e version is not cheap. Unless I can find good support for PCI, I won’t be upgrading.

Thanks to everybody who has offered advice.

To add to the potential problems…so I’ve heard (read) that with the new mobo’s the voltage on the PCI slots of today are different. For example, some PCI based audio interfaces required somewhere around 5 volts, but slots on newer mobo’s are only around 3.5 volts (or something LIKE that).
This is in addition to problem with older PCI based cards, where the manufacturer has decided to not continue to develop 64 bit drivers.

[a little OT here]
I had decided to not upgrade from what I have for a few reasons…one of them being is I have around 7 full fledged/full featured PCI based audio interfaces, which were designed to use 5 volts, and stopped being able to run past Win XP 32 bit. I didn’t want to abandon them just to go to 64 bit.
Another reason for not upgrading is that I was on a personal quest to stop the never ending discard/upgrade path. instead I started experimenting with using my old single core DAW laying around as a 2nd system with various methods available (audio/midi networking, Ethernet networking, syncing machines etc). It worked out so well for me, I decided to build a replica of my more powerful quad core machine, and then another…the replica’s were inexpensively built with used components. I now have a combined power of 12 CPU cores, and 12 GB of ram, and I’ve come to realize I don’t need to upgrade to a 64 bit system at all just to have more resource available.

Slightly off topic, but I have been running a 3 year old I7 970 hex core, 12 gigs ram, overclocked daily with No issues and plenty of power except that, like you, I kept and old quad core for Vienna Instruments Pro (56 stereo tracks to Cubase, Orchestral, Pianos etc. on 6 instances of Kontakt 5). I recently built an HTPC (in my media room for movies music library etc.). It’s a last generation Celeron I3 and the ram, cpu and moterboard cost me $150. I now use that computer (via a 100 foot cat 6 cable) for my VEP and it works like a dream (got rid of the old quad core).

Sorry for the double post, I hit “quote” instead of “edit”

Sounds very cool Pete, I’ve been thinking about using one of my spare computers for my home entertainment system for storing & playing movies etc. I don’t think it needs to be powerful for just this. I’m about to acquire 2 more older perfect working Win XP PC’s for FREE. I think one of them has an HDMI on it, so I’ll use that.
The Win XP PC’s I’m soon getting won’t be used as music machines being I like to have the same specs throughout on all of those…besides, I wouldn’t bet my audio interfaces would be compatible with them either.

Yeah, as I said, I had an older quad core that I was using in the studio with VEP via ethernet but when I built my HTPC for the house (the mb even had built in HDMI), I thought it might do double duty and it worked out perfectly. I think I spent a total of $250 for everything and it’s great for movies AND VEP.

I’m surprised you didn’t keep the quad machine & use them both for VEP, since it comes with multiple licenses :slight_smile:

Since I already have spare Win XP computers laying around doing absolutely nothing, I’m thinking I may as well just use one of those for my own HTPC. I hope I can get a video capture card for XP. For a few years now, I’ve just been using my Dell laptop with HDMI & wireless remote, moving it from TV to TV as needed from the living room to the bedroom big screen LCD TV’s.

It seems that someone had success with the exact same motherboard and Hammerfall. I found this on the RME forums:

Should be OK. :slight_smile:

Actually, I think the Celeron is more powerful than my old quad core and, for just over $100, I bought a motherboard with a built in HDMI port ANd a Celeron I3 processor.