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Asus A7A266 and Iwill KA266-R with chipset ALiMAGIK 1 (Top)

Several users report significant performance problems when using the Hammerfall and DIGI96 series. The Hammerfall can't be used even at the highest latency setting, the DIGI96 series shows sub-average performance.

Comment: As far as we know the Ali chipset MAGIK 1 is the slowest of all DDR-RAM chipsets, it is even slower than the fastest PC133 chipset. Additionally it offers a PCI-bus performance that can hardly be lower. The Hammerfall, which requires a constant transfer rate of 9 MByte/s (52 channels I/O at 44.1 kHz), can't be used with this board at all. The DIGI96 series works, but suffers from bad performance. While DIGICheck will normally measure a transfer rate of more than 30 MByte/s (on Intel boards up to 130 MByte/s, which is the maximum transfer rate of the PCI-bus), the ALi-based boards reach sensational 8 (eight) MByte/s. Therefore we have to warn against boards using this ALi chipset. And we are not alone. Hauppauge, manufacturer of TV cards, also mentions the ALi chipset as
critical.

ABIT KT7 / KT7 Raid (Top)

Several users report significant performance problems when using the Hammerfall. An operation at lower latencies causes clicks and pops.

Comment: There are numerous boards on the market using the KT133 chipset, but the ABIT KT7 is the only one getting reports about such a bad behavior. Therefore we do not recommend this board.

MotU MIDI Express XT (Top)

Several users report severe popping at latencies below 512 ms, when the MotU MIDIExpress XT interface (printer port) is used in conjunction with emagic Logic 4.7.

Comment: We are used hearing such reports from USB interfaces, but we don't have a clue how a printer port MIDI interface is able to hit the system this hard.

3COM network cards (Top)

Several users report significant performance problems when using the Hammerfall. An operation at lower latencies causes clicks and pops.

Comment: It seems 3Com cards have been specially designed for server operation, so they hog the PCI bus to achieve maximum throughput. We recommend NICs from Realtek, D-Link or Intel, which offer a very good performance but don't cause audio problems.

Promise Fasttrack RAID Controller (Top)

The Promise Fasttrack Controller causes performance problems when using the Hammerfall. An operation at lower latencies generates clicks and pops.

Comment: To achieve the highest rating in benchmark tests the Fasttrack controller hogs the PCI bus, thus impacts the data transfer of other PCI devices (the Hammerfall.) This is true for both the PCI-card and the on-board version (as on the MSI K7T266 Pro), but not true for the majority of 'normal' Promise RAID controllers.

Promise offers a software tool to set up the controller. Move the slider labeled
PCI Bus Utilization from 100% (right side, default) to about 75%. This solves the problems.

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