New motherboard - graphics?

is n-track better with better graphics?

Hi guys

I’m in a slow process of pc upgrading. I want to upgrade my motherboard and one of the decisions is how much to spend on integrated graphics. I already use n-track but don’t know how dependant it is on the pc’s graphics. My choice has come down to two ASUS boards.

The more expensive one (chipset: NVIDIA nForce2 IGPNVIDIA nForce2 MCP) has this at $119 AUS:

Integrated GeForce4 MX GPU-
Integrated TV encoder
NVIDA nVIEW dual-display architecture
Support DVI (AGP-NV-DVI) and TV out (AV/S) cards

The Cheaper one (chipset: VIA KM400 VIA VT8235 CE) has this at $89 AUS:

Integrated VIA UniChrome Graphics

Any comments on n-tracks use of graphics?


Personally, I would stay away from mobo’s with integrated graphics. Most of these use shared system RAM which slows performance. They also usually have a fixed IRQ which has been to known to cause problems with using soundcards in PCI slots. If you want to go AMD, I highly recommend the ASUS A7V600 mobo plus an ATI 9200SE graphics card. The mobo is in your price range and the extra 60 bucks for the graphics card is money well spent IMO. It’s a dual display capable card as well.


You really don’t need a flash graphics card for audio .Years a go I bought a 8Mb ATI card on the recomendation of a member of this forum(Mac).It works fine and doesn’t have a noisy fan, and would now be very cheap on Ebay!


I second Nick - don’t need high-spec graphics to make it run properly.
OTOH : dual display card might be interesting … I have one (but no place left for a second monitor). :O


i HIGHLY recommend a dual display card and two monitors. it works perfect for N. i’ve got the main N screen on monitor one and the entire mixer on monitor two.



I’d put my money on an nforce2 MB rather than Via (hey, I did!). Check to see if the integrated graphics supports 2 monitors (some nf2 boards do off the bat, sockets for each monitor).

Thanks Guys

This has been really helpful. More food for thought. I want to take my time about upgrading and make sure I’ve covered all the bases. Any other comments are appreciated.


Having support for dual monitors is great, no doubt about that!

I’ve heard that the cheaper video cards tend to work better with N than the hot gaming ones, because they don’t hog the bus as much. On the other hand, I’d think that it would be better to be in the AGP slot than on the PCI bus – the PCI bus is critical for audio performance.

Regardless what you get, if you have trouble with it (dropouts at low latency settings), try installing “doubledawg” (google to find it). You can use this to reduce the PCI latency setting on any PCI devices – that is, how long the device is allowed to hog the bus.

Thanks Guys

All advice welcomed and appretiated.

I’ve started bidding on ebay for vga cards. Just missed out on a dual screen card!


You can also get dual screens by using two cards, but I’ve never done that (I have a laptop, and get dual screen using an external monitor plus the laptops screen – not all laptops can do this.)

You might get some advice on this, e.g., what cards folks use, if you post a new thread asking specifically about setups for dual-monitor. It really is nice to be able to put the timeline in one screen and the mixer in another. Also, it’s great when using a complex VSTi or DXi plugin instrument.

On the other hand, I'd think that it would be better to be in the AGP slot than on the PCI bus -- the PCI bus is critical for audio performance.

And now we've got to get ready for the new interface - PCI Express!

My video card has 128 MB of RAM on it (it's the same I use on my custom DAWs). I turn Hardware Acceleration to the max setting (graphics display properties) & I've never had a problem with graphics in nTrack. However, I've seen DAW tweak that suggest putting HA on the minimum setting - I think this is wrong though. However, I've also seen tweaks suggest to set color to 256 (which I don't do either).

yeah, I think that’s outdated now, back in the days of PCI only. Video cards are made to run millions of colors ect so forth as a par for the course. Lowering the vid card’s PCI latency will have a better result.