Read "Hardware Requirements" page here but still not sure, please advise:

I’m setting up an old presario s4000nx from 2003 w/ 64 studio as a gift. If it can perform well enough to do multitrack recording, then great, if not it can be used for sequencing his moog little phatty. Any guess whether this is just too old/slow to bother with? Any input would be great.

I’ll be tweaking and tuning along the way, but I want to be able to let him know if he’s getting a system he can expect to use Ardour with or just a noisy paperweight when he gets it on xmas!

Celeron 2.4 GHz, 400 MHz front side bus.
Motherboard: GL VE 2002052, Intel 845GL Chipset
1 GB ram, could add another gig according to mobo maker, hp says 1G is max
onboard AC '97, expect to add PCI soundcard, to be determined
40 GB and 80 GB drives, plus a TB external usb drive, so one can be system and either the other internal or the external large can be a working drive.

While I have not played with RT kernels or most of the other tuning tweaks involved I am very comfortable doing just about anything I run into on linux (not expert, just patient and willing to learn through error)

I’m hobbled in testing here because for input I only have a horrible “lightsnake” POS 1/4" to USB cable, which is either broken or useless by design (I hear the guitar, but barely - none of the claimed level increase apparent, rather what I hear loudest is a “POP!” a few times per second as the LED on each end flashes to oh-so-helpfully say “I’m working!”… Guess the sound was added in case you didn’t notice the awful flashing). We’ll help the recipient get a proper interface once we know if/how he’d use it.

Should be doable for tracking. Tracking itself depends much more on HD access speed rather than CPU. So yes it could be used for mixing and recording. Heck I used to run Ardour on MUCH weaker machines;)


Thank you!

I’ve managed to get a clean enough signal to record and play around and now understand that the latency doesn’t matter in the way I assumed. I guess I figured the latency would add a lag in each track as it were laid down rather than not impacting anything as long as I’m not trying to listen to live processing of the signal in real time. This explains much of the discrepancy in what I was reading: the Hardware Reqs. for Ardour and 64 Studio, etc. all say old is fine (or read like they were written back when old was new, as in “512M ram is good, 1G is great” kind of thing), yet elsewhere I read posts where people are troubled by xruns when using very modern equipment. To put it another way: I was wondering why Ardour was even written when it barely ran on current modern HW… figured I must be missing something. (like a clue? sleep? cortical wrinkles?)

Seems it will make a decent gift after all. Of course, he doesn’t know any linux, but we all start somewhere. And of course, I’m setting my own more modern box up as well.

Hey, I started on Linux SPECIFICALLY to use ardour, and I haven’t looked back ever since! And my first successful semi-challenging source code compile was a build of ardour 2.3 VST… I can honestly say that ardour is what got me into Linux, and is what made me stay!

I’ve got the same feeling than you regarding latency. I am recording everything with 96 kHz so the toll on the hardware is bigger and I’ve had to set the buffer size pretty big to prevent xruns.

It’s not such a big deal for my workflow too. On my (pretty ancient) recording machine (Pentium 4, 40GB HD, 1 GB Ram - but I am using a M-Audio 1010LT interface) I am recording with a pretty big latency.

Good thing of the 1010LT is that I can send any input to an additional output directly so I didn’t have any problem with the latency there - and mix the headphone mix with my (external) mixer.

On my mixing machine (the beefier machine at home) I have set the latency to the highest setting and I don’t have got any problems at all (but I’m not using outboard inserts anywhere - everything in software).
And I don’t have got ANY problems with that big setting.

I think the latency is a bigger topic if you are doing live stuff - or if you are mixing the headphone mix in jack directly.