VIA Chipset - Workable or am I SOL?

So the system requirements page here says that VIA chipsets are a bad idea. Well, that’s what I have and I’m wondering just how bad. I’m probably going to end up w/ 2 GB DDR2 667Mhz RAM, Athlon 64 X2 3600+ and I’m not sure what I’m doing for a hard drive. For video, I’m thinking I will go w/ the recommend Matrox controller, especially since the price is right, and it looks like I will end up w/ one of the M-Audio 1010 cards.

So would something like this work w/ decently low latency? I doubt we will be recording that many tracks at time and I think we tend to end up w/ about sixteen tracks total when we’re happy w/ the guitar sound and vocals.

I just junked a PC with VIA chipsets because I was getting 30% CPU usage with 4 tracks in Ardour. This was a lower spec PC than you are describing but even so it’s pretty bad. To be honest getting reasonably low latency wasn’t much of an issue (it was stable down to about 10ms with a ‘standard’ kernel) but the CPU usage would go up by about 8% with every track I added.

It was when I tried the realtime kernel that things went really bad - it was utterly unstable and just wouldn’t run long enough for me to do anything. Now I have a new PC, with no VIA chipsets anywhere, I don’t get this problem.

My opinion is, if you’re spending money on new kit, just avoid VIA or you could end up buying another PC very quickly. If you already have the PC, why not try it - you can always buy a new motherboard later and re-use the RAM, processor, etc.

Yeah, I already have the motherboard anyway and some of the other stuff I mentioned. I had to buy it a while back because I needed to get my PC up and running and was broke as a joke. It’s a hand-me-down to my Linux system now. I guess it’s worth a shot. My band is currently recording w/ a XP Home based laptop and a Lexicon USB interface onto Pro Tracks (not my stuff, don’t know the specs). I’m hoping this will work better than that anyway–not that we really have any problems w/ that setup.

If you’re using a USB sound interface, then low latency is never going to be on the cards anyway, Linux or Windows. I reckon the system you’re talking about will probably be better than the Windows box, even if it doesn’t give you stupidly low latencies like some people can manage.