Intel Core i5-4670 Digital Audio Workstation for Pulsar PCI cards

This build was for a recording artist who wanted to continue using their original Creamware Pulsar cards as they had a number of ongoing projects that were using the plugins and software that are part of the original Creamware architecture. The Creamware Pulsar cards have a PCI interface so we needed to use a motherboard that had at least 3 PCI slots.

ASUS H87 Plus

ASUS H87 Plus motherboard

The Asus H87-PLUS has a total of 4 x PCIe sockets (2 x 16 / 2 x1) and 3 x PCI sockets.

The Creamware cards are now supported by Sonic Core who provide an update to the Scope software to version 5.1, this allows the cards to run on windows 7 64bit. There are few bits of tweaking in the bios needed to get the cards to be stable but after some research and testing the unit was rock solid.


The full Spec;

  • Antec NSK4000 B2 Tower
  • ASUS H87-PLUS motherboard
  • Intel Core i5-4670
  • 8GB (Kit) DDR3 PC3-12800
  • Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1 TB 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive
  • Optiarc AD-7241S-0B DVDRW SATA Black
  • firewire 1394a 2 port PCI Express Card
  • LiteOn IHAS124-04 DVD+-R/RW/DL/RAM
  • OCZ ZS Series 650W Power Supply 80 Plus Bronze
  • Windows 7 64bit



Intel i5-3550 Ivy Bridge Studio Office PC

This machine was for a customer who runs a mastering studio. They wanted a machine that was to be used in the office for email and admin stuff but would also be used for some general audio and video production.
The audio tasks would mainly be auditioning audio projects sent in from clients, this could be 2 track masters or possibly even multitrack arrangements. The customer wanted to run Cubase v5, Protools V9 and Wavelab V6. We decided on the Focusrite Saffire PRO 14 audio interface as it has proved itself very reliable on all the software I have tested it on, it also had the advantage of an s/pdif digital in and out which would connect to the customers DAC1 digital-to-analog converter.
The video tasks would not be too intensive, it was mainly going to be used for some promotional web videos and importing video files from a consumer video camera.
I used a StarTech PCI1394MP PCI firewire card to provide 3 x Firewire 400 ports which features a Texas Instruments chipset. These could be used to connect the Focusrite audio interface and any digital cameras.
The customer also wanted an old 5.25″ IDE hard drive caddy fitting as they also had a Mackie HDR unit that they still used. This allowed them to easily copy projects straight on to the PC. I used a StarTech PCI Express IDE Controller card to provide an IDE connection to the caddy which was fitted into one of the 5.25″ bays.
2 Seagate Barracuda drives were fitted, one for windows and all the software and a second drive for data storage of video and audio files.
We also fitted a LiteOn iHES112-115 Blu ray drive, mainly for the larger backup capabilities of blu ray disk.
A CIT card reader was fitted for any projects that might be sent on flash media.
All this was fitted into a Foxconn TLM-397 micro ATX tower as it needed to sit on a desk and be as compact as possible. I have found the Foxconn towers to be very good for their cost. I don’t think they are the most aesthetically pleasing towers on the market but they are fairly robust and don’t cost anywhere near as much as some of the other brands.

The full spec was as follows;

  • Asus P8H77-M LE MATX Motherboard – Intel H77 Chipset – Socket H2 LGA-1155
  • Intel Core i5 i5-3550 3.30 GHz Processor – Socket H2 LGA-1155
  • XFX Pro 450W Power Supply Unit (Core Edition)
  • 4GB kit (2GBx2) DDR3 PC3-12800 CL=11 Unbuffered NON-ECC 1.5V
  • 2 x Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1 TB 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive
  • LiteOn iHES112-115 12x Blu-Ray Combo drive SATA internal optical drive (black)
  • CIT IO-001B USB2 3.5″ Internal Card Reader with SIM slot
  • Gainward GeForce GT520 SilentFX 1024MB PCI-E VGA/DVI/HDMI
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
  • 4-Port IEEE-1394a PCI Firewire Card TI chipset (PCI1394MP )
  • StarTech 1 Port PCI Express IDE Controller PCI Express x1
  • Focusrite Saffire PRO 14 Firewire Interface