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RedNet PCIe System Performance Information

Overview
As with any ASIO or Core Audio device, the performance of RedNet PCIe is dependent on the power and setup of the host computer. It is therefore important, particularly for high channel count and/or low latency operation that the following system requirements are taken into account when choosing a computer to run RedNet PCIe with. Focusrite have stopped short of dictating which computers can/cannot be used with RedNet PCIe. Instead we have taken the decision to publish the expected performance on a handful of tested computers. You are then free to source a computer of similar specifications or indeed the same model. Computers which are significantly below these benchmarks will not have guaranteed performance.

We strongly recommend that you follow the guidelines for network switch setup and for optimising computers for low latency audio, which can be found in the "Tech Info" section of the Focusrite RedNet website.

PCIe Slot Requirements

RedNet PCIe is a short PCIe card. It must be fitted to an appropriate slot on the motherboard.

RedNet PCIe is a 4x electrical and 4x mechanical card, however for best performance it is recommended that the PCIe card is installed in a 16x slot.

RedNet PCIe should be placed in the first available slot on the motherboard. On a Mac Pro this is Slot 2. On PCs the slot number will vary, but the first 16x slot is preferred.

Hard Drive Requirements

As is usual with computer based recording, it is best practice to use at least one if not multiple dedicated audio drives. Whilst there is no minimum requirement for RedNet operation, we strongly recommend the use of drives with a minimum spindle speed of 7,200 RPM.

Typically a SATA hard drive will reliably record 48 channels simultaneously at 48 kHz, 24 bit. This means for sessions larger than 48 channels it may be necessary to have more than one dedicated audio drive. For more details please consult the user documentation of your chosen DAW.

Windows Requirements

Operating System

The following Windows versions are supported by RedNet PCIe and RedNet Control:

• Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

• Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

• Windows 8 Pro 64 bit

The following test computers will be referred to below:

Rain Nimbus RedNet
• Intel i7 3770k Processor

• Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

• 8 GB RAM

• For more information about Rain Nimbus RedNet, please visit Rain Computers

Dell Precision T1650
• Intel Xeon e3 1270 v2

• Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

• 8 GB RAM

HP z220
• Intel Xeon e3 1220 v2

• Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

• 8 GB RAM

Benchmarks

Please refer to the chart below to see our test results for these computers running our standard test. A pass is defined as:

• n number of simultaneously recorded audio channels, played back simultaneously

• for a duration of 3 hours

• without the loss of a single sample

• at 96 kHz sample rate , unless otherwise denoted

• analogue-to-analogue round trip latency of 3 ms or less (i.e. lowest ASIO buffer size, measured using a RedNet 1 in conjunction with RedNet PCIe)

 32 I/O64 I/O128 I/O (48 kHz)128 I/O (96 kHz)
Rain Nimbus RedNet
Dell Precision T1650 
HP z220   

It is important that the Windows Optimisation Settings are carried out to get this level of performance.

Tests were conducted using Windows 7 Professional 64 bit using Cubase 6.5

Please note that at lower sample rates, a greater number of channels can be reliably recorded/played back simultaneously.

Mac Requirements

Operating System

The following versions of OS X are supported with RedNet PCIe and RedNet Control:

• OS X 10.7.x Lion

• OS X 10.8.x Mountain Lion

The following computers were used for testing:

Mac Pro 8 Core (2009/Nehalem)
• 8 x 2.26 GHz Intel Xeon E5520

• 6 GB RAM

Mac Pro 6 Core (2010/Westmere)
• 6 x 3.33 GHz Intel Xeon W3680

• 6 GB RAM

Benchmark

When running our standard test we found that the Mac Pro was capable of reliably simultaneously recording and playing back 32 channels I/O with the below criteria:
• for a duration of 3 hours

• without the loss of a single sample

• at 96 kHz sample rate

• analogue-to-analogue round trip latency of 3 ms or less (i.e. lowest Core Audio buffer size, measured using a RedNet 1 in conjunction with RedNet PCIe)

Test was conducted using OS X 10.7.4 using Cubase 6.5

Please note that at lower sample rates, a greater number of channels can be reliably recorded/played back simultaneously.