[linux-audio-user] Major problem with RME HDSP/Multiface and a 64-bit AMD laptop

Mark Knecht markknecht at comcast.net
Sat Mar 20 09:02:31 EST 2004

On Fri, 2004-03-19 at 21:35, Ivica Ico Bukvic wrote:
> First off I would like to extend my sincere apologies for my atrocious
> cross-posting. I am currently in a rather desperate situation and would
> highly appreciate any help I can get in this matter.
> <Begin long blurb>
> I recently got my hands on the eMachines M6807 64-bit Athlon 3000+ and I
> must say that the notebook is very nice. 

I had been trying very hard over the last two weeks to buy one of these
or its little brother the M6805, but couldn't get it here in California
or online. I finally contacted eMachines and was told they no longer
make these models. The M6805 works very well under Win XP with the Pro
Tools software and 002/002R hardware. People who own the machine swear
by it, however no one I know is using its cardbus interface.

> The gripes I do have about it are
> mostly of cosmetic nature. The performance is in many ways unmatched. After
> owning the notebook for just about a month I finally found some free time to
> install the Multiface/HDSP on it. I was immediately very unpleasantly
> surprised by the fact that the sound output using the ASIO drivers (and
> Linux ALSA drivers) yielded similar results -- distorted audio.
> Now here's the catch. When I use the soundcard in mme, DirectX, or any other
> driver form, the soundcard works perfectly (albeit no multichannel
> capability). But when I use ALSA in Linux or ASIO in Windoze (XP Home
> version), the sound plays as if it's interpreted slower than it should be (2
> whole steps, or 4 semitones lower and comparably slower) with a bad
> distortion, as if one is using a very lousy vocoder. There are no drop-outs
> or choppiness (I did not try JACK, though, so I don't know about the
> explicit xruns) which leads me to believe that the throughput is not the
> culprit, but the output simply is useless.

Very strange that one set of Windows drivers would work well and the
other would fail the same way as Alsa.

I think you should try Jack as a measure of the cardbus performance. At
least it will help you know if packets are getting across the controller
in a timely manner.

> 2) I am using Mdk 10.0 Community release. No problems there that I can
> notice. Installed the hdsp utils and everything worked like a charm, except
> of course for the sound output.

32-bit kernel on a 64-bit processor...

> 3) The pcmcia card in XP is detected as the generic pcmcia and is using
> default XP drivers without any conflicts and/or apparent problems.
> 4) The pcmcia card (at least in Windows) is sharing its IRQ only with the
> HDSP when plugged in (IRQ 17 -- there are total of 24 due to APIC being
> enabled in XP), but I don't think that should be considered a conflict
> (please correct me if I am wrong).

No, it's fine as far as I know.


> 5) FSB on this beast to the best of my knowledge should be plenty fast
> (200MHz x ? -- I heard it's like 1600MHz (8x), but I find that hard to
> believe). Hence, I would be seriously surprised that it is a case of a lousy
> cardbus implementation... Although, I guess everything is possible...

Who's cardbus controller is it? (lspci should say) Tim Blechmann was
having similar troubles with the same RME product and his O2 Micro
cardbus controller. In his case Windows operation was fine, but he
wasn't using a 64-bit processor.

> <end long blurb>
> Whew! That should be about it. If you need any syslogs or any other info,
> please contact me and I will gladly provide them. I would simply appreciate
> any insight at this point as I have purchased this laptop primarily for the
> music-making purposes and not being able to use it with the expensive
> Multiface makes either this laptop or the Multiface an expensive brick (I
> say this as I did hear that M-Audio Firewire 410 runs just fine in
> combination with this notebook).

Yeah, but no one does 1394 support under Linux yet. Bummer.

> I would also appreciate any help from the RME tech department as this may
> potentially stem from the fact that the system is 64-bit (although I am NOT
> running 64-bit versions of either Windows or Linux) and that the drivers are
> somehow not taking that into account.

RME has an AMAZINGLY good support system through their newsgroup.
Sometimes answers from the company are almost real-time, but they don't
support Linux. If you try that forum, I'd concentrate on your equivalent
Windows problems.
- Mark

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