Pro Tools / HD Core Systems : PCI Express (PCIe)

Maximum Supported Sample Rate: 192 kHz
Price $ 225.00

Digidesign Pro Tools|HD Core Systems are now available in two versions : PCI and the new PCI Express

Digidesign is now offering two versions of its professional Pro Tools|HD digital audio production systems. By continuing to provide the existing PCI version and releasing a PCI Express (PCIe) version, Digidesign is ensuring continued compatibility of its Pro Tools|HD systems with a wide range of PCI, PCI-X, and PCIe-equipped computers. Existing Pro Tools|HD systems are designed to work in PCI and PCI-X slots only and are not compatible with PCIe technology.

Digidesign has qualified Pro Tools|HD systems for PCIe with the new range of Apple Power Mac G5 computers. Windows-based computers equipped with multiple PCIe expansion slots are not yet commonly available. Digidesign is planning to test and qualify its PCIe systems with Windows-based computers once machines with at least three usable PCIe slots as standard are introduced to the market.

Since the new Power Mac G5 computers have only three usable PCIe expansion slots, initial Digidesign support for PCIe-based Pro Tools|HD systems is limited to a maximum configuration of three cards. If you plan to use the new PCIe-based Power Mac G5 computers and want to build an expanded configuration (beyond three cards), you will need to use the PCI version of Digidesign Pro Tools|HD cards in conjunction with the newly introduced Digidesign Expansion|HD expansion chassis. It is a six-slot PCI expansion chassis that connects to the host Windows or Mac computer using either a PCI/PCI-X or PCIe expansion slot. With the Digidesign Expansion|HD, you can install expanded Pro Tools|HD configurations on a wide range of PCI, PCI-X, and PCIe-equipped computers.

Hardware Exchange and Crossgrade
PCIe-compatible Pro Tools|HD systems are the same price as their PCI counterparts. Digidesign has expanded its hardware exchange program so you can exchange your Pro Tools LE or legacy Pro Tools TDM system up to a Pro Tools|HD system for PCIe or PCI. In addition, Digidesign is offering a crossgrade program for PCI users who want to transition their Pro Tools|HD system to a host computer with PCIe slots.

Digidesign Expansion|HD Host PCIe Card Specifications
Compatible with Digidesign-approved computers that include PCIe slots

Digidesign-qualified Mac-based dual-processor host computer with a PCIe card slot (Windows XP computers with PCIe card slots will be qualified in the future.)

Pro Tools|HD or Pro Tools|HD Accel system
1 GB RAM in host computer
Pro Tools HD 7.1 or higher software


Are PCI-based Pro Tools|HD systems still available? Is Digidesign planning to replace PCI cards with the PCIe versions?
PCI and PCIe are both current technologies, and Digidesign will keep manufacturing, selling, and supporting both versions of Pro Tools|HD systems and the optional HD Accel cards for PCI into the foreseeable future.

QIs the price of PCIe-compatible Pro Tools|HD systems higher than PCI versions?
No. Pricing of both versions of the Pro Tools|HD 1, Pro Tools|HD 2 Accel, and Pro Tools|HD 3 Accel systems, and optional HD Accel cards, is identical.

Which version of Pro Tools HD software is required for use with the PCIe systems?
Pro Tools HD software version 7.1 will be required for the PCIe systems. As with Pro Tools 7.0 software, users of PCIe systems wishing to exchange sessions with users of Pro Tools 6.9 or earlier software will need to perform a simple “Save Session Copy” operation.

Are PCIe systems available only for Mac computers? What about Windows-based PCIe solutions?
The PCIe-compatible Pro Tools|HD systems are currently qualified only for use with Power Mac G5 computers. As Windows-based computers equipped with at least three usable PCIe expansion slots as standard become available, Digidesign will test and qualify Windows-based PCIe solutions.

Does Digidesign offer a hardware exchange program from the existing PCI-compatible Pro Tools|HD systems to the PCIe versions?
Yes. Digidesign is offering a crossgrade program for PCI users who wish to switch to a PCIe solution.

Does Digidesign offer a hardware exchange program from legacy Pro Tools TDM systems, as well as legacy and current Pro Tools LE systems, to the PCIe–based Pro Tools|HD systems?
Yes. When making your hardware exchange purchase, you will be able to choose either PCI or PCIe for the same price.

Can I install my Pro Tools|HD system for PCI in a PCIe-to-PCI expansion chassis offered by a third-party manufacturer?
Digidesign is manufacturing its own PCI-to-PCI and PCIe-to-PCI expansion solution — the new Digidesign Expansion|HD six-slot PCI expansion chassis. Due to testing overhead, Digidesign currently does not plan to test or qualify other chassis offered by third-party manufacturers.

Does the new Digidesign Expansion|HD chassis come with both a PCI and a PCIe host card?
The host card for the Digidesign Expansion|HD chassis will be sold as a separate product so that you can choose the format you need (PCI or PCIe). You can also purchase both, if necessary.

Can I build an expanded PCIe Pro Tools|HD system (more than three cards)?
At this time, it is not possible to build a PCIe-based Pro Tools|HD system beyond a three-card configuration. Currently, there are no computers that have more than three usable PCIe expansion slots, and there are no PCIe-to-PCIe expansion chassis available on the market today.

Most current system requirements and compatibility information

Digidesign Corporate Headquarters
Digidesign, a division of Avid Technology, Inc.
2001 Junipero Serra Blvd.
Daly City, California 94014-3886

Digidesign Italy: Avid Italia , eMail - Tel.+39.02.5778971

Product Information
United States & Canada 1.800.333.2137
North & South America 650.731.6102 (USA)
Europe (England) 44.1753.658496
Asia (Japan) 81.3.3505.7963

Australia - Eastside Productions - E-mail - Phone: +618 8363 7095
Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg E-mail - Phone: +31 (0)73.613.8080
Brazil: Astor Silva E-mail - Phone: +5511.6331.6726
China E-mail - Tel: (852) 2496.2200
Czech Repulic, Germany, Poland, and Slovakia : Avid Technology GmbH E-mail - Phone: 49 (0)811.5520.555
UK: Avid Technology E-mail - Phone: 44 (0)1753.653.322

advanced technologic sound magazine
2006 January issue 145

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