Lynx E22 Versus RME Audio HDSPe AIO - Battle for the Best PCIe Audio Card



When it comes to audio cards that go inside your workstation the options are getting more limited. The PCI slot is getting phased out and most motherboards these days feature PCIe slots. If you’re upgrading to a new workstation you may be forced to upgrade your PCI based audio and DSP cards.

That’s just what we had to do when recently upgraded our workstation. There are countless external audio interfaces in various flavors of USB and Thunderbolt or we could have tried an external PCI chassis connected to one of the PCIe slots. But in the end decided we still prefer the performance of an internal audio card. We narrowed our search down to the Lynx E22 and the RME HDSPe AIO. Turns out, they’re both really good sounding cards.

Several years ago when we tested the Lynx two series versus the RME 9632 and the Lynx was the clear winner. It just sounded better, cleaner, beefier. Well, RME has upped its game and that’s no longer the case. The PCIe based HDSPe AIO sounds great. RME’s drivers are rock solid and continuously updated. Lynx is still the benchmark for pristine audio quality and you can’t go wrong with the new E22 PCIe audio card. But RME is right there in terms of quality and performance and the robust routing options of Total Mix makes it very attractive.

We prefer the Lynx breakout cable. It’s a much cleaner way to audio to and from the card and connect to an external mixer. The RME HDSPe AIO breakout cable is really just a short trunk that requires at least 4 additional balanced cables to connect to a mixer. We also think this breakout cable should be included instead of the unbalanced version given the $899 price tag. The Lynx E22 comes in at $699 plus another $40 for the cable.

One final note, If you get one of these cards and add it to a Windows 10 system make sure you optimize the system performance before passing judgement, especially if you have any hardware based plugins from Universal Audio. Windows 10 has been challenging to optimize for audio. We experienced stuttering and buffering issues with both cards across a range of NLE packages that we didn’t experience in previous versions of Windows. We found these audio optimization tips from Native Instruments helpful.

We also found this tool really helpful for fixing latency issues. Network cards are a pain.

Edius 8.22 Review - Powerful Updates for Post

 

EDIUS 8

Edius 8.22 from Grass Valley is the latest update that adds LUT and tracking support. Both of these features add incredible power for color correction natively in Edius and should make a lot of Edius users happy.

We’ve tested log and 4K footage from broadcast Canon, Panasonic and Sony cameras and the new primary color corrector does a good job of identifying the camera, codec and format and automatically applying a LUT to rec.709 to get us in the ballpark. What’s great is we still have the full power of the color correction tool at our fingertips to further enhance the color. It’s a huge time saver. You can also choose to apply any number of LUTs to jump start your creative juices, all in real time. No there is no need to round trip to Resolve or another color package. The built in capabilities are really good.

The new tracking capability of the mask works really well. Before this was a time consuming task to tweak the key frames to make it perfect. Now, if we want to highlight a portion of the frame, say a person’s face, we can do that with really good tracking capabilities. Again, it will get you in the ballpark with just a few tweaks to make it perfect, and additional video effects can be applies to mask which makes the creative possibilities endless.

Grass Valley didn’t do much to the UI. It’s a little more modern but no major changes there. We like it and find it extremely easy to use. It’s still one of our favorite NLEs for cutting pieces together.

We cut this in Edius



Audio still feels like an afterthought and we’d like to see more robust and friendly ways to do a final mix in Edius. For now we round trip to a more powerful audio suite.

Grass Valley has not gone the subscription route with their software although it does require the occasional connection to verify the license. Still to come in Edius 8 is optical flow which users have been griping about for some time because it was promised to them over a year ago. The good news is Grass Valley says it’s still in the works and previous updates have come through with worthwhile updates that did not require additional payment

Every editor should add Edius to their tool chest. It’s stable, fast and constantly updated with the support for the latest cameras and codecs. Edius 8.22 is a worthy contender for your everyday NLE and a great companion in the field for acquisition.

NVIDIA Quadro K4200 Review

We've been doing an extended review of the Quadro K4200 and it's been rock solid. It's quiet, consumes reasonable power and helps accelerate apps that take advantage of the GPU. Since Q4 of 2014 we've been using the K4200 in one of our workstations primarily for digital content creation.

Our primary apps include the Adobe CC suite, Avid Media Composer, Sony Vegas Pro, Edius Pro and various plug-ins from Boris, NewBlue and others. The single slot Quadro K4200 sits right in the sweet spot of price/performance for these kinds of apps.

In a craft production environment, we really like the single slot design because our workstations are also used for audio mixing and mastering and we often require adjacent slots for audio and DSP cards or an SSD accelerator.  

When building a workstation for content creation, two of our main considerations are performance and compatibility. When we initially installed the K4200, Media Composer gave us a warning to revert back to an earlier driver. Of course, our other apps preferred the most recent driver. So it's always possible to encounter some hiccups like this. The good news, over time, after a couple of app and Quadro driver updates all the apps seem to be happy.   Media Composer likes version 340.84 currently.

We like the performance we're getting from the Quadro k4200.  However, we can't say it blew us away compared to the K4000.   The K4000 operated much cooler than it's predecessor while offering improved performance.   The Quadro K4200 offers improved specs and continues on that path but since we're not in Maya all day it's maybe not as noticeable to us.   It really depends on your apps.   So if you're happily chugging along with a k4000 in your editing suite you may want to stick with it.  However, if you're considering a new system or doing more 3D or using an app that really benefits from the increased specs and you're looking for a lot of power in a single slot design the Quadro k4200 should be at the top of your list.

In 2015 we expect to see a nice bump in overall performance with the latest Xeons, DDR4, dropping SSD prices, thunderbolt 2 and generally improved motherboard performance, not to mention Windows 10 might actually not suck.  We're still primarily running Windows 7. The next step is for the OS and content creation apps to truly take advantage of all the processing power provided by the CPU cores and the GPU power in cards such as the Quadro K4200.   4K video is a train in the distance that will run your over before you know it.    Nice to see NVIDIA keeping it real with the Quadro lineup.


Visit NVIDIA for more information and all the specs.

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