Minimum Computer Specification Guidelines & Known Issues

Pro Tools|HD & Pro Tools|HD Accel Systems with Pro Tools 6.4 for Windows XP

Digidesign recognizes that some customers will want to build their own computer for use with Pro Tools. To help increase the potential for success, we are providing the following known system requirements.

However customers should be very aware of the following:

Digidesign can not provide full customer support as to the potential loss of performance for such systems. If a loss in performance is encountered Digidesign will assist customers by verifying the components of the system, to look for incompatibilities. If it is determined that the problem is inherent to a system component, a substitution to a different component may be necessary. Digidesign can not guarantee that all performance issues on these computers will be solved; however incorporating components from this compatibility document can help customers avoid problems.

Systems adhering to this specification are in no way certified by Digidesign to provide full Pro Tools functionality or track performance. While they may be able to operate perfectly well and provide full track count performance, they cannot be guaranteed to do so.

It is impossible for this list to comprehensively cover all possible options. We are providing details of known requirements and known failures based on our experience to date.

Supported Processors

  • Intel Pentium 4 or Xeon - 1.3 GHz or higher (recommended)
  • PCI slot w/3.3 V/2 A power supply for each HD card
  • ATX form factor
  • 2 adjacent PCI slots required for Pro Tools|HD 2 Accel or Pro Tools|HD 2 systems
  • 3 adjacent PCI slots required for Pro Tools|HD 3 Accel or Pro Tools|HD 3 systems

Computers with Opteron processors are known to be incompatible with Pro Tools TDM systems. Initial testing indicates that a future revision of Pro Tools would be required to add support for these CPUs.

The AMD Athlon 64 has not been fully qualified by Digidesign, however, there have been no reported problems.

Suggested Motherboards:

  • Motherboards with the Intel 865PE/875P chipset that utilize the IC5 south bridge chip (see motherboard documentation for verification)
  • Motherboards with the Intel 860 or Intel 850 chipset (or variants of these) required for Pentium 4 processors
  • With TDM systems (MIX & HD) Digidesign only supports chipsets in the 845 family (845/845E/845PE) that use DDR RAM. Digidesign does not support chipsets in the 845 family that use PC100 or PC133 SDRAM.
  • BIOS must have multiple PCI bridge chip support enabled and PCI parity disabled

Note: Dell Dimension 4500 and 8200 systems require Dell BIOS version A05 when used with Pro Tools|HD

System RAM: Minimum 512 MB, 1024 MB Recommended

System Software

  • Windows XP Professional or Home Edition*
  • Service Pack 1 or 2 Required**
  • Windows XP Settings & Requirements
  • Pro Tools 6.4 can NOT be installed or used on systems running Windows 98, Me, 2000, NT, 95, or 3.1

*Windows XP Professional required for systems with AVoption|V10 and Avid Unity (V10 and Unity are not qualified with Pro Tools 6.7, Pro Tools 6.4 only)

**Windows XP Service Pack 2 Now Qualified With Pro Tools

  • Digidesign has completed qualification of Windows XP Service Pack 2 with all TDM and LE systems qualified with Pro Tools 6.4 and higher. If you are going to update to SP2, please read the following beforehand to help insure a smooth transition: Recommended Steps for Installing Windows XP SP2

Windows XP SP2, Microsoft DEP and PACE InterLok Drivers Update

  • if you encounter unexplained blue screens, freezes or spontaneous reboots when launching Pro Tools with Windows XP Service Pack 2, please update your PACE InterLok drivers:
  • The current InterLok drivers solve the described problems without having to disable Microsoft's DEP (Data Execution Prevention) feature introduced with Windows XP Service Pack 2.

Display card:

  • Minimum: AGP card by ATI, Matrox, or NVIDIA
  • Recommended: NVIDIA Quadro4 980XGL 128MB AGP


Monitor: Color required; 14" minimum; 17" or larger recommended at minimum resolution of 1024x768

SCSI Host Adapter:

Known Issues - Computers & Components

  • When using a PC that contains 32-bit slots only, it is very important to check and see if any components on the motherboard will impede the seating of the 64-bit HD card. Please check the area immediately behind the slot and compare it with the extra tab of the HD card that will hang low behind the 32 bit slot.

  • HD cards require a case that is "mid-tower" or greater in size. Please check the specifications of your computer case to make sure it will fit a full length PCI card in all slots that you intend to use for HD cards.

  • If you are considering a Dell or HP computer, please use only the models we qualify:

    Digidesign's testing has revealed compatibility problems with other computers from these manufacturers and Pro Tools systems.

  • Pentium 4 systems with HyperThreading technology must have "Intel HyperThreading" in the system BIOS disabled

  • Avoid Intel chipsets that contain intergrated graphics (845G, 865G, etc.)

  • Intel 840 & Intel 845 chipsets have been known to cause performance & system failures with some TDM systems. With TDM systems (MIX & HD) Digidesign only supports chipsets in the 845 family that use DDR RAM. Digidesign does not support chipsets in the 845 family that use PC100 or PC133 SDRAM.

  • Computers with motherboards containing SiS (Silicon Integrated Systems) chipsets cause system failures with Pro Tools systems

  • AMD K6, K6-2 or K6-III, K7 processor based computers are not supported

  • Asante network cards are not recommended for Pro Tools systems using Ethernet controllers such as D-Control, ProControl, or Control|24. If an Asante network card is in your system, it can cause Ethernet controllers to go on/offline every few seconds, and you will not be able to maintain a decent connection to the D-Control, ProControl, or Control|24.

  • Many computer manufactures fabricate proprietary non-ATX style motherboards that utilize daughter cards for their expansion slots. On these machines, we have seen poor performance with Pro Tools Sessions exceeding 32 tracks and system boot errors.

  • The Digidesign WaveDriver does not support Avid Xpress DV or certain other DirectSound applications that require advanced DirectSound capabilities

  • Pro Tools will crash when pressing play if Avid XPress DV 4.1.1 is installed after PT. The workaround is to install Avid XPress DV before installing Pro Tools. (Item #47816)

  • Dell Dimension 4550

    • Problem: Any attempt to install Pro Tools TDM results in the machine crashing and rebooting. This happens repeatedly on every reboot. Also, the TDM cards will show up in the device manager as being unable to acquire resources to be started.

    • Solution: All TDM cards are incompatible with Dell's A08 revision of the BIOS for the Dimension 4550. You must downgrade your BIOS to a previous revision (i.e. A07 or A06) if you want to install a TDM product. The BIOS versions can be downloaded from the Dell Support Downloads section of the Dell web site. For further assistance with downgrading the BIOS in the machine, you should contact Dell support.

Video cards

Currently the following cards are known to be incompatible with Digidesign cards also installed:

  • 3DFx Voodoo Series: Voodoo Banshee, Voodoo3 Series and ATI Rage 128

Users of Phoenix BIOS may upgrade to the latest BIOS version, available from Phoenix, to resolve compatibility issues with these cards.

Digidesign Compatibility Documents Index