Pro Tools|HD for PT 5.3.3 on Windows XP — Minimum Specs & Known Issues

Minimum Computer Specification Guidelines & Known Issues

Pro Tools|HD with Pro Tools 5.3.3 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 (uniprocessor machines only)

  • Intel Pentium 4 or Xeon - 1.3 GHz or higher (recommended)
  • Intel Pentium III - All speeds
  • PCI slot w/3.3 V/2 A power supply for each HD card
  • ATX form factor
  • 2 adjactent PCI slots (required for Pro Tools Systems utilizing 2 PCI cards)

Suggested Motherboards:

  • 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 that use DDR RAM. Digidesign does not support chipsets in the 845 family that use SD RAM.
  • 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 256 MB

System Software: Windows XP Professional or XP Home Edition. XP Service Pack 1 also supported.

Display card:

  • Recommended: Matrox G450 (dual ports supported) or G400 with latest drivers
  • Minimum: AGP card by ATI, Matrox, NVIDIA, or Diamond


Monitor: Color required; 14" minimum; 17" or larger recommended at 800 x 600 (minimum) or 1024x768 (recommended)

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.

  • The HP Workstation xw8000 is not compatible with Pro Tools|HD or Pro Tools|24 MIX systems due to a PCI card seating problem

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

  • 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 SD RAM.

  • 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

  • The Asante "AsanteFAST 10/100" 590 PCI card card is not recommended for Pro Tools systems using Ethernet controllers such as ProControl or Control|24. If this 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 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.

Video card:
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.