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Old 11-16-2018, 01:29 PM
Louis Marlowe Louis Marlowe is offline
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Default Advice ahead of computer overhaul

I've a couple of very specific questions ahead of committing to a massive upgrade on my ten-year old Windows system and I want to make sure the baseline decisions regarding CPU, RAM, and storage are the right ones.

I intend to get the Hollywood Orchestra and have fairly dense orchestral templates with full divisi/soli, but unlikely to use more than two mic positions at the same time. Every 'common' instrument will be in it, with plenty of legato tracks too, so there's likely to be a huge number of simultaneous 'notes'.

1) Is CPU core count or clock speed going to be important? I'm intending to go for a Threadripper 2950X system, but will happily revise to something with fewer cores if it's sensible.

2) Has anyone found SATA III to not provide enough bandwidth for samples to stream? I'm deliberating about whether I need to go for NVMe, use Thunderbolt 3 and pop the samples on an external drive, or whether a bunch of SATA III compliant SSDs are satisfactory. I would imagine streaming an orchestra's worth of samples would saturate very easily.

3) Depending on the data bandwidth issue, RAM may need to compensate - what would be enough RAM? I intend on getting 64GB, but I need to know whether that will be great going forward or whether I need to leave the door open for expansion down the line. I'd rather get 4x16GB now, as opposed to 8x8GB.

Once I feel more comfortable with these things, I can finally pull the trigger and get to work. Many thanks in advance!
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Old 11-17-2018, 06:06 AM
henrikh2008 henrikh2008 is offline
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Properly most people go with Intel CPU, when it
comes to DAW’s. (Core i5-i7).
I allways been told not to use Amd CPU’s,
Because Steinberg and other software companies
allways create their software with Intel in mind.
Maybe i am wrong, but acording to the article’s below,
Amd Thread Ripper has some latency / ASIO problems,
The AMD CPU gets overloaded, atleast that’s what
These article says!, but don’t take my word for it, i am
not an expert, but reading the “system requirement” on Steinberg
website related to cubase, and other DAW like PRO Tools,
saying Intel CPU etc, well , says it all, use Intel processor.
Most of these DAW’s has been testet with Intel CPU.
I have been thinking about buying a Threadripper, but reading all
this stuff , made my desision not to go with AMD at all, i stick with Intel.

AMD makes great product, no doubt
about it!.
AMD graphics card is great, stable
drivers.



http://www.scanproaudio.info/2017/08...r-1920x-1950x/


https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=133229

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/stei...eadripper.html
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Hardware:
PC: Core i7 2600K, 3.4ghz, 24gb ddr3 ram, geforce gtx 760, Samsung 256gb SSD, Samsung 512gb.
MAC: Mac mini 2012, Core i5, 2.3 ghz, 16gb ddr3 ram, yosemite. Software: Cubase element 8, Wavlab element 7, Halion 6, Bstation, Omnisphere 2.5, EWQL Hollywood String Gold, EWQL Orch Gold, Space, Stormdrum 2, Voice of Passion, Goliath, solo violin, Superior drummer 3 , Ivory Pianos 2, Sampletank 3 SE.
Hardware Synth: Roland JV880, Yamaha DGX630, SPD8.
SGI computers, C64, CPC464
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  #3  
Old 11-17-2018, 10:22 AM
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LMW LMW is offline
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Hi Louis,

alright, first, you can compare what you're intending on getting with my own
system and template. System is in my signature, but that's probably too far down,
so here: Hardware: OS W7 Pro, i7-4910MQ 2,9 GHz (Overclock to 3,9 GHz),
32GB RAM (4x 8GB sticks), int. 3TB 840 EVO SSDs (2x 500GB, 2x 1TB),
ext. 1TB Samsung T1.
Template: http://soundsonline-forums.com/showt...56007&p=787004

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

1) Is CPU core count or clock speed going to be important?

Well, the higher, the better, is probably obvious. You can just google
"Cores vs Clock Speed". I'd say anything 2.8GHz+ is good (without OC), and
then just ramp up the core amount.

I'm intending to go for a Threadripper 2950X system
Henrikh got that covered. I've never used AMD myself,
so I can't really comment from experience, sorry.

I'll quote the Steinberg support page (link) on this: A well configured and
compatible hardware is the most important basis for being able to work
satisfactorily with our applications!


And that's really the most important thing - that the individual system
components work together. I'm not sure if you're building yourself, but
you might want to consider having someone take a look at your parts
and give an assessment.

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

2) Has anyone found SATA III to not provide enough bandwidth for samples to stream?

The drive connection itself. Also referred to as the bandwidth, this is important,
as this determines how much you can transfer from the drive to the computer.
And this is theoretically problematic. If the drive rpm is higher than the bandwidth,
then you will experience a throttle in this scenario. The rpm rate might allow for a
theoretically higher read speed, but the bandwidth limits the potential.

This also means, that having 2x 1TB 450mb/s is better than 1x 2TB 450mb/s,
since the former will allow you for more simultaneous reads, even though the GB size
is exactly the same.

How many connections will your motherboard have? If possible, I'd highly
recommend going the route of multiple small drives (500GB) for the heavy
weight libraries and then large ones (1TB) for the light-weight percussive
and rarely used ones.

Just incidentally, how do you intend to divide everything? OS, samples and
projects should be separate - read up on that in my "On Harddrives" PDF.

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

3) Depending on the data bandwidth issue, RAM may need to compensate - what would be enough RAM?

Can you please compare that to my template and specs at the top? How similar
are they? Personally, I find my own 32GB way too little, but I'd say that 64GB
would do for my purposes. The prices are approximately the same per GB,
aren't they? In that case, I'd go for 4x16GB.

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

Misc computer / Play settings - Here are a few things, which
you can do to improve your DAW capabilities:

- Turn off WIFI and BlueTooth
- Unplug your LAN cable (basically, get off the internet)
- Turn off all background programs such as security etc.
Depending on your security settings, these might actually
be scanning the samples prior to them loading / playing.
- Only open your DAW. Check how many programs are
automatically run upon startup.

NOTE: Please remember that the turned off security settings
should be re-enabled prior to connecting to the internet again!

p. 19: The Sample Cache feature allows you to determine how many
of the samples are loaded directly into RAM or are streamed from the drive.
Test out different levels to see what works best for you.
p. 56: The Sample Purge feature allows you to remove any not used
samples from the RAM.
http://www.soundsonline-forums.com/d...ser-Manual.pdf

Cheers.
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Helpful links: Sample Path, Library Sizes, Tips and Tricks, On DAWs - "On Drives" is being Updated
Hardware: OS W7 Pro, i7-4910MQ 2,9 GHz (Overclock to 3,9 GHz), 32GB RAM, int. 3TB 840 EVO SSDs,
ext. 1TB Samsung T1 + 6TB backup + UR22 Interface + Kawai MP7 (88 Keys) + Yamaha MS60S Speakers
Software: Cubase Pro 8.0.40, PLAY v6.X.X, EastWest et multi alii

Last edited by LMW; 11-17-2018 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 11-19-2018, 11:12 AM
Louis Marlowe Louis Marlowe is offline
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Thanks for the helpful responses - I also spoke to someone who's tested the Threadripper platform specifically for VST usage, and apparently it's a little problematic with low-latency workloads because of the 2 CPU dies in one package.

If you suggest that 32GB is way too little, that concerns me a bit as I plan to use legato patches for every instrument on top of what you've suggested. I guess that there will be a lot of shared files between different 'articulations' though, especially in the 'Longs', so it might not be as bad as I'm preparing for.

I've also been assured that SATA 3 is absolutely fine if you divide libraries up effectively. I'd rather avoid NVMe/Thunderbolt 3 as capacities above 500GB aren't totally cost-effective.

I'm thinking that going to Intel Xeon isn't necessary - Hollywood Orchestra can use less RAM if I choose, so I suppose at Engine Level 1 or 2 it will work rather well...? What engine level do you use LMW, and which version of PLAY?

I'm now thinking i9-9900K with the maximum 64GB of RAM will be the ticket.
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:54 AM
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LMW LMW is offline
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That doesn't sound too good concerning the Threadripper.
You'll want to make sure that your system can handle everything
you throw at it.

You've seen what I use as a template, right? That's fully possible
with 32GB.
So 64GB will definitely get a good orchestral template going.
And you can always purge the MIDI. That'll free up a bit, too.

Oh, definitely. SATA-III is enough, if you use smaller drives and
don't have all the powerful ones streaming off only one. Making
sure that you divide everything up properly is something you
need to take care of.

I'm always on the latest Play engine, so currently v6.0.8.
As for the Sample Cache, on my non-studio setup, I use
HDDs with 3, for my DAW, I use SSDs and 1 or 2.#

That looks good.
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Lorenz W. - EastWest Technical Support - E-Mail: lorenz@eastwestsounds.com

Helpful links: Sample Path, Library Sizes, Tips and Tricks, On DAWs - "On Drives" is being Updated
Hardware: OS W7 Pro, i7-4910MQ 2,9 GHz (Overclock to 3,9 GHz), 32GB RAM, int. 3TB 840 EVO SSDs,
ext. 1TB Samsung T1 + 6TB backup + UR22 Interface + Kawai MP7 (88 Keys) + Yamaha MS60S Speakers
Software: Cubase Pro 8.0.40, PLAY v6.X.X, EastWest et multi alii
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Old 11-21-2018, 02:04 PM
henrikh2008 henrikh2008 is offline
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About the Xeon processor,
the thing is, if you compare
the Xeon CPU doing normal task
(task, like doing
benchmark with video converting,
running software that targets multicore CPU , like the Core i7-9), the Core i7-i9 will actually be a clear winner, because
Xeon is target for a another market,
like server task etc..
It dosen’t mean Xeon can do all
that stuff, but the core i7-i9 has
the SSE4 “Streaming SIMD Extensions 4”, and without getting to technical,
SSE4 is a CPU instruction set, related to
multimedia etc, which speed up the
CPU calculations.
I am not aware, that Xeon has
the SSE4.

I think its is diffcult to tell which CPU is the perfect choice, but if you choose
Core i7-i9 , you are safe!.

AMD is comming with a Threadripper 2,
it should be very intersting, to see how
this CPU will handle the latency in
Cubase etc...
Properly Threadripper 2 is a monster,
and maybe very expensive ?.
__________________
Hardware:
PC: Core i7 2600K, 3.4ghz, 24gb ddr3 ram, geforce gtx 760, Samsung 256gb SSD, Samsung 512gb.
MAC: Mac mini 2012, Core i5, 2.3 ghz, 16gb ddr3 ram, yosemite. Software: Cubase element 8, Wavlab element 7, Halion 6, Bstation, Omnisphere 2.5, EWQL Hollywood String Gold, EWQL Orch Gold, Space, Stormdrum 2, Voice of Passion, Goliath, solo violin, Superior drummer 3 , Ivory Pianos 2, Sampletank 3 SE.
Hardware Synth: Roland JV880, Yamaha DGX630, SPD8.
SGI computers, C64, CPC464
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