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Old 03-20-2017, 07:03 PM
scopemc scopemc is offline
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Default Mac Pro Not Such a Beast After All?

Hi Folks,

I am looking for some Opinions and advice on my current rig and potential upgrade.

Host(Current)
Mac Pro 4,1 Early 2009Upgraded to 5,1
2 X X5670 2.93GHz CPU (12-CORE)
128GB RAM
256GB SSD OS (VEP6, Play 5, Cubase 9)
1TB SSD Samples.
1TB HO Diamond


Slave (To Purchase)
HP Z800 12-Core Workstation
2 X X5675 3.06GHz (12-CORE)
96GB RAM
1TB SSD for Eastwest HO Diamond
1TB SATA HDD for OS and Programs (Play 5, VEP 6)
Windows 10 Home

I successfully run about 40GB of samples without issue with Cubase 9 and VEP 6 on this one machine. I recently tried to add HO Diamond to the system and it has been totally unsuccessful.

HO by itself in VEP6 (8 instances) is using about 70GB ram, which a bit over half and very little CPU.

However, the CPU spikes, hitting upwards of 90% when I connect the DAW to the VEP6 (8 instances). I have tinkered with buffer sizes in VEP and Cubase and also with the CPU overload in Play.

I also grabbed a laptop with a quad core i7 and hosted Cubase on it. Basically, same result, except the CPU was less on the Mac Pro being used as a slave only to host HO.

So, I am in the market to buy a secondary PC to essentially run HO Diamond on (specs Below).

Any thoughts on the viability of the current and potential system are appreciated.


Host(Current)
Mac Pro 4,1 Early 2009Upgraded to 5,1
2 X X5670 2.93GHz CPU (12-CORE)
128GB RAM
256GB SSD OS (VEP6, Play 5, Cubase 9)
1TB SSD Samples.
1TB HO Diamond


Slave (To Purchase)
HP Z800 12-Core Workstation
2 X X5675 3.06GHz (12-CORE)
96GB RAM
1TB SSD for Eastwest HO Diamond
1TB SATA HDD for OS and Programs (Play 5, VEP 6)
Windows 10 Home
  #2  
Old 03-22-2017, 10:08 AM
jspencer jspencer is offline
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IMHO, you could just use the new PC on it's own (no slave). You would need to "convert" to Windows, but you would already be on Cubase.
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:10 PM
aptmusic9 aptmusic9 is offline
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This video is definitely worth watching all the way through. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUsLLEkswzE

I have similar issues myself, and all the evidence seems to support the following:

-Make sure the host has a very fast clock speed, NOT CORES. The ASIO performance will be best, and you will achieve the lowest latency. Overclocking makes a lot of sense here.

-I am hesitant to purchasing a slave with a ton of RAM and expecting it to run everything. For CPU usage concerns on my 64GB rig, that leads me to believe I would be better off with two 64GB rigs, or just sticking with 64GB and putting the money into a better CPU for the slave and the host etc.

-The audio interface can be a major bottleneck. Having a low latency interface via PCIe or Thunderbolt is going to be mandatory, since using VEP over ethernet will add to your latency considerably. USB interfaces naturally have more inherent latency. With such demanding projects you will have to raise the buffer, and with a USB interface this could make the instruments unplayble, whereas with PCIe or Thunderbolt this delay might be tolerable, and the CPU use is kept to a minimum. My RME HDSPe is running at 1024 buffers and has only 22ms latency, which isn't perfect but it's playable. On my old USB interface it would be unplayable and possibly 100ms or more.

Hope this helps!
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Last edited by aptmusic9; 03-22-2017 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 03-23-2017, 06:37 PM
scopemc scopemc is offline
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jspencer, I certainly think that one machine is great, but since I have to build a new PC, I will try to get some use out of the sunk cost of the MAC, which is still a very powerful box.

Alot of good points aptmusic9. I guess I will need to check out my interface after I build my slave. I am hoping the MOTU hybrid will not be a bottlenext for me. I am using the USB connection now, but I should go back to using the FW 800 for now.

Thanks to you both for the input. I will check out the video you posted and do an update when I make some changes.
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