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Topic: OK does this make any sense?

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  1. #1

    OK does this make any sense?

    Alright so maybe this has been kicked around these virtual hallways before. And if it has just tell to get lost and go read some thread somewhere. But how much CPU power is really needed to play these libs. I mean my S2000 probably had a 16MHZ processor. Right?

    IT"S about RAM and hard drive speed. Ain't it?

    What do you guys think is needed in a PC's clock speed to play a fair amout of samples streamed off disk? I wanna buy like 5 of them for a new system.

    I use 5 macs now but am thinking about using PCs. (one for sequecer)

    Shouldn't like a 1 GHZ pentium be plenty?

    How much is in my JV? R8? 01W? M1? HR16? Poly6?

    TS

  2. #2

    Re: OK does this make any sense?

    Your other modules may not be a speed demon, but it also doesn't have to be able to stream digital audio from other sources, have a fancy GUI interface, deal with other software, buggy drivers, Windows, etc.

    You probably won't get away with just a 1Ghz machine. Since this is software-based sampling, your CPU has to deal with a crapload of data. Don't know if this is a good example, but think of PC video games, the difference between software rendering and hardware-accelerated OpenGL or DirectX...

    Yeah, it's more about RAM and HDD... until you add effects.

  3. #3

    Re: OK does this make any sense?

    Shouldn't like a 1 GHZ pentium be plenty?
    You can’t find any 1Ghz anymore...


    One year ago I thought that we could deal with the power of server PCs, but since convolution verbs are embedded in our samplers now, there is no choice : you need a 3400 minimum, specially if you plane to link your PCs with Giga or FX Teleport.

    And specially if you want to work in real time. You need to work a 64 samples on your sequencer DAW to get less than 7ms in total for your dedicated PCs, which practically needs the biggest DAW at the moment to work with a reasonable number of tracks...

    Of course DDR400 memories and ATA133 minimum for your drives (SATA 10000rpm are better).

    However you don’t need a big video card for audio. No need to buy a F1... It’s ruinous for nothing...

    A five PCs network is a pro combination. In my opinion you probably need to work in real time, and I have a bad news for you : you’ll can’t make any saving about the power of your slave DAWs.

    I’m not even sure that you can use FX-Teleport (with GLAN, of course) in real time on 5 posts with such spec. You’ll probably have to add one or two sound cards.

    In any case, you’ll never regret to get more power than you guessed, believe me...


    For example I have a P4 2.6 (HT on) linked to a Athlon 2.8 (with a SATA 10000rpm for samples), and can’t even run my sequencer at 64 samples (RME 96/52)... I’m forced to run it at 128, and I still feel the latency of my slave machine (over optical ADAT).
    And I can’t run Gigateleport in real time (over GLAN)...

    Be really careful of what you’ll do before buying 5 PCs...

  4. #4

    Re: OK does this make any sense?

    7200rpm vs 10,000rpm?

    Big difference?



    -TS

  5. #5
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
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    Re: OK does this make any sense?

    With RAID 0 you can get away with less I believe


    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...ad.php?t=35959

  6. #6

    Re: OK does this make any sense?

    Quote Originally Posted by landford
    I mean my S2000 probably had a 16MHZ processor. Right?
    Maybe not even that (can't remember now)!

    The thing is, a hardware sampler (and modern 'ROMpler' synth) has custom LSIs and chips and components to efficiently handle sample playback, loop playback, interpolation (i.e. transposing samples away from their original pitch), phase accurate real-time velocity and keygroup/zone crossfades as well as filtering, envelopes, LFOs, FX and other 'synth' processes and often (invariably), the code for these components will be written in a low level machine code for optimum efficiency. The CPU is simply 'managing' these components and so can be relatively modestly spec'd.

    A s/w sampler, on the other hand, has to 'emulate' all these components in software, hence the high CPU requirements - it takes a fair amount of number crunching to do in software what a bit of hardware can do in its sleep!

    I take the point made elsewhere that a hardware sampler doesn't have to do disk streaming (although the S5/6000 do a pretty good job of that) or a fancy big GUI. Neither does it have to host a sequencer (in which to play the sampler plug-in) or deal with background tasks like printing or whatever else might be going on at the time - in short, it has one task to do and is optimised for that. Neither does it have to cope with the vaguaries of the host OS (which is also equally optimised in a piece of hardware).

    As for the other pieces of hardware gear you mentioned, these are just samplers in a different guise and they too will have dedicated circuitry for the task in hand. Furthermore, the ROM samples within them will have been optimised (using lower sample rates and bit-depths perhaps).


    Steve

  7. #7
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    Re: OK does this make any sense?

    I have four pcs running in a sync system (V-stack, Nuendo, Cubase etc) each with Layla 3g sound cards, each driven by Digital Timepiece for master clock. I have 2.5 gb ram on each p4 3.2 machine. I still run out of ram and cpu for various audio, samples, loops, and vsti's, even though the workload's distributed.

    I've decided that I'm not going to try to upgrade or wring any more performance out of what I have because I'm pretty confident that the 64 bit hardware/os/apps situation will be in a much better state a year from now....that's when I'll buy new 64 bit machines/os and get the resulting power increase...including access to at least 8gb-1 terrabyte ram per machine (as I understand that's where we almost are right now and will be in a few months...plz correct me if any of you have heard differently). That should fix the ram situation for a bit.

  8. #8

    Re: OK does this make any sense?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crystal
    You can’t find any 1Ghz anymore...
    Sure you can - In my own PC hardware cemetary

  9. #9

    Re: OK does this make any sense?

    Quote Originally Posted by NetHead026
    You probably won't get away with just a 1Ghz machine. Since this is software-based sampling, your CPU has to deal with a crapload of data. Don't know if this is a good example, but think of PC video games, the difference between software rendering and hardware-accelerated OpenGL or DirectX...
    Amongst my more powerful computers sit two older (but very quiet) 866mhz Dell Optiplex machines both running GS2.54 to pretty much full performance. Its probably a credit to Gigastudio that it was so well written that these older machines could get such a great performance from them.

    Its sometimes worth hanging onto older machines and finding fresh uses for them amongst a current setup rather than just selling them off on ebay.
    Trev Parks

  10. #10

    Re: OK does this make any sense?

    Let me tell you what I did:

    Last year, I bought 4 G3 macs for $29 each, after adding the full 768MB RAM limit they cost me under $100 each.

    Now these are old machines running under 466MHZ. BUt if I load all samples into RAM (not using verbs or DFD) into Kontakt (version 1) they run my libs which are combinations of various old and new libraires (under 4 gB of RAM for all 4 machines.) With mod wheel crossfading that I customized for all these samples, keyswitching and multi-velocity layering, etc... it DOES work and work well. NO crashing no clicks no pops. For under $400 for the machines.

    Now I'm gonna buy GOLD and I may be wrong but I believe if I can get 4 machines with 2GB+ RAM each without running convolution reverbs (I use my Pro Tools rig for that) the processing power of a slightly older machine, I think it will handle processing under those conditions. But I can't test that quite yet cause I don't have the GOLD lib yet and another question is I don't know if I can load all the samples I need in about 8 or GB of RAM across 4 machines.

    TS

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