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Topic: dedicated audio computer

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  1. #1

    dedicated audio computer

    I need to buy a new desktop PC for use exclusively for audio. I could just buy a top-line machine and remove everything not absolutely necessary to run XP (though Microsoft makes that an annoying and time-consuming task), or I have seen some machines offered (e.g. Sweetwater's audio computers) that are supposedly geared toward audio work. I am wondering if any of you have any good sources for custom built machines or other suggestions.

    Thanks,
    Mike

  2. #2

    Re: dedicated audio computer

    Quote Originally Posted by Astro
    I need to buy a new desktop PC for use exclusively for audio. I could just buy a top-line machine and remove everything not absolutely necessary to run XP (though Microsoft makes that an annoying and time-consuming task), or I have seen some machines offered (e.g. Sweetwater's audio computers) that are supposedly geared toward audio work. I am wondering if any of you have any good sources for custom built machines or other suggestions.

    Thanks,
    Mike

    i could do that but i am located in germany
    Digital AudionetworX

    ______________________________
    http://www.digital-audionetworx.de
    mac - pc - gigastudio
    berlin - germany

  3. #3

    Re: dedicated audio computer

    Quote Originally Posted by Astro
    I need to buy a new desktop PC for use exclusively for audio. I could just buy a top-line machine and remove everything not absolutely necessary to run XP (though Microsoft makes that an annoying and time-consuming task), or I have seen some machines offered (e.g. Sweetwater's audio computers) that are supposedly geared toward audio work. I am wondering if any of you have any good sources for custom built machines or other suggestions.

    Thanks,
    Mike
    Mike, I have done some comparison test with the AMD Athlon 64 4000+(single core), 4800+(dual core), Intel Pentium 660 (single core), Pentium 4 3.6MHz(single core). My conclusion is the best is the Athlon 64 4800+ dual core because Windows XP will automatically distribute the CPU load of demanding applications such as Cubase and GigaStudio 3. You can run these two apps at the same time without any problem.
    As for the sound noise generated by CPU coolers, power supply fun and case funs, AMD Athlon 64 is better than Intel Pentium because Athlon generates less heat and easy to cool. I built PC with 12dB noise level and it is very calm with Athlon 64 4800+ with a large CPU cooler fan (12cm) and very calm power supply and case funs. I configured a system with Pentium 660 with quiet coolers, this one is much much noisier than Athlon system. I cannot use it for music creation.
    So my recommendation: Athlon 64 4800+(dual core) if budget allows. if not Athlon 64 4000+(single core) or less. Motherboard ASUS A8N SLI Premium (very quiet motherboard). Use 12dB CPU cooler with 12cm fan, and 12cm case fans, very quiet power supply, I used fans and power supplies from SNE in Japan. http://www.sne-web.co.jp/ sne@sne-web.co.jp if they do not ship to your country, you might be able to find similar products by Googling. For this configuration you cannot use small PC case.
    I also considered the water cooling but found out that water cooling cannot achieve 12dB noise level. plus there is maintenance issues for water cooling.

    pjo

  4. #4

    Re: dedicated audio computer

    Quote Originally Posted by pjo
    Mike, I have done some comparison test with the AMD Athlon 64 4000+(single core), 4800+(dual core), Intel Pentium 660 (single core), Pentium 4 3.6MHz(single core). My conclusion is the best is the Athlon 64 4800+ dual core because Windows XP will automatically distribute the CPU load of demanding applications such as Cubase and GigaStudio 3. You can run these two apps at the same time without any problem.
    As for the sound noise generated by CPU coolers, power supply fun and case funs, AMD Athlon 64 is better than Intel Pentium because Athlon generates less heat and easy to cool. I built PC with 12dB noise level and it is very calm with Athlon 64 4800+ with a large CPU cooler fan (12cm) and very calm power supply and case funs. I configured a system with Pentium 660 with quiet coolers, this one is much much noisier than Athlon system. I cannot use it for music creation.
    So my recommendation: Athlon 64 4800+(dual core) if budget allows. if not Athlon 64 4000+(single core) or less. Motherboard ASUS A8N SLI Premium (very quiet motherboard). Use 12dB CPU cooler with 12cm fan, and 12cm case fans, very quiet power supply, I used fans and power supplies from SNE in Japan. http://www.sne-web.co.jp/ sne@sne-web.co.jp if they do not ship to your country, you might be able to find similar products by Googling. For this configuration you cannot use small PC case.
    I also considered the water cooling but found out that water cooling cannot achieve 12dB noise level. plus there is maintenance issues for water cooling.

    pjo


    Thanks for sharing that pjo :-)
    So do you agree that if one is to run GS3....as well as other programs (audio as well as Word processing etc) one would have more success with a dual core processor?

  5. #5

    Re: dedicated audio computer

    Quote Originally Posted by mal7
    Thanks for sharing that pjo :-)
    So do you agree that if one is to run GS3....as well as other programs (audio as well as Word processing etc) one would have more success with a dual core processor?
    Oh sure. Demanding applications will benefit from Dual Core. Even an application software is not coded to take advantage of dual core, if only this application runs, there is no benefit gained by dual core but simultaneously if other application runs then there is a great benefit to be gained by dual core because there are effectively two CPUs. If you run Cubase and GS3 and Photoshop or Word, there are performance gain over to the single core.
    If I run SONAR 4 and GS3, CPU load is much less than the single core.
    Of course there is a big price to pay for dual core because there are two CPUs in the box. Almost double price of the single core. Cheers.

  6. #6
    Senior Member james vogts's Avatar
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    las vegas ,nv> USA
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    Thumbs up Re: dedicated audio computer

    Seems to me that dual core, and 64 bit are the future. The current designs are more of a fight to push that thought a little further. But Intel only put up its design to keep market pressure on AMD. AMD is a truly better design, but for audio, a stable quiet design is paramount. Buying new PCI-e mobos with current audio apps based on NF4 makes good sense on paper, but the truth is that their immature drivers and new hardware will be buggy for the rest of the year. Softhouses are only currently more interested in pushing their leftover apps out the door while promising compatability with 64bit, and dual core optimization. If low db levels and stability are important, the Pentium M 780 OC'd to 2822MHz cannot be beat. But the next move for the M is code named Yonah. This will be a true audio dream. Dual core, low power, enhanced power stepping, 2MB low latency 10 cycle L2 cache, and a true design for multimedia, and audio. It's the best designed dual core CPU. It will be available quarter 1 '06. By then software should have matured. And you can believe that Intel is testing their new 65nm fab as we speak, while using some 64bit compiler. They're already demoing Sonar 4, and Pro.5 with 64bit in public. So that shows their in it for us audio nerds. I don't use the Pentium M unfortunately. But I definately will be on ther dual core wagon whem Yonah is available. Hell right now the Gigapulse instances in the Pentium M 780 beats the FX57, and future FX59, with all of the P4 designs well behind them! Add the high power output and noise of cooling to that. No thanks. Current designs are not audio friendly, but Intel will be our friends again. Let AMD cater to the gaming community. they always need more speed. I prefer silence and stability with future architechture of 64bit.

  7. #7

    Re: dedicated audio computer

    Quote Originally Posted by james vogts
    Seems to me that dual core, and 64 bit are the future. The current designs are more of a fight to push that thought a little further. But Intel only put up its design to keep market pressure on AMD. AMD is a truly better design, but for audio, a stable quiet design is paramount. Buying new PCI-e mobos with current audio apps based on NF4 makes good sense on paper, but the truth is that their immature drivers and new hardware will be buggy for the rest of the year. Softhouses are only currently more interested in pushing their leftover apps out the door while promising compatability with 64bit, and dual core optimization. If low db levels and stability are important, the Pentium M 780 OC'd to 2822MHz cannot be beat. But the next move for the M is code named Yonah. This will be a true audio dream. Dual core, low power, enhanced power stepping, 2MB low latency 10 cycle L2 cache, and a true design for multimedia, and audio. It's the best designed dual core CPU. It will be available quarter 1 '06. By then software should have matured. And you can believe that Intel is testing their new 65nm fab as we speak, while using some 64bit compiler. They're already demoing Sonar 4, and Pro.5 with 64bit in public. So that shows their in it for us audio nerds. I don't use the Pentium M unfortunately. But I definately will be on ther dual core wagon whem Yonah is available. Hell right now the Gigapulse instances in the Pentium M 780 beats the FX57, and future FX59, with all of the P4 designs well behind them! Add the high power output and noise of cooling to that. No thanks. Current designs are not audio friendly, but Intel will be our friends again. Let AMD cater to the gaming community. they always need more speed. I prefer silence and stability with future architechture of 64bit.
    Interesting comments ...
    I'm going to try to be patient for 6 months :-)

  8. #8
    Senior Member james vogts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    las vegas ,nv> USA
    Posts
    107

    Re: dedicated audio computer

    Right now if you want a dedicated GS3 computer only, I would still wait till Christmas and buy an M780. It would be much cheaper then. I would've built a box like this if I would have known about the power it harnessed. It is the best and last design of an efficient architechture for single threaded apps. Until Tascam rewrites GS3 for multi-threaded apps, this is the ultimate CPU for GS3. Besides, when or if you use dual core, the way it is designed right now, you can't access the kernel level MIDI optimizations, although it should operate without them. I'm a live performer, so my gear is without sequencing, or pre-recorded tracks. Just the facts, mam. Even though I have a hot swap RAID 1 configuration, with Creamware DSP card, I have never had one hiccup yet. The system integrater config'd this box good. He's also the jerk who showed me the M 780 box after he built mine. But mine is a live stable workhorse.

    Supermicro P4SCT+II
    Northwood P4 3.4GHz engineering sample
    2GB ECC DDR400
    2 x WD740G RAID 1 samples
    WD360G Gigapulse
    WD360G O.S. + apps.
    Creamware Scope DSP for mixing and Hammond emulation
    Matrox G450 4x AGP 32MB DDR
    Motion Sound Pro3T
    2 x Barbetta Sona 31c
    Oberheim XPander
    Oberheim MC3000 Master
    M Audio Keystation Pro 88
    Lexicon MPX550 ( spdif )
    Alesis Q20 ( ADAT )

    P.S. I use Gigapulse for resonant body impulses, then external FX for reverbs.
    The M 780 gets 7 impulses while my P4 ES gets 5 before it shows trouble. I have an engineering sample CPU OC'd to 17 x 233MHz. I never play live OC'd on the P4, however the M 780 is amazingly cool OC'd.My buddy maxs out his M 780 on games for hours at a time. 500+ fps, and you can't even hear it except for his P.S.U.

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