• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Topic: Help! Purchasing new desktop...any suggestions?

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Mesquite (Dallas)
    Posts
    105

    Exclamation Help! Purchasing new desktop...any suggestions?

    I am seriously considering purchasing a new computer as my present system still gets lots of midi pops/hiccups whenever I have a piece with a lot of midi channels and/or attempt to play a piece with many midi channels/tracks back with reverb, etc. I uninstalled the Gigastudio program I had on it as I rarely use it now since I got GPO and while my system is much quicker since uninstalling Gigastudio, I still get the above problems with songs that have many midi channels/reverb...in both my Finale 2006 and Cubase VST programs. I recently purchased EWQL Gold Pro XP and fear that when it arrives and I install it I will have even more of the above problems since all of their instruments come with reverb attached and I understand reverb is a major "CPU hog". Plus in the future if I decide to install Kontakt 2 and any programs with large libraries I fear they may not have enough space or speed to roam around and be truly happy.

    My present system is:
    Windows XP Home Edition
    Pentium 4, 1.69 GHz processor (400 MHz front side bus),
    2 hard drives:
    C (operating) drive 37.2 GB with 16.3 GC free space
    D drive...76.3 GB with 52.8 GB free space
    2 GB ram

    (It tends to run very, VERY warm whenever I have Finale or Cubase open and I am working on pieces...not necessarily hot enough to fry an egg or scald my hand when I touch the top of the tower, but about the temperature of a very warm bath.)

    I talked to someone at a local music store yesterday who told me he didn't think the midi hiccups/reverb problems, etc. that I am having have anything to do with my CPU, slower processor speed etc., but rather with the midi channels themselves being "too loud" or that I just need to adjust the latency on my sound card. But my sound card (M Audio) gives me no trouble with audio tracks. Not long after I first installed it it used to pop really bad until I adjusted the latency, but since then I have no trouble with it except for songs that use many instances of Kontakt (many midi tracks) especially if there is a lot of midi data in the midi tracks (e.g. timpani rolls/string tremolos, cresc./decresc., etc.)...and that's just dry. Let alone if I add reverb! I also don't think the "volume" of the midi tracks is necessarily an issue either because as a rule I tend to use the normal volume settings that automatically come up with the GPO instruments.

    I also talked with a salesman at a computer store and he thought my problem with my present system was that it was not running efficiently because of the heating issue. He suggested in addition to putting in a new mother board and processor in my present system to change the casing to provide a better cooling system for it, as increasing the processor speed, etc. would only make it run hotter and even less efficiently. However, when I spoke to the man he suggested I speak with (who actually does computer overhauls) he told me that I would end up spending about the same amount of money trying to overhaul my present system as I would buying a brand new computer and suggested I go that route instead.

    I basically want a system that will give me no more midi hiccups/popping issues...even when working on pieces with a large amount of midi tracks/midi data. I want a system that will not drain my CPU, slow my system down or give me any problems...even when using lots of reverb (like in EWQL). If at all possible I would like to somehow utilize my present system, even if/when I do purchase a new computer as I have quite a bit invested into it (a second hard drive, 2 GB RAM, etc.)...possibly as for storage files, etc. if anyone has any suggestions. And of course, like everyone else, I would like to spend only what is necessary to get this all accomplished!

    The man at the computer store suggested the Gateway (model# GM5076E) for $1300 with Intel Pentium D processor 940 with 2 processor cores, 500 GB hard drive, 2 GB PC4200 DR mem expandable to 4 GB. 2 PCI slots (which means I would be using both of them off the bat...one for my M Audio sound card, the other for a LTP1 printer port PCI installation as I have an older printer and still have to use Cubase's "key" or "toggle" that plugs into an LTP1 printer port in order to use their software). Still this sounds like an incredible deal...but would this solve all my problems?

    If I could find someone to custom build me a system for a good price instead, would it be better to go that route, and if so, what should I make sure was included in it so that I would not have any more of the above issues? (I basically want a hassle free system that I don't have to coddle or worry about so I can get on with the business of making music!)

    Any suggestions or advice would be sincerely appreciated. Thanks!
    "The above remarks must not be taken as pointing backwards to the bad old days when viola players were selected merely because they were too wicked or too senile to play the violin. Those days are happily gone forever." [-Cecil Forsyth on "The Viola," Orchestration]

  2. #2
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    West Seneca, NY
    Posts
    11,075

    Re: Help! Purchasing new desktop...any suggestions?

    You know, the problem with most if not all of these store bought PC's is they are loaded down with office, internet, and all sorts of other garbage we really don't need and most of it is all running in the background bogging down our CPU. It was suggested to me when I was experiencing similar problems to try "startup Inspector" a free software that gives you a clear indication of what is running on your PC, what is necessary and what is not. It works very well and has helped me immensely.
    Also, there is another website that gives you step-by-step instructions on how to "optimize" your PC for recording audio and midi.
    I don't have the link available here but will send it to you later. It just may be your system needs to be optimized like mine did. I've had little or no trouble and mostly with other windows office programs than with recording audio or midi.
    Styxx

  3. #3
    Senior Member Steve_Karl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA 15206 USA
    Posts
    1,425

    Re: Help! Purchasing new desktop...any suggestions?

    My guess is that you need to get a better CPU fan/heatsink, and use "arctic silver" and get a good case fan or 2.
    Also make sure there is a good air channel from the front to the back that passes across the path of the CPU.
    Tie off the flat cables in a good way or use rounded cables to help clean up the air flow by unblocking the "wind" so to speak.

    For case fans:
    The fan in the front sucks in while the fan in the back blows out.

    Good thermal grease applied propperly ( definately a black art ) can lower a CPUs temp by 10*C and make it much more consistent under a heavy load.
    Too much grease ... no good ... too little ...no good.
    It needs to be a thin film that you can see, but also see through.
    Google about it.

    Here's a tutorial:
    http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_s...tions_big2.htm

  4. #4

    Re: Help! Purchasing new desktop...any suggestions?

    Wait until Intel releases their new Core 2 Duo series of CPUs and there are commercial systems (Dell, HP, Apple) that use them.

    This ought to take place in the next two months!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    West Seneca, NY
    Posts
    11,075

    Re: Help! Purchasing new desktop...any suggestions?

    Take a look at MusicXP.net Tuning Windows XP for Audio / Music may be helpful to stabilize things for now until you find another system.
    Styxx

  6. #6
    Senior Member BlueMax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    Posts
    498

    Re: Help! Purchasing new desktop...any suggestions?

    What type of RAM is in there? PC133? RDRAM? DDR400? That series of CPU had a lot floating around at the time. That's $200 you might be able to save when you carry it over. Odds are good your motherboard will not support much of a CPU upgrade.... but depending on your RAM, you could get a dual-core CPU and the appropriate board to reuse DDR400 RAM for under $300 easily.

    And if it's 2GB of RDRAM, you could sell it and buy a house. That stuff is hard to come by and costs a fortune!
    "AAAAUUUUGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!" -- Charlie Brown

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Mesquite (Dallas)
    Posts
    105

    Re: Help! Purchasing new desktop...any suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMax
    What type of RAM is in there? PC133? RDRAM? DDR400? That series of CPU had a lot floating around at the time. That's $200 you might be able to save when you carry it over. Odds are good your motherboard will not support much of a CPU upgrade.... but depending on your RAM, you could get a dual-core CPU and the appropriate board to reuse DDR400 RAM for under $300 easily.

    And if it's 2GB of RDRAM, you could sell it and buy a house. That stuff is hard to come by and costs a fortune!
    BlueMax, it's DDR so I don't think I'll be getting a house any time soon (grin)! Thanks for the advice re: reusing my RAM. I'll take it into consideration when I get ready to purchase my new system.
    "The above remarks must not be taken as pointing backwards to the bad old days when viola players were selected merely because they were too wicked or too senile to play the violin. Those days are happily gone forever." [-Cecil Forsyth on "The Viola," Orchestration]

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Mesquite (Dallas)
    Posts
    105

    Re: Help! Purchasing new desktop...any suggestions?

    Steve, thanks for the advice on how to keep my present system cooler.

    Styxx, I appreciate the websites you directed me to. I tuned my Windows XP "for audio" as well as downloaded the Startup Inspector you suggested and my system seems to be running a lot quicker. It should be able to hold me until I get my new system.

    Wheat, thanks for the advice re: waiting for the Core 2 Duo series to come out. I was not aware of this new series.
    "The above remarks must not be taken as pointing backwards to the bad old days when viola players were selected merely because they were too wicked or too senile to play the violin. Those days are happily gone forever." [-Cecil Forsyth on "The Viola," Orchestration]

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Mesquite (Dallas)
    Posts
    105

    Re: Help! Purchasing new desktop...any suggestions?

    At this point I think I will take Wheat's advice and try and wait a couple of months before purchasing a new system. In the mean time, if anyone else has any suggestions regarding what I should be sure my new system includes--esp. to take care of my above mentioned problems, I would be more than happy to hear them. (I will most likely be getting one custom made.) Thanks!
    "The above remarks must not be taken as pointing backwards to the bad old days when viola players were selected merely because they were too wicked or too senile to play the violin. Those days are happily gone forever." [-Cecil Forsyth on "The Viola," Orchestration]

  10. #10

    Re: Help! Purchasing new desktop...any suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheat Williams
    Wait until Intel releases their new Core 2 Duo series of CPUs and there are commercial systems (Dell, HP, Apple) that use them.

    This ought to take place in the next two months!
    Next two months? How about now? I think it was released last eek or is set to release next week.
    Colton J. Provias
    Film Score Composer, Location Sound Mixer, and Sound Editor
    Full-stack Web Developer

Go Back to forum

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •