Discussion in 'Recording Computers' started by ThirdBird, Dec 15, 2009.
Can anyone give me a general outline of how OS bit selection influences music recording?
As more and more support (read stable drivers being written) becomes prevalent for 64 bit operating systems I am moving to the opinion that 64 bit is preferable. Even 18 months ago I'd have told you that you only need a 64 bit OS if you ran lots of VSTi's or a metric butt load of other plugs in order to address more ram. I am migrating to only 64 bit OS here at home. There is absolutely nothing wrong with 32 bit as it will be in the majority of pc's for a few more years.
Now, a 64 bit OS itself will addess way more than the 3.27 gb of ram than a 32 bit OS will-but only if the hardware and BIOS supports it. For an Intel board you need to make sure that the Intel controller is ICH9 or newer. I don't really think you'll have a problem since any board that'll take an i7 will address should have the latest greatest controllers. I only mention it to be thorough. That's why you see a lot of pc's at Dell/HP/Acer/whatever that max ram at 4gb. Lots of older mobos with ICH7 or ICH8 controllers out there.
Wow. That was a lot of typing diarrhea to say other than regards the ram there isn't much difference in music production software between the OS bit rates.
I'll drink some coffee and be more concise in a minute.
Can I point out something I learned recently?
As a programmer, 32bit Windows software can only (by default) address 2GB of RAM (I'm 99% sure this includes what is used by DLL extensions i.e. VSTs), leaving 1GB for Windows itself to use. If you manually compile your application with an extra switch, it can address up to 3GB, leaving less for Windows.
On a 64bit platform, a single application (plus extensions) can only address 8TB (not the full 2^64, whatever that works out at).
(I got this from a page on 64bit software inside the DirectX SDK for game developers)
Forgot to mention that a 32bit app on a 64bit platform can only address 2GB, unless it's specially built: in which case it can address a full 4GB.
Naturally, this addressing can only be done if that much RAM is available.
I really like cars with 16 cylinder engines but generally, I use a car with a V-8 engine. I know the V-16 engine can go faster. But I think I'll stick with my V-8 for a while longer. Should I get an aftermarket turbo charger or supercharger? Or should I just forget it since I have multi-port electronic fuel injection?
Does that answer your question?
Mx. Remy Ann David
It doesn't affect nor influence music recording.
The very purpose of a 64bit OS (when it comes to DAW's) is to allow for more than 3.5GB of memory, period. That's it.
All you have to do is ask yourself, "Do I need more than 4GB of memory installed on my PC?"
Heavy VSTi usage/Plug-in usage like convolution reverb/heavy sample streaming YES, you will need more than 4GB, which then implies you must be running a 64 bit OS.
Ask yourself what you are using/doing.
If you understand how RAM is allocated, then the obvious difference is accessible RAM versus hitting a ceiling due to a limitation in running a 32bit OS.
I'm having a problem with your analogy Remy...
I don't necessarily *like* 16 cylinder engines...I NEED THEM!!!
I need my i7 2.93GHZ Quad Core.
A C2Q simply does not cut it...
The engine of a computer is its CPU, not its RAM.
The RAM is a function to help the computer allocate memory to a service.
In this case the RAM is analogous to a cars' fuel/mixture...
A turbo/supercharger would be an overclock, a multi port fuel injection would be analogous to how the RAM runs, i.e timings and speed.
In any event I need 12GB of RAM, and would prefer to have 24GB, however at this time 12GB (while it might suffice for now) isn't an optimal amount.
All of these statements and qualifications are useless without one thing:
User Work Flow....
Without knowing the OP's work flow, how can we properly recommend the right things for his application?
Actually, if you use what's called the '3 gb switch' (I forget on whether it's in the win.ini or boot.in file) a recompile is not necessary. You can use apps just as they are.
I've heard of that switch, but I tried not to mention it. When I read the docs for the effects it has in conjunction with the flag, I started confusing myself.
Here's the link to an explanation of the 3gb switch.
For recording application DAW's Cubase and Sonar both have 32 or 64bit installations now.
I don't know if there are other DAW's out there that are also 64bit, but I'm sure someone here will chime in with a report on other platforms....
Win7 has the ability to use existing 32bit apps by creating a second Program Files folder with a "x86" subscript.
So you end up with 2 Program Folders in Win7 (64bit OS), one for 32bit apps and one for 64bit apps.
So no loss of use for any existing 32bit applications you might already have or use.
The influence will be whether or not your buying all new software and computers or you already have a DAW and legacy apps. So either way right now you have the best of both worlds going with a 64bit OS like Win7...
As far as performance using an all new fully 64bit configuration will be the best choice for the future.
I'm currently using Cubase 4 on a WinXP Pro w/4G RAM and it works just fine.
I just finished a friends system Win7 (64bit) with Cubase Studio 4 (32bit) and it works perfectly fine as well...
I suspect my next upgrade will be Win7 64bit i7 with Cubase 5 and 16G RAM.....just don't need to right now!
Hope that helps!
Just thought I'd correct you:
JBridge is VST bridge program that allows you to break the GB barries when running a 32bit VST on a 64bit system/OS.
I have an AMD phenom2 x3 pc, with 4gb ram and have recently installed Sonar 8 PE in its 64bit version. I'm waiting to see what happens when I start recording, but my guess is that the amount of things I can pile up should be larger, shouldn't it?
AMD processors are not particularly effective for video or audio processing. Also, if you did not increase your ram from before changing over to 64bit OS, then having a 64bit OS and DAW will not change a thing.
I started recording some 7 years ago, and it was with an old (by now) amd athlon, 1.8 if I'm not wrong. I recorded dozens and dozens of songs with that "little" machine, never had any problem. then one day I had the brilliant idea of getting myself an Intel Pc (Core 2 Duo) and got dropouts every minute of recording, a million issues with irq ports and communications, slow flow to the hard disk, etc etc. so the production was somewhat lessened (though I still recorded many things with it). and now I've returned to my old love, AMD, which has always given pleasure and ease of use...
I guess it's a matter of taste
Ten years ago AMD was pound for pound the better processor. Now it just isn't even close. It's a matter of motherboard architecture. Whatever you put that Core 2 Duo on was creating latency somewhere.
It takes more research than most folks think to create a smoking fast DAW machine. Mac doesn't have that issue because they are the only ones that build their machines and can control the components-no issues at least as long as you stick with the Pro machines. For us Windows users it's more complicated than that if you decide to build your own or buy a consumer level machine. There are so many options and many mobo manufacturers don't implement the memory controllers very well or piggy back different components in an asinine fashion. Sometimes the buyer gets lucky but not most of the time.
I have an eight year old desktop with an AMD processor that works great recording live up to about 16-20 tracks at 24/96 but it doesn't have near the horsepower of my main laptops. I researched for months before I bought the mobo and CPU and GPU so that it would be flawless.
I have to say, I've been using AMD chips for a while now too. Starting with the Athlon 64's to the x2's and now Athlon II x4. No where near their best chip but I have yet to have issues with them. I have also been fortunate enough to avoid many of the issues that ProTools users are having. That being said, I've always tried to buy reputable names as far as components are concerned. Still this is a budget system by most peoples standards. So far so good. I'm about to delve into my first Intel chip in about five years. In a laptop yet. Hopefully they pull through for me.
I have a few DAW's, a new PCAudioLabs i7 965 3.2 running window XP ( wow) and a Rain ION 64 Octo 2.4 AMD Phemom II with 16 gig of ram ( Wow again). Without going into detailed comparisons between the two machines, the ION AMD is a beast, amazing speed, so quick. It would be an awesome gaming machine however its tuned for audio. I can't decide which machine is better. They are very close in speed. The graphics on the AMD are hands down, far better but its partly due to it having a better graphics card. Running two big monitors and 16 tracks no problem. I haven't had either DAW long enough to compare the two with audio but I can definitely say the ION its stunning. I'm installing windows 7 on it next week. It should be even better.
Why do you say AMD is not that good for A/V ?
In terms of pure processing power the i7 outperforms the current top AMD cpus hands down. What you are experiencing, Chris, are machines that are assembled by folks that know how to put the things together with components that don't fight each other. The average poster here at RO is dealing with computers that are the preamp equivalent of something just above Beh#$^#%^ and certainly no better than ART. I'm sure I'll get someone protesting that statement but they don't know computers very well. I don't doubt that your Ion DAW works like a champ. It's way above the average. More the equivalent of a Millennia or Daking or Grace.
Now, one could easily argue that any of the current cpu's are more than adequate for any audio needs. And probably be right. The bottlenecks are nearly always somewhere in the memory controller or the motherboard architecture and not the cpu.
I'm not sure if that answers the question. It's late. I think you'll like Win7.
in MY case, I DO know my fair share of computers and computing... I HAD TO LEARN a lot more when I had the problematic intel core 2 duo...
I'm still using my AMD FX-60 2.6Ghz WinXP Pro 4G RAM, RMEFF800 and it has never had a problem!
I built it myself about four years ago and other than a power supply going south three years ago it has been rock solid.
I have over 1Tb of HDD eSATA, two monitors, MIDI, FW, ADAT and I also use it for everything else, no runs, no drips, no errors! And every program I have ever installed other than some NI software has worked perfectly!
Jack is right though ever since the i7 came out the AMD series hasn't kept up, except to say I think a Phenom system could be built to run as solid as an i7 system in terms of reliability...maybe not speed but with the right motherboard and surrounding equipment, the price of a new Phenom system could outweigh the costs of the i7. Speed is relative and with enough RAM and proper controller chipsets etc., speed doesn't always make for a more stable reliable system....which I think is far more important!....IMHO...speed isn't everything, OC'ing and all that creates instability.
Now I've been thinking about building another computer....and I think I want to build a new i7 system 64bit Win7 and maybe even upgrade to Cubase 5 which I would like to use along with my first system.
So....which i7 (or maybe even i5) processor and motherboard would you consider to be a reasonably good stable build?
I saw this on NewEgg and I want it!!!....mmmmm power and speed :tongue: Hehe
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