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Buy new CPU or work with mine

Discussion in 'Computers / Software' started by Maks Lavrov, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. Maks Lavrov

    Maks Lavrov Active Member

    I have a Dell Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 Bit, Intel core duo (E7500 @ 2.93 GHz, no clue what that stands for) and 8 GB of ram

    So everytime I run more than a few vsts, my CPU usage goes out the roof so I can never work on any big projects. So tell me, what can I so? I'm investing more into bigger vsts so I kind of need this thing to work. So far I run EWQL Hollywood strings, Halion Sonic, and Kontakt with some epic stuff from tone hammer. Just runnin the strings alone overloads the CPU. I'm willing to pay to upgrade to a better computer to make it easier to work. Thanks in advance guys and gals!
  2. Maks Lavrov

    Maks Lavrov Active Member

    I should add that I've tried optimizing windows for recording, didnt help. I don't run Internet or have any firewalls or anything like that. Simply use cubase on it that's it
  3. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Desktop or laptop? How many hard drives installed, and what's each used for? What recording/playback interface...internal card, USB, Firewire? Need more info.

  4. Maks Lavrov

    Maks Lavrov Active Member

    I use Tascam us-122 as the interface. CPU is a desktop, and all the specs are bone stock. I have not added anything to it, it's untouched out of the box. Let me know if you need other info. Sorry I don't have the hang of all of this stuff yet, so that's why I'm here :confused:
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Optimise Win7 for Cubase 6

    Definitely you need to optimize your PC. Did you do all this?
    Turn off a bunch of stuff, it should work much faster. Its interesting how awesome a PC can be leaned out. Trim off the FAT!

    These are just some links I googled for you. Read and take your pick.

    • http://www.steinberg.net • View topic - Optimise Win7 for Cubase 6
    • ***The Sonar x64/Windows 7 x64 Install, Tweaks & Compatibility Thread***
    • Optimising your PC for audio on Windows 7 .: Focusrite Answerbase
    • Black Viper’s Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Service Configurations | Black Viper | www.blackviper.com
    • PreSonus | Learn - Optimizing Windows® Vista and Windows 7 for Music Production

    If this didn't help, an i7 is much faster but its needs to be built right and optimized too. VSTi consume major CPU. Even though my system is smoking fast, I am leaving VSTi and going back to hardware. I just added a Kronos X to the studio.
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    One of the primary reasons core duo motherboards require so much optimization is the memory controller. The mem controller on an i3/i5/i7 mobo can handle a tremendous amount more throughput. That said, the core duo will work fine for your interface though you will always be limited with the number of VST plugs you can use simultaneously.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2
  7. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Another hard drive, or two, wouldn't hurt, either. Main one for OS/programs, one optimized for audio recording data only, and one for all the VSTs?
  8. Maks Lavrov

    Maks Lavrov Active Member

    How would I go about installing more hard drives? Does that mean I have to reinstall everything into its new hard drive if I were to go with three?
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    No. You have to move the files to their new location. Then you go into your DAW program and point it to those locations. No re-installation is needed.
  10. Maks Lavrov

    Maks Lavrov Active Member

    Thanks for the replies. Anyone want to point me to the right direction hard drive wise?
  11. Maks Lavrov

    Maks Lavrov Active Member

    So if I add a seagate hard drive and install all my vsts to it, will that make the workflow alot faster? Will i be able to run more than a few vsts at the same time?
  12. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Certainly couldn't hurt.

    Think about what a hard drive does. It writes, stores and accesses information. Your operating system and programs are on that drive. Your OS is busy constantly, just being Windows...even if you have a lot of stuff turned off. Then, you have Cubase. While it's running, it's reading and writing information.

    That gets those heads flittering about, jumping all over the place to retrieve, use and write more info. Add some big ol' VST instruments for it to access and use, and those heads are really straining to keep up and throughput the data. You can bottleneck a couple different ways. Either the computer can't access the data fast enough to use, because it's already loaded up the RAM, and there's too much data for the hard drive heads to pick quickly enough, or it is actually picking it up quick enough and shoving it into RAM to use, but can't process and write it back quickly enough.

    With another hard drive, the OS and Cubase can just do what they do, and the new drive can just access the VST instruments, freeing up the main drive from that task. With TWO more drives, you can use one for the VST instruments, and one to read/write the audio to. The OS and Cubase are accessing one drive, you're dragging instruments off another, and reading/writing audio to another. Each has their own little chores, freeing the others to run more efficiently.

    The only bottlenecks that would happen are if the processor or RAM wasn't keeping up with the three drives. There are buffer settings in the programs to help compensate for some of that. There may be settings ion your interface to help with that, also. The trick is to balance it all out. It took me a month of trial-and-error to balance mine out to get the most track count as possible to run a bunch of tracks while recording more, and while running some VST effects, instruments, etc.

    There are ways to format your hard drives so that each is running most efficiently, according to its purpose. Just formatting it to the default settings may not be best for audio, depending on what it tries to format to. 4Kb clusters may be too small, and 64Kb may be too big. It depends on your recording techniques, and how many audio tracks you'll want to be able to record and play back. If you make them too big, and you have a LOT of tracks, then it may spend just a bit too long on each data cluster to keep up. If they are too small, then the little heads in there will be skittering around all over the place trying to access and write data, and eventually they'll just throw up their little hands and give up.

    The point is, everything needs to tweaked and balanced for your particular workflow, the number of tracks you need to record/play, and the amount of VST instruments and effects you use.

    You can also do yourself a favor and record/render those virtual instrument tracks down to audio earlier, than keeping on stacking them up trying to have Cubase use them all at once. MIDI, itself, creates no great demands on a computer. I still use an old PIII with 198 MG of RAM for Cakewalk 9, and it just controls all the keyboards/modules. I can run 100 tracks of MIDI, going to 6 different places, with no problems. The difference is, I'm not triggering VSTi's on that thing. Those are on another computer, synced up to the "MIDI only" computer. Once I have MIDI well-established as the basis of my tune, and I start adding vocals, guitars, bass, etc., my "audio-only" computer turns into "Master", and my "VSTi MIDI computer" and "MIDI only" computers are slaves. I start the sequence in the audio computer, the other computers lock in, and play along. (On my "audio-only" computer, I do have the basic skeletal MIDI file on it, to reference to the other MIDI files and run the tempo changes, etc.)

    Yep, take some strain off your main drive.


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