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RAM* vs CPU Cache Usage in Audio applications- Advice needed

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Hartmut, Feb 7, 2007.


Suppose you have 1GB of RAM and 2MB L2 cache in your DAW. What would benefit you more:

  1. Another gig (or more) of RAM

  2. Another meg (or more) of CPU cache

    0 vote(s)
  1. Hartmut

    Hartmut Guest


    Getting a laptop for audio.
    I wonder what would benefit me more:

    Core 2 Duo T5500 (1.6GHz) with its 2MB L2 cache and 2GB RAM*
    Core 2 Duo T7200 (2.0GHz) with its 4MB L2 cache and 1GB RAM*

    In other words: would audio applications (cubase with plugins)
    benefit more from bigger CPU cache or from more memory?
    It is either-or due to budget restrictions.

    I am planning to get a laptop for up to 16 track recording (onyx firewire mixer) into cubase. Audio manipulation and mixdown will be dealt in cubase, too, with plugins and some hardware effects (off PCMCIA E-Mu card).

    Many thanks for any advice


    *EDIT: assuming RAM is DDR2-667MHz type, CPU is Core Duo/Duo2 type
  2. dbmnk

    dbmnk Guest

    not knowing the answer, but interested in the subject, I'll just point out that the cpu cache is mb and not gb
  3. Hartmut

    Hartmut Guest

    sure, thanks, corrected.

    Any takers?
  4. i'd go for a core 2 duo (2ghz) with 2gb of RAM, it can't hurt
  5. Hartmut

    Hartmut Guest

    Sure you would, so would I if I could
    it is either-or though :D
    (vide: budget)
  6. dbmnk

    dbmnk Guest

    As far as I've been able read, you probably will benefit from getting more ram, as the cheaper cpu in itself is very capable.

    On another note, you can start out with the higher cached cpu and slot in another stick of ram, when budget affords, providing that you are able to buy the same stick of ram at that point, as you want it to run in dual channel with your intel cpu. In order to run in dual channel the ram doesn't necessarily have to from the same vendor (though I'd recommend) but they must have the same latency capabilities and spd latency settings.

    The good part is that the ram will probably be cheaper later on.

    What also is of concern is whether you should buy fast ram (in terms of fsb and latency) or a lot of ram - somebody else may fill in on this one...
  7. kooz

    kooz Active Member

    Apr 10, 2002
    not the beach
    Native Audio apps are processor heavy. The faster processor w/ bigger cache and less RAM (for now) will stand you in better stead in the long run. You'll have to upgrade yr laptop sooner with the slower processor.

    HINT: if yr laptop has 2 slots for RAM and you can only afford a GB, choose 2 512 MB sticks rather than one 1GB stick.
  8. Hartmut

    Hartmut Guest

    thanks for the tips.
    On Native Audio - do you mean Native Instruments software synths and samplers?
  9. Music_Junky

    Music_Junky Active Member

    Nov 1, 2006
    Reykavik Iceland
    Re: RAM* vs CPU Cache Usage in Audio applications- Advice ne

    I personally would go for the 2.0GHz machine. You can always upgrade the memory later but buying more processing power for a laptop means new computer.

    Thats just my opinion, but both those computers will get the job done....

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