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Recommend me a processor/mobo combo

Discussion in 'Computers / Software' started by JoshuaD, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. JoshuaD

    JoshuaD Guest

    I recently purchased an m-audio profire 2626. I'm going to be running it with Pro-tools 8 on my windows Vista (or XP, if that's better) . I got it all setup today but I think my processor is probably a bit too slow. I'm experiencing peaked-out processor with only a few tracks and a few basic plug-ins. Here are my system specs:

    Intel Pentium 4 CPU 3.00 GHz (32 bit, I believe dual-core)
    2 GB Ram
    I'm running Windows on a 7200rpm 120GB sata hard drive. I'm recording to a 7200rpm 500gb hard drive.
    The computer is custom built, good quality hardware.

    I'm pretty clueless on what sort of hardware I'll need to run pro-tools 8 comfortably. Any recommendations? My use case is all over the place. There will be a lot of singer-songwriter stuff, but I'll definitely have some songs where there's a lot more going on.

    For what it's worth, I never had any issues like this with processing power on my mbox with pro-tools 7.x on the machine that lived before this one. Is 8 that much more processor intensive? Just having a session with a few tracks open puts my processor up to the 80's or 90's.

    My playback engine is:
    H/W Buffer Size: 1024
    RTAS Processors: 2
    CPU Usage Limit: 90%
    RTAS Engine: Ignore Errors check, Minimize unchecked
    DAE Playback Buffer:
    size: Level 2
    Cache Size: Large

    Any suggestions? My use case is all over the place. I don't want to be very limited on my plug-in count.
  2. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    PT 8 is definitely more of a resource hog. You will want the most powerful processor you can afford. If you are on a budget, think AMD Phenom II 920 and a decent MOBO of your choice. I'm using an M3A76-CM which is an AM2+ based motherboard. This means that I can't take advantage of DDR3 RAM. Still, it's fast enough for my needs. You will not want to go beyond 8.01 as far as CS updates are concerned. There have been some serious issues with 8.03. Window XP Pro or Windows 7 Pro/Ultimate only are supported. (Vista too but why mention that?) If you can afford an i7, go for it.
  3. JoshuaD

    JoshuaD Guest

    I'd like to spend $300 or so. If more is necessary, then I'll spend more.

    I recall reading somewhere that we shouldn't use abit or asus for our recording machines. I've always trusted those names otherwise. Does anyone have a recommendation if it's not one of those two brands?

    Is 2 core right? 4 core? 3 core?

  4. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Chipset is what makes the difference with motherboards. The one I'm using now is ASUS. I've never had any problems with it. Particularly with ProTools, it has been very good.
  5. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    One other option may be to consider going 64-bit.

    I tend to run a few tracks (12-24+/song), and just as many plugs.
    I use Vista 32 and have a slightly inferior processor, but 3G RAM.
    I run into problems usually only when I really start running heavy w/ tracks and plugs.

    By going 64bit, you (and I) can add a lot more RAM, which is critical for high tracks and plug counts.
    However, you'll have to make sure all your plugs are 64bit. (Driver update?)

    Also, if you use multiple mics for a source, consider bouncing them down to a stereo track when comfortable w/ panning and sound.
    This has saved me CPU at times.

    Just a few other ideas to consider along w/ your upgrade.
  6. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    64bit and ProTools is not such a great idea. It's still beta and buggy from what I hear. Have you gone to the DUC to ask about this stuff?
  7. JoshuaD

    JoshuaD Guest

    huseph: yea, Here and here. No luck yet.

    I'm pretty much just looking for someone to say "Processor X and Motherboard Y will definitely have no compatibility issues." I'd like for them to be compatible with with memory I have now (2x 1GB DIMM DDR2 PC2-6400U DDR2-800), but I'm not terribly concerned with that. At this point I just really want to get pro-tools working properly and without hang-ups or glitches. I just spent $1500 on a bunch of equipment and I can't really use it. :(
  8. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I'm using DDR2 800MHz Ram. All I can say is that this is working. Asus M3A76-CM w/Athlon II 620 quad core cpu, windows XP pro. I had Windows 7 RC for a while and that worked as well. Reverted to XP as it's less resource hungry. A Phenom II processor will most likely give a performance boost.
  9. Hell01

    Hell01 Guest

    So interesting info.Thanks
  10. HaHallur

    HaHallur Active Member

    Add 100 bucks (400) and go with Intel i7 930 and a socket 1366 motherboard.

    4 Cores, 8 threads and the best there is for the money.

    You won't be able to use your old memory but 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 is available for less than 150$.

    It will be a huge... HUGE performance leap over your old single core P4 :D

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