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This is nuts !

Discussion in 'Computing' started by sturoc, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. sturoc

    sturoc Active Member

    I am ready to order for a new DAW , but the opinions are so varied on CPUs So a few questions before I start pulling my brains out:

    the use:
    Cubase centered system, recording mono & stereo trks at no more than 6-10 at a time, numerous Plug ins + VST. The # of trks for mixdown no more than say 25-40 perhaps. Some film scoring.

    Budget -I am not about to blow my wad on the latest greatest unless costs are very similar.


    I5 or I7 for cpu ? I 've noticed the memory can get expensive though
    Q9550 ? for cost effective results with above usage?

    What role does Hyper-threading play in DAW world ? Does one need it ?
    When would ram amount become a factor ?

    As stated above costs are important . I have seen alot of forums where people are using Quad cpu's just fine and then when the 'I' series came out seemed like everybody suddenly says you gotta have them now.
    How much $ turnover can one deal with ?
    Next it'll be the 6 core units and the same thing will happen!

    Just looking for some definitive info Thanks
  2. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Yep it is nuts...I think most users right now that have the budget and are moving towards 64bit will go with an i7...it seems to have the power and speed to run the latest 64bit DAW's with plenty of horsepower for lots of plugins and plenty of tracks with low latency....all of these factors make it the go to CPU right now, but like you said in a month or two something else will take it's place....prices are always coming down and newer cores will move into place....IMO there is never going to be the best of something except for the moment...and right now that is the i7....in a couple years from now we'll all be talking about i8's or i9's with 128bit stuff.
    One thing I would do is to look at the specs of some of the PC audio DAW builders out there and see what they use then look at the prices...then figure out what you want to spend and go for it....sometimes it just makes sense to just pick the best system within your budget and do it and not look back! You'll at least move forward on doing what it is you want to do...
  3. sturoc

    sturoc Active Member

    Thanks for the pep talk. You make a good point bout the 64 bit software and plug ins / lo latency etc.
    Most DAW retail builders are on the I7 platform now although I do see AMD chips as well.
    Probably will go for Intel as that's all I've ever used.
    Any other thoughts are, of course, welcome .

    My mindset is if a particular system would work then why spend xtra $ for the 'ultimate now' daw.
    AHhhhhhhh, Decisions Decisions,
  4. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Well...there's a lot to consider...just curious...have you considered using Neundo for your film scoring?
    What type of interface are you using?
    Are you planning on this computer being a standalone workstation for your audio/video only or is it also your new computer for everything else?
    Theres' nothing wrong with AMD, I have an AMD 4G RAM WinXP 32 bit with Cubase 4.5.2 and it works great....it's over 3 years old and I use it everyday never misses a beat and records perfectly everytime..I use a RME FF800 which is a rock solid converter.
    AMD isn't the top dog right now but they will be back on top with the next series of processors....just the way it is with this stuff!
    If your going to go with Win7 64bit then either the Intel i5/i7 series or AMD Phenom series with at least 6G of RAM will work just fine!
    A lot of the power comes in the setup of the computer, tweaking settings, limiting services running in the background etc etc.
    I think the smart person does calculate the cost of a system that matches what they need.....rather than whats the fastest one right now....so don't think that's a bad thing. Right now the whole 64bit realm is up in the air because theres not that many plugins that are native 64bit and many people still have a lot of money invested in 32bit plugins. I just set up a buddy's Win7 64bit machine with his Cubase Studio in 32bit mode and when he runs his Guitar Rig it still hogs system resources and performance...I'm convinced the only help for that is freezing Guitar Rig after he's tracked his guitar parts or add more RAM...he bought your basic $950 HP box and the performance on that HP didn't run any better than his little pathetic XP laptop did....it wasn't until I started tweaking background services and getting everything turned off that it actually settled down to being fast and stable....my point is you could go and buy an i7 with all the bells and whistles and you might not find it to be the end all be all....one thing I know for sure is you should buy what you'll be happy with and don't have any regrets....
  5. sturoc

    sturoc Active Member

    Yes The whole psychosis of this thought process is enough in itself to bog one down.
    Cubase 32 bit for now, never tried Nuendo. Focusrite Pro 40 and oddly enough the old Mackie HUI which I love to death. Ton of outboard gear trusty EMU samplers on and on.
    The DAW would be totally stand alone i.e. NO internet, word proc, gaming etc- streamlined for Audio only and occasion video editing for the scoring end of things but mostly running the video for final mix.
    as for AMD only bias is just never used them.
  6. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    What's your budget for this machine?
    Are we talking HP. Gateway, pre-built off the shelf or self build?
    I think if you prefer Intel get an i7 (any speed) with triple channel 6G RAM (3x2G) with maybe room for another (3x2G) upgrade to 12G future. Standard dual DVI graphic card, compatible FW port, two internal eSATA HDD's...install Win7 64bit OS, install Cubase in 32bit mode....all your plugiins and everything else you have will all run nicely in 32 bit mode....
    I've been thinking about the same system lately that I could run Cubase 5 with and that would be my choice right now and I think that would be a really solid choice with future 64bit upgrades for Cubase and 12G RAM.
  7. sturoc

    sturoc Active Member

    $650-800 am talking just for CPU,MBd, ram,drives, psu. Have everything else.
    It will be self built. After sleeping on this I lean this way:

    Once it's built I probably will not want/care to deal with upgrades / $ pains for a long time. Seeing as my vibe is if it works and does everything I need it to do plus a bit more then it's fine.
    I stayed in the analog world for so long until once digital was fully 'matured' and accessible I made the switch.
    So a pc that as stated above can run seamlessly with 30-40 trks plug ins a few vst will be fine.

    It's compelling to try to jump on that latest train, but I'd rather spend my time composing and recording and not get caught up in the spec numbers debates etc etc
    I'm sure there are alot of people who are running 775 Quad cores before the I7 came about and all has been good.
    So with costs in mind and established compatibility I lean towards this -

    XP 32bit have this OS disc already so why buy new right now?? possible later to W7
    Q9550 cpu
    Giga or Asus bd
    4g ram

    Pretty much like this as it may be headache proof to a certain degree But for s**ts I'm gonna do a quik cost comparison I7 to Q9550 systems
  8. tstoneman

    tstoneman Active Member

    I don't mean to throw a wrench in the gears but if you plan to use this as a dedicated DAW, not for games and office apps, then you are in a workstation environment and you should consider workstation class hardware. We switched from consumer to workstation about four years ago and haven't had one problem. Before that, nothing but irritating issues every week. These are intensive workstation applications (PT, Nuendo, Cubase) and that is what these machines are designed to run. The cost is incrementally higher but the value is exponentially higher. I would look at the Intel Xeon 5600 Series or AMD Opteron. We have both Xeons and Opterons running on workstation motherboards and performance is amazing - reliability is flawless.

    Also, go with a wkstn class graphics card. The NVIDIA Quadro entry cards are in the same price range as the consumer gaming cards but the drivers are more reliable and they are designed for this kind of work.
  9. sturoc

    sturoc Active Member

    But have to ask:
    How many people are running a cost effective set up with out the need to be on top of the new tech heap with little or no problems? Talking custom builds and quality components.
    Did you build your DAW or did a company like ADK or Full Compass etc ?
    One could look back in time and see what these companies were building then as state of art , While 1 yr ago may be the stone age in computer world. but that doesn't mean they won't do the job now. Sure new cpu's are faster more efficient on bench tests etc...
    If I were :
    Running Digital Studio for hire w/ clients and competition then staying on top is a valid argument.
    But I am one person doing projects for myself and a select few people who like the style and applicability of what I compose for them. They really don't care about the gear used to get there, just the final mix. As for efficiency of production well generally I don't change my way of composing or recording when the workflow just right . I enjoy what I do. Again, i am not in a production haste setting.
    I guess my point and response is Depending on one's own needs, it may not have to be the hi end latest greatest. In the end it is about the music.
  10. tstoneman

    tstoneman Active Member

    Really talking reliability with this stuff. We've purchased a Dell Precision workstation and have also built an AMD Opteron workstation. Workstation CPUs, MBs, RAM, GPUs, are not about the latest and greatest. They tend to have very long life cycles and are not necessarily the highest end by any means. Just solid - not flashy. We don't try to impress clients with the computers - they really don't care about that stuff either. I'm just passing on my personal experience with these machines and it is night and day when compared with the consumer machines used in the past (and these were good high-end state-of-the-art like Dell XPS, HP Pavilion, and others).

    BTW the Xeons we have are 3 yrs old dual core - AMD is about 2 yrs old dual core Opteron - both running XP Pro and they still smoke
  11. sturoc

    sturoc Active Member

    ahh Gotcha now TStone,

    thanks for going into detail bout the cpu's. and interesting to know your still running dual cores and doing fine.

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