CPU overload with dual 1.8 opterons only 20 plugins

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by westshore, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. westshore

    westshore Guest

    I am having a little bit of a CPU usage problem when I try putting some plug-ins on my tracks.

    Currently I have about 40 tracks (48khz, 24bit, Cubase SX3) I'm editting, about 20 plugins total. I would like to be able to run at least 20 more. Right now the cpu is at about 90-95%. The UAD meter is at about 79%.

    Here are my system specs:
    Cubase SX3
    Dual Opteron 244s (1.8ghz each)
    2GB of DDR400 ram
    Tyan K8W Mobo
    1x UAD Card (ultra pack)
    OS/applications are on a 200gb IDE drive
    Audio is on a 300gb SATA drive

    If there is any other info I should include, please let me know, thanks.

    - Chris
  2. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2005
    Home Page:
    Buy and install another UAD card or 2 and start using Aux buses for your effects plugs. Sounds like you may be using your plugs right in the tracks themselves. There's no worse way to hog CPU cycles.

    Also, archive a copy of the project file you're working with as it is now and move on by applying some of your effects destructively so your CPU doesn't have to deal with real time processing so much.
  3. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    If you are doing a bunch of vocal tracks set up a group channel and send them to that group...most times layered vocals can use the same compression and or fx...

    Also set up some FX Channels and use the sends for each track to route them to the fx...

    You can also do offline processing to help with the CPU load.

    Opus :D
  4. westshore

    westshore Guest

    I've thought about processing the effects onto the tracks so that the cpu doesn't have to access the plug-in, I guess I need to make sure I'm never going to want to change / take it off, a nightmare for a tweaker like myself :/

    Right now I have something like 8 vocal tracks being routed to a vocal group that has the plug-ins on it.

    The FX channel is a good idea I haven't thought of, good call!

    However, no one finds it a bit odd that a Dual Opteron can't handle this? I thought this DAW would be able to handle anything.
  5. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001

    that just dont sound right at all.

    even with only 1.8G duals you should be able to do far more effects than that. way way more.

    why software effects are you running?
    20 instances of Wave IR?

  6. westshore

    westshore Guest

    Well on there right now I have:

    Vocal group:
    Antares Auto-tune
    Antares Mic Mod
    UAD Fairchild
    UAD 1176SE
    UAD Precision EQ


    UAD Pultec


    Cymbals group:

    Toms group:

    Rhythm guitar group:

    Lead guitar group:

    I like to use the PSP vintage warmer for the guitar and I'd like to have the headroom to play around with a lot more plugins. What do I need to upgrade?
  7. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    So it seems you like Magneto........ :wink:

    What about taking it off individual tracks and just put it on your main bus?
  8. dpd

    dpd Active Member

    Sep 29, 2004
    if you aren't overdubbing (so latency isn't a problem) crank up your buffer sizes so the CPU has less overhead processing the data. It may not be enough, but that should help
  9. westshore

    westshore Guest

    The buffer is 2048

    Also, what are aux buses and how do I use them?
  10. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    In cubase, it is called an FX channel. (Project->Add Track->FX Channel). Then you can send signal from individual channels or groups to the FX channel by turning up the, uh, sends which are to the right of the EQ on a channel. This way, several channels can all share the same reverb or other effect, and you can control the wet vs. dry mix for each channel.
    I can't believe I just typed that all out. I must be bored.
  11. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    Houston, TX
    Going back to what Scott (ADK) said - I also believe you should be getting WAY more plugs than that! If you subtract your UAD plug-ins from your above list, my 1GHz Celeron Laptop w/384MB RAM would almost run what's left!

    Do you have your "Processor Scheduling" set to "Background Services"? This can yield an INSTANT 10-20% increase in Plug-in power if it was not set correctly. With Dual Opteron 1.8's, I think something else is eating your avalible DSP power. What else are you running (besides SX3)? Do you have Antivirus software and other stuff on this system?

  12. westshore

    westshore Guest

    Where do I check the processor scheduling?

    I close ALL programs when I run Cubase SX3. The only things that are open are the UAD meter and SX3. I even release the ip via ipconfig.
  13. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001

    something is very wrong with your computer.
    you should be able to run 150 effects (mixed bag)

    while magnetos are middle of the road (cpu use) you are not running anywhere near enough to be chocking the computer.

  14. westshore

    westshore Guest

    Well what should I try first? I just built the thing. The temps don't seem to be overheating or anything.

    BTW I open the same project in Cubase SX2 and the cpu is at 40% instead of 70% in SX3.
  15. westshore

    westshore Guest

    Also I set everything to default in the bios and I am running Win XP Pro. Do I need a specific setting for the dual processors or something? I thought XP Pro could handle it.

    And does anyone know if the UAD takes load off the entire CPU or just takes load off the UAD plugins (it seems like just the UAD plug ins)?


    I was checking device manager and it seems that my PCI Interface Card, the MOTU PCI-424 (MOTU PCI Audio Driver) that my MOTU HD192 is connected to is sharing IRQ 16 with my AGP Video Card (Matrox Millenium P650).

    There are no conflicts with both devices, but IRQ sharing can't be good, could this be the master problem?

    The MOTU card is a PCI card and is not compatible with PCI-X, therefore it is not possible to try a different PCI slot. Obviously there's only one AGP slot as well and I don't have a PCI-X video card to try out (I hear that's bad anyway). Both cards have the latest drivers.

    AND speaking of conflicts, I noticed that BOTH AMD-8131 HyperTransport IOAPIC Controllers come up with memory range conflicts:

    "Memory Range FE9FE000 - FE9FEFFF used by:
    ACPI Multiprocessor PC"
    "Memory Range FE9FF000 - FE9FFFFF used by:
    ACPI Multiprocessor PC"

    Yes both of them say that. Consider the 8131 is my PCI bus controller which my Interface and UAD cards are running off of, that probably can't be too good.

    This is certainly frustrating. I thought IRQ and Memory Range conflicts only occured in Compaq computers, not custom built ones.

    I guess I'll try to get some sleep tonight and hope for a divine miracle tomorrow.

    Gotta hate it when really expensive equipment doesn't want to work together... :/
  16. westshore

    westshore Guest


    "It depends on what motherboard you use...

    PCI424 with G4 Dual 867 - Works.

    PCI424 with ASUS CUV4X-D (dual P3 1Ghz)- Does not work.

    PCI424 with Tyan K8W S2885 (dual Opteron 242(1.6Ghz))- Does not work.

    PCI424 with G5 2Ghz - Works."

    The MOTU Interface was $1700. The DAW was around $2500. Shakespeare has nothing on this. So how should I kill myself?
  17. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    That pretty much sux, dude. Well, maybe you can get some good gaming out of your computer. :lol:

    I don't understand why you say you can't swap PCI slots. The thing has like 5 slots doesn't it? Sharing IRQ with a video card can not be a great thing at all.
  18. arbiter

    arbiter Guest

    Do you have PCIe or PCI-X on the motherboard?

    I was under the impression that PCI-X slots should be backward compatible with standard PCI as long as the cards are 3.3v, and not 5v.

    Now PCIe...they're backward compatible with PCI from a software/driver point of view, but the connector is not.

    You might see if you can exchange the motherboard and get out with just a restocking fee.
  19. westshore

    westshore Guest

    The MOTU PCI-424 card does not physically fit into any other slot.

    Gaming is horrible, the video is extremely chopping and freezes a lot.

    Should I try the Tiger K8W? It doesn't have any PCI-X slots, just 5 PCI slots.
  20. arbiter

    arbiter Guest

    Seems odd that gaming performance would be bad as well. Unless the video card is really low level.

    Maybe there is another problem as well.

    Still...if you're hearing the board is incompatible, I'd say return it while you still can. Most places will let you do it for 30 days or so with maybe a 10 or 15% restocking fee, possibly less if you're going for store credit instead of a refund.
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