Sample Loading Speed

What computer components affect sample loading times? I’m playing with this a bit, and when I load wav sample, CPU usage doesn’t go above 30%, hard drive doesn’t really rumble like when e.g. copying… when loading MP3, CPU usage is only about 50% and again no noticeable disk activity.

So I wonder, would there be any significant difference in loading times, if I buy faster computer/hard drive? Since it looks like it doesn’t use them to their full capacity even now. Or could there be something else in my system causing bottleneck?

I have Athlon 1600+ with 1GB RAM and 200GB hard drive @ 7200rpm, running WinXP Pro.

i dont have any solid evidence or information to work against other than personal experience, but I have sata2 drives and also old fashioned IDE133 in the same computer, and the sata disk loads big samples considerably faster; three times or more for the REALLY big stuff (1gb+)

as alexstrain pointed out, his HDD does’nt seem to be stressed while loading. I think that it’s a matter of BUS speed; I don’t know how fast is Athlon 1600+; I think it’s 400Mhz. Upgrading to a faster BUS would be the first stp for a big improvement, and would let him take full advantage of SATA speed

Most HDD’s or their controllers also have a cache buffer and if things have been loaded before, they might load faster when being requested again in a short period, this might explain the no-activity from the HDD when a file is actually being loaded.

Hmm, could be… although this still doesn’t explain the MP3 loading behavior. In this case it’s normal that there’s almost no HD activity, since files are only a few MB in size. But they still take about the same time to load as wav files, using only about 50% of CPU power. I would expect, that decoding MP3 directly to RAM would occupy CPU in full, so it would load as fast as it can.

What’s your CPU usage when loading longer WAV/MP3 files?

The decoding is done by the Quicktime library which is not really part of Renoise, since it cannot claim full CPU power (unless you prioritize Quicktime in the task-manager which is possible) because the rest of the system still needs some i think that by claiming 50% it already asks a lot.