Upgrading To What Computer

Hi there.

these days I`m planning to upgrade to a more powerful computer than I have it at home.
my current configuration is: gigabyte motherboard [k8vt800 or something?] with athlon64 2800+ [at speed 1.8ghz], 1GB Ram, emu0404, geforce 6200, samsung 970p mon [19"] & midi keyboard.

the problem I have for now is - cpu speed so I decided to upgrade. I tested: at home I can`t play over 16 vsti’s in Renoise, sound is “interrupting” [even buffering does not help]… then I got the same song at work [where I have faster machine at 2.8ghz speed and 1GB ram] - but sound is still interrupting… Looks like I need more memory [as I use many bigger vst instruments]?

this is what I plan to buy in next week or two:

  • Intel Core2Duo E6300 (Dual) Box, LGA775, 1.866GHz, FSB1066, 2MB cache, 64bit, SSE4, Allendale dual-core (65nm), gar. 3 god. [price: EUR 195,1]

  • Asus P5B, S775 (Core2Duo ready), i965P, PCIex16, DDR2-800,5xSATA + ext.SATA, RAID, ATA, HD SC7.1, G-LAN, 3yr warranity [price: EUR 152,3]

  • DIMM 1GB DDR2/667MHz NCP, 240-pin, PC2-5300, Life Time Warranty [price: 124,2]

  • DIMM 1GB DDR2/667MHz NCP, 240-pin, PC2-5300, Life Time Warranty [price: 124,2]

  • Western Digital 320GB WD3200JS, SATA2, 7200rpm, 8MB buffer, mainstream performance, Serial-ATA2 300MB/s, [1 yr warranity] [price: EUR 105,2]

  • Chiftek tower [400W, price varies from EUR40 to EUR130?]

and probably will have to buy GFX Card [for example, ~EUR 45 costs GeForce6200] - the same one that I have in my old computer now…

So - upgrade to this machine would be -> around EUR850 [!]

The question is -> how will this dualcore cpu work with Renoise? Will I be able to play over 20 VSTi channels then? Im not that into hardware [at all], Im just a end user that needs speed. Any suggestion would help a lot :)

thank you! :walkman:

I would rather invest in the fxfreeze plugin.
The amount of VSTIs Renoise can play also depends on how much cpu-resources each VSTI eats upon it’s own.

sampler vstis don’t eat really much CPU resources if they don’t have any own effects inside. (Like when you would play bald samples from an instrument within Renoise) but synth vstis can eat a huge amount of CPU resources (Like crystal). It matters which type of vsti you put in a song that they will consume cpu power.
The more audio has to be generated instead of “just” played, the more cpu intense it will get.

Currently there are not really much powerful cpus that can make you handle over 20 vstis unless you have multicpu or use more than one pc for composing.

FxFreeze will reolve a lot of your problems by prerendering tracks for you to sample-tracks. This does require a lot of diskspace but allows you to use any amount of vstis you virtually desire.

as vvois already said: 16 VST instruments != 16 VST instruments.
there are VSTi out there, which will easily put your system under full load when being played alone (for example one instance of “Arturia MiniMoog V”, played @32 (probably already @16) Voice Unision will make your system stall or halt.

expected performance gain:
i just did some research on your current A64 2800+ (newcastle core) vs the E6300 and roughly spoken, you may expect the new CPU to be aproximately twice as fast as your current rig (without SMP support).
of course it depends on the respective application and if it supports multithreading and if it does, the gain is of course even higher.

the rest of your system is pretty okay as well.
if you do not plan to overclock (which is almost a crime, if you’re going for the E6300), then i’d leave it as is.
however if you plan to push your CPU a bit further than its nominal speed, i’d recommend getting the “ASUS P5B Deluxe WiFi” instead, since it features way better voltage converters and therefore permits higher stability during OC.
The non-deluxe version maxes out at around 300FSB, whereas the deluxe will most likely run @500mhz FSB without any modifications.
but that said, you’d also need to get some better RAM if you want to keep the ratio of your FSB / DRAM @ 1:1.
cellshock ddr2-800 / pc2-6400 is recommended.

concerning vvoois suggestion of using fxfreeze:
can only speak for myself, but i personally hate using tools like this, as they hinder flexibility and make the work with VSTi even more cumbersome as it already is.

The question now becomes - is multi core support planned for the future? Automatic balancing of VSTs to different cores would be great. This feature works beautifully in the newest version of Live. Cubase has had it for a while. There’s a hacky eXT implementation currently but it’s planned for the next version. With the big processor manufacturers announcing 4 and 8 core processors, it seems like it’s of extreme importance to utilize those cores!

being a dualcore user, i couldn’t agree more of course.
the ghz-mania has finally come to an end.
future seems to be all about multiprocessing, power-efficiency and architectural improvements.

as i have only a (very) basic knowledge about coding in general, i’d loved to know how hard / time consuming such an implementation would be for renoise.

does taktik happen to own a dual-core/cpu setup anyways?
if not, i guess it’ll be pretty hard to implement…

I see… Yes, this seems nice plugin, but CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+R [iirc] makes render of selected part without any problem :] [thank you for implementing such great option]. this saves lots of cpu time, but makes song much bigger.

tnx for your suggestion a lot. Ill consider some more options in a next few days and then Ill get what I will finally think could be best for my work [[un]fortunatelly, among composing, I use my computer for audio/video editing, web design, art & dtp [photoshop, illustrator, flash], and watching TV [which means - tv card has to be present in new configuration too] but it could lead to some more problems but I guess its new technology and everything is supposed to work fine now.]

for example, I have very annoying problem with my EMU0404 -> sound cracks [like old record is listening through metallic sfx] when play any sound that is recorded below 44.1khz [for eg, when watch movies shot with cameras or mobile phones]… so for main soundcard I`m still forced to use default motherboard audiocard [compatibility reasons like some 3D games, tv card audio recording & video play], while EMU is used when play mp3 or compose in Renoise… So I had to get mixer [output from PC goes to LineIn / mixer, mixer to EMU & output it all.] But when turn the volume on, I can hear annoying hi-frequencies [some interferencies probably] because I use the same computer for input and output and 2 soundcards!..

I also contacted EMU support -> they say I should try to force windows IRQ of the card is lower than 15… [see email from them]

===============================
Thank you for contacting E-MU Support.

Can you please ensure that your onboard soundcard is disabled in the
BIOS of your PC and that you updated your Pc with the newest chipset
drivers.

Please also check if the IRQ of the card is NOT over 15. If it is then
your card uses an virtual IRQ what can cause problems sometimes. To get
another IRQ please try the card into another slot.

More Instructions to resolve this problem can be found on our
Knowledgebase at:

http://ask.europe.creative.com/SRVS/CGI-BI…e.com,case=2442

Should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact
us.

E-MU Technical Support

I tried this card on 3 different PCs - noone could play lower than 44.1 sounds correctly :(
then I asked [6-7 months ago] other people on other music forums those who owns EMU0404 to try to play that kind of sound on their machines [for example - 11 or 16khz files] - 4 out of 7 had THE SAME problems as me [some of them never tried this]…

as you can see - I had many probs with PCs all the time :(

It is very hard to have your soundcard assigned an IRQ lower than 15. Most mainboards and systems already don’t prioritize audio hardware and just blantly share them with other devices.
This is really a breakneck problem for most people.
I hope Vista will at least make it possible to do manual IRQ assigning again or at least take care you can prioritize hardware resources…

the trend is not exactly this… MS is going in the direction of preventing smart people from configuring things more deeply, which is of course bad.

about Fx-Freeze. I personally didn’t even try it out, since I share keith303’s thoughts about flexibility.
My songs are long and complex, and it’s really rare that I leave a track unchanged for a long time. I would probably get mad using such a tool…

My advice is to get a decent system (look at mine in the signature), try to use as much RNI as possible instead of synthetized sounds, and also try to avoid heavy plugins. Arturia Moog and RGC Audio z3ta+ above all are blatantly overhelming.

In the future, a new RNI structure, capable of multilayering and parameters automations, could really help in getting rid of most of VST synthesis, and also reduce the usage of VST samplers.
That will be THE day :yeah:

During production time this tool may not be really adequate, but trust me for mixing you would be very glad to be able to have all tracks open and all effects running.
I have not really tried using the tool on the VSTI instruments yet (you can sample per instrument by using the stub edition (z) or per track if you use the Freezetrack vst).

excellent :) yes, will do. anyway, z3ta rulz. after playing with it, I render selection to sample and remove z3ta from instruments ;)

btw, I heard [from some other musicians] that use Cubase, they can play as many as possible different vst’s and their computer does not lag. I havent tried as I dont play with Cubase so can`t be sure it is true. Did someone try to open the same amount of VSTi’s in Cubase & play something and then the same number of VSTi’s in Renoise and give it a test?

well this looks like some kind of “I have it longer” statement…

this absolutely makes no sense at all, since CPU power is required by the plugin and it is independent from the host, which can only try to be as most “transparent” as it can, adding as less CPU usage as possible. Unless by “no lag” they mean that there is some sort of system to keep the audio stream in synch by skipping overheaded audio, or some kind of pre-calculation.

of course, a better multiCPU support will surely improve the performances, but what I’ve supposed Cubase could have is nothing that could remove the maximum CPU power limit, so that you could play “as many plugins as I want”.

never used Cubase myself too, by the way

It also depends which plugins they talk about. Sampler VST’s don’t eat much CPU power as said before and there are a mass amount of sampler vst library plugins out there.

I can also run RGC Audio’s Sfz plugin over 20 times without problems and all will have a library loaded (It eats massive RAM though!), but they play nicely and if i reduce the output quality of each plug instance, i can even have some more. Saying a host can play 20 VSTI plugins at once does not really states something. If it has enough buffering power to play that amount of synth VSTI’s, then they use a similar trick that you can achieve with FxFreeze as well as there is no other way to circumvent lagfull playing of a vast amount of synth and similar audio generating vsti type plugins.
The only plus might be other hosts can use multicore or hyperthreading technology of a CPU (more efficiently) which gives you a little bit more breathing space but not nessesarily.