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w1awb
04-09-2008, 05:16 AM
I've been reading with great interest Vatroslav's article on the single XP 64 system and it has me planning a new PC. I have just ordered the Orchestra Gold Bundle and Symphonic Choirs and doing a lot of reading on compatibility etc. and it's become glaringly apparent that my old Dell P4 2.6 with 2 gig ram ain't gonna cut it. I have ProTools 7.4 and I do a lot of live instrument recording.
Looking on Tiger Direct and taking many cues from Vatroslav's article I've come up with this: (please feel free to criticize or suggest changes)
Nvidia 680i LT motherboard
Intel Q6600 quad processor
XP Pro 32 bit (my %$# ProTools won't work with 64 bit yet)
Now the memory is a sticking point with me. It comes with 2 sticks of Corsair PC6400 1 gig memory and I was going to get 2 more but on looking at the vast array of available RAM I'm seeing huge price differences. From $27 for the pair I get with this kit to over 80 bucks. Any suggestions? I'm truly at sea here and the RAM Vatroslav suggests isn't (as far as I can tell) available in the U.S. I don't mind spending a few more bucks here if it will make a difference.
I think I'll go with a similar drive system to Vatroslav's with the Barracuda system drive and Caviars in a couple other slots. I also have an out board Glyph drive.
I'm a little frustrated by the 32/64 bit issue but I figure I can upgrade later. I was told that ProTools doesn't work in a multi computer configuration by my rep at Sweetwater, but if that turns out to be not true, I can always slave my old P4 to the new machine. Since I'm getting the Gold Bundle and not the Platinum, I'm hoping XP Pro bit will work.
Any help or suggestions on this well worn topic will be vastly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Andy, the Man from Nantucket

Jim Curits
04-09-2008, 05:26 AM
Can you point me to Vatroslav's article?




Cheers;)

w1awb
04-09-2008, 05:35 AM
It's an ongoing thread, really, with him doing most of the posting. I learned a lot from it. Thanks Vatroslav!
http://www.soundsonline-forums.com/showthread.php?t=12832

Jim Curits
04-09-2008, 05:44 AM
Thanks.

Vatroslav
04-09-2008, 12:19 PM
I've been reading with great interest Vatroslav's article on the single XP 64 system and it has me planning a new PC. I have just ordered the Orchestra Gold Bundle and Symphonic Choirs and doing a lot of reading on compatibility etc. and it's become glaringly apparent that my old Dell P4 2.6 with 2 gig ram ain't gonna cut it. I have ProTools 7.4 and I do a lot of live instrument recording.
Looking on Tiger Direct and taking many cues from Vatroslav's article I've come up with this: (please feel free to criticize or suggest changes)
Nvidia 680i LT motherboard
Intel Q6600 quad processor
XP Pro 32 bit (my %$# ProTools won't work with 64 bit yet)
Now the memory is a sticking point with me. It comes with 2 sticks of Corsair PC6400 1 gig memory and I was going to get 2 more but on looking at the vast array of available RAM I'm seeing huge price differences. From $27 for the pair I get with this kit to over 80 bucks. Any suggestions? I'm truly at sea here and the RAM Vatroslav suggests isn't (as far as I can tell) available in the U.S. I don't mind spending a few more bucks here if it will make a difference.
I think I'll go with a similar drive system to Vatroslav's with the Barracuda system drive and Caviars in a couple other slots. I also have an out board Glyph drive.
I'm a little frustrated by the 32/64 bit issue but I figure I can upgrade later. I was told that ProTools doesn't work in a multi computer configuration by my rep at Sweetwater, but if that turns out to be not true, I can always slave my old P4 to the new machine. Since I'm getting the Gold Bundle and not the Platinum, I'm hoping XP Pro bit will work.
Any help or suggestions on this well worn topic will be vastly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Andy, the Man from Nantucket

Hey, Andy ... Great to hear the thread helping you. :)

Now let's see if I can help you ...

First of all, is it true that ProTools isn't programmed to work in WOW64? I don't have any experience with ProTools, but this is really surprising to me.

Anyway, what's important is the type of files you are going to use. With SO dithered to 16bit Gold, there is, in perfect honesty, very little reason why you'd want to go x64. You just need to install Gold on every single sample drive you will get and I have a hard time imagining something you'd need to do to experience any performance artefacts.

Where you might hit the wall at a certain point are the Choirs. What do you plan to do with them? I'd advise you to distribute SC files across different drives as well (that's if you are going to use K2 - with Kompakt, I don't think you can do that - you'd need to install SC to different drives as well).

Good to see you like my hardware specs. :) 680i LT-based chipset is the next best thing to the one I chose, it gives you almost the same connectivity (fewer USB ports), but at a more affordable price, so I'd say it's a very good deal. I've had nothing but good experience with this chipset.

The only thing you might have problems with is the active cooling solution (if you're talking about nVidia's MOBO as well).

Chipset is very important, you should make your choice according to its specs and your soundcard (for instance, RME's soundcard reportedly work best with Intel chipsets).

Regarding RAM, I think the most important thing is that it's not a no-name brand like the one I first choose (as I never had an issue with it before - but that was in x32 :)). All of the most popular brands should work well in both x32 and x64, they have very long warranties, and you can always exchange them during the warranty period should they not work properly when you switch to a x64 enviroment.

All in all, with the /3GB switch and all of your apps LaaTiDO'd and a multitude of sample drives, I doubt you will ever encounter performance problems. ;)

Remember to nurture than little machine when you get it ... Sing to it, talk to it, and never, EVER feed it after midnight!!!

w1awb
04-09-2008, 01:08 PM
Thanks a lot for the help, Vatroslav. I'm not clear what you mean about the "active cooling". You mean the little fan or heatsink I have to get for the processor? As for ProTools...as someone pointed out, there is a hardware component and I'm worried that what Digidesign is talking about is this firewire connected mixer/soundcard. (no x64 drivers). I am much encouraged by your opinion that with Gold I don't have much to worry about using XP Pro 32. Thanks again for the thoughtful post. Really appreciate it.

Andy

Vatroslav
04-09-2008, 01:11 PM
Thanks a lot for the help, Vatroslav. I'm not clear what you mean about the "active cooling". You mean the little fan or heatsink I have to get for the processor? As for ProTools...as someone pointed out, there is a hardware component and I'm worried that what Digidesign is talking about is this firewire connected mixer/soundcard. (no x64 drivers). I am much encouraged by your opinion that with Gold I don't have much to worry about using XP Pro 32. Thanks again for the thoughtful post. Really appreciate it.

Andy

Hm, yeah, the hardware could be the problem if there are no x64 drivers.

As to the cooler, the chipset is originally fan-cooled, it definitely is if you're going with the nVidia MOBO, but some other MOBO manufacturers might have changed it to passive (fanless).

ewkarl7777
04-09-2008, 08:07 PM
Whoa, Vatroslav, your comment about not needing xp64 for EWQLSO Gold throws me for a loop.

I was very happy to see your x64 post because I am about to spend $2k on a custom xp64 DAW with 8gb of ram just for Gold. Above you say you don't think it's necessary. Can that really be true?

Are you saying that a mockup of a full orchestra with many different articulations loaded for each instrument, will run with 4gb ram, the /3gb switch, and laaTiDO? Something like a movement from a Mahler symphony or the Rite of Spring?

If this is true, you've just saved me a lot of money. But surely if you add enough tracks, instances of Gold, and articulations, there must be some point where you start to have playback problems?

I'd love for you to be right, but it sounds too good to be true.

Pochflyboy
04-09-2008, 09:16 PM
All in all, with the /3GB switch and all of your apps LaaTiDO'd and a multitude of sample drives, I doubt you will ever encounter performance problems. ;)


What is "LaaTiDo"? I am looking at building a system with 4GB RAM and a Q6600 processor and this seems important to use but I am not sure what it would do.

Thanks,

Joe P.

A.Leung
04-09-2008, 09:58 PM
What is "LaaTiDo"? I am looking at building a system with 4GB RAM and a Q6600 processor and this seems important to use but I am not sure what it would do.

Thanks,

Joe P.

http://www.musikbanken.se/TechLaaTiDo.aspx

Laatido will make your EWQLSO (Konakt) large address aware.

Vatroslav
04-10-2008, 04:08 AM
Whoa, Vatroslav, your comment about not needing xp64 for EWQLSO Gold throws me for a loop.

I was very happy to see your x64 post because I am about to spend $2k on a custom xp64 DAW with 8gb of ram just for Gold. Above you say you don't think it's necessary. Can that really be true?

Are you saying that a mockup of a full orchestra with many different articulations loaded for each instrument, will run with 4gb ram, the /3gb switch, and laaTiDO? Something like a movement from a Mahler symphony or the Rite of Spring?

If this is true, you've just saved me a lot of money. But surely if you add enough tracks, instances of Gold, and articulations, there must be some point where you start to have playback problems?

I'd love for you to be right, but it sounds too good to be true.

Hey, Karl. :)

Well, first of all, nothing is for certain, of course ... But conidering all of the demos I've heard being done with Gold on x32 with 4GB RAM, I have a hard time imagining you needing a x64 system.

It all depends on how much processing you plan on applying to the initial signal. If you will do something like instrument effects on every channel, I don't think there's any CPU or RAM that will let you do that. ;)

It also depends on which DAW you will use. With a 32bit DAW, you're still locked within ~2.7GB LaaTiDo'd whatever you do, so with another 1GB for OS, you're still left with 4.3 free entirely for samples.

But the bottom line is, there is no single Quad architecture that will be able to support heavy disk streams with something like 5GB of sample data loaded. As you could see from my tests, with ~5.4GB of sample files pre-loaded, I had my Q6600 almost at 50% of its full potential at IDLE (!) at 256 samples latency which is the highest I personally can go for a working setup. I haven't yet tried playing anything with that kind of pressure on the system, but my guess is I'd run into problems very early on, unless it is a really mellow piece being streamed.

As you could see, with 5.4GB I basically had the entire Platinum Pro XP (well, not exactly, but close) pre-loaded and ready to go, so unless you want to take the same route, that is having your entire symphonic template loaded at all times, I doubt you will ever run into physical memory problems. I wouldn't be surprised if you even managed to have all of Gold's keyswitches loaded within ~2.7GB in x32.

This is exactly why the original SO was dithered down to 16bit, so it can take the load off the system and enable you to use the library in a single x32 enviroment without much or, in today's world / five years after its release, any compromise.

What you need to invest in are the drives and the CPU. Do not spare on either. Loads of RAM and a multitude of drives means little if you have a processor barely being able to process anything above 200 voices. With a powerful processor you will have wonderful DFD memory (simultaneous voices/poliphony) headroom, will be able to run at low latencies (the most important item for many composers - it, of course, depends on how you work, but is usually the number one issue with single systems just as it is with networks) and will have additional headroom for some other tasks.

And most important, if you ever feel like upgrading to x64, your only investment will be two additional sticks and a x64 OS. But hurry up, there's talk MS might discontinue XP x64. They almost did it four months ago, but this time it might be for real.

The point is, at latencies in the range of lag invisibility, there are no non-server arhitectures out there yet that can support such a hit without an overload. This is why I believe that something like 8GB needs a server system to actually be able to serve. And that, with disk streaming of course, such physical memory width means effects headroom more than samples.

As to the price, I don't think you should spare too much. Build the system just as you would if it were x64, just without the additional 4GB. I know every buck counts, but you know the saying about investing in IT. ;)

Sparing on connections, channels, bandwidth and standards in general might seem great at the moment, but might also force you into spending more than you could have if one day you decide to upgrade and realize there's an incompatibility with the older specifications.

Also, you might not even need to upgrade to x64 to experience some lacks.

So, basically, I'd advise you to go with a MOBO as new as possible, a powerful drive structure, 4GB of RAM and a powerful processor. If for some reason you find your system capacity insufficient for your work, x64 is just two slots away. ;)

Pietro
04-10-2008, 08:21 AM
Hey, Vatroslav,

I'm planning to upgrade to 8GB ram set, and I was wondering if there is any dissadvantage of CL4 memory stick in comparison to CL5? Ones that I could think of are stability and power consumption? The second one should not be a problem.

My mobo is almost 2 years old, but it was not cheap, might say high-end these times (first week after Core 2 Duo was released), and thanks to it, I could upgrade my cpu to Q6600 and install 5 SATAII drives (having space for one more). It supports up to 8GB. Gigabyte P965-DS3.

- Piotr

Vatroslav
04-10-2008, 01:36 PM
Hey, Vatroslav,

I'm planning to upgrade to 8GB ram set, and I was wondering if there is any dissadvantage of CL4 memory stick in comparison to CL5? Ones that I could think of are stability and power consumption? The second one should not be a problem.



Hey, Pietro, lower latency is always better, but it's such a small difference, I can't imagine you ever seeing any difference in streaming audio.

I don't think shorter timings make the unit any more stable or less power hungry, it just shortens the round trip time, but by such a small margin, it is neglectable.

I actually have never read a RAM overload experience in sample work, and certainly not a RAM latency problem.

However, considering that higher clock frequencies aren't even math because of the latency values that have a hard time keeping pace, it is always better to invest in better timings within the same clocking.

But, again, it's the last thing you should worry about.

johng
04-10-2008, 02:55 PM
I use six different PCs to run EWQLSO Platinum, so working on only one computer with your whole orchestra seems impossible. Put differently, having more than one PC or at least one really super-duper-duper PC for EWQLSO Gold seems like a good idea.

I don't know how many people are "all in one" these days. Now that I have all the sound cards and whatnot I'm less anxious to try it than if I were starting over.

Ulfrinn
04-10-2008, 05:30 PM
Great thread! I'm learning a lot. I am soon going to build an EWQL studio, and the current plan is a 3-computer setup.

Each will have an Athlon 64x2 3.2ghz CPU, 4GB of DDR2 800mhz RAM, and the 3 will be connected via MIDIoverLAN. Haven't picked out a MOBO yet (the original reason i read this thread).

Of course things change, but atleast to start off the biggest projects i'll do will use GoldproXP, Choirs, Stormdrum, and RA. I will use Cubase 4, and Kompakt, (but room in my budget for upgrade to Kontakt 2.2 or 3 if I find out it is necessary).

Since i don't have any experience with MIDI studios i'm still having a hard time grasping the specific concepts of loading, streaming, etc. But I can figure all that out...My question for this thread is:

How many drives will i need on each computer for them to work efficiently? I planned on having a 160GB HDD for the OS, and a 500GB drive for the samples, on each computer. Will that work? Or am I better off getting a couple 320GB's for each instead of just one 500GB?

ewkarl7777
04-10-2008, 05:48 PM
Vatroslav, thank you for your long and thoughtful answer. I suppose you are right that I don't need ALL the articulations loaded. I could probably live without the artillery shells and the washboard. ;)

I'll probably go with a dual-boot XP32/64 system, but start with 4gb of ram. As you say, I can always add more ram later.

thanks again!

A.Leung
04-10-2008, 06:24 PM
Vatroslav, thank you for your long and thoughtful answer. I suppose you are right that I don't need ALL the articulations loaded. I could probably live without the artillery shells and the washboard. ;)

I'll probably go with a dual-boot XP32/64 system, but start with 4gb of ram. As you say, I can always add more ram later.

thanks again!

I couild do without the artillery shells but NEVER the washboard!! :eek:

w1awb
04-19-2008, 02:11 PM
Well I've built it. I've got an XFX 680i LT SLI motherboard that seems to think I'm going to play high powered video games all the time, a Q6600 processor, 4 gig of ram, an Nvidia 8500GT graphics card (which also seems to think I'm gonna crank up the games) and lots of drives. It went together in an afternoon and except for busting one of the &^%$# pins on the CPU fan (it still works...I monitor the CPU constantly and it's never over 40C), no major problems. It was a heart stopping moment for me, when I first turned it on but...it worked!!! I
reinstalled ProTools, Atmosphere, my sampler, my brand new SO Gold XP, my even newer Symphonic Choirs. My only problem is my beloved collection of Wave plugins which have a complicated and Byzantine activation structure.
The East West libraries work absolutely flawlessly and sound stunning.
I've got a couple questions about stuff in the BIOS (I've been very leery of changing anything in the BIOS, since I don't know what I'm doing in the first place).
My monitoring stuff shows my ram is only running at 400mhz even though it's 800 mhz ram. Is that right or is it something I can change? Also, the memory and whatever is "SLI enabled" which I think is something to do with 3D graphics.. Should I disable it? And would I benefit from this 3 gig switch I've been hearing about? One more question about the fans...they run all the time and it's much noisier than my old P4. I wonder if most people just deal with that
or set the threshold temp at 50 or 60C and have them be off most of the time. Please pardon my utter lack of knowledge about this stuff, this is clearly my first build!
Andy

Pietro
04-19-2008, 04:54 PM
You can't keep fan off. Q6600 goes 70C degrees in 10 seconds ;).

You should be able however, to make BIOS control fan's speed. I had the same problem, when I first ran my newly upgraded Q6600 with new fan. But then, I could set it up in BIOS and voila!

- Piotr

A.Leung
04-19-2008, 05:52 PM
or do what I do put your pcs in a closet/isolation room.

LuckyStrik3r
04-22-2008, 07:12 AM
My monitoring stuff shows my ram is only running at 400mhz even though it's 800 mhz ram. Is that right or is it something I can change?

This is normal, using DDR 2 you have to take the 400mhz times two so you get 800mhz. So donīt be worried.