View Full Version : Is Quality really Quantity in Amount of P.Cs?

06-26-2008, 12:35 PM
Hi fellows,

For use with EWQLSO PLAT PRO, and other intensive libraries, which do you think would turn up better results:

1- A single Monster P.C IE: Quad core ; 4/8gb RAM ; A few HDDs.
2- Two P.Cs of Approx half value, IE: Core 2 Duo ; 2/4GB Ram ; Half amount of HDDs over both P.Cs.

We could get more specific over specs, but the idea is to compare two P.Cs at half the price range of the Monster P.C. Since older models become cheaper, I think you can get more than half the performance of the 'Monster' at half the price. Which makes me think that maybe it's better to buy two.

Love to hear your experience and thoughts.


06-26-2008, 12:43 PM

At current prices you can get a quad core, or even a quad corex2 with 16 GB of RAM, etc, for less than $2000. Considering that Platinum bundle was a bit less than that, it's no longer an impossible scenario...

Don't know really though and it's an interesting thought...


06-26-2008, 05:08 PM
I would lean towards the computer farm approach. The bottleneck can come down to the mainboard (system bus, drive controllers, etc...). A quad core can mean more processing, but the information has to get from the drives, to the RAM, and finally to the processor in oder for that to happen. Having several machines can alleviate that problem since you avoid any shared system bus and drive controllers, which gives you more bandwidth for streaming those samples off the disks.

Really, it depends on what you're doing. If you use lots of samples, then having more computers will be better. If you use lots of soft-synths, then a more powerful multi-core machine will do better.

Personally I'd love to have a farm of high end quad-cores... best of both worlds, but not very economic. ;)

- Matt

06-27-2008, 06:37 AM
Thanks for the words, Matt and Nik. Would be nice to hear offhand experience of those with computer farms.

06-27-2008, 08:08 AM
Computer farm!
I don't think one single computer is enough for serious orchestral arrangement, it won't happen in the near future. Computer keeps getting faster, but there are always new software that demands more. So more is better.
Other important advantages including faster template loading, less driver conflict, easier trouble shooting, less crashes...

06-27-2008, 10:49 PM
Personally, I'm not sure I'll ever go back to a single machine even with 64-bit. Farm PCs are so much easier for libraries like Platinum - you load up what you need at the start of the day, and leave it using template/default projects pre-configured to access the farms - no load other than pre-configured midi tracks (which is minimal). I have Nuendo setup with external instruments for each farm: each section comes back into Nuendo as an audio input in the N4 mixer (MidiOverLan is a beautiful thing for this kind of setup). I can record stems for each section, or mix everything down (realtime only though - one downside to farm setups, esp. for longer projects).

The other consideration when going this route is having the I/O to handle it. It doesn't take long to need a MADI rig at $5k or so just to handle the inputs back from farm PCs, plus the cost of interfaces on each, unless you go with FX Teleport, or a similar solution.

I agree with Counterpoint - you are ultimately limited by memory/bussing bandwidth with a single system, but with several, you are sharing the load for ram, PCI buss (audio interface), and disk streaming. A couple of quad cores should out-perform a single, dual-quad imho.

06-27-2008, 10:58 PM
Farms will be in our life for quite some time to come. I cant wait to start changing over our present 32 bit 6 computer set-up to a farm of 64 bit 'puters. That will be some serious power.

Spinning poo machine
06-28-2008, 08:01 AM
Did ANYONE read those amazing posts by Vatroslav about this whole 64 bit and single computer "issue"?


After reading that and personally talking to people who work with 64 bit computers, I'm definitely convinced that beastly 64 bit duals or quads are the way to go. If you could have the power of a "farm" with the simplicity of one computer, why wouldn't you take it? It also seems like all your objections are based on opinion and speculation--not facts or experience. Very much unlike Vatroslav's posts. I don't want to sound like I'm dissing anyone, but man, you guys shouldn't knock stuff until you've tried it out.

06-28-2008, 07:08 PM
The main question is what do you want to do with the computer? What exactly do you need to get the job done? I am running my setup on a core Duo laptop with 2 G of RAM. It is not perfect but it can rock.

The technology is here to work for you, not the other way around. It is easy to forget what brought the technology to us in the first place.

What is the point in always running after the newest, the fastest, the biggest?

The computer is not the master. You are.