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DAW software, best dual cpu support?
Old 16th August 2005
Here for the gear

Originally Posted by fraz
Actually, if I were all of you, I would just ignore Bull. It's obvious he's only here to defend his butt-buddy Manning. He has no cred at all.
I think you're right and I'll be taking that advice.. Thank You
Old 16th August 2005
Lives for gear

to jcschild....if you are reading this......or any other tekkies interested in dual processors...and i respect your input jcsc as your building machines......would appreciate your comments...
ive done quite a bit of checking how xp handles dual core processing.
it is my understanding that when running in a dual core environment the user doesnt really have to worry IF A APPLICATION WAS BUILT FOR ONE PROCESSOR...
because its my understanding that xp automatically rebalances processing load between the two cores. in summary......if one processor is starting to get loaded then xp moves some load to the second processor and automatically rebalances the processing load between the two cores.
is this your understanding jcs child ? ...or any other tekkie wish to comment on this aspect ? i am happy to be corrected.....
if TRUE this means folks really shouldnt need to worry about their current applications performing on duals.....also if true...rthis means that we might expect processor loading to drop significantly. ....for example a single processor thats maxing out at 90 per cent...with duals ...the overall pc NOW should hardly break a sweat. any comments appreciated....peace.
Old 16th August 2005
Lives for gear

HI Manning,

yes and no.

yes XP will load balance of sorts, however a true multithread will see huge gains.

you can assign processor affiniation.
tell one program use this cpu tell another use that cpu. whilst no where near as good as true multithread it does help.

if someone is using just daw software say "Samp."
you would see only a little gain.

if using numeous programs at once is where you start seeing the dual cpus helping.

bottom line regradless is more overhead.
Old 17th August 2005
Gear Head
The Bull's Avatar


Originally Posted by NYMorningstar
I think you're right and I'll be taking that advice.. Thank You
Well I'll be. Thank you very much. You won't be missed. If you and your twin, frazzle ever learn something about music then come back and talk to us like real adults. Good bye.
Old 17th August 2005
Lives for gear

thanks for your insight.
the reason i asked is years ago i worked on OS stuff....and was curious on your perception of how xp handles this stuff ...and how it compares with what i'm hearing ....
just one point to clarify....i'm interested in......lets say we have a daw program running WHILE say we have a surf the internet pgm running, while lets say we have a computational intensive pgm like dna analysis running for example....
am i correct in thinking xp pro will OF COURSE rebalance between the two cores ? WHEREAS it wont with just the daw program (ie...ONE PROGRAM) and a bunch of plug ins running.....OR WILL IT ? this is where i'm not sure.
i was told that once again xp pro will rebalance tween both cores even though the daw software was not originally coded as multithreaded.
the reason i i have some friends running older audio software.
and someone mentioned on here an older version of a daw piqued my interest to pose the question ....with an older program...will xp still rebalance. i understood it will.
clarifications appreciated. all the best to you jcs.
Old 5th October 2005
Lives for gear
imloggedin's Avatar
well no doubt cubase and nuendo handle dual processors well.
while reading this i see that alot of people try and say that DP machines dont make that much of a different, its the hard drives and ram etc. thats a load of crap.. if your using a DAW that handles dual processors, obviously it makes a huge difference in using plugins. and its proven on that website. idunno about all of you but thats where my concern is, i wanna use some good compression on a few tracks and not get crackling and dropouts. yah ram and hard drives, you need em. but the processor WILL make a big difference on DAW's that support them.
Old 7th October 2005
Lives for gear

Yo to all ya'll peeps. Long time, no post here. Been really bizzy.

Anyway, SX/Nuendo 3.1 on a pair of dualcore Opterons is fairly amazing. Load balancing across all 4 CPUs is very good. I won't go into track and plugin counts because I burned out on being called a liar on such things a while ago. My standard burnin for the systems is 200 tracks in record mode at 48/24 for 4 hours while chasing timecode. Suffice it to say that using a pair of dualcores, you can do a whole lot of stuff at once, and at lower latencies than any other Native DAW setup. The Athlon X2 dualcores are working very well, in fact usually outperforming a pair of single core Opterons for audio. There have been some chipset related issues on the AMD X2s for Firewire interfaces, etc, but they are being sorted out, with UAD-1 drivers having just been released that specifically optimize for dualcore CPUs and Firewire I/Os.

The fact that SX/Nuendo is already running properly on 4 physical CPUs, utilizing all 4 cores nearly equally under load, makes it a good choice as far as the future goes. We will all be running multicore CPUs within a year or two,whether you realize it yet, or not. It would be a drag to discover your DAW software didn't make use of that power. To be fair, Sonar looks to be doing a good job in that vein, as well.

I know that so far, only a few of us have the good fortune to work on quad CPU DAWs, but that will change for most serious users over the next 12 to 24 months. Trust me, you guys are gonna dig it in a major way. You quit even thinking about, "How much power will this plugin/softsynth/convolution algo, etc use and will it start bogging my system?" I think it's really important to make sure the DAW software you use is either already optimized for dualcores (and beyond), or else you will have to trust that they will do so in the future. In my experience, trusting the long range plans of DAW developers is not one of your safer bets, since what you want to see happen could require a complete rewrite of their code, as far as you know.

Think about the hype of "Altivec" vs the number of apps that ever actually optimized for it, which was very, few. Think ahead, as far as multiple CPU support goes. You'll be glad you did.

P.S. Dualcore Xeons are due to ship before year's end. No idea yet on cost, or how they will perform vs Opterons, but by Christmas there will be competing quad CPU systems that are relatively affordable, at least compared to any quads available up until the dualcores showed up.
Old 7th October 2005
Gear Addict
JSVice's Avatar
This is some fascinating stuff. I've been running dual Opteron 242's for the better part of the past year. Scott at ADK was my source for almost the whole rig, including the RME FF800. It's been a powerhouse, but I am tending to push its limits now. I love my VSTi's and convolution verbs. I'll be anxious to see if dual core systems become affordable for people in the garage band trenches like myself.
Old 7th October 2005
Lives for gear

For audio, with properly multithreaded software like SX/Nuendo or Sonar, even a pair of the slower dualcores is going to leave a pair of the current fastest single cores in the dust.

I have identical systems in service, except for a pair of dualcore Opterons in one vs a pair of single core Opterons in the other. Both are running Nuendo 3.1.

As strong as the dual Opteron setup is, the quad stomps it even at slightly slower clock speeds, since Nuendo makes excellent use of all 4 cores. With other software that is not multithread optimized, there would be much less difference between the two systems. That's why I went on so long above about making sure your software is going to take advantage of that power, if you are choosing a new DAW app.

That's also the same reason that someone who uses one DAW, say Samplitude, might say there was not a big difference between single vs dual, while someone using a different DAW might say there is a huge difference. And that disagreement would be much greater when comparing performance vs a quad CPU.

I know some of you might think I'm crazy, but quad CPU systems will be much more common that you might expect 12-18 months from now. AMD and Intel are both going multicore nuts with their future designs and we will see quad cores in a single CPU by 2007, at the latest, and possibly during 2006. Just like you can build a dualcore for not much more than a single core today, 12-18 months from now, the same will be true for quadcore.
Old 11th October 2005
Lives for gear

Hey Brian,

Quad AMDs are already ready! except for the roll out.
in fact they and the Dual core have been ready for over a yr. (since the 939 came out)
just had to bring the die online!

whoo hoo a fun time it is.

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