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Topic: Computer Fast Enough?

  1. #1

    Computer Fast Enough?

    My interest in GPO is forcing me to buy a new computer as my current Mac iBook G3 only has a 600MHz CPU. My question, after reading numerous posts about how many instruments can be loaded at one time vs. CPU speed and RAM inensity is:

    Will an IMac 15\" 1GHz CPU, !GHz RAM with OS X 10.3 (Panther) be good enough to load (or sound) 2 Fl, 2 Ob. 2 Cl. 2Bsn 4hrns. 3 Trbs. Tuba. Timpani. Vl 1 section 2pt divisi. Vl2 section 2pt divisi. Va sectiion 2pt divisi Cello section 2pt divisi and Contrabass PLUS a solo instrument like Piano, AT ONE TIME (all playing at once). I keep reading about \"instances,\" when users talk about GPO, but do not know what that means yet as I am a prospective buyer at present.

    Please give me an indication of what I can do with the IMac machine before I purchase it. I do symphonic scores that are sometimes demanding.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2

    Re: Computer Fast Enough?

    Yes, I think so. I tried GPO on my brother powerbook and I reached the limit (remember that panther takes a lot of memory! 200-300MB) with 17 instruments playing all together and the reverber plugin on.
    I didn\'t check if I reached the limit of the cpu or of the ram (500 MB), or better cubase told me that I was reaching the cpu limit but reading the experience of other mac users probably I was reaching the RAM limit and ot the cpu one.
    So I think you can. In the worst case you should have to use the smallest piano version (the bigger one is 250 MB!) or decrease a little bit the reverber quality.

  3. #3

    Re: Computer Fast Enough?

    Let’s try and answer the easy part first. Forgive me if you know this already, but it sounds from your post that you’re swimming up stream and could use a boat. Kontakt is a virtual instrument that holds the sounds from the GPO library. It cannot play or store any data by itself. It needs a host program such as Logic, Cubase, or Digital Performer. GPO comes with Cubase for free so go with it. But you probably know this already.

    The Kontakt player that comes with GPO can hold up to 8 GPO instruments. These could be a small string section, brass, section, etc. or you can mix and match to your heart’s content. An instance in Kontakt is one of these groups of 8 or fewer GPO instruments.
    You can designate as many instances of Kontakt as you wish, but that doesn’t mean your Mac will be happy about dealing with them all. Which brings us to the hard part of your question.

    If you’re looking to playback a whole orchestra using only midi, I think you’ll have trouble. If for instance you want to play back this orchestra live so that you can control the tempo, it’s not going to happen with the computer you’re looking at. If however you don’t need to do this, these host programs mentioned above offer workarounds. You can freeze some of you tracks, which means making an audio recording of them. Playing audio doesn’t use as much processor power as does driving Kontakt with midi.

    So if you can use some recorded tracks instead of all midi and your budget won’t let you buy a more powerful computer you can most likely get away with what you’re looking at.

    If this didn’t help, or if you feel the need to know more, feel free to email me and I’ll be glad to help in any way I can. I’m by no means a Mac expert, but I’ve been messing with Macs and midi for almost 20 years.

    P.S. Ram, ram and more ram….. What ever you buy, stuff as much ram as you can into that puppy. You won’t be sorry.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Chandler, Arizona

    Re: Computer Fast Enough?

    I don\'t think think a 1 GHz Powerbook has the power for what you want to do. It looks like you want to load about 25-30 instruments plus run the piano. In most posts, OSX users with a 1 GHz machine are only getting about 2 instances running which is only 16 instruments. You almost need a G5 class machine or the most powerful G4 machine to load 4 or more instances until NI gets the OSX version working better.

    At this time, the player is about twice as efficient on PC\'s. Hopefully this will change as NI gets better at coding for OSX.

  5. #5

    Re: Computer Fast Enough?

    If you can hold out a little longer Apple will be bringing out some new computers.

    Though if you need one now my thought is:

    $1,299.00 Low end Imac
    $1,799.00 Low end G5 (If you already have a monitor this is all you need)

    I would spend the extra $500 and get the G5.


  6. #6

    Re: Computer Fast Enough?

    Thanks crr, Karl, Hadyn and Unix_Guru. Your input is appreciated.


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