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Topic: Should I buy One Killer PC or Two Cheaper Ones

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  1. #1

    Should I buy One Killer PC or Two Cheaper Ones

    Goal: Giga and Cubase VST-based dream studio.

    option 1: PIII-733 with Rambus memory

    option 2: Two PIII 500\'s

    All other things being equal, which option would you choose, and why?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Re: Should I buy One Killer PC or Two Cheaper Ones

    Hello Jaime,

    I would recommend to get two machines. It is the most flexible solution. And the safest too... With a PII 733, you could probably do wonders and run Cubase AND Gigasampler in the same machine (it does work on a PII300 with no probs), but for true performance with no limitation, separate is the way. And it is wiser too. Why would you pay the high price just to get the latest technology that won\'t be the latest by the time you\'ll open the box???
    Those two software are pretty reesources hungry... Cos\' if you want to run them both in one machine, sooner or later you\'ll want to use some DX effects in Cubase,full polyphony in Giga. What if Nemesys finally release a Giga with built in Fx (or DX insertion...)or increases polyphony to 128 notes ???? That\'ll be the time for you to think of buying a PIV 1033 Mhz...
    What I do (cos you ask for advices), I always buy slightly outdated technology but with more options or (and) better options I could offer if I would buy it New (Pentium II 300 to 400 with UW SCSI ctrler, two SCSI disks...). Then I spend a lot of time configuring the machine and I make it dedicated to a few tasks... It works well for me and I sometimes smile when I visit my (richer) friends and I can see them having lots of troubles with the latest technology (and of course nobody knows how to fix the very latest things...).
    I insist on the fact that you\'d better limit a machine to a few tasks only and everything should fly (even on an \"Old\" PIII 500 :-))
    Do you know that windows 98 with all the bells and whistles (internet explorer 5...)grabs nearly 40 megs of your physical Ram !!!
    And it loads so many unnecessary Dll\'s that the extra money you put in the latest thing is somehow wasted when a new version of windows (2000 is coming) comes and slow it down (so it runs nearly equal than you\'re older computer with it\'s old OS...).
    It\'s no Blabla man... I run Giga on a PII300 all SCSI but with a windows 98 version customised using initially WIN98 lite and then I slimmed it down to 60 Mo (I\'m talking about the full windows folder including the system). Everything unnecessary has been removed (internet on a separate machine or partition). I\'ve gained 25 Mo of available Ram after boot and 98 % ressources free ; I can run much more things concurrently (including the sequencer on the same machine...sometimes).
    Hope this helps,
    Bifop

  3. #3

    Re: Should I buy One Killer PC or Two Cheaper Ones

    I\'m new to PC. I bought it only for Giga. Can you please help me by letting me know wich uneccessay garbage I can throw to lighten up my P III 500 running Giga with Win 98 se. I also have it network to my Pro Tools on a Mac via PC MacLan. Everything works fine but I would not mind offloading some of this PC crap off my system that\'s not necessary to run Giga. Thanks

  4. #4

    Re: Should I buy One Killer PC or Two Cheaper Ones

    AV

    To modify windows look, responsivness and to optimize it for music there a lot of tweaking needed (set the machine as a network server, no read ahead, no write behind cache, fixed memory swap file size or use huge amount of ram and disable the virtual memory, nothing in the startup folder, minimum background tasks....) and interface tweaking (with Tweack UI or Fine Tune) you can disable windows animation, no double buffering, no drive space, disable windows logo at startup.. to speed up your machine a bit.
    A good site is http://www.studio201.com/cwu/ : there\'s some good info pages to setup your PC.


    But still, windows we\'ll keep it\'s internet explorer interface which in 98 is a bit slower than 95. Too many add ons... So may want to hack into windows architecture to remove more than what \"Add/Remove\" feature in Windows control Panel offers... So they are two options :

    A patch to automatically modify or reinstall (best option) you\'re windows setup, or, the hard way ; opennig your windows folder and right click/properties (or alt enter) on every elements and read what it does and try to move it to a temporary folder to see if windows survive after restart... If you don\'t know what you\'re doing, be prepared for a cold sweat...

    First you should have a look to http://www.98lite.net/
    There you\'ll find the patch to modify you\'re windows 98 shell.
    What it does if you take the \"sleek\" install, is to remove the web engine and to replace it by the 95 explorer. It\'s much faster and less ressources consuming.
    The next step is to register and get the \"Win Micro\" patch which will remove any piece of Html and internet related components, accessories like task manager...

    I haven\'t got the 98 Micro so I can\'t tell you how good it is, but I read testimonies of happy users.But the winLite is a good start.

    I\'ve gone the hard way and took away myself maybe more features of windows like network (which you should keep for you\'re protools networking), video (avi, mpeg..), real audio drivers and readers and related dll\'s. Pcmcia ; infrared communication ; printers installer and printing components ; most of the DirectX 7 files, modem files, windows telephony system...
    Then a bit of sysedit and regedit are necessary (you have to stop windows calling for certain type of files or drivers..
    Then, ultimate touch, You can have your own startup logo (just open a file called logo.sys on C: in Paint and paste your new logo. It has to be 320*400, 256 colors, 127K), and OEM logo in windows control panel/system (just name a 92*92 16 color bitmap picture oemlogo.bmp and put it in your system folder).
    My system is rock solid. And as I kept the bare minimum, I really see some effective improvements like a lot more free Ram and lesser processor load. But no picture on the desktop (as you dedicated it to giga, you don\'t need fancy picts do you ?), no icon on the taskbar (of course it\'s the 95 task bar) and obviously no internet.

    I could go on like this for pages. As your knew on the PC, I would recommend you to go for a patch. When you\'ll feel confident and want more customisation, we\'ll see for the aboves...

    Hope this helps
    Regards
    Bifop

  5. #5

    Re: Should I buy One Killer PC or Two Cheaper Ones

    Two computers is ideal when possible. Not only can you have one use VST while the other does GigaSampler, you can also use both systems for the GigaSampler when doing major polyphony composing and orchestrating. For sequencing, running VST and GigaSampler works fine with no loss of polyphony in the GigaSampler. Once you add VST audio, the performance takes a hit on both programs in tracks and polyphony plus configuration entanglements to make them work together with audio. You can get fast enough computers real cheap now. If you use more than one computer, you should get a belkin switch box so you can use a single monitor,mouse and keyboard for multiple computers. Do keep in mind that new versions of music software(including us) will take advantage of the new faster processors. If you get more than one system, get as good a price as you can. For GigaSampler 64 note polyphony, PII300 will work fine for now.
    Take care
    Dave of NemeSys

  6. #6

    Re: Should I buy One Killer PC or Two Cheaper Ones

    It takes a little tweaking, but you definately can do both GS and digital audio on the same machine and have them both run extremely well. I think of it this way: why have two hopelessly out of date systems next year if you don\'t need to?

  7. #7

    Re: Should I buy One Killer PC or Two Cheaper Ones

    Is there a way of doing two seperate, different installs of Windows 98 on the same computer. On the first install, there would be Windows 98 with all it\'s features and all programs running in the background like RealPlayer, ICQ, etc. The second install would just have only the basic Windows \'98 plus all the right sound drivers for the sound card. This way, if it is possible to do it, I would be able to go into the first installation to do things like go on the Internet, etc. and do things like work with GS and Logic Audio on the second installation. Is this possible? If not, what else could I do?

  8. #8

    Re: Should I buy One Killer PC or Two Cheaper Ones

    Bespoke,

    Yes, it is possible.
    First, you\'ll have to partition (or use another disk). If you don\'t want to erase format you current partition, use Partition Magic :
    http://www.powerquest.com/partitionmagic/index.html

    Then, set your second partition active and install another instance of windows for your audio setup. You can disable in control/system, whatever peripheral you don\'t want to use.

    I would recommend you to get the boot manager
    from : http://www.xosl.org/

    It\'s a really good freeware.

    Hope this helps

    Bifop

    [This message has been edited by Bifop (edited 12-05-1999).]

  9. #9

    Re: Should I buy One Killer PC or Two Cheaper Ones

    I remeber reading somewhere that it was possible to have one installation of Win 98 with several different configuration settings. This would be a better solution. I don\'t remember how it was done, but I know it\'s part of the Windows 98 design. Does anyone know off hand how to do this?

  10. #10

    Re: Should I buy One Killer PC or Two Cheaper Ones

    Laurence,
    I think, you can achieve this with the hardware profiles in :\\control panel\\system\\hardware profiles. You copy your default hardware profile and then you disable whatever devices you want or modify your windows setup. At boot-up, you\'ll have a choice of hardware profiles to boot to...

    Hope this helps.
    Bifop

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