I know this is a hardware ? but nobody seems to look over there too much. I posted a request for advice on building a new computer specifically for low latency Post Piano playback. I hope that I can get advice concerning chipset, ecc or non-ecc, cpu type ect....
I own a nforce 2 that is able to play back in kontakt 2 - at 2 or 3 ms, but does have sporadic cpu over/crashes when using harmonics nki's. Would some users be so kind as to relay success stories concerning this request.
ECC or not is note very important (IMO).
As it's a matter of disk streaming, you have to get a good hard drive.
I use RAID 0 : two identical HD 7200rpm monted in RAID 0 allow more debit. Each one has the half of each octet and it's as if you get a big HD 14400rpm, but access time is rather the same that HD alone.
10000rpm is better than 7200, but take case to noise.
Then you can boost your RAM. Personnaly, I use 2x512Mb. It is enough to use just a piano. But if you want absolutlely no problem with lost voices, you can get more and use less diskstreaming.
And the more you play voices at the same time, the more your processor has to be powerfull.
A dedicated soundcard is better.
And 44.1kHz is lee cpu consuming than 96kHz. Same thing with 24bits ans 16bits.
To resume, for live gig, there are many comprimises to do.
Thank-you for your response. I have a little bit of red on my disc activity meter once in a while. Before I upgrade I was hoping to learn from users what chipset, cpu, hd and memory are being used successfully for realtime playing at the shortest latencies. I thought that ecc caused longer latencies. I know the Tyans are recommended DAWs, does anyone use them because they excel at real-time sample playback at the shortest latencies for the big pianos?
Talking about latencies, it seems that the new PC architecture (PCI express) is not as good as the old one for audio... And this is mainly because all the bus optimizations are done for the graphic card to please %$*§! hardcore gamers...
What a shame for audio users. Specially nvidia chipset board are suspect.
Single (good) 7200 HD is usually enough for disk streaming (even with default setting, I never saturate my HD with big lib. like TBO, at <3ms latency).
Beware of scripts (like harmonics scripts) ! They consume a lot of CPU sporadically as you said (at critical moment, like when relleasing sustain pedal while playing new chords at the very same time for instance). In this case too low latency don't allow to smooth out the CPU load.