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Topic: Workstation Configuration Help

  1. #1

    Question Workstation Configuration Help

    Hi all,

    I'm looking at ways to improve my systems performance.

    Currently it's Windows, 3.2 Ghz P4, 3 GB RAM, 250 SATA Hard drive.

    I'm running GPO, JABB, EastWest Choirs, EastWest Stormdrum. In particular Choirs is memory intensive.

    I also use Finale 06 & 07 and Sonar PE 5.

    My idea is to get 2 additional hard drives (200-400 GB 3.0 gb/s SATA - either Seagate or Western Digital). I would move all my samples onto 1 of these drives and access using DFD (direct from disk). I would move Sonar and Finale onto one of the drives. And I would keep the OS and other apps on my current drive.

    For those who know:
    (1) Does this sound like a good plan?
    (2) Would you suggest a different configuration (maintaining a single workstation/processor)?
    (3) What hard drives would you recommend for this?


    EDIT: Does http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...TC-d3alcatch3r look like a good hard drive for this? Cost is a bit of a concern for me.

  2. #2

    Re: Workstation Configuration Help

    I just built my own system for composing with. I bought everything from NewEgg. For reference, my basic stats are:

    Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz HT
    2 GB RAM
    160 GB HDD
    ATI Rage Video
    ATI RADEON Video
    Realtek AC97 Audio
    Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2
    Intel Ethernet 10/100 Mbps (x2)
    DVD-ROM/CD-RW and DVD+/-RW / CD-RW combo

    It may appear a little much..but I have more planned to use this computer for when it comes to the musical...

    Compared to my system, your's will most likely work for running GPO and etc.

    1) Typically, moving programs or their data out of the Program Files directory in Windows is a bad idea from my own past experience. I don't know much about sampling software though.
    2) If you have the money, go Dual-core (not Dual-processor). We got my sister a Pentium D 3.0 GHz and it beats my Pentium 4 3.2 GHz by leaps and bounds.
    3) Ones that work. Large and fast are best. If possible, get those new flash drives as they can run quickly (but this doesn't matter with GPO and JABB...)
    Colton J. Provias
    Film Score Composer, Location Sound Mixer, and Sound Editor
    Full-stack Web Developer

  3. #3

    Post Re: Workstation Configuration Help

    A few recommendations:

    1) As CJPro suggested, keeping program files on the same drive as the OS is recommended. I've not seen any data to support a performance reason behind this. However, I have seen plenty of cases where not installing a program on the same drive as the OS causes compatability issues.

    2) Hard drive throughput (mostly based on disk speed) is important, so you are going the right direction there. The size of the cache on the hard drive can in many cases improve performance more than throughput. The bigger the cache on the hard drives the better. The Seagate drive you referenced is a great deal. 320 gig at 7200 RPM with 16MB of cache for $94. Smashing deal indeed!

    3) No question about it, dual core is what you want to do CPU wise. It is more pricey, but will give you a longer return on investment. Are you going with a P4 because it is compatible with your current motherboard? (I noticed you did not list a motherboard so I am guessing this is why.)

    4) One of the unsung hero's of performance improvement is the motherboard. Getting a dual core CPU would probably require you to upgrade to a new one. Bus speed is critical, especially with audio applications.

    5) Be sure to get the best quality (no generic!) RAM (Kingston, etc.) you can. Again, speed is critical. Intel architectures have the most inefficient memory architecture of the three major platforms (Intel, RISC, Mainframe). When you can increase the speed in memory you can overcome some of this significant shortcoming of the architecture.

    Hope this helps,

    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

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