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Topic: Realtime Mac performance and the number game

  1. #1

    Realtime Mac performance and the number game


    I get more and more confused as the CPU numbers get wider between Macs and PCs. With the rumored G5\'s coming soon at 1.6GHz speeds it looks not as fast as the 3.0GHz that intel is showing.

    So, the numbers are misleading, right? Real-time performance and meeting needs (using plug-ins, samplers and sequenced material) is the true test for us.

    So, what are Mac users reporting with the EXS-24 (numbr of instances and the kind of instruments sizes loaded) and audio track count with the dual-processor Macs...and how many Wave plugs (since they\'re processor intensive) can be used?

    I just want to see what some real world ability is, which will help me get a perspective what those numbers mean really to us as DAW users.

    Thanks, anyone, for posting results.

  2. #2

    Re: Realtime Mac performance and the number game

    The answer is that it depends. Well no, the answer is that nobody has tried those new Macs yet, so they can\'t tell you.

    You\'ll have to be a little more specific about your application, or you\'ll just get religious answers. In other words, are you going to be running soft synths, samplers, both, a sequencer; are you using one now so the second machine will be like a rack module; and so on.

    As to how many EXS24s you can load, well, at least a couple of dozen and 256 voices. OS X can handle 2GB of RAM, OS 9 can handle 1.5GB. I have a Pro Tools system in my Mac, which takes up some memory, but Logic (with an army of EXS samplers) maxes out at 1.25GB on my 1.5GB machine; it could probably get up to 1.35 if I wasn\'t using the Pro Tools system.

  3. #3

    Re: Realtime Mac performance and the number game

    Oh, I re-read your post. Well, I don\'t know how many Waves plugs, but you can run lots and lots of tracks - 100 maybe? It really depends on the disks you\'re using (the track count, that is - the number of Waves plugs has to do with the processors).

    The thing that makes hard to answer your question is that Macs have dual processors. Logic normally uses one processor for audio and the other for screens and MIDI, but there are some tricks to get it to open plug-ins on the processor you choose - if that\'s what you want it to do.

    Also, Macs have a co-processor called AltiVec. If something is written to use that - such as Altiverb, which I couldn\'t live without - then all bets are off.

  4. #4

    Re: Realtime Mac performance and the number game

    I\'m mainly concerned with being able to load and stream if necessary as many EXS-24 as possible (how many are possible is kind of what I\'m asking..say, with the fastest Mac dual processor out now)

    The next step after capturing all midi tracks to audio, (and freeing up the EXS-24 from the CPU load) how many plug-ins are people averaging with the same dual processor set-up?
    I used Waves just as an example since they tend to be processor hungry but, anyone, feel free to tell me how many plug-ins of whatever kind your using.

    But I just want Mac stats.

  5. #5

    Re: Realtime Mac performance and the number game

    Lee, what is the \'Lane\' part of your analogy referring to in computer speak? Is that \'system bus\'?

    Just curious in real-world speak what the analogy is referring to in terms of PC/Mac comparison.

  6. #6

    Re: Realtime Mac performance and the number game

    PC\'s have long out \"numbered\" the Mac processor speeds with Macs hovering at 1.2ghz and PC\'s right around 2.8ghz.
    Yet PC\'s are not twice as fast as Macs and in some cases the speed differences are negligible. That should tell you that numbers don\'t always tell the truth.

    Here\'s a real-world scenario from my current project:

    Dual 1gha G4 with 1.5gigs of RAM and dedicated 7200rpm hard drive.

    I\'m working on an orchestral project, I\"m using Logic 6.1 and EXS24. I have so far about 30 instances of EXS running at the same time, they are all streaming samples off the hard drive from GOS and Dan Dean. I\'m also running about 8 instances of Bitheadz Unity Session which is RAM based for percussive samples and smaller instruments like woodwinds and such. I have one master reverb (Apple Matrix-Verb which sounds surprisingly good) and am running a 320x240 mp4 Quicktime movie alongside it.

    No problems so far, if things start getting a bit sluggish I can track freeze, but I haven\'t needed to do that yet!

  7. #7

    Re: Realtime Mac performance and the number game

    Thanks, midphase. That was the first real-world response regarding performance I\'ve read.

    That kind of performance will help me know what to buy next.


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