• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

Topic: Machine for Vienna Instruments - What would you build?

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    Machine for Vienna Instruments - What would you build?

    So I'm thinking of configuring a machine to be my main machine - it's going to have Cubase 4, all my soft synths and probably the Vienna Strings I and II on it. Later I'm going to figure out how to add other machines with the rest of the Vienna Instruments.

    Problem is that I long ago stopped keeping up with things, because I never envisaged having money again. I'm vaguely aware that dual core processors have been introduced, but I'm not sure whether things like the Vienna instruments take advantage of them. Equally, I'm not sure whether the VIs can address more than 2GB of RAM, which I presume would mean going for XP64bit. And do I need to concentrate more on hard drive speed or processor power, or both?

    For those who have been there, what would you build right now, given about $2000.

  2. #2

    Re: Machine for Vienna Instruments - What would you build?

    well, your host needs to take advantage of dual core - C4 does AFAIK. Besides that - about all current CPUs have at least 2 cores (or 4 or 8).

    I am also currently thinking about a new PC - and I find the option to use a mobile Core2Duo pretty interesting - it is not as fast as a desktop CPU but produces less heat and consumes less power - especially the heat think seems to be important.

    Also RAM might be something to think about ..... (as motherboards support different amounts of RAM and then there is the Windows OS)

    just some thoughts

    best

  3. #3

    Re: Machine for Vienna Instruments - What would you build?

    Just built a brand-new PC, like, a couple weeks ago. I spent 2600, but didn't cut any corners (as normally I would have, for budget's sake). But when building your own, everything ends up SO much more affordable.

    Memory's dirt cheap. I grabbed 4 gigs of Kingston HyperX DDR2 for about 250 bucks. None of my apps can use more than 2 gigs of RAM natively, but that's not a big deal. I used the good ol' /3GB switch, combined with LaaTiDo (which modifies your applications' .exe files to use more than 3 gigs of RAM), and I load up around 2.7 or 2.8 gigs of memory (on average) in Acid Pro.

    I wouldn't go with anything 64-bit right now. Yes, the memory boost is invaluable, but only if it works. Vista's iffy (nevermind the early adopters who say all is well - my Vista audio test machine is a wreck right now). And while WinXP 64 would indeed be the ideal solution (XP goodness except 64-bit), driver support's an issue. I didn't even build a WinXP 64 test machine because the companies whose products I like to use only provide sketchy beta drivers for that OS.

    In my (and many others') opinion, 64-bit won't be ready for pro audio primetime for a good deal longer. To be expected, I suppose. I dunno why anybody reasonably thought that Vista would roll off the duplication house's conveyor belts totally ready to handle heavy-duty professional workloads.

    My motherboard will go up to 8 gigs, but as I won't be upgrading to any 64-bit operating system any time soon, that doesn't matter to me. I bought my motherboard mainly for the two eSATA ports on the back.

    I'd say CPU is more important than disk space, because upgrading disk space is super cheap as well, and if you wait 'til you outgrow whatever you start out with, you'll be able to get even more for your money. Whereas CPU is useful NOW, no matter what - especially with VSL, where (presumably), you'll be using convo reverbs to create your acoustic space. Even with my quadcore, I can still max it out fairly easily (although I can get many more Altiverbs going without having to freeze plugins).

    As steff said, every processor available today is multicore. There are no single core CPU's anymore, except in pawn shops. Dual core's the minimum... I don't know if 8-core's actually happening on PC's right now (it is on Macs...). Maybe you can get 2 Intel quadcores, but with my motherboard (a high-end ASUS board), I'm not even sure how that'd be possible.

    The Intel quadcores are half-price right now. Get one. They're great. Faster than a Core 2 Duo, but NOT faster than a true quadcore - AMD and Intel are about to duke it out this fall in the true quadcore arena (which will cost you a gajillion dollars, anyway, until the 8-cores come out which will make the true quads cheaper, etc).

    The current Intel quads consist of two dual cores stuck onto a single die and sold in pairs. But they do work fabulously (they run billions of circles around the old P4 3.2 Ghz I was using previously). And like I said, better than a single dualcore. And half-price, in preparation for the true quads this fall.

    As far as GPU's are concerned, go with something with 256MB onboard memory. I do a lot of composing for games, so I got two monster behemoth nVidia's SLI'd together (meaning, two identical graphics cards connected and running in parallel... like dualcore graphics cards, kinda). But if you're doing just music, you don't need a massive GPU, so you can save a lot of dough there by just getting one mid-range card.

    As far as hard disk space... I'd build a system with some expansion capabilities, but don't fill it up right now if you run out of money. You should be able to grab a decent amount of space, though.

    I've got a 2 terabyte RAID in my PC, with a 320 gig system drive for Windows, and a 4 terabyte RAID running through two external SATA ports. I sprung for the Hitachi Deskstars (the 1 terabyte drives), and put two each in two eSATA enclosures. So, around 6 terabytes of hard disk space in one PC (comes out to around 5.4, actually). All running at SATA II speeds, 7200 rpm. And the Hitachi's have 32MB caches! It's awesome. And it didn't cost squat compared to the CPU and graphics cards (though the Hitachi's are kind of expensive - I bought those in the spring for use with my old computer, before I bought this new one, so they don't really factor into the total cost of the new machine). Still, I spent around 400 bucks for 2.3TB of internal space in the new PC. Not bad. Somethin' like 17 cents a gigabyte.

    Hopefully this answers your questions about what's currently available. Feel free to toss some more out there if you like.

    Now's a better time than ever to build an awesome PC for very little money. My slaves are Core 2 Duo 2.6's, with 4 gigs of RAM and a couple terabytes of disk space, with 256MB graphics cards, and they cost, like, 11 or 1200 each. Throw in a quadcore and a bunch more hard disk space, and you'll coast right on up to your 2 grand limit. And if you don't, then upgrade the graphics card or buy a nice new LCD for yourself or somethin'.

    -Tom

  4. #4

    Re: Machine for Vienna Instruments - What would you build?

    Thanks Tom, that was great!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member mahlon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Posts
    193

    Re: Machine for Vienna Instruments - What would you build?

    Hey Pingu,
    I'll tell you what I've built. I've done two machines in the month, totally dedicated to Vienna VI. Both are running very well with no problems. Both have the 3 gig switch applied in Windows XP. Both are networked to my main DAW and I use Synergy (so I only have one keyboard and mouse for the 3 monitors -- awesome little program).

    Each machine has:

    1. GIGABYTE GA-G33M-DS2R Core 2 Quad Socket 775 1333MHz PC2-8500 (DDR2-1066) mATX Motherboard Retail (I got micro atx boards because I wanted to put these in smaller cases)
    2. Intel Core 2 Duo E4300
    3. Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400C4 (4 gigs in each machine)
    4. Hitachi Deskstar T7K250 250GB Serial ATA II 7200RPM Hard Drive (2 in each machine; one for operating and files, one for sample streaming)
    5. XFX PV-T72P-PANG GeForce 7300 LE 128MB GDDR2 PCI Express x16 Video Card
    6. Frontier Design Wavecenter PCI audio cards. (8 in and 8 out Litghtpipe plus 32 channels midi each).

    These are housed in Ultra ULT33114 MicroFly cases (which a little prone to vibration because the cases is basically held together by the mass of the components)

    I think you can get the 16 meg buffer drives now rather than the 8 meg for the same price). The video card is cheap and fanless. So no noise there.

    But all in all, these run very well. One slave runs just the VI Woodwinds 1 and the other runs the VI Appassionata Strings and Solo Strings.

    I went with the simple little Frontier Design audio card because it was lightpipe (with SPDIF as well), and it seemed a good card for a dedicated slave without spending too much money. These slaves are only supposed to do one thing -- take in the midi and pump out the VI audio. I debated about their pci design for future upgrades, but I think that's covered for the foreseeable future. And I probably won't upgraded these computers except to quad core and 8 gigs of memory -- that will be it.

    My only complaint is that because of the case design I chose, I'm getting some vibration noise. My solution is to line the inside with accoustic barrier (which should take care of most of it); and at a further resort, I might enclose the hard drives in 'silent' 5.25 inch enclosures. Zalman makes some really good ones.

    Anyway, hope it helps. You can build a really nice computer with good components for a reasonable price these days. And because you know your components are good, you can rest easier.

    Mahlon

  6. #6

    Re: Machine for Vienna Instruments - What would you build?

    Thanks Mahlon - equally useful. Particularly the heads up about Synergy.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mahlon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Posts
    193

    Re: Machine for Vienna Instruments - What would you build?

    Your welcome, and if you need a software KVM, you might look into Kavoom. It's not free like Synergy, but it allows some different setup options between multiple computer/monitors.

    Mahlon

  8. #8

    Re: Machine for Vienna Instruments - What would you build?

    Just so you guys know, I have an XP64 machine running Vienna VI and I can access 3.9GB of memory without problems (via FXT). Actually, if I use a standalone as well, then I can use around 7.5GB....

    DG

  9. #9
    Senior Member mahlon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Posts
    193

    Re: Machine for Vienna Instruments - What would you build?

    I still want to look into FXT more closely. How many machines are you running it on DG?

    Thanks,
    Mahlon

  10. #10

    Re: Machine for Vienna Instruments - What would you build?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomdini
    I wouldn't go with anything 64-bit right now. Yes, the memory boost is invaluable, but only if it works. Vista's iffy (nevermind the early adopters who say all is well - my Vista audio test machine is a wreck right now). And while WinXP 64 would indeed be the ideal solution (XP goodness except 64-bit), driver support's an issue. I didn't even build a WinXP 64 test machine because the companies whose products I like to use only provide sketchy beta drivers for that OS.

    In my (and many others') opinion, 64-bit won't be ready for pro audio primetime for a good deal longer. To be expected, I suppose. I dunno why anybody reasonably thought that Vista would roll off the duplication house's conveyor belts totally ready to handle heavy-duty professional workloads.
    This is really good advice. I had many, many driver problems with WinXP 64-bit, and Vista has NOT been stable for me under high-performance working conditions.

    -Alex

Go Back to forum

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •