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Topic: Crossroads ? I have the budget to buy a new PC. Should I ?

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  1. #1

    Crossroads ? I have the budget to buy a new PC. Should I ?

    I am standing now before a crossroads again. I use Sonar 7 Studio Edition, and Kontakt 3 as my sampler. I use various sample libraries including GPO. A few of my samplers that came with the instruments are 64 bit compatible. However, Kontakt 3 is not yet 64 bit compatible.

    I am just getting so frustrated with the RAM issue as I have only 2 Gigs. I have 4 ESata sampledrives with all my libraries loaded on, and everything works great. But when I do big mockups, I run out of RAM fairly quickly. AND freezing my tracks is great, but takes time away from me that can go into mixing and mastering.

    Currently I work on an Intel Pentium Dual Core 2 with 2 Gig Ram, 256 N Video Videocard, Emu1212, 4 esata Lacie 500gb external sample drives.

    I want to get more ram, but my motherboard only supports 2 Gig. I have a budget of $1200 to spend. Most of my parts from my previous PC I will use in the new one, except of course for the motherboard etc. etc.

    Should I buy a Quad Core with 4 Gig than can expand to 8 Gig rams ? Or should I get a 64 Bit AMD/Intel Dual Core ?

    My question is this. Will Kontakt 3 wich only support 32 bit, still work on a 64 bit, but not use any more than 2 Gig ram ? Or will it completely not be able to work on a 64 bit machine ? Basically, will any program that is 32bit work on a 64bit machine ?

    I see many post of users that has a 64 Bit machine with Visa 32bit installed on it ?

    So.. my question, apart from those above, is... I need a resolution fast.

    I am so confused when it comes to the processors and what will work where.

    Would it be unwise for me to go ahead and buy a Quad Core, or should I stick with Dual Core ? Or should I just wait till everything is more supportive of 64 bit and then make my purchase. (The last not helping much because I need a resolution right away )


    Thanks Guys !! Excited to see what advise you guys can give !
    "‘The heights by men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight,
    but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night
    .’ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow."



  2. #2

    Re: Crossroads ? I have the budget to buy a new PC. Should I ?

    It sounds like you have a pretty strong machine to begin with, but you are definitely pushing it to its limits. My first question is - are you comfortable working on PC's by yourself? If you are then you would possibly be able to just upgrade you CPU to a Quad Core if your MOBO will support it. Or, ona more advanced level, you could upgrade mobo, RAM, and CPU, all for about half of your stated budget.

    Otherwise, look for a good Quad Core machine. Rather than buy off the shelf from Dell or HP or somebody, I'd recommend checking out custom built machines available from www.studiocat.com and www.adkproaudio.com. Jim, at studiocat knows his stuff and will work with you to get you the best setup for your needs. Scott at ADK is a resident genius as well and will help you put together what you need.
    Paul Baker
    Baker's Jazz And More
    Austin, Texas, USA
    www.bakersjazzandmore.com

  3. #3

    Re: Crossroads ? I have the budget to buy a new PC. Should I ?

    Thanks for the excellent advise.

    Could you tell me if I will be able to run a 32 bit application on a quad core or 64 bit machine ? Will it work, but not make use of the extra RAM over 2Gig, or is it impossible for a 32bit app to work on function on a quad core or 64 bit machine ?

    THANKS !!
    "‘The heights by men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight,
    but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night
    .’ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow."



  4. #4

    Re: Crossroads ? I have the budget to buy a new PC. Should I ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Empneo View Post
    Thanks for the excellent advise.

    Could you tell me if I will be able to run a 32 bit application on a quad core or 64 bit machine ? Will it work, but not make use of the extra RAM over 2Gig, or is it impossible for a 32bit app to work on function on a quad core or 64 bit machine ?

    THANKS !!

    I have Dual Core with 4 Gb internal RAM and Windows XP64 and it runs like "a sunny day in spring"...... also those 32bits programs. But beware of some drivers. As also with Vista this XP64 is very keen on 64 bits drivers. First do a survey if all hardware -driven by drivers- can run under 64bits environment. In other words, look if the manufacturer has 64 bits compatible drivers.

    I myself had to install a "virtual machine" with XP32 for those days where I need my scanner (Canon refuses to write a 64bit driver for this type of scanner). This can be a solution.... that "virtual machine" thing I mean.

    Raymond

  5. #5

    Re: Crossroads ? I have the budget to buy a new PC. Should I ?

    As I understand things, the safest most consistent play right now is to stick with 32bit XP unless you're absolutely sure that every piece of hardware and software in your system has working 64 bit drivers. Manufacturers make a lot of claims, but their user forums will tell the tale. Using what's called the Large Address Aware switch in 32bit XP will take advantage of 3+GB, but not all of the 4GB. I can't tell you any more about it because I'm not really familiar with it myself other than what I've read on other forums. I'm sure a Google search will lead you to the appropriate info. In any case, though, it should give you a substantial increase.

    FWIW, I've just gotten in all the parts for my new Q6600 Quad Core machine and hope to get it built in the next few days. I'll be running Win XP 32 bit on it and expect no problems related to those choices.

    Again, contact Jim or Scott at the URL's in my previous post and they can answer all your questions. They build computers for a living.
    Paul Baker
    Baker's Jazz And More
    Austin, Texas, USA
    www.bakersjazzandmore.com

  6. #6
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    Re: Crossroads ? I have the budget to buy a new PC. Should I ?

    Most 32 bit plugins work fine with Sonar 7 x64 version. There are only a couple such as the Waves plugins that don't work. I record with 4 GB of RAM using Windows XP x64 and it's great being able to use the full 4 GB of memory. Kontakt 2 does work although I have to disable multi-processor support in Sonar or Kontakt causes all sorts of noises that are not pleasant. All 32 bit apps have to go through BitBridge which can only handle 2 GB per instance although it seems like it can run out before then.

    BTW, I'm only running a Core 2 Duo which works quite well (30-40% CPU) for doing full orchestrations using 3 instances of Kontakt 2, 2 instances of Vienna's VE, ARIA player and WIVI. Remember the 30-40% cpu is with only one core because of the Kontakt issue. Some builders are recommending fast dual cores if you run mostly VSTi type plugins. Quad cores come in handy if you like to use large amounts of reverb, compression, delay and other effects plugins.

    Jim

  7. #7

    Re: Crossroads ? I have the budget to buy a new PC. Should I ?

    Your core question relates to 32 bit applications running in 64 bit windows.

    The answer is generally yes. The operating system is designed to cope with running 32 bit applications, but there is also the issue of drivers. Drivers are the software that runs on the operating system and drive your hardware. You need 64 bit drivers on a 643 bit operating system. If the driver for your hardware (printer, sound card, video card, motherboard, scanner etc) does not have a strong 64 bit version for the operating system, then you will be in trouble. Check the availability of drivers out on the vendor's websites. Microsoft historically provide compatibility tests as well you can download, but I haven't checked recently.


    As to Quad versus Dual core. Personally I would go with Quad,but the value will come down to whether your applications are multi-threaded (to take advantage of the parallel execution paths provided by the multi-cores) or not. We are in the early days of multi-threaded exploitation in desktop applications.

    RAM: More is better - presumably you are aware that 32-bit can only address a little over 3GB, but getting a motherboard capable of 8 or more will give you flexibility if you decide to go 64Bit.

    If you go 64Bit, consider buying the 8GB immediately to ensure you can get the right RAM when you want it. It may be obsolete by the time you want to buy it.

    It sounds to me that all you really need if you want to save your bucks is a new motherboard and some RAM. The processor is probably fine.

  8. #8
    That's sounds like a plan. Getting a new motherboard and RAM. But I don't know a lot about computer hardware. I would not even begin to know where to search for what mother board, or what goes where.

    Currently my DAW is the size of the Creation Station from Sweetwater. I did not buy mine at Sweetwater, but the size is the same. The little cube box. So I don't know where I should look to find a new motherboard that would fit in such a small box.

    One thing I know is that, my lack of knowledge, will cost me money. In the end I will be forced to buy a brand new computer, when all I needed was a new motherboard and RAM. But not knowing what type, where to find and how to assemble everything, i would be stuck.

    :-(
    "‘The heights by men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight,
    but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night
    .’ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow."



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