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Trying to decide on a PC build
Last post Sat, Oct 05 2013 by Joh, 6 replies.
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Posted on Thu, Oct 03 2013 05:37
by VirtualVirgin
Joined on Fri, Jul 20 2012, Posts 106
Trying to decide between a 4770k and 3960k.

The 4770k on a Z87 supports Thunderbolt but on 32GB RAM.

The 3960k has no Thunderbolt but up to 64GB RAM.

The 3960k will run me a little more, but has faster benchmarks over the 4770k.

What do you guys think?

I will only be starting out with 16GB RAM but wondering if I will want to expand all the way to 64 over time.

I'll be using the full SE along with VEP5 and MIR and another 300GB of samples.

If I am looking at moderate scoring (say classical sized orchestra at the most), how would I fare with only 32GB max?
Posted on Thu, Oct 03 2013 11:52
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 8245

There was a similar thread recently - maybe you can get some input from it:

-> http://community.vsl.co.at/forums/t/35595.aspx


/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Thu, Oct 03 2013 20:50
by VirtualVirgin
Joined on Fri, Jul 20 2012, Posts 106
Thanks but that thread discusses running MIR from a slave (I am going for an all in one at the moment) and does not even mention either build that I am eying.
Posted on Fri, Oct 04 2013 11:50
by Joh
Joined on Wed, Jul 18 2012, Posts 19

Although i think Thunderbolt is a great interface, I don't see many reasons to have your decisions depend on it.

Would be different if we were talking about buying a portable (and even then).

The new Intel generation is mainly more power efficient, and doesn't bring real additional computing power.

To my opinion - if it's not for slave purposes - 16Gb is the baseline for a music PC, and the extensibility to 64Gb is definitely wellcome, certainly if you are using a lot of sample based instruments.

VIPro now allows you to use less memory by optimizing loading from SSD's, so that reduces the need for "real big memory space" to some extent. So yes, 32Gb will do the job, if you have a decent SSD.

If you're using may different instruments at the same time - it's better to split libraries over multiple discs, but of course that comes at a cost.

Really depends on how much "instruments in parallel" (with different samples) you need, and how often you need it ...

(if it's just now and then, you can always bounce some tracks)

In short :

- don't spend money on the new Intel chips, unless you find one with a better performance / price ratio (if you have enough $/€, don't forget to look at the Xeon based systems)

- start immediately with 8 Gb memory cards (at least 2), so you have room for expansion

- SSD system disc is nice, but not mandatory

- really fast SSD(s) for the samples

- seperate project/audio disk : type /(no) RAID depends on your specific needs

Good luck !

Posted on Fri, Oct 04 2013 19:04
by VirtualVirgin
Joined on Fri, Jul 20 2012, Posts 106
Quick question:
What would you prefer?
A single computer with a 4930k *OR*
Two computers each with a 3770k (master and slave)

Assume that the total RAM is the same in each setup.
Posted on Sat, Oct 05 2013 14:44
by Joh
Joined on Wed, Jul 18 2012, Posts 19

Don't know about price, so I have to leave that out of the balance ...

4930k has 6 cores / 12 threads, 3770k has 4/8. 

However, this is only a very theoritical 50% increase in (parallel) computing power, since there are very few applications that use multi-processing / multi-threading well . (Not necessarily due to bad programming, depends also on the type of computing problem you have to solve. )

The benefits :

With two systems, you will definitely have more power, not only because of pure "raw computing cycles", but also more I/O throughput for memory, and especially for storage

(in some cases) Stability : certain plugins can have really big spikes in CPU cycle use, if you put them on a separate system, even if things would get rough on the second system, your DAW will continue to work as expected.

The drawbacks :

(very minor) Since you need memory for two active OS's , you will loose some memory, but if you have 16g on every pc, shouldn't be any problem , except for the most demanding situations. (just a question of filling them up with more chips ...)

Convenience : working one one system reduces complexity  :

- no need to setup sessions / frameworks, (un)link, (re)load

- easier to automate things (VEPro5 is a big improvement !!) - but that depends greatly on your needs

My opinion :

If you can live with the inconvenience of setting up the networked solution, the solution with two systems would have my preference.

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