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which CPU to buy?
Last post Sun, Jul 12 2020 by Seventh Sam, 2 replies.
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Posted on Fri, Jul 10 2020 19:05
by mathiasvr
Joined on Wed, May 13 2020, Posts 1

I currently own a i5-7500 with 16 Gb of ram. I recently bought the steinway d-274 library
and my cpu can't keep up when selecting more than one mic. Sound is coming from a scarlett 2i2 solo
with 1ms of latency (lowest latency possible). I'm about to buy a new pc and was thinking of putting a i7-10700k in it. Will this processor be sufficient to play with mutliple mics on lowest latency possible?
If not, which processor will handle it better? I'm not an intel fanboy so if AMD handles virtual instruments better then I'll go with AMD. Also, I'm planning on putting 32 Gb of ram and an m.2 samsung 970 evo 1Tb in the build. The zero latency is really important because it's for live playing.

Thanks in advance.
Posted on Sun, Jul 12 2020 16:49
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 287

I've got a i7-4820k and I'm able to play the SYN-pianos with all mics at that kind of latency even without a m.2 SSD (although I still stream from a regular SSD).  Point is: your planned upgrade is going to knock it out of the park.

That said, it's not just CPU - it's all potential bottlenecks.  I was having major issues with latency (even on REAPER, a very efficient DAW).  I wanted to improve performance without having to upgrade my CPU (I didn't future-proof my motherboard intelligently, unfortunately...), so I asked around/researched and found two things dramatically smoothed out bottlenecks and allowed me to get the desired live-playing performance:

  1. Using VEP7.  That program, even in a single box set-up like mine, does some funky magic that just plain works to reduce latency.  I have no idea why, or if this is common in all systems, but...if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
  2. Upgrading my audio interface.  A factor I didn't think about were the drivers, and someone recommended the Babyface Pro (RME drivers).  This resulted in me being able to drop from ~12ms latency to ~2ms latency.  Guess those proprietary drivers are also magic :-)

I don't know where your audio interface sits on the power spectrum, but I'd consider that as well as you plan your upgrades so you don't get disappointed by a surprise bottleneck!

- Sam

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