Vienna Symphonic Library Forum
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  • Building a Win XP64 16GB Slave PC for VE!


    I'm going to build in the next weeks a dedicated slave PC on XP64 to host VE exclusively. The idea is to have it loaded with 16GB of RAM, and to have all of the Symphonic Cube loaded in it.

    Do any users would like to share their experience/comments here with XP64? Particularly with hardware components... I'm going to post about what hardware I bought, the installation, and the results as well. Hopefully everything will be working fine and this post will be helpful to others.

    Here is the basic setup, with many slots left to be filled:

    SoundCard: ADAT card with XP64 drivers. RME HDSP 9652 (3xADAT) or Frontier WaveCenter/PCI (1xADAT)

    CPU: Intel Xeon 5050

    Board: Asus DSBF-D

    Ram: 16GB of Kingston FB-DIMM DDR-667 (KVR667D2D4F5/2G)

    Graphics: ?
    Drives: three drives (1 for OS, two for samples), 7200rpm

    OS: Win XP Pro x64

    PSU: 520W Corsair HX520W
    Case: Thermaltake Matrix

    So if anyone is successful with XP64 & 16GB, please post here! 

  • According to some expert people, ASUS is not anymore that must.
    If I remember well VSL Crew opts for Intel and Supermicro.


  • Thanks Sergino, will look into Intel motherboards as well. It would also be very helpful if the VSL team could post their recommendation. The number of Xeon processors and compatible motherboards is overwhelming...

  • from what i understand the frontier is limited to 44.1 / 48 kHz ... am i reading this right? also their windows system requirements read a little bit ... dústy ... no secret i like RME most though ... IMO they have the best drivers


    XEON model: depends on your motherboard (socket type) 2.66 or 3 GHz is almost a question of money, quad cores do not provide twice the power of dual cores (seems to be a limit on the bus), would increase performance ~ 25%

    for *only* a VE slave even a core2duo could do the job ...


    kingston, corsair, samsung ... all good (make sure the modules are specified for your motherboard and have a low timing)


    board model: asus P5-something or intel 3000 or 5000 ... don't get a G35 chipset, they will be outdated soon ... i personally would prefer intel, make sure it supports sATA II


    grafics ... some ATI 1600 or 1900 family if you like dual screen will do it ... matrox (though formerly my favourite) currently has very bad openGL support


    hth, christian

    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.
  • Hi Christian,

    I've already build several DAW's in 32Bit without problems, everything is running great. But in 64Bit, I admit I'm totally lost...

    Soundcard: well, VE is only at 44.1KHz, no? I put in the Frontier because it's a bit cheaper, and for ADAT it would do the job. But yes, RME are good and reliable sound cards, I have a Fireface and it rocks. I'm still not sure if 3xADAT are overkill or if 1x is enough though.

    Processor: Can a core2duo run on XP 64? I thought only a Xeon could do that...  That's where I'm lost: what is required to run VE with 16GB of RAM? Win XP64 + a sound card with XP64 drivers, I got that. What about the motherboard and processor? Is Xeon and related motherboards a necessity?

    Thank for your help. I know this is not a computer tech forums, but I don't know where else to look for answers.

    P.S: I'm not looking to build a performance beast, just a reliable machine for the SC VE.

  • of course there is a difference in design for XEON and core2duo, but the latter also has EMT64 (formerly mobile core2duo had not)

    see also


    compare with


    you see it is mainly a question of the socket - this detirmines the motherboard to use.

    another restriction for the motherboard would be the number or PCI/PCI-X/PCIe slots


    there is nothing special with a 64bit system - you just need to take care the 64bit drivers for your used components are ok


    don't buy any cheap no-name FW controller though - there is so much crap on the market ...


    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.
  • But if you want to go over 4 gigas of ram on a PC you can still use core2duo?

  • motherboard (mainly chipset) and operating system has to support more than 4 GB, operating system has to be supported for selected processor ... thats it ...

    though: i notice it seems there are no core2duo motherboards out there supporting more than 8 GB RAM ....

    makes sense for the *ordinary* workstation - who would need more than 8 GB except we sample streamers ;-)


    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.
  • So to summarize: you can use a core2duo processor with a desktop motherboard with WinXP 64, but the RAM limit is 8GB.

    To access more RAM (16GB), you need a Xeon processor and  motherboard.

    Did anybody actually (including VSL) build a working 16GB machine yet? Or is this still a dream?

  • out of my mind i remember DM33 and mahlon (and DG?) - i have built an 8 GB coreDuo (not even core2duo, P5W-something), a 16 GB 2 x dual core XEON (5150) and a test machine with 32 GB 2 x dual core XEON (5160), both FSB 1333, socket 771

    it appears the 32 GB config is little bit delicate regarding memory sticks - the used *kingston 2GB DDR2 PC2-5300 667MHz CL5 ECCx4 fully buffered single rank* (phew, what a spec ...) possibly have some timing/currency issue with the 5000P chipset if more than 16 GB are used ... not 100% sure about that at the current state ...


    the 8GB setup can load ~ 7GB sample headers, real world performance tests for the 16 and 32 GB systems are still missing unfortunately


    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.
  • Hi Tanuj,

    Thanks fo sharing your experience. That's approximately the same config I use in my main DAW, in 32Bit.

    But 8GB of RAM isn't enough for VE if you want the full orchestra at your fingertips. I'm really tired of bouncing everyting and loading/unloading different sections of the orchestra, hence the wish for a 16gb machine. I just found a motherboard for Intel Xeon that supports 16GB of RAM (actually up to 24GB!), the Asus DSBV-DX. It's also on the cheap side od server's motherboards...

  • Thanks for the info Christian!

    Lets hope some "16GB VSL users" will come in here and share their knowledge.

    Now, I have a *very* stupid question: do you need to put TWO processors on a server motherboard, or will it work with just one? Of course, there will be a performance loss, but a slave PC running VE without any effects would not have to be very hungry...?

  • hmmm ... be aware 4 GB DIMMs are very pricey, if actually available ... strange design with the *uneven* number of DIMM slots ... doesn't look fully paired ...


    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.
  • Yeah, thanks for the heads up. The Asus DSBF-D has eight slots, so it should be ok for 2GB sitcks. I'm looking right now at different RAM sticks. This is much more of a headache than I thought... Oh my...

  •  The first post has been updated with components that *seem* to fit the bill...

    Christian, you mentionned a 16GB system with two Xeon 5150. What MB/RAM did you use? Is the system stable? Can you load up to 15 GB?

    I know, lots of questions... [:$] 

  • mon_art,

    I've built two 8 gig XP64 slaves. Each has a Frontier Wavecenter PCI. It seems that the 64 bit drivers for the Wavecenter may not be totally there yet. I have some crashes due to these drivers and the VE interface. I've sent the data to Frontier Design but haven't heard back from them yet. Will try to contact them again after the Holidays.

    The Wavecenters crash VE in two instances. One is when I try to open the 64 bit version of VE without first opening (and then closing) the 32 bit version. In other words, one must launch the 32 bit version of VE first, then open the 64 bit version. You can close the 32 bit version after it's been opened. This has no effect. The other instance where I get a VE crash is when I open more than one instance of VE. I will get BSOD if I try to open more than one. Other than that they work fine. As I say, I have Gigabyte boards.

    Soundwise, well, they're ADAT. I get very good results from them.

    Hope that helps.


  • mahlon, we don't have a wavecenter here and i never had one in my hands ... their website (resp. provided documents) didn't look too convincing to me ...


    mon_art, the system as such is stable and can load way beyond 10 GB ( i didn't have more libraries available) and a real life test is in fact missing ....

    my first investigations are more focused on harddisk configuration and drivers (i fear to run into a bottleneck here) because i can choose between RAID, non-RAID and AHCI (each needs different system setup) .. 2 x 150 GB raptor + 2 x 1 TB seagate is the first try.

    FW-800 cards are a seperate story and PCIe vs. PCI  vs. FW soundcards, then we need to know compatibility of sequencers and other required audio applications on a 64bit sytem - otherwise i would need a dual boot system ...


    after two absolutely unpleasant tries with VISTA (32 and 64) i concentrate on XP64, but each setup asks for a lot of updates and tweaking and i have to keep some space left for VISTA to play with it later (awaiting SP1) ... i'm already considering to build a slipstream CD to avoid the tiring update procedure


    all in all very timeconsuming and though the days has 24 hours one can only sometimes add the night ...


    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.
  • Man I am glad to see this thread! I have been thinking about the same thing,except I want to build a primary machine since I don't care about trying to network machines. Too much trouble and $$$ in my opinion. Anyhow,I have posted on other software sites,but have not had any hits,so seeing this thread makes me happy![:D]

    This is what I am thinking/concerns: I want to build a machine using removable drives for the OS. One drive will have XP Pro x64 and one will have Vista 64. This way I think I can test drive Vista with any software-hardware revisions/updates untill I am satisfied that Vista 64 will be stable. In the interim, I am familiar with how XP Pro should function and I will probably use this as my main OS.

    I am concerned with 1)heat issues(16 gig is a lot), 2)power supply issues and recommendations, 3)also am I going to have to use a server case or are there ANY mobos that are ATX size that will handle 16 gigs of ram, 4)if I use a mobo that accepts two processors and only use a single processor will I be able to access all 16 gigs if I am only using a single processor or do I NEED to use two( I have seen a lot of mobos that seem to have dimm slots next to a processor slot and I am not sure if those slots are only active if there is a processor in the slot ...make any sense?) These are the only concerns I can think of for now.

    I don't really care about AMD or Intel.I have used both, and they both seem equal. Actually my AMD system(s) seem to be less "quirky", but it doesn't matter. I would like an ATX mobo(with 16 gig capability),b/c I can use my existing case,but whatever I gotta do....

    Also,what about something like a Dell that is already built? I know that many people say that they give you just enough to get by,but do you think this is also true in their "business" division? I know that when you consider interest and finance, it might be cheaper and better "bang for the buck" if I build it myself, but pre built might be an option.

    Like it has been mentioned, I don't want to turn this into a "tech" forum,but as cm mentioned, us "streaming samples" guys are kind of on our own with this technology stuff and I sure hope we can help each other out!!!

    Thanks for taking the time to help. Sorry this is sooo long.


  • I'll chime in since my name was called :-)

    I used a ASUS P5BWS Pro mobo with 8gb of ram, Intel Quad Core CPU.

    I was using the FireFace800 but the 64bit drivers were flakey and I switched to an Edirol FA66,
    which has been rock solid although its not at the performance level of the FF800.

    I believe RME just released a new driver which fixed the problem I was having but I already soid it.
    I have no regret though because I'm turning this money around and buying AS2, plus I'll have some
    $$ left over for another VI :-)

    Anyway, my system works great and my only problem is that for some reason I can't figure out I have a
    huge memory leak.

    I've tried everything to fix it.

    Problem is that everytime I launch VI or VE 1gb of RAM disappears during the directory scan before the app launches.

    I can't figure out why or where it goes. It happend on Vista64 and is happening in WinXP64 as well.

    Only a few other WinXP64 users are experiencing this phenomenon so I have to believe its my system configuration
    and not a VSL issue but I can't tell. There is also a Mac user with a similar problem.
    VSL cannot reproduce the behavior on their test systems..
    When you setup this system and install all your VSL products if you could launch the Windows Task Manager
    and see what your Committed Charge amount is please let me know.

    That amount of Commit Charge is dependant on how many VI's you own. I have 14 volumes so it takes 1gb.
    If I only put 7 volumes in directory manager it takes half the amount but it also seems to depend on how large the volumes
    in the DM are.

    Seems like for some reason its putting samples in RAM, like a pre-fetch. But why? I don't know.

    Good luck!

  • luces, a good airflow in your enclosure is mandatory ... for some configurations the RAM sits close to the processors because the airflow goes from the front across the processors touching the RAM to the back of the system. most of those boards are ATX factor btw. but think twice about sufficient cooling when using an existing case ...


    an issue for a power supply is mostly the processor (always count max not average power consunption), accessing RAM has nothing to do with the number of processors (chipset and OS only), you can leave one proc slot empty, but usually it has to be *terminated* by a dummy. just pay attention to model changes, because some processors are often unexpectedly unavailable within months if their production stops.


     i have a colleague who swears on dell and runs more than 100 machines reliably - what i don't like with dell is that they don't give you specs about the motherboard before you buy.

    of course any third party product (which in the world of computing is in fact everything) can break ... displays, harddisks, PSU, actually the legendary *diamond-decorated* apple RAM ;-)


    most important: make sure the RAM meets the specs for the board, watch carefully on single or double sided requirement, design, pairing and exact product number ... your system will thank it to you with stability ... do only experiment if you have money left to be wasted ...



    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.