Vienna Symphonic Library Forum
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  • Entry level slave PC to run VE3 with VSL SE?

    Hi, I'm looking into purchasing the VSL Special Edition, but first I have to choose a single slave PC that will work reasonably well, while still being fairly affordable. (Not more than about USD$700 if possible!) I use an iMac with Logic 8 and would like the freedom to write for a normal sized orchestra (say, strings plus double winds and brass) using a variety of articulations, but without the system crashing or being hopelessly slow.

    I've found the following on my local equivalent of eBay, selling for USD$554. Is it worth buying?

    HP PROLIANT DL380 2U rack-mountable server

    SPEC: - Dual (2) Intel Xeon Processors @ 3.06 GHz/ 533FSB 512Kb L2 Cache - 4GB RAM installed (12 GB max) - Four (4) 36GB 15000rpm U320 Hot Plug SCSI hard drives - Onboard Video Card - Floppy drive / 24x CD-ROM drive - Two (2) USB ports - Two (2) PS/2 ports - Dual (2)Power Supplies - Three(3) 64bit PCI-X slots on riser card - One (1) Serial port - Two (2)Onbard ethernet.

    I'm not sure yet whether XP or Vista are currently installed.

    Do you think it will do the job? Would I be better off saving up a bit longer and getting something better and new? Any reccomendations would be most welcome!

    Thanks in advance for your advice!


  • welcome ewan,

    the DL380, though pretty old, would do the job more than well ... but you should take the noise level of this machine into consideration ... it is close to the level of an airoplane ;-)


    alternatively some core2duo with a fairly modern motherboard and 4GB RAM with one or two sATA drives shouldn't cost more - the components are brand new, in warranty, more quiet, more (energy-)efficient and finally the machine would be more performant


    compaq/hp SCSI drives (SCA, proprietary connector) cost a fortune if you need to replace them ... the PCI-X slots can only hold half height expansion cards IIRC


    you wouldn't beleive hw far you can get with even such a mini


    hth, christian

    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.
  • Rather than start my own thread, I thought I'd post here:

    I'm going to build myself a slave PC for hosting mainly all my string samples for VSL. I'll build more later as I get more funds. I'd like to take the heat off my Mac Pro (I have strings on Mac Pro and all the rest on a networked G5 using VE3)

    Here's the setup:

    GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model HH80562PH0568M - OEM (this should be enough to process the samples)

    Rosewill R101-P-BK 120mm Fan MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail (cheap case with 120mm fan)

    ASUS Black SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model DVD-E818A3T - Retail

    Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500AAKS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM (I will buy two of these and configure RAID)

    CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C5 - Retail (Samples to support will be around 1.6GIG in RAM)

    LOGISYS Computer PS350MA 350W MicroATX Power Supply - Retail

    Windows XP 64-bit simply because it uses less memory.

  • looks nice and sufficient - though the PSU might be one tick too small ... and has only 1 sATA power connector (since most sATA drives no longer offer MOLEX connectors you would need additional adapter cable)


    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.
  • Nathan,
    What do you think about the Gigabyte Motherboard? I've used a couple of Gigabyte Micro ATX boards last year and they were fine. But recently I purchased the Asus P5Q-EM and like it a lot. Also, the Asus can take 16 gigs of RAM (and that's non FB dimm RAM, so the less expensive kind). And while 4 GIG RAM modules are still expensive, they probably will come down at some point in the future. Just something to consider, because I believe the board you have mentioned holds 4 gigs max.

    Right now, I have 8 gigs on the Asus board and plan to upgrade that to 16 gigs ($350 U.S.) in November. I know the Asus board is more than twice as expensive as the board you mentioned, but it might be worth a thought about the Asus if you're planning on expanding in the future. I think the extra $80 is more that worth it. I'm about to be able to pair down my entire VSL library to two 16 GIG microATX systems housed in Ultra Microfly cases. It IS soooo sweet when you can get everything running under a couple of machines. Less headache....

    Gigabyte may make a micro ATX board (I think they do) now that can take 16 gigs. Search on Newegg......


  • Christian,

    What do you think abou the q6600? My question is is it overkill for a slave computer which would handle, say, strings AND woodwinds? In your opinion what would be the 'most bang for the buck' processor running a VSL? Imagine, perhaps, a machine which has 16 gigs of RAM, and you're wanting to run 2 instances of VE each loaded with 16 channels, but perhaps using about 12 of those channels at any one time? Would a higher clock speed/FSB dual core be more appropriate, or can the quad cores help?


  • the Q6600 has a good price/value ratio so it seems to make not much sense to get a less powerful processor ... some headroom doesn't harm too and if you're looking for a silent system you shouldn't run a CPU at its limits ... maybe one would like to add some plugins later?


    of course also 16 GB are nice to have, maybe only as an upgrade option ...


    i had some bad luck with gigabyte boards earlier and it appears asus support has become kind of slow ... during the last year i'm tending more to intel boards ... but this is more a matter of taste than objective decision ...



    ps: currently building this system (you already assume it has to run more than a few VE instances) - too bad no 5400 32GB board exists currently except the macPro:


    Skulltrail S771 E54000 EATX - S771/ EATX/ 4x banks/ max.: 16GB/ SD-RAM, DDR2/ 667 MHz, 800 MHz/ fully buffered/ HDD: SATA II, PATA/ no AGP/ 2x PCI/ no PCI-E x1/ no PCi-E x4/x8/ 4x PCI-E x16/ no PCI-X/ GBit/LAN/ RAID, Onboard Sound


    2 x QX9775 or X5482


    2 x Kingston 8GB 800MHz DDR2 ECC Fully Buff - (2x4GB Kit) Standard  512M X 72 ECC 800MHz 240-pin Fully Buffered DIMM (SDRAM-DDR2,                  1.8V, CL5, FBGA, Gold


    3 x Seagate Barracuda ES.2 1TB 32MB - : S-ATA 2/ 1000 GB/ 7200 rpm/ Cache: 32 MB/ 3,5 "/Raid


    1  Seasonic Ultra Noise 700Watt ATX PSU


    Noctua socket 771 NH-U12DX cooler max. 19,8db


    Lian LI PC-A71 silent case


    H3650 SILENT/HTDI/512M - AGP 8x/ ATI/ 3650/ 512 MB/ DDR2/ 128 Bit/ GPU: 725 MHz/ RAM: 1000 MHz/ TV-Out, HDTV-Out, HDMI-Out, 2x DVI/ Features: HDCP/ passiv


    Windows XP64 SP2


    probably RME Multiface PCIe, some TI Firewire 800

    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.
  • Currently I'm using a Tyan S5396 i5400 board. I can't say this is a cheap route, but it is quite happily running a 14GB template (with 16GB RAM installed), as well as my sequencer with many plugs. However, I'm just about to up the RAM to 32GB, because 16GB isn't really enough. I can't believe that I'm saying that....!

    Actually, the only real problem I run into is the "number of Instruments" limitation, but hopefully that will be improved in a future VI/VE update.


  • too bad - i'd love to have the PCI-X slots and more than 16 GB RAM, but it seems tyan has only up to FSB 1,33 ...


    edit: found one ... back to supermicro so to speak ...


    FSB 1600, 8 RAM slots, i5400, actually firewire(!), PCIe x16, PCI-X 133, PCI ... and the motherboard design is more appropriate for a reasonable airflow ...

    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.
  •  So it's possible to run your entire VSL library from one PC slave to your host? I thought there was a limitation with VE instances?

    To do this the way I'd like, it would have 4 instances loaded. Possibly 7 for even more flexibility.

    I load all the brass in one VE instance, so I can process all the brass at once. I load all the woodwinds and percussion the same way.

    However, Strings I prefer to load each part into one VE, so I can process and automate that part seperately.

    My understanding is VE would crash after the 4th instance. Has that changed.

    I had originally planned to build two machines to host all VSL samples. But if I can build just one that's a lot better.

    EDIT: Also I was wondering if anyone can suggest a super low profile case that might be put in a small space. I have one there, but just wondering if there's anything smaller.

  • depends on what you define to be *entire* ;-) to preload every patch and sample from the super package would need about 60 GB RAM and a lot of instances ... however a very reasonable template starts with about 6 GB, a very advanced and pretty complete one has about 20 GB


    earlier we had to notice a limit of 60 instances of VI spread across multiple VE windows, but i didn't repeat such a test during the past year so i can't comment if this has changed meanwhile (AFAIR it disn't crash but did not open an additional VI) .. all this goes for windows (XP 64) since for OS X other limitations apply.


    a not even so average arrangement should take 9 - 12 GB which could easily be placed on a single slave as described above (and of course in case the above mentioned limit still exists if you don't have more than 60 tracks)


    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.
  • There is a registry tweak that will allow 100 or so Instruments. I've been using it for my 14GB template without any issues so far. However, 100 is still not really enough for me, so it would be good if this limitation could be improved. I also seem to have read that there is a limitation with the number of VE instances (6-7) that can be loaded on a single machine, but can't confirm this yet.


  •  Ok, so assuming around 12GB of about 7 VE's on the same PC.

    What processing power would be sufficinent? Quad obviously, but kind of wondering what speed. 3.0ghz quads are spendy (although I could overclock another model)