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  • New PC Slave with Macbook/G5 master - VE3/Pro?

    Hello,

    I've been holding off buying a Mac Pro for a year or so now. (waiting to see what new stuff came along with snow leopard etc)

    The price of the New Mac Pros is really silly. I was looking at the Dell site after CM mentioned the Core i7 920 systems. I can get an 8Gb-12GB system for £780-830. So to pay £1899 for A Mac Pros, granted with xeons, seems Mad.

    So...I was thinking of using VE3/Pro with the G5 or White Macbook as Master and the new PC as slave. I've used Logic all my life so to change would be a pain I suspect.

    Anyone doing/thinking of doing a similar thing? How much strain would be put on the G5 or C2duo macbook? If say you had 60 instuments running on the PC?

    Cheers

    Paul


  • I am thinking of using my MacBook Pro as a master, slaving the MacPro (silly creature that I am [:^)]) with the advent of VE Pro.

    Under the idea that people not using vstis on the same machine as their DAW can't be that different than people simply using a DAW for recording, ie., the strain mostly stems from the vstis. I did see, btw, that VSL was demoing MRI at the messe or whatever it is slaving a 'built to the task' i7 from Cubase on a MacBook Pro. Which people do with good success generally, I think.

    Why would any of the strain on the slave affect the master, I wonder?


  • Cheers for your reply.

    Anyone doing this already? What sort of track counts/cpu usage are people getting with a lower spec'd master macs?

    Cheers

    Paul


  • I'm also considering upgrading to an i7 based slave PC. I currently run Logic on an iMac, with 4 VEs on my Core 2 Duo 2.7GHz slave PC, exclusively hosting VSL Special Edition.

    With around 3 articulations per instrument and full optimisations, the slave hits 100% CPU at around 17 instruments - roughly half the number I need. (The iMac CPU never exceeeds 45% - I wish I could split the SE samples between the two machines!)

    I'm wondering if this voice count is typical for this type of setup, or whether there is a weak link / bottleneck in my system? (PC mobo maybe?) 

    If I upgraded to a Windows 7 64 bit i7 slave with at least 8GB RAM, is it safe to assume I could run around 50 instruments? - or would the iMac spec be a limiting factor (e.g. is its 667MHz fsb fast enough)?

    I'd be interested to know the spec of the 'built to the task' i7 slave mentioned above.

    Any advice gratefully received!

    Roger


  • I have a C2D 2ghz macbook and would get similar/slightly less instrument counts....so maybe its about right/

    Quick tests today on my G5 power mac Dual Core 2ghz and Macbook as Masters and i7 PC as slave gave good results.

    7 VE's with 16 instruments each (all playing legato notes in unison) at "512" logic buffer and "X2" VE buffer played back OK.

    6 VE's with 16 instruments each (all playing legato notes in unison) at "256" logic buffer and "X2" VE buffer played back OK.

    i7 Pc was at about 30-40% max and G5/Macbook was 60-70%. (I'm sure i'd get better performance/track count using the i7 alone with it's own DAW, but I like Logic Pro)

    Granted if you wanted to play in any lines, at a reasonable latency, whilst all that was going on you'd struggle big time......

    What model/cpu speed is your Imac?

    Paul


  • 100% seems extreme, though I don't know about what to expect from that windows computer.

    I would assume that you are using windows without having tweaked it. Windows wastes all kinds of CPU cycles running things in the background you aren't using at all. Many of these should be disabled.. Also, you should set the way virtual memory is handled manually, a fixed minimum and maximum at twice the amount of your actual RAM or more. And disable system restore. Also, set the CPU to run as background services, not programs. Maybe sounds bizarre and counterintuitive, but that's what you have to do on windows.


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    @civilization 3 said:

    virtual memory is handled manually, a fixed minimum and maximum at twice the amount of your actual RAM

    i would strongly recommend to NOT do that .... given you have 12 GB RAM - what should the system do with 24 GB virtual memory which can't be used for samples? actually the OS might try to page out something ...

     

    whenever possible set windows to not use virtual memory at all or if an application really needs it to max. 1024, better 512 MB ...

    christian


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

    For me, it's a non-issue, I use OSX. With 24 GB. The OP has 4 I see. You well may be right about setting it to not use vm at all. I misread the post initially and saw "512" (and went to delete post [:$], but I had 9 .cabs coming down and just gave up browsing altogether). Even with 2GB I would personally set it for 3.5 fixed, to use (eg., other instruments) samples. "if an application really needs it to max. 1024, better 512 MB ..." Am I wrong to think that the slave's "application", VE 3, can see more than a gig of RAM? If that is true, I might expect such problems as a maxed out system with 17 instruments times 3 articulations.

    but of course if s/he has optimized VE to use less than a gig in most cases, I suppose that would be a thing to do.

    It would seem to be that having some overhead for the swap is a good thing more than a bad one. ?


  •  to have that clear: no sample streaming application can (or shall) make use of virtual memory (and with every operating system).

    why: IF a disk would be fast enough to play samples directly from, you would need no memory at all, since disks ARE too slow this is why one has to load a streaming buffer into memory.

    imagine this memory would be virtual, what means it resides in the pagefile (=swapfile) of your operating system, now again it would be played from disk instead from memory ... way too slow.

     

    applications like browsers, photoshop (using its own swap file method btw) and others which don't need direct acces to stored data can make use of a pagefile.

     

    there is actually an additional reason to turn off a pagefile: you never can say WHEN the operating system decides to start paging out data - if that happens (at high priority) when you're playing a tight arrangement you may notice dropouts for streaming ...

    hth, christian


    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.
  • Many thanks for the information and advice. I had already done the suggested Windows tweaks, my Logic buffer is set to max (1024) and the VEs are set to X2, so I guess I need a faster / more powerful PC to get 30+ simultaneous instruments.

    Paul - thanks for the i7 test results, that sounds like a good setup. For the record, my iMac & PC specs are listed below.

    Cheers,

    Roger 

    PS The weird formatting in my last message wasn't deliberate. I was posting via a Chrome browser...


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    There is a big big performance difference between a C2D and a Core i7.

    I made a comparison between a C2D, a C2Q, and a Core i7 with the Dawbench test. Even thought the text is in french, I think the charts are clear : comparison at 2.66ghz.