Vienna Symphonic Library Forum
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  • Who's using one Mac Pro?

    For many years I've been happily using:
    1) a 2008 3.2GHz 8-core Mac Pro with Digital Performer, often running 20-30 audio tracks with basic effects, up to 8 Omnisphere tracks and a few EW Play tracks, and
    2) a Windows 7 Xeon server slave I built with plenty of power for a large VSL orchestra in VE Pro with MIR and sometimes GVI for some old Giga samples I just can't let go of. The VSL samples are spread across 4 240GB SSDs.

    The Mac Pro suddenly died this week so I've ordered a 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro, 32GB RAM.

    Does anyone have any thoughts as to whether I will be able to ditch the slave machine? I'd put the existing 4 SSDs into a TunderBay 4 mini. Could this new Mac handle multiple audio tracks, a little EW, Omnisphere and a decent sized VSL orchestra?

  • Works fine here. Ok, you can overload every computer by using too much reverbs or load every avaliable articulation. I have an 8core Mac and a normal one-track-per-instrument special edition orchestra with a valhalla room per section runs on the lower side of CPU.

    Using Dimension strings and lots of additional Kontakts needs more and I recently updated from 32 to 64 GB. If CPU hits the ceiling it's mostly the active track in Logic but that's rare.

    I have a slave PC but most of the time I don't need it. It's just necessary when I want to stack Dimension strings with other developers sections or keep the Mac free for other stuff.

  • Thanks for the reply.

    You said 8-core, but is that the newest Mac Pro, and what speed? I've got most of the full libraries and Dimension Strings, so probably would be pushing it harder than you, so I'd be curious what your computer specs are.

    Of course I will try it myself eventually, but I just wanted to hear from others' experience a bit so I can prioritize what I do and when. I wasn't planning on getting a new Mac Pro until later in the year, so funds are tight!

  • Hi Randin,

    I've got what you have ordered (see my signature) and can tell you it works brilliantly. I originally had 64 gb of ram, but expanded it to 128 gb with specialist ram from OWC. This has lowered my bus speed down to 1066 mhz, but I have not run into any problems yet and can load in a whopping template. Anyway, I digress, your system specs are fine, but I would reccomend 64Gb ram.

    My Mac has run a 45minute symphony live and with bounce in place and live audio tracks , with no problem. That was running vsl wind, brass, percussion and string section from vepro 5, as well as LASS, some Berlin wind and Spitfire strings from Kontakt.

    I would ditch the slave setup, but keep the old slave machine just in case you want a bigger template, but that's just me, I like keeping complication as simple as possible, but others may disagree with that.

    I have found that performance degrades a bit when I have used about 56gb of ram, as the greedy computer wants some too, but 4 ssd's via thunderbolt2 will give you plenty to work with before you hit that limit.

    Hope that helps....


  • Thanks, Mike, you're exactly the person I needed to hear from!

    Quick question, though - do you have all your VSL samples on HDDs? I figured that since I keep all my VSL on SSDs, I didn't need to worry about lots of RAM.

    The new (refurbished) Mac Pro arrived Monday at 4PM, and I'm shocked to say I was up and running at 10AM the next day to finish the project that had been interrupted by the old one dying. That's of course largely thanks to my whole VSL setup being on a slave, though.

  • Hi Randin,

    I used to have  all samples on HDD'S but am now on 2 1TB ssd's and HDD'S (in raid5 and raid0 formats), all via thunderbolt 2.

    You're right about ssd's saving ram because of their read speed and the 3.5ghz bus speed copes brilliantly with the bandwidth but if you need more ram (which I bet you will at some stage), at least you'll be able to double your capacity if you need to.

  • Cool. Thanks again for the reply.