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  • Core # vs Clockspeed for slave CPU

    Variations of this question seem to be asked frequently, but I've yet to find a response that satisfies my specific question.  

    I'm a mac user, and have been buying up inexpensive mac minis to use as slaves in conjunction with VEP and Logic. I'm at the point now where loading instruments as I need them is seriously slowing me down and my templates are maxing out the abilities of my current setup. I'm looking at building a slave PC so I can create a massive orchestral template with all (or at least most) of my instruments/articulations preloaded in a metaframe, and am trying to figure out what specs are necessary. 

    A lot of people advocate the use of i7's since the clockspeed is faster. They cite benchmark tests that show i7's tearing up performance stats, and state that DAWS don't use multiple cores very efficiently. That said, I'm lead to believe that most of those people don't use VEP or a master/slave setup and are basing their opinion off of an all-in-one setup. I've heard that VEP makes super efficient use of multiple cores/threads, so it's better to sacrifice clockspeed for cores. I'm currently considering putting together a dual 10 core xeon computer (20 cores total or 40 virtual cores), but the clockspeed for each would only be 2.2 ghz. It's much more expensive than a faster i7, but given that most companies that build dedicated slaves favor this setup, I'm inclined to believe it's more efficient. Any thoughts on this? If price is comparable, is it preferable to run 2 i7 slaves, or one dual xeon? 

    Additionally, is ecc ram necessary? I'd rather save up the cash for quality and not have to deal with panic attacks if my computer bugs out before a big deadline, but some have suggested it's overkill for audio work. 

    Also, has anyone tried out the Ryzen Threadripper yet? Most people suggest Intel, but a few have suggested it's a waste of money when I could get better or at least similar performance from AMD. 

    Thank you in advance!


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    Hi Tripnikk,

    I suppose you can buy what you want - I dare say or speculate that what ever you buy would do very well.

    AMD will have more CPU's coming out over the course of the next xyz months, rumors for a dual CPU setup like the Opterons of years gone by.

    Intel have their new X line CPU's, 7920X, [12 core], 7940X [14 core], 7960X [16 core] and 7980 XE [18 core]

    Also lets not forget the 7900X [10 core] - All these CPU's are very strong indeed - Then the 7820X [8 core] which is better priced [550] but still very strong

    Then there is AMD 1920X and 1950 X which are very strong too.

    Intel 6850K still available for around 340 in some places with 40 PCI-e lanes on Intel socket X99

    The Mac mini's you've bought are not going to be that strong as processors unless you've got an i7 4790K inside it or something similar - Which CPU does your Mac mini's have?

    I'm sure the Intel i9's are XEONS in disguise rather like the 5960X and above.

    I can't say too much about ECC RAM, but if you bought XEONS on server motherboard you'd have to use ECC RAM and if you wanted to use ECC RAM on a consumer board you may be able to on some of them - AsRock and Gigabyte may do these.

    As an example, if you scroll down the link you'll see this supports ECC RAM with XEON processors

    https://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Fatal1ty%20X99X%20Killer/index.us.asp.

    It is difficult to make sensible choices with so many options available but how can anyone claim a 7900X is a sensible choice😊 but if you need the CPU power then there is no other option

    Research the CPU's and notice the differences in clock speeds with more or less cores, for example the not released i9 7980 XE will be 18 core @ 2.6 Ghz whilst the 8 core 7820X will be @ 3.6 Ghz

    Maybe there will be a new line of XEONS after the release of the Intel i9's


  • Hi,

    This is a link to the new and not so new i7's

    https://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Fatal1ty%20X99X%20Killer/index.us.asp

    Of course there are the XEONS as well and of course the AMD's but you could find them on their respective websites - Personally I like the look of the new i9 7940X @ 3.1 Ghz with 14 cores


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    Hi there Tripnikk,

    Did you end up buying a machine?

    I'd be interested to know your purchase and if you are happy with it?

    I am considering a Xeon machine like this one:

    Dell Precision T7610 Workstation