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Computer Hardware Audio interfaces, MIDI interfaces, control surfaces, MIDI controllers & USB MIDI keyboards (not motherboards or system components)

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Old 23rd July 2008 , 02:18 PM
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Default Which new computer?

It's seems that it's time to upgrade my five year old computer

I use Cubase SX2 with an Edirol DA2496 soundcard (PCI slot) with a Carillon Pentium 2.8 computer. I also use the same computer for my work which is technical illustration. I use illustrator and this is where I find things are slowing down a bit. When I upgrade the computer I will probably upgrade to Cubase 4 also, which will probably run more comfortably on a newer machine.

Problem - I am not up to date with the types of processors available nowadays, and I need some advice about the different types of duel processors available etc., and which programs run well on them (Cubase, Adobe graphics & web applications).

Thanks
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Old 23rd July 2008 , 03:16 PM
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Well its a bit all over the shop atm dude. nothing is really settled atm but my advice would be this.

Processor : Intel E8400 (core 2 not quad, quads are pointless)
Ram : Corsair Dominator or XMS2 (stick with DDR2 tho, 3 is a waste of time)
Board : Asus would be the brand of my choice and probably the x38 chipset, if you can afford the x48 then do it but you wont be getting much extra.
HDD: samsung spinpoints are the best IMO atm 1TB with 32MB cache is only 90 which is way cheaper than the new raptors
Case : antec 182 (without doubt the best case ive ever seen and used)
Cooler : thermalright (worth getting a good cooler becasue stock intel ones are crap)
Optical drives : whatever theyre all cheap, ive always used samsung and had no faults.
Power supply: Zalmann, corsair or Coolermaster are all good and have a range of supplies from 500w-1000w which should suit your needs and theyre modular so you can keep your case tidy.

OS : Windows XP pro SP2 for now, dont get vista or if you do get whoever you buy from to downgrade to XP but try and get SP2 rather than 3 as its more stable.

Monitor : samsung 22" widescreens are simply gorgeous monitors.

Edit: oops forgot graphics, if your into your gaming the nvidia 8800s still seem to be good value for money and should do well, if you have the cash to splash tho look at the new nvidia 260s and 280 but be prepared to pay through the nose.
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Old 24th July 2008 , 12:08 PM
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By neat coincidence, I'm currently trying to sell my desktop PC. Specs?

Intel Core2Duo E8400 3GHz (Intel's second-fastest dual-core chip)
4GB DDR2 PC6400 RAM
2x 320GB Seagate 7200.10 harddrives
Asus P5K mobo (P35 chipset)
ATI X1800XL 256MB graphics card
LG DVDRW 16x drive
Windows XP Pro 32bit SP3 or Vista Home Premium in either x64 or 32bit

It's all new gear, all bought within the last six months. I'm selling it to help pay for a laptop so that I can produce while I'm on the train. 350's the mooted figure.
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Old 24th July 2008 , 12:25 PM
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Pretty damn good price there and some nice choice components. What ram are you using (ie manufacturer/model number)
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Old 24th July 2008 , 12:26 PM
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[QUOTE=JAYDMF;1509]

Processor : Intel E8400 (core 2 not quad, quads are pointless)


Really? I was thinking of upgrading to a quad from my dual to get some extra processing. Wasting my money?
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Old 24th July 2008 , 12:34 PM
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[QUOTE=Suburban Dream;1715]
Quote:
Originally Posted by JAYDMF View Post

Processor : Intel E8400 (core 2 not quad, quads are pointless)


Really? I was thinking of upgrading to a quad from my dual to get some extra processing. Wasting my money?
Indeed you will be, nothing apart from the game Crysis supports quad cores and none of them apart from the higher 9000 series has sufficient cache sizes. when the e8400 was benchmarked against the quads of the same new 45nm line it actually outperformed it in everything but video encoding. If thats your bag then buy a quad but if i remember right from the benchmark test it was only 3 mins faster and i wouldnt say an extra 100 justifies the 3 mins less time.

maybe in a few years when the new windows is released and we're on cubase 5/6 or whatever it might be worth it but cubase and the likes hasve only just added dual core support, vista is crap and XP will not support multicore processors to their full extent so untill all the problems with the OS get sorted your going to be throwing money down the drain. Ive been thinking about updating my sytem with a new core 2 duo and board but im not going to get the best from it till the whole vista/windows 7 problem is solved so im think spend the cash on outboard and synths for now, will probably beneift music making more than a new chip and board.
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Old 24th July 2008 , 02:33 PM
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Thanks for the help.

Will SX2 run on one of these newer processors without any problems?
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Old 24th July 2008 , 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hemmick reef View Post
Thanks for the help.

Will SX2 run on one of these newer processors without any problems?
Unfortunatly not dude it runs but wont utilize them. Cubase 4 is the only version that understands dual core processors and uses them properly. the upgrade is only 160 or it may well be cheaper now as i upgraded when it first came out. If you do upgrade make sure you download the free 4.1 update as otherwise you'll run into a whole heap of problems
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Old 24th July 2008 , 03:02 PM
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[QUOTE=JAYDMF;1770]Unfortunatly not dude it runs but wont utilize them. Cubase 4 is the only version that understands dual core processors and uses them properly. the upgrade is only 160 or it may well be cheaper now as i upgraded when it first came out. If you do upgrade make sure you download the free 4.1 update as otherwise you'll run into a whole heap of problems[/QUOTE]

Oh....the problem is I use my computer to run other software, so if I buy a dual processor machine and upgrade Cubase what about all the other software I have?
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Old 24th July 2008 , 03:41 PM
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Quote:
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Oh....the problem is I use my computer to run other software, so if I buy a dual processor machine and upgrade Cubase what about all the other software I have?
sorry little confusion here. the programs will run they will just not make use of the dual core processor youve just purchased unless stated by the manufacturer. In most cases the plugin, in its standalone mode, will not support dual core processors anyways, as is the case with reaktor 5. instead they rely on the host, ie cubase, to acknowledge and utilise the dual core processor. cubase will then assign plugins to different cores to carry out neccesary processing in much the same way as the Protools HD cards use DSP chips to handle processing. cubase SX1,2 and 3 do not make use of dual core processors but cubase 4 and studio 4 do, so to get the most out of a new processor your going to need a dual core compatible host. This will not cause any conflicts with any plugins that i am aware of.
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Old 24th July 2008 , 08:35 PM
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Ever thought of jumping ship to Mac ? i did last feb after using PC's for years and its the best move ive done computer wise , the power in these 8 cores are amazing im running 10GB ram in mine so my romplers are well fed ,they may seem expensive however you'll go through another Pc after your new one before this Mac is outdated

Like i said in another thread its good to think my computer the operating system and DAW (logic8) are all made by the same firm i assume this must help things run more smoothly especially with compatebility issues & updates etc
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Old 25th July 2008 , 01:07 PM
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[QUOTE=cane creek;1830]Ever thought of jumping ship to Mac ? i did last feb after using PC's for years and its the best move ive done computer wise , the power in these 8 cores are amazing im running 10GB ram in mine so my romplers are well fed ,they may seem expensive however you'll go through another Pc after your new one before this Mac is outdated

Like i said in another thread its good to think my computer the operating system and DAW (logic8) are all made by the same firm i assume this must help things run more smoothly especially with compatebility issues & updates etc [/QUOTE]

To add to what Cane's said. Apple also work alongside Intel to get the best from the processors. So much so that Macs run processors that Intel build specifically for them, not available to any other PC manufacturer. So it's not possible to build a system that actually matches the Mac performance without going for a higher-end and thus more expensive PC - which renders the whole 'Macs more expensive' myth totally moot. Oh, and you can still run all the software you already own including Windows. On the OS X side though, the OS was built from the ground up to use multi-processors and multi-core processors (that part comes mainly from it's NeXt ancestry), so you WILL get better performance for your hard-earned.

Anyway... it's something to seriously consider if the funds will stretch to it
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Old 25th July 2008 , 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-RES View Post
To add to what Cane's said. Apple also work alongside Intel to get the best from the processors. So much so that Macs run processors that Intel build specifically for them, not available to any other PC manufacturer. So it's not possible to build a system that actually matches the Mac performance without going for a higher-end and thus more expensive PC - which renders the whole 'Macs more expensive' myth totally moot. Oh, and you can still run all the software you already own including Windows. On the OS X side though, the OS was built from the ground up to use multi-processors and multi-core processors (that part comes mainly from it's NeXt ancestry), so you WILL get better performance for your hard-earned.

Anyway... it's something to seriously consider if the funds will stretch to it


Yeah its just a xeon with mac acceleration. The thing mac users dont seem t understand is that if you built a pc based on xeon processors youd probably get the same perfomance too its just that no one can be assed to spend 300 on a board to run xeon processors or the buffered ECC ram that the board would require, whch one of the problems people come across when upgrading macs.
If you look at the price of doing this is still falls below the price of a mac anyways aslong as you know what you need from it. i specd one up a few years ago when i built my last system, my system was 700 a dual processor xeon system was about 1600 and the mac equivalent was still over the 2k mark if i remeber right about 2300.

Its all down to the OS in terms of performance, windows slows machines down because it has so much involved in it to allow so many different manufacturers and what not to use them that theres a lot involved. apple meanwhile have only a few companies to deal with and so lots of stuff can be cut out and the OS streamlined. If someone had the time to mod OSX to run on a pc of the same spec as a mac pro i'm willing to bet that there would be very little difference in performance, in fact id go so far as to say the PC may pip the mac to the post as it would be possible to clock the processors and ram etc if needs be (ie in the future when it becomes a little undepowered)
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Old 25th July 2008 , 01:50 PM
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To add to what Cane's said. Apple also work alongside Intel to get the best from the processors. So much so that Macs run processors that Intel build specifically for them, not available to any other PC manufacturer.

This isn't true. There was a single CPU from the Penryn series of CPUs that Intel released only to Apple, but it bore no differences to any other chip of the Penryn line besides a slightly higher clockspeed. And it was a mobile chip, not a desktop CPU.


So it's not possible to build a system that actually matches the Mac performance without going for a higher-end and thus more expensive PC - which renders the whole 'Macs more expensive' myth totally moot.

Again, untrue.


Oh, and you can still run all the software you already own including Windows. On the OS X side though, the OS was built from the ground up to use multi-processors and multi-core processors (that part comes mainly from it's NeXt ancestry), so you WILL get better performance for your hard-earned.



The Windows NT series of operating systems, from which XP Pro and Vista are descended, has been supporting multi-processor systems since 1996. It's nothing remotely new to Microsoft. It's not something they shy away from, either - Microsoft are strongly pushing multi-threaded software development as the future of computing. They see dual core as just the beginning, and are loudly pushing developers towards expecting a future of massively multicored platforms. We're talking like 8, 16, 32 cores and upwards. I'm not sure why you believe that just because something is designed by Apple, it will be better.
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Old 26th July 2008 , 12:39 AM
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Since this got a bit tech'd out i thought this may be of interest to anyone into computer and thinking of building a new system. May well be worth holding out for a little while longer to see what both intel and AMD have up their sleaves.

Crazy new intel chipset/CPUs
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