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Recent upgrades

JohnVaught
JohnVaught Member Posts: 1 Member
edited December 2022 in Tech Talks

Hello everyone.

When was the last time you upgraded your PC? Do you think it’s necessary tho? As I have not upgraded mine for years, I wonder if it’s actually essential. Well, is running slow a sign for an upgrade requirement?

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Comments

  • 6xes
    6xes Member Posts: 579 Pro
    edited December 2022

    if the response time between pressing a midi-key and the time it take for audio to come out... coupled with audio glitches and crackles.. etc, all while working on a current project


    then the answer is yes... as the buffer has reached its limit and the crackles wont get any better.

    the next relevant question you should then ask, is if i buy another PC... how much performance increase will i get for the money spent on upgrading.

    This was something i had to deal with, and the truth be told... i could run 2 computers in Tandem using midi sync... playing different aspects of a project, but knowing the limitations of 2 separate computers sharing the load, i knew what each was capable of... and as cheap as i obtained them, they would be still insufficient for my use case, weighing up the pro's and cons & performance & cost benefits... i decided to invest into a apple M1 Mac mini base end model... to trial out all the hype surrounding the M1's, im already seeing benefits from the outset, as much of the gear i have acquired over the last 2 years... is fitting in nicely with the M1 mac mini!!

    Research for your particular use case... giving weight to whats important and the end goal being achieved has to be carefully thought through!!

    nothing worse then buying something that only achieves one means to an end... and realising the short comings on other fronts!

    my 2 windows PC will sync up with the m1 using midi clock sources, and above all i will maintain backward compatibility by keeping the old PC's around.

    for me personally its all about intergration of everything working together!!

    The Spirit, The Man, The music and the Maschine!! ya dig!!

  • DominikGX
    DominikGX Member Posts: 20 Member
    edited December 2022

    For me updating is essential. It is required to protect against security issues. However the system requirements of Win 11 are big. Your PC must support TPM 2.0 (for handling encryption). It is ok running Windows 10, as Windows 11 have not many benefits and it logs many telemetry stuff, which might be a privacy concern. I believe the last supported version of windows for updates is Windows 8. My recommendation would be, update using a OEM license. These are very cheap compared to full updates. You get them already for about 5 USD. If your PC is old, choose Windows 10. Otherwise go directly for Windows 11, if you know how to disable telemetry stuff or you don't care about creating a microsoft account. But as 6xes told you, crackles are possible. I use an Intel NUC for music production, it is quite small. There are crackles. But have not checked if there are ways to fix this. It works for what I am doing.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,753 Expert

    It depends, what computer you have now and how do you use it... And how often, how intensively. If no crackes, generally no need to update HW, if you do not mind longer loading times and so on....

    And also question of how much you are willing to spend.

    I have bought ASRock miniPC DeskMini using AMD APU Ryzen 7 5700G, 64 GB RAM and 2x1TB NVMe SSD discs, year ago. It is several times stronger (6-8 times) than my previous, now 10 years old, notebook (i7, 16 GB RAM). As it is stronger than M1 Pro, there is enought computing power to stay on it for many years... It is real small, silent and it does not consume much electricity. Costed me about 1000 EUR.

  • 6xes
    6xes Member Posts: 579 Pro
    edited December 2022

    @Kubrak

    its an interesting statement to make, suggesting the Ryzen 7 5700g, being 6-8 times stronger...than previous computers you owned?(did you own pentiums?)*Jokes

    i'm sure, it would have ample ability to work with multiple applications at once, and given the memory and transfer speed of the NVME, it certainly has the specs.


    i always wondered as a test, when dealing with a Daw and maschine as a VST, how many instances of maschine songs could you run simultaneously, to equate its performance in terms of realtime audio performance.

    it certainly stress tests a CPU's ability to manage sound(to the point of artifacts and audio crackle becoming an issue)

    it has me wondering if the unified gpu&memory cores of the M1 better handles audio... than the ryzen7 5700g.

    note: i did ask D-one to perform a similar test concerning the m1, and the result alone convinced me to go the direction of the M1.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,753 Expert

    @6xes

    I had 10 years old Intel notebook i7 - 4C/8T 2.1 MHz. It was strong notebook at time of purchase. My current PC has AMD 5700G which is 8C/16T 4+ GHz. So, that is at least 4x more (2 more cores * double CPU speed) CPU power. And it is also newer CPU design, so it has higher IPC. The rice of IPC over 10 years may be 50% or even more. So, my new PC has at least 6 times more CPU power than the previous one. Also, 4 times more RAM and SSDs are about twice as fast than SSDs in previous computer, which were only SATA.

    I take as a general rule that computers deliver 10 times more in ten years, 100 times more in twenty years and 1000 times more in 30 years. ;-)

    I can make your test on my 5700G setup, if you wish. But I use only Maschine SW, which is able to use only half of CPU power. I remember, that D-one has been surprised how high score in general CPU tests 5700G has. It seems to perform better than M1 Pro.

  • 6xes
    6xes Member Posts: 579 Pro
    edited December 2022

    @Kubrak

    the test would need to be carried out inside a host Daw... then many instances can be brought online and tested to see how many songs or instances of kits you can establish...

    The practicality of this type of test, allows you to gauge how much CPU power you have left over so that in that event you wish to load other kits/songs you can do so... without too much trouble,

    ie.. glitching audio upon load of Maschine song switching


    if loading another song(via instance offline) in a realtime scenario (while other maschine songs are playing)is not achievable

    (and loading causes audio glitching)...

    then the system is not equipped for Realtime use scenario, although you could do many other workarounds etc

    ..this in my view is a good test, to see how much the system interrupt i/o will affect the audio!!


    Im guessing here, but i suspect The apple unified memory cores gpu cpu etc etc... probably helps alot in this regard, but this is just a theory in my head

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,753 Expert

    Hard to say if unified memory brings much to audio processing. Maybe in some cases yes and in others it may make things even worse. Each approach has pros and cons.

    AMD makes few models of CPU (3D ones) with real huge cache, which might be beneficial for large Kontakt libraries.

    I generally prefer Win as it is more open, configurable, bigger choise of HW, easier to upgrade and there is less problems with compatibility, but I understand that other people prefer Apple. For non-tech people it may be better choise.

  • Paule
    Paule Member Posts: 1,328 Expert
    edited December 2022

    When was the last time you upgraded your PC?

    Myself got for win 10 pro the 22H2 on 2022-10-21

  • 6xes
    6xes Member Posts: 579 Pro
    edited December 2022

    @Kubrak

    did you manage to test how many instances of Maschine VST you could load up without it glitching or having audio problems?

    i carried out a test on my base m1 mac mini 8gb 256gb ssd and i have to say i am impressed..

    heres the test i did and although not strenous... it is a practical test...

    i managed 16 Maschine VST instances(couldve loaded more), with all different songs playing... adjusted the tempo up and down... so that each instance needs to adjust accordingly with a set buffer size of 128 giving me a 12.2ms roundtrip

    not a glitch...

    that is impressive in my book!!

    having come from a 4770k 4.1 ghz 16gb 1TB ssd... which would begin glitching @9 instances where the tempo changing begins affecting the audio with a set buffer of 256 giving me a 15.6ms round trip.

    perhaps the FX vsts not being loaded attributed to the lower stress levels on the m1 Mac and performance overall (VSTs currently not working natively in apple silicon atm(working in rosetta tho))

    but still thats impressed me so far(further testing needed for added applications on top of the 16 instances)

    (looking @ applying the Remixlive application on Mac store and NI's own Traktor pro3.. to put it through its paces)

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,753 Expert
    edited December 2022

    @6xes

    I do not load Maschine to DAW. I use just Maschine.

    Beside that, it depends what is loaded in Maschine. I may kill one instance of Maschine, if I decide so. It is just how much things one loads into Maschine.... And some plugins may be pretty demanding the both CPU and memory.

    If you want to compare than lets compare how many certain plugins with certain patch playing certain tune one may load without problems.

    If you have Massive X we may try it (not sure if it is AS native). Or a patch from Light Trilogy. I do not have AshLight, so one of the two others....

    Generally M1 is OK, it might be roughly 3x more powerful than your previous very old CPU, so the results you get correspond to it.

  • DunedinDragon
    DunedinDragon Member Posts: 272 Pro
    edited December 2022

    For years I've followed pretty much the same sequence of events. I purchase a fairly high end computer with ample memory and CPU power. Three years later I'll do an upgrade on it to bring it up to more modern standards, then three years after that I get a whole new computer that has all the most recent innovations. This keeps me pretty much consistent with the industry performance standards and I rarely ever have any performance issues. But I depend daily on my computer for some fairly sophisticated and processor/memory intensive applications

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,753 Expert

    Progress of computer technology is fast for years. Put aside few years of Intel's " 4cores forever".... That maybe help Apple whether develop its own PC CPU... Not being AMD, we are probably still stuck on 4 cores....

    Computer power roughly doubles (CPU, RAM, storage volume, GPU) in three years, which makes roughly 10x more in 10 years, 100x more in twenty and 1000x in thirty.

    So, the three years' cycle to upgrade PC has sound base, if one needs strong PC. But otherwise one may wait longer. I use even 15 year old PC and it works, so far.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,722 mod
    edited January 2023

    My last upgrade was in 2018, I am still happy with it... Got the best consumer CPU available at the time so I can probably use it without issues for at least another 5 years.. On Windows tho, on MacOS the life span is shorter at least if you want to use modern software.

    A slow PC might be a sign you need to upgrade or might need a clean OS install to start over, as sometimes it's due to software issues, drivers, firmware, bios, etc. I personally find windows more sensitive to slowing up but this might be because I am not very experienced with modern windows.

    I'd say for non-techy folks that only use computers because they have to upgrading at least once per decade is a must assuming the person bought a decent computer to start with.

    For folks that do enjoy computers and modern tech maybe around every 5 years or so.

    I am not sure how computer 'power' scales for Audio specifically but I doubt it's linear, a computer that is technically 2x as fast doesn't necessarily allow you to use 2x more plugins or allow half the latency/buffer size.


    @Kubrak said:

    I can make your test on my 5700G setup, if you wish. But I use only Maschine SW, which is able to use only half of CPU power. I remember, that D-one has been surprised how high score in general CPU tests 5700G has. It seems to perform better than M1 Pro.

    Yeah, I don't remember the exact details but I think yours would run a significant amount of more instances of a particular plugin than my M1 Air, like 30% more? Or was it something crazy like double?

    I kind of want to take note of it, do you remember if this discussion was in this forum or in the old one?

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,753 Expert

    @D-One Not, sure, probably this. I have bought 5700G a bit more than a year ago, and the discussion was few months later, year ago, or less...

    Concerning raw CPU power 5700G might be between M1Pro and M1Max. Closer to M1Pro. But of course, raw CPU computing power does not have to translate to music computing power exactly...

    So maybe 30% above M1 Air, I doubt it would be double. If you want to know, I may do tests again.

    Within few months new AMD APUs will come. They may add 30% up. But there are already AMD beasts that are faster and have double the cores than my CPU. And soon there will be models that have many times more L3 cache than my CPU. Might be good for Kontakt.

    I will see, when I buy/build a new computer, so far my will do. So, I might upgrade next year 2024 when Zen 5 comes (Would be roughly +70% CPU computing power, if I stay on the same number of cores, or more if I go to 12 or 16 cores that time possibly available in APU). I'll probably skip even Zen 5 and go for Zen 6, which might bring double CPU power per core and more cores in 2026, or so.... I might get roughly four times more CPU power than I have now.

    I really wonder if Apple will be able to keep pace with x86 platform... I may be wrong, but I sort of doubt it. And if they will not go chiplet way, like AMD and soon Intel, their CPUs will be very expensive to produce.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,722 mod
    edited January 2023

    Maybe it was this post (?) where you mentioned a 9000 geekbench multicore result, VS 7500 of my M1; 17% difference but I think there was another post where I asked you to duplicate a Maschine sound/group over and over and your result was better by a higher margin than 17%, not sure.

    If it's between 17-30% difference I think that speaks highly of both your AMD system and the passively cooled M1 Air, the price is almost the same (I paid 900$) and since my M1 is a laptop I also get a screen + keyboard + trackpad the prices seem fair.

    But... your system will completely crush my laptop in anything that needs a lot of Ram, like heavy Kontakt stuff. Adding more Ram to an apple silicon computers makes the price go up insanely fast and starts to kill the price-to-performance ratio... Maybe when NI updates Kontakt's old backend to stream from the disk instead of ram since we have nvmes for a while things will change a bit.


    @Kubrak said: I really wonder if Apple will be able to keep pace with x86 platform... I may be wrong, but I sort of doubt it. And if they will not go chiplet way, like AMD and soon Intel, their CPUs will be very expensive to produce.

    We will have to wait and see, but since it's the richest company in the world I doubt they would make this move without a proper long-term plan considering the annoyance it caused for both Apple and Windows users since companies had to adapt. If they have to go back to intel in say, 5 years or so it would be crazy, people would rage hard!

    Apple's answer to chiplet / 3D-stacking seems to be the M-Ultra, stacking full chips side-by-side instead, quite a radical approach that might make more sense when they start releasing 3nm chips, leakers say it will be this year but I doubt it... If this can compete long term it's hard to guess but they just started and are able to compete with old juggernauts like Intel and AMD, a 3rd player to push the other 2 is great IMO. Personally, I'll wait for M3 to decide if I stick with Macs or switch to Windows.

    The big CPU dies probably suffer from significant yield issues, but I guess they mitigate the loss by making them expensive, the user pays for it at the end of the day.

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