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ecsmix
KVRist
 
200 posts since 5 Jun, 2006

Postby ecsmix; Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:17 pm Best Processor and MOBO Combo

Hi guys,

How are you?

I hope you can help me understand and purchase the best system for my needs, the fastest, more reliable and that continue to help me 5 years ahead without upgrades.

I learnt that real time performance is what matters so single core is more important than multi core performance? I will describe my needs so you can help me choose.

What I would like to achieve is:

Low buffer size 64/128 on my MOTU 828 MK3, so I can play in realtime several kontakt instruments( SSD, M-2), and use any plugin chain I want, even a full mastering chain on 2 bus. Ozone, eqs in linear phase mode, CPU hungry synths, plugins etc...

I am using Ableton Live 10.

A) i7-8700K with Asus Maximus x hero

B) Rizen Threadripper 1950x with ASUS Zenith Extreme

Another factor is loading of Kontakt instruments, low load times is required as well.

So producing and playback vst instruments, vst plugins, audio is what I need, donĀ“t need to record live instruments, only midi thru a midi keyboard.

Thanks.
Kaine
KVRAF
 
1723 posts since 4 Nov, 2004, from Manchester

Postby Kaine; Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:42 am Re: Best Processor and MOBO Combo

The performance is only as good as the slowest core, so if all the chips are running at 4GHz then one with 8 cores is better than one with 6 cores. However, 8 X 3.5GHz is probably going to hit a wall before 6 X 4GHz on a really busy project when one of the channels overload, it'll take the rest with them.

The problem comes when trying to compare Intel to AMD as they have different IPC (instructions per cycle) figures so direct comparisons regarding clock speed are fairly worthless without some kind of benchmarking.

Between those two, the raw CPU power in testing goes the 1950X but the as soon as you throw memory handling into the mix, it swings back to the 8700K. Given Kontakt is memory handling heavy, I'd lean towards the 8700K.

Kontakt load times are down to your storage subsystem, so get all of your libaries onto SSD's.
Last edited by Kaine on Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Tj Shredder
KVRian
 
791 posts since 6 Jan, 2017, from Outer Space

Postby Tj Shredder; Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:49 am Re: Best Processor and MOBO Combo

Single core performance is only important if the application cannot handle multicores!
Audio processing is the ideal application to use multiple cores (lots of calculations in parallel)
I don't know, if Live 10 isn't using the cores, I'd switch to something else, but I doubt it... Kontakt can take advantage of the cores btw, but you should leave multicore handling either to the DAW or the sampler...
AMD performance per buck is better...
poonna
KVRian
 
1333 posts since 2 Oct, 2001, from Thailand

Postby poonna; Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:35 am Re: Best Processor and MOBO Combo

Tj Shredder wrote:Single core performance is only important if the application cannot handle multicores!
Audio processing is the ideal application to use multiple cores (lots of calculations in parallel)
I don't know, if Live 10 isn't using the cores, I'd switch to something else, but I doubt it... Kontakt can take advantage of the cores btw, but you should leave multicore handling either to the DAW or the sampler...
AMD performance per buck is better...

It's actually more complicated than that. Modern DAWs can usually distribute workloads to multiple cores. However, on a single track with a chain of plugins, it's often not possible to split the work of the whole chain to multiple cores, because each plugin in the chain needs output from the plugin before it, thus cannot just be processed without first finishing the processing of the previous one.

Therefore, if in the song there's a track with a few heavy plugins in the chain, it might be able to play properly on a 4-core 4.0 GHz CPU but struggle on an 8-core 3.2 GHz CPU.

In general, however, if there's no track or chain with such heavy load, more CPU cores mean more tracks it can handle. People using heavy plugins should take this into account when considering a new CPU, I think.
Peace, my friends. I'm not seeking arguments here. ;)
ecsmix
KVRist
 
200 posts since 5 Jun, 2006

Postby ecsmix; Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:36 pm Re: Best Processor and MOBO Combo

Tj Shredder wrote:Single

Therefore, if in the song there's a track with a few heavy plugins in the chain, it might be able to play properly on a 4-core 4.0 GHz CPU but struggle on an 8-core 3.2 GHz CPU.

In general, however, if there's no track or chain with such heavy load, more CPU cores mean more tracks it can handle. People using heavy plugins should take this into account when considering a new CPU, I think.


What would be heavy plugins, linear phase eqs, what's more?

I read somewhere about too many core is not good but I really don't understand why...

Would you mind explaining this better?

Therefore, if in the song there's a track with a few heavy plugins in the chain, it might be able to play properly on a 4-core 4.0 GHz CPU but struggle on an 8-core 3.2 GHz CPU.

I read something good about the AMD 2700x vs 8700k?
Kaine
KVRAF
 
1723 posts since 4 Nov, 2004, from Manchester

Postby Kaine; Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:15 am Re: Best Processor and MOBO Combo

Tj Shredder wrote:AMD performance per buck is better...


Maybe for video work , I wouldn't agree for audio.

ecsmix wrote:What would be heavy plugins, linear phase eqs, what's more?


Well, traditionally stuff like convolution reverbs as it's all floating point heavy, and that can thrash the CPU. TBH, the heaviest stuff at the moment tends to be heavily spec'd sound generators (Vengence Synth) or extremely detailed modellers (DIVA, Acustica Audio Plugs), but really it could be any type of plug-in, depending on how it's coded.

ecsmix wrote:I read somewhere about too many core is not good but I really don't understand why...

Would you mind explaining this better?


The message from Poonna above pretty much nails it. Each core can do "X" amount of work within a given time frame (the ASIO buffer cycle). If all the threads complete their workload within the allotted time, then everything is good. If 1 single thread overruns it's allotted time frame, the whole project will crackle.

ecsmix wrote:I read something good about the AMD 2700x vs 8700k?


Case in point for the value comment. The 8700K benches about 10% - 15% higher and costs about 10% - 15% more. Both firm are pretty well priced against each other right now and when one moves a price the other cuts accordingly. Once you get out of the realm of hardware where AMD competes, the Intel price per core creeps up slightly, but the lower to midrange kit is currently fairly equal in the bang per buck stakes.
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Pictus
KVRist
 
48 posts since 21 Aug, 2017

Postby Pictus; Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:13 am Re: Best Processor and MOBO Combo

I would wait:
For the new Intel 8 core Coffee Lake
https://wccftech.com/intel-8-core-coffe ... confirmed/
or
The new Threadripper 2
http://www.guru3d.com/news-story/amd-an ... ipper.html
If you go for Ryzen/Threadripper, seems it can benefit from faster memory with tighter
settings in some applications, choose your RAM carefully.
https://www.computerbase.de/2018-04/amd ... _steroiden
https://www.io-tech.fi/artikkelit/ddr4- ... rituskyky/

In the future if you ever want Thunderbolt the motherboard must be compatible, the ASUS PRIME Z370-A
is the only Z370 in the Asus line.
https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboard-Acc ... fications/
No working Thunderbolt for AMD yet, but the Gigabyte x399 Designare EX does have the header
https://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/8385/ ... ndex2.html
if it will ever work...
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Tj Shredder
KVRian
 
791 posts since 6 Jan, 2017, from Outer Space

Postby Tj Shredder; Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:43 am Re: Best Processor and MOBO Combo

poonna wrote:Therefore, if in the song there's a track with a few heavy plugins in the chain, it might be able to play properly on a 4-core 4.0 GHz CPU but struggle on an 8-core 3.2 GHz CPU.


This is very theoretical, I never came across a session where a single track would kill the cpu. Most sessions will have at least 4 or more likely 8 tracks and more. Multicore will outperform on 99.9999999% of all cases the lesser cores higher GHz CPUs... If one track in a session eats the power of a single core, the others will happily do the rest of the demand, because there are more to share the remaining load...
poonna
KVRian
 
1333 posts since 2 Oct, 2001, from Thailand

Postby poonna; Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:07 am Re: Best Processor and MOBO Combo

Tj Shredder wrote:
poonna wrote:Therefore, if in the song there's a track with a few heavy plugins in the chain, it might be able to play properly on a 4-core 4.0 GHz CPU but struggle on an 8-core 3.2 GHz CPU.


This is very theoretical, I never came across a session where a single track would kill the cpu. Most sessions will have at least 4 or more likely 8 tracks and more. Multicore will outperform on 99.9999999% of all cases the lesser cores higher GHz CPUs... If one track in a session eats the power of a single core, the others will happily do the rest of the demand, because there are more to share the remaining load...

It's not that atypical though. Suppose, for example, there's Softube Modular (which is an extremely demanding plugin) on one track, with a very complex patch, demanding a lot of CPU, and all the other tracks are all lightweight plugins. If this particular patch exceeds the power of a single core, then no matter how many cores there are, the whole project will crackle.

Therefore, in such use case, as Softube Modular cannot spread its work onto multiple cores, 4-core CPU with each core being more powerful will be able to handle more complex patches than 8 cores of lesser power.

There are many people who use such plugins, IMHO. Single core performance is one of the key factors for those people. However, I agree that in most use cases, more cores should work better.
Peace, my friends. I'm not seeking arguments here. ;)
Kaine
KVRAF
 
1723 posts since 4 Nov, 2004, from Manchester

Postby Kaine; Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:34 am Re: Best Processor and MOBO Combo

Tj Shredder wrote:This is very theoretical, I never came across a session where a single track would kill the cpu. Most sessions will have at least 4 or more likely 8 tracks and more. Multicore will outperform on 99.9999999% of all cases the lesser cores higher GHz CPUs... If one track in a session eats the power of a single core, the others will happily do the rest of the demand, because there are more to share the remaining load...


No, a single track won't, but the example was used in it's most basic form to illustrate a point. In the real world it might be 30 or 40 tracks and the sequencer/os will balance the load as well as it can to get the most out of the system.

Even on the most powerful of systems, however, you will start to see ASIO clipping and eventually overloads once the CPU starts to head north of the the 70% load point. If you drill down, you'll see that one or two cores are normally showing 100% whilst the rest are bouncing around 50% - 70%. Normally this is an indication that the slowest cores have overloaded normally due to one busy chain not being able to find enough time to action on any of the available core processing time within the buffer limit.

What you notice if you look at a lot of setups, is that the lower base clocked chips with high but heavily staggered turbos (Intel "U" series are a perfect example) will break up at a far lower CPU load (50% and up), where high-end chips where they stagger the cores with smaller gaps will be able to leverage more of the available processing power overall.

This is where the advice to work with higher clocked CPU's has come from over the years, rather than large amounts of cores. For example historically the Xeons have been low base clock, high turbo clock and a bucket load of cores making for rather inefficent handling. It's why if all your cores are runnning around the same clocking level, then your generally fine to keep adding them on and will keep seeing solid gains.
ecsmix
KVRist
 
200 posts since 5 Jun, 2006

Postby ecsmix; Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:46 am Re: Best Processor and MOBO Combo

Thanks guys,

In the scenario, higher clock speed with 6 or more cores.

What would be the best combo, mobo+processor+video card 3-4 outputs. today.

Thanks.
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Guenon
KVRian
 
1469 posts since 17 Jun, 2005

Postby Guenon; Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:26 am Re: Best Processor and MOBO Combo

Tj Shredder wrote:Single core performance is only important if the application cannot handle multicores!
Audio processing is the ideal application to use multiple cores (lots of calculations in parallel)


Audio processing is a classic example of a field that is not ideal for multiple cores and parallelization. In a plugin host software, whole signal chains composed of sequentially placed plugins can be calculated in parallel, and DAW software packages generally already do this now. However, the chains need to be truly separate and parallel to one another (i.e. separate mixer channels / tracks, like in a typical DAW environment), and you cannot break down those chains further, into simultaneous parallel operations, as each plugin in the chain needs to have the result of the preceding plugin in order to process the correct signal. The plugin downstream simply can't know the output of a plugin upstream of it -- until the plugin upstream has actually calculated the result and passed it along.

There are optimizations that are still experimented on, namely dynamic allocation of cores, on per plugin basis, according to current core loads and so on, but note that this is different from actual simultaneous parallel calculation happening on different cores in tandem. As of today, in any case, you will pretty much get dropouts right at the moment you run out of juice on any single core running a particular heavy signal chain, no matter what DAW you are running and whether overall CPU utilization is very low or not.

And still, there are other considerations than pure CPU calculating capacity, as the audio interface and its drivers play a great role in how far you can push the system before you get dropouts.

Check out viewtopic.php?p=7020620 for example.

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