Improve VST count - Double RAM or new PC?

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
dickiefunk
KVRAF
2541 posts since 22 Mar, 2006 from cornwall

Post Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:57 pm

Hi,

I currently have an Intel i5 2500 3.30 GHz PC that has 16GB DDR3 RAM and SSD's throughout. I am using a Focusrite Saffire Pro24DSP firewire interface and and running Cubase 9 on Windows 7 64bit. My Saffire interface is bus powered because annoyingly the power switch is on the back and I have it rackmounted.

I work completely "In The Box" and use a lot of large sample libraries and VST plugins. I most commonly work at a sample rate of 44.1kHz but some projects run at 48kHz. I've done a rough check of the my computers performance running at a buffer of 256 using Resource Manager and am averaging somewhere around :-

CPU - 40-50%
RAM - 50-80%

I did do a bit of an extreme test where I loaded lots of VST's :-

9x NI Kontakt 6 running various orchestral strings/brass/guitars and bass
2x Toontrack Superior 3
2x Steven Slate Drums 5
2x Pianoteq 6 Pro
29 VST plugin effects running including 6 very cpu intensive ones on the stereo buss.

I also had Google Chrome loaded with several tabs open, Task Manager, Resource Monitor and Saffire MixControl. Resource Monitor the CPU was up to 68% and the RAM is at 98-99% at a 256 buffer size. Lowering the buffer naturally lowers the CPU use on a project of this size to around 56%. Normally I only run 1 instance instead of 9 separate instances and typically have 8+ different sample libraries. I also regularly run Superior 3, PianoTeq 6 Pro, GG Audio Blue3 and a lot of VST plugins!

I will be doing some larger projects in the future and am considering some changes/upgrades :-

Option 1 :- Double the RAM to 32GB + add additional 1TB SSD - TOTAL PRICE £250

Option 2 :- Buy a new high end i9 SCAN audio PC - TOTAL COST £1900

Naturally I would much prefer option 1 given the price difference. Also, my current PC is extremely stable and exceptionally quiet!

Would doubling my RAM be enough of an upgrade for the work I'm doing or is it time I bought a new PC?

User avatar
Michael L
KVRAF
2739 posts since 25 Jan, 2014 from The End of The World as We Knowit

Re: Improve VST count - Double RAM or new PC?

Post Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:16 pm

According to your data, increasing ram while increasing buffer, and turning off unnecessary programs/ plugins is the best next step.

dickiefunk
KVRAF
2541 posts since 22 Mar, 2006 from cornwall

Re: Improve VST count - Double RAM or new PC?

Post Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:39 am

Thanks. I've just been on the phone to SCAN and about to place an order for the RAM and then they suggested also considering these options :-

https://www.scan.co.uk/products/3xs-z37 ... -quiet!-da

https://www.scan.co.uk/products/3xs-z37 ... e-quiet!-d

https://www.scan.co.uk/products/3xs-z37 ... dr4-corsai

I wasn't aware that it is possible to buy bundles like this and this looks like a much more cost effective solution than buying a new computer. I can keep my existing case, SSD's, BeQuiet Dark Power 550w PSU and CD/RW drive and just upgrade my PC's performance! This option looks very tempting!

User avatar
Michael L
KVRAF
2739 posts since 25 Jan, 2014 from The End of The World as We Knowit

Re: Improve VST count - Double RAM or new PC?

Post Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:47 am

Oh yeah. It seems way simpler than installing an entirely new system. You may find this useful: http://cpuboss.com/compare-cpus

acYm
KVRian
956 posts since 11 Sep, 2015

Re: Improve VST count - Double RAM or new PC?

Post Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:40 pm

I did exactly the same change last year, and kept using my pro24dsp.
got maximus x hero, nvme ssd, the speed increase is amazing, you get more than twice the amount of power.
but newer, faster ram does not solve a memory size bottleneck issue and you will want to go to 32gb or more if possible, in any case.
also it's possible to keep using windows 7 on this motherboard but it's challenging, there was some manual driver installation involved, but there's some help on the internets...

dickiefunk
KVRAF
2541 posts since 22 Mar, 2006 from cornwall

Re: Improve VST count - Double RAM or new PC?

Post Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:29 pm

Thanks for this. Which cpu did you get?

acYm
KVRian
956 posts since 11 Sep, 2015

Re: Improve VST count - Double RAM or new PC?

Post Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:49 pm

8086k, it's the special edition 8700k
it's nice to know that I can upgrade to the 9900k if I want with this mobo, as I plan on remaining on W7 for the long term on my studio rig.
but as it is, very few of my plugins make a scratch on it and I run my daw at 88k

Return to “Computer Setup and System Configuration”