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Thread: AMD64 or P4?

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    AMD64 or P4?

    I was planning to upgrade my gaming machine to a 64 bit as I heard they were a lot better for gaming compared to say the prescott 3.2 p4 chips...

    however now I need to focus my upgrade more toward audio. I do a lot of work as a producer/composer and depend heavily on my own gear for a lot of my work. Just upgraded my soundcard to a pro-tools setup and suddenly realised its about time I upgraded my system too, although now I am unsure whether 64-bit or a fast p4 is the way.

    It is said that 64-bit and 32-bit processors have no difference between them at all, but I dont belive that... but what will run my audio processes better? Any suggestions which way to go, and why? Or suggestions what CPU I should get (my budget for the CPU is about £150 and £100 for the mobo, will be upgrading my gfx too but I know what to get there!)

    Thanks for your help!

    -Leonard (aka RufusKing)

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    Banned StormPC's Avatar
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    Is money an object (what is the budget)? How many audio tracks max?

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    I really dont want to vary much from £250 for the MoBo and CPU as I have a lot of other stuff on my shopping list both for my computer and for other outboard gear.

    As far as audio tracks go, my average usage for a heavy load track is about 32 audio tracks (with an average of 3-4 effects per track (inc EQ and compresser) and 16 virtual instruments, (3-4 of them samplers with heavy loads) and average 1-3 effects on those instruments. My computer just about handles them at the moment and I'm running a 2.2ghz p4 with 512mb ddr200

    Running sessions though with that spec is not good though with the amount of playback dropouts when you've got people ready for a take, or if it takes 5 minutes to cache everything it needs to play back!
    Last edited by RufusKing; 15-12-2004 at 12:35 AM.

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    Banned StormPC's Avatar
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    Well if money is an issue the only choice is AMD. Go for the fastest S939 A64 you can afford (S939 because dual channel high memory bandwidth will help greatly in your application). With your budget probably a A64 Winchester 3200+ or 3500+.

    Exactly what RAM are we talking about? I hope you mean DDR400 (PC3200).

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    I'm going to be forking out for 2gb of DDR400... Dual channel of course. Going to go with TwinMOS as I've used them before and been pleased with it, unless you have a better suggestion.

    My budget for memory will probabley be about £300

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    Just did a search about for memory and came across this

    http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?sku=301825&cks=PRL

    What do you think? It looks good to me, and I've never had trouble with my current twinmos...

    and as a MoBo

    http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?sku=305190&s=sc

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    What PT interface have you got - you may be better off spending your money on a better DigiDesign box ... the cheaper ones put a high load on the CPU although the bigger consoles will do alot of the processing itself. I'm guessing you allready have quite a large one if your handling 32 tracks. The PT racks are designed for that so they'll handle audio and FX data much better than a CPU will

    I'm suprised your not using PT on a Mac

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    Banned StormPC's Avatar
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    Well that memory is ok but the motherboard is a waste unless you are spending big money on dual PCI Express VCs. That's a gamers board. You're better off with an Asus A8V rev 2 in my opinion.
    Last edited by StormPC; 16-12-2004 at 02:35 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unrealrocks
    What PT interface have you got - you may be better off spending your money on a better DigiDesign box ... the cheaper ones put a high load on the CPU although the bigger consoles will do alot of the processing itself. I'm guessing you allready have quite a large one if your handling 32 tracks. The PT racks are designed for that so they'll handle audio and FX data much better than a CPU will

    I'm suprised your not using PT on a Mac
    I think PC are equally as stable for the cost if you know how to look after them, so I prefer PC all the way... that and I cant justify forking out for a mac yet! I'm currently running a pro tools Digi002 which is an awesome bit of kit, but your only as strong as your weakest link!

    Thanks storm PC for the advice... I like that MoBo because of the amount of SATA port quantity and such. I'll be running a it as a dual boot system with one side for gaming and one for audio.

    You got any better memory suggestions then what I posted previously? I'm alwyas open to advice.

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    Banned StormPC's Avatar
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    Are you going to have more than 4 SATA drives? The cool thing about the A8V is that the 2 sets of SATA ports are on seperate controllers. In addition to that the A8V has onboard PATA RAID. The A8N doesn't. Since you are using this as a professional recording system you may want to consider that new unproven technology is expensive and often riddled with problems. The A8N is so new you can't buy it yet and incorporates more than one cutting edge technology. The A8V is proven and the A8N is not (although if you're not upgrading immediately you'll probably be able to find out if it's good or not within a few weeks).

    I'll be buying several for sure (but then that's my business, knowing what new technology works and what doesn't) so I know what to offer my customers.

    I believe the A8V is a better fit for your situation. We should know in a few weeks whether I am right or not.

    Update: One last word, HDD speed and reliability is very important in your application. If you really want the best solution you should consider a PCI Highpoint RocketRAID SATA (or equivilent) controller. This is especially true if you intend to overclock at all (something you should really consider if you go with a Winchester core AMD64).
    Last edited by StormPC; 16-12-2004 at 03:55 AM.

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    The upgrade isn't going take place for about a month so I'll definatley wait for that one. Thanks for the advice. I'm going to need loads of SATA ports, but unfortunatley my sound unit doesnt support RAID! Gutted about that so its only manual backup for me for now. I managed to lose 3 years of my own personal work to HD failure earlier this year so I am a lot more wary (although the timing of that worked out well).

    Do you know how much that motherboard is going to cost by the way? I can only find variations of it on a websearch.

    Thanks again for your help

    -Leonard

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    Quote Originally Posted by RufusKing
    I'm going to need loads of SATA ports, but unfortunatley my sound unit doesnt support RAID! Gutted about that so its only manual backup for me for now.
    Sound unit doesn't support RAID? I'm sure that anything will support RAID as long as you have a RAID controler and a supporting OS (Win XP will do). Then you will just see it as one (or more depending on your setup) HDD.
    I don't mean to sound cold, or cruel, or vicious, but I am so that's the way it comes out.

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    Why not take a look at the AMD Semperon, thinking on getting one myself in the new year. Few friends have them and their gaming is fantastic

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferral
    Why not take a look at the AMD Semperon, thinking on getting one myself in the new year. Few friends have them and their gaming is fantastic
    If you're talking 3100+ S754, it is very good for a cheap CPU. It is probably not enough to handle audio recording with 32 tracks with multiple effects and 12+ sequencers. DX9 gaming is mostly videocard but recording audio tracks is a lot of CPU. I believe 1MB of cache will be a lot better for your app than 512k, although an overclocked Winchester is pretty formidable.

    As far as price goes you can be sure they'll be in the $300.00 (154.50 GBP) range when first released. Then based on supply the price will go down and settle around $150-$160 for a bit (77-82 GPB). You'll find it nearly impossible to stay within the budget you mentioned if you go for the A8N anytime soon.
    Last edited by StormPC; 17-12-2004 at 10:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mblaster
    Sound unit doesn't support RAID? I'm sure that anything will support RAID as long as you have a RAID controler and a supporting OS (Win XP will do). Then you will just see it as one (or more depending on your setup) HDD.
    I thought that too, but apparently not so! The compatability sheet says it doesnt support raid... the system doesnt even support hard drives with names longer then 11 characters! It warns you that you will most likely get corrupt data if you odnt shorten the drive name!

    I dont get it myself, but I dont really want to test that warning!

    btw, do you have a link to an A8N spec page at all? I cant find one.... I dont mind spending over budget... if it means I need to do a couple more jobs to get it then I dont mind the effort if its going to be best for my requirements....

    Cheers for all the advice so far btw everyone... its much appreciated

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