Does Live take advantage of 8 cores?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
rbro
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Re: Does Live take advantage of 8 cores?

Post by rbro » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:16 pm

Daim wrote:Mine left Apple yesterday.. got that wireless mouse already for my laptop and yes.. it's crap. The one with wire feels a bit better as far as I remember.
I just don't like the Apple Mighty Mouse in general. I've tried too, really. But I much prefer this Microsoft Laser wireless mouse. The wireless Apple keyboard is pretty nice though and I think it will come in handy when I need to move to different parts of the room when recording etc.

Daim
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Re: Does Live take advantage of 8 cores?

Post by Daim » Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:16 pm

Mine arrived today.. and will leave next week. Screen freezes regularly.

So I bought 3 Apple products now and each was dead on arrival..

rbro
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Re: Does Live take advantage of 8 cores?

Post by rbro » Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:25 pm

Wow. Bummer. I've never had a problem like that with any of the Macs I've bought over the years.

Daim
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Re: Does Live take advantage of 8 cores?

Post by Daim » Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:44 pm

Propably it's the ATI card..

Daim
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Re: Does Live take advantage of 8 cores?

Post by Daim » Sat Nov 06, 2010 5:02 pm

just to update this thread a bit. it was the ati card. it's simply not working in a mac pro with most of the common monitors and so i had to buy a cinema display.. yay

still annoying that there's no proper multicore support. just dropped an autofilter on the main track and everything started crackling.. on a 8 core mac pro

really hoping this will change in the next release

timothyallan
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Re: Does Live take advantage of 8 cores?

Post by timothyallan » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:51 am

If it makes you feel any better, I have a brand new 12 core which can't run much more than my i7 macbook pro before Live conks out. Logic on the other hand can just keep adding and adding things now :) Oh, and my ATI card is acting up as well, apple tech coming tomorrow to my house. It just works!

Khazul
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Re: Does Live take advantage of 8 cores?

Post by Khazul » Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:46 am

At this point in time, Ive come to the conclusion that the best hardware to run Live on is a severley over-clocked (ie 4Ghz or more) I7 with 1600Mhz (or faster) DDR3 memory - to get the CPU frequency up. Fast hardrives (at least SATA 2, or even 6GB/s SATA) help alot too with lots of audio tracks.

The same may not be true for other DAWs (Cubase, Logic etc) that have way way better thread management and thus may be able balance their load over multiple cores way more effectively.

A good source for helping to decide what to actually buy is to have a look over the Live performance test thread somewhere on here - generally the fastest machines you are seeing in that thread by quite a margin are the 4Ghz+ overclocked i7 with 1600MHz DDR memory - generally very much faster than stock Mac pros. One observation - the test really needs updating to 16 (perhaps with lighter load per track) test tracks instead of 8 now to be sure of giving the new 12 core machine as better test as well as making use of sends a bit more.

End performance you actually get does still seems to be very much dependent upon your audio routing and perhaps what plugins you use too. While my experience is primarily based on using a PC, brief sessions on a mac dont suggest that live behaves significant differently on a Mac. I hope this becomes a significant area to look at for Live 9 eventually.
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naburo
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Re: Does Live take advantage of 8 cores?

Post by naburo » Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:37 pm

Reading Khazul´s post, I get the impression that the Ableton staff
should give us users some more advice about what hardware to use.

IMO there are to many needs and to much different playing situations, that the question which PC/Mac and Desktop/Laptop to use, becomes real obstacle.

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Khazul
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Re: Does Live take advantage of 8 cores?

Post by Khazul » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:59 pm

It just isnt that straight forward and the differences between scenarios arnt actually that big, though of course this changes if you are using a really really CPU hungry plugin, like pounding alot 6 note chords out of ACE with hugely stacked voices and have Aether on a send set to max quality mode ;p

The best ableton could do is to provide detailed advise on how to get the most out of a live set with common latest CPUs (for eg i3/i5/i7), but because of above type scenario, Im not even sure if they could usefull do that.

In practice these days I find while I can do things to change the resulting CPU use (ie moving stuff around, disabling any unused sends etc), minimising use of groups etc it doesnt actually make that much difference with plugins I typically use these days on the system I have (i7). It made even less difference on my old machine (dual core, no HT).

So many factor can impact the performance you acually get at the end of the day (random other hardware drivers, your audio interface, hard drives even your graphics and network cards if your unlucky).

The best advice is allways buy the best you can afford (or are willing to live with). Often to get a really noticeable (as opposed to simply measurable) jump in performance required a significant amount of extra cash, so just figure where on the curve of perfromance vs cost you are willing to invest, then do what most folks do (whats the best machive for live at price X running win or mac OS).

Another thing to consider - a soundcard can make quite a difference to the useable performance too - for eg, a poor drive might start glitching at a reported 60% CPU use on a very fast 8 core machine, whereas someone else might find with a difference audio interface and a slower/fewer cores machine, it is good right upto 90% reported CPU use.

This might mean the guy with the measurably slower machine can ironically actually do alot more in terms of CPU heavy plugins on many tracks because the useable performance is better than the measurable performance.
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timothyallan
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Re: Does Live take advantage of 8 cores?

Post by timothyallan » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:13 pm

Hard drives have relatively zilch to do with cpu load, as do audio cards. Unless you are doing onboard DSP on your card.

Routing does make a huge impact on CPU usage as it limits you to one core for that track. On my 12 core Xeon, I can easily bring it to it's glitchy knees using Live doing complex routing with intensive plugs. I can then go to my MBP and load the same project with the same results. 12 cores don't do squat if the program is only using one of them :)

Khazul
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Re: Does Live take advantage of 8 cores?

Post by Khazul » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:49 am

Hard drives and sound cards make a different to your useable performance - ie how hard you can push your machine before the onset of glitching.
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davepermen
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Re: Does Live take advantage of 8 cores?

Post by davepermen » Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:54 am

timothyallan wrote:Hard drives have relatively zilch to do with cpu load, as do audio cards. Unless you are doing onboard DSP on your card.

Routing does make a huge impact on CPU usage as it limits you to one core for that track. On my 12 core Xeon, I can easily bring it to it's glitchy knees using Live doing complex routing with intensive plugs. I can then go to my MBP and load the same project with the same results. 12 cores don't do squat if the program is only using one of them :)
while true, they don't have to do with cpu load, or audio cards, get an ssd once and you notice how the hdd is one of the MAIN performance bottlenecks of a system on the whole. it's by far the slowest thing (most stuff runs with gigabytes per second processing or reading/writing, the hdd with around 0.1gb/s max, and 0.00001gb/s in the worst case (random accesses). cpu and ram have latencies in the microseconds to nanoseconds, a typical hard drive has 8000 - 15000 microseconds latency.

the verdict: when ever you touch a harddrive for what ever reason, you spend thousands to millions on cpu cycles on waiting. a faster disk helps where ever you touch a hdd. that is for nearly every wav-sample, and for tons of other things, obviously.

i have no crackling with complex sets on a 1.6ghz core2duo. i have cracklings with similar sets on a quadcore 2.5ghz that doesn't have an ssd.
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timothyallan
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Re: Does Live take advantage of 8 cores?

Post by timothyallan » Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:59 am

Yup, HD's are currently a ginormous bottleneck if you are doing a ton of throughput on them. I guess it depends on the way you work. I max out 12 cores of Xeon before I max out a run of the mill 7200rpm drive. Although your projects will load faster than mine :)

davepermen
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Re: Does Live take advantage of 8 cores?

Post by davepermen » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:36 am

timothyallan wrote:Yup, HD's are currently a ginormous bottleneck if you are doing a ton of throughput on them. I guess it depends on the way you work. I max out 12 cores of Xeon before I max out a run of the mill 7200rpm drive. Although your projects will load faster than mine :)
sure depends. wave-based projects (dj style stuff) is hdd bound, own made stuff has normally zero samples => is cpu bound.

but yes, stuff loads very fast :) besides musical stuff, it sure is great for about everything else you can do with the computer. it'll be the future. i can only suggest them. if there's a budget to enhance the computer a bit, investing it on an ssd is the best one can do.
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