TLW wrote: ↑
Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:40 pm
His stuff about cpu speed did make me blink a bit. You mean I’m spending money on i7s when I still have a perfectly good Pentium D cpu sitting in the attic? OK, he’s right in a way - if the problem is, as you point out, an overloaded system bus or deferred procedure calls from badly written drivers grabbing the cpu’s attention and not letting go of it fast enough a faster cpu might not help much, if at all. Which is a problem on some Windows machines, especially regarding wi-fi drivers for some reason. Which is why tools like latencymon exist.
Macs seem to suffer much less from that problem, at least they don’t usually suffer to the point they’re not usable for a DAW if input monitoring is required. Though their usually lower cpu speed means compromising in other ways, such as freezing tracks sometimes.
The days where the key thing in computer performance was brute cpu power ended a few years ago. Nowadays it’s getting the right balance of components to minimise all bottlenecks that matters. Though the trend towards more and more cores at the expense of per core processing speed isn’t always helpful where DAWs are concerned.
Agree, but IMO if you're using relatively recent mid range macbook pros you're circumventing all of that.
Ableton always will require brute CPU power, and
decent components. In every test I've ever done there are three ranges for power in DAWs:
1- Freak applications like Reaper and VEP.
2- dinosaur DAWs like Logic, Cubase, DP, Studio One etc.
3- performance oriented DAWs like Live, Bitwig, MPC2 etc.
Roughly 100, 80 and 60% in terms of power. The middle DAWs tend to glitch the most when instantiating a plug in or editing while the timeline is playing, the performance oriented ones don't glitch much if at all. Every one of them is susceptible to badly written drivers. Cheap components can and will be a problem, but if you're sorted that way, then it's really about CPU and bus speed, there's no way around that.
The other elephant in the room is the way the OS and your DAW handles cores, some DAWs seem to be able to load balance cores, some do not, some of this is because of the OS and calls to bad drivers etc. but Reaper proves that a lot of it is due to the way a DAW handles latency etc. Diva also proves that there's plenty of room for improvement in this area. One thing he's really right about though is looking at CPU meters for information about a problem is only going to get you so far, since if it's being held up by a PCIe slot like he had issues with it's not reporting that. Basically though, these numbers on a decent machine are all pretty much constant, so blaming Live for using more CPU isn't going to change anything, performance oriented DAWs use more CPU. I also think for the way people work in Live compared to DP Cubase etc. faster i7's over monster Xeon setups makes more sense. Since the CPU hit is greater in Live, and people tend to write songs with less tracks but more plug ins per track.