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 Post subject: FireWire HD improves performance?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2002 7:30 pm 
I'm using a Powerbook G4 550 with Reason and Live...Would saving all my audio samples and Reason files onto an external FireWire HD take some load off the CPU and improve performance. Someone told me that the internal HD of the Powerbook is much slower than FireWire so it takes more CPU power to call to and play the audio. Can anyone shed some light?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2002 11:34 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2002 11:23 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Mannheim/Germany/Earth
Hard to say. In general the most FW hds (even the fast ones) slow down the system noticably. While you are e.g. copying fles in the Finder, it's hardly possible to do any other work (on OS 9). I would go for a faster internal hd, there is a new IBM with 5400 rpm. It might be loader, but regarding the performance it should be better than Apples stock drives.

Take a look at

http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/IDE/Travelstar_48GB.html

Best

Ray


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 Post subject: i'll check that out...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2002 3:50 am 
what about OS X? someone really planted this seed in my head and now i'm under the impression that a FW drive will really improve performance. thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2002 8:03 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2002 11:23 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Mannheim/Germany/Earth
With OS X and a fast external disk you should get a good disk performance, true. Make sure to have a fast hd and the controller is a Oxford 911 chip. Also try to make sure to get a OS X compatible FW drive (or at least one, where you can update the firmware of the controller bridge chip). I have 2 FW drives here that work 100% flawlessy under OS 9, but with OS X they crash the Finder after 20 minutes of use...

Hope this helps

Ray


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2002 9:00 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2002 11:23 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Mannheim/Germany/Earth
Well, after re-reading your initial post: I'm not sure if you get a much better performance with Live using a FW disk. You surely would get a better HD performance, but usually reading files from a disk doesn't take that much cpu (e.g.in Logic on a 1GHz DP Mac I can read 80 stereo files simultaniously, but this just take about 15% cpu).

I guess the most cpu power Live taxes, is needed for the warping and the fx - not reading the files. Also I guess that Live buffers small loops inside the RAM. I can hardly see any activity on my external FW hd while running Live at 53% cpu. ANd this FW drive is not the fastest (around 20 MB/s regarding ATTO).
So a FW hd might increase the ability to run some more large loops simultaniously, but will not reduce the cpu usage noticably.

Best

Ray


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 Post subject: what to do?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2002 1:07 pm 
first, thanks for all the info. sincerely. now, what can i do to give me some more juice? right now i can run about 8 tracks consisting of small 4 measure loops with no effects before the CPU reaches about 60%. This is just not enough. I've got a decent spec computer. would adding RAM help? i've got 384mb installed right now.


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 Post subject: me
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2002 9:05 am 
hi,

to make it clear: most cpu power is used for fx devices and not for playing the files. to play more files a fw hd will help, cause the internal laptop hd are kind of slow (4200rpm) and not using the whole bus. a second fw hd may help to play more files at once, but they have to be seperated to each hd!

greetz

karlo


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 Post subject: what to do?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2002 5:57 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2002 11:23 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Mannheim/Germany/Earth
tjwett wrote:
first, thanks for all the info. sincerely. now, what can i do to give me some more juice? right now i can run about 8 tracks consisting of small 4 measure loops with no effects before the CPU reaches about 60%. This is just not enough. I've got a decent spec computer. would adding RAM help? i've got 384mb installed right now.


You are talking about a TiBook 550, right?
I just bought a iBoot 600 DVD (with 100 MHz bus), and checked how much I can get there: I loaded a song with running 13 track (16 & 24 bit, most stereo), 6 insert fx and 2 bus fx. This pulled 64% cpu. I really wonder why you get so few tracks, since the Tibook 550 is stronger than my iBook.

Also I agree with katerkarlo: the sheer existance of track plus the fx pull the most cpu. I still think that a standard (even not fast) internal TiBook drive should give enough tracks.
Do you use 24 or 16 bit tracks? 16 should use less power I guess, but havn't tried yet.

Best

Ray


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 Post subject: hmm..
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2002 1:03 am 
yeah, i use 16bit samples only. and yeah, it's the Ti550. i don't get it. i think i may need to scrap this thing.


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 Post subject: what to do?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2002 4:05 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 11:36 pm
Posts: 27
Location: toronto
Hmmm, I'm getting around 9 tracks with maybe 3 or 4 effects before I get to 65% and I'm on a Tibook 400. So it does seem strange that he's not getting any better performance with a more powerful cpu. I think I need to get the 600 ibook. 13 tracks and 8 fx!!! sweet!

-dick

You are talking about a TiBook 550, right?
I just bought a iBoot 600 DVD (with 100 MHz bus), and checked how much I can get there: I loaded a song with running 13 track (16 & 24 bit, most stereo), 6 insert fx and 2 bus fx. This pulled 64% cpu. I really wonder why you get so few tracks, since the Tibook 550 is stronger than my iBook.


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 Post subject: blah...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2002 5:08 am 
it's been pretty much proven that the RevA(400&500mhz)Powerbooks are indeed better for audio due to either the larger 1mb backside cache(mine only has 256k, why? who knows) or the fact that the older G4 chip used a shorter pipe. Whatever the reason, the RevAs do have a MUCH higher bandwidth which makes them able to handle more weight. There is a write-up on this benchmark test at xlr8yourmac.com
I think I'll wait until Macworld NewYork, where they will hopefully release a new Tibook and sell this if it is up to my needs. If not, I'll trade this for an older one. I really need to get more tracks. Would RAM help at all?


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 Post subject: firewire hd
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2002 2:55 am 
Firewire hd´s are the best solution regarding price and speed at the moment... I work at a professional studio and all the computers now are using firewire hd´s in the place of scsi ones...

In some cases they even outstand the scsi hd´s...
As for cpu load, I don´t know... maybe that would´nt change much... the main difference is that you get a faster and broader bandwith access so you can record and play more tracks at once... still this will put a load at your cpu.

I am definetly going for firewire hd as soon as I put my hands on an Ibook or powerbook.


sorry for my english :oops:
minima@terra.com.br


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