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AMD vs Intel for music program plugins

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September 11, 2005 3:43:34 PM

I use Cubase SL and I am constantly pushing my old Athlon 1.2Ghz to the maximum. I load up a few software synths, or vsti, in my program and I'm peaking out. I'm looking to upgrade my processor, but I'm not quite sure which architecture will best handle plugins inside a single program. I noticed AMD seems better at single apps, whereas Pentium with Hyper-Threading is better for multiple apps. Is having numerous software synths running simultaneously in a single program considered a single app or multiple app?

I've noticed that Tom's Hardware Guide always tests music programs by testing raw file conversions, but I would love to see a test that shows how many plugin effects or software synths can run simultaneously without stuttering.
September 11, 2005 4:35:56 PM

Intel 840EE would have advantage for running 4 or more apps that are CPU intensive, but for anything else AMD dual core owns.

Basically AMD X2 is better at everything, that has something to do with real-life application usage.

Btw, are those applications that you use multithreaded ?

<font color=red>"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
- Albert Einstein</font color=red>
September 11, 2005 5:36:02 PM

I'm afraid I'm not sure how to determine if me apps are multi-threaded. Basically, I am running one music program-Cubase SL2, which is not 64bit optimized. What I need it to do is play numerous midi tracks, and numerous software synthesizers sent into software effects, and record the live mix right into Cubase, all at the same time. I enjoy working this way as it streamlines my compositions-I don't have to record an audio track, and remix everything. This set-up works for me very well as is, but I'm using special software synths that drain alot of CPU power. All I'm looking to do is maximize the number of software synth and effects plugins I can add within my Cubase program.
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September 11, 2005 6:43:51 PM

Best bet is to get dual core AMD, it runs everything fast.


<font color=red>"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
- Albert Einstein</font color=red>
September 12, 2005 5:37:03 AM

Dude -

If you've done your homework and checked all the "shootout" articles, you'll see that AMD smokes Intel at just about every catagory ... except when it comes to audio encoding and the like. All of the sudden, Intel jumps right back up to the top of the list ...

In just about every article I've read, Gaming tests show AMD the better path, but Audio/Video encoding ... Intel. If you're building a music studio, especially with soft synths, then "encoding" is the area that you should be most interested in. I just upgraded my studio rig with the following:

ASUS P5WD2 (Thank's everyone for stearing me away from the nVidia chipset!!)
Intel D 840 3.2 (tweaked alittle bit, 3.6 ...)
2 GB DDR2 533
MSI 6600 PCI Express video (basic)

I run Sonar, which can recognize dual processors (and is about to release Sonar5 the 64bit version!!!)
I use Battery2, SonicSynth and Reason 3.0.

Now, assuming I'm working on a track with 10 instruments and 10 vocal tracks, I'm asking my Computer to (1) Process EQ on 3+ vocal tracks, (2) process delay on one vocal track, (3) process reverb on 4 vocal tracks, (4) process in real time, the output of 10 softsynths, mix that all down to my M-Audio driver (firewire 410) and send it from memory (the audio driver) to the firewire interface (located on the south bridge) to my actual Audio interface. That's alot of things to have to do ... IN REAL TIME. Lets not mention processing (in real time) a mike input hooked up to my audio interface...

I'm having no problems with AT ALL and was basically able to do this on my P4 2.8 Laptop!!!! (until I broke my screen).

I was thinking about going the AMD route but I had to consider a big issue, "would all my drivers, applications, etc., work smooth with the AMD chip??". Trust me, I have NOTHING BAD to say about AMD, but my Intel setup worked well, and the last time I checked, you can't take processors and motherboards back because they didn't work with your favorate app!!! Knowing that the extra speed (overall) that AMD brings to the table wasn't going to be a big factor (my 2.8 Laptop worked...), I went with the Intel.

Anyway, good luck! I hope I provided some food for thought...

StarFoxTB.
September 12, 2005 6:54:12 AM

Just to let u know, anything a P4 can run, an Athlon 64 can run aswell...just better...

Infact im willing to bet a X2 put up against an Intel equivelant, in the REAL world, the X2 will outperform, run cooler, be quiter than the Pentium D equivelant...add synth's and all kinds of different plugins into the picture and watch the X2 walk all over the P D...


And again, AMD chips do NOT have incompatibility issues with any programs...drivers are ALL specific to ones hardware...OBVIOUSLY (at least i hope u wouldnt) you wouldnt forcefully instal via 4-in-1's on an nVidia chipset or the unified driver package from nVidia on an Intel platform...aside from that what other incompatibilities COULD there be??

afterall x86 is, well, x86...ya, intel may have "invented" it, but AMD has perfected it ;) 


<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?id=13597" target="_new">-MeTaL RoCkEr</A>
September 12, 2005 1:30:18 PM

Since you don't know if your program is multithreaded or not (I'd bet it is, but best to be sure) you should probably look that up. I'd think that the software has a web page, and if the info isn't there, there's bound to be an email where you can ask, no? But if you're running WinXP (I think Win2K has this option too) you can use the Task Manager settings to view the number of threads used by each process. If the number of threads goes up each time you add a synth, there you go, multithreading, yo ho ho.

If your software is single-threaded, go AMD single-core. If your software has two threads, AMD's X2 will do nicely. If you have four threads or more, would suggest a Hyperthreaded Intel dual-core processor if that was feasable. (But to my knowledge, it's not.) So actually, if it's over four threads you're probably still better off with an X2 from AMD unless you want to spend some big bucks on an Intel Xeon two-CPU box.

Of course giving us an idea of how much you're willing to spend, how far you're willing to go to build a system on your own, and how far towards bleeding-edge hardware you're willing to trust would undoubtedly help us help you better.

:evil:  یί∫υєг ρђœŋίχ :evil: 
<font color=red><i>Deal with the Devil. He buys in bulk.</i></font color=red>
@ 197K of 200K!
September 13, 2005 1:07:05 AM

Check this article out ...

http://www.techreport.com/reviews/2005q2/athlon64-fx57/...

Look at how the AMD processors BLOW the Intel ones away ... right up until they start the encoding benchmarks. If a baby Intel D 820 is keeping up (and in some cases in front of) an AMD Flagship FX-57, that says alot.

Again, I'm not on any Intel or AMD bandwagon and when it comes to raw, flat out speed, AMD gets the trophy girl ... but he's talking music production which is encoding audio. AMD with it's built-in memory controller makes Intel look ... lets say "shy" in the memory tests, but if you loose the speed converting an algorythm into an audio stream, you loose your lead. If your converting multiple audio streams and are loosing a step with each one... you kinda break even.

StarFoxTB.
September 13, 2005 1:18:15 AM

NO. You do not compare a dual core to a single core, if you are looking for multithreaded.
Truth is, not only do the intel chips get eaten by the Amd x2 chips, but it is hard to find a board that supports them.
Even then if you use them @ anywhere near optimal, one core will probably throttle, and the system will put out enough heat to keep a large room hot in winter.
September 13, 2005 2:15:51 AM

My comment wasn't intended to compare a dual to a single, but more to show (based on the report) how the Intels close the Big Gap AMD has when it comes to doing anything else.

If you can purchase a dual-core 8.20 for 2+ bills and it's right "up there" with one of AMDs fastest single-core processors ("up there" for some applications which are specific to what this guy is trying to do) ... It makes sense to mention it.

Also, if he has an app he uses for his music that supports multiple processors (Like I know Sonar does...), it (the Intel processor) will take advantage of both processors and one won't sit and be idle. Both of my cores jump up when I load soft-synths and although one runs higher then the other, I can clearly see that both are active and my sequencer is the only app I'm running (other then OS stuff, etc.)

If an 820 dual core is better at handling dual threaded apps then a FX-57 (it also costs at least $600.00 less), it should at least be mentioned. We can compare the 820 to an X2 4800, but pricewise that like apples to oranges. Of course, if we were all rich we would get the X2 4800, but some of us are on a budget so it's ok to talk about what makes financial sense here too!

BTW, I'd never get an 820 (840s don't cost that much more) but I use it here as an example.
September 13, 2005 4:40:38 AM

For those who did not get the memo, throttlewatch does not ID the dual core Intel correctly and people were thinking the second core activity was the cpu throttling.

Intel is still superior in multimedia and threading over the X2, be sure to read between the lines to get the damn thing to work correctly.

http://discuss.futuremark.com/forum/showflat.pl?Cat=&Bo...

This is one a few work arounds for the core stalling (common problem) and if I did not point this out you may have missed it for months while you took kicks to the nuts if you were lucky to figure out whats wrong.

I wont go into the startup fixes as I am not familliar with them.

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /usepmtimer

dual core boards can be found on the shelf everywhere. compusa, Frys, PC-CLUB and so on and I have seen 945 and Xpress 200 for as little as $99. If I check the newegg refurb section I could most likely find one for even less.

Lets not pick at the poor 2D performance when SLI is enabled. as much as 25% drop in frame rate and it is noticable when dragging windows and too many icons on the desktop. Chances are you wont setup SLI anyways so no need to pick over this atm.

"the drop in performance is almost certainly caused by the additional bus traffic needed to copy one frame half across to the other graphics board."

A bunch of fanboys are you

Maybe the guy who started this thread wanted a stable problem free machine.... did you guys ever think of that?

Take the time to research 1GB memory modules that work correctly? ROFL

<A HREF="http://www.xtremesystems.org" target="_new">www.xtremesystems.org&lt;/A>
September 13, 2005 6:35:03 AM

Quote:
BTW, I'd never get an 820

Indeed, who in thier right mind would want a 2.8 ghz prescott, without HT, let alone two of them.
If you actually have been using a dual core system, the X2 3800 may offer a viable alternative. Only an intel fanboy would put up with the issues of the 800 series.
September 13, 2005 8:00:16 AM

Hey wusy, I dont think it's his heart that keeps pumping out the fanboy shite, but whatever part it is, it's bullish.
September 13, 2005 1:45:41 PM


WHAT THE ?? Are you blind ?

AMD is faster at encoding in that review..

Quote:
If a baby Intel D 820 is keeping up (and in some cases in front of) an AMD Flagship FX-57, that says alot.

It says that the application is multithreaded, so single core FX is not best for it.
But AMD has dual core CPU's, and Intel can't keep up.
Quote:
Im a Intel fanboy

Yes we know.. or Mac is starting to use Intel, so that MAC [-peep-] is starting to spread..

<font color=red>"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
- Albert Einstein</font color=red>
September 13, 2005 2:12:51 PM

I read this thread like i read so many...

it's hard to seperate the bullshit from the truthes here.. everyone is afanboy of one thing over the other.

so i'll give the opinion that will definately get me flamed

Either direction you go in. you will get a competent product to perform the tasks you wish to do.
September 13, 2005 4:35:47 PM

Quote:
Intel is still superior in multimedia and threading over the X2

LOL

Quote:
Maybe the guy who started this thread wanted a stable problem free machine....

like this?

<A HREF="http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=73..." target="_new">http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=73...;/A>



BTW... It's laughable to read that one of the biggest intel zealot-fanboyism and nonsense guy, aka fugger, call others fanboys...

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by eugenemc on 09/13/05 06:38 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
September 13, 2005 4:44:21 PM

--

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by eugenemc on 09/13/05 06:49 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
September 13, 2005 8:01:36 PM

GG, he was having hd setup problems and nothing related to this topic. The board has 3 IDE connectors (baffles AMD users) and the primary one is the blue one the other two are raid. He was hooking up a drive to one of the raid ports. You so burned me on that one...

I love the AMD circle jerks in every thread like this here on THGF. You shove AMD anyones throat no matter what the scenario is. When ever someone debates the AMD fanboys they pack up like dogs to belittle, disrespect, and brow beat them into never wanting to post here again. FU2

I DO NOT WORK for Intel, geesh. You guys cannot get one single fact straight, you will say anything to suit your needs.

A 600 series with HT is superior to X2 ATM till the get the bugs out. But most of you guys go on what others post and dont actually own one or even used one let alone set one up and dealt with the BS CPU driver problems.



<A HREF="http://www.xtremesystems.org" target="_new">www.xtremesystems.org&lt;/A><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by FUGGER on 09/13/05 01:07 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
September 13, 2005 8:10:24 PM

Ah, I found it.


Page 17 of the AMD fanboy handbook states "FUGGER works for Intel" That is just below "AMD R0xz, post in all Intel based threads where someone is seeking advice"

<A HREF="http://www.xtremesystems.org" target="_new">www.xtremesystems.org&lt;/A>
September 13, 2005 9:48:14 PM

Amidst all the Intel and AMD swipings, the best advice I received came from slvr_phoenix who suggested I check my Task Manager to see if the number of threads went up when loading synths. Guess what? They did not go up, not even when I decided to real time record audio into the program, with the four softsynths playing through my outboard mixer and back into my Cubase program. However, I opened up a new program, CoolEdit, and the thread count jumped. What it's looking like to me, from what I've been gathering from the AMD vs Intel dual core duel is that Intel beats AMD with multiple applications running simultaneously, but AMD beats Intel when a single application is running. Since the thread count seemed unaffected by adding softsynths, I'm going to consider my Cubase program a single application, and go with AMD.
September 13, 2005 9:51:10 PM

Lets not forget, the Intel boards feature HDA, High definition Audio, not AC97 crap

Once you do something else that takes CPU time it will effect your single threaded audio program quality.

<A HREF="http://www.xtremesystems.org" target="_new">www.xtremesystems.org&lt;/A>
September 13, 2005 11:10:29 PM

Yes, but no one who is serious about audio recording is going to use motherboard audio. I've got an M-Audio Audiophile USB on mine, and only use my motherboard to augment my number of midi interfaces.
September 14, 2005 12:38:29 AM

haha you know... this is the knowledge fugger has.
September 14, 2005 4:39:33 AM

Figured you were watching all this from the sidelines!! Something else to keep in mind ... do you think Cubase (Steinberg) isn't thinking about 64-bit processing and dual processor support? Of course they are!! I just read from Steinbergs site "Cubase SX3 is the first version of Cubase to support a 64-bit operating system". Do a Google search on "Cubase 64bit" and see for yourself.

Sonar just dropped Version 5 which now (in addition to the dual processor support) has 64bit OS support. There is NO WAY Cubase (or any other Audio Processing App) isn't moving towards supporting dual processor support and 64bit OS support. Consider purchasing your rig to support the direction Cubase is going, not where they are now. No bashing, just some advice. Again, good luck!!!
September 14, 2005 5:52:57 AM

Quote:
do you think Cubase (Steinberg) isn't thinking about 64-bit processing

Gee, it's too bad the A64s cant do 64 bit.
I hear that Intel is planning on using all of the A64s 64 bit enhancements, in thier upcoming chips. Maybe he should wait. I also hear that the next EE will run @ 3.46ghz, so it will be as fast as an X2 4800. Maybe he should wait for that to.
Listen Intel fanboy idiot, stick around, we do get some of your kind here. They would love to have some backup. In the mean time, read and learn. In the end, like a lot who have gone before you, you may end up a performance fanboy instead.
September 14, 2005 12:02:04 PM

I know it's hard not to bash on anyone who would even consider the strengths and weaknesses of both platforms, let alone hear someone suggest something other then AMD, so it doesn't surprise me that in the same way AMD outruns the competition, you (in your haste) flew right past what was said in my post. If you go back and re-read it, you'll see that there is no mention of Intel or AMD. The whole point of the post was for the guy to consider a platform that would handle a multi-threaded App vs. a single threaded one because the App he uses (Cubase) was headed in that direction.

Running in an overclocked, "bash the Intel fanboy" mode often causes one to get an "f" in reading comprehension.

Actually, your "over aggression" here isn't really a bad thing. Everybody needs an area where they can let off a little steam and it's better to play "macho man" here then to abuse your kids, beat your wife, etc. Overall, I'm sure NOBODY takes that kind of stuff to seriously anyway...
September 14, 2005 1:01:02 PM

Quote:
You shove AMD anyones throat no matter what the scenario is.

I'm sorry, but I just <i>had</i> to quote that one. Classic, coming from the almighty fugger, accusing others of exactly what he himself does, only for a different company.

---
<pre> (\_/)
|~~~~~|======
|_____| This was bunny. He was tasty.
/\/\/\/\</pre><p>
September 14, 2005 10:29:31 PM

Actually, Cubase SX3 with 64bit support has been out for a year already. It's just a shame the newer version of Cubase SL, which is what I use, does not support 64bit. Basically, it's looks like over a grand to go full 64bit for me right now. However, I do think I want to move in the right direction, and get a 939 mobo for now, and see what I can afford later.
September 15, 2005 1:26:47 AM

S939 is of course the best plan. It supports the best available 64 bit tech, and the most powerful dual core chips. Wise move.
September 15, 2005 1:40:21 AM

Well my friend, he has shown a good deal of forward looking capability in his s939 choice. If you were questioning his choice, it shows that you can only be an intel fanboy, with his head up his butt in relation to what does what better.
Untill recently, I have promoted Intel for heavy video encoding. For those on a low budget, that is still the way to go. ( A P4c 3.2 if you can find one at a resonable price, if not a prescott @ 3 ghz wont melt too much of your system) For those who only want to play the OCing game, like our own Mozz, the prescotts are great, while offering a real chalenge. There are a few other instances where Intel will suffice, and when they arise, I will recommend the best setup for the situation. I am also looking forward to late 06, when Intel will solve thier major heat problems. In other words, the best tech for the user. Try it, you might like it.
September 15, 2005 8:35:16 PM

Hey,

If you do build around XP-64, keep in mind that there aren't that many 64-bit device drivers out there!! I think I remember you mentioning you used an M-Audio hardware interface, well they do have some 64-bit (beta) drivers for their firewire interfaces (I have a FW410) and the beta driver works fine, but my USB controller (another M-Audio product) won't work cause the drivers don't exist yet (for some reason M-Audio baked 64 bit beta drivers for some devices, but not for others). Neither will my CD/DVD burner. I think I'll wait it out rather then roll back because after all, the primary function of my machine is music, so I can Limp until the drivers appear...
September 15, 2005 9:05:31 PM

Indeed there is no 64bit driver for my USB Audiophile. But then again, neither is my current music program: Cubase SL2. I think I still want to look ahead and upgrade to a 64bit processor, which still runs 32bit programs just fine. Then I can upgrade the others as cash flow allows.
September 17, 2005 6:05:21 AM

Robles!!

There is an interesting article in this months "Sound on Sound" magazine which described PCI-Express related problems for musicians when running a system with nVidias nForce4 chipset. They mention that users have experienced crazy processor overhead and (in order to remove sound glitches) had to boost their audio buffer size up to 2048 which introduces latency. It says its been reported by users running Cubase SX, Nuendo, and Sonar with users using a soundcard plugged into the PCI slot (Although RME has reported similar problems with their firewire interface). They mention that it has something to do with the PCI-Express x16 vidio card interferring with bandwith. PLEASE if you can get the issue and look at it. Here's a link to the webpage, but unfortunately you'll have to either subscribe online or purchase the issue cause they don't let you read it unless you're a subscriber.

http://www.soundonsound.com/index.php?section=/&url=/se...

They mention only the AMD systems having this problem, but thats probably due to the fact that most all of the AMD boards use that chipset.

Hope you haven't purchased anything yet...
September 17, 2005 8:54:03 AM

Well, I could see why you might have problems. The soundcard driver (in memory, which is off the North Bridge/SPP) has to talk to the physical soundcard (off the PCI Bus, which is connected to the South Bridge/MCP). What they are saying is that the bandwidth/cycles being used by an x16 graphics adapter (theoretically 80Gbps but “real-world” is more like 60) is interfering with the timing going on between the sound card driver in memory and the actual card itself. That’s why they suggest increasing the buffer, which allows the timing between the sound card and the driver to be a little “more loose” (like streaming audio from the internet), but that causes latency, especially when you’re working with soft synths/midi controllers. Playback will be somewhat smooth, but you’ll have to wait ½ a second from the time you hit a key on you controller until you hear the sound. One solution would be to NOT get a PCI-Express video card cause it isn’t really necessary for music production, but I wonder if you can make the video card step down to x1 or x4?

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by StarFoxTB on 09/17/05 04:56 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
September 17, 2005 3:54:41 PM

Quote:
Intel is still superior in multimedia and threading over the X2, be sure to read between the lines to get the damn thing to work correctly.

Once again, the All Mighty "FUGGER" knows what he's talking about.

1) AMD's dual core are superior when it comes to multitasking and executing multithreaded apps becasue the K8 architecture was developed with daul core in mind and it's not a "HACK" like what Intel did. The EE840 is good at handling 4 tasks, but whenever you try to do more than just 4 tasks, the EE840 struggles (look at Tommy's "stressed" test, that's not the case with the X2 4800 thanks to it's superior desing. :) 

2) You're not providing ANY links to backup your bullshit. Until now, all your facts are just a pile of bullshit; and please don't kickback to me saying that I didn't provide any links. If you want them, just search my name in this forum and you'll have ALL the info you need (if you still want more proof or links of what I'm saying, just say the magic word. :D 

3) Intel's dual core offerings are a joke until they release their "true" dual core implementation (i.e. Yonah or whatever).

4) You like call people fanboys when you're one of the biggest of all Intel fanboys. I admit being an AMD fanboy since I found that the Athlon 700MHz was a lot better than a P3 800MHz and I don't have a problem with that. :D 

Anyhow, this topic is a good example of how flaming can be achieved thorough polite ways like comparing which app benefits more on which processor, etc.

Cheers. ;) 

My Beloved Rig:

ATHLON 64 FX 55
2X1024 CORSAIR XMX XPERT MODULES
MSI K8N DIAMOND (SLI)
2 MSI 6800 ULTRA (SLI MODE)
OCZ POWERSTREAM 600W PSU<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Bullshitter on 09/17/05 12:00 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
September 17, 2005 5:01:12 PM

While other are debating over AMD vs Intel bullshit again, I just want to let you know that, any modern CPU will do better than your old Athlon 1.2 GHz. Be it Intel or AMD. In your case, it is not only the CPU that old you back, but probably all of the system itself. So, if you get a new board with fast DDR memory, fast CPU and faster HDD controller and HDD, you'll be fine.

Unless apps are optimized for dual core or HT, there is no t much advantage going right now for them. Intel HT might give advantage for multitasking, but not with plug-in. Plug-in actually stop the main program to do their task. See, you cannot have a 2 plug in oe the plug-in and the main app working on the same data. thus, HT or dual core is no use there. Even if you want 2 apps working on the same data or files, it cannot. one will lock the file for itself leaving the other waiting.

In your case, a single core CPU with a fast HDD, like the Raptor will help you. For the price of the fast dual core, you can have a fast single core with a fast HDD. get lot of RAM. 2 gigs will improve thing, as data is moved faster fro and to memory than from and to hdd. I dont know how much memory your old system has, but anything under 1 gigs for the kind of work your are doing is going to slow down the whole thing because of the system might have to use virtual memory.

So, no matter which system you'll go, just get faster system, not just faster CPU. Since you are doing music, I bet that you'd like to have somewhat a silent system. AMDs are pretty silent and I recommend them for MM stuff. I know that intel are sometime faster at some MM task, but depending of the apps, codecs, .. you use, both CPU will come to par for peformance at the end of the day. Fact is, CPU are way faster than the rest of the system that they are constantly waiting for user input, data to come,... that I dont recommand system based on performace of the CPU alone. Right now, I recommend more based on noise, heat and power required to make the whole system to run. And now, AMD has the advantage.

So, just get something that is modern, whenever AMD or Intel and I'm sure that you'll be more than happy!

(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")<b>ώ</b>(")
September 17, 2005 10:12:30 PM

Well, you're 50% right!! (But you are right...).

nVidia has two flavors of the nForce4: The Single-Chip, AMD supported version, and the Intel (2 chip) version. The Single-Chip setup (which is by the way a totally better design then the "2-chip" seeing that AMD has the built-in menory controller), is the platform where the problem is being reported. Not sure why, but based on the number of people and hardware soundcard vendors who have reported the problem (check the article), there is SOME type of problem. Although I do have the D840/955 chipset, I have no problem admitting that the AMD dual core complemented by the nForce4 looks like a way better design.

And it will be (for music production) once they figure out this little problem. Music production needs to be seemless, flawless, glitchless, jitterless ... all that. Either it works perfect, or it doesn't work at all.

Like I said a few posts ago, maybe the temp solution is to get a non-x16 video card because the you really don't need it for music...

Once they get the problem resolved, that solution will look way-more attractive and I wouldn't doubt that being my next build, but for now ... My D-840/XP64/Sonar/M-Audio bundle works smooth so I'm happy...
September 17, 2005 11:42:50 PM

If someone would have described to me the problem and then asked me which chipset would mostlikely produce it (a 1 chip vs. 2), I would have picked the 2 chip because of what you described (Hypertransport latency between the two chips).

But even with the 2 chip package, I think they (nVidia) allows 1.6GBps thru that channel (The Intel chipset offers alittle more, but they have to because they have some PCI-x lanes connected to the south chip). A 2 channel audio stream (stereo) from the audio driver in memory to the audio hardware device (PCI card, firewire interface, etc.) isn't going to consume anything close to that. That's what makes the whole problem hard to understand.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by StarFoxTB on 09/17/05 07:45 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
September 18, 2005 4:49:53 AM

Quote:
(theoretically 80Gbps but “real-world” is more like 60)

Check your numbers, you are way off base.
BTW, if 1 16Xpci-express is eating up all the bandwidth, and there are a total of 32X lanes, pci-express would be a total no go. Think about it.
September 18, 2005 7:05:20 PM

Quote:
There is an interesting article in this months "Sound on Sound" magazine which described PCI-Express related problems for musicians when running a system with nVidias nForce4 chipset. They mention that users have experienced crazy processor overhead and (in order to remove sound glitches) had to boost their audio buffer size up to 2048 which introduces latency. It says its been reported by users running Cubase SX, Nuendo, and Sonar with users using a soundcard plugged into the PCI slot (Although RME has reported similar problems with their firewire interface). They mention that it has something to do with the PCI-Express x16 vidio card interferring with bandwith. PLEASE if you can get the issue and look at it. Here's a link to the webpage, but unfortunately you'll have to either subscribe online or purchase the issue cause they don't let you read it unless you're a subscriber.

http://www.soundonsound.com/index.php?section=/&url=/se...

They mention only the AMD systems having this problem, but thats probably due to the fact that most all of the AMD boards use that chipset.

Hope you haven't purchased anything yet...

Thanks kindly for the tip. No I haven't bought anything yet, fortunately. It seems like the way to go if I want an nForce4 is to get a standard PCI video card. I don't need super flashy video for my music computer.

Further reading on the problem can be found:

<A HREF="http://www.cubase.net/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=13009&high..." target="_new">http://www.cubase.net/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=13009&high...;/A>
<A HREF="http://www.rme-audio.com/english/techinfo/nforce4_tests..." target="_new">http://www.rme-audio.com/english/techinfo/nforce4_tests...;/A>
<A HREF="http://www.recording.org/ftopic-26210-30.html" target="_new">http://www.recording.org/ftopic-26210-30.html&lt;/A>

It would seem not only AMD but Intel 915/925 have this problem, though the Intel apparently works better with a low end PCI-E video card.

I definitely want low latency, and I'm going to be pushing my CPU heavily with a couple of FM softsynths I designed which chew up processing.
September 19, 2005 6:40:41 AM

Those links you've posted ... It's official, there’s a big problem.

The good news is that it's a big enough problem that it's going to get a lot of attention so I'm sure it will be resolved within 6 months or so. Until then, get a cheap but functional PCI video card, and life is good!

I hope everyone here (ENDYEN/WUSY) goes and takes a look at those links.

Both of you two have a few things in common and it's unfortunate to see any of these things in Grown Men.

(1) You both declare war against anyone who would attempt to be so kind as to offer information that may be helpful to anyone else here, as if you have to protect your "throne of knowledge".

(2) When you feel someone is incorrect, instead of expressing your point of view in a helpful way, you immediately throw an insult, state your disgust, then back away to see who would "Dare" to engage your invitation to a verbal challenge.

It is so sad to see two grown men being so immature. Both of you (and probably more on the sidelines watching) have the ability to really help people if you just "freely" share what you've been "Blessed" to have learned. You don't have to challenge people with your knowledge to get respect. People will respect you because of how you unselfeshly give. So many people will never, ever gain the knowledge that you guys have. It’s a blessing and a gift, so be thankful and help someone who is unable to figure it all out! I'm not mad at anybody, I just see your potential...
September 19, 2005 7:18:55 AM

I suppose that meager attempt at slander is the best you can muster.
Why are you offended that I asked you to use your brain?
Like most sites of this type, we often find a need for deductive reasoning. If you look at what you have said about this "problem" in a realitic fashion, you will see that there is no way that it could possibly be a bandwidth problem. Think about it. When a high end pci-exp card is involved in a heavy 3D app, it will use as much as 1/4 of the bandwidth available to pci-express. Do you know anyone who runs cubase while playing fartcry? The pci bus is a seperate entity, with it's own bandwidth. The only common ground would be the FSB, or HTT. If a simple pci device could so cripple those buses, in conjunction with a pci-express graphics card,just think of the result if you used more bandwidth sucking devices like gigabit lan cards or SCSI interfaces.
I guess for some people, you just cant expect them to use thier own wit.
September 19, 2005 2:21:49 PM

Why not just get an older AGP-based board and avoid the problem entirely? :o 

:evil:  یί∫υєг ρђœŋίχ :evil: 
<i>The <font color=red>Devil</font color=red> is in the details.</i>
@ 198K of 200K!
September 19, 2005 3:57:23 PM

I only know of one mobo that supports AGP and the new X2 CPUs and it has a ULI chipset. It was reviewed here at THG as being a bit slow. I'd rather get the faster board and use a standard PCI video card.

Note to wusy: Cubase is a multi-track sequencing/recording program, not a soundcard. For the work I do, latency is crucial. They say the problem doesn't occur at latencies 500ms. I'm using an Athlon 1.2Ghz and I have complete stability at 30ms while using 6 or more software synths. No way am I downgrading to half a second latency.
September 19, 2005 11:08:39 PM

Slvr, I hade hoped for a little better from you.
It sounds like one of those coding for dual core problems you are often talking about.
So, is cubase having trouble finding the cache, so it's using a pagefile instead?
!