2020: Suggestions for hardware ?

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jonetsu
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2020: Suggestions for hardware ?

Post by jonetsu »

It might be time to update the years-old machine in the scope of building one that will last for the next batch of years.

Currently I run a i5-3570 CPU @ 3.40GHz that has 4 processors, using 16 GB of RAM and a M-Audio 10101LT PCI interface. I would like ot keep the same interface if possible, meaning a PCI bus on the mobo.

I got a System76 laptop at work that boasts 12 processors. Was quite fast and is sold for $1200. Considering the extra cost of components going into laptops, is it possible to have the same for a desktop machine while keeping a ration of good price/features ?

I'd also like to out in there at least 32GB of RAM, which would very likely be DDR4. As for storage I would basically move the WD hard disks I'm usign although I would also get a new main drive for this parallel system. It will be parallelas I will leisurelybe building it while keeping to working order of the current one until everything's confirmed A-OK with the new one. Don't want to be in a rush.

I will run the same Xubuntu 18.04 system very probably, or maybe the most current Xubuntu, don't know yet.

Any suggestions regarding which CPU and which mobo to get while keeping a good price/performance ratio (not the cheapest and not the most expensive) ?

Cheers.

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bluebell
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Re: 2020: Suggestions for hardware ?

Post by bluebell »

jonetsu wrote:It might be time to update the years-old machine in the scope of building one that will last for the next batch of years.

Currently I run a i5-3570 CPU @ 3.40GHz that has 4 processors, using 16 GB of RAM and a M-Audio 10101LT PCI interface. I would like ot keep the same interface if possible, meaning a PCI bus on the mobo.

I got a System76 laptop at work that boasts 12 processors. Was quite fast and is sold for $1200. Considering the extra cost of components going into laptops, is it possible to have the same for a desktop machine while keeping a ration of good price/features ?

I'd also like to out in there at least 32GB of RAM, which would very likely be DDR4. As for storage I would basically move the WD hard disks I'm usign although I would also get a new main drive for this parallel system. It will be parallelas I will leisurelybe building it while keeping to working order of the current one until everything's confirmed A-OK with the new one. Don't want to be in a rush.

I will run the same Xubuntu 18.04 system very probably, or maybe the most current Xubuntu, don't know yet.

Any suggestions regarding which CPU and which mobo to get while keeping a good price/performance ratio (not the cheapest and not the most expensive) ?

Cheers.
Unfortunately most Linux audio programs don't distribute their load very effectively among the CPU cores. So go for single thread performance since more than about 4 cores won't help.

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/mobile/singleThread.html
Linux – MOTU UltraLite AVB – Qtractor – https://soundcloud.com/suedwestlicht

jonetsu
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Re: 2020: Suggestions for hardware ?

Post by jonetsu »

bluebell wrote: Unfortunately most Linux audio programs don't distribute their load very effectively among the CPU cores. So go for single thread performance since more than about 4 cores won't help.
Many u-he synths, which are my gotos, support multicore. At least Diva and Bazille. Hive and Zebra2, maybe, don't remember offhand. Also, Vojtech has just added multicore capabilities to MSoundFactory which is a synth I want to sue fully. Currently I can run one instance (yes, I can bounce to audio) while some more complex patches have pronounced difficulties running. And now with its sampler capability added recently (granular synth is upcoming) I'd like to have the best environment to experiment with.

So yes, certainly far from all plugins supporting multicore, but at least some of my favorite synths do, which makes the number of cores an aspect of choosing the next CPU. Currently the i5 I use is 4 cores and I could simply go with 4 cores but with a faster processor/supporting mobo.

One aspect though is storage. I plan to use as a main drive a physical WD drive, the one they have for performance applications. I looked briefly at solid state drives although I have the impression that they're much slower in access times. I might be wrong.

Cheers.

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bluebell
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Re: 2020: Suggestions for hardware ?

Post by bluebell »

jonetsu wrote: One aspect though is storage. I plan to use as a main drive a physical WD drive, the one they have for performance applications. I looked briefly at solid state drives although I have the impression that they're much slower in access times. I might be wrong.
If you have one single process that's reading or writing sequentially (one big file) then magnetical disks aren't that slow. In real world applications SSDs are much faster. But only "real" SSDs (SATA or M.2), not USB sticks or SD cards.

Since SSDs are getting cheaper and cheaper I won't buy any magnetical disks anymore, even on my server. VMs running there are much "snappier" now. Magnetical disks were a real bottleneck.
Linux – MOTU UltraLite AVB – Qtractor – https://soundcloud.com/suedwestlicht

jonetsu
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Re: 2020: Suggestions for hardware ?

Post by jonetsu »

bluebell wrote: Since SSDs are getting cheaper and cheaper I won't buy any magnetical disks anymore, even on my server. VMs running there are much "snappier" now. Magnetical disks were a real bottleneck.
I took a quick look at the prices and indeed, they are very competitive to the regular drives. I'll consider a SSD for the main drive of the next machine, and then transfer eventually the array of drives I already have.

merlyn
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Re: 2020: Suggestions for hardware ?

Post by merlyn »

With the 3rd generation Ryzen chips coming out last year the hardware available has changed. The question is : would the new Ryzen chips be good for music on Linux? I think so.
bluebell wrote:Unfortunately most Linux audio programs don't distribute their load very effectively among the CPU cores.
Ardour can use as many CPU cores as you've got according to this thread on the Ardour forum :

https://discourse.ardour.org/t/maximum- ... lize/89065
Paul Davis wrote:The parallelism relies on you having as many (or more) tracks as you do CPU cores. They also need to be independent (i.e. Track 1 does not feed Track 2). Under those circumstances (which are quite typical), you would get full utilization.
It depends on how software uses threads. A chain of plugins needs to be processed on a single thread because the input of the next plugin depends on the output of the previous one. So single thread performance is still a factor.

Any clock speed above 4GHz is really an overclock. When chips talk about 'Turbo Boost' it's a stable overclock. It has been found that 3rd gen Ryzen chips show improved performance by using fast memory rather than by overclocking.

jonetsu
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Re: 2020: Suggestions for hardware ?

Post by jonetsu »

Thanks for mentioning the Ryzen CPU. I'll keep note of that.
merlyn wrote:It depends on how software uses threads. A chain of plugins needs to be processed on a single thread because the input of the next plugin depends on the output of the previous one. So single thread performance is still a factor.
It might depend on the approach, on the need. A task can do its work and while it is doing its work the next task in line can be waiting for the data to be ready. Pipelines can be made of different parallel tasks. This is often seen in Go for instance. Such an approach would eliminate the 'bootup' of pipeline tasks down the pipe as they would already be up and running, ready to receive data.

Noahsark
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Re: 2020: Suggestions for hardware ?

Post by Noahsark »

I am running a AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Eight-Core Processor on a dual boot system - mint for regular use and avlinux for my musical recoding side and it runs like a champ - i got it on an MSI M.B. running 32 gb of ram. ...and a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti video card.

Hope that is helpful for you...

Noahsark
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Re: 2020: Suggestions for hardware ?

Post by Noahsark »

Oh... almost forgot. I am running a Behringer UMC204HD sound card.

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bitsnpcs
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Re: 2020: Suggestions for hardware ?

Post by bitsnpcs »

This desktop is from Punch Technology, it is using - Intel® Core™ i7-8700 CPU @ 3.20GHz × 12
They do make to custom selections on their website of the component products, they sell with Linux preinstalled, I chose a desktop already built with Ubuntu, they can installed another distro if selecting components it said at the time.

The portable WD SSD I got from Amazon, was a very problematic for me to format, it comes with some WD software preinstalled on it, I was not able to format it, or get it to work and needed the help of a staff team member of a distro to find a way that would wipe it to fully remove that as it would not remove using usual methods, even still with the help we had to try several different methods until it was possible to format it so it could be used.
After this it works fine on the Linux distros I have used it with.
So just a note to be careful to buy the WD that doesn't come with these things installed, to save yourself time.

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