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Sequencer Sonar maxes out Penom II x4 940 processor

By jtsylvanis ·
I don't know whether this forum is the right one for this question. I put this question up on another forum as well and I'd like to also have your opinion.

Sonar is a hugely complex music compostition software. It can also handle numerous plugins, effects, etc, and it can run on up to 8 processors. Currently I am working on a large project as far as the sheer quantity of data that needs to be handled by the processor per unit time. The 940 is often time at 94%-96% load, sometimes fully in the red and distortions and poppings occur which, of course, is very bad for sound quality.

I have a choice of upgrading to a CPU6 processor or going with two quad processors (say AMD Fs or Intel 5000 series) on a server board.

When I upgraded to the Phenom 940 from a dual processor, the load on the processor appeared to have decreased noticeably.

Will the server grade machine give me the same result vs the single 940? If it will, it'll be because processing will fasten up, therefore less data clog in the buffers and caches, or because of processor organization optimized for heavy data loads?

Please speak up if my question is unclear.

Thanks in advance, S.

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Well before proceeding any further

by OH Smeg In reply to Sequencer Sonar maxes out ...

I would suggest adding as much RAM as the M'Board can carry. This may improve things somewhat if you are not already in that Configuration.

As for Multi Processors this is more to do with the OS being used not the Application running on it. Also if this is so High End it's probably better to be running on a 64 Bit System that enables the use of more than 4 GIG of RAM, well actually something like 3.25 Gig but this all depends on the M'Board Chip Set configuration.

A cheaper option unless you are looking at professional Processing may be to use a i7 Intel CPU as these appear to the OS to have 4 Cores with HyperThreading so you get effectively 8 Different Data Streams through the CPU. It may be better for your needs added with something like a 64 Bit Version of Windows 7 Professional, or Enterprise as older Versions of Windows do not handle Multi Processors as well as they could.

I'm not a Cakewalk user so I'm not really sure what's the best way to proceed here but from Past Experience with Dual AMD CPU's on a Server Board you need to pay very special attention to the M'Boards Chip Set Configuration not to mention that most of these M'Boards do not have sound included or the ability to add a common PCI sound card.

I would stick with Dual Xeons on either a Tyan or Intel M'Board with the ideal being a Tyan.

As for your Last Question it's a bit of both. The CPU's may be faster and process Data quicker and they certainly do have better Data Management but again this depends on the OS in use here and the type of CPU's that you go with. As mentioned earlier the M'Board may also have some issues with Sound as Server Boards where never designed to have sound.

Col

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Thanks, Smeg, here's the lowdown:

by jtsylvanis In reply to Well before proceeding an ...

I am using Win7 x64 Pro with 8 gigs of RAM. This is because my projects are large, colporting many tracks. My history with the 940 processor has two parts:

1. Before a new clean installation: the processor was heating up to 62C, way too hot, but processing load was low, that is, the biggest project took only about 55-60%. Medium projects ran at about 27-35%. Clean installation was necessary because of several programs that dirtied Registry to the point that I didn't like it anymore. I am a frequent guest in the Registry :) which I acquired from computer pro activity.

2. After installation, the phenomenon totally reversed: temps absolutely constant between 36C & 43C, but processing totally horrendous, at 96% and beyond, producing heavily distorted playback.

Apparently the devil is Cool & Quiet, according to the author of CoreTemp, Art Liberman. I run this program and in stead of Win7's reading of 3000 Mhz, it reads 800.03 Mhz per each processor. Art says that it's Cool & Quiet which lowers frequency to prevent the development of thermal issues. Yeah, but I need all the power I can get so I am waiting for his assessment about the possibilities to get both good processing and good thermal behavior.

The 940 should be adequate even for big projects, since it was processing without problems when having thermal issues.

What's YOUR take on it?

Thanks again for pitching in, S.

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Get rid of the app and invest in better cooling.

by seanferd In reply to Thanks, Smeg, here's the ...

Although C&Q should only be throttling the processor when it is idle, IIRC.

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OH the Good Old Cool & Quite.

by OH Smeg In reply to Thanks, Smeg, here's the ...

Wipe the HDD with a utility like Boot & Nuke

http://www.dban.org/

Or Kill Disc

http://www.killdisk.com/downloadfree.htm

Either of those will completely Kill off Cool & Quite which should never be on a system that gets heavy use.

As for the heating Issue that's not overly Hot but I would be looking at improving the Air Flow through the case. So adding more case Fans and possibly a much better CPU Heat Sink would be my starting point, unless of course the case is so crappy and badly designed that it's impossible to get rid of the Hot Spots. If that's the case here I would just dump the case and use one of the Antec Ones like the Antec 300 it's a great General Purpose case for high end users

http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?id=MjQ=

Though if you want things to look Glitzy or Looks are important the Skeleton is another very good case but you have to watch the way that you tidy things up.

http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?id=NzA0

As for CPU Heatsinks I really like the Zalman ones

http://www.zalman.com/ENG/product/CategorySecond_Pic.asp?categoryname=Coolers&categorySecond=

Though Antec has a couple of Decent units as well. The K?HLER Shelf works a treat

http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?id=MjQxOQ==

As well as the Performance Max CPU Cooler

http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?id=MjExMQ==

But if you are concerned about the heat you could always go with Water Cooling of the CPU and GPU's.

http://www.zalman.com/ENG/product/Product_Read.asp?idx=185

Or the Corsair one here

http://www.corsair.com/products/h50/default.aspx

Any of those solutions should cure the Heating issue. Also when you get the system reloaded this time forget Cool & Quite it's not worth the problems that it creates you should also create a Image of the Freshly Loaded Base Install with something like Acronis? Backup & Recovery? 10 Advanced Workstation

http://www.acronis.com.au/backup-recovery/advanced-workstation/

That way you can return to the Base Install very quickly and know that things will work. From your description the problem here is with the Software installed not the Hardware being underpowered for your needs, so something is eating CPU Clock Cycles at an alarming rate that is wasting both your Processing Power and Time.

Just installing the wrong bit of Software can do thins and when it's done the only cure is to Wipe and Reload. Because Windows has that nasty Activation Required if you Clone a Image of the HDD you can recover very quickly and if done properly on the same Hardware you don't need to reactivate.

Symantec's Ghost is the other High Usage Cloning Utility

http://buy.norton.com/estore/mf/productDetails/categoryCode/Backup_and_Restore_Sub_Category/productSkuCode/13574836/priceGroupId/Master_Cons_PL/

I personally prefer Acronis but maybe that's just me. If you want a free Cloning Utility Clonezilla works well but lacks some of the bells and whistles that the above 2 have

http://clonezilla.org/download/sourceforge/

Oh and by the way my Video Editing system has 24 GIG of RAM loaded but I don't use a M$ OS as I don't have the extra time to waste, but then again I'm using a App that isn't all that common as it's a High End CG Utility. :^0

Col

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