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New computer, advice.

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Okay, so I'm a PC user writing music on a fairly decent 2.53GHZ 1gig RAM XP machine. I'm on SBLive, and frankly, recently I've had enough with all of windows and it's problems. I've had high CPU usage, etc. etc. windows bugs, problems everywhere. It's my goal to be able to run as many tracks as possible with GPO, and other samples. Tracks like this will get the cpu to late 70's, or late 80's in the high peak sections. Often I will have to mix down tracks to audio to free up some CPU. http://www.chrishurn.com/TheChase_.mp3 So I want to go to a new computer, just for media. (Music/audio production mostly). As a student (16) I don't have a lot to kick around, but I have found this. An AMD Athlon 64 3,200+. What do people think about this pack: http://quay.co.nz/systems/future.htm AMD 64 Future Pack • AMD Athlon 64 3,200+ Compared with my P4 2.53GHZ, 1gig of RAM What sort of CPU use will I get out of this? Will it be a big difference? I plan to upgrade my soundcard to an M-audio card, or maybe an Audigy. I'm using Garritan Personal Orchestra, but will be upgrading to some more samples soon (Kontakt etc.). Cheers. -Chris

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If you're going to be building a new computer dedicated to music production, at least buy a decent sound card. Get one of the new X-Fi sound cards. Evidentally they can do much more processing on-board, freeing up a lot of CPU usage. Seriously, I think an X-Fi and a faster processor is your best bet for a winning combo.

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Looks good to me. You'll notice a big improvement in the CPU alone.

As for soundcard, well, I'm not sure what profesional sound engineers use, but yeah, an X-Fi would probably be minimum. (If you go with a Creative card, at least. Not sure how other brands compare)

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If high CPU usage is a problem for you, I'd strongly suggest you get an Intel with HyperThreading rather than your current Intel without. Reason being is two logical cores easily outperform one, you can do way more at once. Now don't anyone take this the wrong way, but the AMD64 will have the same problems as your current Intel does right now - high CPU usage. The reason is from the fact is too has one core. You should either get a dual core AMD, dual core intel, or a single core intel with HyperThreading. I, don't do sound processing, but I do happen to do a lot of stuff at once, from programming, listening to music, game chat, web browsing, etc... and right now with the AMD64, I do not get the same performance that my 3.2ghz HT P4 had in terms of being able to handle a lot of stuff at once. I can say though, my AMD64 does seem to easily match performance though, being clocked at only 2.2ghz (3700+ San Diego)

So, going to an AMD64 will definitly get you better performance, over what you have now, but you will eventually have the same problems that you do right now. You really do need to have 2 cores, wether it's logical or physical. I will probabally have to upgrade again in a year because of this, and depending on funds at the time, I'd either get an X-2 or P4 EE Dual Core (4 total cores, 2 logical, 2 physical). Unless something better comes out between now and then [wink] Good luck!

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Thanks guys. I noticed on the quay website (its a good local store) they have an upgrade to a duel processor for AMD Athlon 64. I don't want to go for this straight away but I am considering it for a little while after I purchase the new computer. Hmm. M-Audio cards are good too from what I have heard, but I will check out the Xi-Fi.

Also, someone said that to "make use of the dual core processors is that the software needs to be written to take advantage of it. If it’s not then it will only use “one” core instead of “two” so you will not get the benefits. "

I use Cakewalk Home Studio 2004. I read on the Cakewalk forum that I need a program that's "multithreaded". Sonar is, but I don't think HS2004 is.

-Chris

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I would agree about the HT/Dual Core post. It is infintely handy to have a processor with at least HT technology. Then, even if a program is "Not Responding", it'll only take up 50% of your CPU, so your whole computer doesn't lock up forever. You can multitask like crazy with no problems. Definitely recommended, you'll not want to go back to a single processor (or none-HT processor) ever again.

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