[PlanetCCRMA] System Requirements For Good Performance?

John Bell John Bell" <liberty.bell at accelerators.co.uk
Tue Oct 16 09:29:02 2007

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Fernando Lopez-Lezcano" <nando@ccrma.Stanford.EDU>
To: "joey.a" <joey.a@accelerators.co.uk>
Cc: <planetccrma@ccrma.Stanford.EDU>
Sent: Monday, October 15, 2007 6:31 PM
Subject: Re: [PlanetCCRMA] System Requirements For Good Performance?

> On a very recent Intel laptop running a Core Duo at 2.4GHz (I think
> that's the speed), SuperCollider would do 500 interpolated sine
> oscillators with a (roughly) 50% cpu load (in one of the cores).

Sounds promising. Can I infer from this that I could potentially also
execute, say, a 128 band vocoder with similar cpu loading?

> But I would not buy a single core
> processor these days. Even if your favorite dsp engine does not use more
> than one core, all the other stuff you need to run will be able to use
> the other and as a result you will get better performance overall.
> There are tricks you can use, of course. For example, in SuperCollider
> you could have two engines running and those would tend to use different
> cores but allocation of synthesis resources would have to be manual.

Thanks a lot, Fernando. You have convinced me. Apart from anything else,
these newer processors also have faster & larger caches too.
This seems to confirm my gut feeling that dedicated hardware accelerators
(like the basic Capybara system) are no longer needed.
If I can do almost everything I want now, with a basic CPU system, I might
as well pay a little more to have all the elbow room I could possibly need.
During the short time taken for this Q & A, Dell prices (at least) have
dropped, so I am now about ready to click on 'buy now' for a 2.33 GHz Core
Duo (presumably like yours), with 2 GB RAM, half a Terrabyte of hard disk,
and separate graphics card, for about the same price as a more basic system
would have been a few days ago. (Unless you think still more RAM could also
be a big help)

The next question, of course, would be a dedicated sound card upgrade. I
already have an old Audigy Platinum sound card in my (Windows 2000) server
configuration, and was originally thinking of just switching this across.
However, technology does tend to improve with time, and perhaps there are
also now significant improvements there too?


James Harris