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-   -   Help understanding CPU Usage, RAM, Disk Usage... (http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=158780)

Bezo 01-27-2006 07:34 AM

Help understanding CPU Usage, RAM, Disk Usage...
 
I recently invested in BFD(CPU hungry drum program), at the same time upgrading to Tiger and PT7. So CPU usage is now an issue for me. But I need to understand what upgrades will effect performance.

Currently, I have on 1GB of RAM. Before I max it out at 2GB, I need to know what that will actually improve.

CPU Usage, in a session I'm working on, is topping out around 50%. What exactly is this messuring? CPU processing power, RAM usage...? And how does the hardware buffer size and CPU Usage Settings play into this?

And there are 2 other usages monitored in Pro Tools. Disk Usage and another that escapes me at the moment. What are these actually measuring, and what upgrades improve there performance? And why would these show no activity while CPU Usage is at 50%?

Not sure if I'm asking the right questions. My understanding is that 2 primary things effect a CPU's performance. Processing power and RAM. Waht I'm trying to understand is their relation to the 3 Usage Meters in Pro Tools sessions.

Bezo 01-27-2006 04:46 PM

Re: Help understanding CPU Usage, RAM, Disk Usage...
 
Anyone?

M.Brane 01-28-2006 01:19 AM

Re: Help understanding CPU Usage, RAM, Disk Usage.
 
I don't have any experience with PTLE 7, but I do know a couple things about Macs. Let's see if I can add to your confusion.

The processor's (CPU) job is to handle all the calculations. The RAM (System) is the buffer between the CPU, and the disk drives. The disk drives are where information is stored until it's requested by the CPU, and after the CPU has finished with it. PCI is any cards you have installed in the machine, and possibly the AGP video since it's tied to the PCI bus.

Obviously this means the the amount, and quality of your RAM is critical because it is the go-between of everything that happens inside the box. When OSX is low on memory it uses swap files on the hard disk as virtual memory. This is much slower that physical RAM since the disk drives are the slowest component in the system. You really can't have too much RAM with OSX.

The important thing to remember is that like mixing everything affects everything. You need to have a balance of CPU, RAM, and storage speed. A kickass processor doesn't do you any good if it's waiting on info from limited RAM, and slow disk drives.

Activity Monitor (in the Applications>Utilities folder) will show you everything that's happening not just PT. The PT hardware monitor is just a basic reference so you can see when you're getting close to the limit of your system. If there's one particular area that's peaking that's where your system bottleneck is.

You should be thoroughly confused now.

rc86mike 01-28-2006 07:45 AM

Re: Help understanding CPU Usage, RAM, Disk Usage.
 
To add to the above poster. Under the Disk Utility screen monitor your Page In/Outs while PT is running (or any of those programs for that matter) if the outs jumps up a good amount then you need, or can be benefited by more RAM.

As the above poster stated; with OSX you can never have too much RAM. Think of RAM as the middle man between your CPU and the program at hand. It allots how much the computer can do at once depending on it's resources (again, more RAM the better). If you went ahead and maxed your machine out to 2gb RAM you'd be well off for sure. You would be significantly better performance. Remember PT LE requires 378mb ram by itself to run...thats A LOT.

Bezo 01-28-2006 02:47 PM

Re: Help understanding CPU Usage, RAM, Disk Usage.
 
Quote:

Activity Monitor (in the Applications>Utilities folder) will show you everything that's happening not just PT. The PT hardware monitor is just a basic reference so you can see when you're getting close to the limit of your system. If there's one particular area that's peaking that's where your system bottleneck is.

I've maxed out the RAM to 2GB.

PT is using between 113%-115% of the CPU. How bad is that?

A few other things combined are using another 8%.

Quote:

You should be thoroughly confused now.

Things are a little clearer, but I'm not understanding this 100%. Although I've double my RAM, I'm still able to choke the system and have it hold off. CPU usage is as high as it was before I added the RAM, but there's alot more RAM available now... according to the Activity Monitor.

Bezo 01-28-2006 02:53 PM

Re: Help understanding CPU Usage, RAM, Disk Usage.
 
Quote:

To add to the above poster. Under the Disk Utility screen monitor your Page In/Outs while PT is running (or any of those programs for that matter) if the outs jumps up a good amount then you need, or can be benefited by more RAM.

I see Read In and Writes Out. Is that the same?

Writes Out is steady around 3700.

tele_player 01-28-2006 03:14 PM

Re: Help understanding CPU Usage, RAM, Disk Usage.
 
In Activity Monitor | System Memory, watch the page outs number. The page in number isn't interesting at all. If page outs stays at 0, or very rarely advances, you've got enough RAM.

If you've got enough RAM, and you're still maxing out the CPU, there's really not much you can do. More RAM won't help.

M.Brane 01-28-2006 03:46 PM

Re: Help understanding CPU Usage, RAM, Disk Usage.
 
Quote:


PT is using between 113%-115% of the CPU. How bad is that?


Is this a dual processor machine? I think it would have to be if you're using more than 100%.

Max RAM at 2GB it must be an earlier dually. What's the clock speed on the processors?

Bezo 01-28-2006 07:55 PM

Re: Help understanding CPU Usage, RAM, Disk Usage.
 
Quote:

In Activity Monitor | System Memory, watch the page outs number. The page in number isn't interesting at all. If page outs stays at 0, or very rarely advances, you've got enough RAM.

0.

Quote:

If you've got enough RAM, and you're still maxing out the CPU, there's really not much you can do. More RAM won't help.

I was sort of intentionally trying to max it out. I had the session running, I was on the internet, had Activity Monitor open... to see if the memory made a difference.

When just the session was running, everything was cool, but the CPU Usage meter was as high as it was before I put the additional RAM in. In my initial post, I was trying to understand what would effect CPU Usage.

Bezo 02-03-2006 07:21 AM

Re: Help understanding CPU Usage, RAM, Disk Usage.
 
Quote:

Is this a dual processor machine?

Yes it is.

Quote:

Max RAM at 2GB it must be an earlier dually. What's the clock speed on the processors?

I'm not sure if this is the number you're looking for, but it's a 1.25 GHz. The ramaining specs are in my sig.

I got my G4 in 2003. What year of G4 is able to take more than 2GB of RAM?


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