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  #11  
Old 01-02-2020, 06:57 AM
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Default Re: New Mac Pro for Scoring - real world measurements

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Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
Hey Michael-

Nice result here, if I may ask, what buffer size was PT set to? Would you be able to add audio tracks and reliably record into them at the 32 sample buffer into this session?

One thing I really wish we could get in PT is either a separate buffer setting for VI's or an additional x2 and x4 buffer buffer setting for VI's.
The buffer was set to 1K, which is a requirement for the Dolby renderer. So I can't extend this same session to add recording at 32 samples without kicking Dolby out. I'd certainly be optimistic about the system's performance with small buffers, but in all fairness I couldn't quantify it for you. I don't do any tracking at all in this room: it's purely mixing and VIs. The only tracking I do is location classical stuff and that's with a different system entirely. The track count is pretty low, but sample rate is usually 192K. So I'm afraid it's apples and oranges.

Sorry I can't answer your question more specifically.

I'd add the remark that if you were in the tracking stage of a product then you wouldn't have the renderer in the session yet. That load would disappear from the first 8 cores (in my example) and you'd be free to jiggle the buffer size around. This tracking situation is where a lot of people are more comfortable with HDX. Of course, many interfaces (I use a Focusrite 16 Line) allow you to set up a monitor mix so that issue may be moot.
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  #12  
Old 01-03-2020, 06:15 AM
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paulo m paulo m is offline
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Default Re: New Mac Pro for Scoring - real world measurements

The Sonnet PCIe card with the M2´s seems like a great solution to internal SSD storage as is the OWC equivalent.
I was thinking of having a Blackmagic Multidock with 4 SSD drives, although of course the transfer speed will be only up to 10 Gbps as is via USB-C. Going directly to the PCIe 3.0 bus is much faster I guess.

Internal storage is great for VI´s, SFX etc, my only doubt is that when you also use it a lot for your project´s sound files that can take a lot of space, for instance in post, they eventually have to be backed up to free storage space. The external SSD option is great in that respect as you can also keep one of the four drives on the Blackmagic for backup only and eject/replace the SSD when full. Replacing the M2´s for the same purpose is not practical of course

Michael, you said you have the Sonnet M2´s in RAID 0. Do you prefer it than having the drives show up independently on the OS? Any particular reason?

In terms of backup, what are you considering, when you need to free up space on the internal M2´s?

Thanks
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  #13  
Old 01-03-2020, 06:45 AM
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Default Re: New Mac Pro for Scoring - real world measurements

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Originally Posted by paulo m View Post
The Sonnet PCIe card with the M2´s seems like a great solution to internal SSD storage as is the OWC equivalent.
I was thinking of having a Blackmagic Multidock with 4 SSD drives, although of course the transfer speed will be only up to 10 Gbps as is via USB-C. Going directly to the PCIe 3.0 bus is much faster I guess.
SSDs are a good intermediate solution, but they are speed limited. The typical speed you get from a single SSD is around 550 MB/s. A pair of them in RAID-0 gets you 760 MB/s or so. Doesn't matter what the USB or PCI speed is. That's all you'll get.
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Originally Posted by paulo m View Post
Internal storage is great for VI´s, SFX etc, my only doubt is that when you also use it a lot for your project´s sound files that can take a lot of space, for instance in post, they eventually have to be backed up to free storage space. The external SSD option is great in that respect as you can also keep one of the four drives on the Blackmagic for backup only and eject/replace the SSD when full. Replacing the M2´s for the same purpose is not practical of course
I've got 12TB of SSD storage in the machine (making use of SSDs I already had). This is great for project storage, photos, other data. The M.2s are dedicated to VIs and I've left some room to grow.

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Michael, you said you have the Sonnet M2´s in RAID 0. Do you prefer it than having the drives show up independently on the OS? Any particular reason?
Speed and convenience. 4 M.2s in RAID-0 give me read speed of over 7800 MB/s, with writes only a little slower. Because the whole thing shows up as a single drive, I don't have to juggle storage so much. With individual drives, you've got to have one for strings, one for winds, one for brass and so on.

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In terms of backup, what are you considering, when you need to free up space on the internal M2´s?
I don't think I'll need to make room for quite a while. But backup is always important. My Time Machine drive is an external RAID-1 system (spinning drives). I also have a USB dock with a pair of spinning drives. I use Carbon Copy Cloner to back up all drives on a daily or weekly schedule. Those drives get swapped every week or so with a pair I keep in a safety deposit box. When I was running Exponential Audio, I adopted a lot of safety and security practices. No reason not to keep going with that.
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  #14  
Old 01-03-2020, 07:04 AM
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Default Re: New Mac Pro for Scoring - real world measurements

Thanks for the reply Michael. Happy New Year!
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  #15  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:31 AM
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Default Re: New Mac Pro for Scoring - real world measurements

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Originally Posted by Exponential Audio View Post
Speed and convenience. 4 M.2s in RAID-0 give me read speed of over 7800 MB/s, with writes only a little slower. Because the whole thing shows up as a single drive, I don't have to juggle storage so much. With individual drives, you've got to have one for strings, one for winds, one for brass and so on.
You didn’t happen to measure the read speed for individual M.2 drives or just as RAID 0 for all four?

I’ve often wondered if drive access time is as important as raw data read speed for sample streaming if not more so. In other words is it best to RAID the drives or keep them separate. I’m currently half way running 8 SSDs as 4 RAID 0 pairs on a couple of Blackmagic Mulitdocks. They’re roughly 760 MB/s for each pair.

You mentioned in the OP a load time of 15-20 minutes on a 2013 trashcan. Just wondering if you’ve timed how long the load time is from the Sonnet card/nMP?
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  #16  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:42 AM
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Default Re: New Mac Pro for Scoring - real world measurements

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You didn’t happen to measure the read speed for individual M.2 drives or just as RAID 0 for all four?
No, I'm afraid not. It's published by Samsung though.
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I’ve often wondered if drive access time is as important as raw data read speed for sample streaming if not more so. In other words is it best to RAID the drives or keep them separate. I’m currently half way running 8 SSDs as 4 RAID 0 pairs on a couple of Blackmagic Mulitdocks. They’re roughly 760 MB/s for each pair.
Access time is pretty negligible with Solid State, so it's mainly about drive speed. The 760 you've measured matches up closely to a response I made to someone else. The nature of SSDs is that they have an interface just like a hard drive. It's faster than a hard drive but not blindingly so. This is true whether they're in enclosures or in a PCIe card. M.2 does not have this limitation, so it's a lot faster.
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You mentioned in the OP a load time of 15-20 minutes on a 2013 trashcan. Just wondering if you’ve timed how long the load time is from the Sonnet card/nMP?
Yeah, you'll see the numbers in my first post, I think. Load time is a smidgen under 2 minutes. Not bad, eh?
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  #17  
Old 01-03-2020, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: New Mac Pro for Scoring - real world measurements

Big thing is NVMe M2 have a much larger queue depth than SSD with SATA controllers. Regular SATA has 1 queue that can do 2^5 commands. NVMe m2 has a 2^16 queues which each can do 2^16 commands.
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  #18  
Old 01-04-2020, 02:31 AM
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Default Re: New Mac Pro for Scoring - real world measurements

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Originally Posted by Exponential Audio View Post
No, I'm afraid not. It's published by Samsung though.

Access time is pretty negligible with Solid State, so it's mainly about drive speed. The 760 you've measured matches up closely to a response I made to someone else. The nature of SSDs is that they have an interface just like a hard drive. It's faster than a hard drive but not blindingly so. This is true whether they're in enclosures or in a PCIe card. M.2 does not have this limitation, so it's a lot faster.

Yeah, you'll see the numbers in my first post, I think. Load time is a smidgen under 2 minutes. Not bad, eh?
Thanks Michael. Yes that’s impressive. The new Mac Pro is looking pretty compelling. It’s looking increasingly like I can finally ditch VE Pro, a couple of server PCs, a Sonnet XMac Pro and two SSD Multidocks and have everything including HDX in one very quiet computer!

Sorry just one more question!! How quiet is the fan on the Sonnet M.2 card? Does it kick in much?
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  #19  
Old 01-04-2020, 03:09 AM
basehead617 basehead617 is offline
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Default Re: New Mac Pro for Scoring - real world measurements

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Originally Posted by Exponential Audio View Post
I don't do any tracking at all in this room: it's purely mixing and VIs.
As a music guy myself, I'm a bit interested in this comment. I work with lots of VIs and low latency/low buffer size has never been more important to me. I find it difficult to play parts with proper feel at anything more than 64/128 buffer. Do you not play any of the parts in live on a keyboard, you just draw them?
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  #20  
Old 01-04-2020, 05:10 AM
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Default Re: New Mac Pro for Scoring - real world measurements

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Sorry just one more question!! How quiet is the fan on the Sonnet M.2 card? Does it kick in much?
I can't give you an answer in dBA, but my overall sense is that it's no louder than my Trashcan and external stuff I had attached to it. But the computer lives in a machine room (a glorified closet). So I don't hear it at all.
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