Avid Pro Audio Community

Avid Pro Audio Community

How to Join & Post  •  Community Terms of Use  •  Help Us Help You

Knowledge Base Search  •  Community Search  •  Learn & Support


Avid Home Page

Go Back   Avid Pro Audio Community > Pro Tools Software > Windows

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-05-2018, 06:21 PM
Intini Intini is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: UK and Brazil
Posts: 220
Default Dual Xeon Scalable LGA 3647 workstation. Anyone?

Hi, everyone.

I am thinking of either building a dual xeon scalable LGA 3647 workstation for Pro Tools (based on ASUS WS C621E SAGE) or getting one ready (HP Z8). I want the best possible workstation for music composition for VIs synthesisers (Roland Cloud, Native Instruments, PianoteQ). It is important to note that the sessions would use mostly these VIs - not one or two...but a lot of them.
I would like to believe that the many cores (up to 58 cores, 116 threads) and great expandability can give me some reassurance of being able to compose without glitches and stops as I really don't want to freeze tracks or increase buffer sizes too much while composing.
I plan to start with cheaper processors (maybe 2 x Xeon 4116) and then later on give some longevity to the system by upgrading to 2 x Xeon 8180, when they hopefully will be cheaper.
I used Pro Tools on Windows for 5 years (some 10 years ago), then now on Mac for the last 7 years and thinking about moving to PC to get more power.
I would love to stay with the Mac OS but the new Mac Pros aren't ready from Apple - only sometime next year and I want to work now.

Does it make any sense? Anyone would care to give me some advice? Has anyone build a Pro Tools workstation with the Xeon LGA 3647 platform?

Useful links for the Xeon Scalable LGA 3647 products cited:

ASUS Motherboard I am talking about:
https://www.asus.com/Commercial-Serv...WS-C621E-SAGE/

HP Z8 Workstation:
https://www8.hp.com/us/en/campaigns/...-z8/index.html


Any help is welcome!

Last edited by Intini; 08-05-2018 at 07:32 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-06-2018, 09:06 AM
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
Bob Olhsson Bob Olhsson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Songwriter Gulch, Nashville, TN
Posts: 3,330
Default Re: Dual Xeon Scalable LGA 3647 workstation. Anyone?

The very latest generation 5 GHz. Intel 6 core would be my first choice. More cores will speed up servers and video rendering but slow down real-time audio processing which is what we do. They are not worth sacrificing processor speed.
__________________
Bob's room 615 562-4346
Georgetown Masters 615 254-3233
Interview
Artists are the gatekeepers of truth! - Paul Robeson
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-06-2018, 09:57 AM
Intini Intini is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: UK and Brazil
Posts: 220
Default Re: Dual Xeon Scalable LGA 3647 workstation. Anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
The very latest generation 5 GHz. Intel 6 core would be my first choice. More cores will speed up servers and video rendering but slow down real-time audio processing which is what we do. They are not worth sacrificing processor speed.
But aren’t different VIs allocated to different cores according to the system load? This would only mean distributing the processing needs into smaller parts to be able to reach the processing schedule for real time operation of a given audio session, very similar to HDX with respect to resource allocation. You get lower clock speeds BUT each core does much less as the load is distributed.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-06-2018, 10:11 AM
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
Bob Olhsson Bob Olhsson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Songwriter Gulch, Nashville, TN
Posts: 3,330
Default Re: Dual Xeon Scalable LGA 3647 workstation. Anyone?

This is at the expense of an increase in latency which audio developers try to avoid.
__________________
Bob's room 615 562-4346
Georgetown Masters 615 254-3233
Interview
Artists are the gatekeepers of truth! - Paul Robeson
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-06-2018, 10:40 AM
The Weed's Avatar
The Weed The Weed is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 6,168
Default Re: Dual Xeon Scalable LGA 3647 workstation. Anyone?

Another option is to host your VIs in VEP, maybe even on another computer, perhaps the Mac you're replacing. Others far more knowledgeable than I about integrating PT and VEP will hopefully post.
__________________
Take your projects to the next level with a
non-union national read at a reasonable rate
Demos: brucehayward dot com
Source-Connect: brucehayward
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-06-2018, 05:39 PM
Intini Intini is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: UK and Brazil
Posts: 220
Default Re: Dual Xeon Scalable LGA 3647 workstation. Anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
This is at the expense of an increase in latency which audio developers try to avoid.
Minimum latency for a given load is related to the capacity of a given CPU to process the DSP in real time and keep the audio buffer fed.
When comparing CPUs with the same clock speed (frequency) and a higher number of cores, you will notice that for a given buffer size (and latency) you actually get MORE processing done (more instances of plugins) within the same slice of time, of course with the same latency (for any given fixed sample rate).

You can see that study here on Sound on Sound, despite not being so new it shows the concept:

https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-a...sors-musicians


Of course, this study assumes you can keep the same CPU clock speeds while varying the number of cores.
In our case, for Pro Tools, assuming that the allocated load to a single thread (of the, say 118) would be able to keep the buffers fed - and thus it needs to be at a minimum frequency for given load -, you would essentially have a LOT of power for VIs.

This is absolutely the same idea as VEPro on many machines but this all happens in a single machine. VEPro is a parallel synchronised computing system with distributed load (even if it is manually distributed). The thing is that maybe VEPro would be cheaper - yet much more complicated and less elegant to work with - than having a single really powerful workstation. Of course VEPro has other benefits for orchestral works (such as keep instruments loaded while changing sessions, the instruments themselves, etc), but this is beyond the scope of this processing analysis.

So, in short, if the cores of a given CPU - of whatever number of cores - is fast enough to keep your most demanding non-parallelizable DSP and other code processing feeding the audio buffer (at the value you set) - and keeping it fed - then you should be fine.

Of course, the question then is: what is the minimum frequency that a core must be run to be able to achieve that with, say, a buffer size of 64, with a load of XYZ Plugins at a certain sample rate. And that is exactly why I place this post. And I am guessing that the answer relies on actually buying the thing and testing.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-07-2018, 04:04 PM
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
Bob Olhsson Bob Olhsson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Songwriter Gulch, Nashville, TN
Posts: 3,330
Default Re: Dual Xeon Scalable LGA 3647 workstation. Anyone?

That study is pretty old. My information came from several developers over the past few years based on tests using 6 core and higher processors. They felt higher speed beats more than 6 cores.
__________________
Bob's room 615 562-4346
Georgetown Masters 615 254-3233
Interview
Artists are the gatekeepers of truth! - Paul Robeson
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-07-2018, 06:59 PM
Intini Intini is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: UK and Brazil
Posts: 220
Default Re: Dual Xeon Scalable LGA 3647 workstation. Anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
That study is pretty old. My information came from several developers over the past few years based on tests using 6 core and higher processors. They felt higher speed beats more than 6 cores.
That is great to know, actually, thank you so much!
So the ideal would be no more than 6-cores running as fast as possible?
Would maybe a i7-8700 (6-core) be the best bet today? I mean, based on your knowledge and insights from these developers, what would you believe is the fastest/highest performing for VIs computer available today at any price point?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-08-2018, 01:33 PM
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
Bob Olhsson Bob Olhsson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Songwriter Gulch, Nashville, TN
Posts: 3,330
Default Re: Dual Xeon Scalable LGA 3647 workstation. Anyone?

It's certainly possible that more cores at the same speed might be better but six is supposed to be the point of diminishing returns. I bought a 6 core 3.37G processor three years ago based on that advice and have been pretty happy. I recently tried overclocking it to 4G which made a significant improvement.
__________________
Bob's room 615 562-4346
Georgetown Masters 615 254-3233
Interview
Artists are the gatekeepers of truth! - Paul Robeson
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-08-2018, 06:01 PM
TNM TNM is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,227
Default Re: Dual Xeon Scalable LGA 3647 workstation. Anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
That study is pretty old. My information came from several developers over the past few years based on tests using 6 core and higher processors. They felt higher speed beats more than 6 cores.
You mean the 8086k? Turbo 5ghz? Not everyone can get them to sit at 5ghz permanently and that is single core turbo not 6.

Great processor for sure, but i'd take a 7900X over that any day.

I absolutely guarantee you right now that a 7900X clocked at 4ghz which is readily achievable will destroy coffee lake 6 core for vi count, even if it's at 5ghz.

Not to mention that, skylake X behaves better at low latencies.. This was revealed by Peter Kaine over at gearstluz who builds DAW dedicated computers.. Apparently with skylake X you can take the cpu to like 99% at 64 samples and not get pops or clicks, whereas ryzen and coffee lake are in low 90's. it does make a difference when arming a track at low buffer in an already busy project..

All the 5ghz processor will do is allow more polyphony on one core but with well multithreaded DAW's the core count will win every time.

On the other hand, i'd rather have a 6 core 5ghz than a 12 core 2.3ghz. That's a different story cause there will be some VI's you can't even play in realtime on such a low clock, even one instance..

7900X is the sweet spot processor for DAW's just as the xeon version of it is the sweet spot for imac pro's.

However the OP seems to want an unusually high VI usage.. I will recommend the 14 core to him, the 7940X, as it has the highest core clock for amount of cores, at 3.1ghz for 14 cores which is very impressive.
I'd clock that at around 3.8 with a good cooler.

It should also be known that windows 10 is limited to 32 threads per app instance so i don't see how it would benefit to have more, for one instance of PT? For a dual processor system it would make sense, if all on the one computer, to have pro tools use half the cores available and VE pro on the same system also with VSTi's using the others.

I do believe dual PROCESSOR systems are not the best for the lowest latency and some of those HP xeon clocks are terrible, like 1.8ghz! I definitely advise against that!

Since DAW Bench are doing skylake X 18 core tests at 64 buffer and all threads are being used by DAW and maxing out the cpu, i don't see how multiple cores on one physical CPU can be a problem for latency.

From all the various VI's I have used, I recommend at least a 3ghz clock speed minimum.. so even if the OP goes for say the 16 core 7960x at 2.8ghz, i would clock that at a steady 3.5 base clock.. would be very beastly overall.

Still I reckon a 7940X at 3.8 or 4.0ghz would be an amazing machine.

Bear in mind, there is always a limit..
Someone over at steinberg forums has an 18 core imac pro and gets like 9 piano VI's playing in total, each with an instance of some resource hungry nebula 5 second reverb.. point being, just that brings the entire computer down..
so it all depends on the VI's being used..

NI/PianoTeq/Roland are all well coded, I would say even the coming threadripper 2 would do a great job.. or any intel skylake X...
__________________
1) iMac Pro 3.2ghz 8 Core, 64GB Ram, OS 10.14.6, Caldigit TS3+ Dock, 4xExternal SSD, Apollo8 x 2, Adat 8 A/D x 2, TI2 Desktop, MoxF6, many midi synths, PT 2019.10.
2) MBP 16" 2.4ghz 8 Core, 64GB ram, OS 10.15.1, OWC TBolt Pro Dock with 2xSSD, Apollo Twin Duo, Logic 10.4.7.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dual CPU's 2x3.0GHz Xeon Dual Cores and Mainboard roscom Pro Tools M-Powered (Win) 1 10-24-2006 10:55 AM
Dual Xeon and PT darkglass 003, Mbox 2, Digi 002, original Mbox, Digi 001 (Win) 0 11-09-2005 11:01 AM
Old Mix Plus 6.4.1. CS2 with dual xeon boards olek Pro Tools TDM Systems (Win) 0 01-12-2005 09:31 AM
dual xeon cornbread p 003, Mbox 2, Digi 002, original Mbox, Digi 001 (Win) 1 12-23-2004 08:35 PM
Dual Xeon cornbread p 003, Mbox 2, Digi 002, original Mbox, Digi 001 (Win) 1 12-14-2004 10:28 PM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:41 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2008, Jelsoft Enterprises Limited. Forum Hosted By: URLJet.com