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  #1  
Old 08-28-2004, 05:57 PM
t0kdag0n t0kdag0n is offline
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Location: NY, NY, USA
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Default Processor upgrade compatibility

I am running OS 10.3.5 on a G4 450 tower / 384 MB of RAM with ProTools LE v. 6.2.2. I often get the messages that I am running out of CPU Power and HW buffer underrun errors. In the Playback engine, I keep the CPU set to 85% and the HW buffer size between 512 - 1024 samples. I have the seen the buffer underrun error when using one plug-in (AmpliTube) in a session with just one track.

I have concluded that my machine is just not able to handle today's new software. I have three options (at least that I am aware of):

1. Increase RAM to a size greater than 512.
2. Upgrade processor to 1 - 1.4 GB
3. Buy a new computer.

Option 3 is out cause I'm one broke MF.

Option 1 is the cheapest option, but I am not convinced it's nothing more than a band-aid solution and won't cure my issues over all.

Option 2 is probably the best way for me to go but before I proceed I need to be assured there are minimum issues. If I get a processor upgrade, I will go with a Sonnet card. I see Digidesign's official line is that they do not support processor upgrades. However, that does not mean one won't work. Has anyone given it a shot? Good or bad experience?

I really would like to use OS X with PT 6.2 for Reason compatibility alone. It just seems logical to keep with the current upgrades. However, my existing hardware dictates I may be stuck in Classic with PT 5.

Any insight, suggestions, advice, experiences. etc. are appreciated!

Thank you.
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  #2  
Old 08-28-2004, 06:54 PM
wildstar wildstar is offline
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Default Re: Processor upgrade compatibility

i strongly strongly strongly advise NOT to get a processor upgrade card. some people must have good expereiences with them, since Sonnet and others are still in business - but i only know of bad experiences with them. including mine. i have heard from my trusted audio slaesperson about bad experiences, and the tech shop that i had to take my computer to for repairs after installing a Sonnet card told me about bad experiences.

long story short: was in a similar situation to yours, boguht a 1.25 G4 upgrade card for my long-in-the-tooth 733 G4 - and fried the motherboard. i was very careful installing it, and have experience doing tech work, but i still [bleep] it up. and with computers, it only takes a little carelessness to destroy the whole thing. after the tech shop slapped a new motherboard in there (thank the Audio Gods Almighty i still had Applecare, and thank the tech shop that they pretended not to notice that this damage was NOT covered by Appelcare) i had them install the upgrade card.

it worked fine, except that my computer wouldn't recognize my brand new UAD-1 card.

out went the upgrade card. suddenly my computer saw the UAD card. thank the Computer Gods Almighty that Club Mac took the Sonnet chip back.

FWIW, during the brief time that the upgrade card was installed, PT LE 6.2 seemed to work fine, but i never had a chance to really give it a workout. Digital Performer seemed to work, as well as Reason and Peak.

if you go ahead and get the upgrade card, pay the extra $100 to have a qualified tech install the thing. it is NOT as easy as Sonnet would have you believe. messing around with the CPU is not to be taken lightly.

but here's what i really think you should do: get some more RAM in there, right away. no way is 348 enough these days. that's about enough to run your operating system, and maybe check your email. is your mouse responding slightly sluggishly? app's or documents take a long time to open? get your RAM up to 1 gig, and you'll see a difference. it might not fix all your PT problems that relate directly to your CPU, but it will help overall.

in the meantime, save your pennies. when you can, buy an open box G5. hell, even a dual 1.25 G4 off ebay. you'll be glad you did.

hope that's helpful. i feel your pain!

but my pain has lessened somewhat, as i am now waiting for my new dual 2.5 G5 to arrive. and my credit card bill.
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  #3  
Old 08-28-2004, 08:01 PM
yin7yang64 yin7yang64 is offline
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Posts: 254
Default Re: Processor upgrade compatibility

I hate to compare apples and oranges on this topic, but I tried upgrading the processor on a beige G3 266 Mhz PowerMac back in the OS 9/PT 5 days and ended up discovering that it made my set up too unstable. I quickly pulled it and sent it back and started saving for a new computer.

I would try the RAM boost, though. It does seem to solve many a problem across the board for more than just Pro Tools issues. No guarantees, but it's worth a shot. (And often the memory chips can be returned for just a re-stocking fee if you're not satisfied with the performance gain.)

Definitely running on OS 9 would make life easier for your Mac. I'm sure it's not much consolation, but there are plenty of professional recording studios out there that are still making things happen under PT 5. You wouldn't be alone.
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  #4  
Old 08-29-2004, 04:21 AM
Firewire Firewire is offline
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Default Re: Processor upgrade compatibility

I upgraded my dual 533 to a Gigadesigns dual 1.2ghz. Runs great. Extremely stable. Compatible with all my software. Huge boost in performance. I recommend it. (Oh.. and have no affiliation with Gigadesigns--just a satisfied customer)
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  #5  
Old 08-29-2004, 07:24 AM
stackatrack stackatrack is offline
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Default Re: Processor upgrade compatibility

i upgraded my G4 450 AGP with a Gigadesigns 1.2 processor and my "new " machine is working great.
I can use about three times the number of plug ins and everything appears to run that much faster.
At first I was a bit reticent , but after carelfully reading the instructions
The install went flawlessly.
If you have reservations, a local computer shop can do this easily within an hours time, so it might cost you
$ 50.00 to get it installed by techs.
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  #6  
Old 08-29-2004, 07:38 AM
mindnoise mindnoise is offline
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Location: Germany and Tokyo
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Default Re: Processor upgrade compatibility

Quote:
i strongly strongly strongly advise NOT to get a processor upgrade card. some people must have good expereiences with them, since Sonnet and others are still in business - but i only know of bad experiences with them. including mine. i have heard from my trusted audio slaesperson about bad experiences, and the tech shop that i had to take my computer to for repairs after installing a Sonnet card told me about bad experiences.

OK this is merely one opinion against the greater number of users who use CPU upgrades.
Caution should alwas be taken. But the realiability of those can be considered as stable.

I run a Sonnet 1.2 GHZ IN MY G4/400 AGP since October 2003 whitout ANY problems under heavy workload.

Just don´t fortget to invest in some Arctic Ceramique or Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound!!
takes the heat out of the CPU!!!

I also suggest doing a search on the topic her in the DUC!!

with 10.3.5 you SHOULD get more RAM in the first place 1 GB is OK! Because up to 768MB OS X is using RAM to DISK swapping, which eats performance. Having more RAM than that keeps OSX from doing that, saving performance.

and I noticed that it actually helps to REDUCE the System Usage of PT (60% to 75%), since the performance hits from the System does interfere with the PT performance which could lead to spiked overloads in PT.

That´s at least my experience.

regs
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  #7  
Old 08-29-2004, 01:01 PM
rufmanj rufmanj is offline
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Default Re: Processor upgrade compatibility

I upgraded with an OWC processor, from 533 to 1200 mhz., on my G4.

I did it myself, very easy, but you definitely have to be careful and pay attention. If you're not inclined electronically or mechanically, you may want to have someone do it for you.,

Very stable, no problems whatsoever, and I'm glad I took the plunge.

My two cents.

Rufman
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  #8  
Old 08-29-2004, 01:32 PM
t0kdag0n t0kdag0n is offline
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Default Re: Processor upgrade compatibility

Thank for the replies everybody. I will try the RAM upgrade first and see what happens.
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  #9  
Old 08-29-2004, 03:51 PM
Naagzh Naagzh is offline
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Default Re: Processor upgrade compatibility

My Giga Dual 1.25 card fried itself a couple weeks ago. Had been chugging along smoothly for six months and then, one night, ran too hot, all without ever overclocking or changing voltage jumpers. Luckily, my mac was smart enough to shut down before the logic board or other components were damaged. So I put the original processor in and it works just fine now.

The really bad news is that even though my Giga card is still under warranty by six months, Giga refuses to replace it, claiming that when I took out the processor (per their advice!), I voided the warranty. I really can't do anything about it because taking legal action across state lines just isn't cost effective. And if you read that warranty carefully, they don't guarantee "design defects". What's up with that? Admittedly, I gambled and lost about $750.

My advice is to buy a used dual 1.25 G4 (original processor), get it checked out by a pro before you turn over all the money, and DO NOT take the risk of buying a processor card, especially with Gigadesigns.
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  #10  
Old 08-30-2004, 06:37 AM
katoramone katoramone is offline
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Default Re: Processor upgrade compatibility

Yea with math heavy programs go ram first. My AGP G4 400 is working fine in OSX and PT. I have 1024mb ram in it. My only experiance with processor upgrades was in OS9, when I put a sonnet G3 in my power computing Mac clone, it was perfect and very stable.
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