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Newcomputer to handle ALL HW samples….

Buying or building computers for Hauptwerk, recommendations, troubleshooting computer hardware issues.
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B777Captain

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Newcomputer to handle ALL HW samples….

PostMon May 29, 2023 5:10 pm

I’m in need of either a new computer, or new more powerful CPU processor due to my Nancy and Aristide samples which are becoming too demanding on my CPU.

It got me thinking…. In order to handle any and all current (not so much future) requirements for HW samples, could you guys give me an idea of what specs you would want on a new computer to handle ALL current HW samples so it wouldn’t tax the CPU and cause distortions as it does now when I play the Nancy at a full tutti (most CPU useage).

I’ve even removed one of the perspectives on the Nancy and still can’t do a full tutti without issues, so it’s just time to do something.

Also, if I were to get a more powerful CPU, would I also have to get a new Motherboard?

Thanks for the information guys.

Pat
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mnailor

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Re: Newcomputer to handle ALL HW samples….

PostMon May 29, 2023 6:30 pm

Can you specify your current CPU model so we know what you're working with now?

For example: Intel Core i7-10700F, Intel Xeon W-3365, or AMD Ryzen 9 3950X are the kind of names I'm asking for.

Unless you have a recent CPU, you can expect to need a new PC to support a current generation processor, since motherboard sockets, cooling and power requirements, etc. change fairly quickly. I know you, like me, aren't a do-it-yourself PC builder.

Before investing more money,

1. Are you sure your Windows tuning is correct according to the user guide pages 308 - 310? Any Windows update or upgrade can mess those settings up, so you should check them all.

2. Are you using 48k sample rate and 1024 sample buffer (512 if the latency really bothers you)? Running at 96k and/or small buffer sizes really sucks up the CPU. The audio is almost as good at 48k with the Higher audio engine processing quality setting. I can't hear the difference.

3. What's your polyphony limit on Nancy? Does the polyphony meter hit yellow or red when the CPU meter hits red? Have you truncated Close releases on Nancy, since you can't hear them unless Close is the only perspective you use, and you said you're using three? One of the possible ways to make Nancy less CPU-demanding is to truncate releases on Close and Front, relying on the huge reverb in Middle to give the acoustic impression, and don't load Rear. All those long releases demand a lot more polyphony than most PCs can deliver.

4. What's your polyphony limit on Aristide, and same question as 3? I don't find Aristide v2 demands as much as Caen Surround, but are you still running it with added convolution reverb? That can cost a lot of CPU if you add reverb to a number of stereo buses, which might be worth turning off for a test.

Polyphony limit is meant to be set low enough to keep your CPU from glitching, so you shouldn't actually have audio glitches, just voices dropped as you approach the polyphony limit. Since you have glitches, your polyphony limits are set too high for your CPU.

I just turn off my speakers and play a lot of big chords at full organ with subcouplers on Nancy while watching the CPU meter, and keep lowering the polyphony limit until the CPU meter stays green or yellow, never red.

If you do that, then live with it for a while and see if dropped releases and notes are bothering you.

If the polyphony meter stays green during full organ, you shouldn't hear much dropping out at all. If it goes red, and you've tuned Windows properly, then, yep, you need a faster PC.

(Forearm chords still send Nancy into the red on my PC, but I don't play music written for forearms...)
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mdyde

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Re: Newcomputer to handle ALL HW samples….

PostTue May 30, 2023 3:31 am

[Pat -- I'll move this topic to the 'Computer hardware/specs' section of the forum once you've had a chance to read it.]
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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larason2

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Re: Newcomputer to handle ALL HW samples….

PostTue May 30, 2023 6:37 am

MNailor has a really good reply. Depending on your system configuration, you may very well be able to performance tune it.

Otherwise, MNailor also has some really good recommendations in the "Latest CPU Recommendations" thread. Like you guys, I'd just buy a new PC if I was in the market for one. I used to build computers, but my days of spending hours tinkering to get it to work are over! If you're into Macs, I've found the new M1/M2 are pretty impressive (now that I've sorted out my audio interface's driver issues!). I don't have Nancy, but I do have the PAB gravissimo, and my M1 Max with 64 GB handles the forearm test with no CPU problems (all stops, all couplers). Like MNailor, I don't bother with 96k sample rate anymore. 48k sounds good enough for me! I didn't find it caused me CPU problems, but it did cause me audio interface problems when my driver still wasn't working right. Since I resolved my driver problems though, I still haven't switched back!
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mnailor

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Re: Newcomputer to handle ALL HW samples….

PostTue May 30, 2023 1:59 pm

Pat, I've mentioned before that you need an i9-12900K or faster processor to run Nancy with all perspectives and full releases unless you limit polyphony quite a lot. Here are some numbers to illustrate that.

I tested using Nancy, all perspectives and full releases, full organ, without subcouplers, playing about 2-4 15 note semi-legato chords per second trying to throw as many *long* releases out as possible. I recorded that as a MIDI file to repeat it with different sample rates/buffer sizes and changing polyphony limits.

The results are the highest polyphony limits (multiples of 1024) that reliably kept the CPU meter in the "green - yellow" range. The first number kept the CPU green with no yellow, and the second number kept it yellow with no red. So that's a safe range with no audio glitches if I don't play with my forearms.

96k/512: 5 - 6k
96k/1024: 6 - 10k
48k/256: 8 - 12k
48k/512: 16 - 20k

CPU Mark: 41600
Thread Mark: 4200

So on the i9-12900K, I can use full Nancy at 96k only by limiting polyphony to about 8k. At 48k I can go up to polyphony 16k or so. I get some dropouts with the 8k limit, but I notice none with the 16k limit. In real life playing, I truncate releases on 2 of the 4 perspectives, so I don't get any dropouts at all.

But you asked about full Nancy, and it demands at least 16k polyphony, probably more like 24 - 32k depending on how you play.

So if you want full polyphony on Nancy, you need a CPU better than an i9-12900K for sure.

CAVEAT: Even a much faster new PC will work badly if you don't do the recommended Windows tuning to prevent audio glitches! It's better to tune up your old machine to make sure it really isn't enough, before you spend money on a new one.

Some newer desktop examples: Intel i9-13900K and AMD Ryzen 9 7950X. (corrected)

There are plenty of server CPUs that exceed those in performance, but they tend to be more expensive and have louder fans.

Also, if you shop for gaming desktops -- reviews will sometimes mention high fan noise so you can steer away unless your PC is pretty far from the console. I try to wait for the office/engineering workstation PCs to come out myself when there's a new CPU.

(Note: I allow my CPU speed to Turbo Boost, but on some PCs you're limited to base clock speed to avoid audio glitches. I haven't had that issue on the 4 Dell PCs I've had for Hauptwerk, but others have.)
Last edited by mnailor on Thu Jun 01, 2023 9:50 am, edited 3 times in total.
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B777Captain

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Re: Newcomputer to handle ALL HW samples….

PostTue May 30, 2023 4:32 pm

Apologies Martin.

Pat.
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tf11972

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Re: Newcomputer to handle ALL HW samples….

PostSun Jan 21, 2024 10:10 am

There are the specs of my self-built HW-PC which I have two weeks now:

Case: be quiet! Silent Base 802
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D
CPU fan: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 5 Tower
MB: Gigabyte Aorus Elite AX rev 1.2
RAM: 192 GB Corsair Vengeance
M.2: Samsung 980 Pro 2 TB with heatsink
SSD: Verbatim Vi550 S3 4 TB

After tweaking the fans and placed 1 metre away from the organ bench it is nearly unhearable.

Windows tweaks certainly done. I run HW VIII on Windows 11 Pro.

I made a few tests with Regensburg Dom (Polyphony 10000 at 48 kHz, soundcard at 256 samples), playing a tutti-chord with 10 voices in staccato:
CPU: 5 lines
Audio: 5 lines
P: still green

I had expected more from the SSD. Building up the organ cache is hardly faster than with a HDD. But loading an organ from the cache is very fast 8)
Best regards
Thomas

Forestpipes - Virtual Pipe Organs
https://forestpipes.de
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mnailor

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Re: Newcomputer to handle ALL HW samples….

PostSun Jan 21, 2024 2:28 pm

To test dynamic polyphony thoroughly, it helps to hold chords long enough to get long releases (not short or medium), and repeat the chords as often as possible while still throwing long releases. That might be 3 or 4 chords per second, since any quicker might do a medium or short release.

On a big organ with 5+ second release tails, you can build up 20000 or more voices to really test your CPU's polyphony capacity. To find the capacity, make a MIDI recording of the test and play it back, increasing the polyphony limit by 1024 each time, until the CPU meter goes yellow (red) or you hear audio glitches. Then back off and make sure the proposed limit stays green (yellow) consistently when you repeat the test several times. When lowering polyphony, an Engine | Reset may be needed after seeing red.

Just in case you had time to test more...

Example: An Intel i9-12900K, which has lower performance than your AMD, does 15k polyphony with CPU yellow, and 10k polyphony with CPU green, at 96k/1024 sample rate / buffer size, using HW8 Higher audio engine quality. That's on Nancy, 4 perspectives, full releases, 10 note semi-legato chords, all stops and all unison couplers. Estimated polyphony demand:

2 chords per second * 5 second reverb * 10 notes * 200 voices per note [2 pedal and 8 manual notes] = 20000 voices attempted

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