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New PC for Hauptwerk

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

New PC for Hauptwerk

Postby OrganoPleno » Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:10 pm

Hello! I'd like to announce my new PC, now being successfully used for Hauptwerk.

MotherBoard is ASUS X99 Deluxe II... as used for Gaming and for High Performance Work-Stations.

CPU is Intel i7 6900K 3.2 GHz (8 cores).

RAM is 128 Gb (non-ECC).

2 Tb HD for OS and Sample Set Data.

2 Tb SSD for HW Cache Files.

Corsair H60 Liquid Cooling for CPU.

1000W PSU.

I had the System Custom-Built for me by Puget Systems of Washington State. For just 4% more than the cost of components, they did a professional and good-looking job of assembly, with thorough testing of all components plus the finished system. For an additional 4% they provided custom fan arrangements for optimal cooling (documented by Infra-Red Imaging while the System was under Full Load) and special attention to having the System run extremely quiet. Really, when it finishes reading a CD and the optical drive shuts down, it SOUNDS like the whole system is turned off!

They customized the BIOS settings for me so the CPU Cores always run at a constant speed. Also, disabling LAN, WiFi, and BlueTooth as these will never be used with the System.

I've installed Windows 7 (64-bit Pro, SP1), and am using the MOTU micro-lite USB-MIDI Interface.

The whole system runs with extremely low DPC Latency... maximum of 30 micro-seconds during a 5 1/2 minute test last night.

Yesterday I installed my Pro-Audio Sound Card by RME... the "HDSPe AIO". I had to install a couple of updates to Windows so the Operating System would accept the latest Drivers. But everything went smoothly once Tech Support had explained what had to be done.

A quick install of Hauptwerk, and hooking everything together. The St. Anne's Moseley Organ has never sounded better!

Looking forward to getting everything transferred over from the old System. And now the latest large Sample Sets can be fully installed... and played with plenty of Polyphony!

That's it for now, from -- OrganoPleno
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Re: New PC for Hauptwerk

Postby magnaton » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:13 pm

Thanks for posting the details. You provided a nice list up upscale components. :) I didn't know about liquid cooling for the CPU and when I built my dedicated HW computer last year, they had just came out with a 1TB SSD and here you have a 2 TB!

I see you opted to load the OS on your HD vs the SSD. I wanted my HW system to boot and load as quick as possible, so I followed the custom install instructions per the HW manual and put the OS on the SSD. For a good while St. Anne's was the my default organ so I could go from a cold boot to ready-to-play in 41 seconds!

Questions:
May I ask what your zero-to-St. Anne's elapsed time is? Also your decision for the OS residing on on the HD.

Thanks,

Danny B.
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Re: New PC for Hauptwerk

Postby abaymajr » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:26 pm

Congratulations for your new Hauptwerk system! Today, I use a mobile solution for Hauptwerk based on a i7-6500U CPU, a simple 540MB/s SSD (Samsung 850 Evo) and external USB audio interfaces. DPC latency ranges from 150 to 500 us, 10-25x more than your system. Loading performance seems to be CPU dependent, and in my laptop based system it ranges between 280 to 350MB/s, depending on compression and encryption of cached files. I had never a problem of polyphony but the most demanding samplesets I have some relative simple ones like the 4-channel SP Boizard 1714 and OAM Arp Schnitger 1687. I plan to upgrade one of my performance locations to a dedicated system. What kind of reading performance does your system reach when loading samplesets, and how is CPU usage while organ loading goes on?
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Re: New PC for Hauptwerk

Postby OrganoPleno » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:29 pm

magnaton wrote:May I ask what your zero-to-St. Anne's elapsed time is?


Couldn't say. When I boot up, I generally look around the System for a while before running Hauptwerk. But the St. Anne's itself loads in a flash (just a few seconds, not actually timed). I think the System can actually build a new Cache for the Organ faster than the old PC could load an existing cache!

magnaton wrote:Also your decision for the OS residing on on the HD.


I'm not that concerned about Boot Time. This system boots quite a bit faster than what I'm used to in any case. I like having the OS in it's own partition (200 Gb), and didn't want it to take any space away from the SSD, which is dedicated entirely for the Hauptwerk Cache Files. Also, this way there is less data being written to the SSD, which should help to prolong its useful life. Although they say that with these newer drives, we're not supposed to worry about that any more...
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Re: New PC for Hauptwerk

Postby OrganoPleno » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:39 pm

abaymajr wrote:Congratulations for your new Hauptwerk system!


Thanks!

abaymajr wrote:What kind of reading performance does your system reach when loading samplesets, and how is CPU usage while organ loading goes on?


No real measurements yet, but it loads the St Anne's in just a few seconds. (Nothing else installed yet!)

When playing the MIDI-Demo File that comes with the St Anne's... the old system showed up to three green bars on Hauptwerk's CPU-meter; the new one never goes beyond one bar. So the estimate would be... about three times the CPU capacity compared to the old i7 chip (vintage 2009, quad-core at 2.4 GHz).
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Re: New PC for Hauptwerk

Postby OrganoPleno » Sat Oct 29, 2016 1:12 pm

magnaton wrote:For a good while St. Anne's was the my default organ so I could go from a cold boot to ready-to-play in 41 seconds!


That's pretty good!

My own Boot Time is not so spectacular. Issues include:
-- No "Fast Boot" option available on Windows 7.
-- Windows does not automatically open Hauptwerk.
-- Hauptwerk does not automatically open any Organ.

Timing from "Power On"... 22 sec to the POST Beep, then 12 sec till starts looking for a bootable CD, then 5 sec till starting Windows, then 35 sec till opening the Windows Desktop.
Total elapsed time: 74 seconds from Power On till fully-loaded Windows.

Once we're inside Hauptwerk, the results are rather better:
Loading time for the St. Anne's Moseley (24 bit Stereo full-load, Uncompressed): 7 seconds.

The Cache Size for the St. Anne's Organ is over 2.49 Gb, so this indicates a Data Transfer Rate (from the SSD, through the CPU, and into the RAM) of about 365 Mb per Second. About as expected.

More relevant will be the load-time for a LARGE Sample Set, like the Goerlitz. I'll keep you posted...
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Re: New PC for Hauptwerk

Postby OrganoPleno » Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:30 pm

OrganoPleno wrote:More relevant will be the load-time for a LARGE Sample Set, like the Goerlitz. I'll keep you posted...


I got the Goerlitz Organ installed today, cache size 69.2 Gb (compressed, encrypted). It loads in just under 165 seconds, for a Data Transfer Rate of about 430 Mb/sec. (The SSD drive is a Samsung 850 Pro, with a regular SATA connection.)

Static Polyphony measures 19,000.
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Re: New PC for Hauptwerk

Postby telemanr » Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:16 am

Isn't the SSD drive operating at half speed using a regular SATA connection? Mine certainly is. The control software for my SSD says it needs a SATA III connection to operate at full speed. Unfortunately my motherboard can't handle that.
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Re: New PC for Hauptwerk

Postby OrganoPleno » Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:27 pm

telemanr wrote:Isn't the SSD drive operating at half speed using a regular SATA connection?


Good point. My "regular" SATA is the SATA III, rated at 600 MB/sec. The older SATA II maxes out at 300 MB/sec, so my numbers are better than that.

What I meant to say was that my SSD does not use an M.2 (possibly 1 GB/sec) or a U.2 interface (which theoretically tops out at 4 GB/sec). So many choices!
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Re: New PC for Hauptwerk

Postby telemanr » Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:40 pm

Well obviously SATA III isn't fast enough. I'll simply have to go for U.2 . I am in fact looking to get a new computer and I really, really want blazingly fast load times. I really get frustrated when I decide that a piece needs a large organ that isn't the one currently loaded. And one can only go for a coffee just so many times.
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Re: New PC for Hauptwerk

Postby MrNhanduc » Sat Nov 05, 2016 5:22 pm

M.2 is a form factor, not a connection. You can buy many M.2 SATA drives that also come in the regular 2,5 inch form of SATA SSD's (search for instance for 850 EVO or MX300 drives).

The PCI-E SSD's that are so incredibly fast usually come in M.2 form factor but can also be bought as a PCI-E card that;s inserted in a PCI-E slot on your motherboard. They connect using PCI-E and not SATA, and nowadays usually four lanes on PCI-E 3.0 (3.0 x4). That provides 32 Gbps bandwidth corresponding to roughly 4 GB per second. If you want the fastest SSD possible for a computer, just wait a few weeks until the Samsung 960 PRO/EVO drives come available. They reach more than 3 GB/s under ideal circumstances. You'll need a recent motherboard and a decent, high clocked i7 to make total use of the available bandwidth.

In less high end systems Intel 600p series will also work great, and they are only slightly more expensive than Samsung 850 EVO drives. Many interesting developments for Hauptwerk!

U.2 is uncommon in SSD's and motherboards (at least in consumer space) and it looks like M.2 is winning the battle over U.2. So better look at M.2.
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Re: New PC for Hauptwerk

Postby OrganoPleno » Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:49 am

MrNhanduc wrote:M.2 is a form factor, not a connection.


Maybe both. My motherboard comes with two "U.2 connectors", also called "U.2 ports", as well as an "M.2 socket". So physically, these look like a connection, because you connect something to it there.

But internally, both the U.2 and the M.2 communicate over the PCIe Bus, and share bandwidth with the PCIe slots... reducing capacity for some of the slots when either U.2 or M.2 is in use.

And yes, some SSD's do plug directly into a PCIe slot. Once again... "so many choices".
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Re: New PC for Hauptwerk

Postby RichardW » Mon Nov 07, 2016 12:50 pm

The SATA standards just happened to be around when the new SSD "disks" came out. It is a bottle-neck these days and my next HW PC has a non-SATA SSD pencilled in.

At some point, you will hit the HW limit on the number of processors used to load organs. I seem to recall that HW had a limit on the number of processing channels it could run in parallel and that would impose a CPU limit on loading times.

I am not sure where that leaves us from the standpoint of defining hardware for the shortest load times.


Regards,
Richard
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Re: New PC for Hauptwerk

Postby MrNhanduc » Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:04 am

As far as I know, Hauptwerk uses 5 cores max. Meaning that a six-core processor at high clock speeds is optimal (for the time being). Indeed, using ultrafast SSD's, more and more speed is lost due to overhead/CPU limit. But still they are faster than SATA SSD's! With prices coming down more and more, PCI-E SSD's are becoming more and more interesting and affordable.
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Re: New PC for Hauptwerk

Postby IainStinson » Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:25 pm

I suggest you look at this thread http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15496&p=115998&hilit=cores#p115977 for an accurate discussion about the number of cores HW can use.

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