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What is the better AMD CPU?

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MPiercey

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What is the better AMD CPU?

PostSat Dec 14, 2019 11:44 pm

Hi everyone, I'm looking at getting a new HW computer and am considering the 2 CPUs below. Which one would be the better one to get?

1) AMD 2990WX, pass mark rating of 23227, and 32 cores OR
2) AMD 3950X, pass mark rating of 36094, 16 cores

What I'm trying to figure out is what is more important - the number of cores, or the processing power (rating) of the core as a whole, as they relate to HW.

In looking at the Intel / AMD issue, they are both pretty much the same as far as I can tell - just doing the hyper-threadding slightly differently, so for the money, right now, AMD looks to have a decided advantage. If anyone has different information, I would like to hear about it as well.

Thanks,
Mel Piercey
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csw900

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Re: What is the better AMD CPU?

PostSun Dec 15, 2019 7:57 am

To MPiercey,

This is an electronic design engineers opinion:

I have used many different AMD and Intel processors over the years. However recently I prefer Intel.

There is no user discernible difference in the processors - only specific tests would see the difference.

HW and other software will work just as well on either processor. I currently prefer to use Windows 10 working with an Intel i5 and with HD sound. I find this to be perfectly adequate for all the various software I use, including HW. I also sometimes use an iMac with an intel i5 and this is also perfectly adequate for use with HW.

The only significant issues with HW is that it needs vast swathes of memory and MUST have a good hardware based sound system. Given this - the only benefit of a really fast processor is quicker organ load time (a solid state disk will be even more beneficial to load times) but neither will have any benefit to the playability of the organ once loaded.

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MPiercey

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Re: What is the better AMD CPU?

PostSat Jan 11, 2020 6:20 pm

Maybe a different way for me to get the info I need is to find out what everyone thinks is the minimum CPU needed to be able to play any/all/largest of the sample sets out there without any audio issues. Once I have a feel for this, I can then look at the options available to me.

Anyone with an idea as to what the minimum CPU would be?

Thanks,
Mel Piercey
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adrianw

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Re: What is the better AMD CPU?

PostSun Jan 12, 2020 5:45 am

I am not sure anyone can give you the answers you want, but I'll try.

TLDR - Either would be fine, but CPU power is not as important in HW as expected.

In my experience, HW does not seem to benefit as much as expected from double-digit levels of hyperthreading, possibly because memory bandwidth is the key constraint. Multi-core benchmarks are therefore very misleading. Single-core speed does seem to be important but you do not want a high burst ratio nor a CPU that throttles readily - ignore burst speeds for polyphony purposes. There are however some time consuming jobs, such as initial loading of sample sets, which seem to be inherently single-threaded in HW and are speeded up noticeably by faster CPUs.

Low power, low end CPUs can perform surprisingly well in HW. I found even the Intel Atom in my HP Windows 10 tablet could run Hauptwerk 4 Free (with its inherently low polyphony and memory limits) acceptably! (Not recommended, though).

The i9-9900K I use is more than enough CPU power for any sample sets I've seen and half the price of the 3950X. I'd expect both CPUs to give essentially similar real-world performance in HW. (The AMD equivalent in price and performance to the i9 might be the 7-3800X)

Edit: I have HW5 (and it all seems to be much the same) but the above is based on my experience and experiments with HW4. Possibly Martin has added something in HW5 that allows it to work with massively parallel CPUs better than before.
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mdyde

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Re: What is the better AMD CPU?

PostSun Jan 12, 2020 6:16 am

Hello Mel/Adrian,

More CPU cores do potentially benefit polyphony, but per-core CPU performance is still very important, since threads running on different cores inevitably sometimes need to communicate with each other (thread synchronisation, exchanging data, etc.). [Edit: P.S. Also, the more cores there are, the more the overheads in keeping them synchronised, so with huge numbers of cores there may eventually be a point beyond which more cores even reduce overall performance.]

Although I can't give advice based on benchmarks, my inclination would be to be wary of going much beyond about 8 physical cores if doing so also involved a trade-off in base clock speed (per-core performance).

CPU cache and memory bandwidth are also extremely important, as is making sure that any candidate CPU has support for the AVX instruction set (ideally also AVX2 and/or AVX-512).
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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MPiercey

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Re: What is the better AMD CPU?

PostSun Jan 12, 2020 10:55 am

Thank you gentlemen, I believe this now gives me enough information to make a decision.

Regards,
Mel Piercey.
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JulianMoney-Kyrle

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Re: What is the better AMD CPU?

PostTue Feb 18, 2020 10:42 pm

I know you were talking about AMD CPU's, but going back to Intel, can anybody advise me which of Core i or Xeon processors are more suitable for Hauptwerk, since they both seem to be available with a variety of clock speeds and cores.

Also thank-you Martin for the valuable information in your reply to Mel / Adrian.
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csw900

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Re: What is the better AMD CPU?

PostWed Feb 19, 2020 4:36 am

I would go for an Intel i5 or above. This is what I use and it works perfectly well with HW and other organs. I would get the middle range clock speed.

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JulianMoney-Kyrle

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Re: What is the better AMD CPU?

PostWed Feb 19, 2020 5:42 am

Thanks. I am looking at Dell Precision Workstations, so the choice is either Xeon or i7 / i9. I know the middle of the range in clock speeds is usually a good balance between performance and price, but based on Martin's comments above I will aim to choose clock speed over number of cores (i.e. no more than 8). Though I don't know what effect the coronavirus is having on Dell's supply chain. The other price saving will be to specify minimal RAM and SSD and buy them elsewhere.
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mdyde

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Re: What is the better AMD CPU?

PostWed Feb 19, 2020 7:08 am

Hello Julian,

For whatever they're worth, some other general thoughts/suggestions about choosing CPUs:

- All else being equal, newer CPU generations usually perform better than older ones. (One would hope that a recent i9 should out-perform an otherwise-equivalent older i7, for example.)

- CPU base clock speed matters much more than max/turbo-boost speed (since the latter will only be reached briefly and cannot be sustained).

- The CPU having support for the AVX-512 instruction set should be a big plus for Hauptwerk performance, especially since it increases the number of SIMD registers from 16 (AVX/AVX-2) to 32 (AVX-512). Some of the recent higher-end workstation/desktop Xeon, i9 and i7 CPUs support AVX-512, but as far as I know no laptop CPUs yet support it.
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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micdev

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Re: What is the better AMD CPU?

PostWed Feb 19, 2020 8:30 am

To add to Martin' comment

CPU base clock speed matters much more than max/turbo-boost speed (since the latter will only be reached briefly and cannot be sustained).


As a matter of fact I highly recommend that you don't base your selection on the max turbo speed, Also, in the bios, all the turbo and throttling options should be disabled so your CPU performs *always* at 100% (no speed variation

Be careful, buying the latest most powerful CPU comes witch comes with a high premium to pay (a few months later that processor will probably cost a lot less). Also, workstations and servers type of processors, also come with a premium (price of the processor, motherboard, memory ) and are optimized for some specific type of processing not necessarily used by Hauptwerk.

Also the power (and memory required) are based on many factors, to name a few:

- Your level as an organist... are you a Cameron Carpenter type of organist playing a few hundred notes a second! or a beginner (more notes = more polyphony = more processing etc)

-Are you playing surround sample sets (and new surround sample sets with multiple recorded tracks can generate 2-3-4 more polyphony)

- Are you playing only "intimate" organs, smaller one, like 2 manuals, 25 stops with 2 seconds reverberation or large (50-75-100) stops cathedral-like organs (again more polyphony, more memory needed)

So a lot to think about :-)
Best regards
François

Virtually sharing my enthusiasm and experience with you
Worldwide technical assistance, consultation and ready to play system.

http://www.HauptwerkConsultant.com

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Anto800

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Re: What is the better AMD CPU?

PostWed May 06, 2020 3:20 am

I am attaching a snapshot of how my new processor was working. I state that I have not optimized anything, I extracted the PC from the packaging, access, installed sound card, Ilok and hauptwerk. Then I loaded all the Billerbeck and started playing it with all the stops violently. The processor quietly holds more than 16,000 polyphonic notes, I think that after all the optimization of unnecessary processes and scaling of the graphics processes I can safely exceed 20,000 polyphonic notes. The PC is a T7810 dual Xeon E5 2690 V3 processor with 48 cores and an operating frequency of only 2.6 GHz

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tPpHb ... rVYFD1l-U3
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JulianMoney-Kyrle

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Re: What is the better AMD CPU?

PostWed May 06, 2020 4:31 am

I'm not sure that it is a good idea to disable throttling as that may be necessary to prevent overheating, particularly if your computer develops problems with its cooling system.
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Anto800

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Re: What is the better AMD CPU?

PostWed May 06, 2020 11:12 am

A very important person in the world of Hauptwerk asked me to post my test video. He asked me to rape the keyboard with all the stops and see how the processor held up by gradually raising the polyphony. I got to 27,000 when I started seeing the first red cpu mark. Latency set rather low, i.e. 11 ms. I would probably have reached 32,000 polyphonic notes by setting 22 ms of latency, which is always a rather low value. The CPU is a dual exon E5 2690 V3, 48 core, 128 GB ram https://mega.nz/file/9EwxWDoI#fEJf6E3x_ ... EjSzqaEo58

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