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No sticky on PC specs recommendation

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

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No sticky on PC specs recommendation

PostSat Oct 10, 2020 1:14 pm

Why is there no sticky on recommended PC specs?
I'd like to put together a Hauptwerk PC and would like to know what the recommendations for CPU speed and memory size is. Presumably I'm not the only one, so a sticky post on top of the forum would help.
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micdev

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Re: No sticky on PC specs recommendation

PostSat Oct 10, 2020 1:53 pm

Good afternoon,

Thanks for your interest in Hauptwerk.

You can download the Hauptwerk Installation and User Guide (https://hauptwerk.com/documentation) and read the Hauptwerk prerequisites chapter (page 14+)

Many variables must be considered when sizing up your computer.

- Sample sets you plan to use. If you plan to play small baroque instruments with short reverb, you will need a lot less power (and memory) than if you plan to play large symphonic, cathedral like organs with long reverb.

- Your level as an organist. A professional organist will play more complex pieces generating a lot of polyphony while an amateur organist will play simpler, slower pieces requiring less polyphony. The higher the polyphony generated, the more power you will need.

- Will you play stereo sample sets or multi-channels (surround, 6-8 channels recording sample sets... not to confuse with playing back using a multi-channel audio system). Multi-channels recording will double (triple in the case of 6 channels) the polyphony and require even more power and more memory

That been said, no need to go over the top and pay a high premium for the latest, most expensive computer... this same computer in 1 year from now won't be the best anymore and will cost a lot less. Plan for 3-5 years (it is possible to keep it for longer. For example, in my case I retired my 10 years old i7 a few months ago but your mileage may vary).

Today' i7 (9700/10700) will provide the needed horsepower for 90% of the organists I would say (again there are exceptions). You should get a minimum of 32Gb of memory (using 2X16Gb memory stick) so you can later on expand to 64Gb. You can also find solutions allowing you to upgrade up to 128Gb.

SSD/M.2 drive are a lot more affordable now, so go will them (instead of the old mechanical, slow HDD). To properly size up you must take in consideration the number of sample sets you're planning to use and the size (source files) of these sample sets. Amount of memory that you have will also influence the space used by the cache files (the more memory available the more you will be able to load the organ at a higher resolution, creating a larger cache file. For example on my 64Gb PC, I have about 60Gb of memory free once in Hauptwerk. So I can load a sample set using up to around 58Gb... 58Gb is the size and space used by the cache file).

For example: Rotterdam Laurenskerk surround

Source files \hauptwerksamplesetsandcomponents folder) = 51 Gb
Loading at 16-bit = 23Gb
Loading at 20-bit = 39Gb

So if loading at 20-bit you will need for this organ 90Gb for 1 sample set... so do the math to estimate how much disk space you will need for now and future (and don't forget to reserve 50Gb for OS and overhead)

Hope that helps
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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mdyde

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Re: No sticky on PC specs recommendation

PostSat Oct 10, 2020 2:40 pm

Hello naujoks,

To add to Francois' reply, the document linked from the 'Technical info' link near the top-right of this page has some general guidance on computer hardware:

https://www.hauptwerk.com/requirements/
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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engrssc

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Re: No sticky on PC specs recommendation

PostSat Oct 10, 2020 2:55 pm

https://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=18986&p=142760&hilit=14+seconds#p142753

Update, latest build, using a Gigabyte H370M DS3H mother board which gives me 2 - M.2 drive sockets ( one runs at half speed) and changed to a Noctua NH-L9i, Premium Low-Profile CPU Cooler for Intel LGA115x socket. All parts bought from Amazon.

Rgds,
Ed
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naujoks

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Re: No sticky on PC specs recommendation

PostSun Oct 11, 2020 8:40 am

I'm going to use the Caen Cavaille Coll sample set, the dry variant, as it's for use in a larger church.
Hauptwerk only seems to use 10GB of RAM for this. Does this seem to be right? It's not very much at all.
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micdev

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Re: No sticky on PC specs recommendation

PostSun Oct 11, 2020 10:41 am

Hello naujoks,

Since you will use the "dry" version, I presume that you will add convolution reverb (unless you use your organ in a wet room... like a church with some natural reverb). Convolution reverb can be CPU intensive, especially when using multiple instances at the same time, but I guess you will simply use it in stereo mode.

Caen dry source files needs about 8Gb of disk space. Your cache file at 20-bit will take about 5Gb, for a total 13Gb of disk space used (4Gb at 16-bit)

For the amount of ram (memory) needed, you should get a computer with 16Gb (using 2 memory sticks, not 4 - you will be able later on to expand to 32Gb). 8Gb will be too tight... on my fully optimized computer (with 64Gb of ram), I have 60Gb left once the computer booted and Hauptwerk running (with no organ loaded)

For the processor, I would recommend an i5 processor (i3 may do the job but never tested one using convolution reverb and price difference is marginal). Be careful, there are many i5 to select from and power can vary greatly from one i5 to the other. i5-8600K and above will get you the needed power (and more for future expansion) at a reasonable price. Note that there is a lot of proc to select from, but this gives you some ideas (power-wise while giving you overhead for the future).
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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dhm

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Re: No sticky on PC specs recommendation

PostSun Oct 11, 2020 11:55 am

François, What are your thoughts on AMD versus Intel CPUs?
I have been using AMD for 14 years and never had a problem that was attributable to the CPU brand.
Douglas Henn-Macrae
Authorized Hauptwerk Reseller
http://www.midi-organs.eu / http://www.gundulf.org.uk
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engrssc

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Re: No sticky on PC specs recommendation

PostSun Oct 11, 2020 12:33 pm

The problem with AMD CPU's is that you have to take care in choosing compatible peripherals such as RAM that are able to be used.

Intel CPUs are much more tolerant. AMD is improving but has still a ways to go in that regard. I'd be wary of any 1st Gen AMD CPUs. Likewise, AMD doesn't automatically alert you to updates.

Rgds,
Ed
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naujoks

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Re: No sticky on PC specs recommendation

PostSun Oct 11, 2020 12:36 pm

Is it recommended to have a discreet sound card, or is the sound module embedded on the mainboard always sufficient?
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engrssc

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Re: No sticky on PC specs recommendation

PostSun Oct 11, 2020 12:39 pm

naujoks wrote:Is it recommended to have a discreet sound card, or is the sound module embedded on the mainboard always sufficient?


It all depends on what you want to achieve. I've used both, but for the large systems, always use external high end sound cards.

Rgds,
Ed
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dhm

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Re: No sticky on PC specs recommendation

PostSun Oct 11, 2020 2:04 pm

engrssc wrote:The problem with AMD CPU's is that you have to take care in choosing compatible peripherals such as RAM that are able to be used.

I wasn't aware of that. Where would I find more information/evidence to back that up?
In the last 10 years I've used Phenom II x6, FX4300, 6100, 6300, Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5.
Douglas Henn-Macrae
Authorized Hauptwerk Reseller
http://www.midi-organs.eu / http://www.gundulf.org.uk
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naujoks

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Re: No sticky on PC specs recommendation

PostSun Oct 11, 2020 4:32 pm

engrssc wrote:
naujoks wrote:Is it recommended to have a discreet sound card, or is the sound module embedded on the mainboard always sufficient?


It all depends on what you want to achieve. I've used both, but for the large systems, always use external high end sound cards.

Rgds,
Ed


I'm going to add a few digital stops to our church organ. The church has a nice acoustic in itself.
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micdev

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Re: No sticky on PC specs recommendation

PostSun Oct 11, 2020 4:53 pm

Hello Douglas,

François, What are your thoughts on AMD versus Intel CPUs?


I did some test with AMD processors and wasn't satisfy with the results. Probably I wasn't comfortable with their MOBO, but when optimizing the BIOS, I was in unknown territory and didn't feel confident to use it for Hauptwerk. I had glitches and performance wasn't there.

In performance tests that you will find on the web between AMD and Intel, you can see that AMD often "crushes" INTEL, but with Hauptwerk it somehow different. Don't get me wrong, they are good processors, less expensive, but less mainstream and find them trickier to tune. Hauptwerk is tested and optimized for Intel processor. Martin once told me that the new convolver will perform less well on AMD systems.

If you are comfortable and satisfy with AMD, I don't see why you should quit using them though
Best regards
François

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

http://www.HauptwerkConsultant.com

AND Hauptwerk Support Manager
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engrssc

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Re: No sticky on PC specs recommendation

PostMon Oct 12, 2020 5:00 am

micdev wrote:I did some test with AMD processors and wasn't satisfy with the results. Probably I wasn't comfortable with their MOBO, but when optimizing the BIOS, I was in unknown territory and didn't feel confident to use it for Hauptwerk. I had glitches and performance wasn't there.


As I mentioned, AMD is working on improving their products, give them credit for that. Proof is some 50+ bios updates. Gamers, for the most part are very happy with AMD chips. However, systems such as Hauptwerk have different requirements. Personally, I built only 2 AMD systems. Granted that's not a big base for comparison. But I've spent less time tweaking any of the Intel systems overall. One of the AMD systems has worked after quite an amount of fine tuning for over 6 years. The other one has been a total bear. If only I had a reasonable return on the hours I spent chasing down glitches and unexpected behavior, I'd be alot richer than I am. And interestingly, both systems were built with the identical parts list. I kept getting incompatible error messages, not always right away either. We started changing parts. Long story shortened, everything was changed out except the CPU. I finally changed it to an Intel core i7 system with no issues at all.

It appears, after talking to some other Hauptwerk people, if you have a satisfactorily working AMD system, be happy and enjoy it. :o Esp if you also use it for gaming. :wink:

Rgds,
Ed
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naujoks

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Re: No sticky on PC specs recommendation

PostMon Oct 12, 2020 6:21 am

So how exactly is a discrete soundcard better than the sound module on the mainboard?
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