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New PC - How much power is enough?

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

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New PC - How much power is enough?

PostSun Aug 29, 2021 10:03 am

I am looking for hardware for a new PC. How much power is required to play all of today's sets?
What is the optimal balance between the number of cores and the base clock of the CPU? Martin says a high base clock is very important.

Here is an example:
The Ryzen 9 5950X has 16 cores/32 threads and a base clock of 3.4 GHz.
The Ryzen 9 5900X has 12 cores/24 threads and a base clock of 3.7 GHz.

Most of the time you have the choice between many cores with a lower clock, or fewer cores but a higher clock. This is surely a matter of temperature control.

How should I rate this case? Is the 300 MHz per core more important than having 4 cores/8 threads more?

I know that more cores also mean effort in synchronization (context switching). But I don't have any statistics or numbers or times that I can use to decide if a 5950X or 5900X is the better choice.

Who has experience in this area? Which case is better here?
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vpo-organist

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Re: New PC - How much power is enough?

PostSun Aug 29, 2021 10:14 am

It becomes even more difficult if, for example, AVX-512 is to be taken into account.
The Intel Core i9-10980XE offers AVX-512, but only has a base clock of 3.0 GHz and 18 cores/36 threads.

The base clock is 700 MHz less than the Ryzen 9 5900X.
What role does this play in the trio 5950X, 5900X, i9-10980XE?

Which is the best choice for wet/surround and Convolution Reverb?
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mdyde

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Re: New PC - How much power is enough?

PostSun Aug 29, 2021 12:47 pm

Hello vpo-organist,

[Topic moved here.]

I'm afraid I don't have any specific benchmarks to offer for the hardware you're looking for, or much more to add beyond what was already covered in the previous discussions on it in this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=19945

mdyde wrote:A few minor points to add to Bob's very comprehensive reply (thanks very much, Bob):

vpo-organist wrote:How many cores are used by Hauptwerk?


- Hauptwerk's audio and convolution reverb engines should run distributed across any number of logical cores up to 64.

- If I recall correctly, the most I've ever heard of anyone using with Hauptwerk is 32 physical cores, although more commonly up to 16 or 24 (and even then, more than 12 is rare).

- More CPU cores do potentially benefit polyphony and the convolution reverb engine, but per-core CPU performance is still extremely important, since threads running on different cores inevitably sometimes need to communicate with each other (thread synchronisation, exchanging data, etc.), and the more cores there are, the more the overheads in keeping them synchronised. Hence 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 significant trade-off in per-core performance (base clock speed, etc.).

- Base clock speed, CPU cache, and memory bandwidth are also extremely important, as is making sure that any candidate CPU has support for the AVX2 instruction set.

- If it doesn't involve much of a trade-off in per-core performance (base clock speed, etc.), then I would expect that up to something like 16 physical CPU cores (32 logical) would scale well with minimal additional synchronisation overheads. (Numbers of cores beyond that may well perform well too, but we don't have feedback on that.)

- Hauptwerk's sample set cache loading mechanism (which determines how fast organs are loaded into memory) can currently take advantage of up to 6 CPU cores (but more won't hurt).

- The MIDI/relay event processing (organ switches, pipe on/off events, etc.) are necessarily serialised to ensure that the state of the organ relay remains consistent.

- Each of the background models (wind supply models, pipework modulation, tremulants) runs in its own thread (one thread per model). That's done since the wind model's time-slices need to be extremely short/frequent (sub-millisecond) and serialised. (It might possibly be be able to gain some performance in the future from further multi-threading the wind model within the time-slices, but possibly not, since the overheads of so many, extremely frequent, thread context switches might exceed any potential performance gain.)

- The first few logical cores are kept free of audio/convolution engine loads, and are instead used for the MIDI/relay, background models, and other threads. If there are 12 or more logical CPU cores then the first 4 logical cores will be reserved for those purposes.

- Hence per-core performance may well become a bottleneck for the achievable polyphony, even if you had a huge number of cores for the audio engine.

So in summary, to emphasize again: per-core performance (base clock speed, etc.) is still very, very important, even with a lot of cores.

vpo-organist wrote:Is AVX-512 also supported by Hauptwerk?


AVX-512 might possibly benefit convolution reverb performance (which relies on a third-part library for the DFFT function), but Hauptwerk (v6.0.2) won't currently benefit from it above AVX2 in other respects. (AVX2 is definitely worthwhile.)

(We did originally make a dedicated AVX-512 build for testing, but there seemed to be strange compatibility problems with at least one AVX-512 CPU, and it gave negligible performance/polyphony gain anyway, so we abandoned it for now, to be on the safe side. It might be resurrected in the longer-term if it proves beneficial.)

vpo-organist wrote:I currently only know the Intel Core i9-10980XE with AVX-512, Turbo 4.8 GHz, 18 cores/36 threads and costs around 1000 EUR. CPU benchmark 33989.

Or should it be a Ryzen 9 5900X, 4.8 GHz, 12Core/24Threads, AVX-2, Bench 39518 for 544 EUR?


Bob's reply covers that in great depth, and the only thing I would add is that Hauptwerk's convolution reverb engine might possibly perform better on Intel CPUs than AMD, all else being equal (same per-core performance, etc.), but in other respects Hauptwerk should be optimised equally for instruction sets (AVX2, etc.) on Intel vs. AMD CPUs.


Maybe others have more experience with the models you're considering.
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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mdyde

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Re: New PC - How much power is enough?

PostMon Aug 30, 2021 5:14 am

Hello vpo-organist,

P.S. A brief thought, in case it helps:

Given that convolution is particularly important to you (and that AVX-512 may benefit convolution in particular), amongst Intel's 'Core X-series' processors that you mentioned:

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en ... ore/x.html

... which appear all to be identical except for their clock speeds and numbers of cores:

- i9-10900X: 10 cores, 3.7 GHz base clock speed, 19.25 MB total CPU cache.
- i9-10920X: 12 cores, 3.5 GHz base clock speed, 19.25 MB total CPU cache.
- i9-10940X: 14 cores, 3.3 GHz base clock speed, 19.25 MB total CPU cache.
- i9-10980XE: 18 cores, 3.0 GHz base clock speed, 19.25 MB total CPU cache.

... I think my personal inclination would be to opt for the 12-core 3.5 GHz model (i9-10920X), since it involves minimal trade-off in base clock speed. The models with larger numbers of cores but lower clock speeds might benefit convolution and the raw performance of the audio engine more (based on multiplying number of cores by base clock speed), but I think there is a risk that for extremely large organs and polyphony demands their lower per-core performance (and fixed total amounts of cache) might become bottlenecks in other respects (especially for the background models).
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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Paradise

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Re: New PC - How much power is enough?

PostFri Sep 10, 2021 5:31 am

It seems that Ryzen CPUs give better performances than Intel I9, especially for calculation.

And the Ryzen 9 5900X serie seems really a top CPU !

I think it is better to have more cores for a bit lower speed, so the 5950X is better than the 5900X.

The RAM speed is also important.
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Paradise

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Re: New PC - How much power is enough?

PostFri Sep 10, 2021 8:34 am

I am impressed by the TDP of the i9 10900X : 165 watts ! :shock:

When the Ryzen 9 5950X uses 105 watts !
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vpo-organist

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Re: New PC - How much power is enough?

PostFri Sep 10, 2021 10:59 am

Here is a Comparer for 10900X - 5950X

The Ryzen is better in all categories.

You can click on the header from each CPU for more details.
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Re: New PC - How much power is enough?

PostFri Sep 10, 2021 3:12 pm

Thanks for pointing to the comparer. Very useful!
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Re: New PC - How much power is enough?

PostSat Sep 11, 2021 3:51 am

You're welcome. On this page you can click on any CPU and add it to an individual comparison. For this purpose, there is a scale icon in the upper right corner that you have to click on.
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Paradise

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Re: New PC - How much power is enough?

PostMon Sep 13, 2021 4:04 pm

vpo-organist wrote:Here is a Comparer for 10900X - 5950X

The Ryzen is better in all categories.

You can click on the header from each CPU for more details.

Yes, much better !
And 105 Watts vs 165 Watts...

But it is more expensive.
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Re: New PC - How much power is enough?

PostThu Sep 16, 2021 1:25 am

This has been a very valuable and informative thread, in particular for me (who does not have any knowledge of PCs) who is upgrading and expanding my HW PC.

Should the motherboard also receive the same attention as the processor? I am considering purchasing the 12-core 3.5 GHz model (i9-10920X), but not too sure which motherboard would suit this processor best.

Best
Pharny
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Re: New PC - How much power is enough?

PostThu Sep 16, 2021 2:04 pm

I may be wrong on this one, but I believe usually motherboards are built for a specific processor, and you purchase the processor with the motherboard. Which one you choose doesn’t matter that much, as long as it supports your processor, and the RAM slots are the same clock speed as the RAM you have. All the other components should be compatible.
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engrssc

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Re: New PC - How much power is enough?

PostThu Sep 16, 2021 4:09 pm

larason2 wrote:I may be wrong on this one, but I believe usually motherboards are built for a specific processor, and you purchase the processor with the motherboard.


That may be the case with AMD, but for sure isn't the case with Intel.

Rgds,
Ed
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IainStinson

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Re: New PC - How much power is enough?

PostFri Sep 17, 2021 6:59 am

There many options to choose for your motherboard:
    form factor
    supported processors
    number of memory slots, rules for filling them
    Expansion slots and types of expansion
    Slots for attaching storage (M2...)
    Interaction between expansion slots when multiple slots are used (for example On one motherboard I looked, if both M2 slots are used at the second M2 slot runs more slowly....)
    Flavour of BIOS
    Network support
    (Wireless, Bluetooth)
    Graphics card attachment (GPU)
    Built-in sound
    USB types support, number of USB connections
    Security features
    Repower features
    features you may not want ("case led" support for example...)
...
There seem to be a number of websites offering to help you select a motherboard... at least you can get some ideas of what to look for in the specifications.

Good luck.

Iain
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vpo-organist

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Re: New PC - How much power is enough?

PostFri Sep 17, 2021 10:49 am

IainStinson wrote:Interaction between expansion slots when multiple slots are used (for example On one motherboard I looked, if both M2 slots are used at the second M2 slot runs more slowly....)

Iain, that is an interesting point! Wich Mainboard do that? How did you figure that out?
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