A few questions about RAM and my processor


Hope this isn’t too n00b-ish, but I have a couple of questions.
I recently upgraded my PC from XP to windows 7 ultimate 32bit.
It has worked really well so far with Cubase 5 and some plugins.
I have made some tweaks that were recommended on the Cubase forums and the Line6 forums (I use an UX2 line6 USB soundcard).
I also did the 3gb switch although I don’t know if this was necessary.
My processor is a Intel Q6600 quad-core if i’m not mistaken.
In Cubase 5.5.2 I have enabled multiproccessing and I usually record/mix at 24bit and 44.1khz.
I also have 4gb ram in my pc but I realize that only 3gb will work.
I’m just wondering if everything is working correctly.
I think I’ve set it up as good as I can get it, so here is some info.
Hopefully it’s all good!

When nothing is running and I open the windows Task Manager under Physical Memory it says:
Total 3071
Cached 865
Available 2356
Free 1552

Kernel memory:
Paged 91
Nonpaged 36

The memory bar is floating around 710 MB, is this normal if no program is running?
CPU says 0%

On the control panel at processor it says:
Processor: Intel® Core™2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.4GHz 2.40 GHz
In the device manager all 4 core’s are stated, I wonder why it didn’t state all 4 cores at the field above in the system menu.

And memory:
Installed memory (Ram) 4.00GB (3.00 GB usable)

I also set my ‘paging file’ or disk memory (forgot how it’s called exactly) at a fixed setting somewhere around 4000mb.
Is this good? or should I set it to automatic?
I read somewhere that this should be set at about 1.5 times the actual memory.

Can I assume that everything is working correctly? and 3gb Ram and my 4 cores are all in good use?
Cubase did crash once, it had the ‘Serious error’ but that was in a session that had the same problem earlier using my older XP windows, so I’m assuming it’s because of the session.
It did have a lot of plugins running and the CPU bar in cubase was at approximately halfway.
So it’s not really problems I’m dealing with, I just would like to make sure that my system is set for optimal performance.

Thanks a lot for your help!

Everything looks fine IMO. A few comments –

Your memory usage will reflect running background processes when no actual applications are open, so 710 MB is okay.
Your processor may be a quad-core, but it’s actually called Core 2 Quad. It’s more or less Intel’s naming convention for that particular line of processors.
I also read virtual memory should be about 1.5 to 2x your physical memory for an audio production machine. I don’t know a whole lot about computer resource management, but I did this with my last production computer, and it worked out well. Right now, your virtual memory is about the same size as your physical memory. You may or may not want to experiment with changing its size.
Crashes can be the result of corrupt plug-ins or plug-in instances. Sometimes they just load improperly or are simply not coded very well to start off with. I’ve had this problem with freeware 3rd party plugs. That’s why I stick to big names now.

That’s great help!
Yeah, I thought the crashes might have something to do with plug-ins…
Now I just have to find out which plug-ins are causing the problem.
Oh and I couldn’t raise the virtual memory higher than 4gb I think.
It wouldn’t allow me to…
Anyway, thanks again!

Before I had windows 7 installed I did experience crashes in some mix sessions.
What would happen is that Cubase stopped and the soundcard kept on repeating like the last ms of music,
so it kind of hung and made a machine-type sound.
The meters on the soundcard would also stay in the same position.
And when I closed Cubase the soundcard would still be stuck and I would have to reset the soundcard (Line6 UX2).
I hoped that W7 would fix the problem but today I experienced the problem again.
Could this also be a plug-in malfunction? of could it be Cubase 5 acting strange?
It was in a session with quite a lot of plugins enabled.
I also tried it with another soundcard (also line6, pod hd500) but then the problem was also there.
Or could it be a processor or memory overload of some kind???
It doesn’t happen a lot at all, but it does in big mix sessions.


edit: the windows crash log said: Exception code: c0000005 acces_violation