I can’t advise you on what you’re asking, being behind you with my 7/8 year old Win XP computers…but I can say that when you have two machines (or more) doing different duties, it’s amazing on how much you can run…I swear it’s a lot more than twice as much. I’ve used 2 identical Win XP machines for a few years, all my audio runs on one, all my VSTi’s run on the other…neither machine is being taxed hard.
So I guess part of my point is that even if you built an identical i7 computer to what you have now, you’ll have a lot more resources to work with than you may think. I had built my original XP machine with then everything new (costly), my replica’s were built more recently with used parts (cheaply)…just food for thought
Then again, two 12 core machines, each with 100 GB ram would be expensively cool.
Yes, I am so excited to get a second PC on the go. To be honest, the only limitation I have recently come into is RAM (when loading Sample Libraries). My CPU doesn’t break a sweat in comparison and imagining having 2 PCs running, well, I think it will be amazing. I may price up an identical machine just to see what the cost difference would be. Saying that, I would really like to have Thunderbolt and a new Mobo would be needed (or go Mac - of which using slave PCs and VEpro now makes it possible to even use a Mac Mini for the master and use the PCs for the real horse power - at at least half the price).
Out of interest, how come you’re still using XP? I mean, I used to love XP but going 64bit and using Win 7 was an amazing upgrade. Win 8.1 is equally great (I just recently upgraded after waiting long enough for the dust to settle)
Great Scott Pat, that is thinking BIG! And right, best to stick with stuff that’s actually available now.
@ Bono…Ok then a TB of ram it is! …or perhaps 2!
My reasons for still using Win XP is because it still works, and have several audio cards that only work with XP that I’m partial to, and all legacy software etc. I had considered a 64 bit build ‘just for more ram’. My quad core XP machine was still working great, except when going VSTi crazy.
For 64 bit I’d have to get a new OS, all new software, new sound card(s) etc… I kept thinking, there’s GOT to be a way to allow me to keep using what I have, and just ‘add to it’ somehow for more power without discarding anything. I did some researching, then started experimenting with my old 1st DAW that was laying unused. It worked out so well, I decided to build a replica of my main quad core DAW.
This is a passion & labor of love. I’ve come to realize that I don’t need to go 64 bit now, if I need more power, just add another XP machine. I actually have 3 XP machines, and it’s more power than I need, so I’m experimenting with the 3rd as a dedicated guitar software amp sim machine. I know of a guy who buys ‘complete’ older/used computers for like $150 for his DAW farm, I prefer to custom build to my same specs. I consider myself a tinkerer, and I’m having a lot of fun. Of course if money was no object, I’d build myself 2 very expensive up to date, totally spec’d out 64 bit machines.
Anyway, Vienna Ensemble Pro is currently the most popular method of networking computers …get ready to be amazed.
I would build the slave in function of the network capabilities that OP has. It is of no use to buy a rocket if the pipeline where the data will be flowing trough is not big enough.
I see the ASUS he has also has a gigabit controller, so it makes indeed sence to buy a decent modern machine, but i would not go for a top of the notch system for a slave.
Thinking about this as I was working today, I think I might turn my current PC into the slave and build a new Master PC with support for 64gb of RAM. Might as well have Cubase on the faster machine! Just need to figure out what Motherboard and CPU is now a good choice for Audio Production, that can have 64gb of RAM, many Sata 6gbs Hard Drives and has Thunderbolt (Thunderbolt is clearly where all Audio Interfaces are headed). So many choices!
Yep. Huge assumption but hey, this is what makes a Forum fun!
I actually still use a PCIe Card as I have a MOTU HD192 and has been discontinued now. I will have to upgrade to something else eventually and at this minute I have no idea what to go for. Having Thunderbolt in my system at least allows me choice. And Thunderbolt seems rather fast…
As you can see in my signature, my main daw is an old 6 core i7 970 and my vep machine is a merger i3 celeron (which also serves as my htpc media computer) on which I run 6 instances of Kontakt 5 and stream 60 stereo outs via a 120 foot Ethernet cable to cubase 8 no problem.
Even the 1Gbps of GbE can handle 256 x 96k audio channels at very low latency (such as with the Dante PCIe card), so Thunderbolt (10 or 20Gbps) is extreme overkill.
On a Mac Pro, with its many TB ports, dedicating one for audio may not be much of a sacrifice, but with the one or two on a PC, it is a waste of potential bandwidth which could be used for the real gobblers, like storage or video.
Sharing audio on a TB connection with anything that has heavy, even if sporadic, bandwidth needs, might compromise the latency you require.
When I was running just one Win XP 32 bit machine for everything, having say about 10 stereo audio tracks & 10 mono audio tracks, plus about 12 VSTi’s would max it out while using a very low latency. But with the exact same spec XP machine, using it as a dedicated VSTi’s only machine by way of old school audio/midi sound card networking, I was surprised & amazed that I could run several times many more VSTi’s without running audio tracks & FX’s on it.
I always thought it was the VSTi’s that was bringing my computer to it’s knee’s, because before that my VSTi usage was non existent, then turned to minimal…all was ok with the needed number of audio tracks. But when I began using a dozen or more VSTi’s, my resources became a real issue. Using one for audio only, and the other for VSTi’s only, I haven’t quite maxed out resources yet.
My POINT… I really can’t say which machine needs to be more powerful in my own experiences, the VSTi machine, or the audio machine…I’m guessing the audio machine, being I can actually run all the VSTi’s I need on one Win XP machine. With you guys and your 64 bit machines, running two of those sounds extremely powerful. But I’m still having fun with keeping/using all my old stuff
Interesting. I’m a PC man and always have been but the only things that keep making me want to have a Mac (for my Master Machine) are the Thunderbolt Displays. I’m guessing Daisy chaining 3 of those 27 inch Displays is where Thunderbolt really comes into use as that’s a lot of pixels, as you say, gobblers like Video.
Out of interest, say I had an iMac (32 gbs of RAM) for Master, could I slave as many PCs as I want using VEpro 5 (obviously providing I have enough Licenses etc)? Do PC and Mac play well together in this scenario?
^^^ Interesting thought about an unlimited number of machines running with VEP
Though I’d have to have an uneducated guess that there would be a limit with the number of VEP slaves ‘somewhere’ due to the above proposed potential hardware/software limitations…VEP coming with 3 or 4 licenses I believe, should be well more than enough for anyone’s needs with that many 64 bit machines. The company charges more for ‘additional’ licenses, so I’d have to think it would be a safe bet that at least somewhere ‘more than’ 4 machines can easily be ran.
I know of a guy on another forum that runs I believe 6 machines, all ‘synced’ together. That’s just crazy And he can run PC’s, Mac’s and whatever DAW software’s he wishes, Mix N’ Match.
Tagging into this thread… hoping to catch the attention of exterienced VEPro Cbase people.
How do you guys manage old sessions? Once you migrate to a split system, I assume all your samples are on the 2nd machine. When you load an old project using VSTi for instance… was this a major pain or easy to resolve?