Helpful ReplyOlder Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please....

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SonicExplorer
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2017/08/01 00:07:54 (permalink)

Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please....

Guys,
 
I have a chance at a rather rare motherboard to build a "new" XP DAW but need to decide quickly if I want it outfitted with a Core 2 Duo 3.0Ghz or Quad 2.8Ghz CPU.    (E8400 vs. Q9550)
 
I'd be using S5 or S6, and will rely on DFH Superior for drums (which I use real-time when tracking & mixing rather than bouncing to tracks).    Am I going to actually see better performance on playback & mixing with the Quad or should I opt for the slightly faster rated Duo and save on power consumption/heat?  I'm just not familiar with how well XP and Sonar actually makes use of the cores...
 
Any guidance greatly appreciated.  I did some research but it is rather overwhelming and I'm on a short fuse to make a decision, so hopefully some of you guys would be kind enough to offer some opinions...

Sincerest thanks,
 
    Sonic
post edited by SonicExplorer - 2017/08/01 05:30:51
#1
Sanderxpander
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/01 06:21:26 (permalink)
Quad core has the most benefits in a DAW unless you have a single plugin that is extremely heavy (say, Ozone or Diva). Seems unlikely with such an old platform.

I wouldn't build either though, what is your reasoning behind this? Can you get it super cheap?
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SonicExplorer
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/01 08:22:12 (permalink)
Yeah, it's very difficult finding a DAW now days that can run anything from W2K to W7 but I just so happen to have found a P45 system that is already built, from a local kid who sells used systems.  So I want to jump on it before it disappears.  I can even choose some of the configuration options like the CPU, drives, video card etc.   Video situation is freaking me out tho....I come from the AGP days so to now learn there apparently isn't even a basic video card without fans or massive heat sinks has me perplexed.  I just want a basic PCIe video card with lowest power consumption (heat) and no noise (fans).  Isn't there any such animal??  
 
I hate technology.  LoL
#3
Sanderxpander
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/01 10:05:04 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby chuckebaby 2017/08/01 12:36:23
Most modern motherboards have on-board video, often even with several outputs. It has kind of killed the low end graphics card market. Again my question though - why invest at all in such an old system? Is it XP you're attached to? I would strongly suggest crossing the bridge to a modern (and supported!) OS.
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Kev999
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/01 10:32:33 (permalink)
SonicExplorer
...there apparently isn't even a basic video card without fans or massive heat sinks has me perplexed.  I just want a basic PCIe video card with lowest power consumption (heat) and no noise (fans).  Isn't there any such animal??...

 
Since you are building on an old platform, why not get an old used graphics card? Try looking on on eBay.

By the way, modern non-gaming cards that fit your description do exist, made by Matrox, but they are pricey.

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#5
Sanderxpander
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/01 11:16:31 (permalink)
FWIW generally speaking the fans won't do anything unless you start gaming or 3d rendering.
#6
chuckebaby
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/01 12:45:50 (permalink)
I can understand why one might want to stay with a legacy system (hardware, drivers, compatibility, software exc). but to invest in legacy hardware is not a great idea.
 
Trust me I have a lot of old tape machines and I have (more than once) cut my losses because it was either too pricey or too hard to track down parts. You find yourself in a time warp situation. Where either A - Its next to impossible to receive help because its too out dated or B - Hardware is so old you never know what your getting.
 

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#7
SonicExplorer
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/01 16:20:14 (permalink)
I have loads of software that I don't want to have to repurchase/upgrade and then relearn new U/I's.  Plus there's features that may have gone away or changed.  I also know the internals of W2K and XP very well in the event I need to do any tweaks.  Further, I am getting old, probably won't be doing this more than 10 years, so overall for me the best choice is to stay with what I have and what i know.  
 
I haven't found any such low-end graphics cards yet on eBay that don't have massive heat sinks or fans. The AGP cards I'm accustomed to work fine with Sonar and don't have any such appendages nor suck much power. So I'm confused, why are basic VGA kind of cards not available in PCIe format, that don't require heavy artillery and mass wattage to function?   <facepalm> 
post edited by SonicExplorer - 2017/08/01 23:08:11
#8
abacab
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/02 02:19:54 (permalink)
I'm not sure Sonar that far back was tuned for multicore processing, so CPU speed is probably what you need.
 
You can get a cheap PCIe GPU like this one.
https://www.newegg.com/Pr..._-14-500-392-_-Product

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#9
SonicExplorer
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/02 03:12:23 (permalink)
abacab
I'm not sure Sonar that far back was tuned for multicore processing, so CPU speed is probably what you need.
 
You can get a cheap PCIe GPU like this one.
https://www.newegg.com/Pr..._-14-500-392-_-Product




Thanks, that card is still rather heavy duty though in my eyes, YIKES.  Seriously, there really isn't a basic VGA card for PCIe??  What does the average Joe employee in corporations use now days??  I mean, what does an MS Office user need a 1GB 30W video card for!?
 
IIRC, it was back around S3 or S4 that Sonar began doing multi-threading / multi-processor.  If this assumption isn't right then somebody please clue me in because I'd then need to change course and go with a faster single core or duo core, definitely NOT a quad core.
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abacab
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/02 03:36:18 (permalink)
SonicExplorer
abacab
I'm not sure Sonar that far back was tuned for multicore processing, so CPU speed is probably what you need.
 
You can get a cheap PCIe GPU like this one.
https://www.newegg.com/Pr..._-14-500-392-_-Product




Thanks, that card is still rather heavy duty though in my eyes, YIKES.  Seriously, there really isn't a basic VGA card for PCIe??  What does the average Joe employee in corporations use now days??  I mean, what does an MS Office user need a 1GB 30W video card for!?




Basic video on home and office machines is easily handled by integrated video these days.  No market for really low end stuff.  That GT 710 is a good example of the bottom of the line, fanless, PCIe GPU's.
 
That is useful for somebody with an older CPU and chipset with obsolete graphics that wants to update to modern GPU standards.  It really offers no performance advantage over what comes built in now.

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#11
abacab
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/02 03:47:45 (permalink)
Just a thought, but maybe you could find a slightly newer refurb with everything you needed, and install XP on that.  You are looking at hardware there that is nearly end of life.  It will be a pain to maintain and find spares for if components start to fail.  And you plan to use it for another 10 years?
 

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#12
SonicExplorer
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/02 21:46:47 (permalink)
I have to ask a question more specifically because it is now the major factor in whether or not I select Duo or Quad. 
 
Does anybody know if S5 can make good enough use of a 2.66 Quad that it would be a better choice than a 3.0 Duo?  
 
I know there are lots of threads on the general subject of Sonar and multi-core use, but I found nothing that talks about the 5 & 6 PE era in this regard.
 
Help.....anyone ?
#13
abacab
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/02 23:15:22 (permalink)
Your best bet is probably to take one of these, wipe the drive, and then install XP on it.
 
Dell Certified Refurbished.  Starting at $239.  Enjoy same as new limited hardware warranty.
 
http://outlet.us.dell.com...n&s=dfh&~ck=mn

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#14
SonicExplorer
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/02 23:22:22 (permalink)
Understood.  I have access locally to refurbed/used machines for even cheaper than on the Dell site.  That's not the problem.  I still end up with an undecided choice between Duo or Quad.  I don't want to spend more only to have extra heat, etc (and possibly slower performance even) by going with a Quad if the Duo is better suited for the S5/S6 era.  The question that remains outstanding is whether or not I should go with the faster Duo or rather a Quad in this scenario....   

(The only thing I WAS able to determine is that apparently as of S8 Sonar can apparently make proper use of the Quad such that it would be the better choice over a faster Duo.  But when going back to S5.....still an unanswered question....)
 
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abacab
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/03 00:12:50 (permalink)
I still have S8.5 installed on a 2004 era, single core Pentium 4 3.0Ghz Dell laptop with 2GB RAM that I retired a few years ago.  I don't use it anymore, but it still works.  So a duo or quad question probably makes little difference in the overall performance of a legacy Sonar.  It's better than a single core, and that works fine with older versions of Sonar.
 
I still can't comprehend why you want to setup a system from scratch using obsolete hardware.  I do understand the software angle, with the older apps and OS compatibility issues, etc, as I have faced a few challenges in that regard myself.  And I have been using Cakewalk since before Sonar 1.
 
But really, you should get newer hardware if you have a choice.

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#16
SonicExplorer
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/03 01:05:30 (permalink)
Yeah, agreed I'm probably over-thinking the CPU thing but given I have the CHOICE I'd like to make the wise one.  I just don't know enough about multi-core nor how Sonar will react to it.  For example, would it be correct to assume that, unless the Quad actually exceeded the processing demand of the Duo, the Quad would not really consume much more power?  It would only consume more (up to 35W more) once the Quad began to process beyond the limit of the Duo?  If that is the case, then the question becomes mostly moot if we assume I probably would never hit the limit of even the Duo.   I however don't know if that is a wise assumption or not seeing as I'm already hitting the red-zone on a P4 2.4.  I'm looking for 30%, preferably 50%, increase in CPU headroom so I don't have to worry about running out of processing power.
 
Anyway, here is something I just found in case it helps anybody else in the future: https://www.cakewalk.com/...processor-Optimization
 
Although it still doesn't really indicate if Sonar 5 would actually make proper use a Quad.  Again, found quite a bit of commentary on the forum as of S8.x showing clear indication of good core-distribution, but nothing much prior to that time period.
post edited by SonicExplorer - 2017/08/03 08:11:37
#17
scook
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/03 02:34:39 (permalink)
Optimization for Quad processors coincided with the introduction of option 2 in the Aud.ini variable ThreadSchedulingModel. I do not have the manuals for SONAR 5 and 6 handy. I would recommend you review the documentation regarding Aud.ini. If there is no mention of option 2 or the ThreadSchedulingModel variable at all, then go for the higher clock speed Duo. For reference, here is the current documentation.
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/03 04:27:01 (permalink)
Although multicore support was apparently not listed as a feature of Sonar 5 or 6, it was mentioned retrospectively when Sonar 7 was announced:
 
In its last two versions, SONAR set new levels for technology advances in digital audio workstations with the first true 64-bit double precision audio mix engine... ...and pioneering support for multicore and x64 processing...

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soens
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/03 06:26:50 (permalink)
Quad core sounds better to me tho you haven't said which Sonar you'd be running on it. I don't know if SPlat or other current generation DAWs would run too well on XP. But for Sonar Home 7, 8.35, and X1 I still have and use a 32 bit Core2Duo Intel 2.x on an ASUS P5Q mobo with a basic video card that they've always run fine on. The P5Q has no video but I've used on board video without serious issue.
 
On the other hand, I wouldn't pay very much for an older system. I have several older computers that I couldn't even get $100 for 5 yrs ago.
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/03 06:33:57 (permalink)
Nothing newer than X2 will install on XP. X2a requires Vista to even install the patch. The current version of SONAR does not install on Vista, Win7 and newer only.


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Kev999
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/03 06:34:30 (permalink)
soens
...you haven't said which Sonar you'd be running on it...

 
He said "I'd be using S5 or S6". But I'm puzzled why he would use 5 if he has 6.

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#22
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/03 06:49:36 (permalink)
He sure did, it just didn't compute... time to add memory I guess. I don't see why either one wouldn't work as the OP would probably not see any real difference in performance either way. BTW if the system is 32 bit you're limited to (+/-) 3.5 GB of ram. Not enough if you're using a lot of plugins or large VSTis - the reason I finally moved to 64 bit.
 
As for video cards, the last one I had without a fan always got too hot. I'd go with onboard if possible.
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SonicExplorer
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/03 07:11:27 (permalink)
Thanks for the replies so far guys, much appreciated.
 
post edited by SonicExplorer - 2017/08/03 07:44:22
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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/03 14:25:56 (permalink)
i cannot upgrade to current software on my XP system because of lack of support.
 
food for thought, eh?
 

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Re: Older Sonar and Core 2 Duo vs. Quad CPU Help Please.... 2017/08/03 20:56:33 (permalink)
I just checked inside S5 and it does indeed have the Audio - Options - Advanced check box "Enable Multiprocessing Engine".  Which is currently grayed out altogether, I assume because there is presently just a P4 installed.  So yeah, it appears as far back as S5 there is support for multi-core CPU's.  However, how well the cores are utilized, or a Quad vs. Duo will be utilized, remains unclear.     It may take a few months but once I get a new DAW configured I will report back the answer....
 
Sonic
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