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cpu speed vs cores on a music production pc


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#1 Tragedy1191

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 06:20 PM

If I'm going to run FL studio and having a whole lot of these different windows (like the keyboard, drum machine, mixer, sampler, and other related music things from fL studio) and other windows incuding other music programs, the web, and itunes, is a cpu with 4+ cores with 3ghz/lower speed alright... or a cpu with 2 cores and 4ghz+ alright? btw my pc has 32g of RAM if that helps make a difference.



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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 07:23 PM

THe more cores the cpu has the better off you will be, especially if the program supports multithreading and SMP (multiple processors). Your machine has adequate ram to handle all that, and to offload the sound from the motherboard you'll need a professional audio card solution.

#3 Platypus

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 08:18 PM

I concur with cryptodan's thoughts, you should benefit more from greater number of cores. With Intel, remember that a desktop i5 doesn't implement hyperthreading. Also assuming you'll be using a good sound module and running ASIO drivers, you'll probably get best performance running Windows set to favour background processes, as ASIO drivers run as a service.


Edited by Platypus, 14 November 2013 - 02:54 AM.
Corrected wrong terminology

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#4 Tragedy1191

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 10:05 PM

Cool sounds good. btw, what is multithreading exactly?



#5 Platypus

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 03:50 AM

Multithreading is the capacity (and necessity) of modern CPUs and Operating Systems to run many pieces of software code simultaneously in parallel. This contrasts with an old OS like MS-DOS and early generation CPUs, which ran a single thread of code instructions. My simple XP netbook is running about 500 threads at the moment. A thread scheduler determines the way the threads are executed so that everything gets done and things happen when they should.

 

More processors or more cores gives the scheduler more choices of available execution units to run code, making the process easier to organize and more efficient. And more physical execution units means more can be happening at the same instant, which is beneficial for time-critical functions like generating multi-track music with effects algorithms, synthesis etc.

 

In FL, depending which version you're using, check menu options for any reference to multithreading and ensure they are enabled, things like Mutlithreaded Mixer processing.

 

I mistyped in my previous mention of the distinction of i5 processors not implementing hyperthreading. This is a way to provide a somewhat similar effect to having twice as many cores. Each core can simultaneously self-manage two threads - there appears to be twice as many cores available and offloads some of the scheduler's workload, potentially increasing efficiency. It's a bit of a trap that desktop i5 CPUs may not implement hyperthreading (my laptop i5 does), meaning an i7 optimizes running software that responds well to hyperthreading. It might be a bit hard to be sure exactly which software this most applies to though!

 

Regardless of how significant multithreading is to any individual application you are running, Windows itself is massively multithreaded, and benefits significantly from multicore CPUs.


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