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Thread: i mean, how much memory/fast of a processor do i really need?

  1. #1
    seahorse is offline Registered User
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    i mean, how much memory/fast of a processor do i really need?

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    okay so i'm in the market for a new computer. i've been looking at dell, best buy, and fry's. my budget is around $1,300.

    my question is, do i really need to meet my budget for this computer? i'm looking at computers with 12gb of ram, the i7 processor, and all that. right now, i'm on a 3gb ram computer and it is tremendously slow with all of my vsts. it is damn near impossible to record vocals on it.

    i'm not going to be using this computer for 100% perfect mixing/mastering, but i do plan on at least somewhat doing that. all of the instruments i use are from vstis, so i'm pretty sure i need a fast-ass computer with a big harddrive. and as i said before, i am going to be recording vocals on it.

    but i'm wondering, is my money best spent on a super fast 12gb, i7 processor computer OR getting a slower 8gb, i5 processor and slightly better monitors/sound treatment/something else?

    also, what's more important for music-making/multiple vsts/mixing/mastering/vocals? processor speed or ram?
    Last edited by seahorse; 09-20-2010 at 03:50 PM.

  2. #2
    krushing's Avatar
    krushing is offline Moderator
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    There's no easy answer for this - or if there were, there wouldn't be so damn many threads about it

    But basically just recording things doesn't take up very much CPU at all - I've recorded about 12-14 tracks simultaneously on a 10-year old computer just fine. Plugins do suck a lot of juice, so that's where the real dilemma is. Processing plugins (fx) and synths - things that generate or alter sound realtime, generally, use mostly the CPU power while sample-based plugins generally use more RAM...but since even sample playback has gotten pretty complex with boatloads of articulations and thousands of samples and all kinds of intelligent systems for loading them, there's really no simple solution. That said, unless you exclusively use huge-ass sample libraries 8Gb is more than enough. I'm getting by just fine with an iMac from a few years back, 2Ghz & 4Gb RAM (even though I admittedly don't use all the newest toys).

    If you put the computer together yourself you'll probably get a pretty decent powerhouse with $600-800 (or even less - don't really have that good of a grasp of the US market) and putting money towards treatment & monitoring is always a good idea

  3. #3
    papoose_546 is offline Registered User
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    how much ram / processor speed do i need to work with fl studio and kontakt 4 .....?

  4. #4
    Deeyou is offline Registered User
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    FL Studio can only use 3gb RAM with the extended memory instance.. And you have to have the /3gb switch in the boot.ini file to utilize it.. other than that FL STUDIO can only utilize 2gb of RAM...this is just the functions that are pertaining to the DAW itself. Plugins will call upon as much RAM as needed.. any 32 bit app cannot use more than 4 GB RAM.. If you have 4GB of RAM in Win XP the system will only see about 3 and change.. You are left with that to run your resources.

    If you're using Windows 7, and running FL STUDIO it doesn't matter because FL still doesn't support 64 bit. If you are using 64 bit plugins... the rule of thumb applies (plugins can only use the RAM that the OS allocates) .. And don't quote me on this.. But if you are running 64 bit apps inside of a 32 bit DAW you will need to bridge them.. which comes with it's own set of problems..

    So my advice is, if you are running in FL, stick to 32 bit all the way... You won't need to purchase more than 4 GB of RAM.

    As far as CPU... get the best dual-core CPU you can afford.

    FL STUDIO doesn't support hyperthreading and a quad-core will not serve you very well... You COULD buy one to future proof your machine but you have to take into consideration how long you are going to keep your rig and when/if FL will implement hyperthreading capabilities.

    if you're going to use FL just get yourself a rig with a nice core2duo E8500 (around $200 USD) and some DDR2 1066 RAM (about $100 USD for 4GB's) DDR3 1066 or 1333 isn't really needed because a core2duo, for example, uses an FSB and you have to match the FSB rating with the ram you use anyway.. Get a cheap case (you can get a reasonable one for around the $60-$70 range), a good HD (depending on what size you need, but you can get a 1TB for around $100 just make sure you get 7200 RPM.. you will need the size and speed if you're using sample intensive libraries like Kontakt)... and a decent MoBo (I suggest Gigabyte.. they are the most stable by far... you can get a decent one for $75)

    You can build a comp that will handle a pretty good workload in conjunction with Kontakt and pretty much whatever you throw at it.. for around or even under $600 USD.

    Hope this helps.

    ---------- Post added at 11:47 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:33 AM ----------

    Also, you can plunk down the extra doe and build yourself an i5 or even an i7 rig ... but that would drive the cost up about $400-500 .... with that money you can buy yourself a decent mic or preamp.

    Again, if you go i5 or i7 and are still going to fly with FL... stick to the dual cores
    Last edited by Deeyou; 09-21-2010 at 11:48 AM.

  5. #5
    discokingdave is offline Registered User
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    Jumping on the back of this thread, I'm using Record 1.5 and Reason 5 on a Dell laptop with 2GB RAM and a 1.6gHz Intel processor and it's having problems with my projects at buffer sizes of less than 256. I have a couple of synths, a few sample players and a couple of audio tracks and task manager tells me that my CPU is at about 70% when all tracks are playing and that I'm using around 50% of my RAM. I'm looking to use both more audio and sample playback in the future (current tracks are relatively basic - 8-10 tracks or so) so am pretty sure my processor is not going to cut it.

    I'm looking to upgrade soon enough and am looking at one of the Core i5 or i7s - probably 2.66 or 2.8. I'm kind of technologically challenged though - is that and, say 8Gb RAM going to be comfortably enough for me? And bearing in mind my absolute lack of any kind of knowledge about this stuff, would I be better off buying somethinbg like this straight from the factory and stick an extra few GB of RAM? Budget is 750-1,000.

    http://3xs.scan.co.uk/ShowSystem.asp?SystemID=1019

  6. #6
    seahorse is offline Registered User
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    actually guys, i went ahead and decided i'm going to go with a laptop. i'm planning to do shows and that's going to be a pain in the ass to carry around my pc. only problem is with laptops, higher specs mean much more money... i'm thinking i'm going to have to drop $1.3k on it. and this is with 8gb of ram, 500gb hdd w/ 7200 rpm, 2.53 ghz i5 processor and a decent video card. i think that'll do just fine, but it's going to be a couple months now

  7. #7
    logic7's Avatar
    logic7 is offline old school
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    once again, I come to save everyone from the Legion of Misinformation...

    Quote Originally Posted by Deeyou View Post
    FL Studio can only use 3gb RAM with the extended memory instance.. And you have to have the /3gb switch in the boot.ini file to utilize it.. other than that FL STUDIO can only utilize 2gb of RAM...this is just the functions that are pertaining to the DAW itself. Plugins will call upon as much RAM as needed.. any 32 bit app cannot use more than 4 GB RAM.. If you have 4GB of RAM in Win XP the system will only see about 3 and change.. You are left with that to run your resources.
    FL has a second executable in it's folder for extended memory access, up to 4GB IIRC (I don't use it).

    If you're using Windows 7, and running FL STUDIO it doesn't matter because FL still doesn't support 64 bit. If you are using 64 bit plugins... the rule of thumb applies (plugins can only use the RAM that the OS allocates) .. And don't quote me on this.. But if you are running 64 bit apps inside of a 32 bit DAW you will need to bridge them.. which comes with it's own set of problems..
    Windows 7 has a 32bit and 64bit version.

    FL Studio runs just fine in 64Bit Windows AND the latest version even supports 64bit plugins in the wrapper.

    So my advice is, if you are running in FL, stick to 32 bit all the way... You won't need to purchase more than 4 GB of RAM.
    No need to stick to 32bit at all.

    As far as CPU... get the best dual-core CPU you can afford.

    FL STUDIO doesn't support hyperthreading and a quad-core will not serve you very well... You COULD buy one to future proof your machine but you have to take into consideration how long you are going to keep your rig and when/if FL will implement hyperthreading capabilities.
    Hyperthreading has nothing to do with anything.

    FL Studio DOES take advantage of muti-core processors. Mixing, FX, and synths can all use multithreaded processing to get better performance under FL Studio.

    if you're going to use FL just get yourself a rig with a nice core2duo E8500 (around $200 USD) and some DDR2 1066 RAM (about $100 USD for 4GB's) DDR3 1066 or 1333 isn't really needed because a core2duo, for example, uses an FSB and you have to match the FSB rating with the ram you use anyway.. Get a cheap case (you can get a reasonable one for around the $60-$70 range), a good HD (depending on what size you need, but you can get a 1TB for around $100 just make sure you get 7200 RPM.. you will need the size and speed if you're using sample intensive libraries like Kontakt)... and a decent MoBo (I suggest Gigabyte.. they are the most stable by far... you can get a decent one for $75)

    You can build a comp that will handle a pretty good workload in conjunction with Kontakt and pretty much whatever you throw at it.. for around or even under $600 USD.

    Hope this helps.

    ---------- Post added at 11:47 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:33 AM ----------

    Also, you can plunk down the extra doe and build yourself an i5 or even an i7 rig ... but that would drive the cost up about $400-500 .... with that money you can buy yourself a decent mic or preamp.

    Again, if you go i5 or i7 and are still going to fly with FL... stick to the dual cores
    why??? PLEASE explain this...
    Last edited by logic7; 09-28-2010 at 02:38 PM.
    "... got a problem with your processor? your gonna have to call pentium for that." - joey tunez

  8. #8
    papoose_546 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by logic7 View Post
    once again, I come to save everyone from the Legion of Misinformation...



    FL has a second executable in it's folder for extended memory access, up to 4GB IIRC (I don't use it).



    Windows 7 has a 32bit and 64bit version.

    FL Studio runs just fine in 64Bit Windows AND the latest version even supports 64bit plugins in the wrapper.



    No need to stick to 32bit at all.



    Hyperthreading has nothing to do with anything.

    FL Studio DOES take advantage of muti-core processors. Mixing, FX, and synths can all use multithreaded processing to get better performance under FL Studio.



    why??? PLEASE explain this...

    Hahaha logic 7 sure knows many things bout computers....


    logic 7 i already have a pc but i want it to become faster so i can run fl studio + kontakt....i have read that i must buy processor and RAM....what is your suggestions for a budget like 300 $...?

  9. #9
    seahorse is offline Registered User
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    yeah logic is right. fl does work in win7 64-bit: http://flstudio.image-line.com/help/html/panel_cpu.htm

    however, it looks like it can only use 4 gb ram, which is a bit disappointing, considering i was planning on purchasing a 8gb ram laptop. i wonder if there's a way around it.

    and deeyou, i just realized something...

    Quote Originally Posted by Deeyou View Post
    if you're going to use FL just get yourself a rig with a nice core2duo E8500 (around $200 USD) and some DDR2 1066 RAM (about $100 USD for 4GB's) DDR3 1066 or 1333 isn't really needed because a core2duo, for example, uses an FSB and you have to match the FSB rating with the ram you use anyway.. Get a cheap case (you can get a reasonable one for around the $60-$70 range), a good HD (depending on what size you need, but you can get a 1TB for around $100 just make sure you get 7200 RPM.. you will need the size and speed if you're using sample intensive libraries like Kontakt)... and a decent MoBo (I suggest Gigabyte.. they are the most stable by far... you can get a decent one for $75)
    you just almost described my computer to the tee. i have a core2duo 2.3 ghz 4gb (3.24gb usable since i'm running win7 3-bit), 250GB HDD, except i don't have a cheap case. i thought the lights were pretttyyyy. the point is, i know fl can be rigged to be faster and i'm pretty sure the reason is the slower processor.

    anyway, i'm lookin at this laptop right now:

    http://www.ibuypower.com/Store/Batta..._Gaming_Laptop

    configured with 8gb of ram, i7-740qm, 500gb hdd 7200 rpm, and decent video card for $1,279. not too shabby. good news is it looks like i'll be able to afford this in just a month

    OH also, how long can i expect this laptop configured with an i7 to last? it better be at least a couple hours or somewhere around there.

  10. #10
    Wedges2's Avatar
    Wedges2 is offline AlphaMelee
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    Quote Originally Posted by logic7 View Post
    once again, I come to save everyone from the Legion of Misinformation...



    FL has a second executable in it's folder for extended memory access, up to 4GB IIRC (I don't use it).



    Windows 7 has a 32bit and 64bit version.

    FL Studio runs just fine in 64Bit Windows AND the latest version even supports 64bit plugins in the wrapper.



    No need to stick to 32bit at all.



    Hyperthreading has nothing to do with anything.

    FL Studio DOES take advantage of muti-core processors. Mixing, FX, and synths can all use multithreaded processing to get better performance under FL Studio.



    why??? PLEASE explain this...
    So basically what you are saying is...

    I can buy a 64 bit Win7 computer, with 4GB, i7, computer and run FL Studio and all my plugins on it no problem?

    Btw, do you have any idea if upgrading to the above from my 2GB, 2GHz dual core computer would make a significant change in FL? I start to get a lot of pops and clicks towards the end of my tracks and a lot when mixing towards the end. (even when my buffer is at 4000 somethin samples)

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