It's chrismas ! Dual CPU ?

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JoPo
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It's chrismas ! Dual CPU ?

Post by JoPo » Tue Dec 25, 2018 4:27 am

Dual CPU computers have been discussed many time on that forum but I'm not sure anyone has got one on Z. But if there are any, I would be glad to share infos with them !

Since long time, I wanted the ultimate computer. I love stuff like Falcon, Kontakt, Reaktor, Omnisphere, etc. They can be a bit hungry of cpu power. In my mind, a dual CPU should be the best : dual CPU = 2 x power ! Still having got some money at the bank, I decided to make up one. By spending time to find recent xeon cpu with a pretty price, I've found 2 Xeon gold 6136 = 12 core, 24 threads each ! Yes ! I know ! It's expensive but I found them on ebay for half the price. Anyway, it remains an expensive machine. When I received the CPUs, I was stunned by their size : they are 2.5 times larger than usual intel's ! The mounting is also quite different.

My MB choice is the Asus WS-C621E-SAGE, the latest asus dual cpu MB. I ordered all that, with ram and a samsung M2 evo 970 and a larger computer case. I choose ASUS because each time I tried another MB brand, I had issues.

I build up the machine, installed W10, Scope, DAW, etc... And tried ! First, I'll say that Scope runs flawlessly on the C621 chipset... Ouf ! I'm not sure this info has been reported here.
But... After launching the music project I was working on, the daw performance wasn't better than with my I7 4790K LGA 1150 !! F...k !

Before to decide to build up that machine by myself, I found some companies that sale powerful audio workstation with 2 xeons (but even much more expensive than mine !), consequently, I knew it was usable for audio goal. So I started to study the MB bios settings in order to improve the perfs. The bios is quite different and huge, a real mess ! But finally, I've found good settings, after 2 or 3 day of trying and understanding each bios parameter one by one. The daw perf was better but still not as I hoped ! From far.

Then, I looked for as much dual CPU computer infos as possible. Took me some time ! And I discovered that both cpus must communicate to each other when an application uses both of them, that add a lot of latency ! So If you want very short latency, dual CPU is not for you, it's not worth it, you'll have the same perf as with one cpu pc.. Those machines goal is multitasking as server or fast computing for finance applications, not really what I want to do. They are as good as usual pc with application that use only one CPU but for application that use all available cores, the perf drops down because of those data the 2 cpu must exchange, they are much much slower when the application uses the 2 cpu or at least not better than with only 1 cpu. But in multitasking, dual cpu computer is unbeatable if loaded applications use just1 cpu or better, a part of the cpu : 2, 3 or 1 core. No heavy application that uses both cpu.

Cubase, my daw is able to work with multi core, so it uses the 2 cpu and they need to exchange data which is not good for perf. How could I use that fucking expensive computer for audio and multitask ?? I could assign 1 cpu in the task manager to cubase each time I start the computer... But in that case, all plugins loaded in cubase would use only 1 cpu too. Or maybe someone knows how to assign automatically 1 CPU or some cores to cubase each time I launch it ? And assign different cores to plugins inside cubase ?

The solution is Vep : it allows user to set how many core each instance will use. So, I can add plenty of vep instances with heavy plugins without seeing any overload cpu. I just have to change the way I use my daw and I can take ful advantage of that incredible machine power.
So, finally, I can use all that computer power with a decent latency. Not exactly in the way I imagined but the result is unbelievable !

Anyway, I would prefer to not use all those vep instances but load all those plugins inside cubase, it would be more convenient ; if someone knows the way I could achieve that ... And have info about audio dual cpu workstation that I wouldn't have yet... Don't hesitate to share !

Thank you for your attention.
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Re: It's chrismas ! Dual CPU ?

Post by garyb » Tue Dec 25, 2018 10:47 am

that's the price to use the system in ways the engineers did not anticipate.
audio software is not made to take advantage of such builds. i have found the same, it's better to build a simpler machine for a specific purpose or to use multiple computers, but i suppose making it all work is sometimes a big reward. what is admirable is that you stuck with it and found a way to make it work for you!

it is kind of like building a hot rod. the car will go very fast and handle very well, if you do it right, but it will probably become useless for trips to the store, or to visit a friend across town, or go to work every day.

i have also been involved with a machine that used dual scalable XEONs, but that user has made his machine do everything, his office work, emails, music, video rendering, everything. he always uses dual XEONS in every build, so he's only comparing use with his old system , made 6 years ago. even though i told him that he probably is not getting much more performance than a current single processor would provide, he is very happy because it's miles better than his previous computer.

there is a reason that most of the dual processor motherboards are server boards and not gamer boards. again, congratulations for making it function as you need it to!!!

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Re: It's chrismas ! Dual CPU ?

Post by fraz » Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:14 am

Well it's just an idea but you could use the dual CPU machine as a VEP slave - totally 100% for VEP, Kontakt and all the other goodies !!!

then >>> build a cheaper machine (funds permitting)_with 1 CPU such as Intel 8 core 8 threads - or a 4790 K --- or what ever ---- for your host system with 32 bit OS - then all Scope devices can be used (no arguments)100% - then the mamoth power of the XEON GOLDS in the slave config. with 64 GB RAM or more or maybe less

When the AMD FX8350's came down in price I bought one or two of them for use with VEP or Scope/Xite - so I've taken the root of 1 CPU only systems but I do have 1 x Asus Z10 PE D8 WS - but I regret this slightly - and 2 x XEON E5-2620 V4's (lowest end dual CPU allowed)....

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Re: It's chrismas ! Dual CPU ?

Post by JoPo » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:55 am

By reading your answers, I don't see much hope to not use a lot of vep instances... :roll:

--> Gary -->
It's only after studing exactly how dual CPU computers work that I could conclude and find a solution for using all that computing power for audio. For instance, a modular softwarer such as Audulus which needs a lot of power.
With my ancient pc, the one with an I7 4790LGA 1150, when I cliked on a web link during cubase was playing a heavy project file, It reached CPU max power and cracking sonds occured. With the dual cpu, the cubase power meter doesn't move at all.
Indeed, I can launch a lot of different tasks together and having usual power for each of them.

I think a good way to benefit of all the dual cpu pc power could be to use standalone versions of VSTi's via virtual midi cables. But the vep solution has that advantage : compensating latencies automatically.

--> Fraz -->
My ancient new pc (the one with I7 4790LGA 1150) became the old one in which I installed my 3 S|C PCI cards and which is linked to the new one via ADAT & vep.
For the moment, my intention is to use the dual cpu as master machine... AND slave machine ! It's so powerful that I can launch as much vep instances as if I had 5 or 6 slave computers comparable to my "new ancient" computer.
So, I plan to load all VSTi on vep instances with fx plugins on their vep channels when needed and in cubase, I'll use plugins only on audio tracks and asio inputs/outputs when needed. And I'll see by use if that is the best solution. That seems to me, at least, the best way to distribute load on all the 24 cores/48 threads ! :o
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Re: It's chrismas ! Dual CPU ?

Post by fraz » Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:11 am

But can Cubase use 24cores&48 threads?

How much did you pay for XEON GOLD? - And where from? = I know you mentioned half-price - It sounds very good that you've got a good result - what price for the CPU's

Yes I get the idea you can do everything on the one machine it's so powerful -

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cp ... cpuCount=2 = NEW MACHINE
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cp ... Hz&id=2275 = NEW ANCIENT MACHINE

Well I've got a 4790 K or two - with some PCI slots

I take it you have Xite and the PCI cards -

Please mention the price of the XEON GOLD you bought - and where you bought them from -

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Re: It's chrismas ! Dual CPU ?

Post by garyb » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:20 am

you cannot use virtual cores with Scope hardware. virtual cores take the real cores to calculate them. it's 24 cores with 24 threads without hyperthreading.

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Re: It's chrismas ! Dual CPU ?

Post by JoPo » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:42 am

After checking, I paid more than half the price, or that xeon cpu price dropped down since I ordered them.

I had both of them for 4000€ ! Which is still a lot of money ! And I found them on ebay. They are not viewable anymore. The actual price for the same 2 xeons is arround 6000€ here. You can find much less expensive in usa but if you're in Europe, you'll pay more than the difference in importation taxes !

Anyway, you could get a very good dual xeon config with less cores, so less expensive. Try to find second hand's cpus ! By studing dual cpu computer for audio work, I clearly understood that in order to have a good short latency, the cpu frequency is important and should not be under 3GHz.
In the asus MB bios, there is a parameter that allows me to always keep the 2 xeon at their max turbo frequency which is in my case 3.6GHz.

The Asus WS-C621E-SAGE is quite impressive but worth 500€ ! You certainly could find a dual MB less expensive at supermicro, they have a lot of choice. You just have to take care to have compatible xeon / chipset shape : there is square or narrow ! Same chipset : LGA 3647 but 2 cpu shape possible and a square xeon will not be mountable on a MB with narrow cpu slot. :)
Last edited by JoPo on Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:01 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: It's chrismas ! Dual CPU ?

Post by JoPo » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:53 am

garyb wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:20 am
you cannot use virtual cores with Scope hardware. virtual cores take the real cores to calculate them. it's 24 cores with 24 threads without hyperthreading.
Yes. Hyperthreading must be on and the application must be able to use threads.
fraz wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:11 am
But can Cubase use 24cores&48 threads?
Yes, cubase can do that which is good when you have only 1 cpu.
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Re: It's chrismas ! Dual CPU ?

Post by Bud Weiser » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:06 am

JoPo wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:53 am
garyb wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:20 am
you cannot use virtual cores with Scope hardware. virtual cores take the real cores to calculate them. it's 24 cores with 24 threads without hyperthreading.
Yes. Hyperthreading must be on and the application must be able to use threads.
fraz wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:11 am
But can Cubase use 24cores&48 threads?
Yes, cubase can do that which is good when you have only 1 cpu.
Yes, but even Cubase can do it,- it´s doesn´t matter for SCOPE,- no ?

Who´s correct ?
Gary or you ?

I´m pretty sure Gary is right when sayin´ there´s no benefit for SCOPE when using Hyper Threading.
I also believe the opposite is the case.
Maybe it changes later or "soon" ... :D ... but I doubt.

:)

Bud

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Re: It's chrismas ! Dual CPU ?

Post by garyb » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:53 am

no. it takes extra time to run extra threads. the computer will be late and there will be dropouts using hyperthreading, depending on how you use the system. old news.

it will never be "soon", because that's just how the universe works.

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Re: It's chrismas ! Dual CPU ?

Post by JoPo » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:38 pm

Where did I say that I use hyperthreading in order to improve Scope performances ?

I think that if there is enough ram in a pc (I mean more than 500Mo), Scope will have the same perf in XP, W10, with Pentium IV, I9 or 2 xeons. Hyperthreading turned on or off.
Benefit of hyperthreading is for vst's. It never made any dropout in Scope on several of my configs. But I rarely use 3ms latency, maybe that's why. Cpu turbo or EIST features, yes ! Changing cpu frequency during daw playing generates ugly dropouts, cracks, snap and pop® !
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Re: It's chrismas ! Dual CPU ?

Post by fraz » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:58 pm

Yes - :lol:
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Re: It's chrismas ! Dual CPU ?

Post by fraz » Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:01 pm

& - :)
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Re: It's chrismas ! Dual CPU ?

Post by JoPo » Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:03 pm

:D
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Re: It's chrismas ! Dual CPU ?

Post by garyb » Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:06 pm

i was just responding to fraz's question and bud's comment.
hyperthreading is bad for Scope, but not in every config. hyperthreading doesn't necessarily help vstis. it's really only a help to offline processes.

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Re: It's chrismas ! Dual CPU ?

Post by fraz » Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:36 am

So this is your motherboard - just so I and everyone else knows.....

https://www.asus.com/uk/Motherboards/WS-C621E-SAGE/

And these are the supported CPU's - You did mention narrow socket and square socket (two variants)-which confuses matters... this info is from Asus web pages.

https://www.asus.com/uk/Commercial-Serv ... pDesk_CPU/

>>>>there are 6 core/8 core + variants @ 3 Ghz - Just took a look at the compatible CPU's off Asus website and there are several @ 3 Ghz or over 3 Ghz...

Xeon Gold 5122 (3.6G,105W,L3:16.5M,4C,rev.H0,HT)
Xeon Gold 6128 (3.4G,115W,L3:19.25M,6C,rev.H0,HT)
Xeon Gold 6134 (3.2G,130W,L3:24.75M,8C,rev.H0,HT)
Xeon Gold 6136 (3.0G,150W,L3:24.75M,12C,rev.H0,HT)
Xeon Gold 6144 (3.5G,150W,L3:24.75M,8C,rev.H0,HT)
Xeon Gold 6146 (3.2G,165W,L3:24.75M,12C,rev.H0,HT)
Xeon Gold 6154 (3.0G,200W,L3:24.75M,18C,rev.H0,HT)

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Re: It's chrismas ! Dual CPU ?

Post by Marco » Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:51 am

Mrs Melody my cat is a real PC Spezialist :lol: solving any problems within a few minutes!
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Scope 7 user since 2017 and Scope user since 1998. :o

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Re: It's chrismas ! Dual CPU ?

Post by JoPo » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:30 am

fraz wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:36 am
So this is your motherboard - just so I and everyone else knows.....

https://www.asus.com/uk/Motherboards/WS-C621E-SAGE/
Yes, that is the one !
fraz wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:36 am
And these are the supported CPU's - You did mention narrow socket and square socket (two variants)-which confuses matters... this info is from Asus web pages.

https://www.asus.com/uk/Commercial-Serv ... pDesk_CPU/

>>>>there are 6 core/8 core + variants @ 3 Ghz - Just took a look at the compatible CPU's off Asus website and there are several @ 3 Ghz or over 3 Ghz...

Xeon Gold 5122 (3.6G,105W,L3:16.5M,4C,rev.H0,HT)
Xeon Gold 6128 (3.4G,115W,L3:19.25M,6C,rev.H0,HT)
Xeon Gold 6134 (3.2G,130W,L3:24.75M,8C,rev.H0,HT)
Xeon Gold 6136 (3.0G,150W,L3:24.75M,12C,rev.H0,HT)
Xeon Gold 6144 (3.5G,150W,L3:24.75M,8C,rev.H0,HT)
Xeon Gold 6146 (3.2G,165W,L3:24.75M,12C,rev.H0,HT)
Xeon Gold 6154 (3.0G,200W,L3:24.75M,18C,rev.H0,HT)
That is how I found the right xeon, on the asus page about supported cpu for the motherboard. And both of the cpu's are "square" Xeon Gold 6136 (3.0G,150W,L3:24.75M,12C,rev.H0,HT)
You must know that you can put 2 different cpu as long as they are on that list !
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Re: It's chrismas ! Dual CPU ?

Post by dawman » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:50 pm

Awesome news.
I was going to fix something that already worked but just had GaryB build me a brand new 1U ASRock Z97m WS instead.

i7-4790k w/ dual Samsung 850 Pro SSDs and a Samsung 950 Pro NVMe M.2 for sample loading, needs to be super fast for loading Spectrasonics Samples. Streaming is a whole different game.
Seperating streaming from loading is important for live work.

You could use your single computer as a Master and VEP Slave by using Reaper Portable Install for a template, then Reaper regular install a second time as your project loader.
It could use the extra cores for the dual instances of Reaper.

Your instruments n very reload per project, just the Master data and the instruments remain on the Slave instance.
Nice Christmas gift though.

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Re: It's chrismas ! Dual CPU ?

Post by JoPo » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:25 am

I tried Reaper for 2 or 3 months but I never feld comfortable. Tried also Samplitude, same unpleasantness. I think 20 years of cubase use is going to be hard to change.
Next try will be Studio One... If I find time.

Anyway, the way I do with plenty of VEP instances seems to be a good approach. It allows me to use 3ms ULLI without any issue on very heavy projects, the cubase CPU meter doesn't move and remains at 1/7. That's awesome !
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