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Posted (edited)

I'm just about to give my computer a guts upgrade, CPU, Motherboard and RAM. Thought I would check out the local computer techs to see how much it would cost if they did it. I have always used Intel processors, last time I used AMD was about 25 years ago i think. I formed the view back then that Intel was more compatible with just about everything. I was a bit shocked when both techs I spoke to suggested I use AMD and said they had not been putting Intels into computer builds anymore and wouldn't be for the foreseeable future. In their words "AMD kicks intels ar$e in performance price ratio".

Is it OK now to consider an AMD processor for a Music/Video editing computer? Will Cakewalk, Kontakt, Amplesound and all the other third party VSTi's and plugins work equally well on either platform? I'm curious if others are using AMD and whether or not they are having any problems.

 

Edited by Tezza
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Either intel or AMD will do... I have built many intel and AMD machines for multimedia work, as long as you know what to do (and what to expect), both are great. If you ask people on the net, they will always discuss & debate about how one is better than another for the sake of their own argument. Get over it, like comparing apple and orange, in the end, it's always be a matter of taste and sentimental reason.

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I totally agree with James.

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I'm mad at AMD processors right now. We bought my wife a Lenovo laptop with a Ryzen 7 processor and we have had nothing but issues. Opened multiple support cases and none solved the issue. Now it's 2 years old and the support period is over and she still has issues.

This rant is to try to make me feel better. This is the first AMD CPU I've purchased and it's a lemon!!

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There are layers and layers of software between the user and the processor. 

You could NEVER run a PC and tell what processor is underneath the hood.  (Assuming you don't cheat by looking at system info).

 

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I posted about my new budget 12 core Ryzen based system last month. All going well, it's powerful and runs with no DPC latency issues. It wasn't a purpose built DAW but a PC from an online system builder that based not far from me ( you know..just in case I need to call in ! ) 

You can check the DAWbench results on Scan audio, they are indeed kicking Intel's butt in the power / performance stakes at all price points for content creation

It's the first AMD CPU I've ever had actually, and like @RobertWS says....you wouldn't know it unless you looked under the hood

 

 

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I prefer AMD.

But until we have Thunderbolt, I will not upgrade.

I called Gigabites and they say the end of this year.

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, dan le said:

I prefer AMD.

 

That only makes sense if your are an assembly programmer or integrating CPUs into custom hardware devices.

And please don't reply with "My spreadsheet runs better on AMDs!"  That would be straight out of a Dilbert cartoon.

 

Edited by RobertWS

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On 5/2/2020 at 1:27 AM, Mark Morgon-Shaw said:

I posted about my new budget 12 core Ryzen based system last month. All going well, it's powerful and runs with no DPC latency issues. It wasn't a purpose built DAW but a PC from an online system builder that based not far from me ( you know..just in case I need to call in ! ) 

You can check the DAWbench results on Scan audio, they are indeed kicking Intel's butt in the power / performance stakes at all price points for content creation

It's the first AMD CPU I've ever had actually, and like @RobertWS says....you wouldn't know it unless you looked under the hood

 

 

That's a great thread for this question, thanks for posting it.

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On 5/2/2020 at 3:26 AM, razor7music said:

I'm mad at AMD processors right now. We bought my wife a Lenovo laptop with a Ryzen 7 processor and we have had nothing but issues. Opened multiple support cases and none solved the issue. Now it's 2 years old and the support period is over and she still has issues.

This rant is to try to make me feel better. This is the first AMD CPU I've purchased and it's a lemon!!

I've been an IT professional for over 25 years.  AMD are no worse than Intel from a reliability standpoint.  We've had both AMD and Intel PCs that have been "lemons" in the past.  Never has the problem been due to the brand of CPU.  Usually either a hardware fault somewhere else, or a driver or software conflict.  We have consumer protection laws where I live and a problem like this, by law, must be rectified within the "expected lifespan" of the device, regardless of the warranty offered by the manufacturer.

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Posted (edited)

In my opinion this is worth asking.  None of us know everything about it all, and I won't claim to or imply that I do, either.

In my research, though, for the best decision on a PC to do video and audio processing on a fairly high level (I hate waiting), I've found that under the surface of the "Ryzen is the stuff!" cheers that I hear from every single tech at Micro Center and wherever, there is an assertion that it is in multi-core capability that that processor shines versus overal processing power.  Those pointing that out clearly state that if your application is not written to utilize this aspect, Intel probably "wins".  I don't mean a mere 4 cores, either.  BUT, then if one compares benchmarks one finds that the percentage gaps may not be so dramatic that it matters.

Both brands/approaches kick butt. CPU support for audio processing applications has been done pretty well for 15 years now, I feel.  I'm watching interest to see how multi-multi-core (my fun term) capability will be adapted to by clever modern coding in the near future to give, if the claim is true, those Ryzens a track to race on.  They seem to use more power to get the job done, too, and create more heat, according to articles I've read.

Noel might have insights on whether Cakewalk feels this is valid and whether they have plans to exploit whatever it offers.  

That being said, my studio uses the Waves server approach to manage plugin loading (separate server via ethernet -- Super Rack, Sound Grid stuff) to relieve the DAW system from plugin loading.  But you know, these days it really, for me, is a luxury.  I have Pro Tools projects that do just fine with an older 4-core Intel system and have many plugins involved (although I strategize carefully with groups and bus inserts and whatnot).

What a fun day we occupy.

Edited by Jon White
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14 hours ago, Jon White said:

.., if the claim is true, those Ryzens a track to race on.  They seem to use more power to get the job done, too, and create more heat, according to articles I've read.

...

Power consumption is proportionate to total heat output. It's the concentration of watts per square mm that determines the temperature.  Consider a 15-watt soldering iron as an example of low wattage and high temperatures. 

Idle current in the Ryzen processors certainly shows "high" current because the temperatures are higher than comparable new Intel processors.  My new AMD 3950X system disturbingly idles around 51C (138F).  However, the whole system is drawing around 105 watts from the wall socket in that condition.  Although much older, the physics lesson is that my 12-core Mac Pro with dual 3.33GHz processors idled at around 39C (102F) but the system is drawing 230 watts from the wall while idling. 

Video renders in my AMD machine push the processor to 82C (180F) while the older Mac never crossed the 70C (158F) mark while drawing 480 watts from the wall during the render.

I have some challenging video renders to do this afternoon, and if ambition strikes, I'll hook up my power meter to the AMD machine to see what it draws at full cry.  I expect that its maximum draw will still be less than the older machine's idle state, while offering over 3x the total processing capability.  It won't be a perfect comparison, in that the Mac has a GTX 1070 (180W TDP) video card, while the AMD has a 5700 XT (225W TDP) video card, but it should be instructive nevertheless.

When comparing the newer 9th generation Intel processors to the AMD Ryzen series, one has to be careful of the numbers because the TDP ratings are developed in wildly different ways by each chipmaker.  The typical outcome is that the Intel power consumption if significantly higher at equal performance capabilities to the Ryzen series.     

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My understanding (Potientially inaccurate) is the CbB and other DAWS don't "Thread out" the way Video post does.  If that is the case, CPU clock speed matters more than core count - unlike Video post and especially VFX, Animation rendering and Video Games  which do a lot of floating point stuff and benefits from the huge core counts in GPU.

I'm Intel here, but that is more like I have NGK sparkplugs in my motorcycle because that was what the bike shop had.  I went with a Laptop i7 chip (5500 IIRC - Dual Core + Hyperthreading) ) on a ASUS PC style Mobo, primarily because of the power consumption/thermal profile of the chip - silence from the PC is a big thing to me because of where it has to live.  It's not very powerful, but doesn't seem to struggle with multiple softsynths and VSTs. I get away with a very small buffer size and latency is so close to real time thatI have stopped worrying about it.     Only time I will get an "Audio Engine Stopped" is when bringing up the interface of a VST during playback, which I don't think is CPU related so much as just a programatic resource conflict. 

Perhaps my small buffer bliss is a combination of a great I/O device (the VS-700) and the fact that the DAW is not ever asked to do anything BUT be a DAW.  It runs on a singe SATA SSD; Rather than multiple disks in the DAW, I have an iSCSI mount to a Volume on the Nimble Storage, which is stupidly insanely fast enterprise class block storage (aka SAN) located in a server rack on another floor and far away from the Audio studio. 

 

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32 minutes ago, StudioNSFW said:

My understanding (Potientially inaccurate) is the CbB and other DAWS don't "Thread out" the way Video post does. ..

 

One example in CbB is doing Drum Replacement. I had to do it for the kick and snare of a 1.5 hour recording that had 30 mono channels. 

For each run  of Replacer,  CbB loads all 32 logical cores at a total load of 72% very evenly.  Mixdowns so far have maxed out at around 12% total load, again looking very even (ThreadSchedulingModel=2).  There's some possibility that the UAD-2 (Oxide, Reflection Engine, LA-2A, EMT140) is affecting the max achievable CPU load, but everything else involved is either NVMe Gen4 or SATA-3 SSD.  I've attached the power meter to my AMD machine, and will be getting to the video work soon enough.   

Everything is being done at 48k; my round-trip latency through the Midas M32 with these four ASIO buffer sizes is... 

32 samples = 3.02ms /// 64 samples = 4.35ms /// 128 samples = 7.02ms /// 256 samples = 12.35ms

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Good question @Tezza.

In the UK Scan Computers make Pro Audio PCs using both AMD and Intel CPUs and they also produce this information page which might help your decision...

http://www.scanproaudio.info/ 

I'm leaning towards a 3900X based system myself at the moment but waiting to see if prices settle back down again once we see light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel. My main PC is used as much for video editing as audio work so AMD seems to have the edge there for me in price/performance at the moment and I don't really need the ultimate in single-threaded performance which Intel seem to have by a small margin.

Will be interested to hear what you buy and how it turns out.

 

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Thanks for that, this is the same for me in terms of using my computer for video editing work as well as music. I can do 25fps 1080p at around 50mbs/s either Canon DSLR or Panasonic GH4 type footage but with some strain on my current system. With my current camera, I can move to 10Bit 4:2:2 which I would like to try. If I'm going to get better performance with video editing and DAW from AMD simply because I can afford a more powerful processor from them then that is looking good at the moment.

Heat might be an issue though, from what I'm reading the AMD processors run hot, heat means noise and I don't like noise. My computer is pretty silent at the moment and I would like to keep it that way.

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For video post the issue isn’t your cpu as much as  it’s the throughput of the storage,  If your current system isn’t equipped with a NVMe drive or two dropped frames will be a constant problem once you start working in 4K. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/5/2020 at 2:14 AM, Tezza said:

Thanks for that, this is the same for me in terms of using my computer for video editing work as well as music. I can do 25fps 1080p at around 50mbs/s either Canon DSLR or Panasonic GH4 type footage but with some strain on my current system. With my current camera, I can move to 10Bit 4:2:2 which I would like to try. If I'm going to get better performance with video editing and DAW from AMD simply because I can afford a more powerful processor from them then that is looking good at the moment.

Heat might be an issue though, from what I'm reading the AMD processors run hot, heat means noise and I don't like noise. My computer is pretty silent at the moment and I would like to keep it that way.

I think your reasoning is pretty sound. I currently work mainly with 1080p 60fps limited by my Canon DSLR not doing 4K but I also don't really have the need for 4K. My phone will do 4K funnily enough and it looks pretty good but I just don't want to deal with such a massive increase in file size/processing time when I don't have a pressing need to.

Regarding the heat issue I'm also keen to keep things cool but quiet. I did a "noise reduction" upgrade on my existing PC last year using quiet PWM system fans profiled to run at a lower speed most of the time and a Noctua quiet CPU cooler.  I know you aren't looking to replace your case but I would also like to get a new one that can use 240 mm system fans which can achieve the same airflow as smaller fans but at a lower speed.

Also, seeing StudioNSFW mention NVME drives.... my existing PC motherboard didn't have any NVME slots so I bought a relatively cheap PCIE NVME adapter (something like this one ) and added a 1Tb Sabrent Rocket and this thing absolutely flies! My system already has 3 x 2.5" SSDs but the NVME drive performance is in a different league. The bonus is that almost any AMD motherboard that I get will have NVME slots so I can just transfer it over to the new board without the PCIE adapter. 

Edited by ZincT
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