[ardour-dev] PC Hardware suggestions

John Rigg ardev at sound-man.co.uk
Fri Mar 9 02:51:49 PST 2007

On Thu, Mar 08, 2007 at 08:40:54PM -0800, Jim Osborn wrote:
> It's time to upgrade the workstation, so I'm curious what hardware
> features would the Ardour community especially lust for?
> The more RAM the better, I'm sure, but what about storage layout,
> is RAID important for some reason, are dual-core processors worth it,
> or things like FPGA co-processors, and other things?

SMP is a good thing to have if you want to use multiple sound cards.
ALSA's pcm_multi plugin (necessary to make jackd work with multiple
cards) doesn't work with the realtime kernel, and it can be hard
to avoid xruns without that unless you have more than one CPU.

AMD64 is better than x86 in my experience, too. The extra CPU
registers available in 64-bit mode seem to boost performance
more than the 64-bit pointers reduce it. Also, AMD64 distros
are optimised for that architecture, unlike x86 distros (other
than Gentoo) which have to work with a lowest common denominator
like 386 or 586.

RAID isn't necessary unless you want high channel count at
high sample rate (eg. >32 channels at 96kHz). There are benefits
to having two hard disks on different IDE busses - one for the
software and one for audio files. If you put the audio disk in
a removable carrier you can swap disks between projects.

FPGA co-processors would be nice, but AFAIK none are supported
on Linux.


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