[ardour-users] DAW recommendations

Brett Clark Brett at ciscoinc.com
Wed Mar 8 11:58:53 PST 2006

Im currently using a Delta 1010 (like what you are planning on getting) with a Celeron 1Ghz, 1.2 Gig RAM (2x512,2x128), and an ATA133 100 Gig drive (formatted to ext3).  Just for reference, if i record 8 channels at 96 khz, then my machine runs at about 60% CPU load.  If i play back all 8 channels (w/o plugins) then its pretty nominal.  Im guessing at less than 10%.  Deductive reasoning would then tell me that i should be able to play back 8 channels and record 8 other channels at about 70% CPU load.  Of course the load halves if i drop down to 48khz SR.  Again, this is without any plugins.
Ive seen several postings in the past recommending an Athlon CPU, but im not entirely sure why.  If i had to build it all over again today i would probably make sure i had 1 Gig RAM, then spend as much as i had left over on the fastest Athlon i could get.  Even though i have not hit any bottleneck on the ATA133 HDD, i would still go with a SATA-2 drive for my next machine (possibly even striped if i had the extra cash).  Thats just my 2 cents worth.


From: ardour-users-bounces at lists.ardour.org on behalf of Matt Brown
Sent: Wed 3/8/2006 12:55 PM
To: ardour-users at lists.ardour.org
Subject: [ardour-users] DAW recommendations

Hi Everyone.

I'm looking to make my entrance into the world of digital audio
recording in the next few weeks, and I'm getting ready to throw down on
some hardware.  I'm definitely going to use linux only, and I'm
wondering what hardware recommendations people have.  I'm planning on
getting an M-Audio 1010, but I'm unsure about the CPU/RAM/Motherboard. 
I wish there was a website somewhere that estimated what you can do with
such and such hardware.  I want to do multitrack recording, software
synthesis, effects processing, etc.  I want to support potentially 30
tracks at once, but more likely I'll be doing less than 10 most of the
time.  I want the synthesis to be top notch (whatever that means).  Is
there any hardware that helps with that?

Basically, I would like to know:  where are the bottlenecks typically on
a DAW?  Do I need a dual-core processor, or 2 processors?  Do you
recommend 64 bit over 32 bit (Studio 64 looks pretty cool)?

It would be really helpful if people could post their hardware specs,
briefly describe what they are doing with the system, and any
limitations they have encountered.

I hope this is an appropriate question for the forum...

Matt Brown
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