I am considering getting an SSD for my C: drive.
Current setup: C: contains OS and S1 plus other common applications.
E: external drive for movies, mp3s, photos, backup
K: Omnisphere, Triian and Stylus
L: Kontakt sample libraries
Reason for considering SSD? Ever since I upgraded from V2 to V3 my CPU has been considerably worse using S1. I know this topic has been discussed here. Simply put, under V2 my computer never broke a sweat. Since installing V3, I have to disable VI tracks to save CPU when working on a song. Never had to do this with V2.
Would an SSD drive for C: improve CPU performance? I don't care about being able to boot up in three seconds. Other than the CPU issue using S1, I am happy with my computer's performance.
Is there anything else I might try if the SSD is not the solution? I'm not very techie.
I use a SSD for my system on C: and it has improved startup times. I'm not sure that it will help the CPU at all, but I also has an own SSD for all my music DAW's and the VSTI' s and it has helped a lot on load up time on EZDrummer2 and Addictive Drums 2 and the other ones. One thing you can check is your latency and buffer size. if too small it can also choke the CPU. I also have increased the memory to 16 gb.
SSD has two main advantages: They are faster and silent. I switched to SSD when upgrading my rig, so i have no comparison to only upgrading with SSD.
My setup is as follows:
C (ssd) OS and apps > Samsung 850 evo 250gb
D (ssd) Backup files studio one (projects and songs) > Samsung 850 evo 500gb
E (hard drive) Library files and main storage studio one > Seagate 2TB
F (external USB drive) for installation files backup > Western digital 1TB
Home Studio Connection
Studio One 3.5 Pro - Win 10 X64 ( i7 6700k, 16 GB Dual 2400) - Focusrite 6i6
Focal Alpha 50 - Softube Console 1 - Faderport - Monitor Station v2
brent mosher wroteWould an SSD drive for C: improve CPU performance?
An SSD will allow you to load things quicker, which basically means that S1 will load up faster, but that's about all you're going to get. Songs will save/load faster if you're using the SSD for storing them. Likewise sample-heavy instruments will load faster if the samples are stored on the SSD (albeit this will usually require a pretty beefy SSD). Working inside S1 will basically be completely unaffected.
If you need better CPU peformance you need a better CPU. Focus on clock speed above more than 4 cores. Also note that clock speed is not a pure indication of how fast a CPU actually is compared to another CPU. The underlying architecture plays a huge role as to how effecient a CPU is per clock cycle (meaning the GHz speed label of it). Best way to evaluate the actual speed of CPU's is to find relevant real-life benchmarks of the CPU's you might be considering.
All that being said upgrading to an SSD is a huge performance increase in general. It just provides an overall smother experience when using your computer.
Studio One 3 Professional (64-bit) & Windows 10 | Computer specs
Interesting that you recommend concentrating on clock speed over core count. This runs contrary to other articles I have read recently which suggest that a higher core count will benefit Daws which load the cpu on a track+plugins/core (thread) basis such as S1.
Raises a couple of questions in my laymans ignorance;
Which will perform better with S1(if other variables are equal)...?
A ~ A 4 core (8 thread) cpu clocked at 4Ghz
B ~ A 6 core (12 thread) cpu clocked at 3.4Ghz
Is there a tangible advantage to employ a 6 core cpu over a 4 core cpu if both are clocked at the same speed and all other variables are equal?
Maybe one day I'll actually finish a project!
Steve Carter wroteHi Photonic...
There's obviously more to the answer than "always prioritize clock speed over cores", since it depends on a few factors.
While it is correct that DAW's will utilize your cores, they do so with different effeciency and they will all be limited by some factors.
In the case of S1 (I can't speak to how other DAW's handle it precisely) anything on one channel will be placed onto one core. Obviously all of this gets balanced across cores.
The problem then rears its ugly head when one channel gets overloaded. Then you're screwed, no matter the amount of cores, and that is why clock speed is still very important. One core overloaded means it all goes down the drain.
Why everything on one channel is placed on one single core is because of latency. When you do multithreaded (the fancy word for code-that-runs-on-multiple-cores) operations it comes with some things that complicates matters. If you run non-multithreaded code, everything runs in serial. Everything has to wait for the previous thing to finish and as such you're not going to have an issue with things not "aligning up". Now when you suddenly start running things on multiple cores, it's parrallel. The main program still runs in a sort of "master thread" and everything has to report back to that. It has to keep track of everything that's going on and make sure that it happens in the right order and so on.
The best way to describe how things can get out of hand, is to imagine that one core changes something another core relies on to be something that it is no longer not. Because things are no longer in sync, you have to force them to sync up in whatever way is most appropriate for the code you're executing. This causes overhead. This, in reality, can reduce performance, while it on the surface might look better, it can end up actually being a wolf in sheep's clothing.
This becomes even more tricky in a realtime audio evironment where latency is super important - you can't afford doing a lot of these, or you'll end up suddenly introducing a lot of latency, which I'm sure none of us would be very happy about.
Could PreSonus basically split everything up somewhat equally on all cores? Sure, but the cost would be massive amounts of latency.
3D renderers (not games, but you know, CGI for movies etc.) have done this for over a decade, because in their case latency isn't an issue. Nobody cares if there's a 1 second overhead doing all of this, when you're already rendering an image that takes 3 hours to render. Also in the case of 3D renderers it's a bit different than a realtime audio environment, but that's another talk.
Anyway, that's a lot of technical insight, so back to the core of the matter... If you use a lot of channels with very few plug-ins on them (and not CPU hogging ones), then it's likely going to be better to go for more cores than raw speed. At the end of the day though, one core is going to see much more use than all others, because you still have a main thread that has to run the main program and keep all the other cores in check.
At any rate blindly going after more cores can end up coming back to haunt you, and as a general rule I will always advice that core speed is being taken seriously, because of what I described in the beginning.
If you have 2 CPU's that are the same generation of CPU architecture and you can run them at the same clock speed, then sure, going for more cores is always the better option, as long as money isn't a concern.
At the end of the day it depends on your usage scenario, and the best thing to do is to know the how's and why's of it all, so that you can at least make an informed choice.
Of course there are also ways to improve CPU performance outside of upgrading CPU. As klypeman mentions you can increase your buffer size on your audio interface, if it's set low. It's something to explore at least.
I hope this is helpful and I didn't throw you off with the technical stuff, but figured I'd try and explain how these things are connected, to give a bit more insight into the how and why. Hopefully I explained it well enough!
Studio One 3 Professional (64-bit) & Windows 10 | Computer specs
Thanks to everyone for their replies. Especially Photontic; I'm sure lots of people found your post informative.
I've decided to wait for a year or two and save my money and then upgrade to the newest CPU and a few SSD rather than just get one SSD now. It doesn't seem an SSD is going to help the CPU problem, whatever other benefits it might bring.
Currently, I have an i7 2600 3.40 with 8 threads and 24gb of memory and all HDDs.
I use an ssd with a hard drive.
I started by installing the OS on the ssd then all the programs.
I don't have large streaming libraries so that works out.
I use the hard drive to record audio and other data that gets changed.
Something I read gave me the impression it's better in the long run to use your ssd like ROM.
So all you do is read it, so you don't write and rewrite all the time.
I set my pagefile to work on the hard drive, etc.