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#457488 - 02/14/18 01:28 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] CPU vs RAM vs Hard Drive
DeaconBlues09 Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/21/17
Posts: 272
Loc: Merkaz, Israel
Hey there folks,

Unfortunately, BiaB (and music as whole) is a hobby for me at the moment (bills, child support etc...). I'm considering purchasing a new desktop at some point, and need to figure out precisely how to maximize each cent.

When recording live instruments, I've used Reaper this far...which works fine since I use a Zoom G5x and G3 for guitar and bass, respectively. Since they both supply the effects and operate as an audio interface this takes a massive load of my computer's processor.

However, I would like to start recording a dry guitar signal, and using VSTs-monitored in realtime so I can adjust the color, tone, and parameters of each effect in post.

Furthermore, I want to start delving deeper into RealBand and experimenting with as much as a dozen RTs, Loops, and MIDI tracks with multiple VSTs.

I need to make a number of compromises, and determine precisely which components to invest more in. Now (and please correct me if I'm wrong), since a GPU is the least important thing for my purposes, what I need to focus on is:

a) CPU

b) RAM

c) SSD vs HD

With respect to the CPU, there's generation, clock speed, cores, and threads. Also, I've noticed that a i-5 8600 can cost more than a i-7 7400. What's the deal there? With respect to RAM, should I be looking at DDR3 vs DDR4? Clock speed? Channels?

Your advice/input would be very much appreciated!
_________________________
Band-in-a-Box 2018 PlusPAK w 2018 Bonus Pak. Lenovo IdeaPad 110: ISK Windows 10 Home 64-bit. CPU: Intel Core i3 @ 2.00GHz Skylake-U/Y 14nm Technology. RAM: 8.00GB Dual-Channel. 238GB SSD

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#457535 - 02/14/18 09:19 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: CPU vs RAM vs Hard Drive [Re: DeaconBlues09]
Mikke - PG Music Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/25/18
Posts: 54
Loc: British Columbia
Hey DeaconBlues, hope you are doing well.

I have some pretty good news for you, you don't need to spend a fortune to get the most out of you desktop Band-in-a-Box experience. I am sure you have seen this before:

System Requirements for Band-in-a-Box
Windows®: XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10 (32 or 64-bit)
Minimum 1GB RAM (2GB+ recommended)
Minimum 1.0 GHz processor (2GHz+ multicore recommended)
1GB free Hard Disk space for a minimal install (15GB+ recommended)

Looking at your specs, you currently are well beyond this. As I am quite fond of upgrading PC's though. I can help you get some great performance with little capital.

A lot of PC building is a chicken and egg process, and you'll see what I mean here. First and foremost, you need to decide on your CPU as that is going to be what everything is built around. When looking at CPUs, you need to pay attention to your clock speed (GHZ), for example your current i3 runs at 2.0GHZ.

There are a few things to take into consideration as to why you are seeing such a price difference in the CPUs you have mentioned about. An i7 is not automatically better then an i5, what is important are the two numbers after that. For example, looking at the i7-7400 vs the i5-8600, I can assertain that the i5 is better since the 8 series is newer then the 7 series and the 6 class is higher then the 4 class. It's a bit convoluted, but when looking at Intel CPUs if the four number (i.e. 8600) are higher then the other four numbers (i.e. 7400) it would be safe to assume the i5-8600 is much more powerful. Either processor would be a huge improvement over your current. I would also recommend a i5-3570. It's a bit older, but runs at 3.4 GHZ and you can find them pretty cheap these days.

Now, the reason you need to figure this part out is because CPUs will dictate what RAM you need. For example, my i5-3570 requires DDR3 RAM and the i5-8600 requires DDR4 RAM. Your local computer hardware store will be able to tell you what you need. If you can, I recommend sticking with DDR3 for now, you won't notice much difference, and the market for DDR4 is currently on a high swing (i.e. Expensive)

Finally, when building computers of this caliber, you will need a solid state drive for at least your operating system. A computer this fast will actually become bottle necked by the writing speed of you HDD. What the typical setup these days is one solid state drive for your operating systems and programs and all your media files on a standard hard drive. You wouldn't want to rely solely on a solid state as larger ones can still be very expensive. That being said, Band-in-a-Box will be more than fine on a standard hard drive.

As it stand now. You have more than enough power to get the Band-in-a-Box experience. One of the things I love the most about Band-in-a-Box is that it is so conservative with resources, making it accessible for all. I would only recommend upgrading if it was something you wanted to do anyway. Looking at what you are considering, you'd be lightyears beyond the system requirement.

Last tip, you are correct, you do not need a GPU. Which is great, because the market for them is pretty extreme right now. Just ensure the motherboard you choose has onboard graphics (most do).

I hope this wasn't too confusing, and you find it helpful!
_________________________
C-sharp when you cross the street… or you’re going to B-flat.

Mikke - PG Music

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#457536 - 02/14/18 09:33 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: CPU vs RAM vs Hard Drive [Re: DeaconBlues09]
Matt Finley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17523
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Mikke, welcome to the forums. Your comments show you have good experience.

One question. I have assumed, but not checked, that BIAB uses just one CPU core. Is that correct?

To DeaconBlues, I have loved the faster loading speed from having BIAB running from an SSD, but after loading the program there isn’t much difference. I keep the RealTracks and RealDrums on a regular hard drive.

The CPU speed seems to directly affect the time to regenerate a song.

RAM matters little, unless you are using a large software synth and JBridge.

And the graphics doesn’t matter at all.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#457572 - 02/14/18 01:32 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: CPU vs RAM vs Hard Drive [Re: DeaconBlues09]
Mikke - PG Music Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/25/18
Posts: 54
Loc: British Columbia
Hey Matt,

Thank you for the welcome.

To my knowledge, Band-in-a-Box doesn't have Multi-Threading (Multi-core) support. The reason being that at 1.0GHZ CPU requirement, there would be no need or benefit.

That being said, if you were running multiple programs, a Multi-Core Processor would help.

Unless you are running a system from the 90's, you should be fine. Windows Vista has a higher system requirement the 2018 Band-in-a-Box.
_________________________
C-sharp when you cross the street… or you’re going to B-flat.

Mikke - PG Music

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#457578 - 02/14/18 02:12 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: CPU vs RAM vs Hard Drive [Re: DeaconBlues09]
Matt Finley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17523
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Very good, thanks for confirming. I agree BIAB runs fine on almost any computer.

I would think that the only significant speed improvement that could be made at this point would be to spread the regeneration of a song over multiple cores. But I remember not only the beginning of RealTracks, but BIAB in the early 1990s, and I'm not complaining about any delays I might experience now. I've built all my own PCs since 1983, and I suspect you've built some of your own as well. Glad to have you here on the forum.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#457635 - 02/15/18 03:19 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: CPU vs RAM vs Hard Drive [Re: Mikke - PG Music]
DeaconBlues09 Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/21/17
Posts: 272
Loc: Merkaz, Israel
Thanks so much Mikke for your detailed reply (and welcome to the BiaB family! smile ).

If you could just clarify one thing for me, as it seems to be something that folks here on the forums are very divided on: with respect to the SSD, many folks here seem to firmly believe that the SSD's advantage is mostly confined to boot up times (as Matt states in response to my OP "I have loved the faster loading speed from having BIAB running from an SSD, but after loading the program there isn’t much difference.", and others, such as yourself, maintain that it hugely affects many other parameters--such as (if I'm understanding this correctly), regenerating RTs.

Incidentally, RT generations are my main issue ATM, especially because I'm trying to learn the ins and outs of pushes, shots, pedal notes, etc. So sometimes I'll regenerate an entire arrangement just to see how a shot will sound soloed on various instruments.

Also with regards to the SSD. I'm currently running BiaB off the external drive shipped by ya'll. When you say "you will need a solid state drive for at least your operating system," could that still work with I SSD drive on my PC? From what I understand, the shipped drive is not a SSD, is this correct?

Thanks again!
_________________________
Band-in-a-Box 2018 PlusPAK w 2018 Bonus Pak. Lenovo IdeaPad 110: ISK Windows 10 Home 64-bit. CPU: Intel Core i3 @ 2.00GHz Skylake-U/Y 14nm Technology. RAM: 8.00GB Dual-Channel. 238GB SSD

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#457647 - 02/15/18 05:54 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: CPU vs RAM vs Hard Drive [Re: DeaconBlues09]
Matt Finley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17523
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
I can tell you that the PG Music shipped drive is a USB hard drive, not an SSD.

I haven't tried placing RealTracks on an SSD because I have the audiophile version, and the SSD would have to hold over 1.5 TB. That would be quite expensive.

What I did was to install a dedicated Western Digital Caviar Black (10,000 rpm) hard drive for just RealTracks and RealDrums, so that's the fastest I can get at a reasonable cost now. I am interested in the answer to your question, though, whether placing RealTracks and RealDrums on an SSD would make regeneration appreciably faster. My guess is No. I think most of the regeneration time is spent by the CPU. But it would be nice to know for certain.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#457686 - 02/15/18 08:47 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: CPU vs RAM vs Hard Drive [Re: DeaconBlues09]
sslechta Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/27/13
Posts: 1247
Loc: St. Louis, MO. USA
"My opinion" on SSD. As far as BIAB/RB, not at all needed.

If you get into more resource intensive stuff like graphics and many .WAV files with many plugins in bigger DAWs, then yes, an SSD would improve performance greatly. I do a lot of video editing stuff and gaming and going SSD has helped a lot in access times to disk.
_________________________


Steve

BIAB/RB 2018, Pro Tools 2018, Korg N5, Proteus F/X, JBL LSR 4328 Powered Monitors, AKG/Shure Mics.
PC: 1 TB SSD, 2 TB HD, 128 GB Memory

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#457709 - 02/15/18 12:08 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: CPU vs RAM vs Hard Drive [Re: DeaconBlues09]
jazzmammal Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 6559
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
I agree. Two years ago when I got the computer in my sig, I did load everything onto my SSD including all the RT/RD's. As time went on my SSD started filling up so I did a test using an all RT song with five choruses and an RT soloist. It took about 8 seconds to generate. Then I pointed Biab to my external drive for the RT's and the generation time was virtually identical. That's when I deleted all the RT/RD's from my internal SSD.

Btw, that same song on my old system with a standard HD would take about 20-25 seconds to generate. This is the big difference between what PG shows as a minimum system and user satisfaction. I don't know how long that minimum spec system would take to generate an all RT song but from memory from when the RT's were first introduced and I was using my old system like 3 machines back, it would have taken close to two minutes to generate a 7 track all RT song with a soloist.

Yes, a minimum system works fine, it won't glitch or anything so PGM is telling the truth but does a new user want to wait a full minute or more in between checking out all the RT styles?

This questions comes up all the time, what specs should I get. The answer is always the same:

Get the absolute fastest, most powerful machine you can afford. Instant gratification is where it's at and that is not a $300 cheapie.

Bob
_________________________
Biab/RB latest build, Win 10 64 bit, Intel 4770, 256 Gig SSD, 16 Gigs Ram, Roland Sonic Cell, Kurzweil PC3, Hammond SK1, Korg PA1XPro, Garritan JABB, Hypercanvas, Sampletank 3, more.

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#457711 - 02/15/18 12:11 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: CPU vs RAM vs Hard Drive [Re: DeaconBlues09]
Guitarhacker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5796
Almost every computer being sold these days is more than capable of running BB and most other DAW software. The biggest issue with off the shelf machines is all the crapware and bloatware they put on the machine. If you take the time to remove it and straighten up the registry, you'll be running a good machine.

Only if you're building your own box do you have to be sure things are going to work properly. Even then, you're generally good to go.

Heck.... I'm running an Intel i5 chip on XP pro 32 bits, and 4gb of memory. I have zero issues with things running smoothly and fast enough to keep me happy.

I also tend to run the program with a minimum install..... leaving the real tracks on the factory drive. everything loads to memory and it's ready to roll.... and rock.


Edited by Guitarhacker (02/15/18 12:13 PM)
_________________________
You can find my music at:
www.herbhartley.com

Add nothing that adds nothing to the music

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#457712 - 02/15/18 12:17 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: CPU vs RAM vs Hard Drive [Re: DeaconBlues09]
Matt Finley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17523
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Bob is right about ‘the old days’ of RealTracks, like 2009 or 2010. You would click on Play (no regenerate/play button then) and go make a sandwich. When you got back, it was ready to play.

When I first programmed a mainframe, I took in a deck of cards on Thursday and they said, check back with us on Tuesday. We’re spoiled now.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#457715 - 02/15/18 12:52 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: CPU vs RAM vs Hard Drive [Re: DeaconBlues09]
Mikke - PG Music Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/25/18
Posts: 54
Loc: British Columbia
Glad we have an active community, thanks for filling in while I was off helping others smile

You could put Band-in-a-Box on a SSD. The only benefit would the program itself would open marginally faster, not really effecting your actual work flow. We are talking a difference of maybe a couple seconds.

Also, especially those with older SSDs, never put a file you want to keep on a SSD without it being backed up on a regular Hard Drive. SSDs have finite reads on them, that means that eventually they will slowly corrupt the more you use them. Now, we are talking literal millions of uses, but if you have something you want to save always backup.

Since the requirements are so low, even a $600 Best Buy special would be tens of times powerful enough, Band-in-the-Box really doesn't benefit from super powerful computers. As far as Band-in-a-Box is concerned, we are all running super computers.
_________________________
C-sharp when you cross the street… or you’re going to B-flat.

Mikke - PG Music

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#457726 - 02/15/18 01:46 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: CPU vs RAM vs Hard Drive [Re: DeaconBlues09]
jford Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 10633
Loc: Pensacola, Florida
Getting rid of crapware is easy; just download PC-Decrapifier and let it do the work for you. Have run it on every machine I've had to rebuild from vendor image disks.
_________________________
John

HP Win10Pro-64, 8GB
ASUS Win10Pro-64, 16GB
HP Win7Pro-64, 8GB

H/W-Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD, Casio Kbds
S/W-BB/RB2018/Sonar/Reaper/Studio One/Samplitude/MixBus/Notion/Finale/Noteworthy/NI Komplete/Halion/Garritan/IK
Web-http://www.sus4chord.com

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#457751 - 02/15/18 05:29 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: CPU vs RAM vs Hard Drive [Re: Mikke - PG Music]
Matt Finley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17523
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Originally Posted By: Mikke - PG Music
SSDs have finite reads on them, that means that eventually they will slowly corrupt the more you use them.

Thanks for confirming the tech perspective. Good info!

About SSD drive reliability, I think you may have meant to say finite writes. The perfect use of an SSD, especially one of the early ones (like some of mine) is for read-only. My understanding is lots of reads do not wear it out.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#457756 - 02/15/18 05:59 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: CPU vs RAM vs Hard Drive [Re: DeaconBlues09]
sslechta Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/27/13
Posts: 1247
Loc: St. Louis, MO. USA
On a side note, my C:\ drive is SSD and is pretty much just used for installed programs. I have a much larger hard disk drive on D:\ that I use for all my photos, videos, and sound files including real tracks.

I have an older/smaller SSD (my original SSD C:\) that I use for my open music project in BIAB/Pro Tools and is drive E:\. When I'm done with a project here, the files get moved to the HDD, D:\.

C:\ 1 TB SSD
D:\ 2 TB HDD
E:\ 250 GIG SSD
_________________________


Steve

BIAB/RB 2018, Pro Tools 2018, Korg N5, Proteus F/X, JBL LSR 4328 Powered Monitors, AKG/Shure Mics.
PC: 1 TB SSD, 2 TB HD, 128 GB Memory

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#458098 - 02/18/18 01:42 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: CPU vs RAM vs Hard Drive [Re: DeaconBlues09]
wish Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 08/24/16
Posts: 131
Loc: South Australia
As an interested observer and one that has nearly overloaded my PC capacity.....my issue is the time to covert a sgu file to a wave file.
This can take up to 2 minutes....is this normal or can I expect better speeds from an alternative. Sorry I don't think I have my PC details listed but will fix that.
Cheers.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 UltraPlusPAK
Xtra packs 1,2,3,4,5
Sony SSD
Windows10,INTEL CORE i3-330M Processor 2.13GHz 64bit
Coyote Forte DXi
JBL Eon speaker, Allen and Heath Mixer, TC HELICON Voice Solo
Vocalist Live 5, TC Helicon Play Acoustic Maton acoustic guitar, Onsong

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#458338 - 02/19/18 11:30 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: CPU vs RAM vs Hard Drive [Re: DeaconBlues09]
wish Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 08/24/16
Posts: 131
Loc: South Australia
Apologies, think I hijacked the thread, I'll post a new topic.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 UltraPlusPAK
Xtra packs 1,2,3,4,5
Sony SSD
Windows10,INTEL CORE i3-330M Processor 2.13GHz 64bit
Coyote Forte DXi
JBL Eon speaker, Allen and Heath Mixer, TC HELICON Voice Solo
Vocalist Live 5, TC Helicon Play Acoustic Maton acoustic guitar, Onsong

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