Audio Apps Killing G5

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Dronecatcher, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. Dronecatcher macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #1
    I'm currently on a G5 DP 2.3 with 4.5Gb RAM and having this issue:
    Garageband 08 and Logic Express 7.1 send the fans crazy - even when playing back one single track - I have performance set to reduced in power settings and CPU load during this is between 50 - 60% ie negligible.
    By contrast Propellerheads Reason 4 can run 10 tracks of software instruments without the fans even murmuring.

    As a comparative test, I played 4 480p h.264 movies at the same time to push the CPUs and even with CPU load at 160% the fans were still quiet.

    Is it possible that CPU load can discriminate between the type of work being done? I'd have thought not?

    Or is it bad coding? Again, hard to believe on flagship products?

    I haven't come across this before - I was previously using a G5 iMac 1.8 and a G5 Quad - they'd both fire up the fans during any heavy task, whether it was audio, graphics or video.

    Has anyone experienced similar or got any thoughts?

    I haven't had any kernel panics or crashes yet but I'd rather prevent rather than cure.
     
  2. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #2
    Instruments are completely different to recorded audio. So is video. Both your hard drive does a lot of reading from, but very little writing. For instruments, it's just noting the notes, and for video, the place you've left off when you paused.

    I guess when you're working with a DAW, and specifically sound clips/microphone recorded stuff, you need to think about it as if it was playing 50 iTunes tracks all at the same time. It's all the on demand caching and loading into memory that is the problem with them. That's why the system requirements are pretty high.
     
  3. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #3
    Thanks for replying Jessica.
    I appreciate what you say about a DAW running many tracks but what I have here is Garageband playing one track of audio, which is an .aif file, so not much compression to unfold.
    In Logic, it's one track of midi notes playing a software instrument, so no streaming content from the drive as such. (And don't forget Reason can do tens times more without starting the fans).
    I've never heard of a Mac struggling to stream audio from disk before - well apart from maxed out recordings - I thought video was the back breaker as on most files you have stereo audio plus the video stream to decode aswell!
     
  4. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #4
    Further testing:
    Just imported 4 stereo tracks of high quality aiff audio into Audacity and played them back - no fan noise at all.
    Import 1 stereo track of same audio to Garageband and play back - fans go crazy again.
     
  5. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #5
    More info if anyone can help.
    I've found that in Garageband and Logic, even with no actual audio or midi recorded, the fans still go crazy as soon as I hit play. The actual stresser seems to be the updating of the playing screen - if minimised and out of view the fans die but kick in again as soon as the screen is maximised. Also, if the play screen is zoomed out ie the display doesn't have to scroll the fans are quieter.
    This points to some glitch between screen rendering and synch issues - maybe native to the graphics card (Radeon 9600)? Could explain why I have seen this before?

    ----------

    Just installed Reaper to compare the scroll/refresh. No hit on performance no matter how far the screen is zoomed in.
     
  6. harrymatic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #6
    The 9600 is hardly a powerhouse, but it should definitely not struggle with what you're describing (unless it's on the way out, which is possible). How recent is the installation of the OS?
     
  7. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #7
    Hi - it's a fresh install, I noticed the glitch the same day of installation. The real frustration is how the problem is specific to the software - you'd have thought a hardware issue would show up in other (more intensive) apps?
     

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