How Much Better is the i5 vs. Core 2 Duo for Audio?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by jufros, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. jufros macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2009
  2. lyons238 macrumors 6502

    Mar 21, 2010
    well obv the faster processor would be better, but to be honest audio isnt quite as much of a cpu hog as video so i doubt you would notice a diff. just my opinion im sure some others would beg to differ.
  3. mesq macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2010
    Depends on what kind of work you do. Do you run alot of plugins, virtual instruments?
  4. jufros thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2009
    It depends on what I'm doing. The 2.8 Ghz machine is dedicated audio laptop, but I use it for mobile recording, live gigging, and composing. It hold up fine for gigging but my heavier duty short film compositions tax it pretty quickly. I use Omnisphere for a lot of those kinds of projects.
  5. jufros thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2009
    I also run Native Instruments Komplete 6 and Voxengo plugins, all of which are pretty CPU heavy. I guess my question is how much more overhead processing power would I have with the i5 given the plugins I use.
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    It's only "incremental". To make a noticable improvment you need to double the CPU "power". You will not notice a 10% or 20% difference in CPU speed. To make a good jump you are loking at a quad core.

    But is the CPU really the bottle neck?
  7. jufros thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2009
    I doubt it. It's probably RAM, but I'm still running Logic in 32-bit because of some 3rd party plugins I use. I think all things it considered it makes more sense to double to 8GB when my plugins are supported and get Vienna Ensemble Pro so I can network my other computer.
  8. jungeliest macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Logic Pro did not utilize hyper-threading yet, not that I'm aware of.

    Check this out: A guy nicknamed "postfader" says that hyper-threading is no good for music production, so, there you go.
  9. jufros thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2009
    I agree. Hyperthreading would only really get used for things like bouncing Omnisphere tracks to audio and other non-realtime applications that I can live without. I'm just wondering how much better core for core the i5 is over the Core 2 Duo and if I could run, for example, run more coloration EQ's and limiters with greater oversampling settings.
  10. lyons238 macrumors 6502

    Mar 21, 2010
    if you use reason 4 like i do you wont need much cpu power. i can have a **** load of components open in the rack and my cpu wont even be breaking a sweat. it really takes the cake for being efficient in the way it works. as far as live gigging i know ableton live is a cpu hog. im not sure about the prog you use, but you should look into the best program for you.

    and like they have been saying, .2ghz isnt going to make a noticeable difference. just wait for the next update with macs and hopefully the base model will have around 3ghz and up
  11. jungeliest macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Don't know about the oversampling settings but, here's an interesting thread:
  12. jufros thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2009
    If you haven't checked out Voxengo plugins, do yourself and your mixes a HUGE favor and do so. All of their plugins are extremely high quality sounding at all settings, but their internal oversampling capabilities makes them complete game changers. If you're doing a project in say 44.1khz, you can set the plugins to run at twice, 4x, and 8x that sample rate internally. I've tried out a LOT of commercial digital EQ's and GlissEQ is definitely the best for linear-phase EQing and its dynamic EQ capabilities are unique, easy to use, and the filters are just really sweet even at normally sampling.

    But if you haven't tried ELEPHANT.... you'll never use another master limiter again. It's an industry leader IMHO and I use it constantly. It's in the same price range as garbage IK Multimedia mixing and "mastering" software but the sound quality is on par with if not better than the Oxford. It's just one of those plugins. 8x oversamping can still sound very transparent all the way up to 5 or 6db gain reduction depending on the mix material.
  13. ImpostorOak macrumors member


    Dec 27, 2009
    I mix primarily in Pro Tools LE and I know that having 4 cores on my i5 iMac allows me to use many more plugins than my C2D MBP. First of all, it gives me two more processors to allocate to RTAS plugins in the playback engine dialog. But the i5 is just faster all around.
  14. jufros thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2009
    Anyone up for a little real-world testing? Quit out of every application you have open, turn off Airport, boot Logic. Create a software instrument track and load Ultrabeat. Don't change any of the settings but turn the sequencer on. Then, load two instances of Space Designer in stereo and make sure that Ultrabeat's output is set to stereo out.

    Use the "create track with duplicate channel strip/instrument" command (command + D by default), and duplicate the track 4 times so you have 5. Open the activity manager and let us know what it's % of CPU Logic is using and then try it with a total of 10 duplicates.

    Post your system specs and figures here. I definitely think that help people know how much more audio-related processing power can be had with the newer machines. I'll go first...

    17'' Macbook Pro, 2.8Ghz, 8GB RAM, Intel X-25M G2 160GB SSD
    5 Tracks: 60.1%
    10 Tracks: 90.2%
    Buffer speed: 128
  15. jufros thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2009
    I found some benchmarks and emailed the pro audio company that ran them. They were thorough.

    Basically, if you have a 2.66, 2.8, or 3.0 Ghz Core 2 Duo, the upgrade is TOTALLY not worth it and you should spend the money on RAM, SSD's, and storage.
  16. Teej guy macrumors 6502a

    Aug 6, 2007
    You should check out the new T-Racks 3 singles...the Fairchild and Pultec emulations are fantastic, as is the Opto compressor.
  17. jufros thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2009
    I actually owned T-Racks 3 Deluxe but sold the license after I got into Voxengo. I totally agree though the Opto in particular is really good.

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