Upgrading 5,1 2010 CPU for Logic X. Need advice

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MitchMunro, Aug 29, 2016.

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  1. MitchMunro macrumors newbie

    MitchMunro

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    Aug 29, 2016
    Location:
    Australia, Sydney
    #1
    Hey friends. I am thinking of upgrading my Mac Pro (5,1 Mid 2010, upgraded a bit: Processor 2 x 2.66GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon, Memory: 8 GB 1333 MHz DDR3, Samsung EVO 850 500gb SSD) to give me more speed/power.

    I use Logic X extensively (a digital audio workstation), as I am a composer, and I have been running into a lot of overloading issues. I think it comes down to the limited power of each individual core. I am thinking of buying 1 or 2 of these CPUs:

    Intel® Xeon® Processor X5690
    (12M Cache, 3.46 GHz, 6.40 GT/s Intel® QPI)
    6 core

    Or 1 or 2 of these:

    Intel® Xeon® Processor X5687
    (12M Cache, 3.60 GHz, 6.40 GT/s Intel® QPI)

    4 core

    I would love some feedback from anyone who has made a similar upgrade. It would be even more valuable if someone had made the upgrade for the sake of a digital audio workstation, and could give me feedback on how it went. I really appreciate any feedback or advice people can give me!

    Cheers.
     
  2. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    #2
    Get the hex core, but if you want to save a fair amount of money (about 40%) for only a nominal (about 4%) performance hit, get 3.33 gHz X5680s instead of the 90s.

    Like most DAWs, Logic make very good use of multiple cores.

    Also, run from SSD for quick loading and to feed virtual instruments.
     
  3. scott.n macrumors 6502

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    Dec 17, 2010
    #3
    The X5687 doesn't work in the Mac Pro.
     
  4. MitchMunro thread starter macrumors newbie

    MitchMunro

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    #4
    Thanks for the advice! While they do make good use of the cores mostly, I feel that is where I was let down with my original purchase. I bought the 12 core 2.66Ghz mac pro thinking the multiple cores would make everything run really nicely. Turns out if you have too many pluggins on a single track (especially when you are playing a midi instrument in real time), it tries to load them on a single core and can lead to overloading. But hey I guess each core on either of those CPUs you mentioned is pretty powerful anyway.

    My EVO is working a charm there :) (although slightly overkill)

    Oh! I misread the Mac Pro CPU Compatibility List page (http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/mac-pro-cpu-compatibility-list.1954766/). Thanks for this.
     
  5. Gonzbull macrumors newbie

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    Nov 8, 2015
    #5
    Hi I've got the exact setup you would like to upgrade to. 2x X5690! I've also got 24G RAM. This system works flawlessly for me. No CPU spikes.
    I'm sure you know of the ways to help limit spikes on any system?
    Selecting an Audio instead of Midi track during playback. Usage of busses, Aux and sends to limit plugins on individual tracks.
    Also if you need many plugins on a particular track , you could cascade them. Example. Instead of 8 plugins on track A. I'd leave 4 on track A. Rout output Track A to Track B and have remaining plugins there. Hope that makes sense.
     
  6. MitchMunro thread starter macrumors newbie

    MitchMunro

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    #6
    Oh wow! Thanks for the feedback! Really helpful :)

    I have heard of and tried most of those solutions before, besides the cascading. Great idea. Thanks for listing them all. A lot of the time I am lazy, and I stack a lot of pluggins on tracks when I could bus them out. But often this achieves the sound that I want, and busing wouldn't be as effective.

    What program do you use? Logic X is my main one but I recently installed Ableton Suite 9 and am interested to see if it is less CPU intensive.
     
  7. DPUser macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 17, 2012
    #7
    Guess which DAW I use. HINT: See my sig.

    Love it. Newest version, 9.12, has under the hood improvements that dramatically increase efficiency and decrease latency, but I'm still running DP8.07, waiting until 9.1x is super stable, 'cause I can't; afford downtime. 8.07 (and by reports of others 9.02) is rock solid for me, and I love DP's approach to the UI... routing very flexible.

    Back to the Mac, if you go to X5680 or 90, you should see significant improvements, as each core will be running 25% faster than your current CPU. Your Mac will also be considerably zippier when executing single-threaded tasks.
     
  8. SolidCake macrumors member

    SolidCake

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    May 20, 2016
    #8
    As mentioned before, the RAM upgrade is the best move to consider. Also depends on your work as a composer. I you use lots of sample libraries I would suggest you upgrade to at least 32GB of RAM. A >= 4TB HDD to store your samples would also be nice as your running the OS and Apps from an SSD. On the CPU side, 2 x Xeon X5980's would be cool but the current setup is also pretty good. If you score for film, good luck with Ableton ;)
     
  9. MitchMunro thread starter macrumors newbie

    MitchMunro

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    #9
    Digital Performer right? I heard one of my lecturers used it back in uni, but that was the only time I had heard of it. Sounds pretty solid! I found it pretty funny when he said something like you could move faders while bouncing in real time. Sounds pretty interesting haha. But yeah whatever works for each person :)

    Sweet yeah very true. Thanks for this. I think testing out Ableton's performance, is the next step, then deciding whether it is worth the investment.


    Yeah definitely a good idea. Why would you recommend so much RAM though? The reason I haven't rushed out to buy RAM is because when troubleshooting I had the Activity monitor and it rarely ever reached 8GB. I think occasionally it got close, and I wasn't' watching the activity monitor the whole time, so maybe when it did crash sometimes it was due to a lack of RAM. I was thinking 16GB, probably with 4GB cards. 8 RAM slots gives me the option for 32 later. Or I could just go 16 with 8GB. What do you think?

    I specifically think that the CPU is the problem, although it should be pretty powerful still... Just my sessions are often 100+ tracks because I go crazy, and then duplicate tracks if instruments appear later in the piece to save mucking around with more automation before the mixing stage.

    Haha.. ahh so Ableton's movie support is real average? I got it for it's audio manipulation purposes, beat production, and use live so that is ok. Logic is fine for movies :)
     
  10. SolidCake, Sep 2, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016

    SolidCake macrumors member

    SolidCake

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    #10
    Could you maybe tell us more about your work? What kind of music you're composing? Something about your clientele? Your production process? Do you do your own mixing and mastering?

    The reason why I ask is because when you say that you run out of CPU resources at about 100 tracks, it sounds like you use lots of virtual instruments and effects. These processes are CPU heavy and can be lightened by comping down the tracks and using FX sends. If you work full time as a composer you need a stable system to keep the clients happy and yourself, of course. Switching to Ableton can be rough if you have deadlines on the horizon. Logic's beat mapping is simply amazing when scoring for films/video productions. Syncing music to multiple scenes is a breeze. I don't think it is matched by any other DAW in that regard, maybe Cubase.
     
  11. MitchMunro thread starter macrumors newbie

    MitchMunro

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    #11

    I am glad I seem professional haha, but I just graduated from Uni, so I am not in full time work, or haven't had many clients yet. I have had some paid work, and will be looking to try and get in to full time freelance composing/ or production. I am looking to compose music for media. Short film, video games, youtube, advertisments, whatever really. What I also want to explore producing for people, but that seems harder to get into. This would be my bigger passion.

    The stuff I had been writing for university that caused my computer to overload were really heavily layered sampling/electronic pieces. But occasionally a piece would overload that wasn't ridiculously stacked with layers or FX. I think this was due to each core not being all that powerful on its own. In these pieces I was practicing my production (and composition) skills, so that it would give me more experience as a producer. It was a hip-hop-y track, and, as you guessed used an excessive amount of samplers, synths and effects. I definitely push my computer, but I want to reduce the amount it limits me.

    Yeah, so just having finished my study, it is a perfect time to learn a new DAW. Thanks for all the reasons as to why Logic is so great for film :) I think Ableton will be useful for my production stuff, especially if I keep going down the beat-based route I have been interested in lately. And I can still use Logic for all its great film composition features.
     
  12. SolidCake macrumors member

    SolidCake

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    #12
    Thanks for explaining. Composing for media is a pretty cool field to get into. I highly recommend you look for 48h projects in your area. That way you get a feel for the market and how well you can perform under a certain load. You build up a network as well. As for CPU upgrades, these are getting more and more expensive. I maxed out my flashed 4,1 with 2 x Xeon X5690's. They cost me a pretty penny but I bought them anyway as they are getting more and more expensive. If the X5690 is too much the X5680 is the next best thing. Slightly lower performance for a lot better price. As for RAM, 16GB is a good start @ 4 x 4GB.

    If you want to learn another DAW, Pro Tools is the way to go especially if you want to start producing bands an musicians. I also prefer it over Logic Pro X when it comes to post production.

    Let us know how your upgrade is going!
     
  13. databaze macrumors member

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    Nov 21, 2011
    #13
    I got a 4.1>5.1 with two 3.46 and 128gb of ram, running 4x 1tb SSD with Logic Pro X 10.2.4 under Yosemite.
    Those CPU spikes will not go away, and Logic will continue to load plugins on one core and spike up depending on how "heavy" the plugin is, no matter what settings you use.

    I get spikes using Output Exhale and moving settings while on loop playback, same goes for some Arturia plugs & others. I get spikes even when loading 5 plugs in one project... Logic has never been good at splitting loads to each core.
     
  14. SolidCake macrumors member

    SolidCake

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    May 20, 2016
    #14
    +1 for endgame Mac Pro 4,1. Logic Pro X has multi-core support and there could be a number of reasons as for why you are getting CPU spikes. Arturia is not known for CPU efficiency and buffer management can help with that. To fully utilize Logic's multi-core support your plugins must have it as well. Not all plugins have multi-core support and can be a serious bottleneck in your workflow.

    For instance, if you have have 11 plugins on one channel strip and the last one does not have multi-core support you're gonna have a bad time. Put that plugin in the beginning of the chain and things will even out.
     
  15. databaze macrumors member

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    Nov 21, 2011
    #15
    I have each plug on its own bus, I should have said AU instruments instead of plugs, I really leave plugs for mastering on PT.
     
  16. MitchMunro thread starter macrumors newbie

    MitchMunro

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    Aug 29, 2016
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    Australia, Sydney
    #16
    48 hour projects. Good idea. I think I want to get on the Game Jams that happen in my area. Sounds like a blast.

    Great thanks for the CPU advice. Can I ask how much you payed for your X5690s? I think I saw two for $400 ish on Amazon (I'm in Australia but sometimes they ship) if I remember correctly, does that sound about right? I don't think these were new, but in good condition (apparently). And 16GB ram sound good to me.

    I have tried Pro Tools through uni. I can see that it is really powerful, and that it is still pretty much the industry standard. However to me it feels clunky when compared to Logic. But I do have a little experience with it. Just a preference, but I appreciate the tip.


    Thanks for this. This is great. I suspected this might be the case all along really, so it is good to have you and Solid Cake confirm it. Since I know this is just how life is, rather than having a faulty system or something, I can deal with it. Just gotta work smart.
     
  17. databaze macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    #17

    I'm actually testing MOTU DP & Presonus Studio One to see how they perform, I may migrate if they do better than Logic with multicore CPU's I am tired of having to watch what I use to produce when in Logic...
     
  18. DPUser macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Visit MOTUNAtion.com if you have questions about DP. Not hosted or sponsored by MOTU, but knowledgable folk abound there. If testing v9, make sure you get 9.12, which has significant efficiency/latency improvements and is getting good reviews (as compared with 9.1, which introduced the improvements, but had a few significant bugs.)
     
  19. fastlanephil macrumors 65816

    fastlanephil

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    Nov 17, 2007
    #19
    If your still having overloading issues after upgrading your CPUs then you should consider a master/slave system, especially if you're often using the same sounds or libraries on a regular basis, orchestral or what ever. This is done using Vienna Symphony Librarie's Vienna Ensemble Pro 6 and connecting the ethernet ports of two or more computers. Many composers use a Mac Pro for their master computer and one or more PCs for the slave but you can use any combination of computers that you wish as the software is platform independent and works the same either way. I was using it with my iMac as the slave, as my samples were already installed and authorized on it and a i7 Mac Mini as the master and sharing the iMac's screen with the Mac Mini using the thunderbolt connection. I later upgraded to a maxed out tower Mac Pro and didn't require the power of a master/slave setup.Later, if need be, I can then use my Mac Pro as the slave with all my authorized samples installed in it already and buy another computer of my choice for the master computer.

    http://www.vsl.co.at/en

    Here's a insane 500 instrument track template setup demo in Cubase to show you it's capabilities.

     

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