Went from 4GB of Ram to 20GB of RAM, no Change in CPU meter

Discussion in 'Computers, Electronics, IT & Gaming' started by illimmigrant, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. illimmigrant

    illimmigrant A Different Logic

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    Hi, all.
    I am running the latest update of Cubase 7 on a mid 2011 iMac with OSX 10.9. I have a 2.7GHz Intel core i5 system.
    Originally at 4 GB of RAM I could run an instance of Superior drummer plus 5 more audio tracks with plugins at about 70% CPU. I just upped the RAM to 20GB, but the CPU consumption is still the same.
    I was expecting the meter to go down quite a bit and it has not changed. Am I missing something?
    The RAM is installed correctly. I don't know if there are any additional steps I need to take after installing it.
    I left the original 4 GB of RAM installed and added 2, 8GB cards in the other slots. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. The Atomic Ass

    The Atomic Ass Redefining Sound

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    Well, that's not really unexpected. RAM reduces swapping to the hard drive, not CPU consumption, except in very specific circumstances.

    IF, and I mean IF, in the unlikely event that Superior is a dependent upon memory bandwidth, you may have shot yourself in the foot if you didn't buy a matched pair of RAM sticks, and are running the 4GB stick at the same time. I must again emphasize that this is most likely NOT GOING TO BE THE CASE. However, If that WERE the case, then yeah, CPU consumption would go down somewhat if you had matched pairs, and only matched pairs in there. If you bought the 8GB sticks as a matched kit, try taking out the 4GB stick and see if it makes any difference. Likely not, but, hey, you never know.

    What's more likley the case is that you're in need of a CPU upgrade. Which in an iMac is a difficult proposition, I'm afraid. (I could be wrong, though, but I'm under the impression they're non-upgradeable)

    You say it's an i5, but that doesn't tell terribly much. Dual-core, quad-core? Hyper-threaded or no?
     
  3. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    ^ +1. Yeah, you'll reduce page outs, but the CPU will be running the exact same. I suppose it's possible that the CPU has to actually do the paging to disk, so that might be a savings if you reduce the page outs, but overall I wouldn't expect much difference. And 20GB is a hell of a lot of RAM. Did someone recommend you get that much? I can't imagine you'd need anywhere near all that.
     
  4. DrGand

    DrGand Banned

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    When I built my PC for audio recording... I spent only $350 (not including software).

    I'm running an AMD FX 8150 octocore processor and 16gb ram.
    It'll run any daw perfect.

    Just build yourself a PC, it's not expensive. Strong processor, lots of ram... budget out of the rest of it.
     
  5. CrushingAnvil

    CrushingAnvil \m not jesus land m/

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    20 GB of RAM is overkill, homie.
     
  6. Sofos

    Sofos СофоƆ

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    My laptop is 16gb RAM Quad Core, runs Cubase and anything i throw at it with very little CPU consumption or latency. Only problem I have is it gets REALLY hot so I gotta go buy myself a good cooler.
     
  7. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Yeah, but what processor? I'm not sure that's enough info to help the OP.
     
  8. CrushingAnvil

    CrushingAnvil \m not jesus land m/

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    This.

    My bet is it's only a dual-core. Guy needs a quad-core.
     
  9. illimmigrant

    illimmigrant A Different Logic

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    Sorry guys, it is quad core. I also have the multi processing option activated inside Cubase as well as the "boost" on audio priority.
     
  10. illimmigrant

    illimmigrant A Different Logic

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    Thank you all for the replies.
    I have yet to look at the actual VST meter to see if it has changed, which it probably has. I figured since the CPU meter increases and decreases as you add or remove plugins, that some additional RAM would help ease things a bit. Evidently I was wrong.
    Even so, I'm surprised that with a 2.7GHz quad core i5, that I do not have enough power to run a medium sized project with my mastering chain engaged and Superior drummer running.
    S2.0 is my only virtual instrument so far, with an instance of slate VCC on every track. If I engage my mastering chain, which is just the FG-gray compressor and Ozone 5, the computer gets overloaded. I'm talking about maybe 12 tracks for superior drummer, plus 4 guitar tracks and 1 bass track. The reason for wanting to run S2.0 rather than bouncing the files down, is to keep from continuously re-importing wav files if I feel like changing a snare or kick in a mix.
    Does anyone else think the system just isn't cut out for what I'm trying to do?

    Thank you all again.
     
  11. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    I'm not familiar with Macs, but something just isn't right, you should be fine on that system for what you're doing. Do you have a bunch of other things running in the background, is it just a DAW or is it also used for browsing the net and everything else?

    I have a Core i7 920 with 6GB of RAM and I have some songs (Cubase 6) for my industrial electronic project that have over 20 VST synths and dozens of VST effects as well as several audio tracks running - I've never once gone over 50% CPU usage. So something seems to be eating up some of your CPU. And yeah, like the others said, increasing RAM is not going to drop the CPU usage meter. My machine however is a strict DAW, I don't use it for anything other than my music writing and I also don't even keep the NIC enabled, I keep it off the internet. I don't run any antivirus or any extraneous apps whatsoever. Also, what sample rate and bit depths are you using and what do you have your latency set to?


    Rev.
     
  12. illimmigrant

    illimmigrant A Different Logic

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    Thanks Rev.
    I'll take a look at everything you mentioned when I get home and get back to you. I'll see what I can disable. I know I'm sampling at 48k, since that's what my axe fx runs at. The only thing off the top of my head that is running in the background is wifi, which I'll disable from now on. It is not a dedicated recording computer, so it has photo editing software and the typical things you'd expect from your ordinary use computer. I'll see what else I could have going on.
     
  13. Pav

    Pav ???

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    The problem is your processor. No question. Even if it's a quad core, not only is your clock speed quite meager, but if you're trying to run up-to-date DAW stuff on an older generation CPU, it just isn't going to run very well. You could cram the thing full of RAM until the case is full, but an enormous page file isn't going to change the fact that your CPU can't keep up with everything you're throwing at it.

    Also: leaving the original RAM in there and just adding more is bad. It is HIGHLY recommended that when you upgrade your RAM, you get all the RAM at once as a calibrated set. There's a good chance you have two different brands/models of RAM sticks in there that aren't quite working in sync. But even so, RAM is not your main problem here.
     
  14. illimmigrant

    illimmigrant A Different Logic

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    I appreciate the response, Pav.
    What I can do is remove the stock RAM cards and just leave the set that I got from Crucial and run at 16GB of RAM, which should then still be plenty. That way I have a matching set as mentioned. Is there anything else you would suggest?
     
  15. illimmigrant

    illimmigrant A Different Logic

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    I'm not currently doing this, but if all of the above fails, would installing the sound libraries in an external, firewire drive help at all?
     
  16. Osorio

    Osorio SS.org Regular

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    I fully agree with Pav, you bottleneck is on the CPU and there is very little you can do about that that doesn't include getting a new machine (considering changing that on an iMac is not exactly and easy job for the weekend).

    However, something you could do before such a drastic move is to find yourself a copy of Logic and try it out. If you already have a Mac, the most expensive step is definitely out of the way... For being 200 bucks in the app store, if I were you, I would return the extremely excessive amount of RAM you purchased and buy Logic Pro X instead. You may actually like it. I'm personally quite fond of version 9.1.8, but I use a lot of midi, and Logic seems very suited to that. Pro X seems to have grown up in terms of audio editing though, so you may like it.


    Also: No, I don't believe switching your libraries farther away from the CPU will do you any good. Quite the opposite, but I very openly admit this is just a guess. But adding yet another "bridge" for the information to cross just doesn't sound logical to me. Also worth noting that Firewire was once a pretty awesome thing, but by today's standards it is actually quite slow. It is good in that it transfers information in a continuous way which renders it very useful for audio production, but it is far from fast for storage.
     
  17. Xaios

    Xaios Foolish Mortal Contributor

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    Suspecting that it might be one specific thing causing the bottleneck, what you need to do is bypass the various parts of your signal chain and isolate what's causing the problems. For example, is it necessary to have separate instances of Slate VCC on each track, or could you simply bus all the drums into one track and run the VST on the bus?
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
  18. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    Firstly, a 2.7ghz quad core i5 should not be "underpowered" for the project he is running, it's a good CPU and he's not even running FPU intensive VSTi's. Secondly, how many memory slots does your computer have? You'll want to be sure you're running the memory configuration in the correct mode for your motherboard (ie. dual or triple channel).


    Rev.
     
  19. illimmigrant

    illimmigrant A Different Logic

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    I've done this. There is a gradual increase in what is actually an "ASIO" meter, not a CPU meter as I thought, as I engage plugins. No spikes. I also say "ASIO" because it is actually Core Audio on a MAC. If I max out my ASIO meter with VST's, my CPU consumption is actually less than 10%!

    Also, VCC doesn't work the way it's supposed to if you only put it on a buss. It is meant to act as a channel in an analog mixing console, where each mic goes into a channel and the input is affected by the console.


    There appear to be no trial versions of Logic. I don't wnat to consider this unless there really is nothing else that can be done.

    This is how I feel. Particularly with the whole ASIO/VST meter being maxed out, but my CPU being at less than 10%. So the problem is definitely elsewhere. I've read countless threads now on people having similar issues.
    I may have to compromise and adjust between freezing tracks during tracking, and unfreezing and increasing my buffer size while mixing.

    Rev, I did not understand the second part of your post. By memory slots, do you mean RAM? If so, there are four slots. The two stock 2GB cards are in their original slots. The two additional cards are in a slot underneath. I will take the stock cards out and move the new ones, so that I am working with a matching pair of cards. I am not sure how to check for the appropriate memory configuration for my motherboard, nor how to change it if it is not correct. I'll have to reasearch.
     
  20. Xaios

    Xaios Foolish Mortal Contributor

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    Maybe give Reaper a try? It's available for MacOS, has a free 30 day trial, is SUPER cheap to buy, and is legendary for having a small resource footprint.

    REAPER | Download

    The only thing is that moving from Cubase to Reaper is a bit of a learning experience. There are some things that Cubase does better, such as the midi layouts.
     

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