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Dual Processor or Not?

dR. i

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Hello all,


Need a new Mac for audio production.


Choosing between the current G4 533 single processor and last year's G4 450 DP (which I can pick up at a great deal).


Main software: Logic Audio, Bias Peak, VST, Reason, T-Racks.


Any suggestions?


Look elsewhere?

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I'm not terribly knowledgeable on the subject, but from what I understand the dual processor isn't much of a plus unless the software in question knows it's there and takes advantage of it.


Does anyone else know more about this?


You should cross-post this question in Dave Frangioni's forum. He's way up on this sort of stuff.





:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:


Professional Affiliations: Royer LabsMusic Player Network

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Here's a Quote from an article in this month's Electronic Musician:


"The new dual-processor G4 has great potential, but don't forget that the second processor offers no speed gain unless the software you are running is optimized to take advantage of it. (That will not be the case with programs written for Mac OS X, which is inherently multiprocessor-aware.) Emagic's Logic Audio Gold and Platinum 4.5.1 and Steinberg's Cubase VST 5.0 split the tasks of processing MIDI and audio information between the two chips. Steinberg estimates that with Cubase VST 5.0, you get a 50 to 60 percent increase in processing power over a standard single-processor machine.


I can state from personal experience that Logic Audio's dual-processor support really makes a difference. I can easily get 24 tracks going at once, along with tons of time-based plug-ins and virtual synths. Mark of the Unicorn's Digital Performer will support dual processors in the next revision, which probably will be available by the time you read this. Pro Tools 5.1 does not support dual processors as of this writing. "


The full article can be found at:




Cubase VST (I'm pretty sure it was Cubase, though it might have been DP) is the best suited program for Dual processing, since they used to support Dual processors for a while but then improved the way they do it by allowing it to dynamically allocate the resources. They used to have to offload only the Audio processing to the second chip, while using the first chip for midi and hardware access, but losing processor strength that could be applied to audio there. Now that doesn't happen anymore. I think that basically with their old code the second processor only gave a 30% increase and now the new code gives a 50% increase. Logic just recently stepped into the dual processing arena, so it may not see an improvement that drastic.


But think about that: a 50% increase - if you can get a 533mhz for the same price as a dual 450mhz, that's a 20% increase. So The dual processor I guess should be about 25% faster than the 533 (150%/120%=125%) but that's only for Cubase. If Logic's code isn't as well designed, it may only run 30% faster which isn't much better than the 533.


It's strange, huh? It's not twice as fast, and for programs that aren't written to take advantage of it, it's not any faster at all. But it can be useful. If I were you I'd stick to the single processor. Unless you can buy a single processor on a dual processor motherboard, and then have the option to upgrade. That's the ideal way, but I think that's only a PC option, not for the Mac.


Good luck in finding more info.

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