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Nature of hardware limits when using Kontakt?

wuubb

Member
Between these 3 components: RAM, CPU, and storage, what is the order in which they usually crap out when running large templates? I'm curious from a hardware standpoint what the priorities should be when building a system say for VEP.

Based on what I read on here, it seems that CPU would be the first to go since people always talk about voice counts, and every thread on here about SATA vs NVME SSDs it's mentioned that SATA is fine since you'll max out your CPU before saturating the SSD anyways.

IMO RAM is the least important (i.e. you may not need 128/64gb) since you can run Kontakt purged and it will only load the samples you need as you work on the project. And you can change the preload buffer, however that affects CPU and storage needing to read more frequently.

That would leave storage in the middle, since you could saturate the disk with a low preload buffer (and from my own experience) and not be using all of your RAM.

From my own experience, if I load up a Kontakt multi with a ton of strings (Spitfire, Berlin, Cinestrings, CSS, etc) and just play a big chord, the disk meter always spikes, voices drop out, well before my CPU maxes out. And this is with a Samsung T3 on a laptop...currently can get only around 200 voices (256 buffer) which is nowhere near what even the mobile CPUs rank on the DAWbench tests...

Lastly, as a side note, where can I learn more about these things as they relate to VST/Audio workloads? So far my knowledge has mostly come from reading what the really smart people here post (EvilDragon), and my own knowledge of how hardware and operating systems/software work from my computer science degree.
 

EvilDragon

KSP Wizard
Yep, CPU. You can alleviate it somewhat by not filling a single Kontakt instance with a bunch of stuff, but spread things across multiple Kontakts (especially if you're loading heavier libraries). Also before that you could also try if Kontakt's multicore setting helps some.
 
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wuubb

wuubb

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Is there anything that could explain why I'm running into disk spikes before CPU spikes? I haven't been able to find anything conclusive with changing the preload buffer, running purged/all loaded. This is with a Samsung T3, and the drive itself is stupid fast.
 

chimuelo

Star Of Stage & Screen
I use a really lean host from Plogue called Bidule.
I use an instance of Kontakt per MIDI Channel now after EDs suggestion, it requires a little more RAM but couldn’t even get a glitch as I watched the Task Manager and Hardware Monitor diagnostics.

Pretty impressed with Kontakt 6.

Using a pair of Samsung 512GB SSDs 32GBs Of DDR3-1600 and the i7-4790k I still got plenty of power for Keyscape/Omni, Zebra2 and PianoTeq 6.

I stick with what works and have many different builds for specific uses.
The i7-4790k CPUs were so good for my live rigs I bought more.

Developers are either refining their apps every upgrade or Intel gave us higher binned 4790k’s over time.

Don’t know or care, just glad.
 
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