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Old 01-10-2010, 09:05 AM   #1
sach160
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Overclocking Memory for Audio Application - Good idea?

Hey guys,

I have a dell xps 435mt i7 920 with OCZ 6GB DDR3 Triple Channel RAM. I use Ableton Live for recording (using lots of samples and memory intensive soft synths), and the load times of projects which use around 2 to 2.5 GB RAM are about 2 1/2 minutes each (!).

Dell lock the BIOS so you can't overclock anything. The ram runs at 1066, but is capable of 1600 or 1800. I did some research and found this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...56,2482-9.html

which says overclocking memory makes little difference, but they didn't test it on audio applications like mine. Does anyone know if I would only get small increases in load speeds, if I sold my dell and bought a system with good cooling, that I could overclock the processor and memory in?

PS I have a SSD C drive, and use a 10000rpm Velociraptor for my samples, so I don't think hard disk speed is the bottleneck here... it just takes so long to load it all into the RAM. Program inefficiency is probably a major cause, but I can't do anything about that.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Sachin

PS Lastly anyone looking to take a dell studio to over 6GB RAM without getting 4GB sticks, should steer clear - the PC reboots and freezes when you use all 6 slots (cause - unknown but likely to be cheap low power PSU; dell - unhelpful).
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Old 01-10-2010, 01:44 PM   #2
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Load speeds have absolutely nothing to do with your RAM, and everything to do with a) your hard drive and b) the limitations of the program's loading routine.
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:02 PM   #3
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The hard drives are ALWAYS the limitation when it comes to load times. If you want to make it so your RAM is the bottleneck, get about 100 Intel SSD's and put them in a RAID 0. That might come close to making the RAM the bottleneck.
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:27 PM   #4
sach160
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Thanks for the replies guys, much appreciated - saved me a lot of hassle.

Does anyone have experience in loading any software that uses 2.5GB ram each time? It doesn't have to be audio, it's just that a 2 1/2 minute load time seems unusually slow, if I'm using one 10000rpm and one 7200rpm drive (the project audio is on one drive and the samples on the other). So I'd like to know if it's mainly the software and so nothing I can do about... or if all software using this much memory takes this amount of time to load, in which case I'll have to just bear it and wait for THE FUTURE where I'll hope to have a Winona Ryder clone robot doing my work for me, and quickly.

Any suggestions for speeding up load time, in the mean time, would be much appreciated. Eg would moving to all SSD drives make a significant difference?

Thanks again for the posts. Peace.
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:53 PM   #5
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If you've got room on the SSD, move it over to there. By the way, what SSD do you have?
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:19 PM   #6
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Moving to an SSD might help a bit, but it's mostly just the limitations of the load algorithms in the program. Even a slow HDD is going to be able to serve up 100MB/s, so a 2.5GB file would only take ~26 seconds. Even if we assume highly fragmented files, it shouldn't be more than a minute.

If you do this professionally, and have the money, an SSD will probably smooth the experience out a bit, but remember the storage capacity per dollar is extremely low, and audio gets quite large.
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:20 PM   #7
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Now that you mention that, I'm thinking it's the application's coding. From past experience, it takes longer to load GTA 4 (a LOT longer, like, 2x as long) from an SSD as it does from a normal hard drive.
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hickeydog View Post
The hard drives are ALWAYS the limitation when it comes to load times. If you want to make it so your RAM is the bottleneck, get about 100 Intel SSD's and put them in a RAID 0. That might come close to making the RAM the bottleneck.
the sata bus as its limitation too ....
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:02 AM   #9
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the sata bus as its limitation too ....
Not for traditional HDD's it's not. Even SSD's are hard pressed to saturate SATAII in sequential read (the fastest operation). What can be a limitation is the motherboard's connection to south-bridge and thus the SATA controller. This is typically a single PCI-e 2.0 lane on modern motherboards, giving a maximum bandwidth of 500MB/s. That number can be easily saturated by more than two SSD's in RAID0, especially considering the fact that it has to share bandwidth with other things like the audio (if you're using onboard) and sometimes the LAN, although that is sometimes connected to the north-bridge.
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:06 PM   #10
sach160
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Ah... by the sounds of it, it seems it's the program. Thanks again for the info. I shall simply wait for the future and hope it arrives...
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