Made this thread to help those who are planning to move from Mac or build/buy a new setup (Hackintosh or PC) can have a clear direction of what to buy
Read that some users were able to run up to 90 or even 100's of Neb or Acqua plugs in their system while with Mac systems, we're not able to run even 30 or more instances of Neb or Acqua plugs which is quite disappointing.
Was said that building a Hackintosh or a PC is a much preferred system and it even out run the latest Mac Pro system. Would be really great if everyone can share their system specs and how many Neb or Acqua's you can run: Motherboard, Cpu, Ram, DAW etc and Neb/Acqua instances.
*These info's are not only meant for Acqua plugins but great asset for those who uses V.I's like Diva, Zebra, Omni and Kontakt instruments as well.
Posted by Will The Weirdo
By Will The Weirdo:With so many newer users to Acustia Audio's Nebula technology here is what info we've gathered over the years about DAW's, OS's, and AA's heavy CPU and RAM plugins.
For each Acqua, there are 4 key players that determine stability on every system.........
The Acqua Core
Each combination produces different results.
Every DAW is coded different when using heavy DSP/RAM plugins, and they change as updates to those DAW's are released. Sometimes the updates improve the DAW, sometimes not.
Each DAW uses different amounts of RAM for the same plugin. Reaper uses the most per plugin, it may help with stability, but we are not sure.
Each DAW spreads the load of plugins differently. Some like Ableton and PT load single cores per track while some like Reaper and Cubase seem to load a single plugin evenly across all cores. This core loading is at the heart as to why those 2 DAW are tops at using AA's Acqua's IMHO.
Each DAW re-loads a saved session differently. Reaper will load the saved session the same way it was saved while PT will load it differently causing problems as it sometimes overloads a single core incorrectly.
As a 15 year PT user I know PTHD will re-load an HD session differently on the DSP chips each time. I suspect Avid has not changed it's loading style to adapt to modern multi core CPU's much like the Native DAW's and just continued to approach DSP as always. Remember Avid also has only allowed Native processing outside of their TDM/RTAS/AAX platform starting around 2009, and it's never worked near as well as their own DSP platforms.
For DAW's it seems Reaper on all OS's is King with Cubase, Sampletube, Studio One 3.5, Live, Sonar, then PT on PC being the pecking order. On Mac PT seems better than Logic as we had reports of some PT MAC users getting much better results with tweaking (yes some MAC users know how to tune a bios and OS).
For OS Win 7 is clearly the best at core loading with tweaks, Win 10 is bloated with background programs but has efficient core loading, and Mac OS being the best RAM usage OS for some strange reason has poor core loading as of today. With each update this list can and will change. Do remember in 2017 all these OS's run on the same basic hardware, making the only real difference between them, the nerds pushing the buttons and the 1's & 0's ordering they prefer.
The different Cores in the Acqua's have improved stability over time. Core 6 and below still pull many less instances so every Acqua before Pink is a roller coaster in use. Since Core 8 we can run well over 50 per session on the Reaper on Windows.
The latest Core's are optimized for the latest generation Intel i7 processors. Any other processors are a gamble at what type of stability you will get, results are all over the place and a dice roll. We have almost no feedback on the new AMD processors and Acqua's yet, proceed with caution.
So we post the most optimal options for users here, not to force or bully anyone to change anything, but to inform newer AA users as to the options which best run these super heavy DSP/RAM plugins. We all pick our tools for the job at hand, knowing this technology is paramount to success as these are the most advanced heavy DSP/RAM usage plugins available today for pro audio.
Never trust anyone online, don't even trust me, research for yourself about this technology, then TEST it for yourself.
CheersEvery user should be testing in Reaper, both on Mac and PC. Everyone reporting test results in Reaper will establish a baseline.My suggestions for proper baseline testing.
1. Test in Reaper on Mac and PC...... it's small and everyone can access it for free.
2. Test on at least 2 more tracks than your CPU has threads, so the CPU balance is off.
3. Run a 44.1Khz session @1024 buffer.
4. Run any audio on those channels.
5. Play the audio at all times during testing, but there must be continuous audio playing on each track being used for testing.
6. Pull up the Acqua being tested, turn everything on.
7. Copy that Acqua to all channels.
8. Write down your task manager info for RAM used and CPU used.
9. Load another row of Acqua, changing a comp/EQ/preamp setting.
10. Write down your task manager info for RAM used and CPU used.
11. Repeat this process until you can't or you reach 100 instances.
12. Report everything here in detail. Include your computer specs, OS, & soundcard info
Acqua's Instance Counts
i7 5820K(6C/12T) 3.8 GHz - 27 Full instances, Win7, Reaper, RAM at 16GB (Will The Weirdo)
Mac Pro 6.1(2013)Intel Xeon E5 Quad-Core 3.9GHz - 26 Gold FullStrip, El Cap, Reaper, 1024 buffer (reggiejaxx)
Mac Pro 6.1(2013)Intel Xeon E5 Quad-Core 3.9GHz - 5 Gold FullStrip, El Cap, Logic Pro X, 1024 buffer (reggiejaxx)
Mac Pro 5.1(12C/24T) 2.4 GHz - 20 Gold FullStrip, El Cap, Logic X, 1024 buffer (davidgary73)
Mac Pro "Quad Core" 2.66GHz (2009) - 10 FullStrip, 10.9.5, Reaper, 1024 buffer (heraldo_jones)
Mac Pro "Quad Core" 2.66GHz (2009) - 21 EQ, 10.9.5, Reaper, 1024 buffer (heraldo_jones)
Mac Pro "Quad Core" 2.66GHz (2009) - 50 Comp, 10.9.5, Reaper, 1024 buffer (heraldo_jones)
Mac Pro "Quad Core" 2.66GHz (2009) - 24 Pre, 10.9.5, Reaper, 1024 buffer (heraldo_jones)
Mac Pro "Quad Core" 2.66GHz (2009) - 8 FullStrip, 10.9.5, Cubase 9, 1024 buffer (heraldo_jones)
Mac Pro "Quad Core" 2.66GHz (2009) - 17 EQ, 10.9.5, Cubase 9, 1024 buffer (heraldo_jones)
Mac Pro "Quad Core" 2.66GHz (2009) - 31 Comp, 10.9.5, Cubase 9, 1024 buffer (heraldo_jones)
Mac Pro "Quad Core" 2.66GHz (2009) - 18 Pre, 10.9.5, Cubase 9, 1024 buffer (heraldo_jones)
Macbook Pro(Mid2012) i7 3720QM(4C/8T) 2.60GHz - 14 Gold FullStrip, Mac OSX 10.9.5, Reaper, 1024 buffer (be a Gorilla)
Macbook Pro Retina (2013) i7 2.7GHz - 11 Gold FullStrip, Sierra 10.12.4, ProTools 12.7.1, 1024 buffer (DarkandKurious)
MacBook Pro (Late 2013) i7 2.3GHz - 15 Gold FullStrip, OSX El Capitan 10.11.6, Ableton Live 9.7.2, 1024 buffer (YourMasters)
MacBook Pro (Late 2013) i7 2.3GHz - 16 Gold FullStrip, OSX El Capitan 10.11.6, Reaper, 1024 buffer (YourMasters)
E5-2690 Dual 8 Core Xeon(8C/16T) 2.9 GHz - 24 FullStrip, Win7, Studio One 3, 1024 buffer (KP2020)
i7 2600K(4C/8T) - 14 FullStrip, Win7, PT 12.7.1, 1024 buffer (soundroad)
i7 2600K(4C/8T) - 17 FullStrip, Win7, Reaper, 1024 buffer (soundroad)
i7-4790K(4C/8T) 4 GHz - 25 Fullstrip, Win10, Reaper, 1024 buffer (Viking4)
i7 5960x(8C/16T) 3.0GHz, 64GB RAM, SSD drives, 44.1KHz session - 17 FullStrip, Win 7/64 SP1, Pro Tools 12.7.1 (Dave Fore)
i7 5960x(8C/16T) 4.2 GHz - 24 FullStrip, Win10 & Hackie Yosemite, Cubase 8.5.30, 1024 buffer (SoundForSoul)
i7 5960x(8C/16T) 4.2 GHz - 29 FullStrip, Win10, Cubase Element 9, 1024 buffer (SoundForSoul)
i7 5960x(8C/16T) 4.2 GHz - 29 FullStrip, Hackie Yosemite, Logic Pro 10.2.3, 1024 buffer (SoundForSoul)
i7 6850K(6C/12T) 4.2 GHz - 39 Fullstrip, Win10(Tweaked), Reaper, 1024 buffer (mchillak)
i7 6850K(6C/12T) 4.2 GHz - 30 Fullstrip, Win10(Tweaked), Ableton, 1024 buffer (mchillak)
i7 6850K(6C/12T) 4.2 GHz - 34 Fullstrip ZL, Win10 (Tweaked), Reaper, 1024 buffer (mchillak)
i7 6850K(6C/12T) 4.2 GHz - 29 Fullstrip ZL, Win10 (Tweaked), Ableton, 1024 buffer (mchillak)
i7 6850K(6C/12T) 4.2 GHz - 38 Fullstrip, Win10, Reaper(?)
i7 6850K(6C/12T) 4.2 GHz - 27 Fullstrip, Win7, Reaper (xmission)
i7 6800K(6C/12T) 4.2 GHz, 37 FullStrip, Win10, Cubase 8.5 Pro, 882 buffer (JulenJVM)
i7 6950x(10C/20T) - 25 Fullstrip, Win10, Cubase 9 (garbage914)
i7 6950x(10C/20T) 4 GHz- 39 Fullstrip, Win10, Reaper, 1024 buffer (cinematree)
i7 6950x(10C/20T) 4 GHz- 39 Fullstrip, Win10, Cubase 9, 1024 buffer (cinematree)
i7 6950x(10C/20T) 4 GHz- 54 Fullstrip, Win10, Cubase 9 with JBridge, 2048 buffer (cinematree)
i7 6950x(10C/20T) 4 GHz- 40 Fullstrip, Win10, Reaper with JBridge, DAW & Acqua @ 2048 buffer (cinematree)
i7 5820K(6C/12T) 3.7 GHz, 28 FullStrip, Win10, Cubase (stella645)
i7 5820K(6C/12T) 3.7 GHz, 38 FullStrip, Win10, Reaper (stella645)
i7 5820K(6C/12T) 4 GHz, 39 FullStrip, Win7, Reaper (jfjer)
i7 5820K(6C/12T) 3.8 GHz- 43 FullStrip, Win7, Reaper, 1024 buffer (Will The Weirdo)
i7 5820K(6C/12T) 3.8 GHz - 66 Pre, Win7, Reaper, 1024 buffer (Will The Weirdo)
i7 5820K(6C/12T) 3.8 GHz - 70 EQ, Win7, Reaper, 1024 buffer (Will The Weirdo)
i7 5820K(6C/12T) 3.8 GHz - 100 Comp, Win7, Reaper, 1024 buffer (Will The Weirdo)
i7 5820K(6C/12T) 3.8 GHz - 90 instances, Win7, Reaper, CPU at 20% but I ran out of RAM at 16GB (Will The Weirdo)
i7 6850K(6C/12T) 3.6 GHz - 30 instances, Win10, Cubase 9
Mac Pro 5.1(12C/24T) 2.4 GHz - 23 instances, 10.11.6, Logic 10.3.1 (davidgary73)
i7 5820K(6C/12T) 3.8 GHz - 70 FullStrip, Win7, Reaper, 1024 buffer (Will The Weirdo)
Mac Pro 5.1(12C/24T) 2.4 GHz - 16 instances, 10.11.6, Logic 10.3.1 (davidgary73)
i7 5820K(6C/12T) 4 GHz - 100 EQ, Win 7, Reaper, 1024 buffer (jfjer)
i7 5820K(6C/12T) 4 GHz- 20 FullStrip, Win 7, Reaper, 1024 buffer (jfjer)
Macbookpro(mid2012) i7 3720QM(4C/8T) 2.60GHz - 11 FullStrip, Mac OSX 10.9.5, Reaper, 1024 buffer (be a Gorilla)
Windows Surface 4 (i7 / 16 GB RAM) - 33 PRE`s, 33 EQ`s and 33 COMP`s in 24bit/48 Khz (99 instances in total), CPU usage of 90-95%, Samplitude (Arne)
i7 6850k, Asus x99 e-ws - 100 instances of lime replicating a console (all parameters engaged) across 20 channels in Reaper, 70% CPU (mightymosaic)
i7 5960x(8C/16T) 4.2 GHz - 13 Fullstrip, Win10, Cubase 8.5.30, 1024 buffer (SoundForSoul)
i7 5960x(8C/16T) 4.2 GHz - 14 Fullstrip, Win10, Cubase Element 9, 1024 buffer (SoundForSoul)
i7 5960x(8C/16T) 4.2 GHz - 15 Fullstrip, Hackie Yosemite, Logic Pro 10.2.3, 1024 buffer (SoundForSoul)
MacBook Pro (Late 2013) i7 2.3 GHz - 6 Coral FullStrip, OSX El Capitan 10.11.6, Ableton Live 9.7.2, 1024 buffer (YourMasters)
MacBook Pro (Late 2013) i7 2.3 GHz - 7 Coral FullStrip, OSX El Capitan 10.11.6, Reaper, 1024 buffer (YourMasters)
Recommended Computer Specs
From Emil Tobias Pohjalainen in AA FB Group
From G:Cpu : intel i9-7900x (10-core @4.3Ghz)
Mobo : Asus prime A x299
Ram : 64Gb Corsair vengeance LPX 2400MHz
OS: Samsung evo 960 M.2 512Gb
Samples : Samsung evo 960 M.2 1000Gb
MIX: 2* Crucial mx300 1000Gb in backup raid configuration
GPU: 3GB GByte GTX1060 windforce2 OC
Case: Be quiet! SB800
Cooler: Be quiet! Dark rock pro3
PSU: 750W EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G3 PSU
Win 10 64-bit professional
With hyper threading - 56 Pink Stereo instances.
Disabled hyper threading in bios - 71 Pink Stereo instances.
From Will The Weirdo:A lot of people today are contacting me telling me the just changed their computer and now they can use our products perfectly....A guy was opening 90 pearl strip channels. Btw there is an huge difference between a 6th generation Intel cpu and a 4th one. Hackintosh with 6th generation and they have plenty of headroom even in pt (which is performing worse than almost all other hosts). A friend has a 5 GHz clock and really the new bottleneck is the memory, not the cpu. We suggest more than 64 GB when cpu is so good. I can confirm the efficiency is the same if you run exactly the same host and the same hardware (our tests on virtual machines are confirming this)
My $850 build:
Win 7 Ultimate x64
Intel i7 5820K
Samsung 850 EVO 500GB
Corsair H55 water cooler
16 GB DDR4 2400 Ram
MSI Gforce 710
EVGA 650 GQ Gold PS
I could not be happier with my 5820K build. When I hit 70 Pink and the session was still running, I knew my build was solid. Also, spend the money on a Gold or higher PS, mine is almost silent until I'm using over 80% CPU.
Now then, if you have the cash the new 6900K and 6950x are looking down right ridiculous performance wise... but I built my whole 5920K for half what just the 6950x CPU cost, lol. You can currently use 40-70 of the AA full channel strips on the last 2 generations of i7's, no need for DSP. With Diamond my CPU was at 20% but I ran out of RAM, lol, as I'm only at 16GB running 90 instances. i7 5820K, Reaper clearly runs more Nebula/Acqua's on Win 7 x64 than PT, Live, or Studio One. The i7's seem to run Nebula/Acqua so much better than the Xeon processors.
All these new i7 CPU's can be OC'ed in the 4-5Ghz range, so IMHO more cores wins in the end.....if you doubt that just look at the 6900K and 6950X real world results, as both are in the 4 OC'ed range and smoke both your 6800K and my 5820K. One 6950X user is pulling almost double my 5820K in Acqua's...... I was 70, they were 120 Acqua's. That's why I suggested making the final decision based on the upgrade path. If clock speed was king, your OC'ed 4Ghz 6 core 6800K would be better, but it's not, as neither is my 6 core 5820K. Today, cores are King on the new i7's.
From jfjer:I just tested Gold in my i7 5820K OC'ed 3.8Ghz 16GB Ram PC at 1024 buffer in Reaper 5.40 on Windows 7x64 SP1 44.1Khz session @ http://www.acustica-audio.com/phpBB3/vi ... 60#p118149
By cinematree:My specs
Win7 64 Pro
CPU Intel i7 5820k oc`d at 4,Ghz
Motherboard mATX Gigabyte GA-X99M-Gaming 5
Power supply Corsair platinum HX750i, 750W
Graphic card MSI Radeon R5 230 1GB DDR3
Liquid cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H115i or NZXT Kraken X62
Crucial DDR4 2133MHz 16GB 4x4
I can run 70 pink on my 5820k everything engaged including insane mode on the comp. Its better to use the smaller single plugins of Sand and Coral if you want to save CPU. It was reported 100 instances of Sand eq` on a 5820k. You could use 40 or 50 tracks of sand with pre, eq and comp from Fab4 on 5820k, only 20 with the full sand. Not using the big full plugs saves a lot of CPU. Note that this numbers mentioned is in Reaper though, the most efficient DAW for Acquas
I ran tests to Will's specs:
x6950 3.00 GHZ overclocked to 4 GHZ
Windows 10, 32GB RAM, 512 GB SSD
UA Apollo 8 - 1024 samples
Reaper 5.40. cpu 53%, Ram 10,500GB Used
39 Gold Strips (fully engaged including Insane Compressor)
Always crashed on 40th, just like JfJer
Cubase 9.1 is identical
CPU looks around 60%, Ram 10,500GB
39 instances and crashed on the 40th
I downloaded the demo of JBridge and converted Gold 64 bit to a Jbridge plugin. With the same test in Cubase, I had higher CPU (near 100) and had to change my buffer to 2048 on my Apollo (audio wouldn't start to sound at 1024), BUT, I was then able to get 54 Golds w audio running! I'm just investigating what exactly JBridge is doing, but it seems that taking Processes out of Cubase's main processing thread wins more power.
From SoundForSoul:I justified the expense for a water cooled 6950x + 64gb + ssd boot and storages drive because I charge by the song so the faster I render, the sooner I get paid.
I would spend over an hour a day waiting for renders on my old mac that cost 8k 5 years ago... And the PC is literally 100x times faster for less than half the price.
But, the new 7700k is much cheaper and the performance when clocked up is very close to what the non overclocked 6950x can deliver. I think the 7700 would deliver plenty of Aqua headroom, even at 96khz.
From JulenJVM:Hackie Yosemite 10.10.2 & Win 10 pro 64 bit (partition)
Asus Deluxe X99 mobo
5960x -8cores,16threads - licquid cooled OCed @4.2Ghz,
16 Gb Ram, Corsair 1200i PSU, GTX 970 OC Asus video card.
Windows cubase pro 8.5 had the asio guard settings to "normal", not "high", like it was on Yosemite - switched it to High and I got:
*24 Fully engaged Gold working, both win and mac, on cubase pro 8.5.30. Also, installed the new Cubase Elements 9 and got 27 instances due to better cpu handling. On logic pro x 10.2.3 I got 29 full Gold.
*13 Corals on Cubase pro 8.5, I guess 14 on cubase elements 9 and 15 on Logic Pro.
From heraldo_jones:So far 37 instances of the strip with everything engaged, including insane mode on the comp. That's on an 6800k @ 4.2 GHz, 16 GB RAM, Win10, Cubase 8.5 Pro. All tracks playing a stereo file at 44.1 kHz 24 bit. RAM was at 11 GB including all processes.
Disabling multithreading at BIOS level has given me roughly a 12-15% improvement on Cubase performance, Windows 10
Multithreading in BIOS ON:
Cubase Asio Meter: hovering between 97-98%
Real-Time peaks: Occasional
CPU: roughly at 40%
Multithreading in BIOS OFF:
Cubase Asio Meter: constant 85%
Real-Time peaks: 0
CPU: roughly at 63%
Turning multithreading off in BIOS seems help Cubase balance better the load between cores. With it ON, the main core is maxing out, while the rest are around half usage. Turn it off, and while the main core still carries most of the load, it gains some overhead, and the rest of cores receive more load.
A hackintosh with an Intel Core i7 4790k can run almost 60 instances, it depends on the plugins of course. One of the thing Acquas really benefit is having a high clocked cpu.
Q&A:5820k at 3.7 - 16Gb RAM, Win10 Pro Creators and hyper-threading is currently disabled as my usual DAW Cubase seems marginally better this way.
I wouldn't say high counts but certainly no 20 instance ceiling. Cubase was getting very sluggish at 28 instance of Gold with near full cpu use and audio dropped out with 30. Reaper managed 38 instances - Windows reporting 95-103% cpu but amazingly no obvious drop outs. Possibly would have been slightly better with ht on? With Cubase in real world use I would never hit anything like these figures as effects on the master bus and groups will load cores unevenly. Reaper spreads the load much better
Q by clone war: A new quad core i7 7700K clocked at 5 ghz to have better performance than a 12 core 3.46 ghz Sandy Bridge-E setup?
A by zaphod: Yes
Q by mchillak: Well since you are on Win 7 and I'm on Win 10 I'm assuming that might be the first issue. Out of curiosity what audio interface are you using? It would be great if someone on a Win10 system could confirm similar benchmarks to yours. Anyone got any comparable numbers?
A by Will The Weirdo: If you are using Reaper on PC for testing and you still are pulling less instances than my 5820K, I would look at audio interface, Windows version and OS tweaking as the places to look first for improvements. I've been building and tweaking my own PC's since 98, these PC's and Win 7 today are easy compared to them, but the challenges are the same.
Audient iD22 here, Win 7 x64 Ultimate. I refuse to use Win 10, just too many background programs running too mush secret Microsoft BS. Twenty years of tweaking Windows has taught me more is not less, and DAW's need less, so no Win 10 for my Studio computer.I'm thinking OS and lack of OS tuning as the results.
Windows 10 Tweak shared by mchillak
1. I used the "safe for PC" blackviper service center config. You could probably go further and be a bit more aggressive but I kept it simple.
http://www.blackviper.com/service-confi ... gurations/
2. I also used msconfig to turn off everything in the startup menu except my RME control.
3. I installed spybot antibeacon and turned on immunization for everything including the optional ones. https://www.safer-networking.org/spybot-anti-beacon/
Some question to mchillak regarding the tweaks.
Re #1, Did you just use his list and turn off/adjust the appropriate settings for each service manually in services.msc? Or did you use a batch script?
A: I copied his settings for "safe PC" exactly as he has them listed.
Re #2, Are you referring to the "startup" tab in msconfig? Or did you go into the "services" tab and disable services there?
A: Yes startup tab. I disabled all program except for a few like my UCX mixer etc.
Re#3, Once installed, does spybot run automatically or do I have to run it each time I log in?
A: Yes once you setup and run spybot it just runs.
Q: Why is PC performing better than Mac? Will Nebula 4 (based on Core 9, I guess) solve this performance issue, so both platforms perform exact the same?
A: It's a Mac multi-threading issue from what from what they are saying. In tests on the same Mac, users are able to easily get double the instances on a bootcamp Windows Reaper, than on the Mac OS Reaper.
------Q: Most efficient DAW to the least efficient DAW to work with Neb/Acqua plugins?
5) Logic Pro X
6) Studio One
7) Pro Tools
http://www.scanproaudio.info/2017/03/02 ... for-audio/ and http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic ... 1&t=480801
Intel i7 7700k Overheating Complaints
http://wccftech.com/intel-i7-7700k-owne ... omplaints/
Loud noise burst from Acqua plugs
Just a note for Neb/Acqua users, do download this free plugin @ http://www.cerberusaudio.com/Software/Products/Ice9/
Set the dB threshold in Ice9 and it mutes audio if it passes. Use ice9 plugin to keep your ears/speakers safe from loud bursting noise which happen once in awhile. Reaper user, go to Audio and use the auto mute setting to do the same thing as this plugin.