How much computer resources does INSPIRATA use? How many sources can be used simultaneously on a typical computer?
Increasing the number of sound source locations in Inspirata will result in higher CPU utilization and RAM consumption. Inspirata is designed to use as few resources as possible given the actual configuration, and it will scale to fully utilize high-end multi-core systems when necessary.
It is important to note, that in a real-time, small-buffer setting, you can hardly ever get to a full 100% CPU utilization on non-real-time operating systems such as Mac OSX or Windows. You need to have some headroom so that sporadically running background tasks can also do their jobs without glitching the audio out. Having said that you will indeed benefit from having more CPU cores, just do not expect to have all of them pegged at a 100% and still have continuous audio. The scaling of CPU usage is not linear either in every regard, so having twice as many cores will not necessarily translate to twice as many sound sources or half as large audio buffer sizes.
To give you a few examples, in the simplest configuration and with a single source location, you should see around 1% CPU utilization for the audio processing, or 3% with the GUI open. With more features active and 14 sources, you can get close to 50% utilization on a 4-core system.
Details of course, are important. Depending on your exact setup, operating system, simultaneously running background processes and even the DAW that you are using, there may be slight performance differences. You could observe a different threshold, as to how high you can go with the system resource utilization before audio dropouts occur.
CPUs supporting the AVX2 instruction set will give you the best performance, in particular recent i5 and i7 CPUs and AMD's Ryzen 3000 line and upwards. They should allow you to use 20 sound sources with a buffer size of 64, or even twice that when using a 256 buffer.
You can also get a lot done with older processors supporting at least AVX1. An 8-year-old i7 3770, for example, is capable of processing 14 sources simultaneously without dropouts at the lowest buffer size.
With respect to computer memory (RAM), you need approximately 350 MB of RAM per sound source. So, for example, when having 16 sound sources active at the same time, Inspirata will use 5.6 GB of RAM.
Last updated: 03 December 2020
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