Hi Ardour land!
I have just been pretty badly hit by a severe case of unreasonable expectations - in fact it almost split my band up and so I’m wanting to ensure nobody else goes through the same as I know how we can prevent a lot of upset, disappointed users and that is by including a ‘Requirements’ section on the Downloads page on ardour.org which will ideally also include (a link to) some benchmarks of a recent Ardour 2 release running on various classes of hardware at different sample rates.
We as a community should amass some benchmarks for at least three different classes of hardware ie
Minimum Spec - Something like a P4 class w/ 1GB RAM
Mid Rage - Maybe a Core 2 duo system, 2GB RAM
High End - 4 or more cores, 4GB+ RAM w/ fast SCSI drives
For each class of machine the benchmarks will list approx. how many tracks, with and without the use of plugins, the hardware should be able to handle at 44.1, 48, 96 and 192Khz. I think most people use 48Khz, the numbers won’t be wildly different between 48Khz and 44.1Khz and few use 192Khz so if it only lists expected results for 48 and 96 I think that’d be good enough for people to gauge what they can expect before they encounter difficulties.
I’ll help out with this of course but I’d like to hear people thoughts on what and how many plugins we should use in these benchmarks, best methods for conducting the tests etc. before we begin.
It might also be a good idea to link to or recommended audio hardware as part of this ‘Requirements’ section ie list the cards fully supported by FFADO (which is only a few) and also list the recommended ALSA PCI cards for use by (semi)pro users- again its only a small number of cards which would be up for consideration and it would spare them trawling the ALSA site or LAU/LAD postings.