Would a lenovo p500 be a good hardware platform for Ardour?

Ive been using my cheap laptop for years now. It’s generally not too bad, but it lacks the power needed to make finished productions.
I’m a believer in trying to run electronics for as long as possible, so Im contemplating buying a second hand ~2015 lenovo P500 ( Xeon E5-1620V3@3.50GHz, 32GB, 512GB SSD +1TB, NVS 510 2GB) server, to run AVLinux and Ardour. They are quite cheap on Ebay.
Would this give me what I need and be viable for a reasonable length of time?
Many thanks for your opinions

It depends what you want to do. Just recording or heavy VST usage?
Xeons are good for parallel computing, but for music production Single core speed is also important.

Also keep in mind that it might get loud (CPU has 140 W).

I would look for a Ryzen 5 or some Intel12 Gen CPU, but I assume the Xeon will be fine also.

Thanks Lilith
This is very helpful and has focussed me on the issues.
The main thing I need high power for is mixing with many plugins. For instance, at the moment, if I have 16 tracks and a master with only saturation in each, my cpu usage is already 35% with a 2048 buffer!
AVLinux comes with cpu freqs ready tweaked for performance, I hope 3GHz5 will be ok for the single core?
I’m on a budget and 12th gen is gonna be too costly, plus, I’m trying to not keep buying new stuff and polluting the world, so that’s why i’m going for re-using older hardware.
Your point about noise is also really relevant, I will look up some noise specs before buying.
Many thanks again :smiley:


What CPU does your laptop have?

Thanks Lilith
My laptop is a 2015 Asus 556ua. It has a i7-6500 cpu, 12G ram and i run it
from an external 256G SSD on usb3.

I checked about noise on the Xeon and a review said it was quiet.

Looking at the specs of the 10th gen i5 you posted I noticed that it had
16G of ram and a 256G SSD, vs 32G ram and a 512G SSD in the one I posted. I
expect the i5 has built in usb C which would save buying another card for
the Xeon.

There’s many factors to consider here. Do you know if virtual instruments
use a single core or multi for playback and rendering? Using them has been
a major difficulty for me up to now as they really load my laptop

Many thanks for all your insights

CPU wise the Xenon will not be an upgrade, I guess. They are pretty close if you look at the benchmark. Are you limited on RAM?

Maybe someone else can chime in, I 'm also looking for a new PC :slight_smile:

You might be interested in this article from Harrison. It explains what realtime performance depends on: CPU Resources + DSP Usage - Harrison Consoles Knowledge Base

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Thanks Thomas.
That’s a good article.
Am i right thinking that Ardour itself doesnt have the Harrison DSP meter? The DSP usage field on Ardour’s edit window certainly doesnt change very fast.

I feel the real issue for me is; if I buy a 7 or 8 year old computer as opposed to a 3 year old, will the 8 year old be redundant too soon?

Many thanks

I’m actually not sure where the Harrison DSP Meter would be but I’m not aware of Mixbus having a more sophisticated DSP measurement than Ardour. Maybe try Window/Performance Meters? This exists in both DAWs.

Honestly, I have no idea. My PC is more than 8 years old, it still can easily handle live recordings with 48 tracks. But I’m using Mixbus32C with very few plugins.

Thanks Thomas
I will have a look at that menu in Ardour

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