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dyohn
2014-05-10, 11:14
Just wondering how much a processor/memory is used by LMS? Will upgrading motherboard, memory, etc/ make any difference to LMS? Meaning if I go from single core to quad core processor or from 1Gb RAM to 16Gb make much difference to how LMS operates? What is the sweet spot if anyone knows?

erland
2014-05-10, 11:29
Just wondering how much a processor/memory is used by LMS? Will upgrading motherboard, memory, etc/ make any difference to LMS? Meaning if I go from single core to quad core processor or from 1Gb RAM to 16Gb make much difference to how LMS operates? What is the sweet spot if anyone knows?

I think we need more information:
- Which operating system are you using ?
- Is the machine used for something else than just running LMS ?
- How large is your library ?
- What kind of operation in LMS do you feel is slow ?
- Where are your music files stored (on an internal drive in the computer or on a NAS or external drive) ?

LMS is single threaded, so I doubt number of cores will make much difference.
I think 1Gb should generally be enough for a small/medium sized library, but if you have a large library more memory could help for some operations.

dyohn
2014-05-10, 11:42
Hi. I'm running Vortexbox on a DIY PC with an AMD Athlon processor and 1Gb RAM, so it's a Fedora 20 kernel and LMS 7.8. My library is about 1.4Tb on a 2Tb drive but that's probably not really pertinent to my question. It's not that I think anything is necessarily slow, it's just that I have the ability to replace the MB with a significantly better one. VB will utilize the additional memory and processor speed, but I was just wondering if there is any advantage to LMS. How much transcoding does it do? My library is mostly FLAC and ALAC.

Julf
2014-05-10, 11:53
Hi. I'm running Vortexbox on a DIY PC with an AMD Athlon processor and 1Gb RAM, so it's a Fedora 20 kernel and LMS 7.8. My library is about 1.4Tb on a 2Tb drive but that's probably not really pertinent to my question. It's not that I think anything is necessarily slow, it's just that I have the ability to replace the MB with a significantly better one. VB will utilize the additional memory and processor speed, but I was just wondering if there is any advantage to LMS. How much transcoding does it do? My library is mostly FLAC and ALAC.

CPU is not an issue when playing on any reasonable processor. The speed differences show up when rebuilding/rescanning the database.

get.amped
2014-05-10, 12:02
Even though LMS is single threaded, having at least two cores provides the OS and other processes some breathing room. 2GB of RAM seems to be plenty, even for my sizable collection.

The single biggest improvement I have seen is to replace the system disc (the one with the OS, application software, and particularly, the SQLite DBs) with an SSD. I've built quite a few LMS machines for family and friends and I always use an SSD for the system now.

erland
2014-05-10, 12:05
It's not that I think anything is necessarily slow, it's just that I have the ability to replace the MB with a significantly better one. VB will utilize the additional memory and processor speed, but I was just wondering if there is any advantage to LMS.

mherger is doing some tests in LMS 7.9 beta at the moment to see if it would be possible to speed-up the database on machines with more memory.
Based on the library size in TB I suspect you have a decent amount of tracks and might be affected by this change if it succeeds.
So, being able to use more than 1GB memory is not a bad idea, but I doubt you will be able to take advantage of 16GB.

Storing the database on a fast drive can make LMS a lot faster at the moment, but this really isn't related to the motherboard. Some people have experimented with setting up a RAM disk and using it for the LMS database, this should improve performance significantly but it's also a bit of configuration work to set it up.



How much transcoding does it do? My library is mostly FLAC and ALAC.

FLAC isn't transcoded unless you have explicitly configured it to transcode FLAC to WAV.
I think ALAC is transcoded, but I'm not 100% sure.
Try to play an ALAC track and measure the CPU usage with "top" or similar tool and see if it's using a lot of CPU. I personally suspect the CPU you have today is already fast enough, but it's hard to say for sure without measuring.

dyohn
2014-05-10, 12:07
Thank you everyone. That's exactly the sort of information I'm looking for.

slate
2014-05-10, 12:31
Hi. I'm running Vortexbox on a DIY PC with an AMD Athlon processor and 1Gb RAM, so it's a Fedora 20 kernel and LMS 7.8. My library is about 1.4Tb on a 2Tb drive but that's probably not really pertinent to my question. It's not that I think anything is necessarily slow, it's just that I have the ability to replace the MB with a significantly better one. VB will utilize the additional memory and processor speed, but I was just wondering if there is any advantage to LMS.

Only if your Athlon is a single core. LMS in itself can not really exploit multi core. So for a dedicated LMS server 1-2 cores are plenty for any normal size collections. I guess that you have 40.000 tracks.

Myself, I only replaced my first server as I started ripping my DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-ray collection and needed more drives and a little more umph. My music files are still on the same old harddrive.
Scanning is off cause faster, but with my small collection who cares. Development means that my new server (2012) use the same amount of electricity as my old (2009) atom based server.



How much transcoding does it do? My library is mostly FLAC and ALAC.

It depends on what kind of squeezeboxes that you have?! Ideally none; I am not 100% sure but I think that the Touch is capable of handling all codecs and resolutions in hardware. But the older the Squeezebox the fewer Codecs are handled in firmware and LMS (sox) takes over.
It is my understanding the SOX is quite lightweight and Works with e.g. Raspberry Pi. Discalimer: I seem to recall that some libraries used in LMS are not working on all platforms...

Not fully updated http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/Hardware_comparison
So according to this it is Software-based MP3, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, WMA (except WMA Lossless), AIFF, WAV since SB2. But as can be seen from the table the DAC in the boxes are a limitation for resolution.
No mentioning of ALAC...

slate
2014-05-10, 12:43
mherger is doing some tests in LMS 7.9 beta at the moment to see if it would be possible to speed-up the database on machines with more memory.
Based on the library size in TB I suspect you have a decent amount of tracks and might be affected by this change if it succeeds.
So, being able to use more than 1GB memory is not a bad idea, but I doubt you will be able to take advantage of 16GB.

Storing the database on a fast drive can make LMS a lot faster at the moment, but this really isn't related to the motherboard. Some people have experimented with setting up a RAM disk and using it for the LMS database, this should improve performance significantly but it's also a bit of configuration work to set it up.


Among the feedback on these experiments; wasn't there one of the guys running ramdisk stating that with the new settings (database cache + cleanup) he got the same performance as when using a ramdisk?!


I also went for a SSD drive in my server for OS+LMS; keeping all the music files on the old spinner.

Julf
2014-05-10, 12:55
Try to play an ALAC track and measure the CPU usage with "top" or similar tool and see if it's using a lot of CPU. I personally suspect the CPU you have today is already fast enough, but it's hard to say for sure without measuring.

Playing even hi-res FLACs, my 6-year-old low-end PC uses less than 5% CPU.

mherger
2014-05-10, 13:35
> Just wondering how much a processor/memory is used by LMS? Will
> upgrading motherboard, memory, etc/ make any difference to LMS? Meaning
> if I go from single core to quad core processor or from 1Gb RAM to 16Gb
> make much difference to how LMS operates? What is the sweet spot if
> anyone knows?
>

I think most has been said already. But I'd like to share a few details about the findings we had optimizing LMS 7.9 (and beyond):

- while single-threaded, a second core still comes in handy eg. during the scan. Under many circumstances the scanner is run in its own task.

- the bottleneck in performance almost always is the disk I/O. It's been mentioned that SSD and ramdisk have helped many. One of the surprises I've found was that eg. searching 100'000 tracks for a keyword which resulted in four items only took a fraction of a second, while sorting these four rows would cost my MacBook with SSD another 4-5 seconds! Turns out the search was done without an index, and loading the index to "speed up" the sorting caused LMS to load a whole lot of data from the disk.

- that said, memory can help overcome this bottleneck. We always had the option to use a little more memory for the database. Alas, it's not enough for collections of 50'000 tracks or more. In that case LMS can't keep all the indices etc. it needs to do its job efficiently in memory. I've found that with this 100'000 tracks test library I would have needed about twice the memory we currently use. 7.9 therefore will have another performance setting which would allow LMS to basically keep the whole database in memory (at last for most cases we know of).

So... a new motherboard most likely will not help performance much. More memory and LMS 7.9 will help. SSD instead of a harddisk for the cache folder will, too.

A little word of a warning: 7.9 is under active development. There are known issues. But I hope to rule them out in a few days.

jimzak
2014-05-10, 16:55
Ever since my music collection got to over 100k and more, I've been searching for optimizations.

I've had a Pentium processor, an i3, an i5, and currently an i7.

I've had a plain hard drive for most of the setups until I got the i5; on that platform I installed and used a RAM disc because the New Music function and many others became unusable when my collection got close to 200k. The RAM disc uses 4 GB out of 16 GB RAM.

The faster processor definitely helps with music scan times which I do frequently. The RAM disc or probably an SSD helps with managing a large database and reduces the scan times. I've noticed that all commands SNAP much quicker with the RAM disc.

Good luck.

Addendum: in case you're interested in a RAM disk, here's the instructions:

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?99414-LMS-with-a-RAM-disk

dyohn
2014-05-11, 06:49
Again, thank you. Sounds as if a new MB will not hurt, but it may not make much difference either to standard server operations. More memory and faster HD bus might be more of a difference maker. it sounds?

I really appreciate the input on this topic.

DJanGo
2014-05-11, 11:03
@jimzak: you should go back to the mysql database with your lib specs.
mysql is much faster (@ your lib size) than sqlite.


@dyohn:
the most important thing to know is a debian /*ux based os on the same Mainboard is much faster than any *win.
Something like UDOO Board is up to the task and can run 24/7 without needing to much power out out the wallsocket.

mherger
2014-05-11, 12:38
> Ever since my music collection got to over 100k and more, I've been
> searching for optimizations.

Did you see the thread about a small plugin I've written to investigate your case?

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=101469

It allows you to tweak some database parameters which could considerably improve performance. Please give it a try and report back about your experience.. I'm mostly interested in results changing the buffer size: what size would you need to make a difference for your collection size (if at all)?

> I've had a plain hard drive for most of the setups until I got the i5;
> on that platform I installed and used a RAM disc because the New Music
> function and many others became unusable when my collection got close to
> 200k. The RAM disc uses 4 GB out of 16 GB RAM.

There's a user who reports back that the latest 7.9 (which implements some of the findings of that plugin thread) did away with the need for a ramdisk. Mostly because the underlying database would be given all the memory it needs to keep things in RAM anyway. But I still lack feedback from a user with the collection size you have.

mherger
2014-05-11, 12:42
> @jimzak: you should go back to the mysql database with your lib specs.
> mysql is much faster (@ your lib size) than sqlite.

IMHO this statement is as wrong as "Windows is slower/faster than Linux". It's not that simple - it always depends on what you're measuring, exact circumstances etc. Eg. give SQLite the memory the additional MySQL instance is using, and it might be faster than MySQL for this task.

DJanGo
2014-05-12, 02:01
IMHO this statement is as wrong as "Windows is slower/faster than Linux". It's not that simple - it always depends on what you're measuring, exact circumstances etc. Eg. give SQLite the memory the additional MySQL instance is using, and it might be faster than MySQL for this task.

Nicht alles was hinkt ist ein Vergleich :p

To measure correct you have to measure same hardware and same "setups".
sqlite /mysql needs (under Winblows) .NET Framework => 2.0 we must not discuss that .net framework is something that needs power?
A startup from a powered off system everytime runs faster under *ux than under blows - even with a ssd.

If you take a 16 GB System and use only 32 bit software its quite trouser like jacket which OS you running :o

cparker
2014-05-14, 08:50
The quality of your network is more important than the OS. Spend your money on Wired Gigabit between LMS and the clients or flood your house with a strong and reliable WiFI signal.