Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by theRoyal1 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:31 pm

Fabio Bartolini wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:02 pm
P.P.P.S I re-read this a few times and is hopefully as accurate as I believe, but I'm not 100% fit - if I find anything to correct, I will afterwards.
How I feel online after a smoke sesh...lol.
Thx for the info. Appreciated.
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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by msy » Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:38 am

Fabio Bartolini wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:02 pm
Hello,

ASIO Guard has been designed specifically to take advantage of virtual cores and on modern PCs it should not be disabled... unless one needs to work around problems with "VST3 prefetch-unaware" applications or other rare cases (honestly, I can't think of any at the moment).
Thanks for getting back to us so quickly. Much appriciated!

I don't quite get the above statement. AG was NOT designed for many physical core, ie 16 cores?
We will see mostly 16+ core CPUs from now on, AMD releases 64 cores in early 2020. Intel will probably go this route as well when they get back on track again.

So, what settings should be used in Win10 and Cubase to maximize performance for DSP/VSTs with a modern 16+ core CPU? Registry-changes needed?
The core of the topic is that the engine is implemented to allocate time-critical processing, like tracks that are being recorded/live-monitored, to the physical cores (regardless of the amount); while the rest is processed on the more relaxed ASIO Guard path.
So all the physical cores are not really used for DSP/VST when AG is enabled? Ie the CPU wont be utilized to its fullest capability?
And if AG is turned off, does it mean having a heavy project, say at 80% usage, might make the project unusable/unfit for further live Recording as soon Recording is triggered on any tracks?

How much CPU does recording midi and audio really take? I mean multiple track recording has been done since the days of old 1 core Pentium computers and was never a problem, or it was, but it was the SCSi/IDE disk write speeds that was exceeded. CPU wasnt the bottleneck..
You could skew a DAW-comparison by record-enabling and live-monitoring all tracks of a huge template in Cubase/Nuendo (thus allocating all processing to the physical cores only and 'losing' a good deal of performance).

This is not really intuitive I have to admit, but Cubase / Nuendo can indeed use any amount of cores.

When disabling AG, one might want to test how disabling HT in BIOS works for them, the performance loss might be small, especially when dealing with low latency - the performance with low buffers might even benefit when using a huge amount of not very fast cores. It also might make sense to disable AG on CPUs not providing HT (here you could even see a slight performance boost with AG off).

It would take tens of pages to detail every possible case, so I'll quit here - with the info above you can hopefully make up you mind and apply it to your specific use.

P.S. The fact that this is how it is currently implemented doesn't mean it cannot be changed, but changing the scheduling service and using other multimedia libraries (which indeed exist) is a long-term strategy, a huge architectural change.

P.P.S. How "CPU rotation" might apply to Cubase should be reviewed by an engine developer and it would be possible to provide a meaningful answer only after extensive testing on several systems and under different conditions.

P.P.P.S I re-read this a few times and is hopefully as accurate as I believe, but I'm not 100% fit - if I find anything to correct, I will afterwards.
I wonder how other DAWs does it, I understand that you probably can't answer that. :) Maybe someone can enlighten us what other architectual designs there are, with their respective up- and downsides.

Until now I found Cubase to be more efficient than most other DAWs in Windows, except Reaper which always wins the "highest VST count possible" but has alot of other caveats (for me atleast).
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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by Fabio Bartolini » Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:02 pm

That's a lot to anwer for a Sunday :lol:
msy wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:38 am
I don't quite get the above statement. AG was NOT designed for many physical core, ie 16 cores?
Nope, it was designed to use virtual cores - Cubase 5/6, which didn't have AG, were theoretically able to use 32 cores already... but weren't really able to make good use of virtual cores.
Which is why back then it was recommended to turn off HT in BIOS.
So, what settings should be used in Win10 and Cubase to maximize performance for DSP/VSTs with a modern 16+ core CPU? Registry-changes needed?
With C10 and C10.5, nothing, apart from power options, the usual BIOS tweaks and AG on.
So all the physical cores are not really used for DSP/VST when AG is enabled? Ie the CPU wont be utilized to its fullest capability?
When AG is enabled, all physical and virtual cores are used (see pic added below)
And if AG is turned off, does it mean having a heavy project, say at 80% usage, might make the project unusable/unfit for further live Recording as soon Recording is triggered on any tracks?
If the project uses 80% with AG enabled, and you disable it, you automatically 'transfer' all that load to the physical cores only (see edits below). Chances are you'll be unable to play it back, indeed, further recording would be VERY hard then.
But with AG on, if you record a bunch of tracks, you use the physical cores for recording while the processing on the 'offline' tracks is done on the virtual cores.
How much CPU does recording midi and audio really take? I mean multiple track recording has been done since the days of old 1 core Pentium computers and was never a problem, or it was, but it was the SCSi/IDE disk write speeds that was exceeded. CPU wasnt the bottleneck..
That depends on what's going on, very difficult to answer. Tracks that are being recorded are processed on the physical core exclusively, as discussed.
If you load them with lots of plugs and route them to groups also filled with plugs, you can easily choke the engine. If you record with no plugins, I reckon you could record an orchestra individually mic'ing every element and have a mind-boggling amount of tracks being recorded without a hic.
The buffer size plays quite a role here of course.
I wonder how other DAWs does it, I understand that you probably can't answer that. :) Maybe someone can enlighten us what other architectual designs there are, with their respective up- and downsides.
Other DAWs use similar techologies, and at least one won't allow you to turn off their "AG equivalent".
But of course I have no precise idea on how they work in detail, I cannot really ask their devs "would you mind sharing the details of the thread-scheduling algorithm your engine uses?" :lol:

[Edit: added a user's pic showing quite a big load at high sample rate, mid-low buffer - AG enabled, no tracks being recorded/monitored... in short, purely a mixing-case]
[Edit 2: If you disable AG there, you see the virtual cores not being used and both average and real-time performance through the roof - same if you record-enable and monitor all tracks]
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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by etchell » Sun Dec 08, 2019 4:05 pm

Jorge Ruiz wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:17 pm
From the link etchell posted above:
"CPU rotation – A CPU may have multiple “favored” cores. To provide better performance and reliability, we’ve implemented a rotation policy that distributes the work more fairly among the favored cores."

It would be nice if Fabio could comment about how can this new Windows feature affect Cubase performance in the foreseeable future.
While trying to find out more about this "magic" feature of latest Windows 10 1909 feature release, it turns out here and there that this is only applicable to Intel's TurboBoost 2.0 or 3.0...if so, well, it might be Microsoft's commitment to Intel vs. AMD...unless AMD may not require such a policy as all their cores could be favs? ;)

By now, everywhere I looked at the MS statement was only quoted 1:1 without any deeper techincal explaination.
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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by omniphonix » Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:31 pm

etchell wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 4:05 pm
Jorge Ruiz wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:17 pm
From the link etchell posted above:
"CPU rotation – A CPU may have multiple “favored” cores. To provide better performance and reliability, we’ve implemented a rotation policy that distributes the work more fairly among the favored cores."

It would be nice if Fabio could comment about how can this new Windows feature affect Cubase performance in the foreseeable future.
While trying to find out more about this "magic" feature of latest Windows 10 1909 feature release, it turns out here and there that this is only applicable to Intel's TurboBoost 2.0 or 3.0...if so, well, it might be Microsoft's commitment to Intel vs. AMD...unless AMD may not require such a policy as all their cores could be favs? ;)

By now, everywhere I looked at the MS statement was only quoted 1:1 without any deeper techincal explaination.
AMD also has a technology similar to Intel TurboBoost 3.0 that involves "favored cores" which are really just cores that seem to tolerate clocks being pushed higher than others. It also has to do with workload of adjacent cores (same chiplet) to manage heat.
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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by omniphonix » Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:36 pm

Fabio Bartolini wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:02 pm
If the project uses 80% with AG enabled, and you disable it, you automatically 'transfer' all that load to the physical cores only (see edits below). Chances are you'll be unable to play it back, indeed, further recording would be VERY hard then.
But with AG on, if you record a bunch of tracks, you use the physical cores for recording while the processing on the 'offline' tracks is done on the virtual cores.
Fabio, can you help me clarify this statement about 'offline' tracks? Are we to understand that an instrument track being fed recorded MIDI is processing in the AG path as well? Like it's doing some kind of pre-render during playback unless record mode is active to accept live MIDI input? Since I do electronic music and over 95% of my tracks are VSTi synths and samplers that I try to keep un-rendered if at all possible, this is of great interest to me.
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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by Fabio Bartolini » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:31 pm

omniphonix wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:36 pm
Are we to understand that an instrument track being fed recorded MIDI is processing in the AG path as well? Like it's doing some kind of pre-render during playback unless record mode is active to accept live MIDI input?
Yes, exactly.

In the image attached you see the outcome of 32 Padshop instances, each being fed by their respective MIDI track (same C3 note for all instances).
In the first half-a-minute, all tracks were being monitored/record-enabled, while in the second half all instances are not record enabled or being monitored.
You can see how the first part of the graph shows 20% activity on a few cores, while afterwards it is roughly 10% on all cores.
(The higher activity on cores #1 and #5 come from background tasks / browsers / MS Office)
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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by kalieol » Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:56 pm

Been following this thread but am having trouble finding a clear answer to what I'm wondering. I'm thinking of building a new computer using an AMD 3970X (32 cores, 64 virtual cores) and Windows 10. Will Cubase 10/10.5 be able to fully utilize all the cores? Or is does it stop after 14?

I realize this has probably be answered in some form but I'm having trouble understanding all the complicated aspects of this. I'm upgrading from a mac pro with an 8 core and want to make sure I'm not spending more than I need, if say a 16 core is actually where the diminishing returns start to hit. Thanks!

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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by omniphonix » Thu Dec 19, 2019 3:32 am

Fabio Bartolini wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:31 pm
Yes, exactly.

In the image attached you see the outcome of 32 Padshop instances, each being fed by their respective MIDI track (same C3 note for all instances).
In the first half-a-minute, all tracks were being monitored/record-enabled, while in the second half all instances are not record enabled or being monitored.
You can see how the first part of the graph shows 20% activity on a few cores, while afterwards it is roughly 10% on all cores.
(The higher activity on cores #1 and #5 come from background tasks / browsers / MS Office)
Thanks Fabio, that is very interesting...
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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by Dejanco » Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:47 pm

kalieol wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:56 pm
Been following this thread but am having trouble finding a clear answer to what I'm wondering. I'm thinking of building a new computer using an AMD 3970X (32 cores, 64 virtual cores) and Windows 10. Will Cubase 10/10.5 be able to fully utilize all the cores? Or is does it stop after 14?

I realize this has probably be answered in some form but I'm having trouble understanding all the complicated aspects of this. I'm upgrading from a mac pro with an 8 core and want to make sure I'm not spending more than I need, if say a 16 core is actually where the diminishing returns start to hit. Thanks!

Any news about Ryzen and multi-core ?

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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by theRoyal1 » Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:51 pm

Dejanco wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:47 pm
Any news about Ryzen and multi-core ?
January... and AMD Ryzen 4000 7nm+
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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by mengel » Sun Dec 29, 2019 4:04 pm

So if the architecture of the CPU and motherboard is important as Fabio said, probably will be good, to have a list of recommended PC configurations (CPU, motherboards, etc.), which work best with Cubase... With Cubase 9, when VST performane window shows 80-90%, my CPU usage i not more than 30-35%... My CPU is and old 6 core (12 treats) Xeon with Windows 7 64... Is there any difference between Win7 an Win 10 according Cubase by the way?

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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by MorTove » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:35 pm

mengel wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 4:04 pm
So if the architecture of the CPU and motherboard is important as Fabio said, probably will be good, to have a list of recommended PC configurations (CPU, motherboards, etc.), which work best with Cubase... With Cubase 9, when VST performane window shows 80-90%, my CPU usage i not more than 30-35%... My CPU is and old 6 core (12 treats) Xeon with Windows 7 64... Is there any difference between Win7 an Win 10 according Cubase by the way?
I agree, being new to this forum I am not sure if a pinned HW-configuration thread exists yet.

I'm about to put together an AMD Ryzen I9 machine in the near future. Any hints, tips, thoughts or recommendationa for motherboard, and memory vendor/models ?

Regards,
/ M

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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by vinark » Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:41 pm

mengel wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 4:04 pm
So if the architecture of the CPU and motherboard is important as Fabio said, probably will be good, to have a list of recommended PC configurations (CPU, motherboards, etc.), which work best with Cubase... With Cubase 9, when VST performane window shows 80-90%, my CPU usage i not more than 30-35%... My CPU is and old 6 core (12 treats) Xeon with Windows 7 64... Is there any difference between Win7 an Win 10 according Cubase by the way?
Your cpu should work fine! You can test this with dawbench (google). If with dawbench you can load your cpu into the 80% with a 128 buffer(I can up to 95% with RME PCI card, but usb is a little lower) Cubase and your cpu are fine. Then it is either a plugin (brand) or the structure of your projects that cause this (busses with heavy processing can cause this for example)
which plugin or bus is easy to find by disabling (turning off, not bypassing) plugins until you find one that drops asio load significantly. Also some plugins have extra high loads at (very) small buffers. Performance wise 256 is ideal.But I run at 64 or 128 mostly and I have an even older q9550 4 core2quad. If your motherboard has overclocking capabilities that will help a lot too. I run my 2.83ghz @4ghz.
Cheers!

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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by ardier » Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:02 am

Hello, what i don't understand is that there was a trick from Microsoft to increase MMCSS thread per process, and with this trick (add new entry to win register) if i'm right ,in cubase 9 AG on or AG off you were not limited to the 14 cores.
So i don't understand why in cubase 10 if AG is off , or if you are in a real time path you are limited to N-1 physical core ( maybe to stay Under MMCSS limitations ? or to make the system snappier?)
Maybe users (if they have more than 6physical cores/12 logical cores) should be given the choice to make cubase 10 performs like cubase 9 with MMCSS fix i(increase thread per process) or like it is now.
Because i think there are use case when in real time cubase will need all the core available ( like using a lots of virtuals instrument, or adding a record on a already busy mix)

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Ardier

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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by brainglue » Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:05 pm

Fabio Bartolini wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:56 am
[Removed assumption that didn't stand the test of time]
Honestly I still have to see how our 3900X does in the real world. If your aim is to keep more instruments 'live' at the end of the mix, it might do really good.
In general, big mixes with many FX don't really need too many cores, with big VSTi templates you can certainly get more out of these CPUs. Also, CPU hungry plugins benefit from high-speed CPUs, as usually their load cannot be spread across cores.
Your case seems like a bit of all of this.

I have all Intel-based PCs at home and never used AMD before as well, but have a mid-range AMD 3700X at work - still have to do some serious test, but can't see any difference in behaviour and the performance is on par with my Intels.
The project I mentioned previously uses exactly half the resources that it uses on the 4th Gen Intel (8 core 3.60 vs 4 core 3.50, make sense doesn't it :-) ) and equals the i7-8700k (6 core steady at 4.29 with TurboBoost). Also good behaviour with HT on and HT off.

Plugins that are very CPU intensive prefer speed :-)
The i9 9980x is a great CPU, but runs at 3 GHz base, a single very heavy plugin could use most of one core and you'd be back to square one with 90% use of the CPU.
I'd recommend to think a bit about both usage and specs, have a look at the benchmark by SCAN posted previously (please check the difference with FX and VSTi in relation to the latency) and compare that to your needs / workflow.
Hi Fabio. Can you clarify "with big VSTi templates you can certainly get more out of these CPUs." Did you mean that templates with many VSTi benefits from more cores vs core speed?

I compose hybrid orchestral music which consist of large templates with a ton of Kontakt-based libraries (maybe 100 or so tracks) as well as some East West Play instances and a few Serum instances. In addition, I would have maybe 50-100 WAV file tracks. I have one to several fx (e,g Fab-Q, Valhalla Room, East West Spaces II) on almost every channel or group channel. I usually like to keep as many live midi tracks as possible (without rendering in to Wav) by the end of the mix. By the way, I ideally would like to work with 256-bit buffer but I am okay if I am running 512 by end of a project when I have a ton of instruments playing.

I am currently upgrading my PC. I currently have X299 / Intel 7820X (3.6ghz / 8 cores), which has served me well, but with some limitations. As I get to the end of a project, I find myself having to "render-in-place" many of my VSTi MIDI tracks since it gets very sluggish, even when it is on 512-1024 buffer size. Of note, I do not overclock

With that said, I am thinking about changing my setup to x570 / Ryzen 3900x (3.8ghz / 12 cores), which I think will be beneficial given it is higher in both base clock speed and core number. Ryzen 3950x (3.5ghz / 16 cores) seems attractive with higher cores, though each core has a slower clock speed than the 3900x. However, upgrading to Ryzen 3950X would cost only $100 less than upgrading to Intel 9960X (since I can keep the current X299 motherboard/ram). So I am currently looking at Ryzen 3900X vs Intel 9960x. Any thoughts, given my typical day-to-day use as described above? I use Cubase 10.5 btw.

I have taken look at the Scan Pro Audio results. Although I can see that the Intel 9960X outperforms the Ryzen 3900x significantly on polyphony count, I am not sure the if the test applies to real-life situations, at least for me. For example, in these test they overclocked each of these processors. I do not plan to overclock (since I value stability in my system). Thus, I would have like to see how the Ryzen 3900x performed against Intel 9960X at their base speeds in these tests. Do you think the performance gap in polyphony count would be narrower between the two CPUs if their base clocks were used?

Although these questions are mainly directed to Fabio, anyone else can feel free to pitch in! Any thoughts are appreciated!

Thank you!

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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by vinark » Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:35 pm

I would trust the scan audio numbers especially on polyphony count. Polyphony is not only dependent on the cpu but the whole architecture (RAM and buses) You can get un-overclocked results by simple math. Original clock:overclocked X Results.

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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by Fabio Bartolini » Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:54 pm

@brainglue: I sent you a PM this morning
Fabio Bartolini, Test Engineer
Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH
Hamburg, Germany

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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by brainglue » Wed Jan 22, 2020 10:42 pm

Fabio Bartolini wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:54 pm
@brainglue: I sent you a PM this morning
Thank you!

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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by greennotes » Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:16 pm

Fabio Bartolini wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:54 pm
@brainglue: I sent you a PM this morning
I am also in the process of considering my next Cubase build and am undecided between an AMD 3960x or the Intel I9-10980XE.

Fabio, could you please post your views or send me a PM?

thanks
Cubase 9.0.1 / Win 10 64bit

vinark
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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by vinark » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:04 pm

me too

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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by noiseboyuk » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:08 am

And me...

I've heard that Cubase isn't playing nice with these AMD behemoths.
Win 10 64 bit, i7 4930, 64gb RAM, 2x GT610, RME Babyface, Cubase 9.01, PT 12HD
Macbook Pro 2015, 2.8ghz i7, 16gb RAM

http://www.guyrowland.co.uk

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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by jimknopf » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:59 am

Heard from whom and based on what?

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Re: Cubase 10, Windows 10 and multi-core (14+ cores)

Post by noiseboyuk » Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:57 am

jimknopf wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:59 am
Heard from whom and based on what?
Not for me to post other people's specifics or name them, but I do personally know someone as extremely technically competent and works in the industry. They have general great performance, but worse than their old machine within Cubase. I understand they are still trying to track things down.

So would love to hear more on this area, including from anyone who is having great results within Cubase on one of the new top end AMDs.
Win 10 64 bit, i7 4930, 64gb RAM, 2x GT610, RME Babyface, Cubase 9.01, PT 12HD
Macbook Pro 2015, 2.8ghz i7, 16gb RAM

http://www.guyrowland.co.uk

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