Building a new machine for Audio Production

Discussion in 'PC' started by djay, Jan 14, 2019.

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  1. djay

    djay Noisemaker

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    Hey everyone,
    I know this is a very open question and you can pour thousands of pounds/dollars on creating a super crazy PC and after a week there will be new stuff. To tackle this I thought the best way is to set a budget in mind but I thought I will seek your expertise in compromising few aspects and boosting others.

    For a budget of £1000 - £1500 what would you get. I do not play games on PC so having a Geforce Invidia card for 500 pounds is not my choice.

    I use Kontakt heavily with big libraries in my DAW so I know I would focus on SSD and RAM but what about processors ?
    Can you please advise,
    Apologies if there is an open thread about this that I have missed.
    Cheers
     
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  3. Dharmesh Joshi

    Dharmesh Joshi Newbie

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    I'm going to buy ryzen 5 2600 and i think itsi enough and maybe 8gb ram is more than enough unless you use very heavy stiff. imIalso going to buy rx 580 later this year because now i don't play games and focusing on my music lately
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  4. NicoDPS

    NicoDPS Platinum Record

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    For heavy kontakt usage I would go for 16 GB RAM at least.
     
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  5. MrLyannMusic

    MrLyannMusic Platinum Record

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  6. SineWave

    SineWave Audiosexual

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    Focus on a powerful CPU, 16-32GB of RAM and plenty of TBs of SDD and HDD. Get a 256-512GB SDD for the OS and essential sample banks and VSTs, and a couple of 1-2TB HDDs. Be generous with a power supply, too. I mean, buy a good one like Seasonic, EVGA, or Corsair, all quiet PSUs. Around 500W should be enough these days, especially if not having a graphic card. Buy a good CPU cooler to have a nicely quiet PC. I usually go with Scythe or Noctua CPU cooler. No need for more than 1-2 big 120-140mm quiet fans in the chassis.

    Go for an Asus or Gigabyte motherboard, Pro versions, not gaming. Not the latest chipset. H270 for Intel and X370 for AMD CPU. I'd go with an Asus Prime Pro motherboard with these chipsets. Ryzen 2600X or 2700X, or Intel 7600-7700K, or 8600-8700K. Intel CPU is a good choice because you don't need to buy a graphic card then. But Ryzen CPUs are cheaper for the same performance. There's also this great budget Ryzen 2400G with a really great AMD Vega graphic card. It's like this: Ryzen 2400G for the cheapest build, Ryzen 2600X or Intel 7600-8600K for a medium build, and Ryzen 2700X, or Intel 7700-8700K for an expensive build. The differences in CPU power between them aren't actually that big.

    For SDD, I'd go with Crucial MX SSD, and Toshiba P300 for HDDs. Rather have a couple of HDDs with less platters than one huge HDD. They get hotter and fail more often.

    RAM should be 3200MHz capable with 14-17 CL. G.Skill, or Kingston.

    And of course, install Windows 7, no Internet. Use a virtual machine OS for Internet, so you won't need any firewalls, antivirus, antimalware shit. They will only give you a headache and use precious resources. Or make a dual-boot system. :wink:

    Cheers!
     
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  7. SineWave

    SineWave Audiosexual

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    For a mid-budget build, I'd go with this:
    MBO Asus Prime X370 Pro
    CPU AMD Ryzen 5 2600X comes with a wraith cooler which is alright but not silent enough IMO
    GPU Asus AMD Radeon R7xxx with GDDR5, passively cooled, if possible
    RAM 2x8GB 3200MHz Kingston Hyper-X. You can add more sticks later if you want.
    PSU Corsair TX550 550W power supply
    SDD Crucial MX500 500GB Solid disk
    HDD Toshiba P300 1TB or 2TB, two disks in any combination
    Sturdy enough Fractal Design chassis. Closed design for silence. Fan holes in lower front and upper back.

    Scythe or Noctua CPU cooler if you want it to be more quiet. Also buy a couple of Scythe or Noctua 120-140mm quiet fans for the chassis if you find them noisy.

    Cheers!
     
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  8. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    I would do a modest PC from used components, and save up the money for something else. Moore's law doesn't apply anymore, even 3rd gen Intel almost matches 9900k clock-for-clock.
    Something like
    Intel i7-3770K 3.5GHz
    MBO MSI Z77A-GD65
    GPU nVidia GeForce 1030, or anything up to 1050ti, passive if possible
    PSU any >350W with PFC should do
    SSD Samsung 950 EVO 512GB NVM.E with PCIe16 adapter for samples, Samsung 860 Evo 250GB for system and other data
    HDD WD Red Pro, multiples of 2GB per disk
    RAM 2x8GB GoodRAM 1600MHz or 4x8GB, whichever you prefer
    Monitor - Dell U2415
    Case - something from SilentiumPC, good prices and good builds, made in Poland

    Similar build to the one above cost me $500 in 2016, now it would be even less.
     
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  9. shomyca

    shomyca Producer

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    Best CPU audio bench around.

    http://www.scanproaudio.info/tag/dawbench/

    For Kontakt libraries, high voice count real time streaming, Intel is much better better choice. For plugins and synths, it seems Ryzen is good as well. The better Intel CPU you buy, more voices (samples) you can stream, it's that simple.

    Personally I wouldn't go for less than 64gb with today's libraries, plus I would make the system expandable to 128gb.

    These are critical, the rest is pretty straightforward.
     
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  10. Daskeladden

    Daskeladden Platinum Record

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    Suggestion:
    Asus Z170-PREMIUM motherboard (native Thunderbolt port)
    Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake Processor or Intel Core i7-7700K Kaby Lake
    Noctua NH-U9S CPU cooler

    Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2400MHz 16GB (higher the MHZ the more expensive it gets)
    MSI GeForce GTX 1050 2GB Gaming
    Corsair RM650i power supply
    Corsair Carbide 330R case

    StarTech THUNDERBOLT CABLE 2M (TBOLTMM2MW)
    StarTech THUNDERBOLT 3 TO THUNDERBOLT 2 adapter (TBT3TBTADAP)
    Samsung 860 EVO 500GB for system and a HDD for libraries and stuff like that
    Windows 10 Home latest update

    Buy the motherboard and cpu used on ebay since you are on a budget. I can recommend this cause I almost have the same build. What is great you will have a thunderbolt port if you gonna buy a audio interface in the future. I get great latency numbers and performance out of this build.

    You can also build this if you have the money :)

    Gigabyte Z390 AORUS XTREME $550
    64GB DDR4 3800MHz memory $1000
    MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB $1200
    Intel Core i9-9900K $540
    Noctua NH-D15 CPU cooler $90
    2 X Samsung 970 EVO 2TB M.2 SSD 1100
    CORSAIR RM850x power $120
    Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C case $198
    Total: $4798
     
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  11. SineWave

    SineWave Audiosexual

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    "Asus Z170-PREMIUM motherboard (native Thunderbolt port)
    Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake Processor or Intel Core i7-7700K Kaby Lake
    Noctua NH-U9S CPU cooler"

    Great combo. I had a pleasure of assembling two PCs with these components. Just with a faster RAM and older nVidia GPU, Corsair MX400 SSD, Toshiba P300 HDDs.

    This is a fail safe advice. Wonderful machine, and for not much money. Thunderbolt may come in handy, indeed. :wink:
     
  12. Daskeladden

    Daskeladden Platinum Record

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    yepp great motherboard and cpu (I have subtle overclocking to 4.3GHz). Did you remember to update the bios and install the FW_update_tool_of_Z170-PREMIUM to get the thunderbolt port working? Strange cause it's not enough to only update the bios I struggled with this for hours. Luckily I found the solution on a coincidence searching the asus site
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  13. SineWave

    SineWave Audiosexual

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    To tell the truth, no Thunderbolt was needed so far on both, so I don't know if it's working or not. One of them is going to be used with Thunderbolt UAD interface soon, so your tip is really precious! Thank you Daskeladden. :headbang:

    edit: I checked the Asus website and figured that we used Z170-A, not Premium. :rofl:Since I always recommend motherboards without too many unnecessary features. Like 2xLAN and Wi-Fi. TB can be installed as an Asus add-on board, and we did just that. :wink:
     
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  14. The Dude

    The Dude Producer

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    IMHO: ( open for critics...)

    - NO CPU AMD Ryzen, due to poor performance by single core.
    Not all applications uses multi-core, so it is slower by simple tasks...

    http://cpuboss.com/

    - NO Amd Radeon video cards,(good cards, don't get me wrong, but good for games). Gforce is better for rendering...
    Some video programs I use have compatibility issues with Radeon cards, They prefer Nvidia Gforce cards...

    - NO Turbo (...K). Unnecessary heat, electric energy and money for extra performance

    Things I would consider:

    - CPU with or without video processor? - if you're buying a good video card, chances are you're not going to use the CPU video processor

    - Number of CUDA cores for Gforce video cards - the more cores, the better.
    - Video card memory - 2k is good, 4k is better

    If you want price-value check a EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti card (one fan...) for reviews...

    Monitor or TV?


    - GOOD QUALITY power supply! 500w is good enough...

    - Motherboard sizes: standard, mini or micro?
    - Case sizes: standard, mini or micro?
    There are some interesting mini and micro cases nowadays (Cube-like, BitFenix Mini-ITX Tower Case (made of steel), again, open for criticism...). Some very robust, with built-in fans... very sexy...

    The rest is standard, SSDs, etc.

    Good Luck!
     
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  15. wasgedn

    wasgedn Banned

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  16. NanoBeat

    NanoBeat Ultrasonic

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    simple problem is that users multifunction...Build your PC for sure, but build it around your needs...iF you talking Kontakt wise go for as much RAM as your budget holds and also consider Disk Speed as in access..Therefore that includes SSD...Either build it to suit a need or succumb to a general purpose...
     
  17. Foobar

    Foobar Kapellmeister

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    Wow... I've never seen so much bad advice.

    Go with a high end CPU. I would recommend the i9-9900K. Why? Because it's a beast, and it's a beast which will stay high end for 10+ years without ever needing an upgrade. Invest once and be happy for a very long time.

    I wouldn't go with a Ryzen CPU. Especially to keep to door open to hackintosh in the future. And single core performance of Ryzen sucks.

    Use a Noctua NH-D15 CPU cooler. Why? Because it's just the right beast to tame this beast of a CPU without water cooling. I use its predecessor for 10 years now, it's working like on the first day and it's silent(!). I hate noise when making music! Again, invest once and have fun for a very long time.

    Get a 512 GB or 1 TB M.2 SSD for the system. DO NOT USE ANYTHING ELSE BUT SAMSUNG 970 EVO. And don't get anything smaller than 512 GB.

    Get a Power Supply from Seasonic. There are others which are good, but Seasonic is universally just always great and silent - can't go wrong with them. Power supply is the first thing to break of age in any PC. So don't be cheap on this one.

    Get a z370 or z390 motherboard. I don't know which, depends on what you need (Wifi, Bluetooth, Thunderbolt, LAN etc.). Get either Gigabyte or ASUS, forget everything else. But you don't need to buy expensive here. Just look at what you really need and that's good enough. Have a look at a few reviews.

    Get a Seagate Ironwolf with 8TB. It's fast and you get all the space for Kontakt libraries and samples you'll need in a very long time. Sadly it's a pretty loud disk, so be sure to get a silent PC case.

    Get as much RAM as you can afford. At least 16 GB. You can buy another 16 GB later.

    You may also want to buy more SSDs in the future, but there is no need to do this right from the start. The Ironwolf is pretty fast even for big Kontakt libraries and won't run out of space anytime soon.

    First thing to do when you get your new PC is invest a lot of time into silencing it. The magic about a silent PC is not to remove everything which makes noise, but where to place the HD, where to place the fans and how to setup the fan speed in the BIOS of your motherboard.

    Yes, you can get this beast silent for 95% of the time. The fans will only make noise if they are really needed.

    This PC should serve you very well for 10+ years without the need to ever upgrade, and all parts should be available in your budget. As long as you stay with ASUS/Gigabyte and known to work RAM, it's perfectly rock solid and won't give you headaches with Windows updates and crashes.
     
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  18. Daskeladden

    Daskeladden Platinum Record

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  19. Daskeladden

    Daskeladden Platinum Record

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    Did you see my high end build? There is no point in getting the i9-9900K on a £1000 budget. Maybe on a £2000 budget. If I had to use half my budget on one thing I would have bought the Gigabyte Z390 AORUS XTREME motherboard. What's the point having the i9-9900K if the motherboard have crappy VRM and you cannot cool it. That being said I would not have used half of my budget on one item
     
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  20. The Dude

    The Dude Producer

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    So , a guy comes to a store and say:

    And the guy on the other side says: Why don't you get the latest...

    That's not what he asked for! Everybody would buy the latest if one could...

    How much would your set up cost? What would you recommend for a video card? 512G SSD for operating system? What do you have in yours? And all this to render audio?

    Would you care to explain a bit more?
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  21. Foobar

    Foobar Kapellmeister

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    You are right for a £1000 budget, but on a £1000-£1500 budget the £200 extra to get a 9900K right away is very well spend. E.g. the Gigabyte Z390 Gaming X is already available around £120 and a pretty solid board - as I said, it depends on what extras he needs on the motherboard.

    The Noctua NH-D15 is perfectly capable of cooling this beast. And 95% of the time it barely spins the fans.

    Having plenty of power doesn't mean you need it all the time, but you have it when you want it.

    Nowadays new CPUs don't get much faster than the previous generations. Getting a high end CPU right away will serve you very well for a very long time. And getting a very solid motherboard and RAM will make it a rock solid system.

    I'd say getting high end vs. higher mid range is around £300 in total. And I'd say this is VERY well spend to have a top of the line PC today and still be able to outperform most CPUs in 10 years from now.
     
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