dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
1215
share rss forum feed


signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
kudos:5

1 edit

Build ideas?

Hey guys. I made friends with a fellow I recently met on public transportation. He's a nice person. He has been discussing a new build and wanted my input.

Budget would be 800-1000 bucks.

He does heavy audio recording work, he uses software studio stuff to record and mix music. The software he uses is mostly multithreaded, but I don't know the names.

He wants a build with a 600-750 watt SMPS to support additional hardware growth. I told him that 500 is enough and he knows.

He's interested in SSDs but it isn't on the top of his list.

He is interested in overclocking but worries it could shorten lifespan of hardware.

He will be running Win7 or 8, he hasn't decided which because Win8 is new and he has no exposure to it yet.

He's build his own systems in the past, the most recent is a 1366 based system that he went all out on, he wants to pull back from spending so much this time.

He knows he wants a discreet video controller, I don't think he is confident with the newer on CPU video solutions.

He wants a mainboard with plenty of USB 3.0 and eSATA connectors.

He wants to stick with ASUS as he knows and trusts them.

Originally he wanted a laptop because the system will get moved around SOME. But upon thinking about not being able to build one and the hardware being weaker for the buck, he now wants to build a desktop.

I told him that a 300 dollar processor is the max he should go with, all things considered. Am I correct?

He wants at least an i5.

I showed him the CM Store cases that are refurbished, he liked that quite a bit, but a case with a carry handle would delight him. I have such a case in my backup system, it was a refurb case FROM the CM Store. The CM Ammo case.

I advised him to go with a WD Black or Red drive upon our discussions while riding transit. Upon consideration, he knows he doesn't want a 5400 RPM based drive or one with head parking issues.

He wants at least 2 x 8 GB RAM.

Could some of you suggest a build based on deals? CM Store cases are fine. Newegg, tiger, any good etailer...

I was thinking an 1155 based system, but I'm not sure which chipset.
--
Join Teams Helix and Discovery. Rest in Peace, Leonard David Smith, my best friend, you are missed badly! Rest in peace, Pop, glad our last years were good. Please pray for Colin, he has ependymoma, a brain cancer, donate to a children's Hospital.



signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
kudos:5

What chipset should we start with, Z77?



signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
kudos:5
reply to signmeuptoo

Gee, the silent treatment.



El Quintron
Resident Mouth Breather
Premium
join:2008-04-28
Etobicoke, ON
kudos:4
Reviews:
·TekSavvy Cable
·TekSavvy DSL

said by signmeuptoo:

Gee, the silent treatment.

Awww... don't get that way.

I'd say start with a Z77, I'm not sure he'd need an i5 for Audio work, but someone else might want to chime in on that one.
--
Support Bacteria -- It's the Only Culture Some People Have


signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
kudos:5

The system will also serve general purposes...



El Quintron
Resident Mouth Breather
Premium
join:2008-04-28
Etobicoke, ON
kudos:4
Reviews:
·TekSavvy Cable
·TekSavvy DSL

said by signmeuptoo:

The system will also serve general purposes...

Too broad. What kind of general purpose?
--
Support Bacteria -- It's the Only Culture Some People Have


signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
kudos:5

I don't know.



FizzyMyNizzy

join:2004-05-29
New York, NY
reply to signmeuptoo

I tried to make one.. but it is over 1000.



signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
kudos:5

Thanks for trying! Maybe that is the issue.



FizzyMyNizzy

join:2004-05-29
New York, NY

4 edits

1 recommendation

said by signmeuptoo:

Thanks for trying! Maybe that is the issue.

Mainboard:
ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE $269.99
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···13131818
not much on the esata side. But you do get a lot of USB 3.0, mix with some USB 2.0.
You could download the mainboard manual:
»www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_···_DELUXE/
Looks like there is 1 Front_USB 3.0 header(on the right.) and 2 Front_USB 2.0(at the bottom.)

Intel Core i7-3770K $319.99
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···19116501

Intel Core i5-3570K $219.99
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···19116504

Since you said the software he use is heavy "multithreaded". I would vote for i7. But does the software support AMD Stream or Nvidia CUDA?

Ram:
G.SKILL Sniper Gaming Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866. Promo ends today.
$20 off w/ promo code 1106EXCL6, ends 11/8
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···20231611

I'm not sure does his software use alot of ram.. I was leaning towards:
G.SKILL Sniper Gaming Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9Q-32GSR
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···20231610

Sound Card? I guess we stick with on-board?? Realtek ALC898

Keyboard/ Mouse?
Case? I guess you pick.
Video Card? AMD or Nvidia? or stick with CPU Intel® HD Graphics 4000, which is both use on the i5-3570k and i7-3770k

OS:
Windows 8 x64 bit. Pro and non-Pro version(I really dont know what Pro have over the other one.)
$100 - $140
»www.newegg.com/Product/Productco···50-03%23

PSU:
Antec EarthWatts Platinum Series EA-650 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS PLATINUM Certified Power Supply
$119.99
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···17371056

Note: I changed the psu.


El Quintron
Resident Mouth Breather
Premium
join:2008-04-28
Etobicoke, ON
kudos:4
Reviews:
·TekSavvy Cable
·TekSavvy DSL
reply to signmeuptoo

said by signmeuptoo:

I don't know.

I'd start by asking,

I used to cut/edit audio and rip vinyl on a rescued Dimension 4400, so I'd argue the i5 isn't required if that's all your friend is doing. I'm not saying he shouldn't get an i5 if he wants power, but he's factoring in a huge chunk of his budget for something that might be overkill.
--
Support Bacteria -- It's the Only Culture Some People Have


signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
kudos:5

Indeed.



FizzyMyNizzy

join:2004-05-29
New York, NY

1 edit
reply to signmeuptoo

Ok, I tried.

Missing case, keyboard/mouse, Monitor, speakers, optional video card, and optional a better Heat Sink Fan for the cpu. Oh, forgot about the DVD combo driver, or a blu-ray.

I'm not sure does he want to try looking in to:
»www.cyberpowerpc.com/
and
»www.ibuypower.com/



signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
kudos:5

He seems to enjoy building, but doesn't know as much as many of our regulars here know. He's a super nice person, I enjoy my chats with him, but they are often briefer than I'd like.



Crash Gordon
Drive It Like You Stole It

join:2004-06-08
Smyrna, GA

1 edit
reply to El Quintron

I'd actually start by asking what his current "all out" 1366 based system can't/doesn't do that a new build will. Does he just have the upgrade/new build itch, or is it something else? There is no wrong answer, just curious. :P

To Fizzy: "Sound Card? I guess we stick with on-board?? Realtek ALC898"
If this guy does "heavy audio recording work" he should have something like a RME Hammerfall DSP 9632 card for audio processing or something similar for audio input/output.

I built a i5-2600K/P67 based machine with a SeaSonic S12II 620, 8GB (4x2) G.Skill X Ripjaws and GTX 560 about a year ago for a buddy with a "serious" home studio (with the aforementioned RME card into a Yamaha MG32/14FX mixer console) about a year ago. So something similar with current parts should do just fine. It also handles video editing just fine too (for editing his bands shows/gigs).



FizzyMyNizzy

join:2004-05-29
New York, NY

3 edits
reply to signmeuptoo

RME HDSP 9632 - PCI Digital Audio Card
Price: $479.00
»www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/3···PCI.html



Also, you type i5-2600k.. Do you mean i5-2500k? or i7-2600k?

Good news is.. the Ivy Bridge cost just as much as the Sandy Bridge. (Ivy Bridge is newer.)
i5-2500k(Sandy Bridge)=$219.99
i5-3570k(Ivy Bridge)=$219.99
i7-2600k(Sandy Bridge)=$319.99
i7-3770k(Ivy Bridge)=$319.99



Crash Gordon
Drive It Like You Stole It

join:2004-06-08
Smyrna, GA

4 edits
reply to signmeuptoo

Yeah, he paid 500+ for it when it was new, it was transplanted from his old machine though.
Into his 4U rackmount chassis that was mounted in a Anvil rackmount road case.

Oops, yeah meant 2500K, sorry typo demon struck again.
If building a system today, go with Ivy Bridge. I built that system a little over a year ago, Sandy Bridge was the only choice then.

To signmeuptoo: is he using software based "virtual studio" like Reason? »www.propellerheads.se/products/reason/



signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
kudos:5
reply to signmeuptoo

Tell me more, Crash. Sure, we don't have enough information yet, but I'd like to know more about your doings.

I still need to find out what hardware he will install in it for studio work.

What if we upped his budget to 1200? I should think they could open things up a bit...
--
Join Teams Helix and Discovery. Rest in Peace, Leonard David Smith, my best friend, you are missed badly! Rest in peace, Pop, glad our last years were good. Please pray for Colin, he has ependymoma, a brain cancer, donate to a children's Hospital.



Crash Gordon
Drive It Like You Stole It

join:2004-06-08
Smyrna, GA

2 edits

That machine I built close to a year ago was about $850 in parts. The $500+ DSP card and 4U rackmount case were transplanted/reused. The rest was new (mobo,cpu,ram,gfx,psu, odd,hdd). His goal was to keep it under $1000 and with the "friend" discount for my time, effort researching and assembly/testing, we made made it just under budget.

I knew what my guy had for a setup, both software and hardware wise. He was also very clear about what he wanted/needed. That made it easier for me, although we went through several prospective "parts lists", all through Newegg.



norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback

4 edits
reply to signmeuptoo

I'd just keep it half way basic to allow for other bits specific to the work preferred for the machine. I went away from an asus board just to have firewire on the motherboard, even though a card would be be best for allowing extra musical hardware plug in points.

Grand Total:* $759.94

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···32116992

GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···13128545

Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···19116504

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···20231489

2 - in 1 deal
Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
»www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDeal···.1129330
CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
»www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDeal···.1129330

Then look at:
A specific firewire card for the OP's uses/hardware needs.
Whether internal sound hardware is required - not necessarily a standard type sound card, something more specific to work not playback.
Whether a SSD can be added to the package.
Is a case required.
Is an optical Blu-ray player required over a DVD player.

You can always look at swapping other parts but it to me it was either an i7 with no O/C, low budget, or go with an i5 with O/C. I doubt for $1K we need to look at i7 O/C or a high end motherboard - mid-range seems fine - but that comes back to what the OP's direction and funds are. I think it would be better to have a motherboard with at least 1 or 2 ports/headers for firewire as well as the add-on card - more testing options in case there ends up a compatibility issue with added hardware idiosyncrasies down the road.

--
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke


HappyFrappy

join:2000-10-04
North
reply to signmeuptoo

As a musician using two notebooks(Core 2 Duo), you'll want to stick with Windows 7 as it is rock solid and Avid sucks for Pro Tools certification of new OS releases--some audio interface companies usually have issues with new OSes too. If he uses Cubase & Ableton they're likely going to patch existing release to support Win8--Ableton v8.4+AmpliTube is working on my Thinkpad w/Win8. Personally I use a Mac+Logic for heavy recording duty as Avid hardware certification of desktop components is a pain on Windows and why I still use a old trusted "certified" Thinkpad T61 for Pro Tools.

With that said a big SSD(256GB) for boot drive and apps is ideal(you could scale back to a low-end i5), two WD Black HDD for recording storage and one WD Black as a "scratch drive". Use a PCIe 1x slot for extra room to use more SATA/eSATA HDDs.
--Motherboard: make sure it meets the requirements/certification for Avid Pro Tools or you'll learn what a bag of hurt PT can be
--Most musicians prefer having at least one onboard firewire port and also a PCI card for extra FW400/FW800.
--PCI/PCIe or Firewire Audio Interface: this is much better latency wise than USB 2.0 interfaces and onboard sound input/output is garbage even for headphone usage.
--Video card... hmm, I'd lean towards nVidia consumer cards as their drivers are solid 99% of the time like their Quadro but if he wants/plans to use three monitors an AMD FirePro V4800/V4900 is the way to go as drivers are much better than consumer cards.
--Processor: If Pro Tools is being used with midi virtual instruments more RAM is a better investment than raw CPU power.
---Additional notes: Don't build an entertainment PC as it brings more woes into a working environment, you want something with long term driver support like business PC makers(Lenovo ThinkCenter/Thinkpad or Dell Optiplex/Latitude). Less bling/eye candy makes a solid recording studio setup.

If video card demands aren't big on his list, Intel IGP is good enough for a two monitor setup... a Mac mini w/i5 would be a good "benchmark" spec to start from.

There are two types of musicians in my opinion:
1) A single instrument musician who DJs on the side for rent money and changes bands as many times as his/her underwear in a year. Specs of a computer isn't going to be as demanding unless they heavily use virtual instruments/loops+effects, I know many DJs who still use Core Duo notebooks with high resolution screens.

2) A multi-instrument musician who attempts to record every individual instrument track him/herself with minimal virtual instrument(midi keyboard or loops). Often won't use software effects, a mid-range desktop/notebook can last 4-5+ years and sticks to using better gear to get the job done(ex: guitar/bass pedals, custom microphone mounting setup for drum recording, etc).



norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback

said by HappyFrappy:

you'll want to stick with Windows 7 as it is rock solid and Avid sucks for Pro Tools certification of new OS releases--some audio interface companies usually have issues with new OSes too.

And hardware it seems. Looking at the specifics for Windows here there seems quite some restrictions to hardware, firmware etc.
Also here for graphics cards.

Although all Apples with i5 here suggests the cpu is fine, it maybe more as pointed out about the motherboard?

said by HappyFrappy:

If he uses Cubase & Ableton they're likely going to patch existing release to support Win8--Ableton v8.4+AmpliTube is working on my Thinkpad w/Win8. Personally I use a Mac+Logic for heavy recording duty as Avid hardware certification of desktop components is a pain on Windows and why I still use a old trusted "certified" Thinkpad T61 for Pro Tools.

These 3 points (software, then motherboard then graphics) may direct the end result in hardware here - I'd almost go Apple to save the headache. .
--
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke



signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
kudos:5

Thanks so much guys. I tried my best to fill him in and he explained more stuff to me. I'll exchange some emails with him and then get back you y'all some more. As for today, I'm a crispy critter I'm so tired (worked).


HappyFrappy

join:2000-10-04
North

1 edit
reply to norwegian

signmeuptoo, cost to specs he'd likely be spending as much as a refurb 21.5" iMac(May 2011) on a workstation grade PC(~$900-950 without a SSD). If you cut back to a cheaper nVidia GeForce/Quadro card, two WD Blue 1TB and some cheaper RAM(ex: Kingston HyperX) you could pull it off at ~750-800. Keep in mind since WD Blue drives 1TB+ have 32/64mb cache, you could/should skip the WD Black series. Personally I only use WD Black drives on notebooks, WD Blue desktop drives are very reliable at 24/7 usage(I average 4-5yrs before I do early retirement).

said by norwegian:

And hardware it seems. Looking at the specifics for Windows here there seems quite some restrictions to hardware, firmware etc.
Also here for graphics cards.

Although all Apples with i5 here suggests the cpu is fine, it maybe more as pointed out about the motherboard?

The graphics card is less of a factor on a PC/Mac unless an IGP starts to take a huge chunk of shared memory to power a high resolution monitor--keep in mind that technote is for ProTools HD which is used by movie/5.1 audio studio work who use multi-monitors(30"), regular ProTools 10 has similar requirements of v9 but you'd still want to lean towards nVidia GeForce/Quadro for quality drivers. 8-16GB of RAM is enough to avoid the wraith of Intel IGP pulling too much memory(768mb is the most the 3000/4000 will share with twin 27" monitors connected to a Mac mini).
I've used Pro Tools M-Powered 8 & 9 on a 13" 2010 MacBook Pro(nVidia 320M), however I had to replace the slow stock 5400 RPM HDD with a 7200 RPM drive, pull the DVDRW drive to fit a 2nd 7200 RPM HDD(recording storage) and max out at 8GB RAM for recording duty. (I've considered the Mac mini server route after seeing a small studio with such a setup)

Digidesign/Avid never/rarely certified "consumer" Macs due to slower stock HDDs, single HDD & lousy amount of stock RAM. I've used Pro Tools on iMacs off & on since OS 8.5 era, typically you need to partition a HDD to create a "scratch partition"(similar to Photoshop users) and is a very stable platform with a single HDD. With Thunderbolt solutions, lack of PCI/PCIe/ExpressCard slots on an iMac/Mac Mini/MacBook Pro is no longer a negative aspect.

Music recording is just as expensive as AutoCAD setups... sadly anyone who is stuck using ProTools either is stressed out for PC options or settles with a Mac. Thankfully there are other recording software companies with less anal "requirements" such as Reaper, Ableton, Cubase, etc. Avid ProTools is just as evil as the RIAA.


signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
kudos:5
reply to signmeuptoo

downloadPC Build.docx.zip 8,602 bytes
Thanks so far guys.

He came up with this build, he sent it to me in a word doc which I can read in gmail.


norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback

1 edit

For those without Office etc.

•APEX TX-381-C Black Steel Micro ATX Tower Computer Case
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···11154094

•ASUS P8Z77-M LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···13131832

•Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I73770K
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···19116501

•CORSAIR Vengeance LP 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML32GX3M4A1600C10
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···20233304

•Noctua NH-L12 120mm & 92mm SSO Bearing PWM Fans CPU Cooler
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···20NH-L12

•CORSAIR Professional Series HX650 650W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···17139012

•SAMSUNG 840 Series MZ-7TD250BW 2.5" 250GB SATA III TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···20147189

•Western Digital Red WD20EFRX 2TB IntelliPower 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···22236343
--
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke



FizzyMyNizzy

join:2004-05-29
New York, NY

Wouldn't it be better to get a full size ATX mainboard, instead of mATX? shrug.

For the Heat sink fan. I would change it to »www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···35608018 since ivy bridge are very hot.

PSU I would go for
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···17371056 Same price, it is 80 Plus Platinum.

Case. I think you should change to where the back has a hole where the cpu is. If in the future he/she want to change a new heat sink fan. Instead of taking out the whole mainboard.



signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
kudos:5

Well, he's on the border on that issue, he prefers full ATX boards but was looking at small ones for portability, and to fit in the smaller case. As far as the Antec, I have had 3 of them fail on me in the past. Yes, I know they've improved, but I refuse to give them business, if he wants to get it, fine, that's up to him.

As far as the HS/F, I suggested the Hyper 212+ because I don't think he needs to spend big money on a cooler. IF he overclocks, it will be a mild overclock, he's very wary of doing so. Besides, something that heavy in a small system being lugged around, no, it's a no go.

But thanks for all your input so far, it's all immensely appreciated.
--
Join Teams Helix and Discovery. Rest in Peace, Leonard David Smith, my best friend, you are missed badly! Rest in peace, Pop, glad our last years were good. Please pray for Colin, he has ependymoma, a brain cancer, donate to a children's Hospital.