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HappyFrappy

join:2000-10-04
North
reply to signmeuptoo

Re: Build ideas?

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.