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Building a new PC, tips ?

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.

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KVRer
 
3 posts since 29 Feb, 2012, from Portugal

Postby colddusk; Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:15 am

Hello everyone!

My old computer pretty much blow up and now I want build a new one, but I don't know what would be a good amount of RAM to have and what CPU to get. I don't want to get an expensive CPU I just want one that do the job.

I mainly will use the computer to record, mixing and mastering.
I will use Superior Drummer, and some vst to simulate amps,such as POD Farm, Guitar Rig and some free stuff such as Lepou and maybe some synths.
I will use some plugins like Equalizers and compressors and other plugins to mastering.

I won't use much more than that, any ideas on what should I get ?

Thanks
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KVRAF
 
6428 posts since 22 Sep, 2008, from Windsor. UK
 

Postby tehlord; Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:17 am

Reeeeeeally depends on how much you want to spend.
KVRer
 
3 posts since 29 Feb, 2012, from Portugal

Postby colddusk; Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:21 am

I don't want like the top CPU but I don't want a bad one something in the middle, just nothing like over 500+
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KVRAF
 
6428 posts since 22 Sep, 2008, from Windsor. UK
 

Postby tehlord; Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:30 am

500 what? Euros?
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KVRAF
 
1608 posts since 7 Jan, 2005, from Corporate States of America

Postby Jace-BeOS; Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:18 pm

Tips?

1. Buy a premade system with warranty and use it.

If that's not something you're willing to do:

2. Make sure you buy memory that is listed on the charts of tested memory sticks from whatever motherboard manufacturer you're buying from. Don't use memory they've not tested and proclaimed compatible. You'll not get acceptable support and it might not work reliably.

3. Don't overclock.

4. Four GB RAM is a minimum.

5. Don't install lots of internal expansion cards because it's hard enough to avoid IRQ sharing problems with the built-in motherboard devices. Adding PCI cards is adding complexity that MIGHT bite you. Don't install any, really.

6. See tip one.
- dysamoria.com
my music @ SoundCloud
KVRist
 
33 posts since 21 Dec, 2012, from uk
 

Postby stuartpryer; Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:18 pm

I recommend spending money on ram rather that the very latest processor. Win 7 / 8 utilises memory effectively.

Stuart
KVRian
 
1110 posts since 4 Nov, 2004, from Manchester
 

Postby Kaine; Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:02 am

And just to ensure that I contradict half of the advice already...

(sorry gents (Jace in perticular as I'm about to pick apart your checklist), but I don't agree with a chunk of this thread so far)

Ram : CPU is far more important once you have enough RAM.
Enough Ram is 8GB in most cases (people just tracking and editing can do it easily in 4GB) unless your going to be writting orchestral pieces as your memory tends to get eaten up by sound banks.

CPU : The more power you have here the more plugs you can run. Depending upon budget your looking at 3570, 3770 or 3930 althrough in your case. Forget the last one and I'd probably recommend the 3770 if you can afford it or the 3570 if you can't. The later will probably do you fine for the time being, but you'll get a longer life span using the former.

Overclocking : easy enough if you research and spend on a good board and know what your doing. Don't know what your doing? Read, read, read or don't mess about with it.

Ram validation lists : out of date before they print the manual... they are a good jumping off point but ultimatly worthless due to churn rate on components. If a firm refuses to support you because the memory isn't on the list then you shouldn't be buying from that firm as they are asking you to do the impossible, due to the chances of any model of memory having the same make of DIMMS and IC on it by the time the board gets to market is pretty damn low.

IRQ conflicts : I've not seen one since Win Xp and even then it was rare, so I really wouldn't worry about it. Anyone who thinks they have seen one in windows vista/7/8 was more likely to have a duff set of drivers rather than an IRQ issue.
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DuX
KVRAF
 
3186 posts since 14 Mar, 2002, from Underworld
 

Postby DuX; Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:44 am

Similar sentiment here, Kaine. So far, this thread hasn't been really helpful, even misleading in some points. I could definitely agree with what you said, though. 4GB of RAM is enough for complete projects that don't use too much huge sample banks, just like you said. I have 4GB, but ultra high speed G.Skill RAM, and I'd always rather have less memory, but better quality and lower latency/speedier. My RAM is G.Skill PI 1600MHz 6-8-6-20, CL6 modules, 2x2GB.

My general suggestion would be NOT to go with anything "latest and greatest", regarding computers, since that usually means you're going to be a beta-tester for some company and wait for upgrades of BIOSes, drivers etc, have possible problems until then. Go with some Gigabyte or Asus quality motherboard v2.0 or v3.0. Not 1.0. ;) If you go with Gigabyte, choose UD3/UD4/UD5 boards since they're of better quality [Ultra-Durable]. I've got a 890FX-UD5 AMD AM3+ mobo, and it's excellent. However, it is enough to have a board with just one PCI-Ex16, so some UD3 or UD4 would do, like GA-990XA-UD3 (rev. 3.0). Intel chipset like P67 [GA-P67-UD4 or UD3, UD5 if you need TI Firewire] if you need native PCI support for Intel systems, or Z68 chipset [GA-Z68XP-UD4 or UD3]. If going AMD route, then 990X is the way to go, actually, or 890FX. Decent Intel processors are i5 line, and I'd go with 3570. If going for AMD system, I'd go with FX 8350, no GPU included in either systems. For GPU, I'd use some cheap and passive either Nvidia or AMD VGA card.

Also, use Win7 or XP for the OS... optimise it for audio, install just basic stuff that you need.

Cheers!
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
KVRAF
 
3051 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:38 am

Jace-BeOS wrote:Tips?

1. Buy a premade system with warranty and use it.


At the price level that the OP is talking about, this is solid advice. I build my own systems, but that's really only an advantage when you want higher end systems. At the $500 level you're probably going to get more computer buying a prebuilt system and you avoid many of the issues that you won't have the skill to figure out on your own.

If you're going to build, however, the kaine/dux posts are mostly spot on. I'll add this to the mix. If you're not a gamer, a good video card choice are the fanless variants. They are cheap, silent, and offer very good performance for everything but games. I use them in all of my systems.
KVRist
 
154 posts since 10 Apr, 2011

Postby mclane; Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:06 am

Regarding CPU it's always recommendable to for one of the "higher grade" ones that are not that expensive anymore. The fastest of the fastest are too expensive since they are new, but the price difference from a really fast one to a budget CPU often is just around $100 which really is wrongly saved money since the speed of the cpu really ist the most important factor for in-the-box music production.
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DuX
KVRAF
 
3186 posts since 14 Mar, 2002, from Underworld
 

Postby DuX; Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:15 am

I would like to add that top of the line CPUs are usually also top power consumers and heat a lot, so when you're considering having a quiet computer, it better not heat too much, so the less watts it consumes - the better.

Thankfully, it's really hard to find a processor that heats too much these days, and it's quite easy to build a quiet PC. Hell, even the VGA got integrated into the CPU, so we can forget about those tiny little ear piercing fans on the VGAs. However, it's still better regarding memory performance to have a dedicated passive VGA, especially if you use Intel processors. I don't like Intel VGA driver at all...
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
KVRian
 
1110 posts since 4 Nov, 2004, from Manchester
 

Postby Kaine; Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:51 am

DuX wrote:Hell, even the VGA got integrated into the CPU, so we can forget about those tiny little ear piercing fans on the VGAs. However, it's still better regarding memory performance to have a dedicated passive VGA, especially if you use Intel processors. I don't like Intel VGA driver at all...


Try having a play around with a HD4000 solution at some point, pretty awesome for an onboard.
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DuX
KVRAF
 
3186 posts since 14 Mar, 2002, from Underworld
 

Postby DuX; Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:05 am

It's true that Intel HD4000 graphics hardware is good. Well even HD3000 can serve for audio/DAW/plugins purposes quite well. I'm not talking about gaming. Even though playing with music can be considered a game, too. :D Anyway, I just said I didn't like the driver. How it installs, how it looks, how it performs. It's just not how I imagine an Intel driver to perform and look. It's plain terrible and sad to look at. :( So I would definitely prefer an AMD APU in that case. AMDATi VGA driver has been polished enough through years of development. Not to mention that many plugins these days, and Aero after all, use VGA hardware acceleration, so it's not unimportant how VGA and its driver performs with DirectX and OpenGL even, and Intel's VGA has never been known for graphics speed. But HD4000 comes close, that's true. However there's still the question of how good its VGA driver really is.

I'd like to point out that my views are a little "conservative", and I'm really careful about upgrades, updates, new hardware, as I like to go with safe and tried stuff. ;) When it becomes obvious that something is working well, only then I accept it. It can take years to come to that. That's what I've learned working with computers for such a long time. It's better to sit and wait, see what happens, save some money. :hihi: ...and play with my DAW and synths while others are troubleshooting their computers. :hihi: Same thing with plugins and DAWs.
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
KVRian
 
1110 posts since 4 Nov, 2004, from Manchester
 

Postby Kaine; Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:30 am

DuX wrote: So I would definitely prefer an AMD APU in that case. AMDATi VGA driver has been polished enough through years of development.


That's the first time I've ever seen someone refer to an ATI gfx driver as "polished" :hihi:

DuX wrote:Not to mention that many plugins these days, and Aero after all, use VGA hardware acceleration, so it's not unimportant how VGA and its driver performs with DirectX and OpenGL even, and Intel's VGA has never been known for graphics speed.


Yeah, point taken but it's more than fast enough for what needs to be done on the desktop in day to day use.

DuX wrote: But HD4000 comes close, that's true. However there's still the question of how good its VGA driver really is.


If it works for the end user then that's good enough, gawd knows how many random compatability issues I've seen over the years and anyone who get's a setup working trouble free is clearly doing something right. However on one of my current gen rigs the clearest indication that they are doing something right is the fact that the DPC level (which is already below 50μs) halves when I take out the nvidia/ATI solution and just use the onboard, which makes it appear to me that they have finally got their shit together at this point. Add in the fact that performance wise it can beat most things under £50 and the arguement to keep using add in cards gets a bit murky.

Sure if you need more than two monitors or if you have something gui wise that needs a bit more poke the extra card is the way to go, and I'm not going to say for a second that you'll get less issues with the Intel solution than a dedicated card becuase it's not established enough to call. My thought on it right now if your doing a new build and don't need a serious amount of gfx grunt is build your rig and test it for a while. If it works great with the onboard then sweet you just saved $40 on your build; if however gfx issues occurs then stick a card in and get on with life!

As someone who seems to spend a few weeks every damn year firefighting support calls when either ATI or Nvidia roll out a broken driver, I'm more than willing to give Intel a chance as whilst I agree they are a fair way behind the curve, they don't seem to be any more incapable of writing working drivers than the market leaders!
HM
KVRist
 
170 posts since 13 Aug, 2001, from DK

Postby HM; Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:33 pm

Kaine wrote:
DuX wrote: But HD4000 comes close, that's true. However there's still the question of how good its VGA driver really is.


If it works for the end user then that's good enough, gawd knows how many random compatability issues I've seen over the years and anyone who get's a setup working trouble free is clearly doing something right. However on one of my current gen rigs the clearest indication that they are doing something right is the fact that the DPC level (which is already below 50μs)


Just to seccond Kaine, what a nice solution HD4000 is for a DAW, and even on
the vegas-pro forum I saw someone who jumped ship, sold some expensive card,
to just make hes video with the build in HD4000, that was surprisingly fast
still, but most of all did not make a multitude of returning problems apear.

So on the simplest and cheapest Asus Z77 I just smile, behaves like a dream,
I got 2 x 1920/1080, and DPC almost non existance, 19 us, even 17 uS is seen
every now and then

Image

On another note: I find Intels "Smart Response" very interesting also, so my
sample-hdd, new seagate single-platter with 200 mb/s, I will try to speed up
further, to arround 500 mb/s, with a dirt cheap 60 GB intel 330 SSD from the
local store, there is some good reviews around already, so I look forward,
Sure nice for the heavy East West stuff and other heavy samples to load fast

I think that Intel made some extremely nice things lately
HM
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