About to do a full computer upgrade. Questions!

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
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KVRAF
10926 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:50 am

So, it seems time that I retire my i7 Dell. I’m a bit confused as to what would be the best direction to go. Should I just try to buy the fastest i9 with the most cores out there with the most RAM and biggest SSD drive out there? Does the brand really matter much? (I’ve had Dells for a long time with no complaints) I do need something with a PCIe card built in, because my audio interface is a UAD FireWire model and I use a PCIe FireWire 800 card to connect to it. I also have my own video card, which seems good enough for me now. I get three monitors running at once so I can get both Bitwig views and a plugin interface all at the same time.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

KVRAF
28130 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:54 am

Desktop or laptop?

If you had Dell, I don't think anything speaks against getting a Dell again. Not the best time to buy though, as it's likely that many models are out of stock, or cost 200 € more than usual. On the other hand, I don't see a reason why that would change anytime soon, so, if you want to get it now, and have the money, and the model you want is available, I'd just get it anyway.

I9 seems like a good choice.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

KVRian
1184 posts since 11 Jun, 2019

Post Mon Apr 12, 2021 10:20 am

I can´t tell you much about the details that seem to make big differences at some points. There´s for sure a reason why specialized audio workstations are produced. But I can report 18 yrs of stability on my Dells. Not a single issue.

And the reason is simple: picture a product/project manager who delivers 100k+ workstations to the USAF, Novartis or Daimler with full service contracts included. He´ll build a competetive system that is as stable as possible to reduce future costs.

As far as I know there are three players in this game and I wouldn´t even consider to buy my PC somewhere else.

But it should maybe be mentioned that an i10 is the better choice and prices will decrease again in some months.

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

10926 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:42 pm

There are so many i9s, it’s kind of mind boggling. I wish someone could just say, “oh yeah, for audio you want _____.” Is it worth the extra cash for a 10 core or would modern software not make use of it?
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

KVRian
1184 posts since 11 Jun, 2019

Post Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:59 pm

zerocrossing wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:42 pm
There are so many i9s, it’s kind of mind boggling. I wish someone could just say, “oh yeah, for audio you want _____.” Is it worth the extra cash for a 10 core or would modern software not make use of it?
That depends on your software, doesn´t it?

Regarding the market [...] I want to say it like this: a rational choice by the definition of the term would weigh up costs and utility and one aspects of the costs is the time you have to invest to understand the details. And one thing is for sure: you´d end up with SEU. With subjective expected utility. Those guys know very well how things work.

You can maybe compare processors - there are many sites that do so - but you´ll usually not get that one processor in a preconfigured and competetive product, so you´d have to put the system together on your own and pay 1/3 more in the end.

But who doesn´t know all that? So anyway - we have a company called DA-X in Berlin here in Germany - they have a really good reputation - and you can maybe make a little research which companys configure audio workstations in your region. I´d ask them about the advantages, the processors and what ever.

But to be honest: I wouldn´t expect tpoo much from all that. Scientifically spoken the descision for a PC is a descision that is mainly made with "the heart". Where ever you have yours andf what ever you call it. my Dad calls it brain and frequently ended up with empty pockets, lots of trouble and weeks of information costs :?

KVRAF
28130 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:12 pm

I always use this site, for a rough estimate on single core and multi core performance: https://browser.geekbench.com/processor-benchmarks
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

10926 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Mon Apr 12, 2021 5:57 pm

chk071 wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:12 pm
I always use this site, for a rough estimate on single core and multi core performance: https://browser.geekbench.com/processor-benchmarks
But what does that mean in practice when using Bitwig and a bunch of the usual suspects? Seems like some i7s have higher single core scores than i9s. Does that mean in a plugin that doesn’t support multiple cores, the i7 will do better?
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

KVRAF
28130 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Tue Apr 13, 2021 12:47 am

Probably, yeah.

I think those i7's are from Intel's new CPU generation.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

User avatar
KVRian
536 posts since 21 Aug, 2017 from Brasil

Post Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:42 am

For audio benchmark:

https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advi ... pus-tested

http://www.scanproaudio.info/category/test-labs/


I prefer AMD 5000, but you want Intel(UAD friendly), so https://pcpartpicker.com/list/tnKPW3
Image

- CPU = i9-10900K

https://youtu.be/_jVAfk4AG3A

- CPU cooler = Noctua NH-D15s
Fits the motherboard and case
https://youtu.be/JtWr15on6OU

- Motherboard = Gigabyte Z590 VISION D
https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/Z5 ... -rev-10#kf
Updated model with Thunderbolt ports if you ever want to buy a
new/better audio interface.

- RAM = 128GB(4x32) Crucial 3600MHz
Excellent RAM also compatible with AMD

- SSD = Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 4 TB
Fast and reliable TLC model, but only works in PCIe GEN4 with Intel Core i9-11900K
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sa ... d-review/2

- Case = Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact
https://youtu.be/94l1c5dMRX8

- PSU = Corsair RMx750
It is semi-passive, up to +-150W the fan is off
and up to +- 550W the RPM/Noise is very low
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/co ... 585-5.html
Image

BTW, if you want to add an extra 120mm fan to the Noctua NH-D15s
https://pcpartpicker.com/product/zvphP6 ... n-itrb12ps
https://youtu.be/XVPV9omPuyw
Last edited by Pictus on Tue Apr 13, 2021 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

KVRAF
8052 posts since 6 Oct, 2004

Post Tue Apr 13, 2021 12:02 pm

As divils advocate, upgrading what is reliable and known seems an option. Getting a matching pair of the fastest ssd's, and if in existance, faster memory, could make a noticable difference, and the ssd's would be forward-compatible, so no $risk$ there. At the pain of a reinstall, or disk clone implementation, you'd have zero'd out any disk-based bottlenecks.

This could buy time, as volatility and fierce competition grind down the prices approaching black friday, and chip availability uncertainties are cleared up (hopefully). And the M1 era is approaching. :scared:

Matching the multi-core performance settings of your daws to the same settings of key software that supports such things might also yield benefits.
That's a slow dance on a hot night for kontakt users :hyper:

If there is something that seems way too painful to maintain, or too slow
for your growing skills, a competing product might be rewarding.
mi dos centavos, if you're living in cali, power preparedness might be a priority to further muddy the waters :wink:
Cheers

User avatar
KVRAF

Topic Starter

10926 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:45 am

Pictus wrote:
Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:42 am
For audio benchmark:

https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advi ... pus-tested

http://www.scanproaudio.info/category/test-labs/


I prefer AMD 5000, but you want Intel(UAD friendly), so https://pcpartpicker.com/list/tnKPW3
Image

- CPU = i9-10900K

https://youtu.be/_jVAfk4AG3A

- CPU cooler = Noctua NH-D15s
Fits the motherboard and case
https://youtu.be/JtWr15on6OU

- Motherboard = Gigabyte Z590 VISION D
https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/Z5 ... -rev-10#kf
Updated model with Thunderbolt ports if you ever want to buy a
new/better audio interface.

- RAM = 128GB(4x32) Crucial 3600MHz
Excellent RAM also compatible with AMD

- SSD = Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 4 TB
Fast and reliable TLC model, but only works in PCIe GEN4 with Intel Core i9-11900K
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sa ... d-review/2

- Case = Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact
https://youtu.be/94l1c5dMRX8

- PSU = Corsair RMx750
It is semi-passive, up to +-150W the fan is off
and up to +- 550W the RPM/Noise is very low
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/co ... 585-5.html
Image

BTW, if you want to add an extra 120mm fan to the Noctua NH-D15s
https://pcpartpicker.com/product/zvphP6 ... n-itrb12ps
https://youtu.be/XVPV9omPuyw
Question about this warning:
Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact ATX Mid Tower Case has a front panel USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C port, but the Gigabyte Z590 VISION D ATX LGA1200 Motherboard does not have sufficient USB 3.2 Gen 2 or Gen 1 headers. The case USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C port will not be usable.
I’ve got quite a bit of USB devices at the moment. Two Elektron boxes (using Overbridge), REV2, Prophet 6, 12, Peak, Roli Rise 49, PolyBrute, AxeFX 3, MOTU MIDI Express... probably forgetting something. I’m not sure what that means and how it could effect me. Would I need to buy an additional card for USB transfer? (I thought about doing this anyway to avoid using a hub)
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

User avatar
KVRAF

Topic Starter

10926 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:50 am

Why not just buy something like this?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DKVJH7C/re ... UTF8&psc=1
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

User avatar
KVRian
536 posts since 21 Aug, 2017 from Brasil

Post Thu Apr 15, 2021 12:00 pm

zerocrossing wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:45 am
Question about this warning:

Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact ATX Mid Tower Case has a front panel USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C port, but the Gigabyte Z590 VISION D ATX LGA1200 Motherboard does not have sufficient USB 3.2 Gen 2 or Gen 1 headers. The case USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C port will not be usable.
Means only the front USB-C of the case will not be operational, but I changed the motherboard.
I’ve got quite a bit of USB devices at the moment. Two Elektron boxes (using Overbridge), REV2, Prophet 6, 12, Peak, Roli Rise 49, PolyBrute, AxeFX 3, MOTU MIDI Express... probably forgetting something. I’m not sure what that means and how it could effect me. Would I need to buy an additional card for USB transfer? (I thought about doing this anyway to avoid using a hub)
Changed CPU cooler, the motherboard to one with higher number of USB ports
and the SSD to the 2TB model https://pcpartpicker.com/list/TZZJQD
Gigabyte Z590 AORUS ULTRA
Image

And added more 4 USB ports to use with the motherboard internal headers
https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-Por ... B00015Y0FK
zerocrossing wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:50 am
Why not just buy something like this?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DKVJH7C/re ... UTF8&psc=1
- Slower RAM
- CRAP CPU heat sink
- Lower quality PSU
- How is the case temperature vs noise ?

BTW, if want water cooler go for a BIG case + big 420mm radiator!
https://youtu.be/sRFzaveNkOs


https://pcpartpicker.com/product/2dzFf7 ... oler-11731

https://www.ebay.com/itm/ARCTIC-Liquid- ... 3858319196

User avatar
KVRAF

Topic Starter

10926 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:42 am

Pictus wrote:
Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:42 am
For audio benchmark:

https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advi ... pus-tested

http://www.scanproaudio.info/category/test-labs/


I prefer AMD 5000, but you want Intel(UAD friendly), so https://pcpartpicker.com/list/tnKPW3
Image

- CPU = i9-10900K

https://youtu.be/_jVAfk4AG3A

- CPU cooler = Noctua NH-D15s
Fits the motherboard and case
https://youtu.be/JtWr15on6OU

- Motherboard = Gigabyte Z590 VISION D
https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/Z5 ... -rev-10#kf
Updated model with Thunderbolt ports if you ever want to buy a
new/better audio interface.

- RAM = 128GB(4x32) Crucial 3600MHz
Excellent RAM also compatible with AMD

- SSD = Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 4 TB
Fast and reliable TLC model, but only works in PCIe GEN4 with Intel Core i9-11900K
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sa ... d-review/2

- Case = Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact
https://youtu.be/94l1c5dMRX8

- PSU = Corsair RMx750
It is semi-passive, up to +-150W the fan is off
and up to +- 550W the RPM/Noise is very low
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/co ... 585-5.html
Image

BTW, if you want to add an extra 120mm fan to the Noctua NH-D15s
https://pcpartpicker.com/product/zvphP6 ... n-itrb12ps
https://youtu.be/XVPV9omPuyw
Thanks again for all this. I decided that I’m going to have a local shop build this for me. They have most of it in stock and only charge $165 for assembly. The prices are comparable to online and I think it will be good to find a local business. We’re going full speed on trying to move, so figuring out how to build a PC isn’t a project I want to add to the long list of things on my plate.

I notice that the mother board isn’t out yet. I’m not in a super hurry, but I’d like for it to be done before the move. Is there a comparable one that is currently available, or is this one worth the wait ?
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

KVRAF
28130 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:47 am

That's a real killer PC, wished I had something similar. :P Also good call to not add a dedicated graphics card. You don't really need that with audio. Just raises the price, especially at this time.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

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