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for the last million of yrs i've been producing music on my lovely-deadly-dated desktop pc with an old intel q6600 cpu and with 4 gb of ddr2 667 mhz ram, which was great back then when those specs were the best offer but not any more, not with todays sw/plugins. i can't mix with more than just a few quality verbs or saturators... cant stand this hell any more! recently i changed the hdd to ssd but that changed only a global responsiveness of windows.

soooo, im finally planing buy a new comp, also with very good specs. the thing is if you buy a comp with great specs it's gonna last for a long long time (the last one lasted arround ten yrs?). i already have some parts that im planing to reuse in the new machine... so here's the configuration:

 

cpu: intel i7 8700k

mb: asrock z370 extreme4

ram: corsair ddr4 16 gb 2666 mhz vengeance lpx

ssd: samsung 860 evo 250 gb - already have

hdd: western digital black 2 tb - already have

gpu: nvidia gtx 950 - already have

psu: corsair rmx 750w

cpu air cooling: cooler master hyper 412

case: fractal define d5

 

os: windows 10 64bit

 

i wanted to ask you, my dear watmmers, if anyone has any better suggestions?

 

all of the listed components are the best ones i could find in my local stores, for the money...

 

thnx!

Edited by xox
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It's not necessarily a better suggestion, and if you use a lot of VSTi's or CPU-intensive modern plugins you'll have trouble with single plugin instances overloading individual CPU cores even as your total CPU load stays low, and good luck finding a decent graphics card that would even physically fit into the chassis of one, and the fans are LOUD, but for the right person you can get some really good deals by buying secondhand Dell rack servers that are a few years out of date.  That's what I did back in late 2012, and the one I got was about half the price of its lower-specced desktop counterpart and is still serving me really well for the most part, and you could get a much newer one for what I paid for mine back then (it was around $800 shipped back then, I think it would be more like $300 now, if that).

 

It's something to consider, there are definitely drawbacks but you get a lot of computer for your money, and unlike the consumer grade Dell stuff that is pretty crap, anything in the Optiplex range tends to be solid - I've been using exclusively secondhand (mostly free, put in the trash by businesses and universities - especially universities) Dell Optiplex workstations and servers since 2004 and I've never had a single one fail, I just upgrade when I find a significantly better one.

 

Probably not the right choice for you but you might want to give it a little thought, if the hassles of using a rack server (mainly fan noise, not much space for peripherals in the case, and awkward form factor - they're DEEP and heavy) are something you can live with then you'll get a lot for your money compared to a desktop.

 

I made a stand for mine out of some scrap cedar 2x4 and stuck it behind my living room couch with the cables running into the next room so the fans aren't too loud when I'm mixing; in my last apartment it was in my closet.   The Bios is configured so that it monitors the power supply and turns itself on when you send it mains power, so I can bot it remotely by turning on a power strip in the studio, and pretty much just ignore it other than popping it open every couple of months and making sure it isn't getting dusty inside.

 

post-19174-0-12221700-1528413287_thumb.jpg

 

 

EDIT: it also depends on how high a tolerance you (and anyone you live with) has for living in a home that looks like a set from a direct to video cyberpunk movie from 1997.  For me, it's more a life goal than a thing to be tolerated but for someone more normal it might be an issue.  But then why would someone like that be posting on an IDM message board in 2018?

Edited by RSP
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I went with a Ryzen 7 last year right after they came out, can handle anything I throw at it. Seemed to be a decent amount more bang for the buck than Intel was but I'm not sure now or with the new processors this year, etc. Other than that, did you double check to make sure everything is compatible and will all fit in the case and such? (I hadn't built a computer in over a decade so I made sure to double check my shit, though of course you may be more knowledgeable than I was!)

 

Otherwise...got a WiFi card? Computer monitor?

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thnx everyone for your responses! :beer:

 

@rsp

oh man! you're a true computer partisan :w00t: ... a racked server, in a living room, behind a couch, on a home-made wooden stand... i dont think ive ever seen or heard about anything similar to that! you made my day with it #geeked ...but i dont think it's for me at this point

regarding the dell's configurations, ive heard that they're mostly ok, powerful and stable but the strongest i could get in my town or country are half as powerful as my planned-to-buy computer. also, i already have an ssd, hdd and graphic card that i want to reuse and i want better case with better cooling possibilities

 

@auxien

ryzen 7 is a beast! much better bang for the buck.

but so far i'll stay loyal to intel cause ive never had a comp with an amd cpu before, i know them well, majority daws and plugs are build on intel cpus (if that matters at all...), and in the last few weeks i came across several minor negative reviews of amd cpus used in music production, i cant remember what was about, something small but it was enough for me to removed them from my list

regarding compatibility, the biggest problem im expecting to have is with my gpu, nvidia gtx 950. nvidia drivers are the worst for music production causing dpc latency issues. shall see, i can easily remove the card, uninstall its drivers an just use the integrated graphix.

also, today i made another list, 15% cheaper, and i believe it's a better configuration:

 

cpu: intel i7 8700k (same)

mb: asrock z370 extreme4 (same, but im not sure about this one. im afraid it could be overkill)

ram: corsair ddr4 8 gb 2666 mhz vengeance lpx (i believe that 8 gb will be enough for now, i can easily add 8 later if needed)

ssd: samsung 860 evo 250 gb - already have

hdd: western digital black 2 tb - already have

gpu: nvidia gtx 950 - already have

psu: seasonic ss-520gm2 evo 520w (guy from the store said that i dont need more power, but i'll probably add a few more watts)

cpu air cooling: fortron windale 6 (big enough and silent)

case: fractal define c (better for my needs cause i dont need a case that can host 10 hdds)

 

@sweepstakes

yo! ive never tried jb. is it any good? im stucked with max, sc and samplitude. if it can replace those 3 count me in :wink:

Edited by xox
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@sweepstakes

yo! ive never tried jb. is it any good? im stucked with max, sc and samplitude. if it can replace those 3 count me in :wink:

I was mostly joking, but I used it for everything about 15 years ago. It definitely can't replace Max or SC and I don't know what samplitude does. But it did livesampling and polyrhythms before the Octatrack made them cool. Then again, it also crashed regularly.

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I went for an 100% fanless computer a year ago or so, and I genuinely enjoy having a silent machine when making music, usually at quite low levels.

 

Gigabyte GA-Z170M-D3H - DDR4 MOBO
Gigabyte Ge Force - GV-N1030SL-2GL GT 1030 Silent low profile GPU
Seasonic Platinum-400 Fanless PSU

Intel Core i7-6700K (4.0 GHz) CPU

NoFan CR 100A CPU passive radiator
 
SSD for apps & OS, 1TB HDD for everything else. The HDD is the only "noisy" component of the whole set-up : I never thought I'd notice the noise of an hard drive...

 

It wasn't too expensive, less than €1000, and I went for an intel CPU as I run OS X on it (long time Numerology user). It's a stupidly fast machine, for a fraction of the price an equivalent Mac (once again, Numerology user here). It can easily handle several instances of Diva and Bazille, both in HQ mode, at 96kHz, running at the same time RT, with some all sorts of intensive, CPU demanding processing.

Edited by Nil
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my comp wont be fanless but ive picked the fractal's case cause it has sound isolation. i also think that hdd will be the loudest part in it, especially cause it's a 7200 rpm drive.

 

you went with a 400 watts psu? i thought that i may be lacking power with a 520 watts psu but now im less afraid

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Fanless! I'm jealous, that's like the main reason I want to replace my laptop. It has plenty of power, and does well with audio processing, but it is heavy as fuck, and the fan is LOUD. It fucks with my head when I am trying to write

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1. recommened wattage for the configuration = 378 watts

 

2. recommened wattage for the worst imaginable (not very likely but possible) scenario (oc cpu to 5,0ghz, additional ssd, all ram slots used, additional 140 mm fan, high-end gpu, water cooling) = 592 watts

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i make music on compputer it is good my tummy feels good I like mayonnaise and relish sometimes i m but I dunno just want tummy to feel good sometimes without making a big statement

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i make music on compputer it is good my tummy feels good I like mayonnaise and relish sometimes i m but I dunno just want tummy to feel good sometimes without making a big statement

 

 

is this ragnar being ragnar? ...again?!

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  • 3 weeks later...

// update

 

ok. ive finally put everything together... 

 

so, my final configuration is:

 

cpu: intel i7 8700k

mb: asrock z370 extreme4

ram: corsair ddr4 16 gb 2666 mhz vengeance lpx

ssd: samsung 860 evo 250 gb

hdd: western digital black 2 tb

gpu: nvidia gtx 950

psu: seasonic ss-520gm2 evo 520w

cpu air cooling: fortron windale 6

case: fractal define c

 

for the first time in my life i have a computer that's fast enough for any wish i could ask it for to do. this thing is a real beast! ive set the power to high performance which keeps the cpu at its 80-90% clock speed all the time and in my normal work i can't load the cpu more than 25% of its capacity while using the most demanding plugs and soft-synths on the market... that's_just_crazy!

 

anyway, i think that im settled for at least 4-5 yrs.

...im mixing my first md/mnm tracks in daw, and without restraints. this is fun! :)

 

p.s. i had a problem with buzz and hum coming from one of my speakers. the noise became the most apparent after i changed the power performance setting, from balanced to high and only when moving my mouse over web browsers and daws. many ppl had the same problem on the net and non of the solutions worked for me (very few of them work for anybody tho), ive tried almost everything. then i remember that i have ground lift switch on my speaker that may help and after turning it on it worked... dead silent monitoring! the last thing i need to check (but i dont have to anymore) are speaker cables... 

Edited by xox
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Nice! Take some shots of it for the studio pics thread some time, I love seeing everyone's setups.

 

:)

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  • 7 months later...

// update

 

ok. ive finally put everything together... 

 

so, my final configuration is:

 

cpu: intel i7 8700k

mb: asrock z370 extreme4

ram: corsair ddr4 16 gb 2666 mhz vengeance lpx

ssd: samsung 860 evo 250 gb

hdd: western digital black 2 tb

gpu: nvidia gtx 950

psu: seasonic ss-520gm2 evo 520w

cpu air cooling: fortron windale 6

case: fractal define c

 

for the first time in my life i have a computer that's fast enough for any wish i could ask it for to do. this thing is a real beast! ive set the power to high performance which keeps the cpu at its 80-90% clock speed all the time and in my normal work i can't load the cpu more than 25% of its capacity while using the most demanding plugs and soft-synths on the market... that's_just_crazy!

 

anyway, i think that im settled for at least 4-5 yrs.

...im mixing my first md/mnm tracks in daw, and without restraints. this is fun! :)

 

p.s. i had a problem with buzz and hum coming from one of my speakers. the noise became the most apparent after i changed the power performance setting, from balanced to high and only when moving my mouse over web browsers and daws. many ppl had the same problem on the net and non of the solutions worked for me (very few of them work for anybody tho), ive tried almost everything. then i remember that i have ground lift switch on my speaker that may help and after turning it on it worked... dead silent monitoring! the last thing i need to check (but i dont have to anymore) are speaker cables... 

 

how much money did this cost? 

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  • 7 months later...

I have recently found myself in this dilemma.  I've been doing audiovisual stuff lately and found that my computer doesn't know how to handle it.  It would be nice to have something portable as well since my desktop has been annoying when traveling and doing live stuff in the past.

The computer I've been looking at is the ASUS Zenbook 14, which is just a little out of date and is therefore quite affordable now.  Does anyone know if this is the kind of machine that could handle live generating of Jitter visuals and also record them at high definition simultaneously ?

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I got one of these secondhand for $300 when my last laptop died and it's solid for 1080p video editing and compositing in Vegas.  Smode Studio gets choppy pretty fast if you're using a lot of real time image processing or generative 3d stuff but still totally usable for most things.  Haven't tried VVVV on it. The Zenbook 14's CPU is quite a bit more powerful (mine's the same generation but only 2.5gHz) so I bet you'd do fine, but also depending on the type of stuff you do it might even be more than you need.

 

Unfortunately, mine's one of the many models of computer whose HDMI output stopped working when Microsoftrolled out a major Windows 10 update two years ago and they don't seem to be interested in fixing it (a little Googling will show that it's REALLY common, was the direct result of an update, and whenever people contact tech support they're just told to update their drivers and then ignored) so it's probably not useful for your purposes.  I'd check that for the Zenbook, too - for the last two years or so there have been a ton of Windows 10 machines that no longer recognize displays connected to HDMI ports that worked fine before the update in question, and work fine with Linux or earlier versions of Windows.

 

Now that laptops have basically no moving parts inside (no optical drives, SSD internal storage) it's a lot more reasonable to look for a well cared for secondhand one than it was a few years ago, IMO.

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Thanks, @TubularCorporation.  Having more than I need is exactly what I'm going for, since I'm starting to invest a lot more into my projects and want to leave room open for them to grow.  The only problem I've read about so far with the Zenbook is that the trackpad stops working quite often, which can be fixed by simply having a mouse.  But HDMI usability will probably be important if I ever do live visuals for anything, so I'll look into it.  The laptop you have actually has a dedicated GPU, which is odd since only the higher end Zenbooks have that.

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