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phillis
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#1
31st August 2009
Old 31st August 2009
  #1
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building i7 rig- need your thoughts/ideas

hey all

ive read a few other threads on here about i7 builds and ive learnt alot. theres still a few specifics about the system i plan to build i need to figure out.

This is gunna be a dedicated recording PC. no games or internet. It'll be hooked up to my digi 002 where ill be running PT 7.4 on windows XP pro with S.P 3, and doing 99.9% of my mixes in the box using alot of plug ins, but very few virtual instruments. 99% audio work!

Plans:

CPU: Intel Core i7 920
MOBO: Asus P6T v2 Deluxe V2
PSU: Corsair TX-750
Memory: OCZ Gold- DDR3 1600 (3x2gb)
HDD: 2x WD 500GB Caviar Black (1x OS, 1x Audio- external HDD for archiving/storage)
Cooler: No idea! Suggestions?
Case: Rackmount Server Case
GPU: Asus EAH 4650
DVD: No idea! Suggestions?

I already have the HDD in my possesion!

My main queries
-will all this fit together
- are my choices the best option for the work ill be doing?
- ive heard windows XP can only use 3gb of ram. whats with that?
-Is the power supply too much?
-is there a better motherboard?
-hard drive types/configuration the best option?

I put this list together earlier this year so im sure alot of it has moved on to better things. Im planning to get all this gear pretty soon, so any help is greatly appreciated!

EDIT- Im also running a dual monitor setup!
#2
31st August 2009
Old 31st August 2009
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if you want rackmount get a 4U (the antec Take4 is really nice)

a 4U will fit just about any cooler. good ones are : prolimatech, noctua, scythe

any 32bit operating system uses maximum 3.5GB, go 64bit to use all 6GB

psu : you can do with a little less like tx-650 (which is a bit quieter also)

mobo : asus p6t is fine, but my choice is gigabyte ud4(p) or ud5

hd's : any 7200rpm with 32mb cache is perfect (at least 2 of them)

dvd : cheap LG , expensive Plextor

vga : unless noise is no problem make sure it's a passive card
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phillis
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1st September 2009
Old 1st September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StudioTinPanAll View Post

vga : unless noise is no problem make sure it's a passive card
Whats a passive video card? i dont want alot of noise, but i dont want to sacrifice too much!

I checked out the gigabyte mobo- i cant find out how many sata ports its got, but the asus one has 6- id like to connect my hdds via sata

i also know nothing about windows at 64 bit. what are some problems im likey to encounter running pro tools on it? do i have to change any hardware?
#4
1st September 2009
Old 1st September 2009
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a passive video card is a card without a fan. (just big heatsinks)
there are plenty 4650 passive cards

gigabyte ex58-ud4 and ud5 have both 6 sata ports

if you're not sure vista 64bit will work with your digi002 and pt7.4
you can make a dual boot and install xp 32 bit and vista 64bit or xp 64bit

actually i'm a fan of xp 32 bit !! (i use nuendo and media composer)
so you could get away with 3GB instead of 6GB
#5
1st September 2009
Old 1st September 2009
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I would go for a Scythe cooler.
#6
1st September 2009
Old 1st September 2009
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Also with ur VID CARD, less memory is better if ur only planning on running PT... A 256mb card would be ideal but 512 is fine, just as long as u don't go grabbing a 1gb card...

Also agree with TinPan about a UD4 or %... The price difference is so minimal now that that would just be the smart thing to do...
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#7
1st September 2009
Old 1st September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillis View Post
This is gunna be a dedicated recording PC. no games or internet. It'll be hooked up to my digi 002 where ill be running PT 7.4 on windows XP pro with S.P 3, and doing 99.9% of my mixes in the box using alot of plug ins, but very few virtual instruments. 99% audio work!

Plans:

CPU: Intel Core i7 920
MOBO: Asus P6T v2 Deluxe V2
PSU: Corsair TX-750
Memory: OCZ Gold- DDR3 1600 (3x2gb)
HDD: 2x WD 500GB Caviar Black (1x OS, 1x Audio- external HDD for archiving/storage)
Cooler: No idea! Suggestions?
Case: Rackmount Server Case
GPU: Asus EAH 4650
DVD: No idea! Suggestions?

EDIT- Im also running a dual monitor setup!
-will all this fit together
yes & no.
- are my choices the best option for the work ill be doing?
no.
- ive heard windows XP can only use 3gb of ram. whats with that?
any 32-Bit OS, is less than 4GB,
you can use 4x1GB or 3x2GB and use something like:
superspeed.com RamDisk Plus for usign the extra ram memory in a virtual ram drive for accelerating the windows page file. "must be manually configured".
-Is the power supply too much?
yes&no.
power supply is a complex issue.
the best are:
single 12v rail with low electric ripple & noise.
like: CoolerMaster Silent Pro M500,M600,M700
or PC Power & Cooling 860w or 1200w

any PSU works best at 50% load.
i7 920 eats 151w aprox.at full load + mainboard+memory+video card+soundcard+hdd+etc...
= <350w unless you have top of the line power hungry video cards.
-is there a better motherboard?
yes.
but better is relative to personal taste & needs,
is better...:
more features for overclocking the Bios? or better Stable BIOS?
better is Lower Motherboard Temperature?
better is more usb ports?
better is 2x pci 32-bit slots?
better is 4x pcie 16x slots?

for me better is: lower board temperature + 2x pci slots and more USB2.0 ports.
-hard drive types/configuration the best option?
No.

***********
i have i7 920 D0 SLBEJ, it does 3600KB/s stock speed in winrar benchmarck and 4000KB/s at 3Ghz.
WinRAR archiver, a powerful tool to process RAR and ZIP files

MSI Eclipse X58 SLi with DrMos technology.
its an amazing board, low temp. stable bios, etc...
but has Via firewire chips,
Digi002 only works with Texas Instruments FireWire chips.
you need to buy an optional TI pci or pcie firewire card.
those are cheap. no big issue there.

Coolermaster Silent Pro M700

i want to buy a new LCD from LG 54 series that have 50.000:1 contrast ratio.
or 32" LG LCD TV 32LH40 or LH70.

also i have a complete water cooling system.
Koolance ERM-2K3u but want to buy the 3k4U. becouse is parallel and i like more parallel tubing.
cpu-350ac, chc-122, etc...
Thermaltake Aquabay M4
Thermaltake W2 vga cooler for the sapphire hd4650.
external usb Samsung DVD-r
want to buy a 5U rackmount case. with 10x 5.25" drive bays.

i have samsung hd103uj 1TB and 2x Hitachi 1TB hdds,
but want to buy...
2x Acard 9010B with 12GB each. in RAID 0. for the Widows XP MCE.
and 4x WD2002FYPS enterprice 2TB HDD.

the Samsung HD103UJ is a great drive but has much problems with AAC activated in the HDD Bios, and also in the PC BIOS with IDE controllers,
only works flawless with AHCI controllers.

for that: you need to install the windows in the Jmicron sata ports,
then install ich10r AHCI drivers, then change sata ports from jmicron to Intel ich10r, and disable the jmicron in the bios.
or use a usb floppy drive when installing the Windows,
a floppy with the drivers that come in the board intallation CD. floppy32 for Intel ich10r

but i think if you do electronic music: buy Sonic Core Xite-1.
phillis
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#8
2nd September 2009
Old 2nd September 2009
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ok, a few things ive figured out in the last day or so

1) my VGA doesnt have a fan, so its passive and its 512mb

2)to save confusion, im just going to stay 32bit

3)scythe cooler for the CPU cooler?

4) psu- add up the power consumption of all the components in watts and then get a PSU that is higher? eg, total sum of components needs 720W, i get a 750W PSU?

5) MOBOs- ive no idea about overclocking or BIOS or anything like that, but im going for the gigabyte one. Theres $50 between the GA-EX58-EXTREME and GA-EX58-UD5, the difference being on the extreme, theres a big copper cooling feature

GIGABYTE - Product - Motherboard - Overview - GA-EX58-EXTREME (rev. 1.0)

is the extra $50 worth the cooling feature?

6) that MSI mobo looks cool, but if i dont need to have PCI cards, id rather not

7)im sceptical about water cooling...something about putting water that close to electrical components that doesnt sit right with me lol

8) is connecting my 2 500gb WD Black Caviar HDDs back to the mobo via SATA the best way?

thanks guys, i really appreciate everything!
#9
2nd September 2009
Old 2nd September 2009
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Get an SSD 128gb or 64gb drive that does 220mb/sec read for your operating system.

Win 7 works really well compared to Vista 64.
phillis
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#10
2nd September 2009
Old 2nd September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Proton View Post
Get an SSD 128gb or 64gb drive that does 220mb/sec read for your operating system.

Win 7 works really well compared to Vista 64.
yeah? SSD? never would have thought of that..whats the benefit of that though?
phillis
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#11
3rd September 2009
Old 3rd September 2009
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is the benefit of using an SSD as an OS drive the fact that its got faster read times? does the fact that its got limited write life effect it if its just an OS drive?

Also, RAM wise, if im only able to get 3.5gb thats usable, how should i divide that up? can i get 2x 2gb sticks and the .5gb that wont be sed will be ignored or whaa?
#12
29th September 2009
Old 29th September 2009
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#13
30th September 2009
Old 30th September 2009
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Putting together a new i7 DAW here too.
Figured I'd post here as there's lots of similar issues, instead of making a new thread, hope you don't mind philis!

I've never put a DAW together myself before so I've been researching lots.
I hope to be running mainly Cubase Essential 5 and Nebuala 3. I'll have PT M-Powered installed too but won't be using it much.
I make experimental/electronic stuff and my mixes rarely go beyond 20-30 tracks, I really want the extra juice for Nebula in particular.
I'm using an M-Audio pci card at the minute, but looking to upgrade that (probably a usb card).
The pc will be in the room where I mix, so keeping noise down is important.


Here's what I got so far:

Intel Core i7 Quad Processor i7-920

Antec P183 Advanced Midi Tower Black

ASUS P6T SE, X58
The main difference I can see between this and the regular P6T is the SE doesn't have this:

"JMicron JMB322 : Serial ATA-300 - connector(s): 2 x 7pin Serial ATA - 2 Device(s)"

but has:

"JMicron JMB363 : ATA-133 - connector(s): 1 x 40pin IDC - 2 Device(s).
JMicron JMB363 : Serial ATA-300 - connector(s): 1 x 7pin external SATA - 1 Device(s)".

To be honest I'm not really sure how this effects (like I said I'm a noob with this stuff, for using extra drives maybe?).
The P6T SE is also €25 cheaper and I'm trying to keep costs down as best I can.
I might go for a Gigabyte board if I could get the right one from Komplett or ebay. They just had the Asus in stock.

Corsair Powersupply 650W Black, ATX/EPS
I'm not sure what power I need really, trying to balance power with noise while thinking of my future needs. I hope this DAW will serve my needs for a few years.

Xigmatek Thor's Hammer CPU Cooler fanless
Excessive? It's quiet and not too expensive.

Corsair Dominator DHX+ DDR3 1600MHz 6GB
I'm wondering if I could get away with cheaper RAM. I'm not sure if I'll be overclocking as I've not done it before, but looks like it could be worthwhile with the i7.

Gainward GeForce 9500GT 1GB PhysX CUDA fanless
A 1GB GPU is probably excessive for my needs (I won't be gaming on it) but I'm thinking it might be a good card to use with Nebula as I can utilize the 1GB through CUDA.
Is this a good idea?

Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm 1TB drive, 32MB cache
One drive will do for now. I also use a Lacie external. I'd be happy enough with a 500GB drive but couldn't find one with a 32MB cache.
Was also thinking of a solid state drive as a system drive, but might wait until prices come down a bit.


I'll be running XP 32 bit for a while, but hope to go Vista 64 bit soon as.
I've got a Plextor Premium drive which will be going in there too.
All that comes to about €1.000 so far. I'll probably buy a new monitor too (any recomendations?).

Any thoughts or advice would be most welcome as I'm diving into new territory here
Thanks.
#14
30th September 2009
Old 30th September 2009
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I use a Nexus FLC-3000 cooler. Works great and REALLY quite. SSD's are a waste of money right now. For memory I use the Corsair Dominator. The ASUS mobo works great.
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30th September 2009
Old 30th September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hilander74 View Post
Putting together a new i7 DAW here too.
Figured I'd post here as there's lots of similar issues, instead of making a new thread, hope you don't mind philis!


Any thoughts or advice would be most welcome as I'm diving into new territory here
Thanks.
Ur build is good considering ur DAW choice.. U should be fine...
#16
30th September 2009
Old 30th September 2009
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Might as well throw my hat into the pile

I plan to build my new system this weekend.
Here are the main parts I will be using:

Intel Core i7 920
ASUS P6T
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache (X2)
CORSAIR 850W
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit GDDR3

I plan to set the Barracudas up in RAID 0 and intall Vista 64.

I will also be adding a few things from my current system (Dual Core 1.8GHz):
- 500MB drive that I will use for an XP 32 dual boot
- DVD-Burner
- Duende PCIe
- UAD-1e
- UAD-1
- MOTU PCI-424

My Main DAW is SONAR 8.5
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#17
30th September 2009
Old 30th September 2009
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Quote:
I plan to set the Barracudas up in RAID 0 and intall Vista 64.
i hope you dont intend to install an OS on a raid 0
very very dumb idea

Scott
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