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Switching to Windows, New Interface, etc. DAW Software
Old 4 weeks ago
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Switching to Windows, New Interface, etc.

Hi Guys

Well, my old Mac Pro tower running DP8 finally died, so I'm considering moving to a custom Windows workstation since Apple has delayed their new towers until 2019. I do a lot of AV and graphics work and it's just way cheaper to get way more power on Windows these days.


DP On Windows
I wanted to know how you Windows users are doing using DP vs Mac, any known issues with hardware, opening Dp8 projects in Dp9 and if plug-ins are all recognized, as well as what audio interface you are using. My old interface is a piece of crap so I'm going to be getting a new one.

Interfaces
I'm trying to find a solid audio interface at $1k or less. The MOTU 828es looks pretty good, has USB & Thunderbolt, and has the I/O I need (I use 1 mic input and 6 1/4" inputs from my sound modules). No outboard atm. My old XV-5080 does have optical outs so that would be a nice bonus.

Currently summing through an old analog mixer which has to go as it adds noise and is just a nuisance, and that goes to powered studio monitors through XLR.

I don't need fancy. I need good, clean pre amps, enough analog ins, low latency when recording MIDI, and the ability to monitor my analog ins so I can hear them on the main out along with my VIs before I record.

System Sound
Related to the interface: On Mac I could set my system sound to use the interface while other apps also used it. Is this possible on Windows? Is it limited to system + 1 app (like DP) or can the system and multiple apps use the interface at once (such as system + DP + After Effects)?

Monitor Controller
If I can swing it, I'd like to have a simple, passive monitor controller w/ remote—basically a big knob—that won't color the sound and allow me to hear the computer audio and the interface with 1 or 2 headphone jacks. Something like the TC BMC-2 but without the noise would be nice. Sticking with my old M-Audio powered monitors for now which I think have XLR inputs. Not great but I can't afford new monitors atm.

SPL 2Control looked great but it only has XLR inputs. I like that this unit has 2 headphone jacks with their own volume control.

Heritage Audio RAM System 2000 might work as it has analog and S/PDIF. Most motherboards I've seen that support the cpus I will most likely use have S/PDIF coax output. Seems a bit overkill for what I need, though.

Both of these are a bit expensive for me and I've never used them, but I haven't found much else with solid reviews until you get into the very high-end units that cost $2k-$3k and have a remote control.

As far as the system goes:
Pretty sure I'm going to go with dual Xeon v4 chips for the ECC I need for 3D and sims/rendering, lots of cores which should help with plug-ins, a min of 128GB of RAM, thunderbolt card, M.2 boot drive, SSD for active projects, sound libraries and scratch disk, and SATA for inactive projects. Not sure which motherboard they will use, possibly a Supermicro or Asus. Will know once we go over details. Most likely whatever gives me dual GPU support and more 6Gb/s drive ports and is reliable for TB and USB3 USB-C.

Etc
Short of that, any other advice is welcome. I've used Windows for work in the past, even booted XP and Windows 7 for some time on my old Mac tower. Windows 10 is not the ideal OS to me, so I'll most likely keep it offline most of the time, but I can get the tools I need to work for the time being and be able to use all the apps I need at once.

I can't shell out too much on the audio gear because I need a powerful workstation and lots of storage and backup. C'est la vie.

Thanks
Old 2 weeks ago
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I know this is a DP forum and the page I'm providing a link to says Pro Tools but these guys should be able to build you a bullet-proof system that will run DP no problem. Would be worth your while to give them shout. https://www.pro-tools-pc.com/
Old 2 weeks ago
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Originally Posted by musicman691 View Post
I know this is a DP forum and the page I'm providing a link to says Pro Tools but these guys should be able to build you a bullet-proof system that will run DP no problem. Would be worth your while to give them shout. https://www.pro-tools-pc.com/
Thanks, man. I'll check them out now.

Surprisingly not having much luck with turnkey shops that setup custom-built workstations. Believe it or not, so far the only competent people I've spoken to were at HP, which was unexpected. When I think of HP, I think of consumer laptops and supercomputers :P
Old 2 weeks ago
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Old 2 weeks ago
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Old 2 weeks ago
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Originally Posted by gradivus View Post
I did. They never replied.
Sad but not unexpected. They've been around a long time and may even be the oldest surviving custom PC builder out there. But with that they have, at least in the past, had a bit of a 'tude especially when it comes to Macs. Their belief was Macs weren't worth the parts they were built out of.

Personally I have nothing against PC's as I used to run a few myself before I went to a Mac. No reason both machines can't coexist in this world. My favorite wave editing and CD assemblage s/w is Sony Soundforge and CD Architect - Windows only and why I keep an old Toshiba laptop around for that usage.
Old 2 weeks ago
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Sad but not unexpected. They've been around a long time and may even be the oldest surviving custom PC builder out there. But with that they have, at least in the past, had a bit of a 'tude especially when it comes to Macs. Their belief was Macs weren't worth the parts they were built out of.

Personally I have nothing against PC's as I used to run a few myself before I went to a Mac. No reason both machines can't coexist in this world. My favorite wave editing and CD assemblage s/w is Sony Soundforge and CD Architect - Windows only and why I keep an old Toshiba laptop around for that usage.
Yeah, I agree. I also prefer Mac. I like the OS better and the stability. It lets me work faster and more efficiently with near zero downtime. But Apple isn't making what I need anymore and the extra cost means to even approach 1/2 what a PC can do I can't get other hardware I need. I also can't configure a Hackintosh that will do it either so my hands are tied. Pisses me off to no end with how much money I've given Apple over the years.

I don't like Windows OS very much but it does have features I really like and a level of granularity in the system the Mac OS doesn't provide, sometimes to its own detriment. Way more hardware options and the ability to customize your machine to the nth degree. Some great software is also on Windows that doesn't exist elsewhere and vice versa. Stability issues though, privacy problems, etc. I plan on keeping this machine only on my intranet and not connected to the web unless it's mandatory for some update or license thing.

I wouldn't agree that Mac's are ****, but the hardware over the past number of years (especially in consumer products) is unacceptable to me and has some major flaws. Their stability has to be accounted for when weighing things in a professional setting IMO. There was a time when you literally needed a Mac to get the job done. Not so anymore. If they weren't worth their parts this whole time, I wouldn't have made so much money with them doing high-profile, high-end work for the past 20 years.

Perfect world: I'd use both and have a dedicated Linux machine. I can't afford to do that now. I'm hoping by the time the new Mac Pro is released it'll be worth the wait and I can afford one. Then I'll use both systems for their strengths.
Old 2 weeks ago
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I was hoping for new macbook pros at the wwdc so I was pretty bummer, and now I'm also thinking PC. For you though, the new iMac Pro is supposedly pretty damn fast. And though initially is a big chunk of change, upon closer inspection it isn't that bad...relatively speaking. Actually, not just for you, but for me too. But I like the portability a laptop gives me, which is why I sold my Mac Pro way back when.
Old 2 weeks ago
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Originally Posted by Sergievsky View Post
I was hoping for new macbook pros at the wwdc so I was pretty bummer, and now I'm also thinking PC. For you though, the new iMac Pro is supposedly pretty damn fast. And though initially is a big chunk of change, upon closer inspection it isn't that bad...relatively speaking. Actually, not just for you, but for me too. But I like the portability a laptop gives me, which is why I sold my Mac Pro way back when.
My heartburn with the iMac Pro and basically with all the other iMacs since they dropped the internal optical drive is the heat generated inside one of these machines. The previous iMacs had three fans and now it's down to just one. I don't give the video cards long to last with all that heat. The mid-2011 27 inch model I had had it's video card fail due to the heat.

One of the ways the current iMacs have for dealing with the heat is to throttle back on cpu speed when it gets too hot. That's why when my iMac had it's issue and trying to get the video card replaced was a huge failure I decided to drop back a tech level and get a 2012 cheesegrater. 2 fans in the case, video card has it's own on-board fan and there's plenty of room to get around in the case. No need for a special toolkit to split it open and I can add in anything I want. Only bummer is no Thunderbolt. Then again with the pcie slots I can put ssd's there which is what I did with my boot drive (1TB Samsung 850 EVO).
Old 2 weeks ago
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Originally Posted by Sergievsky View Post
I was hoping for new macbook pros at the wwdc so I was pretty bummer, and now I'm also thinking PC. For you though, the new iMac Pro is supposedly pretty damn fast. And though initially is a big chunk of change, upon closer inspection it isn't that bad...relatively speaking. Actually, not just for you, but for me too. But I like the portability a laptop gives me, which is why I sold my Mac Pro way back when.
"Supposedly" being the key word. It's fast, but only with specific things and has limits. A single processor machine you can't upgrade, or even open to blow out the dust, and maxing it out costs over $12,000 before tax and you're stuck with the monitor built-in.

Here's a semi-detailed, rough comparison for you and anyone else who may be interested.

Video: It might be great if you use FCPX which it's optimized for. I don't like FCPX. I'd rather use Premier which is optimized for CUDA and I can link it to After Effects—iMac Pro uses AMD card with no NVIDIA option. Up to ~50% reduction in render time if I use Premier on Mac. GPU acceleration tends to be optimized on Windows. If I wanted a Quadro card or 2 AMDs, I'd need an eGPU TB3 chassis for more $.

Internal Drives: It has no internal hard drive bays. I need 6-7 drives. To get an external TB3 box to hold what should be internal, that's another $1,700 on the low pro end for a reliable unit and I can't use M.2 without adapters, if at all. Most likely an eGPU chassis would be needed for M.2. PC I can use 3 x M.2 drives that run at 3,800MB/s. Using your boot drive for storage and scratch disk is slower and kills the drive faster.

CPU: It has limited processor options and only 1 processor using a Xeon W chip, the OEM Apple-only version of Xeon Scalable that performs slightly less in benchmarks in the software I use. Even core i9 or ADM Threadrippers outperform a single Xeon. I can get a dual Xeon Scalable Windows system that I can swap the cpus whenever I want or upgrade to a quad cpu motherboard if I want. Single CPU will also limit multitasking performance.

RAM: iMac has max of 128GB and can't be upgraded after purchase. PC I can max to ~2TB of RAM depending on the motherboard and start lower and upgrade. I can also optimize it for 6 memory channels the Xeons use by using 6 sticks per cpu and still use ECC RAM.

Storage/Backups/Ethernet: I have 10-12TB of existing data so I need a NAS/server. iMac Pro only has 1 10Gb RJ45 ethernet port. PC I can get a dual or quad SFP+ 10Gb adapter, or a dual 40Gb QSFP+ adapter, and use NIC teaming/Link Aggregation with. There's also 100Gb options if I need to expand in the future. Use Thunderbolt instead? If so I'm stuck with an off-the-shelf NAS in the $2500+ range without the drive cost that would fit what I need.

Display: iMac Pro has a 5K screen, but it lacks support for HDR. I need high dynamic range because I work with 16-bit per channel and 32-bit per channel images and video. Apple again gives no option for this even though they target the pro market with FCPX.

Video Capture: I need a pro video capture card. iMac Pro I'd need to use an eGPU chassis over TB3 for more $ instead of just dropping the card into a PCI-E slot on the PC side.

Optical Drives I need 2 optical drives for CD/DVD/Blu Ray/M-disc. iMac Pro again has no internal expansion. I'd need 2 more things sitting on my desk. PC I can get a Tower that supports 2 or more optical drives that cost way less than externals.

Cost: I'd need to calculate, but based on my last figures an iMac Pro with all the additional stuff I'd need would cost me over ~$10,000 more than a PC setup without the options I need and be slower with no expansion. Probably more if I broke it down, and around $25,000 total.

So, as you can see, it's not just a matter of fast and it's still not nearly as fast or convenient or affordable as a PC Workstation. This is why some of us are hog-tied by Apple. We like the OS, we want the stability, we want the plug-and-play, but can't setup a pro workstation that does what we need.

Yes, I'll have to deal with Windows and its problems even though I don't want to, but what else can I do? I wish there was a solution from Apple but there isn't.

Trying to finance a powerful workstation in my position is difficult enough. I can't afford it on the Mac side without hindering myself in some way and I can't wait for a new Mac Pro.
Old 2 weeks ago
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Originally Posted by musicman691 View Post
That's why when my iMac had it's issue and trying to get the video card replaced was a huge failure I decided to drop back a tech level and get a 2012 cheesegrater. 2 fans in the case, video card has it's own on-board fan and there's plenty of room to get around in the case.
I was thinking of doing this too but many things are incompatible with it now. Also need a new interface and prefer Thunderbolt for the low latency— a bunch of reasons really, especially that I can't finance one from anywhere, not even OWC finances refurbs. I was planning to get one while waiting for the 2018 Mac Pro, but then that turned into 2019, and I don't even trust Apple to do the right thing anymore. With my luck they'll release it in December of 2019 and it won't be a proper ATX tower.

Solid machines though. Those old towers are workhorses you can beat into the ground 24/7. It's criminal they haven't released a modern one yet for those of us who need them.
Old 2 weeks ago
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Wow, good job. Looks like you didn’t have much of a choice but to switch. I’ve slways thought Motu’s foray into windows was a great thing, and though I myself had no plans to switch then, I could see a time where it would make sense. I would think that they dove in early enough that they’ve worked out the kinks by now. I hope our windows brethren would chime in.

For interfaces, and this is what I would do if (when?) I switch, I would stick with motu. I think their new interfaces look great specwise and if I didn’t have my Apogee system I’d have switched already (my old motu2408 pci interfaces were always reliable & rock solid).
Good luck and let us know how it all works out.
Old 2 weeks ago
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Originally Posted by Sergievsky View Post
Wow, good job. Looks like you didn’t have much of a choice but to switch. I’ve slways thought Motu’s foray into windows was a great thing, and though I myself had no plans to switch then, I could see a time where it would make sense. I would think that they dove in early enough that they’ve worked out the kinks by now. I hope our windows brethren would chime in.

For interfaces, and this is what I would do if (when?) I switch, I would stick with motu. I think their new interfaces look great specwise and if I didn’t have my Apogee system I’d have switched already (my old motu2408 pci interfaces were always reliable & rock solid).
Good luck and let us know how it all works out.
It was hell, trust me :P

I'm a freak though. Many people just need to run one app at a time, or maybe two. Once you start mixing all this stuff it gets a bit hairy. It sucks though because I did much of this stuff on my old Mac Pro and it was stable.

Yeah, I agree. I've been reading good things about the MOTU 828es. The RME stuff seems to also be great on Windows, but the MOTU is only $1000 and has thunderbolt 2 and the IO I need, so I'll probably go with that since I need so much other gear. That should at least give me nice, clean audio to start.

The thing that really sucks is all my projects were using AU from the Mac. MOTU said none of them, including the VIs, will load on Windows. Don't ask me why they can't detect the VST version and copy the data over used in the AU of the same name. There must be a way to do it if they wanted to.

As a result of this, I'm going to use my MacBook Pro to prep my old tracks before opening files on Windows and some I'll just have to recreate the instrument tracks and plug-in settings and automation. It sucks but is what it is. I'm also going to start using Vienna Ensemble Pro so I can avoid this mess if I switch my audio back to the Mac side because it will use the VST on either platform and be separate from the host software. Doubt it works on plug-ins, but at least VIs will transfer.

Thanks for the well-wishes. I need it
Old 1 week ago
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Originally Posted by gradivus View Post


Optical Drives I need 2 optical drives for CD/DVD/Blu Ray/M-disc. iMac Pro again has no internal expansion. I'd need 2 more things sitting on my desk. PC I can get a Tower that supports 2 or more optical drives that cost way less than externals.

snippage here

Trying to finance a powerful workstation in my position is difficult enough. I can't afford it on the Mac side without hindering myself in some way and I can't wait for a new Mac Pro.
And even if there were expansion slots Macs don't support BluRay in OSX without extra third party s/w. Yet one more maintenance headache.
Old 1 week ago
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It was hell, trust me :P

I'm a freak though. Many people just need to run one app at a time, or maybe two. Once you start mixing all this stuff it gets a bit hairy. It sucks though because I did much of this stuff on my old Mac Pro and it was stable.

Yeah, I agree. I've been reading good things about the MOTU 828es. The RME stuff seems to also be great on Windows, but the MOTU is only $1000 and has thunderbolt 2 and the IO I need, so I'll probably go with that since I need so much other gear. That should at least give me nice, clean audio to start.

The thing that really sucks is all my projects were using AU from the Mac. MOTU said none of them, including the VIs, will load on Windows. Don't ask me why they can't detect the VST version and copy the data over used in the AU of the same name. There must be a way to do it if they wanted to.

As a result of this, I'm going to use my MacBook Pro to prep my old tracks before opening files on Windows and some I'll just have to recreate the instrument tracks and plug-in settings and automation. It sucks but is what it is. I'm also going to start using Vienna Ensemble Pro so I can avoid this mess if I switch my audio back to the Mac side because it will use the VST on either platform and be separate from the host software. Doubt it works on plug-ins, but at least VIs will transfer.

Thanks for the well-wishes. I need it
Been using Vienna Pro for a while now when I had two computers running and it was really good. It'll work on a single machine as well. You can use third party plugins (not just vi's) inside it no problem. It would just mean having to use vst's whether you're in OSX or Windows. Keep in mind that VEPro uses the same dongle as Steinberg.
Old 1 week ago
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And even if there were expansion slots Macs don't support BluRay in OSX without extra third party s/w. Yet one more maintenance headache.
Yeah, it's silly. I think you can play them with VLC though, which I've used for a long time. I think some drives come with cheesy player software now.

The main thing I need them for is M-Disc backups and moving older media onto new discs before they degrade. Might be nice to offer clients their projects "burned into rock disks" spec'd to last 1000 years. Marketing
Old 1 week ago
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Been using Vienna Pro for a while now when I had two computers running and it was really good. It'll work on a single machine as well. You can use third party plugins (not just vi's) inside it no problem. It would just mean having to use vst's whether you're in OSX or Windows. Keep in mind that VEPro uses the same dongle as Steinberg.
Thanks for the info.

Maybe one day I too will have a slave.

I meant plug-ins loaded into audio tracks during a mix. I suppose if those are VST, that would transfer back over if I had VST enabled on the Mac side. I've never use VEP so no idea how it works. Also, my brain is a pile of mush at the moment.

2018 and we still have to deal with cross-platform headaches and file incompatibility between hosts, even the same hosts. * shrug *
Old 1 week ago
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Originally Posted by gradivus View Post
Interfaces
I'm trying to find a solid audio interface at $1k or less. The MOTU 828es looks pretty good, has USB & Thunderbolt, and has the I/O I need (I use 1 mic input and 6 1/4" inputs from my sound modules). No outboard atm. My old XV-5080 does have optical outs so that would be a nice bonus.
Either RME or the new MOTU generation are both good. The ES is good, it uses the same drivers as the AVB line, which shows excellent performance and latency values.

Quote:
System Sound
Related to the interface: On Mac I could set my system sound to use the interface while other apps also used it. Is this possible on Windows? Is it limited to system + 1 app (like DP) or can the system and multiple apps use the interface at once (such as system + DP + After Effects)?
Most audio interfaces handle this fine, as long as they support Windows audio. AFAIK only Dante hardware and the SSL cards don't support Windows audio on W10.

Quote:
As far as the system goes:
Pretty sure I'm going to go with dual Xeon v4 chips for the ECC I need for 3D and sims/rendering, lots of cores which should help with plug-ins, a min of 128GB of RAM, thunderbolt card, M.2 boot drive, SSD for active projects, sound libraries and scratch disk, and SATA for inactive projects. Not sure which motherboard they will use, possibly a Supermicro or Asus. Will know once we go over details. Most likely whatever gives me dual GPU support and more 6Gb/s drive ports and is reliable for TB and USB3 USB-C.
Dual v4 is great, alternatively you may want to look at Skylake W which is single socket but goes up to 18 fast cores @ 3.2GHz. A dual socket system with 24 cores @ 3.2GHz costs a lot more and has more processing overhead.

Quote:
Etc
Short of that, any other advice is welcome. I've used Windows for work in the past, even booted XP and Windows 7 for some time on my old Mac tower. Windows 10 is not the ideal OS to me, so I'll most likely keep it offline most of the time, but I can get the tools I need to work for the time being and be able to use all the apps I need at once.
W10 is fine, just the updating needs to be tamed and some settings done so it does not interfere with your workflow.
Old 1 week ago
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Dual v4 is great, alternatively you may want to look at Skylake W which is single socket but goes up to 18 fast cores @ 3.2GHz. A dual socket system with 24 cores @ 3.2GHz costs a lot more and has more processing overhead.
thanks for the info.

Not sure about audio, but single xeon (W or scalable) seem to perform worse than i7 and i9 in benchmarks I've checked for graphics apps. Even the motherboards they make for single lack PCI slots and other stuff.

I still haven't found any solid info regarding cores vs clock speed when it comes to sequencing and mixing. For graphics stuff, 8-10 cores with highest clock and highest turbo seems to be the best, or a dual Xeon at 4 or 8 cores with the same. Only Premier and 3D rendering seems to have benefit for high core count.

At this point, one major roadblock I have is how much data I have and the storage/backup I need (ideally in a NAS) plus the fast scratch disk and work drives for video.
Old 1 week ago
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thanks for the info.

Not sure about audio, but single xeon (W or scalable) seem to perform worse than i7 and i9 in benchmarks I've checked for graphics apps.
No they don't, unless you overclock the i9's or let them run outside of Intel specifications.
Only the 18 core chips have slightly different specs.
Quote:
Even the motherboards they make for single lack PCI slots and other stuff.
Inevitably, yes, dual socket systems can have more PCIe lanes.

Quote:
I still haven't found any solid info regarding cores vs clock speed when it comes to sequencing and mixing. For graphics stuff, 8-10 cores with highest clock and highest turbo seems to be the best, or a dual Xeon at 4 or 8 cores with the same. Only Premier and 3D rendering seems to have benefit for high core count.
Most DAWs support up to 32 threads/virtual cores, which typically is 16 real cores + HT. For low latency (band tracking through DAW and/or playing/recording live synths and samplers/composing, you want to have a high core speed to have enough headroom to compensate for small ASIO/CoreAudio buffers as long as you can. For mixing, you can use high buffers, that negates the strong requirement for high core speeds in favor of many cores. The issue is that Intel really lets you bleed when you want many cores AND high core speed, especially on a dual socket platform. The reason I mentioned Skylake W is because you get many fast cores for a better price, and you have less RAM management overhead and a newer generation. That does not mean it is the best option in every case. How many PCIe cards do you use then?

Quote:
At this point, one major roadblock I have is how much data I have and the storage/backup I need (ideally in a NAS) plus the fast scratch disk and work drives for video.
The fast scratch disk can be an M.2 or PCIe (if you have a free slot), storage depends on further requirements and choice of components (large case, RAID controller, etc.) or external NAS.
Old 1 week ago
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How many PCIe cards do you use then?

The fast scratch disk can be an M.2 or PCIe (if you have a free slot), storage depends on further requirements and choice of components (large case, RAID controller, etc.) or external NAS.
The single Xeon boards I saw only had 2... maybe 3 PCI slots, unless I missed some when searching. In lieu of cost, I need to start with just an x16 for GPU and a 4x for a Thunderbolt 3 card since no motherboards seem to give you TB3 ports + 10Gb ethernet. Asrock did have one for i9 though. I do need room to expand—second GPU, 40Gb network adapter, capture card, etc. Some things could be in a chassis when the time comes, but trying to avoid that for small cards.

I'm definitely going to need a NAS. After a recent tally, I have 15TB of existing data and a laptop that needs to access the stuff as well.

I'm planning on 2 x NVME: 1 for active projects for fast audio and video streams and a second for scratch. A 500GB NVME is around the same as an SSD so boot drive will depend on what the motherboard can handle. I saw a few that allowed for 3 x NVME and even with cancelling out SATA ports + 2 optical drives, it should work either way. VIs I will have to keep on an SSD and my inactive projects can be on a 7200rpm HDD. I also need to add a second boot drive at some point for running apps in older OS or Linux depending. No motherboard seems to handle more than that without a RAID controller or HBA which is another expense I just can't afford and I may run out of PCI before that.

So that would be just for the workstation. All the rest of my data (about 11TB on 24TB worth of drive space so I have room to add new footage and projects) would need to go on the NAS + backup drives. 36TB (5 x 12TB HDDs) in a RAID 6 seems to be only thing that fits and has good redundancy. So, ~13TB on workstation, ~24TB NAS storage, ~36TB NAS backup. Qnap seems to make the best solution I can find. After researching, I doubt I could build one that's as stable or robust.

Based on what I do and the data I have, costs are getting to an unreasonable level so I'm not sure what the hell I can do at this point. It's even more expensive if I chose to stick with Apple because all my internal drives would need to be in another enclosure and I'd lack NVME without a chassis, and even then the speeds are much slower than internal NVME. Or it's expensive TB3 drives with no daisy chaining.

Right now I'm spec'ing out some less beefy systems running on i9 because the storage is really swallowing up the budget, but there seems to be no reasonable alternative. The current prices of GPUs and SSDs is not helping and the way I slam my systems I need pro drives and that just makes the cost go up even more.

So yeah, things seem pretty F'd at the moment. At this point I'm just going through the motions trying to squeak out dollars here and there incase I have to build stuff myself since I have nothing else to do and waiting on HP to see if they have some solution I can finance.

The worst part during all of this is that I have no way to make music, which is how I typically cope with stress
Old 5 days ago
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Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
No they don't, unless you overclock the i9's or let them run outside of Intel specifications.
Given the way costs are going up I'm trying to work out an OC'd i9 system with 10-14 cores. Storage still killing me.

Modern BIOS seem to make overclocking easier these days. I wouldn't push things to where heat and power consumption go through the roof. I'm hoping an i9-7920x (or 7940x) OC'd to maybe 4.2-4.4Ghz may do the trick. Not sure though. I just need the low latency for song writing with a ton of VIs with some audio and plugins/auxes running at 128 buffer if I can, as I like to start mixing while writing.

Dark Rock Pro 4 cooler seems pretty good for OC. Noctua one just looks hideous to me. :P Trying to avoid water cooling and de-lidding, so there's that.

Asrock Taichi XE allows 3 NVME drives + 3 SATA + 2 blu ray burners. People have gotten the Alpine Ridge TB3 card working in this board so I can have 2 ports—1 for interface, 1 for NAS.

64GB of 2133Mhz RAM should be decent to start.

For video, MSI GTX 1080 ti Gaming X, for video playback in Premiere when editing and to keep noise lower (seems to be highly regarded for low noise). Can also do pretty good for GPU 3D renders if I need it to. No HDR support though.

Dark Base Pro 900 case looked solid with room to expand if I need. Still looking around for cases.

Figured 1000w power supply gives me some headroom for OC and adding some stuff down the line. Trying to find the quietest option atm.

So far this is under $6k if I built it (plus tax). Cutting corners sucks making it impossible for certain workloads, but hopefully can be an interim machine. Building it seems a bit daunting and using Windows is still not ideal. It's either that or some refurb Mac Pro that is 6 years deprecated, costs just as much or more, and doesn't run as fast.
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