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The "today we build our studio pc" thread
Old 12th August 2014
  #2491
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicogrubert View Post
Hi there

I only buy a new system, if I get twice more power.
At the moment I got a i7-980X 6-core PC that I bought 4 years ago. In order to increase my CPU performance by at least factor 2 I have to get 12-core CPU now, right? At the moment I only see Intel Xeon E5-2697V2 12-core which is very expensive. Are there any options in the next 6-12 months to get a CPU that gives me at least 2 times more power than my current i7-980X CPU?
Short answer: No.

Long answer: Number of cores is only a part of the DAW performance. For plugin processing and DSP power, clock frequency is a bigger factor. So, you need to double clock frequency of your current CPU. Check the DAWbench scores available in adkproaduio site, to see how much current CPU provides, as compared to yours. You'll get rough idea how much the performance boost would be.
Old 12th August 2014
  #2492
Gear Addict
 
nicogrubert's Avatar
 

I have been afraid of this answer. ;-)
Am I right that CPU clock frequency is more or less stable at 4 GHz for several years and no boost have been taken place in the past?

I checked Benchmarks for Pro Audio! and found no CPU that would really boost my current i7 980X @ 4GHz.
Old 12th August 2014
  #2493
Gear Nut
 

I figured this would be as good a place as any for my first post.

First off, let me thank everyone here for the wealth of knowledge I've found here in the past months. It's because of all that I'm here, making another step toward a longtime dream.

My budget setup:
Built a new machine a few weeks ago with plans for it being used mostly as a DAW. I bought a Behringer x1832usb board a couple years ago, and have had the capability of recording 8+ tracks live on my list ever since, but it's never been a priority. One thing kind of funny (ridiculous?), is the trigger in deciding I should go ahead and expand this hobby, was a Newegg combo deal on the Intel G3258 processor and GA-B85M-DS3H motherboard for $78. I hadn't built a pc in over 4 years (used to build many), and really was so sick of working with computers, I've gotten by doing everything I need with my phone and a laptop that was $200 6 years ago. I still can do everything I need with those, except recording the way I'd like to, so... I decided to go for it.

Here's some specs:
  • Gigabyte GA-B85M-DS3H motherboard with Intel G3258 (dual core at 3.2ghz) $78
  • 16gb (2x8gb) GSkill DDR3 1333 $140
  • Had a bunch of SATAIII 3gbps drives with low hours on them I could use with this machine. Currently running Win8.1Pro on a 300gb drive. Will call this one FREE.
  • Bought a 4TB External USB3 drive to dedicate to bulk storage on this machine. $112
  • Had 3 Antec server cases with old AMD stuff in them. Gutted one and cleaned it up. FREE
  • Needed a new power supply with the new 4+4 connector. Went with a 650w Seasonic. $60
  • Had a 24" 1080p monitor, kb and mouse. FREE
<$400

Notes:
  • Was thinking unless I go with water cooling, I wouldn't be able to get the machine silent, so went with the 3.5" drives I had. They make more noise when reading/writing than the fan than came with the cpu. I haven't tried running it without a fan with the factory heat sink, but it might not need one. I can't get it over 42c running a stress test, and that's with it overclocked at 4ghz. I don't plan on leaving it overclocked. I just wanted to see what it would do. I may get a solid state drive at some point. 6gbps should give a big speed boost run silent.
  • Again, it feels weird having a $78 cpu/motherboard combo at the core of my recording setup, but if it works it works. If not, it can be upgraded. It has been very stable so far.

My current inventory of gear I plan on using to record with, and what I paid (if I can remember):
  • Behringer x1832usb mixer (Wish now I would have got the 2442 for the direct outs and 2 more sub busses, but the 1832 was only like $215 2 years ago, and I was pretty impressed with it then.) I might upgrade this, but may not need to even use it much.
  • Focusrite 18i20 $322 NIB! (On it's way. They have more at this price if anyone's interested.)
  • Tascam DR-40
<$600

Mics: (I've spent about $400 on necessary cables, stands, pop filters, a stereo bracket. Already had some stuff.)
  • (2) Shure SM58 Clones (Both new in box at an auction for $20/pc)
  • (2) Shure SM57 ($40/$55 used)
  • (1) Shure PE54 (FREE had this one since I was 17. Needs to be rewired for low impedance)
  • (2) AKG Perception 220 ($115/pc new)
  • (2) EV ND767a ($60/$80 used on eBay)
  • (1) EV ND868 ($134 new on eBay)
<$700
SM-81 and RE-20 are on my short list, but I hope I have the minimum to get started recording a 4pc drum kit, guitars, and vocals.


What's left to add: (At least what I'm aware of.)
  • Monitors - Thinking a pair of used 8" powered JBL for <$800, but I have a bunch of decent headphones to get started.
  • Acoustic treatments for room. Not sure where all this is going to find a permanent home yet, so can acquire that as needed.
  • Looking for a crazy deal on a 50" or larger 1080p+ TV to use with this setup. Since the motherboard has DVI and HDMIi outs, the plan is to use it as a 2nd monitor. I'll locate the DAW pc in a separate room, and operate it from a desk in the main room using a wireless kb/mouse, and TouchDAW on a Samsung Note 10.1 2014, to keep any noise out of the recording space. Have a Behringer headphone amp that isn't the cleanest, but should work for monitoring as long as I know the actual recording is clean

Some current unknowns I'm aware of:
You guys must turn off the furnace/AC at home when recording right?
Besides acoustic drums, I have a Roland v-drums kit run on midi with Superior Drummer. I'm hoping I can use the midi on the 18i20, but I have an M-Audio midi interface too. My old laptop has been capable of tracking the v-drums and running Superior Drummer. I'm anxious to find out if I'll be able to record mics and midi sources all at the same time through the 18i20, or if I'll need a separate PC to run Superior Drummer on and just send the midi output to the DAW.


I'd appreciate some input on anything major I'm missing (besides talent ; ), and whether you guys feel I've spent my money in the right places so far.

PS
I'm a drummer, not a guitar player, but over the years have acquired some guitar stuff in hopes of having something available to someone if they ever wanted to record with me. Nobody able to flake out because they don't have their own gear with them! All of this is low budget, but what seemed like good bang for the buck, with a minimum level of capability.
  • Martin Shenandoah D2832 acoustic
  • Agile 2000 Les Paul clone (everything upgraded)
  • Agile 3200 Les Paul clone (The upgraded 2000 is better. This one needs some lovin'.)
  • Squier '51 with a GFS Liverpool bridge pickup
  • Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar SS bass
  • VOX ad30vt
  • Zoom G5 and B3 (Planning on maybe using these for initial tracking live with everyone on headphones, so no guitar sounds go on the drum mics. ?)
Old 13th August 2014
  #2494
Lives for gear
 
projektk's Avatar
 

Thunderbolt is coming to X99, it was never on X79. It's been available since z77 but that never answered the enthusiasts who wanted to build a 6 core system with TB. In this case I'll go 8 core.
Old 17th August 2014
  #2495
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePowerOfBeef View Post
First off, let me thank everyone here for the wealth of knowledge I've found here in the past months. It's because of all that I'm here, making another step toward a longtime dream.

My budget setup:
Built a new machine a few weeks ago with plans for it being used mostly as a DAW. I bought a Behringer x1832usb board a couple years ago, and have had the capability of recording 8+ tracks live on my list ever since, but it's never been a priority. One thing kind of funny (ridiculous?), is the trigger in deciding I should go ahead and expand this hobby, was a Newegg combo deal on the Intel G3258 processor and GA-B85M-DS3H motherboard for $78. I hadn't built a pc in over 4 years (used to build many), and really was so sick of working with computers, I've gotten by doing everything I need with my phone and a laptop that was $200 6 years ago. I still can do everything I need with those, except recording the way I'd like to, so... I decided to go for it.

Here's some specs:
  • Gigabyte GA-B85M-DS3H motherboard with Intel G3258 (dual core at 3.2ghz) $78
  • 16gb (2x8gb) GSkill DDR3 1333 $140
  • Had a bunch of SATAIII 3gbps drives with low hours on them I could use with this machine. Currently running Win8.1Pro on a 300gb drive. Will call this one FREE.
  • Bought a 4TB External USB3 drive to dedicate to bulk storage on this machine. $112
  • Had 3 Antec server cases with old AMD stuff in them. Gutted one and cleaned it up. FREE
  • Needed a new power supply with the new 4+4 connector. Went with a 650w Seasonic. $60
  • Had a 24" 1080p monitor, kb and mouse. FREE
<$400

Notes:
  • Was thinking unless I go with water cooling, I wouldn't be able to get the machine silent, so went with the 3.5" drives I had. They make more noise when reading/writing than the fan than came with the cpu. I haven't tried running it without a fan with the factory heat sink, but it might not need one. I can't get it over 42c running a stress test, and that's with it overclocked at 4ghz. I don't plan on leaving it overclocked. I just wanted to see what it would do. I may get a solid state drive at some point. 6gbps should give a big speed boost run silent.
  • Again, it feels weird having a $78 cpu/motherboard combo at the core of my recording setup, but if it works it works. If not, it can be upgraded. It has been very stable so far.

Water cooling is not silent! That is a huge misconception that for some reason is always pushed around here. Water cooling is NOT needed in a music computer.

If you can get out of that rig what you can, kudos
Old 18th August 2014
  #2496
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianbotkiller View Post
Water cooling is not silent! That is a huge misconception that for some reason is always pushed around here. Water cooling is NOT needed in a music computer.

If you can get out of that rig what you can, kudos
If the pump is in another room it should pretty much be silent right?

I'm still planning on just locating the DAW pc in another room altogether, using a TV, and wireless kb/mouse in the mic'd space to control it. I also got TouchDAW working with Reaper on my note 10.1 yesterday. Could be pretty useful.
Old 18th August 2014
  #2497
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePowerOfBeef View Post
If the pump is in another room it should pretty much be silent right?

I'm still planning on just locating the DAW pc in another room altogether, using a TV, and wireless kb/mouse in the mic'd space to control it. I also got TouchDAW working with Reaper on my note 10.1 yesterday. Could be pretty useful.
A good pump is usually not that noisy at all. It's the radiator and all the big fans it has.

That said, if you put the pump (sized to account for additional length of tubing) and the radiator in another room, it should be pretty silent.

Not sure that's worth it, though. My PC is water cooled, but I did it just to try out that kind of cooling. I've gotten great overclocks out of it, but they offer little to nothing to typical music work. You also have additional maintenance for a water or liquid cooled system (flushing, removing any scaling or buildup, and removing any growth that's there because you haven't been on top of the maintenance schedule. Think fish tank.)

I'd focus on *high quality* large diameter fans (larger fans can run at slower RPMs and still move the same air, thereby being more quiet) for cooling, and then put the PC in a place that is out of the mic pickup area, but *not* enclosed in some closet. All computers cooled with fans need fresh cool (cooler than the CPU) air in order to properly operate.

Pete
Old 18th August 2014
  #2498
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePowerOfBeef View Post
If the pump is in another room it should pretty much be silent right?

I'm still planning on just locating the DAW pc in another room altogether, using a TV, and wireless kb/mouse in the mic'd space to control it. I also got TouchDAW working with Reaper on my note 10.1 yesterday. Could be pretty useful.
Again, water cooling is really only needed in seriously OC'd systems, and even then you can get by without it.

Regardless of where the machine is - it still makes sense to keep it quiet, and the best way to do that is good air cooling.
Old 20th August 2014
  #2499
Gear Head
 

Water cooling is by no means silent, but switching from a Xigmatek Aegir to a Kraken X31 cut the noise of my machine in half, easily.
The new pumps from Asetek have better internals these days, and improved variable speed controls.
Smart thing to do is to properly set up your bios fan speed controls and dial things down.
The new NZXT coolers come with some awesome fan / pump control software too.
You can also get in line resistors for noisey case fans.
Throw a little acoustic lining in your case, and youre all set.
Attached Thumbnails
The &quot;today we build our studio pc&quot; thread-10448641_711863455516766_145768080979557369_o.jpg   The &quot;today we build our studio pc&quot; thread-10515149_711863452183433_8326120494540790247_o.jpg  
Old 20th August 2014
  #2500
Lives for gear
 

Making a computer silent isn't hard.
Get the right components, don't skimp, build right, done. Make music.
Old 20th August 2014
  #2501
Gear Addict
Is it possible to make something as good as a mid range mac pro but cheaper and still as quiet?
Old 20th August 2014
  #2502
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aquablu8 View Post
Is it possible to make something as good as a mid range mac pro but cheaper and still as quiet?
It's more than possible. I do it everyday.
Old 20th August 2014
  #2503
Gear Addict
Thanks. Another question, should I wait for the 6 core Haswell E Xeon/i7 or go with the Devil Canyon chip 4 core now?

Also, is Xeon worth it for a current amateur?

The Mac Pro is a nice package, but the $$$.
Old 21st August 2014
  #2504
Lives for gear
 
projektk's Avatar
 

As an enthusiast I say wait for has well e it might be released this month according to a rumor. We will see.
Old 21st August 2014
  #2505
Lives for gear
 

If you wait for haswell E, you're going to do well to wait six months at least. Early adopters are going to be burned. Read what pro builders are saying on the forums. It is not a sensible path yet for self builders.
Old 21st August 2014
  #2506
nms
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nms's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianbotkiller View Post
If you wait for haswell E, you're going to do well to wait six months at least. Early adopters are going to be burned. Read what pro builders are saying on the forums. It is not a sensible path yet.
It's a lot better idea to wait and hear from people who have actually laid hands on the products AFTER the official release than it is to plan around second hand warnings from people testing pre-release drivers and products. How can you say with any certainty that people are "going to get burned" based on that?
Old 22nd August 2014
  #2507
nms
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nms's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianbotkiller View Post
Because:

- I work in this industry
- I communicate directly with the companies building and launching this hardware
- I've done testing of my own
- Buying something new the second it comes out is always risky
- I'm a wizard
It's pretty typical for any pressing issues to get dealt with via driver & BIOS updates. There's also a big difference between still having hiccups 2-4 weeks before launch vs 2-4 weeks after. To have the kind of issues you guys have alluded to a month after launch would be a complete disaster. These companies aren't stupid or inexperienced and wouldn't risk that if it was as likely as you say. To have such certainty in the face of that just seems way too presumptuous.
Old 22nd August 2014
  #2508
Lives for gear
 
projektk's Avatar
 

You're right buying new is not wise, you should only buy new if you want building a PC to become a hobby.
Old 22nd August 2014
  #2509
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
It's pretty typical for any pressing issues to get dealt with via driver & BIOS updates. There's also a big difference between still having hiccups 2-4 weeks before launch vs 2-4 weeks after. To have the kind of issues you guys have alluded to a month after launch would be a complete disaster. These companies aren't stupid or inexperienced and wouldn't risk that if it was as likely as you say. To have such certainty in the face of that just seems way too presumptuous.
I'm aware that these companies are skilled.

I'm also aware that I've done this a long time and speak from experience. Don't buy an x99 mobo and DDR4 RAM on the first day its released and expect perfection, is all I'm saying, and, GASP, others here have said the same! There is, however, no reason that this shouldn't be solid after even a month.

Thanks!
Old 25th August 2014
  #2510
Lives for gear
 
projektk's Avatar
 

Let them buy it, we need guinea pigs for x99 :P
Old 26th August 2014
  #2511
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by projektk View Post
Let them buy it, we need guinea pigs for x99 :P
ha!
Old 27th August 2014
  #2512
Here for the gear
 

Will this work: bottom mount PSU in top mount case?

Hi everyone,

Has anyone here put a newer bottom-mount style PSU in a older case made for a top-mount PSU? I have an excellent older case that I would like to use in a new build, but it is designed for a top-mount PSU. All the newer PSU's are designed for bottom mounting. However, I really love this case, and I can't find any newer cases at any price that comes close to it's quality. Plus, I can't find any excellent 550W+ PSU's that are still made for top mounting. Quite a dilemma.
Old 27th August 2014
  #2513
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by leopard5 View Post
Hi everyone,

Has anyone here put a newer bottom-mount style PSU in a older case made for a top-mount PSU? I have an excellent older case that I would like to use in a new build, but it is designed for a top-mount PSU. All the newer PSU's are designed for bottom mounting. However, I really love this case, and I can't find any newer cases at any price that comes close to it's quality. Plus, I can't find any excellent 550W+ PSU's that are still made for top mounting. Quite a dilemma.
How do you mean, bottom vs. top mount? Pretty much all PSUs can be mounted as you see fit, as long as you don't restrict the cooling fan. I've mounted PSUs in all manner of ways, depending on the case.
Old 27th August 2014
  #2514
Check newegg.com and look for PSU made by Silverstone.

Many of their PSUs have screw holes that are designed so that unit can be mounted fan side facing down (top mounting), or facing up (bottom mounting), either way. It's kind of a thing people don't pay attention anymore, but important sometimes.

There are bunch of other PSUs that have only 80mm fan venting to the back, and they can be mounted either way. However, they tend to be crap, and also noisy.

Regarding Silversone PSU, I have to warn you though.. one of my Silverstone PSU failed after 2 years. Another Silverstone fanless is still doing well (but only for 4 months). It's just a personal experience, but I just wanted to inform.

Shopping PSU is such an area you could get lemon regardless of the amount of money you spend. If bottom mounting is possible, I would recommend Seasonic, Enermax, or Fractal Design, but in this case, Silverstone seems like the only choice.

Hope this helps.
Old 27th August 2014
  #2515
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianbotkiller View Post
How do you mean, bottom vs. top mount? Pretty much all PSUs can be mounted as you see fit, as long as you don't restrict the cooling fan. I've mounted PSUs in all manner of ways, depending on the case.
His case is probably the one like Antec Sonata old version, and the mounting screws allow only fan side facing up, in which case, most of the PSU with 120-140mm fans, vent will be obstructed.

I guess that's his problem.
Old 28th August 2014
  #2516
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki View Post
His case is probably the one like Antec Sonata old version, and the mounting screws allow only fan side facing up, in which case, most of the PSU with 120-140mm fans, vent will be obstructed.

I guess that's his problem.
Eep. New PSU time.
Old 29th August 2014
  #2517
Here for the gear
 

Love some of these studio set ups.
Old 29th August 2014
  #2518
Lives for gear
 
weezul's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicRic View Post
Thanks alot guys, appreciate all the feedbacks.

weezul - Any reccomendations for a stable interface? I might wanna upgrade from the current M Audio Interface.
sorry man totally missed this.
RME or bust imo!! I'm on a PCIe RayDat.
To be fair sometimes I run my Steinberg UR824 as standalone through USB when on location and it seems rock solid also.
Old 30th August 2014
  #2519
Lives for gear
 
projektk's Avatar
 

Quick question, is it easy to use a liquid CPU cooler in a rackmound case, also what standard CPU heatsinks could I use in a rack mount case? Like the tall ones in a istarusa 4u case.
Old 30th August 2014
  #2520
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by projektk View Post
Quick question, is it easy to use a liquid CPU cooler in a rackmound case, also what standard CPU heatsinks could I use in a rack mount case? Like the tall ones in a istarusa 4u case.
There's very little reason to run a liquid cooler in a music computer.

In a rack case, I would say there's even less reason, being that racks are made to be moved around - and liquid coolers are not made for moving systems.

Again -

As stated -

Liquid coolers -

Aren't needed -

In audio systems.

Get a good air cooler.
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