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 Post subject: PC build for Music Production
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:32 am
Posts: 3
Hello.

I'm about to build a PC for use with Reason 7 (lots of audio recording, also software synths and sampled drums) and already did quite a bit of research by reading guides, reviews and forum posts. So here's my current selection:

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core
Heatsink: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM
Motherboard: Asus Z87-A ATX LGA1150
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LP 1x8 GB DDR3-1600
SSD: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM
GPU: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB (This is my current graphics card, I'll use either this or something better IF I decide to get back into gaming)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 ATX Mid Tower
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer
PSU: Be Quiet Dark Power Pro 10 650W 80+ Gold
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit)


Now here are the things that I couldn't figure out myself, so I hoped that you could help me out here:

- I chose the Z87-A because I decided that I don't actually need the additional features on the Z87-PRO (after comparing them here). However, since I'm planning to overclock my CPU to 4.3GHz I started to wonder if the Z87-A is suitable for this, or if I absolutely need the Z87-PRO.

- I'll get more RAM later if 8GB isn't enough, but I don't think I'll ever use more than 16GB. I'm just not sure what would be more efficient: 2x8GB with dual channel enabled, or 4x4GB?

- I'll use the HDD for storing project files, games and other media. How noticable are the speed and noise differences between WD blues and greens?

- Here's my pcpartpicker link with all future upgrades: http://de.pcpartpicker.com/p/2HSeL
Considering that I'll be overclocking, could I get by with the 550W version of the same PSU? This would be a bit quieter, but I'm not sure if 550W is enough for a possible mid-range gaming GPU and additional HDDs. But then again, the difference in price ist only around €10.

- Are the only advantages of Win 7 Professional over Home Premium really just disk encryption and domain join?


Thanks in advance.


Last edited by v150 on Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: PC build for Music Production
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1878
Location: Guatemala
All seems solid choices, but here are some comments,

v150 wrote:
Heatsink: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM
Motherboard: Asus Z87-A ATX LGA1150
When you boot for the first time, enter the bios, and go into Fan Control --> CPU_FAN ---> Q-FAN, change it from AUTO to ADVANCED, this is because you are choosing a CPU cooler that comes with 3pin fans, changing it from auto to advances changes the from PWM to voltage controlled the header, so thsi would give you control over the CPU fans from the bios/fanXpert2.

v150 wrote:
SSD: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM
I would try to go as big as you can on the SSD to cover OS/Programas and then just use the mechanical for storage. Weather the 7200rpm is needed idk, i dont do much editing of audio, but WD red will be much quieter if you can live with the higher access time.

v150 wrote:
GPU: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB (This is my current graphics card, I'll use either this or something better IF I decide to get back into gaming)
Unless you are gaming or your software can use the cuda cores, i would avoid using it, the intel HD 4600 is sufficient for anything that its not gaming, it will end up quieter setup and with less heat inside, cleaner looking also with less cables.

v150 wrote:
- Are the only advantages of Win 7 Professional over Home Premium really just disk encryption and domain join?
Windows 7 HP only allows 16gb of memory, if by any chance you go over that you will need profesional, in some editing editing software the more memory the better, in others dont matter much.

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: PC build for Music Production
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4602
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
How much RAM do you use with your current build? Is it currently a limiter (are you loading tons of VSTs, etc...)?
2x8 or 4x4 doesn't matter. You'll take a hit in performance going to single channel - whether or not it's noticable is very app specific.

Do you really need to OC the CPU for a DAW?

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: PC build for Music Production
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:32 am
Posts: 3
Abula wrote:
I would try to go as big as you can on the SSD to cover OS/Program

What kind of programs are we even talking about? How much do you put on your SSD?
And where would my games go? I don't want to put them on the boot-drive because constantly installing and deleting them would wear the SSD down.

CA_Steve wrote:
Do you really need to OC the CPU for a DAW?

http://www.scanproaudio.info/?p=2290
Not necessarily, but possibly. But I want this build to last me a few years, so being able to push the CPU a bit further to get the speed up to date if needed would be convenient.

Also, I've been using a truly ancient pre-built with less than 4GB RAM that couldn't OC for the last 5 years and Reason 5 actually managed to push it to it's limits a few times. But since it's unlikely that I'll ever use more than 16GB, I guess I'll get 2x4GB first.


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 Post subject: Re: PC build for Music Production
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:38 am 
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OCing - My guess is if you don't use that much RAM, then you don't have enough tracks/VSTs to need to OC. I could be horribly wrong :) The K part is not that much pricier, so it's worth a shot. You could always do some test runs and see if it makes a difference. If it doesn't, go back to stock and save some power/thermals/noise.

This PC will be in a live mic environment? If so, here are the weak spots, in descending order:
- graphics card.
- WD Blue. Go with the 250GB Evo for OS/apps/scratch disk for VSTs and recording. Go with a WD Green or Red for data storage. You'll be better off not having an HDD spinning while recording.
- R4 case fans. Try them and see if you like them. I found them to be very quiet, but audible. I'm not sure the Asus Fan Expert will work with them - Abula? If it doesn't, then you have the 5V case controller setting (quiet, but audible).
- PSU: the DPP10 is a great PSU. You won't need more than 550W if gaming (see my sig). Yeah, it might ramp up a bit, but you won't hear it over the gfx card. Downside: fan is spinning at low load. If you want silence, go with a hybrid design (Seasonic X, Kingwin LZP/Superflower Golden King, Corsair RM, etc), where the PSU is passive until higher loads.

Also, be aware that Haswell motherboards have higher DPC latency than Ivy Bridge as a default. Troll the DAW forums for workarounds.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: PC build for Music Production
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:18 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1878
Location: Guatemala
v150 wrote:
What kind of programs are we even talking about? How much do you put on your SSD?
And where would my games go? I don't want to put them on the boot-drive because constantly installing and deleting them would wear the SSD down.
This is your choice, the less you access your mechanical hdd the better noise wise, i personally like to install all my games on my SSDs, given that there is no gain on actual performance of the game, like frames per second, there are gains like in MMOs, where loading textures and different parts of the world is a usual task, there are other gains like faster reconnects, faster loading of screens etc.

On the wear, unless you are heavily writting, i dont think you will have an issue, there are lots of studies that people even writing 20gb a day, and the simulate 5 years of this routine and the ssds berely fail, installing and uninstalling games shouldnt even come close to this numbers, even if there are weekly patches, updates and so on.

Now on the editing, depending on what you are doing can wear down the ssd faster, i had a friend that wrote more than 200gb a day... and he did wear down ssds in months, but sizes were smaller, now you can have big ssds for more reasonable prices.

I still think the 250gb is the sweet spot atm, 120gb goes very fast, also the performance and controllers are maximized on most cases for 250/256gb, where 120/128gb are crippled on writing, not a big deal, but to me its worth the extra $, this again up to you.

Now on the mechanical, if you go into all your programas and games into the ssd, i would go with red/green caviar for pure storage, this is how im setup atm and i never hear my mechanical hdds, again up to you into what you will be doing with your mechancial hdd. Personally i would avoid blacks n blues, unless you really need to, reds/greens are very good drives for storage.

CA_Steve wrote:
- R4 case fans. Try them and see if you like them. I found them to be very quiet, but audible. I'm not sure the Asus Fan Expert will work with them - Abula? If it doesn't, then you have the 5V case controller setting (quiet, but audible).
Asus FanXpert2, should drop the Fractal R2 140s to around 400rpms on idle on CHA_FAN headers. I agree with steve, the fans are decent and not bad at all, but not the best fans around, test them see if they are good enough for you, and decide later if you want to upgrade them or not, if you decide to upgrade for a less noisy fan, consider Antec True Quiet 140, i just got a mine yesterday, and did some testing, really impressed with the sound caracteristics on it, specially with Asus Mobo, it idles at 200rpms, you do need to be a little careful as the fan barely pushes any air this low though, but its totally inaudible even at 3am where my home is very quiet.

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: PC build for Music Production
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:32 am
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Alright thanks for the feedback so far, I think I made up my mind:
http://de.pcpartpicker.com/p/2KlUn
I changed to a mATX build btw.

I'll be ordering the parts sometime this week, so let me know if there's something alarmingly with them.


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 Post subject: Re: PC build for Music Production
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1878
Location: Guatemala
v150 wrote:
Alright thanks for the feedback so far, I think I made up my mind:
http://de.pcpartpicker.com/p/2KlUn
I changed to a mATX build btw.

I'll be ordering the parts sometime this week, so let me know if there's something alarmingly with them.
All seems solid components. One thing that i would check is the Asus QVL List for the memory to ensure it will be compatible, asus has a decent list of memory they test on each board, not really obligated to go with it, but you do know that it shouldn't give you any issues.

Just be warned that the 4770K runs very hot, so get a good cpu cooler, the Scythe mugen 4 is a good chioce, but still will run hot on load, so just keep that in mind, unless you really need the hyperthreading, its best to go with 4670K.

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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