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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:03 pm 
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Ah, yes, Gearslutz is probably the best audio hardware site on the internet. It's been a while since I've visited. I see that they have a forum dedicated to computers. I'll get an account and post there shortly.

Quote:
Downside is loss of iGP and Quick Sync... no overclocking

IGP as in interior gateway protocol? I don't really understand what that is or if it would be useful to me. I rarely work with video, so I don't think I need Quick Sync. And I've never overclocked my system, nor do I see a reason to start.

You've been incredibly helpful. Thanks again!


Last edited by JasonApril on Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:13 pm 
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integrated graphics processor...when you lose the iGP, you lose Quick Sync. If you don't need either, then no loss.

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:50 pm 
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Thanks for clarifying. Google wasn't helpful.

All registered at Gearslutz now. Let's see what they think...


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:07 pm 
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Can you (others) really use, or even need dual-channel for RAM? Is the performance difference noticeable outside of real PRO computing? If budget is becoming tight, perhaps get single 8GB now, then later add second for 16GB. That still leaves two free slots for 32GB max.

Regular, no heat spreader, 8GB DIMMs from Crucial are same price at their website; whether x2 kit ($125.99) or single ($62.99). FWIW: In 19+ years, I've NEVER regretted more memory in a computer :D

That ASUS HD7750 looks tough! Fanless and NO power cables. Will match the board if it matters :p Same price as HIS iSilence(!?) for paying the rebate game. Integrated graphics not an option for DAW? Attempts by Intel seem derided, but hey, there's another company that apparently does it right...

Either AMD has become a dirty word, or for whatever reason, is just not suitable for a DAW? (CA_Steve?) WAY more bang-for-the-buck (and I've priced it) even with additional discrete graphics card.

Hope I've helped somehow :)
Russell


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:35 pm 
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HappyJack96 wrote:
Either AMD has become a dirty word, or for whatever reason, is just not suitable for a DAW? (CA_Steve?) WAY more bang-for-the-buck (and I've priced it) even with additional discrete graphics card.

The FX-8350 (125W TDP) is in the same ballpark performance as the Xeon E3-1230 V2 (69W TDP)..better at some benchmarks, worse in others. While the CPU costs $35 less, it blows chunks for power consumption at idle and load in comparison to the Xeon. As the OP is looking to use his PC for live audio recording, I'd lean toward minimizing system power -> less heat -> less noise.

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:20 am 
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HappyJack96 wrote:
Either AMD has become a dirty word, or for whatever reason, is just not suitable for a DAW? (CA_Steve?) WAY more bang-for-the-buck (and I've priced it) even with additional discrete graphics card.


In addition to what CA_Steve said, some professional software products are more intel optimized than for AMD. Clearly the software maker is to blame for neglecting AMD, but if you happen to use such a software, going AMD will be punished twice.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:05 am 
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Not a single response from Gearslutz yet (despite over 400 views). Trying HomeRecording.com... 3 responses in 10 minutes.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:01 pm 
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Pappnaas wrote:
some professional software products are more intel optimized than for AMD.


I've also read about how the Intel CPU dispatcher checks vendor ID string and when processor is not "GenuineIntel" it runs the slowest possible instruction set.

Reprehensible tricks like that are one reason I'll NOT support them in ANY way. Too bad when you (pros) have too, but if you're making real money, then laugh on to the bank.

Perhaps, depending on software, quad-core AMD A-series APUs (A8, A10) with discrete graphics card is enough for enthusiast, hobby audio; plus limited recording?

Appreciate your indulgence while I keep an option on the table :) I'm planning to transfer old band cassette tapes to digital someday and hope a modest (AMD) system, even with integrated graphics only, would do the task.

Russell


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:19 pm 
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Someone at homerecording.com pointed out that the MSI Z77A-G41 has a lot of complaints about the USB ports failing, which I verified. Doing some more mobo research...

CA_Steve recommended H77 and low-end Z77 boards. Is there good reason to avoid Z75 boards? I see that they lack SRT. Does that make a noticable difference? With an $85 price tag, this ASRock Z75 Pro3 looks appealing. Most of the H77 boards are under $100, though there are few to choose from. It seems that the primary difference between H77 and Z77 is that Z77's offer better overclocking, which I won't be using.

One more question that I forgot to ask earlier: How do I know if a board supports 1.35V RAM? Is that a BIOS setting or standard or what? I've never used low voltage RAM.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:08 pm 
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JasonApril wrote:
Is there good reason to avoid Z75 boards?

No specific reason to avoid, it's just that they are rare. You can see there's only 2 listed at Neweggg compared to ~100 z77 boards.

JasonApril wrote:
It seems that the primary difference between H77 and Z77 is that Z77's offer better overclocking, which I won't be using.

The only diff between H77 and Z77 chipset is the latter's ability to overclock. As far as mobos go, you just need to drill down and see if it has the features you like/low return rates/highly reviewed. Unless you plan to have a separate SSD for cache, you don't need SRT.

JasonApril wrote:
One more question that I forgot to ask earlier: How do I know if a board supports 1.35V RAM? Is that a BIOS setting or standard or what? I've never used low voltage RAM.

Go to the mfgrs website and look at their memory qualified vendor list...or download the manual and look at the BIOS section and see if it supports 1.35V. Haven't come across anyone saying their board didn't support 1.35V RAM.

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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: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:56 pm 
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I did some more reading on the MSI Z77A-G41. Apparently the USB issue has been fixed with a BIOS update. From MSI: "This issue was caused by a glitch when OC genie is activated but it had been resolved in E7758IMS.291 (Ver 2.9b1)."

Regardless, I'll take a look at the full spectrum of H77, Z75, and Z77 boards to see if I can save a few bucks now that I know that any of these three northbridges will be adequate. I'll keep an eye out for fan control, since that was brought to my attention.

CA_Steve, you have been one of the most helpful people I've ever encountered on a forum.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:04 pm 
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I have an Intel dz75ml-45k and it seems fine. It was cheap, $80.

The big issue with choosing a motherboard that does not support over clocking is that those boards often are lacking a lot of settings that a person might use to under-volt or power optimize an always on or ~silent PC.

Last weekend I installed an old MSI USB2.0 port bracket (using motherboard headers) and now I have 10 USB2.0 ports and 3 USB3.0 ports on that z75 and everything seems to work except that I don't have any USB3.0 devices to test those ports in 3.0 mode.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:04 pm 
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QUIET! wrote:
I have an Intel dz75ml-45k and it seems fine. It was cheap, $80.

I'll definitely take a look, especially with a price like that. Edit: It's out of stock on Newegg, $101 on Amazon, and $85 (plus $12 shipping) on eBay. The eBay seller is only a half hour from me. I could pick it up if s/he was okay with it. Maybe it's an omen. ;)

QUIET! wrote:
The big issue with choosing a motherboard that does not support over clocking is that those boards often are lacking a lot of settings that a person might use to under-volt or power optimize an always on or ~silent PC.

This seems important. With the components I have listed so far, do you think getting an H77 board could be problematic? I'm not familiar with under-volting or power optimization, I'm afraid.

QUIET! wrote:
Last weekend I installed an old MSI USB2.0 port bracket (using motherboard headers) and now I have 10 USB2.0 ports and 3 USB3.0 ports on that z75 and everything seems to work except that I don't have any USB3.0 devices to test those ports in 3.0 mode.

That's a lot of ports! I seem to be doing fine with six. I'm not too worried about USB 3.0 since all of my peripherals are 2.0.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:41 pm 
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I wouldn't take an Intel board if you gave it to me. Okay, I would; then sell it to some suc... uh, someone on eBay. Besides usually being full of crappy caps that can pop and leak with time, they're certainly not impressive for the cost. Debatably worth half the price, but considering so_many_QUALITY options out there... just-say-NO.

All in my opinion, of course, YMMV & all that. It's your money. If you wanna throw it away...I'm over here! :D

Just trying to help--really :)
Russell


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:56 pm 
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I think this debate would be more productive with specific hardware comparisons. If there's an AMD version of my proposed build that costs less and is at least as efficient and quiet, I'm interested.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:09 pm 
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JasonApril wrote:
I think this debate would be more productive with specific hardware comparisons. If there's an AMD version of my proposed build that costs less and is at least as efficient and quiet, I'm interested.
This are two aspects that Intel has over AMD.

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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: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:17 am 
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HappyJack96 wrote:
Pappnaas wrote:
some professional software products are more intel optimized than for AMD.


I've also read about how the Intel CPU dispatcher checks vendor ID string and when processor is not "GenuineIntel" it runs the slowest possible instruction set.

Russell


That probably explains why I used to get much lower latency & less glitches on a core 2 duo laptop than on an AMD Phenom X4 desktop then!!!

As for motherboards, I am using an Asus P8H77-M PRO, it allows undervolting of CPU, RAM etc, 4 fan headers (3 are PWM, however the two chassis fan headers are tied to the same PWM line), and works with 1.35V RAM (or rather, my 1.65V ram works perfectly at 1.35V!) (And yes, you just adjust the voltage setting in the BIOS)


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:27 am 
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As to B75 boards: if you can live with the limited number of SATA3 ports, they are a valid option performance wise.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:31 pm 
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James: Unfortunately that motherboard is a bit too pricey for me. I'm trying to stay at $100 or lower since I'm already over-budget.

Pappnaas: B75's only support one SATA III device, right? I already have one. So if I got another, I'd need a new motherboard. Someone on another forum recommended that I "future-proof" my machine as much as possible. I'm thinking I should probably stick with better SATA III support.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:47 pm 
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JasonApril wrote:
Pappnaas: B75's only support one SATA III device, right? I already have one. So if I got another, I'd need a new motherboard. Someone on another forum recommended that I "future-proof" my machine as much as possible. I'm thinking I should probably stick with better SATA III support.
SSDs are the only sata devices that really take advantage of Sata III ports, mechanical hdds and optical drives are fine on sata II ports. If you are on a budget i see the B75 are good option, if you really want more sata ports on cheap mobo, look into haswell B85 motherboards, like ASUS B85-PLUS LGA 1150 Intel B85 comes with 4x sata III ports and 2x sata II ports for $100, even comes with fanXpert2 that will allow you to control both 3pin and 4pin pwm fans.

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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: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:22 am 
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I wouldn't go with Haswell, yet. If you delay to Sept, sure.

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:05 am 
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(Oops: edit) Z75 should support at least 2 SATA3 and 4 SATA2 but some boards like mini-itx may lack the connectors.

In the past I have avoided Intel motherboards because they often lacked features I was looking for and were expensive.

The Z75 board made me give them a try because it has the features I need and low cost. So far it seems good.

Some people might say its only a Foxcon board with the Intel brand but I looked at Foxcon boards and they were some strange stuff with feature lists that left me scratching my head and a much higher percentage of negative reviews than Intel. Like most things Chinese, Foxcon can make iPhones and they can make total garbage, it all depends on how much quality and QC you want to pay for. I think Intel boards are at least decent.

One more thing, Intel has seen what happened when AMD had a much better processor but a crummy chip set with bad drivers. They couldn't take much market share from Intel because Intel stuff just worked. I'm sure there is a great push at Intel to make sure that their stuff just works.


Last edited by QUIET! on Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:51 am 
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B75 and Q75 only bring 1 SATA3.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGA_1155


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:14 am 
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Pappnaas wrote:
B75 and Q75 only bring 1 SATA3.

True for the chipsets themselves, but it's up to the mobo mfgr on whether or not they wish to add another SATA controller (even for the low end).

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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: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:59 pm 
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That's not Z75...

Oops, I just saw my error, I wrote B75 when I meant Z75.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:52 pm 
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I'd questioned continuing in this and becoming another one of "too many cooks" but it's starting to go off the deep end. I'll guess Jason isn't interested in SPLITTING HAIRS. Rather, just wants something affordable to suit his needs!

How long will you keep the system? If not more than 3-years, then don't worry about what could be needed...get it later. A good QUALITY board, like ASUS P8Z77-M, has (2) SATA 6Gb/s and (2) USB 3.0 ports. Somewhat over your target $100, but Core i5-3570K option SAVES you nearly $20, unless that SERVER Xeon is really necessary...?

Be aware the ASUS B85-PLUS board uses LGA1150 (4th Generation Core/Pentium/Celeron) and is full-size ATX. Are 3-extra PCI slots even needed? It does have (4) SATA III 6Gb/s ports; although by the time you'd buy a third SSD, you could add a PCIe card, or may even decide to get another board. Real SPEED is/will be from a PCIe SSD anyway.

Points to ponder:
1) Only consider overbuying features/specs if you'll keep system for 5, 7, even 10 years. Apparently many (at least 'enthusiasts' on forums) don't do that anymore.

2) Unless you're a REAL professional using specialized (perhaps rigged to underperform with anything but Intel) software and/or NEED absolute maximum performance (aka: a money box) AMD is a GREAT option to get the MOST value for LEAST cost and performance SHOULD be plenty...IF your (audio) software works okay. That I don't know & those who do (if any) haven't spoken up here.

3) Two GREAT choices have been given for ASUS P8Z77-M and ASUS HD7750-DCSL-1GD5 (by CA_Steve) and he seems well-versed in DAWs. If AMD is out for you, go with those; or hem and haw until you're more confused than you started :D

4) Excepting URGENT need, you can always wait for sales, prices going down, or budget to increase. Don't waste time on cheap boards, or buy JUNK that saves only a few bucks! Just NOT worth the pain, IMO of course...it's your money.

Unlike MANY forums (most) people at SPCR really do want to help, even if it gets unfocused sometimes :p I've now written over 4 articles for this guy (3 PMs and no, he didn't ask) so enough from me :) Good luck!

Russell


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:31 pm 
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HappyJack96 wrote:
How long will you keep the system?

As long as possible. I've bought a new mobo about every 4 years. I've also made some bad hardware decisions. Trying not to do that this time around...

HappyJack96 wrote:
...Somewhat over your target $100...

That's fine if the price of another component drops, which is the case here. I'll take a look at your suggestions. Thank you!

HappyJack96 wrote:
unless that SERVER Xeon is really necessary...?

Not necessary, just i7 performance at a lower cost since Xeons lack some i7 features (which I won't be using anyway, to my knowledge). It seems like a good deal to me.

HappyJack96 wrote:
Be aware the ASUS B85-PLUS board uses LGA1150 (4th Generation Core/Pentium/Celeron) and is full-size ATX. Are 3-extra PCI slots even needed?

Thanks for pointing that out. I think I'd rather stick with LGA 1155. No, I don't need the extra PCI slots. Should I avoid full-size ATX boards? Is that a red flag that there are probably features I don't need?

Regarding your points:

1) Are there particular features you think I should look for to ensure a lasting system?

2 & 3) Noted. Thanks.

4) I'm pretty sure this board won't last much longer. Did you see my RAM temps? 96C at 0-2% load! Besides, I'm a musician. It's what I do. Recording is a very important part of that, and I simply can't record with this monster growling in the background all the time. I've already put this off for too long and I'm feeling antsy.

HappyJack9 wrote:
...3 PMs...

Oops, sorry I didn't realize you PM'd me two more times. I overlooked the "new messages" notification. I'm on four forums about this purchase. It's a bit difficult keeping everything straight. [Edit: Ha! The first thing you wrote in your PM addresses this very issue!]


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:30 pm 
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"SERVER Xeon" is just more poor marketing from Intel.

The e3-12**v2 series are just slightly different versions of the Ivy Bridge socket 1155 core i3, i5 and i7 chips that don't have all the server features disabled.

By the same notion, the socket 2011 i7s are just renamed (real) server Xeons and they might have some server features disabled (I haven't looked because they are out of my budget).

If your motherboard supports the Xeon processors it is foolish not to consider them when shopping for a CPU. You might not always choose a Xeon but some times they are a better deal and most people wouldn't take $20 for an ~i7 to i5 downgrade.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:07 pm 
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ASUS motherboards are highly recommended, but the cheapest one I could find that meets my specs is $20 more than the MSI board, and it has a lot of bad reviews because it has a short qualified memory list and customers were having RAM compatibility problems (also, it doesn't support enough fans). I'm not sure if the RAM I'm looking at is compatible. It's not on the list. Then again, I'm not sure it's compatible with the MSI board. It's not on their list either.

How can I be sure a motherboard will take the Mushkin Enhanced 1.35V RAM? There must be a better way than reading through the verified memory list for each board. Besides, as the MSI list reads: "Owing to massive memory modules selling on the market, we can only verify some of them." I did check MSI's manual and found BIOS setting for adjusting DRAM voltage. The DZ75ML-45K also supports memory voltage adjustments. Is that sufficient?

Maybe I should just go ahead and pay extra for the ASUS P8Z77-M since it's a recommended motherboard among members here. I assume that's for good reason, and Newegg's reviews look good. It definitely supports low voltage RAM according to its QVL. Then again, I just found this ASRock Z77 Pro3 for only $80. It's UEFI looks highly customizable, RAM voltage included. Opinions?

Motherboards are a tough choice!


Last edited by JasonApril on Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading my PC
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:24 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:52 pm
Posts: 30
Location: Oregon, USA
Processor UPDATE:

Core i5 3450 3.1GHz (3.5GHz Turbo) 77W
for low as $199.99 -- ANOTHER $20 saved!
or
Core i5 3450S (65W) costs $204.99

Found that option at End PC Noise

BTW:
They also like ASUS P8Z77-M (Pro)
Used in their $1,699(!!!) 2U MusicMaker™
so you should be quite happy with it :D

Russell


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