New pc build for music production

djjonig

Standard Member
Building my first PC exclusively for Music Production but have no previous experience. List below is the components im proposing to use, can anyone with more knowledge than me (wouldnt be hard!!) advise if there would be any problems with this or whether this could be improved upon;

Case
Thermaltake Element S (£64.35)

Motherboard
Asus P7P55 LX P55 Socket 1156 8 Channel Audio Out ATX Motherboard (£63.30)

CPU
Intel Core i5 750 2.66GHz Socket LGA1156 8MB L3 Cache Retail Boxed Processor (£149.38)

RAM
8GB Kit (4GBx2), 204-pin SODIMM, DDR3 PC3-10600 memory module, CL=9 , Unbuffered, NON-ECC, DDR3-1333, 1.5V, 512Meg x 64 (£104.86)

Power Supply
Can anyone recommend something compatible?

Hard drive
Again, can someone give me advice as im not too clued up on the pros/cons of whether to go for SSDs. My inention is probably to go for Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS 2TB (roughly £70) as I will need plenty of capacity. I see that some people have a separate HD for system data. Would this be beneficial for this proposed build?

Graphics card
Not being used for games etc.. would i be correct in assuming that i dont need a dedicated graphics card then?

Sound Card
ASUS Xonar Essence ST Sound card - 192 kHz - 24-bit (£124.00)

Monitor
Samsung SyncMaster 2333T - DVI-D LCD display - TFT - 23" Monitor (£130.00)

Operating System
Windows 7 (64bit version)

Mouse & Keyboard
I'm sure i'll be able to pick up something appropriate myself by checking online (wireless).

As im new to this can someone tell me any periphirals im missing ie fans etc

Thanks guys,

John
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Any ATX power supply will do, just pick up something decent at 350-400W for £30-40.

I don't know anything about the music card but I can't imagine you needing anything special from the graphics card, you will need a cheap dedicated one though as the i5-750 doesn't have onboard graphics. A 5450 or G 210 will do fine.
 

djjonig

Standard Member
Cheers Waves, much obliged.

I also was advised on another thread that i need DIMM RAM as opposed to SODIMM.

Can anyone else advise if there are any other glaring compatibility issues and options for Hard Drive.

Thanks.
 
D

Deleted member 293381

Guest
I would recommend separate hard drives: one for the OS and apps, the other for your data only. Makes it easier for backups and you know exactly where your stuff is.

Also, advise not going for SSD at the moment. It is still fairly new and expensive. Wait about a year or 18 months - SSD prices should have dropped by then and will be more main-stream,
 
D

Deleted member 293381

Guest
Er... by the way.

You might already know this, but Intel will be releasing a new range of processors in January. You might like to wait for a couple of months before building a new PC and make use of the new speedier and cooler tech.
 

djjonig

Standard Member
Cheers Alan,

What size would be best for the OS/App HD?Was gonna go for 2TB on total, any idea on how best to split this? Im a noob when it comes to computers so your help would be much obliged!! Also, whats the benefits of having a separate HD for OS? I see many people mentioning it however ive not seen anyone state what the benefits are. I presume that i should be going for 7200rpm HD?

As above, pc basically for Music Production, this involves installing numerous VSTs (Virtual Instruments) which can be ranging from small to very large (1 i looked at stated 58GB of HD required!). Am i correct in thinking that these would therefore be saved on the HD that you mentioned for OS & Apps?

As for the new processors, i had noticed this but being a noob i just wasnt sure what it all meant. I noticed that the socket was changing (1156 to 1155??). I presume that id need a different MOBO from that mentioned above then?

Is there likely to be a noticeable cost increase for these (I was previously going for an Intel Core i5 750 2.66GHz Socket LGA1156 8MB L3 Cache Retail Boxed Processor @ £149.38).

Cheers
 
D

Deleted member 293381

Guest
I suggest the HD size for your data be 2TB and the OS/App HD size be something like 1TB. But I have no idea of the total requirement of your apps programs. 7200rpm HDs are recommended, the Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB is a well recommended - cost about £40.

The VSTs can be installed on either disk as they are apps derived but also user defined, so does not matter. This is why I suggest getting two HDs of large capacity. In fact, it might be an idea to purchase three 1TB HDs, two for data and one for OS/apps.

The new processors will require a new mobo because the pin layout is different to skt 1156. The cost is unknown at present. But likely to be about the same as the existing range (maybe slightly more).
 

djjonig

Standard Member
Thanks Alan.

Thats what i think ill go for, 3x1TB (OS)

As for MOBO, I was going for Asus P7P55 LX P55 Socket 1156 8 Channel Audio Out ATX Motherboard (£63.30), is it just a case of until new chips are released to see a MOBO that is compatible?

As my setup will be for music, i will be getting an external soundcard/box (which will be Firewire), is that just a case of getting a MOBO that has Firewire capabilities to ensure that this will work?

Cheers
 

Jules

Distinguished Member
If you intend to record from a microphone, make sure you get your PC as quiet as possible.
I use a silent (fanless) power supply, a very quiet sound insulated case with ultra low noise noctua fans.

Sound card. You need one with low latency drivers. I've used an M-Audio Delta 24-96 for years now, and it is has been faultless even when playing very resource hungry VST pianos and sampled orchestras. I'd consider getting a better one but I really don't need to, as most of my cubase projects are 24bit 44,100Khz anyway.

I use 6GB of low latency RAM.

My main drive for the operating system and programs is an 160GB Intel SSD.
I have my Orchestral library on a WD Velociraptor 10,000RPM drive.
My third drive is a Samsung Spinpoint where all my projects, audio files, pictures and so on are stored.

I believe its better to have separate drives so that simultaneous read/write from any one disc is avoided.

My Processor is only an E6600 Core 2, but overclocked to 3Ghz on my Asus P5B Deluxe motherboard.

Most of my components are a few years old now, but the system works so well under heavy load I have no intention of changing anything.
 

djjonig

Standard Member
Cheers for the comments Jules.

If you intend to record from a microphone, make sure you get your PC as quiet as possible.
I use a silent (fanless) power supply, a very quiet sound insulated case with ultra low noise noctua fans.


Im not much of a singer so wont be recording from a microphone, mainly electronic music with samples etc that i produce. Your obviously happy with your case and i would like one which has good sound insulation, can you tell me which one you have. How much was it?

Sound card. You need one with low latency drivers. I've used an M-Audio Delta 24-96 for years now, and it is has been faultless even when playing very resource hungry VST pianos and sampled orchestras. I'd consider getting a better one but I really don't need to, as most of my cubase projects are 24bit 44,100Khz anyway.

Im SOOOOOO confused about soundcards!!! :suicide: Im still not sure of the whole deal with these. Can you clarify this for me. If i buy a breakout box/ext soundcard (or whatever the correct term is!!!) do i still need an internal soundcard? ie is it one or the other? By all accounts i should get an external one but they are obviously quite expensive for a good one, if no internal one needed however i can obviously offset the cost for this - i was originally looking at the ASUS Xonar Essence ST Sound card - 192 kHz - 24-bit (£124.00).

Basically my system will be Ableton/Reason with a MIDI keyboard. What would be best for this setup?

I use 6GB of low latency RAM.

Im going for 8GB of RAM, how do i know if its low latency RAM? Is this more expensive?

My main drive for the operating system and programs is an 160GB Intel SSD.
I have my Orchestral library on a WD Velociraptor 10,000RPM drive.
My third drive is a Samsung Spinpoint where all my projects, audio files, pictures and so on are stored.


Do you save your VSTs to your SSD? Im hoping to get lots of VSTs and might need more HD for this - do you find the 160GB enough for all your VSTs?
If i use Orchestral VSTs (or any other hungry VSTs) would 7200RPM be ok?
As per previous posters advice, im thinking of getting 3x1TB Spinpoints, do you see any probs with this?

Thanks for your help. Theres a lot of stuff to learn about in the beginning but hopefully in the not too distant future i can pass this information on to others on this site as you have to me.

John
 

Iccz

Distinguished Member
I'd get an internal soundcard as external only really gives you the advantage of portability which is great if you're gigging with a laptop as they have poor internal sound cards (unless you're a mac).

The issue you'll be most concerned about is latency, the card being internal or external isn't going to be an issue for this it'll be more down to the drivers, USB is slower than Firewire which is in turn slower than PCI however the latency doesn't come from these values. It can be down to things such as the DMA buffer or even the type of ASIO driver being used.

A 7200RPM drive will be plenty for any VST, I've used EW/QL Orchestral on a 5400RPM drive without any issues - I always find memory to be the first thing to struggle when throwing VSTs like that at a system.

Low latency RAM isn't going to be a major issue, you can get details on the RAM timings from some websites, you will see 4 numbers in brackets like here:
Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz/PC3-12800 XMS3 i5.. | Ebuyer.com

This wiki article explains what each of the timings means:
Memory timings - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

To be honest I wouldn't worry so much about getting the best RAM around, but at the same time I would try avoid "value RAM".
 
D

Deleted member 293381

Guest
Iccz is right - internal sound card is better. Less clutter.

Ha... I was going to suggest the ASUS Xonar DX sound card (about £55). But you've gone one better: the ASUS Xonar Essence ST sound card. Sounds good!
 

RICKYMG

Standard Member
Hey, in my opinion you should pay a little bit more for a good psu from a decent brand like corsair. I recently uprgaded one of my mates pc's and he planned to use it for music and gaming and after shopping around we went for OCZ ModXStream Pro 500w and it has done a good job so far. Its very quiet but he did also have some soundproofing in his case. (sorry about any spelling mistakes im typing on my archos 5 its a bit of a pain :( )
 

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