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Staffy
So, I'm gonna do it.... AGAIN.... What? Build a computer, which I swore I never will again, but I was of course wrong as usual... tongue.gif
Since You really cant get the latest technology optimized for audio in a ready-made box, I will punish myself with this boring task. (it's not that hard, but I rather prefer to play the guitar instead...)

So I invite all gearheads here to come up with suggestions to build the ultimate state-of-the-art recording/audio PC available at the moiment, first I give a few of my own suggestions, which may be wrong since I'm not really into computer parts.


INTEL CORE I7 975 EXTREME 3.33GHZ 8MB S-1366
ASUS P6T6 WS REVOLUTION X58 S-1366 ATX
WESTERN DIGITAL VELOCIRAPTOR 300GB 3.5# 10K RPM SATA/300 16MB * 2
CORSAIR 6GB DDR3 INTEL I7 DOMINATOR GT 2000MHZ CL8 (3X2GB) * 2

//Staffay
Damir Puh
At the moment I would go for I5 rather than I7 - far more stable.

EDIT:
I also recommend 2 separate hard drives...it's a recording PC and unfortunate things happen.
Keilnoth
I am not really confident with the Raptor 10k RPM disk. Their lifetime is really shorter than the standard disks as they are overclocked. I am not sure their material are adapted. And they are overpriced... It's pure geek stuff, not 100% useful as more RPM on your disk will help when loading a lot of small files but not bigger files as the transfer rate is often the same.

I had a raptor which I paid a LOT and he died after 3 years only. Now my system is on a 7.5k RPM disk which is already 5 years old...
Staffy
QUOTE (Damir Puh @ Feb 17 2010, 09:17 AM) *
At the moment I would go for I5 rather than I7 - far more stable.

EDIT:
I also recommend 2 separate hard drives...it's a recording PC and unfortunate things happen.


Hmmm, stable, why do You think so ??? Yeah, at least two drives, as You can see I listed two 10.000 RPM discs that shall actually work, then it would be some others just for storage.

//Staffay

QUOTE (Keilnoth @ Feb 17 2010, 09:50 AM) *
I am not really confident with the Raptor 10k RPM disk. Their lifetime is really shorter than the standard disks as they are overclocked. I am not sure their material are adapted. And they are overpriced... It's pure geek stuff, not 100% useful as more RPM on your disk will help when loading a lot of small files but not bigger files as the transfer rate is often the same.

I had a raptor which I paid a LOT and he died after 3 years only. Now my system is on a 7.5k RPM disk which is already 5 years old...


Yeah, You may have a point here Keilnoth.... there are some 7200 discs with 64MB cache, maybe they are going to be as fast when it comes to larger files - eg. recorded tracks/samples. Like this:

WESTERN DIGITAL RE4-GP 2TB SATA2 7200RPM 64MB

//Staffay
Keilnoth
And they are WAY cheaper.

You can buy 3 disks, if your motherboard has that functionality, mount a RAID0 on 2 big one and use them as data disks and keep the third smaller one for the system. That way you will never loose any data as long as you don't store them on the system disk.

Damir Puh
QUOTE (Staffy @ Feb 17 2010, 09:57 AM) *
Hmmm, stable, why do You think so ??? Yeah, at least two drives, as You can see I listed two 10.000 RPM discs that shall actually work, then it would be some others just for storage.

//Staffay


Oh, sorry I didn't saw you listed 2 disks.

A bunch of I7 user have reported overheating problems (I7s overclock themselves in certain conditions for better performance). I would definitely wait for Intel to solve the issue.
Staffy
QUOTE (Keilnoth @ Feb 17 2010, 10:32 AM) *
And they are WAY cheaper.

You can buy 3 disks, if your motherboard has that functionality, mount a RAID0 on 2 big one and use them as data disks and keep the third smaller one for the system. That way you will never loose any data as long as you don't store them on the system disk.


Yeah, they are much cheaper. I pretty much want to avoid any RAID system since the best performance for an audio PC will in my opinion be to have the system on one disc, the audio files on another and the virtual instruments/samples on a third (since these just streams in one direction) I do regular backups on external drives anyway so this really doesn't matter. ( I was experiencing a power-supply breakdown that blowed the CPU as well as the power units on all discs in the computer once.... mad.gif )

//Staffay

QUOTE (Damir Puh @ Feb 17 2010, 10:44 AM) *
Oh, sorry I didn't saw you listed 2 disks.

A bunch of I7 user have reported overheating problems (I7s overclock themselves in certain conditions for better performance). I would definitely wait for Intel to solve the issue.


Hmmm, I googled on the topic, and yeah some users have overheating problems, but that seems to be due to the cooler on the processor and the lack of an intyernal cooler in the chassi. There was the same problem with the first quad core, eg. Intel didn't supply a cooler strong enough. But I can't find any info on that they should overclock themselves, it sounds strange to me....

//Staffay
Ivan Milenkovic
I think you won't make a mistake with Velociraptor HDD, it's a great piece of hardware, technology is mature now and judgin from reviews it is performing well. I'm sure you're aware of all these things Staffay, being an expert PC tech, but just would like to state my opinion against RAID connections with these disks. I think the possibility for error is much greater if you RAID0 them. AS for RAID1, I don't see that much advantage there as well. I would rather, get one good external 500GB on a side for a system backup that I can put on backup copy overnight while I'm not working then let an other expensive Raptor do the mirroring all the time.
Having said all that I don't see the purpose of getting 2 raptors, but you know what you want to do with them ofc. I would rather choose 2 monitors than 2 raptors, you know what I mean.
Having said all that, I think the new monster configuration rocks! smile.gif i7 is a great choice and got excellent reviews for music audio production stations. I believe you will be very happy with this platform, I haven't tested it myself, but lots of people are saying it's revolutionary in terms of memory handling, so it should be extremely fast. Intel sure has a jewel there.
Are you planning some other stuff perhaps? I know the core is what counts the most, but I believe peripherals are just as important part, after all we get in touch with them every day, they have to be comfy biggrin.gif
Also since this is an audio production station after all, I would be very interested to see how you planned to solve the cooling vs. noise issue! smile.gif
Staffy
QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Feb 17 2010, 04:54 PM) *
Having said all that I don't see the purpose of getting 2 raptors, but you know what you want to do with them ofc. I would rather choose 2 monitors than 2 raptors, you know what I mean.

Also since this is an audio production station after all, I would be very interested to see how you planned to solve the cooling vs. noise issue! smile.gif


The reason for having two discs is that I want to run the audio data on one, and the samples/virtual instruments on the other one. Having it on the same disc means that the buffer memory of that disc will have a tough job when running trilian & superior drums at the same time as well as trying to exchange audio data in both directions. The performance on my quad core box really improved when I settled for this system. In fact the manufactorers recommend running virtual instruments on separate discs....

Oh, I haven't solved the cooling yet, I was hoping to get some input & other suggestions here! biggrin.gif

//Staffay
JamesT
Even my "lowly" i7, 860 @2.8 GHZ is a screaming machine. It uses only about 20% CPU bandwidth when running EZ Drummer with each drum on a separate track, several audio tracks loaded with compressor, EQ & other effects, a really nice reverb and mastering plugin. That same load would bring my old P4 2GHz to it's knees. I can't wait till I have some time to do a serious attempt at a complete song to see what this thing can really do.

And I've read that the 975 Extreme is on a whole diffreent level than the regular i7's. I think you'll be pleased with the performance though I'm not sure what you're upgrading from.

If you're running Windows 7, 64 bit, watch out for the availability of drivers for your audio hardware. I found out after upgrading that my Yamaha mLan interface would not be supported on this platform. That's what motivated me to buy the TC Konnekt 48 which turned out to be a good thing. I know I don't need to tell you how nice the Konnekt 48 is. smile.gif It's 64 bit driver is still in beta but is working great for me on this system. The same is true for the POD X3 Live. ( Drivers for 64 bit are in beta.) So other audio peripherals might be in the same state with Win 7, 64 being sort of new still.

The only other thing I can think of atm is to recommend that you get one of those drive bay devices that allows you to hot swap your HDDs from the front of the PC. Hot swap might not be so crucial, but the ability to swap out the hard drive either for backup, or just for additional data storage is really cool. The drive bay attachment is really cheap, only about 20 bucks and worth it.
Crazy_Diamond
Good luck with that Staffy... I don't understand a darn thing in building computer tongue.gif
Damir Puh
QUOTE (Staffy @ Feb 17 2010, 04:48 PM) *
But I can't find any info on that they should overclock themselves, it sounds strange to me....
//Staffay


It's here.
Staffy
QUOTE (JamesT @ Feb 18 2010, 04:27 AM) *
If you're running Windows 7, 64 bit, watch out for the availability of drivers for your audio hardware. I found out after upgrading that my Yamaha mLan interface would not be supported on this platform. That's what motivated me to buy the TC Konnekt 48 which turned out to be a good thing. I know I don't need to tell you how nice the Konnekt 48 is. smile.gif It's 64 bit driver is still in beta but is working great for me on this system. The same is true for the POD X3 Live. ( Drivers for 64 bit are in beta.) So other audio peripherals might be in the same state with Win 7, 64 being sort of new still.

The only other thing I can think of atm is to recommend that you get one of those drive bay devices that allows you to hot swap your HDDs from the front of the PC. Hot swap might not be so crucial, but the ability to swap out the hard drive either for backup, or just for additional data storage is really cool. The drive bay attachment is really cheap, only about 20 bucks and worth it.


No, Im not gonna run Win7 or 64-bit until all manufactorers of plug-ins etc. is fully supporting the platform, since I had a lot of trouble with this last time I tried. (I have A LOT of plugs and stuff....) And since Konnekt48 works as a dream on 32-bit with hardly no processor load on my current system that is not really an issue either. When it comes down to the newer virtual instruments like Trilian and Superior 2 for instance, they takes bout 2 GB each of the internal memory, if You add some RAM-memory for other instruments, effects and so on, You will need at least 8GB in my belief, 12 or 24(!) will be even better... biggrin.gif

The Hotswap solution seems to be very wise, I'm familiar with it but haven't thought about that since I used it in conjunction with RAID on my business systems.

//Staffay

QUOTE (Damir Puh @ Feb 18 2010, 10:01 AM) *


Thx Damir! Very interesting read. Yeah, I can see the problem here, but they should just try to overclock when all 4 cores are totally filled up, as far as I can understand - then there will probably be a heating problem. But I dont really see this as a problem since the point in using these processors is to NOT having them to max out - hence, they can handle a much greater amount of data than an i5 which will be a lot easier to max out.... Eg. if You're maxing out an i7, You will probably have to buy an industrial computer instead of a PC. Or a dedicated computer recording system like one from Sony or something like that....

//Staffay
Damir Puh
QUOTE (Staffy @ Feb 18 2010, 10:23 AM) *
Thx Damir! Very interesting read. Yeah, I can see the problem here, but they should just try to overclock when all 4 cores are totally filled up, as far as I can understand - then there will probably be a heating problem. But I dont really see this as a problem since the point in using these processors is to NOT having them to max out - hence, they can handle a much greater amount of data than an i5 which will be a lot easier to max out.... Eg. if You're maxing out an i7, You will probably have to buy an industrial computer instead of a PC. Or a dedicated computer recording system like one from Sony or something like that....

//Staffay


Yeah, that makes sense. wink.gif
Ivan Milenkovic
As far as cooling goes (almost) noiseless cooler of huge diameter running at a low rotational speed would be nice solution. For a monster PC like that I would consider some very good casing, possibly even a gaming/overclocking one with one extra large fan on the side, possibly over whole side. Then all the components inside can basically be fan-free (possibly the CPU could have only one fan, but there are water-based coolers that are not that pricey anymore). So CPU with water cooling, fanless PSU, fanless GPU, and one gigantic cooler on the side for cooling it all down, just trowing some ideas..
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