looking to buy or build a new audio workstation PC for music recording/production

Santuzzo

Daemon Poster
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675
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
I am looking to buy or build a new DAW-PC for recording as my current PC is 10+ years old and I feel it's time for a new PC.

What I had so far (on my current PC) is: i7 CPU 920 @ 2.67 GHz, 6 GB RAM, Asus P6T Deluxe motherboard, Sapphire 1GB HD4870 GPU, Win7 64bit. (with most of these specs I don't really know what any of that means, tbh).

I'm looking for a PC that will be lasting for a while, I want something with kind of the latest hardware (CPU) so I won't have to upgrade for a while.

I usually only record one instrument at a time, but it would be good to have a PC that could handle also more than that (say recording 2 or 3 instruments simultaneously, but I assume for that I'd need to look at a specific interface more than at a specific PC).

First of all, would you recommend buying a ready built PC or can I still save a bit of money buying the parts and putting the PC together myself (that's what I did with my current PC years ago)?

What pats would you recommend? what CPU, how much RAM would I need (I do use samples for drums, bass and synths a lot), what kind or drives (SSD or HDD?), what kind of GPU would you recommend?

I am not sure about the budget as I don't really have an idea at this point on how much I'd need to spend for a powerful PC.

Thanks for any suggestions/advice.
Lars
 

PP Mguire

Build Guru
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Fort Worth, Texas
Using a lot of sample libraries? Determines RAM size really, that and plugins.

I would go for a 5900x with 32 or 64GB of RAM for the long term, and for video anything will do really since GPUs are in a bad spot right now. Connectivity plays a big role in platform though, as it depends on what your I/O is.
 

Santuzzo

Daemon Poster
Messages
675
Location
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Using a lot of sample libraries? Determines RAM size really, that and plugins.

I would go for a 5900x with 32 or 64GB of RAM for the long term, and for video anything will do really since GPUs are in a bad spot right now. Connectivity plays a big role in platform though, as it depends on what your I/O is.
Thank you very much
Yes, I'm using quite a lot of sample libraries (drums, bass, synths) and also some plugins indeed.

What's with the GPUs? I hear there is a shortage of supply? Does that only apply to high-end, top-class gaming GPUs or all GPUs in general?
Do I need to worry I might not even be able to get one?
 

PP Mguire

Build Guru
Messages
31,789
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
Thank you very much
Yes, I'm using quite a lot of sample libraries (drums, bass, synths) and also some plugins indeed.

What's with the GPUs? I hear there is a shortage of supply? Does that only apply to high-end, top-class gaming GPUs or all GPUs in general?
Do I need to worry I might not even be able to get one?
Forgot plugins, yea those eat RAM too but not as bad as samples and libraries. Superior Drummer eats like 10GB of my damn RAM lol.

All GPUs. Nobody can get anything so retailers are scalping what's left and people are literally buying anything they can. Low end 1030GTs that were 70 bucks 6 years ago are going for 150 or higher.

DDR5 is also being scalped since supply is low and it just came out. I'd honestly prefer to recommend a 12700k rig because of the IGP but the supply issues make everything hard.

Speaking of, here's an example of the 12700k rig. I added a 32GB and 64GB kit, and I also added a cheap GPU in case you wanted it. I'd use the IGP for now until you can add something later, and I would stick with the 64GB kit. The dual SSDs are there so your software and libraries/plugins are separated from the main OS and DAW install. I treat them like Adobe products and having a separate scratch disk. Went with a DDR4 based board instead because of DDR5 supply shortages.
https://pcpartpicker.com/list/hnd3z7
 

Santuzzo

Daemon Poster
Messages
675
Location
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Forgot plugins, yea those eat RAM too but not as bad as samples and libraries. Superior Drummer eats like 10GB of my damn RAM lol.

All GPUs. Nobody can get anything so retailers are scalping what's left and people are literally buying anything they can. Low end 1030GTs that were 70 bucks 6 years ago are going for 150 or higher.

DDR5 is also being scalped since supply is low and it just came out. I'd honestly prefer to recommend a 12700k rig because of the IGP but the supply issues make everything hard.

Speaking of, here's an example of the 12700k rig. I added a 32GB and 64GB kit, and I also added a cheap GPU in case you wanted it. I'd use the IGP for now until you can add something later, and I would stick with the 64GB kit. The dual SSDs are there so your software and libraries/plugins are separated from the main OS and DAW install. I treat them like Adobe products and having a separate scratch disk. Went with a DDR4 based board instead because of DDR5 supply shortages.
https://pcpartpicker.com/list/hnd3z7
thank you very much!
I also have Superior Drummer 3, even though I have to say I prefer using Addictive Drums as it's easier to use for someone like me who is not an audio engineer and doesn't know much about mixing at all.

If there is a shortage on GPUs at the moment, would it make more sense then to wait? Is this shortage expected be be resolved within the next few months? or is this something that will last longer?
Oh, and pardon the noob-question, but what is IGP?
 

PP Mguire

Build Guru
Messages
31,789
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
I also have Superior Drummer 3, even though I have to say I prefer using Addictive Drums as it's easier to use for someone like me who is not an audio engineer and doesn't know much about mixing at all.
I'm a drummer so I use it for better sounding drums through my kit via triggers or my Roland e-kit. Only for recording though, tweaked the built in stuff sounds fine. I'm not good at mastering either, but with all the preconfigured stuff it makes it a whole lot easier than an amatuer micing up an acoustic kit without a proper room. The module on the e-kit makes it stupid easy to lay down scratch and send it off for practice too.
If there is a shortage on GPUs at the moment, would it make more sense then to wait? Is this shortage expected be be resolved within the next few months? or is this something that will last longer?
Oh, and pardon the noob-question, but what is IGP?
IGP is integrated graphics, aka having video output without a graphics card (it's built into the CPU). The shortage is bad, scalping is bad, crypto mining is at an all time high for companies, farms, governments, even regular joes that know nothing about PCs. Even the AIBs themselves are in on it with MSI being caught earlier in the year using a refurb subsidiary scalping new cards. It probably won't be resolved for a couple years with proper stock and all this Covid stuff blowing over. Lucky for you you're not a gamer so all you need is video on a screen. The IGP or the GT1030 listed are fine, depending on how many screen outputs you need. A combination of the two is fine too.
 

Santuzzo

Daemon Poster
Messages
675
Location
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
I'm a drummer so I use it for better sounding drums through my kit via triggers or my Roland e-kit. Only for recording though, tweaked the built in stuff sounds fine. I'm not good at mastering either, but with all the preconfigured stuff it makes it a whole lot easier than an amatuer micing up an acoustic kit without a proper room. The module on the e-kit makes it stupid easy to lay down scratch and send it off for practice too.

IGP is integrated graphics, aka having video output without a graphics card (it's built into the CPU). The shortage is bad, scalping is bad, crypto mining is at an all time high for companies, farms, governments, even regular joes that know nothing about PCs. Even the AIBs themselves are in on it with MSI being caught earlier in the year using a refurb subsidiary scalping new cards. It probably won't be resolved for a couple years with proper stock and all this Covid stuff blowing over. Lucky for you you're not a gamer so all you need is video on a screen. The IGP or the GT1030 listed are fine, depending on how many screen outputs you need. A combination of the two is fine too.
oh, that's awesome using Superior Drummer with an e-kit! Yeah ,the times I would use Superior Drummer (or any of the EZ Drummer extensions) I would go for presets already available rather than building my kit form scratch and mixing it.....

When I built my current PC 10+ years ago I also used it for gaming initially (I remember playing Far Cry 2 on this PC until early mornings...hahahaha), but at some point a few years ago I decided to move my gaming away from the PC and I bought a PS4 which I use for all my gaming, so yeah, no more gaming on a PC for me.
In terms of screen outputs, I'd need at least 2 (that's what I have now), but if 3 was an option I would not mind that either, I feel like I can never have enoufgh screen space in a Cubase session with several virtual instruments and plugins running.
 

PP Mguire

Build Guru
Messages
31,789
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
oh, that's awesome using Superior Drummer with an e-kit! Yeah ,the times I would use Superior Drummer (or any of the EZ Drummer extensions) I would go for presets already available rather than building my kit form scratch and mixing it.....
I'm typically using the metal preset and tweaking it to my liking, while mixing and matching cymbals from other packs.
When I built my current PC 10+ years ago I also used it for gaming initially (I remember playing Far Cry 2 on this PC until early mornings...hahahaha), but at some point a few years ago I decided to move my gaming away from the PC and I bought a PS4 which I use for all my gaming, so yeah, no more gaming on a PC for me.
In terms of screen outputs, I'd need at least 2 (that's what I have now), but if 3 was an option I would not mind that either, I feel like I can never have enoufgh screen space in a Cubase session with several virtual instruments and plugins running.
Then I would keep the GT1030 in the build list.
 
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