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So I'm getting a new computer for the studio and I need some advice!

Discussion in 'Computing' started by skylightdash, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. skylightdash

    skylightdash Active Member

    I'm getting a new computer for the studio, and here is what it should be able to do/handle.

    Computer will...

    Have to run ProTools 8/9HD/10 without ever having a glitch, lag, or latency problem.

    2. Need to record endless tracks (at least 75+) with multiple plugins/VSTs/effects running at once (I mean large VSTs, plugins, effects, etc..).

    3. Need to be able to save and store several large audio files and projects without slowing down the computers performance.

    4. Needs to be able to render audio at the highest available format without slowing down or crashing.

    4. Need to be able to do all this ^ while also running programs in the background with ease
    and once again NOT slowing down the computers performance.

    Yes, that is a lot to expect, but I'm only doing this so you might understand what I'm looking for in the ballpark.

    Below is a list of all the hardware I will be putting inside this computer system:

    Processor: (Intel Core i5-3550 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo) Quad-Core)

    Newegg.com - Intel Core i5-3550 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 BX80637I53550

    Motherboard: (ASUS P8Z77-V LK)

    Newegg.com - ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

    Memory (32GBs)

    Newegg.com - G.SKILL Ares Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-1333C9Q-32GAO

    System Hard Drive (120GB SATA III (SSD))

    Newegg.com - OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

    Recording Hard Drive: (1TB 7200 RPM)

    Newegg.com - Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    Power Supply: (600W)

    Newegg.com - OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Modular High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom

    Please let me know if this setup ^ above will complete my expectations!
    Thanks for being so understanding :)
  2. godchuanz

    godchuanz Active Member

    For CPU, why not get the i5-3570? It's slightly faster, and not much more expensive.
    Newegg.com - Intel Core i5-3570 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 BX80637i53570

    I think 32GB of RAM is nice, but 16GB may suffice. Remember in those 32-bit days, we had only 2GB (3GB with hack) of accessible RAM, and already large orchestra libraries were possible. Now, 8GB seems to be the comfortable limit. I have never seen anyone need even 16GB. If you are indeed loading in that many VSTs with large libraries, I suspect your CPU may bottleneck first.

    For SSD Drive, 120GB will run out pretty fast if you intend to store install your sound libraries there. I'd suggest getting a 240GB SSD for all programs and plugins. Then you can have blazing fast loading speed. Yes it's twice as expensive, but if your projects contain VSTis using samples from large libraries, it would suck to have to wait up to a minute while waiting for the computer to load all those sample libraries from slow HDDs. Also, I believe Samsung is the current leader in value-for-money SSDs.
    Newegg.com - SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC256B/WW 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

    For HDD drive, I think WD Black is the way to go for speed.
    Newegg.com - Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
  3. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Or you could just get a Quad Core Mac Pro, with an extra internal drive and be done with it.
  4. skylightdash

    skylightdash Active Member

    I would completely love to get that setup, but unfortunately I can't spend that much :/ I currently use mac right now, but it is only a 2ghz Dual Core with 2GBs.. I'm only allowed 4GBs.
  5. skylightdash

    skylightdash Active Member

    I will check out that processor.. I did not see it, and as far as the information you gave, I appreciate it very much!
  6. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Why not look for a used or refurbed Mac?

    Trade or sell your current Mac... it's still probably worth a decent value to at least get you halfway there.

    I'm running an older quad core with 12 Gb and it's got plenty of horsepower to do what you want...
  7. skylightdash

    skylightdash Active Member

    How much did you pay for your mac? Also, what's your processor speed, hard drive, etc..
  8. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Think I paid a tad under $2500, minus the extra drives... added those myself. (it ain't rocket surgery)

    Spec'd: 2x 2.66GHz w/12Gb RAM, main drive is 250Gb, drives 2 & 3 are 160Gb each.
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The point about the ram is quite true. Unless you are doing video post production hollywood style then 8-16gb DDR is plenty.

    As to hard drive, on all my remote recording computers I run SSD system drives (64gb). For VST libraries I always recommend a separate hard drive regardless of SSD vs HDD. You do not want samples/instruments bogging down anything.

    If you do choose the Mac route-which is a preference of end user and not a requirement-Max has valid points about refurbished units. Make sure your source is Apple approved as an older Mac can be just as abused as anything else. Also, I would still put two extra hard drives in a Mac: 1 for libraries and 1 for audio projects.
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    And that's the name of that tune.

    When running ProTools, it doesn't matter how you want to build your computer. It only matters if you are utilizing computer parts and pieces specified, authorized and recommended by Avid. Otherwise, if you attempt to run Protools, without utilizing their specified and authorized hardware, you will receive NO customer support from them. They will not answer any questions about the dysfunction of your software. Today, at least, Avid has now made it possible for you to use anybody's audio interface hardware. Unfortunately, it still does not allow one the use of just anybody else's computer hardware not authorized by Avid.

    So pays YER money and takes YER chances.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  11. BushmasterM4

    BushmasterM4 Active Member

    Ive been building pc's for over 20 years. And I have used all the manufacturers boards at some point or another. Even ones that are no longer living :) For me I will only buy Gigabyte motherboards. DFI was the other brand I loved to build, but they sell only industrial motherboards. DFI used to sell consumer boards through various retailers, and were the boards to get if you wanted a screaming fast system. Their LANPARTY boards are famous in the geek world. Sadly the new DFI stuff is hard to get for consumers. But Gigabyte boards are just as good and the difference between them and Asus is night and day. The board thickness, components used and overall quality is light years ahead. They may cost a few dollars more (maybe 10%), but its well worth it. If you have a pc store close buy that sell motherboards, go look at the difference, and feel the difference. But thats just an opinion of a 50 year old pc nerd who started building them in the old 286 cpu days :)
  12. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    I've been building pc's for over 30 years... I started out wire wrapping Z80's, and have found that it's far more economical to just buy boxes that work day in and day out, require little worry from constant, poorly written updates that can leave you without a working box.

    My time is worth a lot more than having to, or needing to tweek minor things just to get 1%-2% more productivity when buying a Mac that fits the AVID's spec's 99%-100% off the shelf. It pays me more to be able to run from the get go, than to have to battle a box for days on end, costing me income.

    What would be ideal is if AVID had a version of Linux that PT would run on... then it might be worth looking at the non-Mac hardware... but until then... it's not worth it.
  13. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    By the same token, my Windows computers have never caused me to lose work either. To each their own.
  14. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Point well taken and agreed with, John... I know a lot of folks who've had relatively few issues, and others who've had nothing but poor experiences with Apple products.

    Karma perhaps?!??!?

    For folks that like to tinker, tweak and attempt to push every possible limit of their hardware and OS... Wondoze definitely lends itself to that crowd. For some of us old farts that just plain need to get work done, that are tired of the "performance game", Apple generally makes more sense.

    And as you know my story... Historically, I've had 100% failure with Windoze boxes and 2% failure of Apple boxes... To be a bit more specific, it is now 100% failure of Windoze OS, and 0% failure of Apple OS, but roughly less than 3% failure of both Windoze and Mac hardware.
  15. BushmasterM4

    BushmasterM4 Active Member

    Mac people do love their Macs. I still have a Franklin Ace 1000 and a few Apple II's in the garage. Think I have a Lisa somewhere boxed up too. I have no issues with PC's plus they are easy to upgrade. But hey, its all good. Not trying to out-piss someone about which is better. :)
  16. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Let's face it. Mac is designed to do one thing. Work. PCs are designed for the home computer hobbyist enthusiast, office, NASA. Well maybe not NASA? Sure, yeah, NASA. But Macintoshes were specially designed for a child's state of mind. All of the GUIs have become so cartoonlike. If it looks like an 1176 in the picture, you'll hear an 1176.

    Isn't sound modeling sort of like made from plastic?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  17. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    PT 9 requirements specify

    Windows Systems
    • Computer: Avid-qualified Windows-based computer (see details)
    • System Software: Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate (32 or 64-bit)
      • Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is officially qualified with Pro Tools 9.0.2 and higher
    • Total System RAM: 2GB minimum, 4GB or more recommended

    Additional Requirements
    • Avid Audio Interfaces and Peripherals (see details)
    • Audio Drive Requirements: One or More Hard Disk Drives Dedicated for Audio Record and Playback (see details)
    • System Hard Drive: Minimum 15GB free space on startup drive required for Pro Tools installation
    • Graphics Card: Dedicated Graphics Card highly recommended (see details)
    • Video Peripherals (see details)
    • Third Party Audio Interfaces (see details)
    • Mac Aggregate Device Info (see details)
  18. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Well... you think you're so smart because you can read directions and requirements? What's that got to do whether something works or doesn't work?

    Oh? That's the ON BUTTON?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  19. BushmasterM4

    BushmasterM4 Active Member

    None of my gear is on Avids "qualified" list and it works fine. I wonder how much manufacturers paid to get on the list ? :)
  20. BushmasterM4

    BushmasterM4 Active Member

    Plastic or Silly Putty ?

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