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Kmetal's new mid/budget level computer.

hey all! I'm very excited about this so I figured I'd share! I created another thread a while back specing out some top level stuff, don't worry it's still coming... As life would have it what I thought was $800 in car repairs, was actually a totaled '03 Honda Civic instead. I'm obviously not a mechanic lol. So long story short my 15k setup is going towards a car. Not in vein the process of specing the rig was good, and I've found the price points I want to hit, and the gear will only get better with time, so I'm shooting for 2017 to jump off the high end cliff.

So my compromise was this computer I came across at Best Buy. I had just recently purchased an hp pavilion amd quad core as a budget machine for office and mixdown duties. This was bare bones and would do that job but leave me without a truly worthy machine to run multi track daw duties, which was fine as I was planning on building my beast. Just a few weeks later, a day before my 31st b-day, I came across this. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/lenovo-ideacentre-700-desktop-intel-core-i5-8gb-memory-1tb-8gb-hybrid-hard-drive-black/4368200.p?id=1219738783972&skuId=4368200#spoke/featuresSpoke

After a few hours of late night research I ordered it, fearing the price might change. I picked it up, and it's still in the box, along with my unopened qnap ts-231 NAS drive. https://www.qnap.com/i/useng/product/model.php?II=142 which I picked up a few months ago with a 2tb NAS hdd.

The main selling point was the 6th gen i5 pentium processor (i5-6400) which is pretty much brand new. Along with this is the new Ddr 4 memory format, which shows significant performance over the previous ddr3, at least from my research anyway. The pavilion was very nice for $ 350 but lacked upgradability, and Futureproofing due to a soldered in chipset, ddr3 ram, and only one free PCIe slot. Which would have been fine, if my race car computer was coming soon, which it was at the time I bought it, but that quickly changed. The pavilion also could only support one internal hdd.

The Lenovo also had hdmi output, and a hybrid ssd/hdd which I'm skeptical of. At $ 650 I felt it was a lot of computer for the price point, with he next models up quickly and steeply reaching diminishing returns. In essence anything more than the ideacentre 700, which I purchased, made sense only as a build, rather than off the shelf.

So that was my thinking behind the decision to incur the $ 300 additional dollars in form of debt. I also purchased xara wed designer pro, on sale for $ 75 instead of the $ 99 it usually is. Magix movie maker pro premium, will round out the software suite, along with PTHD12 ($ 12-1500 software only from fleabay), and Samplitude daws. PT will show up in about 6-12 months. I will also need to investigate an Auto CAD program, and will likely install sketchup. Also will be room eq wizard, to complete the software suite.

Before anyone questions my dedication to being a broke musician, the money is borrowed against a large portion of my inheritance. I will purchase a car, and my first home, which I will fix up and rent out as a semi reliable revenue stream. Rinse wash repeat. Lol currently still live on the couch, and out of totes.

Also at the risk of TMi I am on an indefinite hiatus (with select pet projects the exception) to deal with my recent medical diagnosis (oCD/bi-polar/sciatica) which I have put off for many many years to do the studio builds, and hone my skills to a professional level. Those opportunities will pass by if not taken. A year and a half off a 5year bender, and the worst recording project of my life, which I couldn't even imagine would be so awful. I've decided now is a good time to completely restructure everything in my life.

So back to the computer! Before I unbox everything there are some upgrades.

1. Power supply- corsair ax860 or 100. I'm open to any other suggestions.

2. RAM- 4x8 gb (32gb total) which is the max the ideacentre can hold. Basic ripjaws or crucial runs $ 150. Still unsure if the computer can overclock, but at the risk of instability I will likely stay with the 2133mhz that is factory speCD.

3. Additional 2-4tb hdd, which I believe can be internal but I am still trying to spec out each component. (Lenovo is still saying coming soon for the computer, so it's very new, and the info isn't readily available like it was for the pavilion) otherwise I'll have to investigate a high speed external and associated PCIe card.

4. Battery backup 900w+ (rack mount preferable) apc or trip lite is what I'm looking at so far. Very open to suggestions on this front. I'm basically clueless about these things.

5. Isolation transformer- trip lite IS1000
1000w.

6. Rack out Power conditioner- very basic furman, purely for the electrical outlets. They just look cooler than typical power strips.

7. A rack- cheapo one, or a basic home built one.

8. Firwire 400 card- my very lame m-audio 1814 interface is FireWire, and I'm waiting on the burls to either be ordered or decided against, before I retire it. The caveat being that it actually has Windows 10 drivers which I believe it does if memory serves me.

I have to figure out how these power type devices play with each other, as I don't want to create problems, or wasted expense, or inefficiency.

These additional components will double the cost of the computer bringing the total to about $ 1200. These will arrive slowly over the next 4-6months.

(Potential upgrades)

8. Better cooling fan

9. Dual HD display card

That's all the mods I can think of for now. And I probably will break out the devices from the boxes as soon as the ram and psu happen. I'm planing on a fair amount of optimization for Windows 10 home, and a learning curve for the NAS drive, which I'm a complete newbie with. I left off at Windows xp.

I also have a significant amount of file organization to do, with multiple files from different daws, and computers/drives, before the real fun begins.

One area I'm out of touch with is virus scan which I haven't used since I've been computerless, and using the studios macs. I'd appreciate any recommendations.

I also have a significant amount of work to do on my business plan, accounting, and re-registration of my sole proprietorship, under a new name.

I've also decided to sell off all my guitar gear besides my hammer Californian (16th b-day gift) and my Ibanez sz prestige, guitars which I sweated a whole summer landscaping for. I will keep my beloved $150 jasmine acoustic, And my peavy 6505 combo, which was not making sound last time I tried it. First upgrade guitar wise is a Marshall dsl40 combo, but that is on hold for a while. My gear will go towards my car, at a fairly significant loss, but the ease of mind and instant gratification win. I don't feel like selling 30 items individually on Craigslist.

Also up on the more immediate list is a ergonomic chair like a Herman Miller, it the brand @Thomas W. Bethel recommends.

And I guess I need a desk too. I'm thinking one of those basic rolling carts that hold the screen and keyboard, like you see at the doctors.

I feel like I am still missing something but I've bored anyone who made it this far, enough for one night/week/year/eternity. I still have to read the computer manuals more thoroughly, but I think it was a great time to buy (purely accidental) and in about 2 years, this is going to make a real nice mixdown machine, barring the m-audio interface. My goal is to have this new computer never see the Internet. The NAS drive has a celeron processor in it and functions as a basic cpu. I also own an iPad Air 1 (gift from boss at studio in 2014) and my iPhone 6. Both of which have water damaged, but functional screens/displays. And there's always the macs at the studio, which are basically obsolete at this point.

I would appreciate any thoughts and suggestions, as I'll be active in the Windows 10/Samplitude threads here. And just anything in general that pops ups.

Happy new year! All the best.

-Kyle

Edit- for some reason the prices I typed w $ signs aren't showing up properly in the post.

Re-edit- had to put space between the $ and the number.

Comments

DonnyThompson Thu, 01/14/2016 - 22:02

kmetal, post: 434721, member: 37533 wrote: One area I'm out of touch with is virus scan which I haven't used since I've been computerless, and using the studios macs. I'd appreciate any recommendations.

Sure. Stay off the internet. LOL

Seriously, in most cases, if you use something like Windows Defender, and limit your internet travels to "clean" sites - like RO, eBay, Youtube...or gear manufacturers support pages for diver downloads and such - you should be okay, and Defender should do a fine job of handling any potential threats. Windows usually does automatic updates to its built-in security software every month or so.

Obviously, adult ( porn) sites are the number one source for viruses.

But viruses and malware can hide in other places, too... places you wouldn't expect them to.

I once ended up with a nasty virus that was traced back to CNN's site. CNN, right? You'd think that a site like that would be safe, but just because they are a legitimate news site, does not guarantee that it's 100% safe...

Yahoo and Google news can be dicey as well... depending on what article you click on... things like "top ten" lists, or links from news sites that may appear as news headlines, but are in fact advert sites camouflaged as authentic articles...and sometimes very cleverly so, can vey often actually be malware; and while it may not be something powerful enough ( or even designed) to completely trash your system, these can still dump adware into your computer, and those are a hassle, too.

Be cautious of links posted on sites - even on bona fide sites - that want to direct you away from where you are, or that will take you somewhere that you are unfamiliar with, or that encourage you to download files.

Warez sites are the devil, (and even "legitimate" or legal file sharing sites are dangerous, IMO). Avoid these like the plague. I've never personally downloaded cracked software, (I've never even attempted to do so); nor have I ever taken part in any "legitimate" P to P sites (like Napster nd Kazza were; where a multitude of computers each holds a portion of a file and your computer searches for all the pieces of the file to come up with a complete version) but I do know people who do participate in those sites, and they constantly deal with viruses and other malware, and even with having some form of virus protection software installed in their systems is no guarantee of protection from these sites. Because the process works by having many different computers on a connected network sending each other data, you're opening your computer up to whatever viruses or malware that any of those other computers may have. And, these places are also perfect dumping grounds for planting viral seeds that are planted by people who do intend to do harm to others ... hackers who love to disrupt people's computers. They do it intentionally, because it gets them off to know that they have that kind of power and control over others.

Opening the doors to those places is like inviting a vampire into your home - it's almost a forgone conclusion that you're gonna get bit.

In many cases, these offenders are just kids - very smart kids - who have little control over their own lives and who need to feel a sense of power or control - so they accomplish this in the only ways that they know how.

(About ten years ago, I was hired to do a remote recording in a hotel conference center for a seminar on internet security. At one point in the seminar, they brought out half a dozen hackers who's specialties were cracking software, as well as creating and spreading computer viruses. These individuals were not middle aged men with glasses and pocket protectors... these were 14 - 17 year old teenaged boys; the majority of them were hardcore gamers, living in basement bedrooms with single moms who worked long hours. They weren't considered to be popular at school, they had good grades, but no social lives. Creating viruses was their way of exerting power, influence and control in the only ways that they knew how.)

I'm sure there are those who will tell you to install actual 3rd party virus protection software... Norton, AVG, etc., and they're probably right to do so, if you want to be able to travel anywhere on the web, but it's been my own experience that these can also really hog system resources, which in turn can slow things down - like audio production.

I'm not gonna tell you to not install actual VP software. And I'm sure that there are RO members who would think me a fool for not having any installed ( other than windows defender) ... so you need to do what you feel is best for you.

Generally speaking, if you remain aware of where you go and what you do, you'll be okay.

IMHO of course.

kmetal Thu, 01/14/2016 - 22:51

Good thoughts. Most of this got covered over in the W10 optimization thread cuz this one didn't get any responses lol.

You have no idea how paranoid i am about samplitudea on lines registration through the program. I'm sure the sam site is clean but man, one wrong moment and the whole show stops.

Going to look into how to configure the firewall in my modem is That's even possible with mine. I'm really hoping for a closed system just like an alsesis HD, or mackie, and even Mikes Tascam recorder.

Well we will see how long I can resist updates. No more cracked software, once was enough to ruin my computer for a long time.

I'm planning on Windows defender, malwarebytes, and the firewall from my modem. Also I will try to pre scan things on another computer or hopefully they haven't written virus for the NAS os.

I'm like scared to turn my computer on lol

kmetal Thu, 01/14/2016 - 22:57

I will add that that is one thing about a tablet iOS type thing I like. I've definatly clicked on some spam links and too good to be true deals, and don't seem to have acquired a virus. Doent mean I'm not being tracked by a bug or something, but nothing like the old windows virus reactions.

Strangely lol, once my old computer got a certain level of infected w avg intact, it seemed to be immune. Lol once it started running at 50% screwed up, it didn't get anymore handicapped. Go figure. It also ran just as well/bad completely painstakingly optimized as it did in regular mode, recording riffs while wen browsing, the whole 9 yards. That toshiba laptop just never was cutout for recording.

DonnyThompson Thu, 01/14/2016 - 23:14

I used to think that I was safe from garbage using Apple electronics and computers... but it wasn't too long ago that my iPad started acting squirrely... I took it into the local service center, and they told me that I had indeed picked up a virus of some kind.

They connected it to some diagnostic device they had, clicked a button - and it was fixed that fast... and they didn't charge me for it, so I got lucky... but I'm not sure that the days of "use an Apple and you're guaranteed no viruses" aren't maybe a thing of the past...

It's my personal feeling that as long as there are wickedly intelligent hackers - who are also wicked people - there'll always be the chance for bad things to happen - to any device that is connected to the internet.

IMO of course.

kmetal Thu, 01/14/2016 - 23:26

DonnyThompson, post: 435345, member: 46114 wrote: I used to think that I was safe from garbage using Apple electronics and computers... but it wasn't too long ago that my iPad started acting squirrely... I took it into the local service center, and they told me that I had indeed picked up a virus of some kind.

They connected it to some diagnostic device they had, clicked a button - and it was fixed that fast... and they didn't charge me for it, so I got lucky... but I'm not sure that the days of "use an Apple and you're guaranteed no viruses" aren't maybe a thing of the past...

It's my personal feeling that as long as there are wickedly intelligent hackers - who are also wicked people - there'll always be the chance for bad things to happen - to any device that is connected to the internet.

IMO of course.

Whoa. That's news to me. I thought the iOS thing on the virus scan was to sell more copies. Fwiw I never trusted the whole no virus on macs thing. I would say that it was almost directly proportional, the more cracked stiff my buddies had, the weirder there macs ran. Maybe not tonthe extent of a Windows machine but still. If it's too good to be true, it's probably isn't true.

Super bummed about yor iPad. Makes me nervous, although my browsing is fairly pedestrian, i do order a fair amount of stuff online, that's type of thing worries me. Like when I go on Amazon search a product, then go to a completely unrelated site and there's a box add for the same product. Oh big brother where art tho???

DonnyThompson Fri, 01/15/2016 - 00:09

kmetal, post: 435341, member: 37533 wrote: You have no idea how paranoid i am about samplitudea on lines registration through the program. .

Don't be. I'm not insinuating that your caution is a bad thing, it's always good to be cautious, to be aware of what you are doing and where you are going on the web, but you don't have to be paranoid about visiting or downloading files from legitimate audio manufacturer's sites - because these sites are paranoid for you. They are on a constant watch for freaky files, malware and viruses, because if even just one person downloads a virus, even only one time, from any of these manufacturers sites, they know that their reputation (and stock value) will suffer. Audio software is a highly competitive market - there's a razor thin line between all of them, and none of them can afford to take a hit like that.

Legitimate audio sites are managed very well in terms of security and virus prevention. I have a friendly acquaintance who used to work at Goodyear Corporate HQ as an IT guy, and he now works at an internet security company - one of who's clients is a local software developer for professional video and photography apps ( kinda like the plug-ins we use for audio, except these are for video editing) - and he's told me that they are big-time serious about their security, and that their surveillance for dangerous files isn't week by week, or even day by day, but is actually minute by minute; and that they are barraged by attempts from both bots and real people to hack their site all the time ( FWIW, many of these attempts have been successfully traced and they weren't from India or Russia - but were actually found to have originated from a nearby state university). He's told me that they use ridiculously complex levels of security and encryption, and have very smart people who do nothing else but to make sure that their client's sites - and their files - are secure and safe for their customers. I think that one could safely assume that if a small, local video software developer's site is being protected to this degree, that major audio-based software companies would also do so.

On that note, I've never had any problems whatsoever with Magix ( Samplitude) or Presonus, Focusrite, Harrison, Avid, Tascam, T-Racks, Waves, or any other legitimate manufacturer's sites. These guys really do appear to be up to speed and very attentive to security... because they have to be. FWIW, I'm not aware of - nor have I ever heard of - anyone ever getting a virus from one of these audio software/hardware manufacturer's websites and/or connected support/download pages.

You'd be safe visiting any of these sites; and at some point eventually, you'll probably have to anyway, as so many of them are continually updating their drivers and programs.
It's really not a question of "if" you have to visit these sites, but more a promise of when.

The ones you want to steer clear of are the ones that promise "erections lasting for days", or responding to a pop-up notice that says "Kyle, You're a winner! Click here to claim your prize!" ;)

All that being said, if you want to protect yourself as much as is currently and technologically possible, then a dedicated VPP is the way to go.

IMO
-d.

Sean G Fri, 01/15/2016 - 00:23

DonnyThompson, post: 435337, member: 46114 wrote: I'm sure there are those who will tell you to install actual 3rd party virus protection software... Norton, AVG, etc., and they're probably right to do so, if you want to be able to travel anywhere on the web, but it's been my own experience that these can also really hog system resources, which in turn can slow things down - like audio production.

I'm with you on the whole power-hogging view with antivirus programs...they suck.....power that is...

FWIW I have been using Malwarebytes and its really good, unlike some of the "brand names" I find it doesn't hog cpu power or slow things down, also it has real-time web protection and you can set it to scan your pc daily on start-up in the background. It also has a heuristic scan where it teaches itself about new threats and if it even thinks "hey wait...this looks out of the ordinary..." it quarantines it so you can determine if its a threat or not before its deleted.

Its great for eliminating those pesky pop-ups (PUPS) that worm their way into your directory that other AVs' can't even detect. Kills them in a flash.

If you are not going to be surfing the web 24/7 this would suppliment Windows Defender as Donny stated above...and its free too.

https://www.malwarebytes.org/

kmetal Fri, 01/15/2016 - 10:38

Thanks d, that calmed my nerves. I wasn't thinking from the angle that it would ruin a software companies reputation if there was incident.

Lol- I wonder how many of those college kids and bored gamers will end up working as Internet security professionals.

Sean- good to know buddy, cpu hogging is an almost equal concern as security. Seems like malwarebytes has a good rep around here. I'm gonna pull the trigger with them.!!

Guelph_Guy Wed, 01/27/2016 - 15:58

kmetal, post: 434721, member: 37533 wrote: hey all! I'm very excited about this so I figured I'd share!! I created another thread a while back specing out some top level stuff, don't worry it's still coming... As life would have it what I thought was $800 in car repairs, was actually a totaled '03 Honda Civic instead. I'm obviously not a mechanic lol. So long story short my 15k setup is going towards a car. Not in vein the process of specing the rig was good, and I've found the price points I want to hit, and the gear will only get better with time, so I'm shooting for 2017 to jump off the high end cliff.

So my compromise was this computer I came across at Best Buy. I had just recently purchased an hp pavilion amd quad core as a budget machine for office and mixdown duties. This was bare bones and would do that job but leave me without a truly worthy machine to run multi track daw duties, which was fine as I was planning on building my beast. Just a few weeks later, a day before my 31st b-day, I came across this. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/lenovo-ideacentre-700-desktop-intel-core-i5-8gb-memory-1tb-8gb-hybrid-hard-drive-black/4368200.p?id=1219738783972&skuId=4368200#spoke/featuresSpoke

After a few hours of late night research I ordered it, fearing the price might change. I picked it up, and it's still in the box, along with my unopened qnap ts-231 NAS drive. https://www.qnap.com/i/useng/product/model.php?II=142 which I picked up a few months ago with a 2tb NAS hdd.

The main selling point was the 6th gen i5 pentium processor (i5-6400) which is pretty much brand new. Along with this is the new Ddr 4 memory format, which shows significant performance over the previous ddr3, at least from my research anyway. The pavilion was very nice for $ 350 but lacked upgradability, and Futureproofing due to a soldered in chipset, ddr3 ram, and only one free pcie slot. Which would have been fine, if my race car computer was coming soon, which it was at the time I bought it, but that quickly changed. The pavilion also could only support one internal hdd.

The Lenovo also had hdmi output, and a hybrid ssd/hdd which I'm skeptical of. At $ 650 I felt it was a lot of computer for the price point, with he next models up quickly and steeply reaching diminishing returns. In essence anything more than the ideacentre 700, which I purchased, made sense only as a build, rather than off the shelf.

So that was my thinking behind the decision to incur the $ 300 additional dollars in form of debt. I also purchased xara wed designer pro, on sale for $ 75 instead of the $ 99 it usually is. Magix movie maker pro premium, will round out the software suite, along with PTHD12 ($ 12-1500 software only from fleabay), and Samplitude daws. PT will show up in about 6-12 months. I will also need to investigate an Auto CAD program, and will likely install sketchup. Also will be room eq wizard, to complete the software suite.

Before anyone questions my dedication to being a broke musician, the money is borrowed against a large portion of my inheritance. I will purchase a car, and my first home, which I will fix up and rent out as a semi reliable revenue stream. Rinse wash repeat. Lol currently still live on the couch, and out of totes.

Also at the risk of TMi I am on an indefinite hiatus (with select pet projects the exception) to deal with my recent medical diagnosis (ocd/bi-polar/sciatica) which I have put off for many many years to do the studio builds, and hone my skills to a professional level. Those opportunities will pass by if not taken. A year and a half off a 5year bender, and the worst recording project of my life, which I couldn't even imagine would be so awful. I've decided now is a good time to completely restructure everything in my life.

So back to the computer!!! Before I unbox everything there are some upgrades.

1. Power supply- corsair ax860 or 100. I'm open to any other suggestions.

2. RAM- 4x8 gb (32gb total) wich is the max the ideacentre can hold. Basic ripjaws or crucial runs $ 150. Still unsure if the computer can overclock, but at the risk of instability I will likely stay with the 2133mhz that is factory specd.

3. Additional 2-4tb hdd, which I belive can be internal but I am still trying to spec out each component. (Lenovo is still saying coming soon for the computer, so it's very new, and the info isn't readily available like it was for the pavilion) otherwise I'll have to investigate a high speed external and associated pcie card.

4. Battery backup 900w+ (rack mount preferable) apc or trip lite is what I'm looking at so far. Very open to suggestions on this front. I'm basically clueless about these things.

5. Isolation transformer- trip lite IS1000
1000w.

6. Rack out Power conditioner- very basic furman, purely for the electrical outlets. They just look cooler than typical power strips.

7. A rack- cheapo one, or a basic home built one.

8. Firwire 400 card- my very lame m-audio 1814 interface is FireWire, and I'm waiting on the burls to either be ordered or decided against, before I retire it. The caveat being that it actually has Windows 10 drivers which I belive it does if memory serves me.

I have to figure out how these power type devices play with each other, as I don't want to create problems, or wasted expense, or inefficiency.

These additional components will double the cost of the computer bringing the total to about $ 1200. These will arrive slowly over the next 4-6months.

(Potential upgrades)

8. Better cooling fan

9. Dual HD display card

That's all the mods I can think of for now. And I probably will break out the devices from the boxes as soon as the ram and psu happen. I'm planing on a fair amount of optimization for Windows 10 home, and a learning curve for the NAS drive, which I'm a complete newbie with. I left off at Windows xp.

I also have a significant amount of file organization to do, with multiple files from different daws, and computers/drives, before the real fun begins.

One area I'm out of touch with is virus scan which I haven't used since I've been computerless, and using the studios macs. I'd appreciate any recommendations.

I also have a significant amount of work to do on my business plan, accounting, and re-registration of my sole proprietorship, under a new name.

I've also decided to sell off all my guitar gear besides my hammer Californian (16th b-day gift) and my Ibanez sz prestige, guitars which I sweated a whole summer landscaping for. I will keep my beloved $150 jasmine acoustic, And my peavy 6505 combo, which was not making sound last time I tried it. First upgrade guitar wise is a Marshall dsl40 combo, but that is on hold for a while. My gear will go towards my car, at a fairly significant loss, but the ease of mind and instant gratification win. I don't feel like selling 30 items individually on Craigslist.

Also up on the more immediate list is a ergonomic chair like a Herman Miller, it the brand @Thomas W. Bethel reccomends.

And I guess I need a desk too. I'm thinking one of those basic rolling carts that hold the screen and keyboard, like you see at the doctors.

I feel like I am still missing something but I've bored anyone who made it this far, enough for one night/week/year/eternity. I still have to read the computer manuals more thoroughly, but I think it was a great time to buy (purely accidental) and in about 2 years, this is going to make a real nice mixdown machine, barring the m-audio interface. My goal is to have this new computer never see the Internet. The NAS drive has a celeron processor in it and functions as a basic cpu. I also own an iPad Air 1 (gift from boss at studio in 2014) and my iPhone 6. Both of which have water damaged, but functional screens/displays. And there's always the macs at the studio, which are basically obsolete at this point.

I would appreciate any thoughts and suggestions, as I'll be active in the Windows 10/samplitude threads here. And just anything in general that pops ups.

Happy new year! All the best.

-Kyle

Edit- for some reason the prices I typed w $ signs aren't showing up properly in the post.

Re-edit- had to put space between the $ and the number.

Well... I used to be a PC builder , and customization is great, I'd spend the bucks and constantly was upgrading... I don't build anymore and usually pick up a used machine off the used computer boards.. Recently, I've been buying hp 8200 elite Cmt (convertible mid tower it can be set up as a tower or desktop.) and they are very stable... So I was getting these units for $ 125.00 used with core I5 3.3 GHz, 4Gbyes of ram and a 500 gig hard drive, they have onboard video so you don't need a video card, they have onboard network and sound as well and came bundled with windows 7 PRO... a legitimate licensed copy. And a keyboard and mouse

What I do is jack them up with a 500gig SSD drive for O/S move the existing drive over a slot and use it for audio data, I then add 16 Gig of ram and Bob's your uncle.. I then get the windows 10 Pro upgrade for free through MS ( which is currently available for free from MS as an upgrade if you are on windows 7 or above)

I've had 46 channels on playback with effects and a ton of vsti's and don't seem to run past 25% CPU usage.. This is in Studio One 3 Suite..

I have an lg monitor that's 34" but the screen ratio is 21:9 so it's 2550 x 1440 pixels, the onboard video drives it fine Everything looks and runs great.

You can drop a multi head video card in as well, I used to run an older Quadro nvs450 from indicia which supports 4 hd monitors.

Anyhow, I do it on the cheap, I could upgrade the processor to a used I7 2600k, but I can't seem to push the processor hard enough to justify the purchase.

Anyhow, it allows me to spend the money I've saved on keyboards ,piano's, synth,and big screen TV's..

kmetal Wed, 01/27/2016 - 16:39

Very interesting, I kinda wish i thought of all that. I always pictured used computers as someone else's problems.... Apparently not the case. It's extremely re assuring to hear you get that much power out of an i5, and I'm guessing I'll be just fine. The ram Thad stock is 8gb so that's moving to max 32.
I've heard it of criticism of stock power supplies, and a top of the line corsair ax, is an affordable $150, with 7 year warranty. I enjoy diy but I'm not into tinkering once it's up and running. Do you think the PSU is wasted money? A bit of indulgence is fine but waste could be better spent on something cooler.

Also what is your feeling on SSD for a sample drive. I calculated about 150gb between Vienna and BFD so I was thinking a 500gb if I could afford it, or 250 minimum as they are $160/300 respectively. Is there an advantage to ssd sample drive? My thinking was faster data thruput or access to samples? Those are big high quality sets. The OS drive is a 250 ssd, well going be.

Audio is planned to be a 4tb Seagate (forgot model)

I did about 8-10 hours research on ssd's and I've settled so far on Samsung sm863 eneteprise drives, which got excellent ratings and come w a 5 year warranty.

I gotta thank you man, because your idea of a used computer really brought a mixdown machine within closer sight (about a year and a half).

Os is slated to be w10 $130 new, as the upgrade from home is 99 and then I don't get the boxed version which i hope to use on a couple computers.

Any thoughts on my ideas are welcome as this has been a fun learning experience for me and I think valuable to my skill set.

Also I have a 32" insignia 1080 p television, and single hdmi output on both the computer and NAS. I'm going w an HD projector or larger tv for one of them depending on where I end up (in the process of buying a home) so they will share a screen for now.

Thanks again for your valuable input!!!

Guelph_Guy Wed, 01/27/2016 - 16:56

kmetal, post: 435777, member: 37533 wrote: Very interesting, I kinda wish i thought of all that. I always pictured used computers as someone else's problems.... Apparently not the case. It's extremely re assuring to hear you get that much power out of an i5, and I'm guessing I'll be just fine. The ram Thad stock is 8gb so that's moving to max 32.
I've heard it of criticism of stock power supplies, and a top of the line corsair ax, is an affordable $150, with 7 year warranty. I enjoy diy but I'm not into tinkering once it's up and running. Do you think the PSU is wasted money? A bit of indulgence is fine but waste could be better spent on something cooler.

Also what is your feeling on SSD for a sample drive. I calculated about 150gb between Vienna and BFD so I was thinking a 500gb if I could afford it, or 250 minimum as they are $160/300 respectively. Is there an advantage to ssd sample drive? My thinking was faster data thruput or access to samples? Those are big high quality sets. The OS drive is a 250 ssd, well going be.

Audio is planned to be a 4tb Seagate (forgot model)

I did about 8-10 hours research on ssd's and I've settled so far on Samsung sm863 eneteprise drives, which got excellent ratings and come w a 5 year warranty.

I gotta thank you man, because your idea of a used computer really brought a mixdown machine within closer sight (about a year and a half).

Os is slated to be w10 $130 new, as the upgrade from home is 99 and then I don't get the boxed version which i hope to use on a couple computers.

Any thoughts on my ideas are welcome as this has been a fun learning experience for me and I think valuable to my skill set.

Also I have a 32" insignia 1080 p television, and single hdmi output on both the computer and NAS. I'm going w an HD projector or larger tv for one of them depending on where I end up (in the process of buying a home) so they will share a screen for now.

Thanks again for your valuable input!!!

Guelph_Guy Wed, 01/27/2016 - 17:22

Yes I have SSD's Samsung 850 EVO PRO , they have a 10 yr warranty. 250Gig for O/S , 500gig SSD x 2 for samples and audio.
They are excellent, you get the benefit of no moving parts, low heat compared to a physical hard drive , and as the drive had no head to move you get a Hugh benefit of higher throughput.

I also have some physical (as in conventional hard drives)..Western digital " blacks" for backup in system.
As well as a western digital 4 TB USB external.

There are 1 terabyte SSD's available but the price breakpoint is not there yet...

Yes, a good power supply is required , I don't skimp on those, and I still have some home built boxes here they have corsair 700-800 Watt supplies.
The majority of most computer problems and failures is an inadequate power supply by far.

In case your curious the HP Elite has A 350 watt supply... no a monster by any means, but I'm not driving a video card for gaming which requires a huge power demand. And they are not a requirement for a DAW.. even the NVIDIA NVS450 which can support 4 monitors at 1080p can run in it.
)
If you can find a used mainstream box (I prefer hp because they are a tool less case design).. and it comes with win 7 and has the licensing key on the unit (a Tag with a 25 character code).. You can get the windows 10 for free directly online from Microsoft...Save the $130.00
What I usually track down is a computer re-seller that carries off lease Corporate Machines. I get my servers the same way..

The other nice thing... The HP 8200 elite fits perfectly in a 19" rack like spot on, you just need a rackmount tray for it.

Guelph_Guy Wed, 01/27/2016 - 18:14

SORRY, after reviewing my post I sound like a shill for HP

Anyhow, these systems should be a dime a dozen in the market place used, I see re-sellers pushing them out the door for 200-250 on ebay.
(depending on configuration)

The CMT is a mid tower and will hold 4 drives internally as well as 3 slots in the front of the case for DVD burners, etch..

In the event that I eventually "max it out" , I would still by a used machine, and most likely an HP z800 series. These machines are liquid cooled and quiet as a door mouse, xenon class processors, (12 cores ) up to 256 Gig of ram , The sky is the limit for storage .....

So, I'll wait a year, the next generation of processors will pour out on the market, there will be a ton of upgrading and these machines will be everywhere.
Certainly not as cheap as the I7 used but the performance on 12 cores is amazing (we have them at work)...
PLUS I also run Sonar and I know Sonar will support at least 8 cores.

I'm already finding these units around $ 1000 used (12 cores and 48 gig of ram + 3 drives windows 7 pro).....at least in my area....

kmetal Wed, 01/27/2016 - 18:22

I looked up the 8200 elite looks like a great buy. 12 cores and 48gb is an insane computer for a grand... Lol haven't even opened my new one and I'm already turning the gears for the next one.

I found hp tech support to be natively English speaking, and new everything about the machine I briefly had. Answered everything. More than I can say for Lenovos support. I've had a couple hp's always found them solid.

But seriously 12 cores, liquid cooled, Xeon, 256 gb of ram!! Lol that's how big my ssd is!!!!! I'm already drooling.

Guelph_Guy Wed, 01/27/2016 - 20:13

kmetal, post: 435780, member: 37533 wrote: Duly noted. May I ask out of curiosity why you went w the Samsung EVO pro? Is the sm863 not an optimal choice? Jw

well, I scored mine for $ 225.00 CDN,(500 gig) , and the 10 yr warranty drew me to it.... I also believe that cost point for SSD's is falling rapidly, So I didn'tvwant to blow alot of bucks for something I would most likely upgrade within 2/yrs (call me cheap)... The other aspect is can your P C utilize the data transfer rate of the ssd ?

When we look at SSD's we get pretty excited when we see a spec 550-600 Mb/s on sata3

When you see an SSD drive that directly connects to PCIE (it's a PCI card with storage on it) run 1300-1800 Mb/s your perception of storage speed changes quite quickly... Those cards are hovering around 1000-1300 dollars right now, that will be my next upgrade.
(I think the Slowest one available is 800Mb/s)

there are a number of different levels of computers /workstations that all provide different levels of performance. Some are basically internet cruising machines for the web and email and some basic services. At the high end you have machines that can do celestial mechanics or fluid dynamics...somewhere in between is a computer which would be tailored more towards your application (a daw for instance)

If you had a high end engineering workstation say that fancy HP800 with 12 cores and lots of memory, Where is the bottleneck? it's not number crunching capability it's not ram capacity.. So why would you buy one? Well, when you take a look at the motherboards you see slots for up to 4 video cards.. So you can render millions of polygons per second on your screen. And the video cards chain to each other to extend their processing power... Some companies use these for say rendering animation or real time analysis of air flowing over an aircrafts wing. Would this make a good DAW...??? From the number crunching perspective yes,
but you are still burdened with the slowest part of the system, which is the interface that communicates to storage (ssd, hard drive). And yes in our love of audio we still stream to Hard drive/SSD...

So there is a point of diminishing return. the SATA Drive spec is evolving, but at the moment, Sata 3 is still SATA3 and it doesn't matter if it's on 4 cores or 12 cores. transfer from storage to memory and memory to storage is really (from my perspective). The limiting performance factor. Youmcan't push data down the pipe any faster then the device can receive it. Or the other issue is the device is capable of running faster but the pipe is too small. And of course we are so bound to storage as DAW owners. (personally I think we have a pipe problem).

Now with a PCIe SSD the above z800 would be a rocketship...

If my memory serves me well, computers use DMA (direct memory Access ) to transfer from storage directly to memory bypassing the processor all together.

Here's another interesting thing to contemplate. When you read a spec on a hardware device (lets say a network card). And the card is GigE (gigabits per second).
That number is the physical hardware limitation of the card ... basically it's all out. WHAT GETS MISSED... the network card requires a driver to support the card when it's plugged into the PC .. The software driver will in fact not be able to run at that speed. In testing a few years ago, even the best cards could get to 480 Megabits per second less then half of the physical spec.

Anyhow, things are evolving, and storage is still playing catch up... there are new storage transport mechanisms. But we really need a storage medium that directly connects to the computer bus it's here in corporate, just not in "our venue yet"

You can Google PCIe SSD drives, its a real eye opener.

Cheers

Guelph_Guy Wed, 01/27/2016 - 20:20

kmetal, post: 435782, member: 37533 wrote: I looked up the 8200 elite looks like a great buy. 12 cores and 48gb is an insane computer for a grand... Lol haven't even opened my new one and I'm already turning the gears for the next one.

I found hp tech support to be natively English speaking, and new everything about the machine I briefly had. Answered everything. More than I can say for Lenovos support. I've had a couple hp's always found them solid.

But seriously 12 cores, liquid cooled, Xeon, 256 gb of ram!! Lol that's how big my ssd is!!!!! I'm already drooling.

The 12 cores and 48 gig of ram are in the z800, not the 8200...just making sure we're not confused. HP support is top notch... and their support forum is really great too.

Guelph_Guy Wed, 01/27/2016 - 22:34

kmetal, post: 435782, member: 37533 wrote: I looked up the 8200 elite looks like a great buy. 12 cores and 48gb is an insane computer for a grand... Lol haven't even opened my new one and I'm already turning the gears for the next one.

I found hp tech support to be natively English speaking, and new everything about the machine I briefly had. Answered everything. More than I can say for Lenovos support. I've had a couple hp's always found them solid.

But seriously 12 cores, liquid cooled, Xeon, 256 gb of ram!! Lol that's how big my ssd is!!!!! I'm already drooling.

If I was going to jump back into building a new rig it would probably be a

Asus Z170-A motherboard.
A 4.0Gig I7
16 Gig of 3200 MHz DDR4
A Samsung 950 m.2 512 Gig SSD
Win 10 Pro

kmetal Thu, 01/28/2016 - 13:28

Guelph_Guy, post: 435792, member: 47293 wrote: If I was going to jump back into building a new rig it would probably be a

Asus Z170-A motherboard.
A 4.0Gig I7
16 Gig of 3200 MHz DDR4
A Samsung 950 m.2 512 Gig SSD
Win 10 Pro

That makes me feel good because the one that I specked out was nearly identical, except for a gigabyte motherboard instead of Asus .

I'm going to have to check with Lenovo about SATA three, but it came stock with a hybrid SSD drive so I'm hoping that it's on the sata three standard.

I think with my computer being a low level I five chip and the 26 66 MHz RAM that it would not be capable of gigabit speeds or PCI E hard drive speeds. That would most likely be features available on the next computer I invest in. This is just a "hold over" because I have not had my own computer in three years. I have been working at commercial studios so I've been using theirs . Before I invest I will double check the SATA thing to make sure I'm not buying something for nothing. I just wanted to make sure that since this computer is fairly modest that it's running at its full capability and also this is my first foray into computer modifications so I want to test my ability to research and pick equipment as well as install it. I've taken apart a few that run digital mixers etc. etc. so I'm not completely green but, since this is all brand-new including the software it should be a good test experience for me.

kmetal Fri, 01/29/2016 - 10:42

Yeah motherboard just came out, it's got ddr4 memory, which I've read mixed views on, some benchmarks show it smoking ddr3 other audio based things say it won't be much improvement. Either way it's future compatible for a little while at least.

Gonna check on the 4 transport channels on the Lenovo (my new rig).

The original motherboard/custom cpu had the m.2 spec built in, two of them. But that had to go on hold due to new car/home purchase that crept up. By the time I'm ready they'll probably be new stuff at that price point, and/or that one I specd out will be much cheaper than the $1500. Perhaps I'll go Xeon or 12 core.

Good call on the m.2 pcie!!! I'm really wanting to try ssd for my audio drive. Which would require raid configuration for my peice of mind. Due to space limits, I'd likely have to keep it down to current projects, and shuffle things back and forth from my long term storage.

lol this subject gets deeper and deeper, good thing I love swimming!!

Guelph_Guy Sat, 01/30/2016 - 07:47

Well, I suspect I'll hunt down one of those 12 core hp z800 beasts this year and verify I can run pcie ssd in it before I get too crazy ...

Anyhow, I have to reign in my spending habits for a bit

I've spent alot on the studio this year .. even if I bought the gear used

Since mid December its been:

2 Abelton push controllers
Abelton Live suite 9.5
ROLAND A-90
ROLAND A-50
NOVATION remote SL 61
STUDIO ONE PRO 3 Suite
And of Course Sonar Platinum 1 year of updates...
And 8 music theory and advanced theory and production online courses (finished 2 all ready)
Plus another course over on "Grahams" site..

So I've got a lot for personal development and skills for myself this year...

Piano has been my second instrument, guitar being my first (since I was 13)... Composing seems to work better for me on piano, So I scooped an online piano,masterclass... I've been at it hard for a month every day for at least 30 minutes or more and yes I can hear and feel the difference... So it was money well spent from my perspective.

kmetal Sat, 01/30/2016 - 19:57

Wow man you sure have been busy! The stuff I purchased was mostly unexciting, necessities and tools. Hope to change that on 2016.

I called Lenovo, and each time I get a different answer as to the max clock speed the MOBO can handle. They kindly told me to go to the Best Buy geek squad to see if the pcie can handle the m.2 standard. (Sigh) one downside to not purchasing from an Audio cpu maker, or Building myself. Probably gonna just have to scoop up the parts toss em in, and return them if they don't work.

As an aside as far as classes. I've taken 4 or 5 physics courses from Stanford, and the US naval accademy in an attempt to get beyond the fundemtnals of acoustics. Also took a few acoustics classes. These were all free (legitimately) offered by the schools themselves. Literally a Filmed class room, with numbered lectures. The whole courses.

So I'm not sure if your looking for the tests or the certification that might be offered by the classes you took, but there are plenty of free legitimat offering out there if you want to get your feet wet, preview, or get a different perspective.

I commend you for not stopping to learn! I've taken a few theory courses and 5 years of formal guitar lessons (after a few years of diy) and I've actually made teaching myself classical theory to a full understanding a goal of the next couple years. A big reason why I am adament about a great sounding orchestral sample set. My understanding of theory is a bit peice meal, and not an instant response. My ability to read music is quite slow, so I call it an ability to decipher written notation.

Glad your putting your new toys to use. My hitlist is rather utilitarian, monitor controller, converters, stuff like that.

I thought of you the other day cuz my buddy just picked up a moog, and is eyeing a Roland 707. Eventually I'll have a moog a triton and an mpc, but all in due time, from the monitoring 'backward' out to the instruments. Cheers! And hey, I'm sure your daughters braces could wait a couple months if you find a deal on that 12 core ;)

Guelph_Guy Sun, 01/31/2016 - 08:32

Well, My music theory was a little shaky, I had switched to piano as the theory comes easier to me on piano the guitar. The first 2 theory courses I cruised through fairly well... Like yourself, my site reading is poor for piano, however great for drums! I can site read drum music fairly well..

I'm moving over from recording to more composing...That's why the theory review, I also needed to brush up on piano technique..(mechanics of playing). The piano masterclass I'm taking has alot of skills building.. Which is where I'm coming up short..

I'm 55 and working towards retirement...I really want to have recording/composing as my hobby. In the meantime, It's skills building, playing and recording and I occasionally run live sound for friends.. There's just not enough hours in a day right now to do what I love and go to work too ..

What model Lenovo,? I can find out from my end about transport layers and channels for you .. no problem

kmetal Sun, 01/31/2016 - 17:27

Guelph_Guy, post: 435859, member: 47293 wrote: Well, My music theory was a little shaky, I had switched to piano as the theory comes easier to me on piano the guitar. The first 2 theory courses I cruised through fairly well... Like yourself, my site reading is poor for piano, however great for drums! I can site read drum music fairly well..

I'm moving over from recording to more composing...That's why the theory review, I also needed to brush up on piano technique..(mechanics of playing). The piano masterclass I'm taking has alot of skills building.. Which is where I'm coming up short..

I'm 55 and working towards retirement...I really want to have recording/composing as my hobby. In the meantime, It's skills building, playing and recording and I occasionally run live sound for friends.. There's just not enough hours in a day right now to do what I love and go to work too ..

What model Lenovo,? I can find out from my end about transport layers and channels for you .. no problem

Dude, thanks. I appreciate it. I've literally called them about 10 different times, and gotten about 5 different answers. The max MHz speed of the RAM, and the # of transport channels for the pcie slot are the evasive questions. I've picked out RAM sticks for both 2133mhz (which is what the stock RAM speed is) and 2666mhz, which is what one rep said was the max. If it's 2400 I've got that covered too. Lol.

When it comes time for you to put together your studio, I'll hopefully be able to return your graciousness. Acoustics/construction is an area I have a more solid grasp on. If all else fails there's the old buy and try, with a firm grasp on the sales receipt.

Truth be told, you've got me a bit excited (with fingers crossed) about the m.2 ssd speeds. When I was spec'ing out my custom, I didn't realize just how much faster it really was. I was pretty much just picking out the 'best' components, and comparing them brand to brand/feature to feature.

Dual m.2 ssd's in raid configuration has me drooling as an audio drive. Lol I'm slowly becoming the weak link in the audio chain ;). One day Windows is gonna popup saying "please upgrade your mind, for faster creativity".

Here's the info. (Also on the attached thumb, along w a graphic of the computers internals from the manual)

Lenovo Ideacentre 700-25ish

Serial #- R301CU09

Model #- 90ED0009US

Intel i5 6400 (2.7 ghz - 3.3ghz turbo boost)

The manual states 32gb as maximum ram amount. And from what I can tell from an illustratoin, it's got 2 ram slots.

Here's a link to the Intel ark (in case it'd be helpful)

http://ark.intel.com/m/products/88185/Intel-Core-i5-6400-Processor-6M-Cache-up-to-3_30-GHz#@product/specifications

Crucial product finder results:

http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/compatible-upgrade-for/Lenovo/ideacentre-700-25ish

Link for Best Buy basic page for it:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/lenovo-ideacentre-700-desktop-intel-core-i5-8gb-memory-1tb-8gb-hybrid-hard-drive-black/4368200.p?id=1219738783972&skuId=4368200

And the Lenovo support page which was unhelpful besides the manuals, which were not helpful with these particular questions:

Ribbon Microphone Upgrade for MXL R144

Attached files

Guelph_Guy Thu, 02/04/2016 - 19:00

Wow, they don't give up pie/x bus data do they ... other then the x16 for video.. hard finding much on the Lenovo

On another note ,my backlights came in from Hong Kong , not bad ..9 days to Canada ..!!! Anyhow installed a pretty blue one on the Roland A-50 there was a bad bank selection switch on the keyboard as well, I had about 38 switches that were identical in a bag except the pushbutton was too tall, it was just a plastic post so I filed it down to the stock height of the busted switch and soldered it in...

Anyhow, the a-50 is now 100% I cleaned and lunged the keyboard bed as well... the a-50 with my a-90 ex is an absolute beast combination with respect to midi control and channel routing I got to get serious about playing more piano

kmetal Fri, 02/05/2016 - 15:08

Guelph_Guy, post: 435958, member: 47293 wrote: Wow, they don't give up pie/x bus data do they ... other then the x16 for video.. hard finding much on the Lenovo

No lol Lenovo is a pita to deal w. As far as ram goes I'm gonna order the 3 speeds and see what works when the computer is running, and return the others. I'm going to see if I can get more info from the MOBO serial #, when I open it up. I found some low latency ram w 2133 clock speed so I'll still be satisfied if all else fails.

Is there anyway to test/figure out the number of channels on the pcie slots, when j get the thing open? If not, should I just grab an m.2 card and drive and try it?

I appreciated your effort man, guess it's time to buy and try. Gotta orefer the rest of the software, drives, and psu, and then I'll mess w the ram and pcie slots.

This thing looks cool, my buddy showed it to me today. I think we all could use one. It's. Ow on my growing list of computer supplies.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Triplicator?adpos=1t1&creative=83049426001&device=m&matchtype=b&network=g&gclid=CLf6ooCq4coCFcgXHwodLjsD1g

"Guelph_Guy, post: 435958, member: 47293 wrote:

On another note ,my backlights came in from Hong Kong , not bad ..9 days to Canada ..!!! Anyhow installed a pretty blue one on the Roland A-50 there was a bad bank selection switch on the keyboard as well, I had about 38 switches that were identical in a bag except the pushbutton was too tall, it was just a plastic post so I filed it down to the stock height of the busted switch and soldered it in...

Anyhow, the a-50 is now 100% I cleaned and lunged the keyboard bed as well... the a-50 with my a-90 ex is an absolute beast combination with respect to midi control and channel routing I got to get serious about playing more piano

It's the kind of enginuity like filing the post down that would have others like me baffled, and signing on to Amazon w the credit card.

That's awesome the repair went smooth. Sounds like it's time to unleash the beast!

kmetal Fri, 02/05/2016 - 19:46

Ok cool. I'll start with one. That can be the main audio drive, and I can use the glyph truplateler to do backup. I think this is going to take some trial and error, so I'm going to do one thing at a time. Given I'm starting from scratch I can't have too many hard drives, I can always link one up to my NAS inside a cheap case.

I'm finding that one advantage I had to building the custom, was knowing every little component and capability. Like for instance the MOBO did in fact support 2 m.2 drives, and the pcie capability was clearly defined.

I'm still excited to 'supercharge' this computer, but buying something like those Hps had the advantage of just running well stock. This is a great learning experience. Becoming very excited to see this computer and NAS come together. With a nice streamlined high quality software set, I'm going to have months worth of learning curves. I enjoy having productive stuff to do.

Also, wondering if you have any experience with the Roland TR-8, my synth obsessed buddy was thinking of getting one, jw what your thoughts were on them.

kmetal Fri, 02/05/2016 - 21:00

Guelph_Guy, post: 435988, member: 47293 wrote: I'm actually picking up another HP box Monday for my daughter, she runs ableton Live 9.5, So a 3.3gig I5 16 gig of ram and 2 western digital blacks which I have lying around should set her up pretty nice

Better specs than mine and I'm a sound guy by trade lol. Ableton wasn't my thing becuase I do a lot of band recording, but I loved the warp feature. Poeple who are good w the program have done some cool stuff which isn't real easily achieved in more traditional daws. I like innovation.

Curious, is it ddr3 memory or ddr4?

Guelph_Guy Sat, 02/06/2016 - 00:54

The units are ddr3 , personally, I'm not sure if I would see even a difference in ram speed for the applications I run , I know it would show rendering or video processing. Maybe there's some advantage to faster ram to support vst effects processing.
The biggest bang is still the SSD by far,

As for recording I'm pretty much a "line in" guy... I can go directly to line in with my synths, Guitars, and drums! And pretty much else. Most of my A/D gear is MOTU stuff ... (which from what I understand is more pro-sumer then pro!.. )So I've Got some 1296's and a 2408 mk3 as my core setup. The 2408 feeds a TC Helicon monitor controller via spdif. The monitor controller in turn feeds a set of powered jbl studio monitors. I'm pretty happy with this solution.
As for channel strips. I've got a pair of focusrite liquid channels set up as a stereo pair which uses aes/ebu out to the aes/ebu input on my 1296's.
(I understand these units don't get much love, but personally I like the sound).. and I got them used and fairly cheap..
Everything is tied down clockwise with an apogee big ben, .

music in the house ranges from country folk to rock to edm and dubstep (yep dubstep) guess you know what ableton is being used for lol

So in the end I'm digital from the preamp right through to the monitor controller... and somewhere in the middle there's a computer with Sonar and Studio One
Studio One is new to me , So far its pretty nice and it doesn't seem to complain at all on the HP 8200 elite computer with the I5 and 16 gig of ram plus an ssd and a mechanical hard drive for audio. Pretty solid so far. However, I'm not tracking a lot of channels either

Guelph_Guy Sat, 02/06/2016 - 01:08

All my gear above I bought used through the music boards around here...I've got less the 4000.00 CDN tied up in it .. including computers and software.
All the other money is in instruments and used keyboards which if they have a problem, (bad power supply or noisy controls or bad jacks, or burned out back lights I usually get them for cheap. The big ben had a bad solder joint, found it in like 10 minutes. Computer was 125.00 with windows,. I had a big discount on Sonar and Studio one as well.. and a free upgrade to windows 10 as the used computer came with a licensed copy of windows 7.

This will become my retirement hobby, and as I'm not recording professionally I need to do this on the cheap, but I've had some good scores of the used boards.

x