SSD and RAM configuration questions (master/slave) PC Builds

Discussion in 'Computing' started by kmetal, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    Hey y'all,

    @pcrecord @Boswell @anyone

    I'm getting ready to pull the trigger soon on some new PCs for an interim recording rig to be put together over the spring/summer. It's a job is to get me by for a couple years, and to be a prototype for a larger higher end system, and to help me gauge how much computing power I ultimately need for my software set and workflow. These are essentially supposed to be Bang for the Buck builds capable of mid level professional performance for a single writing/editing/mix rig.

    The PCs are based on i7 6800k 6 core processors, seasonic titanium PSU, asRock tia chi MOBO (Bang for the buck- opinions on asrock MOBOs welcome!), and some rack cases.

    I'm gonna make two of them one as a master- daw, one as slave for BFD, VSL, and effects busses.

    Then when I make an 8-12+ core flagship master daw in a year or two, I'll have twin slave computers, one dedicated to BFD solely.


    1. The mobo can handle xeon chips, and 256gb of registered memory, or 128gb of un-registered memory for i- series chips.

    Aside from 'more is better' are there any advantages to going w the more expsensive ram (registered)? This also requires a xeon chip which is considerably slower clock speed than the 6800.

    Do is registered memory worth it in general? In my particular case?

    Regardless im gonna start w 64gb in each machine then upgrade asap. At least that's the current idea.

    2. The SSDs are lighting fast samusung 960 evo that are like 1,500-2,200 mb/s!!! And they're affordable.

    My plan is for 2x 500gb drives for the samples on the slave machine, as well as 1x audio drive for the daw. The others will be 250gb for the OS.

    I'm thinking of splitting the 400gb of BFD to one drive, and then the VSL, and UVI ocrchestra and synth stuff to another drive.

    Am I any better off running those in RAID (striping) mode, where they would be teamed up and acting as one large drive with a 2x transfer speed?

    Or is it better for them to be split, giving BFD and VSL/UVI their own dedicated bandwidth running in regular non raid mode?

    I'm interested in reliable performance, and ok w pushing things a bit like overclocking a few hundred MHz provided it's all running generally well day to day.


    Also a big consideration is avid media composer video editor is heavy duty and some of the 'approved and tested' by avid PCs are grossly powered 12-22 core beasts! Bare min reccomended was i7 quad core, so I'm barely a step up from the min from a single computer perspective.

    So that's why I think i might need an 8-12 core eventually for the flagship daw computer. It's also why I'm wondering if maybe the xeon/256gb registered memory might be worth it for the current master daw. Which is fine becuase it'll be a great for VSL when the flagship comes.

    The xeon chip I can afford right now is like 2.6ghz, the i7 is 3.4, both similarly priced around 400$ and fit into the asrock MOBO.

    Any thoughts are welcomed. Thanks!
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    I'm no expert on PC builds Kyle- so take my suggestion for what it's worth ... but anytime you are in a position to get more bang than what you require now is never going to hurt you.
    The thing with current digital recording technology - and the never ending requirements that it presents for optimal results - is that by our very nature, we tend to base these requirements on the "now"... and it can be a challenge to look years (or in some cases even just months) ahead and try to anticipate what we might require in the future. I guess I'm saying, go for as much power and storage as you can possibly afford. Technology -especially multimedia tech -just moves so damned fast these days...
    Sorry if I'm coming off as "Captain Obvious" with this are a very intelligent guy so I know you already know this; but it might help someone else out there who is new to this scenario. ;)
    kmetal likes this.
  3. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2013
    Quebec, Canada
    Home Page:
    I'm a bit out of the game because it's been a long time since I built a computer at work. 10 years back Asrock offered the cheapest motherboard on the market and we had a lot of defective ones. The support was barely ok. But 10 years is a long time, they might be on top now..

    I don't know about avid video, but Adobe Premiere, needs a very good video card to work well (even if the CPU run at lower speed). It would make more sens to put more money on the display card if video work would be a common activity.

    Samsung HDD aren't the top of the line in quality and life expectency (so rumors say). I went with a Crucial SSD 480g and I'm happy with it.
    Xeon CPU are very different animals compared to I7. They are made for intense and long period of time. This is our first choice for Autocad and other drawing softwares.

    So in conclusion, if I was to buy a new multimedia Workstation. I'd seriously consider the HP z840 (as recommended by Avid) or similar systems
    Xeon with quadro video cards put ease on hard work... (expensive but Worth it)!&vao=+
    kmetal likes this.
  4. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    Love the HPz840! That was what I used as a template/ benchmark for a workstation when I was looking into media composer last fall.

    I've decided to roll with the xeon processors for this, since the price diff is only 60$ to jump from 6core i7 (3.4ghz) to an 8 core xeon (2.1ghz) or $275 to jump to a 10 core xeon (2.2ghz). The jump from 6-core i7 to 8-core xeon seems to be a no brainer. With better overall reliability and ram capacity it's probably a better long term buy, plus I like the option of dual CPU configurations to, which is only possible on xeon.

    So as far as chips the the best I can afford is the 10-core xeon for 675$ or the 8-core xeon for 414$. There's some diminishing returns w the ten core but not gross. The next step up is significant diminishing returns at the 12core/1100$ point.

    I really want the 10core becuase video is a consideration. I'm going to by the same for both PCs so I can have a pair of slave machines and : or redundant daws/parts. Also if I decide to use those chips in a dual CPU MOBO for the flagship workstation 20core sounds cooler than 16 lol.


    @pcrecord i have been using gigabyte boards for my mock ups on paper since you reccomended them last year.

    I think I'm gonna take a chance on the asrock since the gigabyte equivalent is $600 vs $200. From what I gathered asrock has become or is an ok 'budget' brand and in this case the taichi model got great marks for Bang for the buck.

    Im sure I'm compromising long term reliability but that's ok for now. There's a higher risk of Doa as well.

    When I go and build the true workstation I'm defiantly not skimping on the MOBO.


    I'm going to have to do some serious research on graphics cards, since that's what I know least about, barely anything actually.


    I'll probably just experiment w the raid mode vs no raid SSD sample drive(s) configuration and see what works best.

    Hopefully this new setup will be help me define my needs for when I do the big time workstations in a couple years.

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