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New build advice for audio recording/editing Budget:£600($1000)

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December 31, 2012 11:56:57 AM

Hi, I'm looking to put together a PC exclusively for audio recording/mixing. Even though it's my first build I'm confident enough around tech to know roughly what I need and how to put it all together, the only thing I could use a bit of help with are recommendations for specific brands/models and system cooling which isn't my area of expertise.

I've debated over choosing between Intel i5 and i7 - obviously it seems like a no-brainer but I think I'll stick with the i5-2500k, simply because I think it'll handle what I'll be throwing at it and has the ability to be overclocked if needed.

Most of my recording will be with an electric guitar through an audio interface which I already have, the rest will be handled by VSTs in either Cubase or Reaper. I also have a Zoom H4N recorder that I'd like to make use of in the future for recording vocals but that's not a major concern for this build.

So I guess that's it, I'm interested to see what you guys can recommend - especially when it comes to cases/cooling - all information will be appreciated!


Approximate Purchase Date: Over the next 4-8 weeks

Budget Range: Up to £600 ($1000)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Audio editing exclusively

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, Optical drive

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Overclockers.co.uk, Ebuyer.com
Scan.co.uk, Quietpc.com, Tekheads.co.uk, Pcspecialist.co.uk (Basically any site based in or which will ship to the UK/Northern Ireland)


Country: UK/Ireland/Northern Ireland

Parts Preferences: Intel Core i5-2500k, SSD for O.S. & programs, 7500 RPM HDD for data, 8gb RAM

Overclocking: Maybe

Additional Comments: Noise reduction and cooling are probably important factors to consider
December 31, 2012 12:08:46 PM

I chose a quiet case for you. The i5-2500k is now out of date, the new i5-3570k is better and cheaper
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£161.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£81.32 @ Scan.co.uk)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£60.24 @ Aria PC)
Storage: Hitachi Deskstar 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£52.60 @ Ebuyer)
Storage: Mushkin Chronos 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£98.34 @ Aria PC)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case (£89.29 @ Scan.co.uk)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 520W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£66.07 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £609.85
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-31 14:08 GMT+0000)
December 31, 2012 12:31:15 PM

It might be worth using a Xeon, the E3-1230 V2 is effectively an i7-3770 without the integrated graphics for a lot less cash. It only costs around £10 more than an i5-3570k. You can't overclock the Xeon but it is highly unlikely you would want that in this kind of rig anyway. Surely you would want it to be very quiet. Obviously it would mean you would need a discrete graphics card but that isn't such a bad thing. At least you could have dual DVI ports available for dual monitors.

EDIT: Is your audio interface USB or firewire?

Related resources
December 31, 2012 4:18:59 PM

E3-1230V2
2x8GB Corsair Vengeance 1600Mhz 1.5v
MSI H77MA-G43
Zotac NVIDIA GT 610 Zone (Passive and dual DVI)
Intel 520 Series 120GB
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
Seasonic G-360 360W
Fractal Design Core 1000

Total is about £600, CPU from Ebuyer and the rest from scan
January 27, 2013 7:55:03 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone and apologies for my lateness. It'll be another while before I can actually buy my system, "current economic climate" and all that! I'll certainly take into account all of your suggestions and when I've decided on a build I'll let you all know.
!