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Building a new audio editing work station

Last response: in Systems
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December 21, 2010 4:51:43 PM

Hello,
i need help understanding some things about building systems. things like how can i get the fastest file transfer rates and what kind of ram is best for my needs.
i don't care about video games and video editing, but i would like to be able to edit on cubase and ableton live with multiple vst plugins on multiple tracks ( the more the merrier)
so far i was thinking about these components:
$209 GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R
$260 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Desktop Memory Model F3-16000CL9T-12GBRM
$294 Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor
300Fujitsu MBA3300NP 300GB 15000 RPM 8MB Cache SCSI Ultra320 68pin 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
$165 MSI R5770 Hawk Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

being an audio editing system my 2 biggest concerns are fan noise and data transfer rates.

i dont really undersstand how raid arrays work or if they are nesecary for me

another question is this, if i get only one 15000 rpm drive, is it better to use that as the C drive or the drivee that houses data that i am working with

December 21, 2010 4:56:11 PM

Hi siso, as far as your question about transfer rates; I can give you a little bit of advice coming from a video editor's perspective.

Since editing HD files with massive bitrates requires extremely fast throughput, it's always been best to have a small HD (either a 7200RPM mech. drive, or a fancy SSD) and edit your files off of an external drive (preferrably RAID0 or 1 depending on your needs). This gives you the greatest flexibility when working with and backing up your data.

I'd imagine audio file size is about a third of the size of HD video so I can't really tell you if you need the transfer speeds of a RAID, but they are certainly nice to work with!
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December 21, 2010 5:34:28 PM

By the way, I see you have selected a SCSI hard drive in your spec-out....

However, I doubt if your mainboard has integrated SCSI (few home-user/enthusiast boards do)...

Just letting you know you will need a SCSI controller card to utilize the drive if determined to get the drive you specified.

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December 21, 2010 6:00:17 PM

mdd1963,
the reason i picked that scsi hardrive was that it spins at 15000rpm and a scsi controller card is cheap, wav file of similar lengths are probably 10 times small than hd video files, for example, cd quality audio, which is what i work with is about 80 mins at 700 mb, but what i need thats more important then massive throughput is extremely fast response time to reduce latency to approx 20 miliseconds.
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December 21, 2010 6:35:07 PM

i record pro audio with Cubase too.. and Cubase /w its plugins are very CPU hungry and can take up a lot of RAM as well. so your CPU+Mobo+RAM choice is excellent

if you overclock that CPU (it's almost a sin if you don't.. especially with that motherboard - good choice), than lots of your audio decoding apps will benefit from the high clock rates that CPU can easily get to

as for that video card - wrong choice... it's a 'gaming class' video card... and it's got fans which will up your background noise during recordings as well...

look at this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- it's silent (no fan)... you can connect up to 3 monitors at once (great for editing).. and even casually play a game on decent settings if you wanted too :)  and it's cheaper @ only $100

as for your hard drive configuration... if you can tell me how much money you're willing to spend on hard drives in total..(?) i can recommend you the best config for audio needs...

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December 21, 2010 9:02:53 PM

wasupmike said:


as for your hard drive configuration... if you can tell me how much money you're willing to spend on hard drives in total..(?) i can recommend you the best config for audio needs...

thanks for the info

i am willing to spend as much as it takes to make a dope system, I dont need a sound card, planning on buying a mackie onyx, I'll need an optical drive though, so...


whats listed below adds up to 1300, i was thinking 2000 or less would be ideal but really i want the best, i dont need much storage, lets say C: drive around 100 gig and D: drive 500gig.

another question is this... is 200 dollars for a case necessary, someone on another forum told me that lian li case was excellent and quiet... quiet is definately a goal....

so please tell me if i should use solid state or scsi 15000 rpm or raid array.

MB: $209 GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R
RAM: $260 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Desktop Memory Model F3-16000CL9T-12GBRM
CPU: $294 Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor
GPU: $100 SAPPHIRE Ultimate 100289UL Radeon HD 5670 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity
PSU: $139 ENERMAX PRO87+ EPG500AWT 500W 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Power Supply
CASE: $200 Lian Li PC-B25FB
FANS: $75 Noctua NH-U12P SE2 (CPU)
and 5 case fans controlled by
$18 Scythe Kaze Server fan controller
OS: $260 Windows 7 Professional 64

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Best solution

December 22, 2010 2:24:55 AM

first, save the ~$40 and get the Windows 7 Home Premium.. and not the Professional.. there's absolutely nothing in the 'Pro' version that you need over the 'Home Premium'

ok, so let's say ~$600 for the drives, just to have a goal to reach...

my best recommendation would be to get an SSD over ANY mechanical drive, no matter how fast it is... the performance difference is astounding. especially for OS + applications (small /random access stuff)

go with this for your OS + all your apps:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- OCZ Vertex 2 120GB SSD: $230

then for your data... especially the large audio data files... get these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- 2 x Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB 10,000 RPM: $340 ($170 each)

you don't need to bother with SCSI drives and the driver complications, etc... that's more for 'Server environments'... (and 15000 rpm will be loud for audio recordings)... this will be MORE than suffice for your needs

what you need to do with those two 'VelociRaptors is put them in 'RAID 0' for 1 superfast 600GB data drive, which will be optimal for those large audio files and transfers

so save the audio apps' data to the RAID 0... but also be sure to have an external backup option (of course), as the RAID 0 is not good for data security (but great for performance)

that's ~$570... below "budget".... and amazing performance... more than adequate..!
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December 22, 2010 12:25:49 PM

so here is the system so far:

MB: $199 GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R
RAM: $260 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Desktop Memory Model F3-16000CL9T-12GBRM
CPU: $294 Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor
HD: $229 OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE120G 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
HD: $169 x2 Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS 300GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
$169
GPU: $100 SAPPHIRE Ultimate 100289UL Radeon HD 5670 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity
PSU: $139 ENERMAX PRO87+ EPG500AWT 500W 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Power Supply
CASE: $109 Antec Dark Fleet DF-30 Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
FANS: $75 Noctua NH-U12P SE2 (CPU)
DVD: $20 LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Writer
OS: $99 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

1,869.88

do i need anything else, excluding programs and a monitor... thank you so much
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December 22, 2010 12:26:08 PM

Best answer selected by siso80.
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December 22, 2010 5:48:48 PM

that looks great... you'll have an amazing audio editing monster that'll last you years...

if you want to 'top it off with' one last minor change... you'll want the best PSU you can get... and nothing beats Corsair/SeaSonic for all around consistent quality power at almost any price level:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Corsair VX550w: $80

or if you want an easier setup process and better airflow cause of less cabling... go modular (highly recommended for cleaner custom builds):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Corsair HX650w: $120

you won't need 650w... but it's modular... and will probably outlast the PC...

good luck buddy,
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