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New Build $1200 - Review - Home Recording Studio -

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March 6, 2011 8:28:39 PM

Hello,

I am building a new PC (my first time) with the following components for my home recording studio. I run a lot of plugins and stream a lot of audio samples from my hard drive.


Can you guys please comment on my selection below. Any recommendation/suggestion/advice will be greatly appreciated!


Beside the components below, I will be adding a TV card, additional SATA harddrive, Graphics card and Audio interface from my current PC.


Mobo:
ASUS P8P67 PRO LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$149.99

Processor: (will be overclocked to 4.8 Ghz, if necessary)
Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K
$329.99

Cooler:
COOLER MASTER V6 RR-V6SV-22PR-R1 DynaLoop CPU Cooler w/ Universal bracket
$49.99

RAM:
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
$99.99

Hard Drive:
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
$89.99

Power Supply:
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX850 V2 850W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power ...
$139.99

SATA Cable:
OKGEAR 18" SATA 6 Gbps Cable, Straight to Left Angle W/ Metal Latch, Black, Backward Compatible 3 Gbps and 1.5 Gbps
($4.99 each)

DVD Drive:
LITE-ON DVD Writer - Bulk - Black SATA Model iHAS224-06 LightScribe Support - OEM
$19.99

Case:
COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Advanced Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
$89.99

OS:
Windows 7 Ultimate
a b B Homebuilt system
March 6, 2011 11:15:15 PM


Hey, what are you planning to use for graphics? Unless you have a couple of power hungry cards, your PSU is too big.

There are very few reasons to get the ultimate version of Windows. Unless you already own it, I suggest Home Premium for $100.
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March 7, 2011 12:24:19 AM

Thanks for the reply.

I have old Nvidia GeForce 8400 GS. I dont think they are power hungry.
I dont know if I will ever add any other component that will consume significant amount of power, however I just wanted to leave some room just incase if I need one later.

So should I just go with 650 W? or 750 W?


Any other comments?
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 7, 2011 3:06:02 AM


The 8400 GS takes almost nothing. Even if you seriously overclocked your CPU you could still get away with a 300 W PSU. Something around 500 watts bronze certified should last you another 6 years, like this: Antec EarthWatts EA-500D Green 500W for $73.

That will let you upgrade to a light gaming card or any combination of components you might decide on. It is also energy efficient which will reduce operating cost.

You could shave another $25 off if you went with a Samsung hard drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB for $65. Performance is close to the Caviar Black, and energy consumption and heat are less.

All your other parts are compatible and balanced.

Any thoughts about adding an SSD, now that you have saved some to help pay for it? This one is relatively fast and reasonably priced in the current market: OCZ Agility 2 OCZSSD2-2AGT80G 2.5" 80GB for $160.


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March 7, 2011 9:59:24 AM

I will step down my power supply.

Regarding the harddrive, I chose the other one because it's transfer rate was 6GB/s instead of 3GB/s. I stream tons of samples from harddrive, so I thought faster one would give me some advantage.

Also, I had thought about getting a SSD but, I am not sure what I can do with anything less than 500 GB, unless I use that just for OS. The virtual instrument plugins that I run in the studio are about 50 GB each, and I run about 5-6 of them.
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March 7, 2011 1:10:04 PM

Use separate drives for your OS/swap file/programs and your audio files.

Which software are you using?

What audio interface?

That will help me answer you better.
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March 7, 2011 7:20:44 PM

So install OS in one drive and install all other Applications in a separate drive? I was thinking of creating multiple partitions (2-3) for that.

I will be using Sonar X1 (Producer)and Fruity loops 9(Producer). I may use huge VST Intrument plugins like Synthogy Ivory, Trillian Bass, Superior Drummer, Miroslav Philaharmonic Orchestra, Omnisphere, etc at the same time. Although Fruity Loops' "4 GB RAM limit" may limit me.

Audio interface will probably be RME fireface 400. I may add my current Echo Mia (PCI card)as well.

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March 8, 2011 6:15:18 AM

It is a good idea to have the OS and audio on separate drives. Also, the swap file should be on a different physical drive from the audio as well. It isn't that the applications need to be on a separate drive, but the audio itself including the VST data files (which is basically audio samples, gigs of them.)

For compatibility reasons it is recommended that you add a firewire card to the machine. Texas Instruments firewire chipsets are more reliable for audio use (unless you want to spend time tweaking the firewire settings, which the RME drivers do allow) and so you might want to add a TI-based firewire card to the build.

FL Studio also supports 64-bit, and you should install 64-bit windows. I dont know if the bridge runs the VSTs as a separate project (like in REAPER) but its still advisable.
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March 12, 2011 2:10:57 AM

One more question, is there any point upgrading my Graphics card?

I have Nvidia GeForce 8400 GS (256 MB) from 2008. I don't play games or watch movies on my PC. Just wondering if I will see any major improvement if I upgrade to Ati 1Gb graphics card.

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March 12, 2011 2:30:55 AM

Musically? no. DAW makes no use of your graphics card. But you can drive larger monitors...
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