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CPU for audio creation/editing?

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June 10, 2011 1:59:02 PM

What's up folks, a couple of my friends rhyme and they wanted to get into making their own beats and such. They will be using protools, sony acid reason etc to do all of this.

The problem lies in the fact they they are not really tech savvy (one of em didnt know that memory meant ram and not hdd space) and have bought into the "apple is always better for anything multimedia hype. I told them they I could build them something way more powerful than the mac they were looking at and it would cost nearly $1,000 less.

I priced up a build using the 2600k as a base but I think that's overkill so my question is what is a good cpu for audio creation tasks? Should I go with an I3 2100, Some variant of an I5 or something like a phenom X4-X6??

Also does ram play a large role in music creation? I recommended they have bare minimum 6 Gb in there or should they go with 8 cause i'll probably be installing virtual box so they can run OSX in case they just HAVE to have mac software.

any info would be helpful. Thanks

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a b à CPUs
June 10, 2011 3:13:52 PM

Actually, I use Protools 8 M-Powered with an i7-930. Protools uses all 8 threads. It just depends on what software will be used for the recording whether or not it's built to fully utilize a powerful processor. You can get really good deals these days on the last gen i7s (1366) which will fulfill the needs of audio production and keep that cost under $1000 (especially if you live near a microcenter).

System memory is key with real-time editing and processing as well. 8GB should be what's necessary for this purpose.

Also, a key point is to have a decent-speed disk to record the raw audio to that's separate from the disk on which you run the editing/production software. A Western Digital Black Edition 7200 speed works great as a record drive.

For Protools I use a WD Blue drive on which I have Pro Tools installed.

Bottom line is the application and data should be on separate drives and the data drive should be fast.

I also use an Nvidia 210 1 GB and it seems to have no compatibility issues even when I push my RTAS plug-ins to my second monitor.

Here's my audio production setup in it's entirety:
Hardware (prices in USD):
HAF 912 (~$60)
Coolermaster ModXtreme 600W (~$70)
Asus Sabertooth X58 (~$200)
i7-930 (i7-950s are $180 at Microcenter)
Coolermaster Hyper 212 plus ($25)
6GB (3x2) Kingston HyperX 1600 (but running at the default 1066) (~50)
Sony Optical Multi-Combo drive (~$20)
OEM Western Digital Blue 500GB (OS and Applications) (~$40)
OEM Western Digital Black 1TB (data) (~$70)
Nvidia 210 1GB video card (~$40)
(All hardware around $755)

Interface Hardware:
Oxygen 25
M-Audio Fast-track Pro USB

Monitors:
2x KRK Rokit 6 Monitors

OS:
Win 7 Home Premium 64-bit

The recording interfaces they use will depend on their requirements. If they are recording one or two instruments at a time in a home-studio setting, the setup I have above is more than sufficient.

The worst thing is, if they've already bought into the Apple marketing machine, you are going to have a heck of a time convincing them otherwise even with the proof right in front of their face. It's like a tipping point in logic. Can't explain it, but for the fact that Apple has got to have the absolute best marketing team on Earth.
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June 10, 2011 3:36:49 PM

Thanks for the for the reply. All I know is on of my boys has an old m-box (know know which model) and they plan on using all the programs i mentioned before. I got an I7 920 so might just sell them that and my gigabyte ex-58 mobo since im probably gonna go 2600k soon.

The plan was always to get them a 1tb disk but didn't know it was a good idea to have apps and data separate so good lookin on that. Will probably get a 330-500 gb for Os and main apps.

I know they want dual monitor support so I think a hd 5450 will do just fine. I got an activated copy of W7 pro x64 so that cuts costs down too. So with the specs you listed there is not slowdown or noticeable strain on pc? I ask because my rig is for gaming so i don't know if the stress from music editing is similar
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a b à CPUs
June 10, 2011 3:42:29 PM

No strain. Not to worry.
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June 10, 2011 3:43:44 PM

Make sure they follow the Avid guidelines for using ProTools though. One wrong Windows update and it could blow up ProTools.
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June 10, 2011 3:48:44 PM

Thanks for the info.
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June 10, 2011 3:48:57 PM

Best answer selected by tical2399.
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a b à CPUs
February 3, 2012 6:36:33 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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