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Please Advise on Audio Production/Gaming Computer

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April 10, 2011 10:11:26 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within April


Budget Range: Cost </= $2,000


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Music production, audio editing, gaming, HD movies


Parts Not Required: Already have studio monitors, Razer Copperhead, and keyboard


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com


Country of Origin: United States


Parts Preferences: i7 2600k or 970 (also open to 1100T Black), SATA 6.0 Gb/s, USB 3.0, FireWire


Overclocking: Yes


SLI or Crossfire: Maybe


Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1200


Additional Comments: First, this forum has been very helpful and I want to thank all the computer enthusiasts. Now, this computer will be used for a variety of purposes. However, I feel that music production must be addressed. The digital audio workstations that I use are 64-bit applications that utilize mutli-core processors and use up quite a bit of RAM. I will be using virtual instruments and audio effects within the applications, which add to resource usage. I would like to be able to seamlessly play twenty or so audio tracks with effects while recording instruments, vocals, or both. I would prefer that the computer be somewhat quiet so as not to interfere with music playback and listening. However, the computer will not be close to any microphones, so I don't think any foam in the case will be necessary. I do plan on overclocking the CPU and want enough cooling power to keep everything stable. If this requires a louder computer, so be it.

As for the monitor resolution, I have a 26" Samsung monitor that I would like to be able to run at 1920 x 1200 for the audio applications, but not necessarily for games (but it would be nice :)  ). I was thinking a GTX 570 or two GTX 560 Ti's in SLI. This just depends on the cost of the other components. Finally, I'm leaning towards the 2600k because of the cost and overclocking ability, but if you guys think the 970 would be better for the audio applications, then I will definitely switch to that.

Case:
Antec DF-85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

Corsair Obsidian 800D
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

Antec Twelve Hundred V3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU:
Corsair 850TX - need to be able to power external interfaces (MIDI controller, audio interface) and I'm set on Corsair
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard:
ASUS P8P67 Deluxe
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU:
EVGA SuperClocked GTX 570
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2 x EVGA SuperClocked GTX 560 in SLI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD:
2 x Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 7200 RPM in RAID 0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooling:
Thermaltake Frio
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

Zalman CNPS9900ALED
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory:
G.Skill Ripjaw 4 x 4Gb @ 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Would like recommendations on the following:
BluRay drive. There are a few options for 16Gb of RAM at the price of $229. Would you guys recommend Vengeance, HyperX, or Ripjaws?

Thoughts:
Would CPU liquid cooling be noticeable quieter than air cooling? If so, what are some liquid cooling solutions that you guys would recommend? This setup would be right around $1,800, but if I were to go the 970 route, I would cut back in the graphics department since the processing power and RAM are my main concerns.

Any and all input is appreciated. Please keep in mind that I have never built a computer before and am intimidated by things like thermal compound application and components not fitting properly. Thank you.

Best solution

April 11, 2011 12:29:56 AM

definitely go with the 2600k. it will outperform the 970 in many cases, at half the cost. the 2600k can be OCd much higher as well
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/287?vs=157

liquid cooling would be a bit quieter, but not that much. there are still fans running in both ways. Liquid cooling also costs a ton and will be difficult if you haven't built a computer before. a full setup would probably add another grand to your cost. You should look into acoustic dampening foam and quiet fans.

for the case, the obsidian cases are meant more for watercooling. But cases are a matter of personal preference, so choose whatever you like.

Good choice for the PSU, but check out this seasonic. It passively cools itself at low useage. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

mobo looks good. 2 570s are overkill for 1920x1200. 2 560s are too, but not by much. You should get models with aftermarket coolers, such as this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
cards in SLI or CF tend to run hotter and noiser, so getting a single more powerful card might be smarter. One 570 or 580 should be enough unless you ever game on more than one monitor.

for hard drives, add an SSD as the boot drive. using your audio program on an SSD would also eliminate a lot of bottleneck like reading 20 different sounds at once.

You might want the Noctura D14 for low noise for you CPU cooler http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
also, noctura case fans are probably very quiet as well if you want to add any.

for any bluray drive, it shouldnt matter much. just check to make sure it doesnt have terrible reviews
Almost the same goes for RAM, the heatsinks and whatnot only matter if you are overclocking ram.
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April 11, 2011 3:03:58 AM

Red & Black Build

I was bored...so everything here is color coordinated :p  But not only does it look great, it works great. That Zalman cpu h/s down below is rated on Frosty Techs top 10 cpu h/s list, that G.SKill RAM screams (16GB of it in this build), not to mention this build also includes dual factory o/c gtx 560's in SLI, and an over kill Corsair modular 850w psu (I saw you wanted that one so wth...it's here). The covers on those Gigabyte vid cards are black, so they go with the mobo, RAM, etc...

Oh and for the h/d's... I would bag the WD 500's in RAID 0, and stick with one decent size SSD, and one fast and quit 1TB h/d like that Samsung down below. That h/d is by far the most recommended h/d on this board and for good reason. It's fast, quiet, and reliable.

http://www.amazon.com/Antec-Gaming-Case-Desktops-DF-85/... $155.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Antec Gaming Case for Desktops DF-85

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$30.00 Combo Price: $374.98 $10.00 Mail-In Rebate Card $20.00 Mail-In Rebate Card Price After Mail-In Rebate(s): $344.98
CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
GIGABYTE GV-N560OC-1GI GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $239.99 (Before $20.00 Mail-In Rebate Card)
GIGABYTE GV-N560OC-1GI GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$25.00 Combo Price: $319.98
ASUS SABERTOOTH P67 (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBSR

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $124.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBSR

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $314.99 FREE SHIPPING
Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99 FREE SHIPPING
ZALMAN CNPS9900MAX-R 135mm Long life bearing CPU Cooler Red LED

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Spinpoint-Cache-Desktop-H... $60.91 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Samsung 1 TB Spinpoint 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.5 inch Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive HD103SJ

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109.99
SONY Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 8X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM 8MB Cache SATA Internal Blu-ray Burner Blu-ray Burner BD-5300S-0B - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $194.99
OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX120G 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Total: $1,951.80 *not including Windows (o/s), shipping, mail in rebates, etc..

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 FREE SHIPPING
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

*** Some more combo's worth looking at...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$20.00 Combo Price: $294.98
GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD4-B3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBSR

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$35.00 Combo Price: $309.98
ASUS SABERTOOTH P67 (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$30.00 Combo Price: $284.98
GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD4-B3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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April 11, 2011 7:02:34 PM

Alright, 2600k it is. I like the Noctua D14 with a 120mm and 140mm fan. I'm thinking replace all the fans with Scythe fans anyway. In an Antec Twelve Hundred that would be 7 fans total. You guys think 6 120mm Scythe Slipstreams and a 140mm Slipstream in the top would keep the case cool enough (in addition to the Noctua D14 with Scythe fans as well)? Only reason I ask is because the Slipstreams are apparently designed to produce less noise, but at the cost of some air flow.

I really like that SSD idea from both of you guys and I'm surprised I didn't even think of it. I have a pretty big collection of sounds and samples (around 50 Gb) which would go to the Samsung 1TB drive with the music program on the SSD. Wouldn't I need to have the sounds on the SSD to make better use of the HDD speed? I feel like I'd need to have all the music related files and virtual instruments on the SSD. Definitely want to put the OS and music programs on a SSD now.

Good point about two GTX 560's being louder and hotter. All that being said, here's a revised build.

Case:
Antec Twelve Hundred V3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU:
Corsair 750TX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard:
Asus P8P67 Deluxe
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU:
EVGA SuperClocked GTX 570
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD:
Samsung Spinpoint 1TB 7200rpm
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.Skill Sniper SATA II 120 GB SSD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

Crucial C300 128 GB SATA III SSD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooling:
Noctua D14
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory:
G.Skill Ripjaw 4 x 4Gb @ 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With BD and DVD drives the total comes to $1,912. How can I successfully link a wishlist or cart from newegg so you guys can view it?
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April 11, 2011 7:08:08 PM

afterhours said:
Alright, 2600k it is. I like the Noctua D14 with a 120mm and 140mm fan. I'm thinking replace all the fans with Scythe fans anyway. In an Antec Twelve Hundred that would be 7 fans total. You guys think 6 120mm Scythe Slipstreams and a 140mm Slipstream in the top would keep the case cool enough (in addition to the Noctua D14 with Scythe fans as well)? Only reason I ask is because the Slipstreams are apparently designed to produce less noise, but at the cost of some air flow.

I really like that SSD idea from both of you guys and I'm surprised I didn't even think of it. I have a pretty big collection of sounds and samples (around 50 Gb) which would go to the Samsung 1TB drive with the music program on the SSD. Wouldn't I need to have the sounds on the SSD to make better use of the HDD speed? I feel like I'd need to have all the music related files and virtual instruments on the SSD. Definitely want to put the OS and music programs on a SSD now.

Good point about two GTX 560's being louder and hotter. All that being said, here's a revised build.

Case:
Antec Twelve Hundred V3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811129100

PSU:
Corsair 850TX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817139009

Motherboard:
Asus P8P67 Deluxe
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813131701

GPU:
EVGA SuperClocked GTX 570
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814130595

HDD:
Samsung Spinpoint 1TB 7200rpm
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.Skill Sniper SATA II 120 GB SSD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

Crucial C300 128 GB SATA III SSD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooling:
Noctua D14
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory:
G.Skill Ripjaw 4 x 4Gb @ 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231315

The gtx 560's run cool and don't burn up much juice seeing how they are on Nvidia's latest chip set and die unlike the 570's and 580's which run on older chip sets and are power hungry hogs. An over clocked 560 runs on par with a 570 on most games.
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April 12, 2011 1:40:38 AM

You think an overclocked 560 Ti will run holiday 2011 games at 1920 x 1200 with a decent frame rate?
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April 12, 2011 1:51:30 AM

afterhours said:
You think an overclocked 560 Ti will run holiday 2011 games at 1920 x 1200 with a decent frame rate?

Not sure, but I do know that dual 560's in SLI will play Crysis on high and get decent fps, not to mention it two of those cards will chew up a single 580, hence the reason I put two of those cards in that build I posted.
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April 12, 2011 10:17:33 PM

Two GTX 560's come in under the cost of a 580 so I'm going to go that route, even though they may be louder. Thanks for that info Why_Me. Quieter computer link added to favorites. Thanks guys. Hopefully the building will go smoothly.
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April 19, 2011 10:35:29 PM

Best answer selected by afterhours.
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