First-time Audio Engineering CPU Build

Approximate Purchase Date: this week

Budget Range: 1200-1600 Before / After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (Audio Engineering with digital plugins, live band recording, cd production, surfing the internet, watching movies)

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:, –

Country: United States

Parts Preferences: I would like to use an Intel CPU – always liked Intel

Overclocking: Maybe – Don’t know if this is necessary, but willing to add it if need be

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050, 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Looking for a CPU with tremendous processing capabilities. Will need CPU to have at least 8GB RAM in order to record/play up to 45 tracks with digital effects. Currently using Cakewalk Sonar v8.5 in order to record, mix, and master audio files. Will be using Waves Platinum plugin software. As of now, I have an i5 processor with 5 GB RAM and my CPU usage gets bogged down with latency issues and ultimately freezes when recording and playing back too many tracks. May need to have Firewire integrated in CPU for easier recording. Currently using a Cakewalk UA-1 external audio card
Processor: Intel i5 2500 Sandy Bridge:

- I was originally going to use one of the 6- Core i7 processors , but I am not sure if I need that for audio engineering. Good decision? $219.99

Motherboard: Asus P8Z68-V Pro :

- This motherboard was listed as editor’s choice from tech report. So, figured it was good to pick. $209.99
Wireless Card: Linksys WMP600N Wireless Adapter with Dual-Band IEEE 802.11a/b/g, IEEE 802.11n Draft 2.0 PCI WEP, WPA & WPA2 Personal, WPA & WPA2 Enterprise. $49.99

Memory: GSkill 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240- Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800):

- Not sure if 12 GB is overkill for live recording and post audio editing. Seems decent and not expensive. $69.99
Graphics Card: MSI N560GTX-M2D1GD5 GeForce GTX 560 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5:

- I think that this is a decent graphics card, as I will not be doing any gaming on this PC. Decent? $189.99
Audio Card: ASUS Xonar Essence STX Virtual 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express x1 Interface 124 dB SNR / Headphone AMP Card
- Currently, I use a Cakewalk UA-101 external sound card with 10 ins/outs with 24 bit X 192khz sample rate ( Do I need to have a high quality internal sound card as well?
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive:

- I use a lot of external hard drives to back up my work. Is it worth it to pay the extra bucks for a 6.0Gb/s drive? Or even a 64MB cache? $149.99

DVD Drive: ASUS 12X BD-R 2x BD-RE 16x DVD+R 12x DVDRAM 8x BD- ROM 8MB Cache SATA Blu-ray Burner:

-I really don’t need a Blu-ray player but because I want it to last, I’d rather have it then be behind the times 3 years from now. $99.99


- I really am not sure about this one. I just saw someone say this was a decent tower, so I am picking it by default. $89.99.

PSU: Cooler Master 600 Watt:

- Same with the Case, I think this should be more than efficient for power and everything. Plus its SLI Certified. $109.99
Operating System: Windows 7

Total Expected price = $1300.00?

Should I add or change anything? This is a build that I thin will work very well, but I could be overlooking or over killing. Again, my first attempt at creating an audio engineer’s dream PC. Will I need a cooling system specifically for the CPU? Again, thank you for your time and patience. Look forward to reading and replying to the comments.
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More about first time audio engineering build
  1. I don't know much about audo engineering but I did a little research. Here is what cakewalk had to say, but it appears to be dated. It looks like you dont need anything special.

    Here is a post from Tom's hardware where they talk about it. Its about a year old.

    Here is another post:

    This post was recent but not a lot of replies.

    Finally, this post seemed insightful. It was recent and it appears that jmsellars1 provided a great build and ideas. I like the idea of a SSD drive as that will allow your audio editting software programs to run faster. Hope this helps!

    It is kinda sad that there isnt more of these kind of posts with help. Hopefully yours will receive some attention.
  2. Bumped for great justice. I think this topic is very interesting. I;ve done what I can but I just dont know any more.
  3. Any have any audio engineering expertise?
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