KO Labs Music Production Build (Progress Thread)

Hello everyone, we are new members to the forums here at Toms Hardware however longtime viewers of your threads. Today, we just got done ordering all of the parts for our music production computer that will be located in our recording studio. We produce electronic music (electro house) and were in desperately in need of an upgrade from our late 2009, iMac. (3.06Ghz Core 2 Duo w/ 12GB of RAM)

This thread will be used as a place for us to update you as the build goes on with posts, pictures, and video. Below you will find a listing of every component that was initially purchased for this build. We want to get the core components in to run some stats on it, listen to the noise level and then proceed with the final adjustments. So without further ado, checkout what we have!

**Parts ordered from Newegg, prices and availability are subject to change. We are not endorsed by Newegg in any way.

Case: NZXT Phantom 410 CA-PH410-B1 White Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4 Ghz Quad

GPU: EVGA GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) 1GB GDDR5

MB: Intel LGA 1155 Z68

PSU: SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W (Modular)

HDD: Seagate Spinpoint 500GB

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB Kid (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz

Total cost came to around $1050 along with a few accessories (wireless card, DVD drive)

Just to fill you in on what exactly we are doing with this computer, here is a brief listing.

Ableton Live 8 (Multi-Plugins)
Pro Tools 9 (Multi-Plugins)
Photoshop CS5
Lightroom 4

We did not need a high performance GPU so we went with a mid level GTX 550 Ti for this reason. Most of the load will go onto the CPU and RAM for the software we utilize.

As per the RAM, the initial build will have 8GB, however it will later be upgraded to 16GB to allow for large projects to be open in PS5 and Pro Tools 9.

We chose the Intel Core i7 2600K as it provided a very strong platform (8 threads, 4 cores) for our machine. The 2700K is simply a cost adjustment that can be eliminated by overclocking to 3.5 which will be done anyways.

The machine will NOT be water cooled, and the stock fan will be installed for the time being until we purchase the final build parts.

Our parts should come in within 3 days so we will keep you posted with pictures along with way!

Until then, leave any comments, suggestions, and concerns you might have!

~ KO Labs
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More about labs music production build progress thread
  1. There are a few ways you could really reduce the noise in that system:

    - Get a lower end graphics card, I can't imagine you would even need something as powerful as a GTX 550Ti since you probably only need the card to be able to run multi monitors. The HD 3000 graphics built into the CPU are capable of this already. Using the integrated graphics shouldn't affect performance and will reduce cost and noise.

    - Use a lower wattage PSU, even with that GPU you wouldn't even need 500W. Without it, 300W would be more than enough. Lower wattage PSU's are often quieter because they usually won't have to deal with large amounts of heat.

    - Use a SSD, this will improve boot times and program loading times and will also make your hard drive have to spin less, thus reducing noise further.

    - Get an aftermarket CPU cooler, the Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo is a good performer and is very quiet.
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