Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

1st Custom Build - Audio Production/Gaming

Last response: in Systems
Share
April 19, 2012 4:24:03 PM

Hey Folks! So I'm on the market for a new PC, and am looking to go the Custom route this time. A friend helped get me started, and recommend I get some feedback from a place like this. So without further ado...here goes!

Approximate Purchase Date: Hopefully by end of next week

Budget Range: Looking for a bottom line between $1000 - $1500 (I'm currently sitting at about $1350)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Mainly Audio Production and Recording using Pro Tools 10 and Sound Forge Pro 10, followed by some gaming. The gaming is more of the RPG/RTS/MMO variety, not much FPS if at all.

Parts Not Required: I do not need a mouse, keyboard, speakers, sound card, monitors, or OS (I have Win7 Pro 64-bit). I'm just looking for the Tower and the hardware that goes inside.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com

Country: US

Parts Preferences: I'm set on an Intel CPU and NVIDIA GPU. The rest I chose based on research and word-of-mouth, and am willing to consider other brands.

Overclocking: I never have before, but I'd like to do it with this machine.

SLI or Crossfire: I am only planning on getting one GPU at this time, but I would like to leave myself open to SLI if I find myself with the money to spend later on.

Monitor Resolution: Dual 1920x1080

Additional Comments: The build below uses an SSD for the OS. Depending on space, I would like to put Pro Tools and Sound Forge on there, but I also have a Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive that will be used to run everything else. Any audio recording data goes on to a separate external drive.

Build So Far:
Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA 025-P3-1579-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) HD 2560MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Gaming Series GS800 800W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i7-2700K Sandy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623i72700K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Suppor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



I'm pretty much spot on for my price at this point, but I would love to know if I am spending too much here or not enough there on some components. Other than that, I think I covered everything else with the answers above. Please let me know if you have any questions or if I left anything important out.

Thank you in advance for taking a look! :D 
April 19, 2012 4:46:35 PM

Going top-down, You'll want a secondary hard drive, perferrably 1tb or larger if you're going to be working with sound, as the .wav files you'll be working with can get huge really quickly.
Case- OK
Board- OK
PSU- OK
GFX- OK
CPU- you don't need the hyperthreading of the i7 for audio work. Go with the 2500k
RAM- get 2x4gb sticks. Again, you won't need any more than 4-5gb really.
CDDVD drive- OK
Cooler- OK

Best solution

April 19, 2012 4:47:06 PM
Share

First off you don't need the extra thermal compound - you're just throwing money away. The Hyper 212 Evo actually includes a really good non-conductive solution.

The 2700K is a bit of a waste as the 2600K can be clocked to match the 2700K speeds and beyond - it's kind of a waste of money IMO. Go for the 2600K.

Go with a Z77 board as it will allow for better future expansion options - and the ability to use PCI Gen 3 and higher RAM capacities (needed for most audio production apps) - something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With the money you save so far I'd actually be inclined to suggest upgrading your SSD to a 128GB M4: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Plextor PX-M3 is also an excellent choice if you don't want to use an M4 as it uses the same controller: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And then finally if you plan to run multiple monitors (and on an audio production station I'm guessing the answer is yes) - the 570 will not be the best choice for video card, go with the 7870 or 7850 - Radeon makes multiple monitor setups far easier: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Related resources
April 19, 2012 6:42:34 PM

g-unit1111 said:
First off you don't need the extra thermal compound - you're just throwing money away. The Hyper 212 Evo actually includes a really good non-conductive solution.


Good to know! I just assumed I would end up needing to buy some.

g-unit1111 said:
The 2700K is a bit of a waste as the 2600K can be clocked to match the 2700K speeds and beyond - it's kind of a waste of money IMO. Go for the 2600K.


It's almost like you knew I was sitting here with both of these pulled up. :p  I actually had originally chosen the 2600K, but Newegg just started their Spring Savings Event. With the 2700K only costing $5 more at that point, I figured why not. I can just as easily drop back to the 2600K if I miss the sale.

g-unit1111 said:
Go with a Z77 board as it will allow for better future expansion options - and the ability to use PCI Gen 3 and higher RAM capacities (needed for most audio production apps) - something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I hadn't thought of this based on how strongly the ASUS board was recommended to me (I know little to nothing about Motherboards). I did some brief 'Googling' on the Z77, and it sounds like it, and Ivy Bridge, are still very new technologies. I do like the idea of planning for future expansions, especially when going the way of the Custom PC, but should I have any concerns about adopting a Z77 board this early?

Also, I heard that the ASUS board makes overclocking ridiculously easy. I have no experience with overclocking, and limited experience with playing around in BIOS. Any reason why I would have a hard time working with this board?

g-unit1111 said:
With the money you save so far I'd actually be inclined to suggest upgrading your SSD to a 128GB M4: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Once again, you managed to read my mind. I had flopped between 64GB and 128GB for the M4. The 128GB fits in the budget much nicer now.

g-unit1111 said:
And then finally if you plan to run multiple monitors (and on an audio production station I'm guessing the answer is yes) - the 570 will not be the best choice for video card, go with the 7870 or 7850 - Radeon makes multiple monitor setups far easier: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


This is a tough one for me. I've always leaned on NVIDIA for my GPU, and have been witness to some bad run-ins with Radeon cards in the past. Granted that was back when they were still under the ATI name, so I'm sure things have changed. I have heard similar comments about multiple monitors working much better with the Radeon, and you managed to give me an option in the same price range. I'll think on this one over the weekend.


Thanks so much for the quick input!
April 19, 2012 7:35:57 PM

Quote:
Once again, you managed to read my mind. I had flopped between 64GB and 128GB for the M4. The 128GB fits in the budget much nicer now.


I should go buy lottery tickets tonight. :lol: 

Quote:
It's almost like you knew I was sitting here with both of these pulled up. :p  I actually had originally chosen the 2600K, but Newegg just started their Spring Savings Event. With the 2700K only costing $5 more at that point, I figured why not. I can just as easily drop back to the 2600K if I miss the sale.


If it's only a $5 difference I say go for it, usually the 2700K is pretty much a waste and is just a slightly higher clocked 2600K - Intel sells this chip to people who usually don't have the computer experience that most system builders do and don't know what overclocking is - and know they will pay the higher price for it. Kind of an evil tactic if you ask me.

Quote:
I hadn't thought of this based on how strongly the ASUS board was recommended to me (I know little to nothing about Motherboards). I did some brief 'Googling' on the Z77, and it sounds like it, and Ivy Bridge, are still very new technologies. I do like the idea of planning for future expansions, especially when going the way of the Custom PC, but should I have any concerns about adopting a Z77 board this early?

Also, I heard that the ASUS board makes overclocking ridiculously easy. I have no experience with overclocking, and limited experience with playing around in BIOS. Any reason why I would have a hard time working with this board?


Asus and Gigabyte are usually considered the best of the best for good reason - they have solid products and usually good technical support and warranties. EVGA makes some quality boards as well but for motherboards they aren't what they used to be.

As far as which board overclocks better that's highly debatable - usually it has to do with drivers and UEFI - most 1155 and 2011 boards have that process streamlined by now.

Quote:
This is a tough one for me. I've always leaned on NVIDIA for my GPU, and have been witness to some bad run-ins with Radeon cards in the past. Granted that was back when they were still under the ATI name, so I'm sure things have changed. I have heard similar comments about multiple monitors working much better with the Radeon, and you managed to give me an option in the same price range. I'll think on this one over the weekend.


Since ATI no longer exists after the AMD merger their cards have improved exponentially since the old ATI days. I still have an ATI-branded Radeon x1650 and it still works but my new 7870 runs circles around any GPU setup I used before it - and I'm coming off a dual 550TI setup. I always don't recommend skimping or compromising on the GPU if you can help it. The Keppler cards - and the 680 is one of the more exceptional cards that NVIDIA has produced - are far more energy efficient than previous generations and have made setting up multiple monitors easier - but there's no Keppler equivalent to the 7850 or 7870 - at least not yet. If you want to wait you can run off the Intel HD 3000 graphics until they're available.

April 20, 2012 5:11:27 PM

That's definitely the impression I was getting when comparing the 2600K and 2700K to each other. In this case, it's just gonna come down to when I actually buy.

The motherboard is sounding like the better investment, so you got me on that one.

I started doing some quick comparison searches for the GTX 570 and Radeon 7870, and I'm definitely intrigued now. For a comparable price, it's looking like the better investment.

The GPU is pretty much the last decision I've got to make here. I'm feeling pretty good about everything else. Now to take this to my wife over the weekend and see if I can get the green light! Thank you again for your feedback, it has been most appreciated! :) 
April 20, 2012 5:11:53 PM

Best answer selected by MusicDrake.
April 20, 2012 5:32:26 PM

MusicDrake said:
That's definitely the impression I was getting when comparing the 2600K and 2700K to each other. In this case, it's just gonna come down to when I actually buy.

The motherboard is sounding like the better investment, so you got me on that one.

I started doing some quick comparison searches for the GTX 570 and Radeon 7870, and I'm definitely intrigued now. For a comparable price, it's looking like the better investment.

The GPU is pretty much the last decision I've got to make here. I'm feeling pretty good about everything else. Now to take this to my wife over the weekend and see if I can get the green light! Thank you again for your feedback, it has been most appreciated! :) 


Yeah I was debating between getting a Radeon 7870 or waiting for the 670TI but the 7870 in the benchmarks was beating the 580 and for the price I was sold. I'll probably add a second one when/if AMD cuts the prices.

As far as the motherboard goes the Z77 is definitely the wiser investment - it will allow for better expansion opportunities and will support newer and future hardware than Z68 will.
!