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Budget DAW PC help/critique!!

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November 13, 2012 9:30:40 PM

Advice needed!

- Notes: First build, BUDGET DAW PC, Use for Ableton Live with APC-40 controller.

- Ultimate Goal: To get something that just works for now with the possibility to upgrade 6mo. from now. These are the items ive found recommended from others, I’m hoping to get recommendations to items that will simply be sufficient for my needs at the lowest cost possible.

- Budget: About $540 after I buy APC40 controller.

- Approximate Purchase Date: This Weekend (11/16-11/18)

Parts:

CPU: $219.99 (Newegg)
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K

MOBO: $109.99 (Newegg)
GIGABYTE GA-Z77-D3H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Ram: $36.99 (Amazon)
Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory (CML8GX3M2A1600C9)

HDD: $97.98 (Amazon)
Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Internal Desktop Hard Drive Bulk/OEM - WD1002FAEX

PSU: $44.99 (Newegg)
Rosewill Green Series RG530-S12 530W Continuous @40°C, 80 PLUS Certified, Single 12V Rail, Active PFC "Compatible with Core ...

Case: $39.99 (Newegg)
Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, option Fans-2x Side 120mm Fan

Grand Total = $556.84
I know this is just barely above my budget.
I’m hoping I can sacrifice for a lesser model of something(s) and need advice of which to sacrifice. Ex: i5-3570k vs i5-2500k vs i3xx?? lesser MOBO, HDD, or PSU??

Note: Would something like the following 'combos' even be “do-able”?? they seem like a good buy!
Newegg combo deal comparrison!

Do you need to buy OS: Unsure - have laptop with Windows 7, can I use the key from this?

Parts Preferences: Whichever will get the job done decently at lowest budget.

Overclocking: Don't know

SLI or Crossfire: Don't know

Additional Comments:
- future possibility to use dual monitors?, record guitar? NOT a deal breaker.

- Would like to order this weekend but may hold off for black Friday deals

Thank you for any input and your time!! :D 
(sorry so long winded.)

More about : budget daw critique

November 14, 2012 8:09:36 PM

ANY input would be greatly appreciated!
November 14, 2012 8:15:40 PM

That is good for 3 monitors I believe, not 100% sure at the moment. I know 2 is fine though.

It's all great in terms of performance but I could make a few suggestions to help in other areas such as quietness and reliability. My internet is being far too slow to search sites for you at the moment but ill suggest a new build tomorrow.
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November 14, 2012 10:41:36 PM

Thanks in advance
November 15, 2012 4:28:01 PM

Hey again, got a spare minute now so I can suggest a full build.

Firstly, there's nothing wrong with your build at all. It would do the job fine, I just think I can suggest improvements.

- DAW software takes advantage of as many cores as you can throw at it so you might get a bit more for your money with AMD.

- Same goes for RAM, DAW will take advantage of as much as you can throw at it. 8GB is fine but 16GB would be nice.

- That combination of a cheapish case and cheapish PSU with all those fans will make the system fairly noisy, you will probably want something quieter for this type of build

Here's my suggestion. It's a bit cheaper and should give slightly better performance while staying quieter.

AMD FX-8320 - $179.99 (8 Cores should trump an i5 in DAW software.)
2x8GB G.Skill Sniper 1866Mhz 1.5v - $59.99 (Really great deal)
ASRock 970 EXTREME3 - $84.99
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM - $49.99 (Another fantastic deal)
Corsair CX-430 430W - $44.99
Coolermaster Silencio 450 - $69.99

Total - $489.94 on Newegg before shipping and a $10 rebate

Just one note on this build, you can't run multi monitors on the integrated graphics as far as I'm aware. You would need to add a graphics card to do so.

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

That would do the job and you could always add it later.



November 17, 2012 10:42:47 AM
November 17, 2012 10:58:57 AM

There's nothing wrong with that drive at all, it is just a low price.

Again, I would consider the FX-8 because you're getting 8 cores for less money. The i5 would obviously beat it in games but DAW software will take advantage of those extra cores.
November 18, 2012 7:53:05 AM

From what ive gathered Ableton live can only make use of 3.2 GB of the ram, and only two cores..


Quote:
In regards to using multiple plugins... here's an easy way to think about it. Open Ableton, load up a bunch of plugins, and then open up Task Manager. In the applications list, you don't see all of your plugins loaded into Windows do you? Of course not... all you see is Ableton. Windows runs Ableton. Ableton runs the plugins. The plugins are only truly spread across all cores if Ableton (the controlling DAW) spreads that task across your cores. That's why it's important to work with a DAW that supports "multithreading" (another word for spreading the load). I'm kinda surprised to find out that Ableton doesn't support this.

In regards to Reason, do the same test. You'll see that Reason is open as a separate application in Task Manager. So... Windows has the ability to spread its load and you are now taking advantage of your extra cores.


I'm just starting out and pretty set on Live with the integration with the APC-40 controller. Live 9 may support multicore but as far as I know Live 8 doesnt as of right now. so i feel my best option is the 3570 would you agree?
November 18, 2012 9:45:39 AM

Ableton only uses 2 cores? That's crazy, it must get clogged up so easily. 2 cores wouldn't be enough for certain projects depending on the type of music and amount of tracks/VST's etc.

If it were me, I'd still go for the AMD build and just get some better software lol. As I said in the first 2 posts though, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Intel build, it is fine. Go for that if you prefer it.

EDIT: Sonar is pretty good. Reaper is another good one, it is free and copes with multithreading nicely.

EDIT2: Let me just mention something about that GPU I suggested as well, I suggested it because it can support 3 monitors which is nice. You only need 2 though, so you could buy any graphics card on the market.
November 18, 2012 6:23:43 PM

Thanks for your input! Ill be getting a GPU at a later date when I have more $$ to spend. would the one you suggested be okay for gaming?

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November 18, 2012 9:48:53 PM
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If by OK you mean being able to play maybe 60% of games on the lowest possible settings then yes.

If you want to be able to play pretty much any game, just on maybe low-medium settings then you could grab something like the HD 6670

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

If you want something for more like medium-high settings then you could go for the HD 7750:

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

There are also passive versions of both those cards if you want something seriously quiet.

Both would be more than fine on 400W.
November 30, 2012 10:38:13 PM

Best answer selected by shrimphead7.
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