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$1500-$2000 Music Production build

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November 23, 2012 9:02:01 PM

It's been 5+ years since I built my current Q6600/4GB XP pc, it's done me well but it's time to upgrade. Of course I'm out of the loop and the process is very overwhelming picking the right parts. I don't mind spending a little more to be future proof for a long time.

Approximate Purchase Date: The next 1-2 months, not in a huge rush though.
Budget Range: $1500-$2000 but I can go a little over if necessary.
System Usage: Music production. FL Studio, lots of VST's, audio software, etc. Also light gaming like WoW.
Are you buying a monitor: No. Already have a 23" HP

Parts I Might Recycle: I might stick with my Radeon HD 5770 since I don't do much gaming. I also might recycle my Antec EarthWatts GREEN 650W psu. Might re-use my COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP case but not sure yet.

Current Wish list from Newegg:
1. Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 130W Six-Core
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. ASUS Rampage IV Extreme LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4. (Just for Windows 7) SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128B/WW 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

5. Western Digital WD Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

6. COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

7. COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN3-GP
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

8. ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

9. Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TOTAL = $1,558.91

What am I missing or what could be upgraded? I'm confused a little on RAM because I don't know if I should go with 1866 or the 2133. Music production is very memory intense, VSTs take up a lot of ram so I want the best.
November 25, 2012 12:06:47 PM

You can go with less expensive RAM and find out which HDD is fastest.
For those that want to confuse your SSD speeds, you want 80-120K IOPS read and write to see a difference or else stick with a Hybrid HDD/SSD.
I would go with the 5yr. warranty Asus Sabertooth brand.
But I don't see a professional AUDIO card in all this, what are you going to use, onboard sound ???
I would also choose a liquid cooler, for those times you are processing audio, it may cool down the cpu AND chipset (make sure it has the connection for one) much better than air.
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November 25, 2012 12:54:05 PM

much more suitable.
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/po9Z

-faster ram is useless.
-id rather go with z77 instead of x79 due to it being a large bit cheaper. has intergrated graphics that can play some lower end games
-included one of the best sound cards you can get on the market
-silent case
-silent cooler


if you are not to overclock, id get this CPU. xeons run cooler and this one is the exact same as the i7 3770
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

but then you have to use your old 5770
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November 25, 2012 2:01:29 PM

Consumer Audio Cards are hardly the Professional type, agree with TheBigTroll on all the rest but it also depends how professional you are and whether you want to connect it to a sound board, do you want to connect instruments to it ? Frequency range output and signal to noise ratio come to mind. "Music Production" is a very broad definition. You need to define exactly what you will use it for.
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November 25, 2012 2:23:58 PM

well the stx is hardly consumer by most people. obviously if you are full out serious, you could look elsewhere, but the stx is pretty much the best you can readily get from a store. it sounds suprisingly good compared to other sound cards that i have tried
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November 25, 2012 3:33:43 PM

I received no replies so I forgot about this thread, should've updated my original post.

Here is my updated build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/phAd

I have studio monitors, a Mackie mixer, and Korg keyboards so as for a sound card I'll either use my current Delta 44 or purchase something from Focusrite. The production I work in uses ProTools/FL Studio and VST software like EastWest, Rob Papen, Native Instruments, etc. I do this for a living so I can write everything off on my taxes, spending a little more money is not an issue.

I picked the ram on my new build by the ram timing and it being quad channel, the VST's I use can be very memory intense so I need powerful ram. I chose the Sabertooth mobo because it has a PCI slot if I decide to use my Delta 44 soundcard and it also supports quad channel memory and 64gb, so I can upgrade down the road.

I like the case in your build, silent is always good but not totally necessary.
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November 25, 2012 3:38:52 PM

Also, I can't decide if I should go with a bigger SSD for Windows 7 boot and for storing my music on or get the SSD for Windows 7 and just use the velociraptor in my new build for my music files.

I'm looking at the 480gb+ SSD's but I'm not sure it's good to read/write large data from SSD's, I read this a long time ago but not sure it's still true.
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November 25, 2012 4:13:38 PM

really faster ram does nothing to increase performance. maybe 1% at most. if you really think you need it, i got some for half the price

same goes for a fast 10k hard drive. they also offer no performance increase since you have a SSD. if you are loading music from your hard drive, it makes even less sense to get a 10k rpm drive since its like less than a seconds difference

256gb is the SSD sweetspot. the 480-512 dont perform that well and generally cost a lot more

the gigabyte x79 up4 is a better board. much better power delivery and has everything you need

it says the d14 cooler is not compatable, but all you need to do is ask noctua for a socket 2011 mounting set and you are good to go. free too

here you go
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ppy5
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November 25, 2012 5:36:18 PM

Is the Hyper 212 not a good cooler? It's only $25 bucks and has 1,000+ good reviews on newegg.

I should've been more clear. I was going to get the bigger SSD to install my audio programs on, so I would put software like FL Studio, ProTools, and all my VST's on the SSD instead of a 7200rpm drive for faster sample loading times and faster mixing times.

Then I would get the velociraptor or a normal 7200rpm drive for storing my music wav files and other random files. So the Velociraptor is pointless for storage I take it?

I like that gigabyte board in your build, I will look more into it, thanks.
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November 25, 2012 8:54:48 PM

the 212 is not really sufficient to cool 2011 chips. the d14 is though

yes throw all programs onto the SSD

get a regular 7200 rpm drive

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November 25, 2012 9:19:19 PM

Thanks for the advice. I've added the 512GB Samsung SSD http://pcpartpicker.com/p/psuU

Will the d14 cover the first ram slots on each side though? That's only thing I'm worried about because it's bigger than the 212.
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November 25, 2012 9:24:27 PM

the ram i picked out is half as costly and will definitly fit under the heatsink. the ripjaw z will also do it but id rather save 100 bucks. the heatsink will go over the ram but the ram is pretty low profile

really not worth investing in a 512gb ssd when 2 256gb drives are cheaper and the 512gb options are slower

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/psF8
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November 26, 2012 2:14:37 AM

Good catch, I went with 2 OCZ SSD's instead of the 1 big one. I don't mind the extra $100 on the ram to be honest if I can get a little more power from it, it's a tax write off so whatever.

Thanks for the help, very much appreciated. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/pvsX
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November 26, 2012 9:32:55 AM

there is no performance gained from that extra 100 dollars. they are the same ram sticks. 1 cas wont make any difference

and still change the motherboard
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November 28, 2012 2:06:28 PM

There are PCI-E SSD cards at a much higher price per capacity.
The question is will you store all music files on PC or move some off ?
eSATA external HDDs are faster than USB3.
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November 28, 2012 5:52:16 PM

Probably keep everything on the PC. Putting my audio software on normal SSD's should be plenty fast enough, I just might need 3 of them for space though, some of the VST's programs are huge.

For storing my session files and audio wav files I can throw those on a 7200 drive and be fine.
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November 29, 2012 3:47:30 AM

BigTroll, why do you like that mobo so much? I can't find a lot of reviews for it and the price difference is only $65 now.

Question, the Sabertooth says:

Intel® X79 chipset
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), brown

Marvell® PCIe 9128 controller
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray

ASMedia® ASM1061 controller
1 x Power eSATA 6Gb/s port(s), green
1 x eSATA 6Gb/s port(s), red

What are the last 2 for? I might end up buying 3 SSD's and 2 7200 drives and I'd like enough SATA 6Gb/s for everything.
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November 29, 2012 9:55:37 AM

65 dollars is still a lot to pay for slightly better software. the gigabyte has superior hardware

the last to are external sata ports in case you want to run a spare drive out side of your case. i dont see many people using
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November 29, 2012 3:26:55 PM

I don't know TheBigTroll, Asus has a more reliable name and 5yr. warranty on that MB. It's all made in China nowadays, I'd pick the better built and warranty, any time.
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November 29, 2012 9:58:37 PM

the gigabyte is better built. the IOR power stages are pretty much the best stuff you can get. when gigabyte spends 110 dollars just on the power delivery on their z77x-up7 board (and can pump 2000w through it), they are doing stuff right.
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November 29, 2012 9:59:11 PM

and from what i know, they are made in taiwan.
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November 30, 2012 7:16:19 PM

Ok, I'll decide on which mobo to get, thanks for the info.

Last question and I'm done (i think lol). As far as case fans, would I be fine with just the 2 that come with the R4? It has 1 140mm intake on the front and 1 140mm exhaust on the back.

I was thinking of adding a 140mm Noctua intake on front bottom and a 140mm Noctua on the back top for exhaust but is it totally necessary? That's $50+ right there.
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November 30, 2012 10:48:00 PM

no need to add more fans. not going to affect temps much from my testing.
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