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New build advice - Audio Recording/Editing

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January 2, 2013 8:57:51 AM

Hi, I'm looking to put together a PC exclusively for audio recording/mixing. Even though it's my first build I'm confident enough around tech to know roughly what I need and how to put it all together, the only thing I could use a bit of help with are recommendations for specific brands/models and system cooling which isn't my area of expertise.

I've debated over choosing between Intel i5 and i7 - obviously it seems like a no-brainer but I think I'll stick with the i5-2500k, simply because I think it'll handle what I'll be throwing at it and has the ability to be overclocked if needed.

Most of my recording will be with an electric guitar through an audio interface which I already have, the rest will be handled by VSTs in either Cubase or Reaper. I also have a Zoom H4N recorder that I'd like to make use of in the future for recording vocals but that's not a major concern for this build.

So I guess that's it, I'm interested to see what you guys can recommend - especially when it comes to cases/cooling - all information will be appreciated!


Approximate Purchase Date: Over the next 4-8 weeks

Budget Range: Up to £600 ($1000)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Audio editing exclusively

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, Optical drive

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Overclockers.co.uk, Ebuyer.com
Scan.co.uk, Quietpc.com, Tekheads.co.uk, Pcspecialist.co.uk (Basically any site based in or which will ship to the UK/Northern Ireland)


Country: UK/Ireland/Northern Ireland

Parts Preferences: Intel Core i5-2500k, SSD for O.S. & programs, 7500 RPM HDD for data, 8gb RAM

Overclocking: Maybe

Additional Comments: Noise reduction and cooling are probably important factors to consider
January 4, 2013 9:04:10 AM

Processor:

Definitely don't get the i7 2500k, get the i5 3570k instead. The 2500k is obsolete compared to it, the 3570k is newer tech, it's faster AND uses less power. Plus the 3570K has Intel's newest HD4000 integrated GPU, which is much better than the old HD3000 found on the old Sandy Bridge CPus like the 2500k. If you aren't going to be gaming or doing anything graphically intensive, you won't need a dedicated video card. Usually the 3570k is about the same price, but even if it costs you an extra £10 or £20 , it's worth it.

Intel Core i5-3570K 3.40GHz (Ivybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor (77W) - Retail [BX80637I53570K]
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CP... ((£179.99 inc VAT))


Case/Power Supply/Cpu Cooler:

Stick with Corsair, they make great quality products all around. For any given price, I seriously doubt you could find anything better. This is a great combo, and would allow you to upgrade to ANY video card you wanted to if you wanted to make this a serious gaming computer.

Corsair Carbide 300R Mid Tower Case - Black
Corsair Enthusiast Series TX 650W V2 High Performance '80 Plus Bronze' Power Supply (CP-9020038-UK)
Corsair Hydro H60 V2 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler (Socket LGA2011 / 1366 / 1155 / 1156 / 775 / AM2 / AM3)
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=BU... (£191.98 inc VAT )


Motherboard:

Asus makes great quality products. Since you won't be gaming or doing any serious overclocking, the cheapest one will do. Just make sure to get the Z77 chipset.

Asus P8Z77-V LX2 Intel Z77 (Socket 1155) DDR3 Motherboard [P8Z77-V LX2]
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB... (£79.99 inc VAT)


SSD:

Corsair again makes great products

Corsair Force Series 3 120GB SATA 2.5" 6Gb/s Solid State Drive (CSSD-F120GB3A-B) [CSSD-F120GB3A]
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD... (£85.99 inc VAT)


Hard Drive:

Can't beat Western Digital. This drive must be really new, I didn't even know they had 1GB platters..

Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache WD10EZEX - OEM ** Single Platter ** [WD10EZEX]
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD... (£71.99 inc VAT )

Total Price= £659.93 Including VAT (whatever that may be.. lol)

Conclusion: I would stick with Corsair and Asus. Both companies make great products all around. Between the two manufacturers, they make EVERYTHING computer-related that you would ever need, and it's all the best quality. The links I provided are to the parts I would get, but they are not neccesarily the best deal. overclockers.co.uk was the only website I looked at, so hopefully you can find better deals elsewhere. These prices seem CRAZY high compared to what we'd pay for the exact same parts from Newegg, some of them cost the same amount of ££££ that we would pay in $$$$.. If you have any questions/doubts about the parts I've picked, just ask. If you build this PC, it could be a great gaming PC, if you decide to get a decent video card later. If you have no intention of ever playing games on this PC, I would say a 650W PSU is way overkill, and you could probably get the cheapest Corsair PSU you can find..
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January 4, 2013 10:05:46 AM

Go for the i5-3570K it will handle more than what you'd be able to throw at it.

For your PSU, there are some very quiet antec's and seasonics available.

Chassis: Fractal R3's/R4'S have sound dampening material inside them and they're very highly rated by all. NZXT should also have a few quiet cases worth checking out.

About the SSD, OCZ Vertex/Corsair make quite a few good products. The OCZ Vertex 3/4 120Gb/128Gb options perform excellently and are very well priced.

HDD's - Western Digital/Seagate make high quality products. Go for any of their 7200rpm drives. If you really want to be quiet then the "Eco/Green" products might catch your eye although some might argue against them with regards to performance as their rpm's change to suit your needs at the time.

As the above poster said, the PSU is overkill. A good 500-550W PSU should do unless of course you would like to add in dual graphics cards (SLI/Crossfire) for gaming in the future. Single cards would run without a hitch on 500W PSU's. Here Antec/Bequiet/Nexus quiet PSU's perform especially well. My Antec HCG is whisper quiet.

Liquid coolng would give you silence but if you're on a tight budget the Hyper 212+ CPU cooler is cheap and also very quiet. If you want to OC it will perform efficiently right through.

Another option is to buy extension cables and put your PC in another room. This could save you more than buying quiet parts vs their noisy counterparts. It's what I did in my studio.
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