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Time to build a new DAW

GotMetalBoy

Power User
I built my current DAW 6 years ago and I haven't had any issues with it but it's getting to the age that things will start dying and the newer M.2 NVME hard drives are so much faster than SATA Drives and SSD's. My current DAW PC has an Intel i5 4th Gen CPU and 24GB Memory.


Any recommendations or suggestions are welcome. I only use my DAW PC for Audio, Video, no gaming and no over clocking.


Here's my list so far (I'll update it as I figure out what I'm going to buy):

UPDATED: 2019-11-29_7:40 PM EST


+ CPU Cooler Fan: All I need now is a CPU fan! How do I know what kind to get for my Intel Core i7-9700K ? I don't plan to overclock. My case says the CPU cooler can't be more than a height of 175mm = 6-7/8inches. There's so many to choose from it's confusing o_O


+ Case: $59.99 Thermaltake Level 10 GTS Snow Edition VO30006N2N
++ https://www.thermaltake.com/level-10-gts-snow-edition.html
++ https://www.newegg.com/white-thermaltake-level-10-series-atx-mid-tower/p/N82E16811133198

+ Power Supply: $79.99 Seasonic FOCUS GX-750, 750W 80+ Gold, Full-Modular, SSR-750FX
++ $8.80 Square Trade 3 year extended warranty
++ https://seasonic.com/focus-gx
++ https://www.newegg.com/seasonic-focus-plus-750-gold-ssr-750fx-750w/p/N82E16817151187

+ Motherboard: $89.99 ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 4
++ $13.60 Square Trade 3 year extended warranty
++ https://www.asrock.com/MB/Intel/Z390 Phantom Gaming 4/index.asp
++ https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813157849

+ CPU: $299.99 Intel Core i7-9700K 3.6 GHz 8-Core
++ https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/processors/core/i7-processors/i7-9700k.html
++ https://www.bestbuy.com/site/intel-...ghz-desktop-processor/6302021.p?skuId=6302021

+ Memory: $109.99 $59.99 G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series F4-3200C16D-32GVK 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) CL 16-18-18-38 1.35V
++ https://www.gskill.com/product/165/...DDR4-3200MHz-CL16-18-18-38-1.35V32GB-(2x16GB)
++ https://www.newegg.com/g-skill-32gb-288-pin-ddr4-sdram/p/N82E16820232091

+ Hard Drives: 2x $82.99=$165.98 Intel 660p Series M.2 2280 1TB PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4 3D2, QLC SSDPEKNW010T8X1
++ 2x $8.80=$17.60 Square Trade 3 year extended warranty
++ https://ark.intel.com/content/www/u...eries-1-0tb-m-2-80mm-pcie-3-0-x4-3d2-qlc.html
++ https://www.newegg.com/intel-660p-series-1tb/p/N82E16820167462

+ Graphics Card: $99.99 AMD Radeon™ RX 570 RS 4GB XXX Edition RX-570P427D6
++ $13.60 Square Trade 3 year extended warranty
++ https://www.xfxforce.com/gpus/amd-radeon-tm-rx-570-rs-4gb-xxx-edition-5
++ https://www.newegg.com/xfx-radeon-rx-570-rx-570p427d6/p/N82E16814150795

+ Monitors: I already have 2x 24", 2x 27," 2x32" Samsung curved monitors and 2x 24" ASUS regular flat monitors and all are 1080p@60hz

TOTAL =$1,046.07 includes 8% tax and $4.99 shipping
 
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Tahoebrian5

Fractal Fanatic
I did a similar build last year with the Z370 motherboard. If you do the math, cost/speed I think overclocking makes sense. Really all you need is to get a two fan water cooler and a compatible case and you can get like 20% more processor speed (going off memory but something like that). Nothing to do with gaming. Turn it down when tracking for reduced fan noise.

also probably a good idea to make sure the MB has thunderbolt for future interface upgrade options.
 

GotMetalBoy

Power User
I did a similar build last year with the Z370 motherboard. If you do the math, cost/speed I think overclocking makes sense. Really all you need is to get a two fan water cooler and a compatible case and you can get like 20% more processor speed (going off memory but something like that). Nothing to do with gaming. Turn it down when tracking for reduced fan noise.

also probably a good idea to make sure the MB has thunderbolt for future interface upgrade options.

What are the specs of your DAW? Do you use M.2 NVME hard drives? I've read some people have had issues with large file transfers.

A co-worker built a Z370 PC last year and that's how I found out about how fast the M.2 NVME hard drives are. He installed Windows 10 in under 15 minutes!
 

pauly

Fractal Fanatic
Hi,
I recommend ssd drives, a fan less power supply, and large diameter, slow cpu fan for a silent machine. Very important in my case.
thanks
pauly
 

Jeries

Power User
i7's a no brainer

I don't understand the purpose of 6 display ports- let alone why'd you'd need 8 monitors- i have 3 at my desk and 2 at my studio desk - and that's more than I need

look into TB3 that's where all the interfaces are going- when it comes to mobo and support

600w p/s sounds weak- and you'd want to find the sweet spot at 50-80% use

I only use samsung SSD's and only the PRO's

and you should have internal hdd for recording

and another ssd if you do samples/virtual instruments

no idea why you wouldn't just get 64gb ram

and you must must must have noctura fans and heat sinks
 

mcmurray

Inspired
If you're set on a PC, I'd also recommend using a motherboard that has known good DPC latency performance.

If this information is not available, make sure you can return the motherboard if it's not suitable (many are not!). In fact, I'd recommend buying a complete system from a DAW builder, or get a Mac.
 

GotMetalBoy

Power User
If you're set on a PC, I'd also recommend using a motherboard that has known good DPC latency performance.

If this information is not available, make sure you can return the motherboard if it's not suitable (many are not!). In fact, I'd recommend buying a complete system from a DAW builder, or get a Mac.

Are there any DAW builders that are reasonably priced? They usually charge 2x to 4x the price of the components.

I'm buying almost everything from Amazon because they allow returns and most are free returns. Newegg doesn't allow returns on most parts anymore. I also always buy the extended warranties, so if a BIOS or Driver update causes permanent issues, I'm only losing between $5 to $25 for the price of the warranty.
 

GotMetalBoy

Power User
Hi,
I recommend ssd drives, a fan less power supply, and large diameter, slow cpu fan for a silent machine. Very important in my case.
thanks
pauly

M.2 NVME drives are SSD drives just not bottlenecked to 600MB/s because they connect directly to PCIe 3 x4 w/o cables and can reach speeds up to 5x faster than SATA 3 SSD drives.
 

mcmurray

Inspired
I'm buying almost everything from Amazon because they allow returns and most are free returns.

Good plan. In that case I'd definitely build it. Once it's built, run Latencymon to assess the motherboard/driver suitability for audio.

Have you considered using Windows 7 instead of 10? 10 is probably fine but 7 is rock solid at this stage.
 

fractalz

Power User
I built my current DAW 6 years ago and I haven't had any issues with it but it's getting to the age that things will start dying and the newer M.2 NVME hard drives are so much faster than SATA Drives and SSD's. My current DAW PC has an Intel i5 4th Gen CPU and 24GB Memory.


Any recommendations or suggestions are welcome. I only use my DAW PC for Audio, Video, no gaming and no over clocking.


Here's my list so far (I'll update it as I figure out what I'm going to buy):

+ Case: Whats a good Mid Tower ATX case without a window to prevent interference noise leakage?

+ Power Supply: 600+ watts semi or full modular

+ Motherboard:
++ ASRock, MSI, Gigabyte or ASUS?
++ ATX
++ Z390 Intel Chipset
++ 3x M.2 M key PCIe x4
++ At least 2 SATA 3 ports
++ USB Ports: At least 6x external and at least 2x internal headers for front of case - USB 2.0, 3.1 Gen1 & Gen2 with at least one type C and the rest Type A
++ 2x or more memory slots with minimum 32GB DDR4 2666MHz
++ Ethernet Port

+ CPU: "Intel Core i7-9700K 3.6 GHz 8-Core" or "Intel Core i5-9600K 3.7 GHz 6-Core"

+ CPU Cooler Fan: I've always used the OEM ones that came with the CPU bc I don't OC but they're not included anymore

+ Memory: 2x 16GB=32GB DDR4 minimum 2666MHz and 15 or less latency

+ Hard Drives: "Intel 660p Series 1.02 TB M.2-2280 NVME" or "Crucial P1 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME"?

+ Graphics Card: I'm looking at ones with 6+ mini Display ports which seem to be the best bang for buck

+ Monitors: I already have 2x 24", 2x 27," 2x32" Samsung curved monitors and 2x 24" ASUS regular flat monitors and all are 1080p@60hz

budget?

I built a studio around a 2013 "trash can" Mac Pro, 128-channel Dante card and 4x2TB NVME drives. Works great. The old 2008 12-core Mac Pro is living life as a server On the farm with 4x4TB spinning disks and a raid controller (no raid needed in theNVME case).
Good luck!
 

sheky

Experienced
I was in the same boat and upgraded within the past year. I saw negligible gains. I don't think the advantages of nvme pan out in the real world except for some very specific applications.
 

Tahoebrian5

Fractal Fanatic
No problems with large file transfers here. I think I went with the Samsung 970 Nvme SSD. I also have a sata for large storage in the TBs. MB is the Asus rog strip z370. It doesn’t have thunderbolt but believe I could add a card.. if I could go back and change that I would. tge other mistake I made was my case wasn’t compatible with a 2 fan water cooler. I was in a hurry so I didn’t sent it back but only having a single fan style Cooler cut my over clocking speed in half.

this was my first build. It was all very easy to assemble. Just do your homework selecting compatible parts. Toms forum is a good source.
 

drgamble

Member
For the case, I went with a Fractal Design case. I know you said Midtower, but the full tower gives you a lot of room and helps keep everything cooler. The Fractal Design case come with sound dampening in the case and is very quiet.
 

PincoTech

Experienced
i would highly recommend a MAC for stability, dedicated resource management, and you'll never get corrupted files. Im not being impartial cause I've had many great Audio PC's in the past, but that was in the days of windows XP pro, and NT, and they were solid. If you're going with a PC for the reason of your DAW not being supported on a mac, i get it. Learning a new DAW can be difficult. I was a Master at Sonor, then the company Cakewalk sold it to Gibson, and with that being simultaneous with crappy windows OS, discontinued support for XP, I switched to MAC. Apple will never sell LOGIC, its native, works great, used in major studios. With Ozone for mastering, there's little to be desired. if you harness the power and speed of Thunderbolt, it opens doors too, like dedicated plugin servers with zero latency.
 

GotMetalBoy

Power User
All I need now is a CPU fan!

How do I know what kind to get for my Intel Core i7-9700K ? My case says the CPU cooler can't be more than a height of 175mm = 6-7/8inches. There's so many to choose from it's confusing o_O
 
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