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Computer Build For A Small Music Studio - Up To $5,000 USD Maximum


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#1 Buzzsaw

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 02:18 PM

Hey Everyone,

 

My brother is a part-time studio musician and he wants to setup a small studio in his basement.

 

While he was reading through various music trade magazines, he asked me to build a powerful computer that will do extensive audio and video compilations and other stuff related to that.

 

I have come up with this computer build following his stated needs for this build.

 

Will not overclock, but wants more than 6 cores for an Intel processor. Will NOT accept AMD processors!

 

Must have 4 - 1 TB SSD - (based on the recommendation of one music trade magazine)(don't ask me why...)

 

Must have at least 32 GB of system RAM.

 

He does NOT want a liquid based cooling system. (he had a bad experience with one long time ago and it ruined his computer system. No, I did not build it... someone else did.)

 

Must be a full sized tower with minimum of 800 watt power supply unit. 

 

Must have at least 4 GB graphic card, not for gaming purposes, but for extensive music graphical work. (you've seen those music documentaries where they show a music studio with all of those knobs and sliders... that's what the graphic card will be rendering for on top of the audio and video rendering)

 

My brother has already bought 2 - 32 inch monitors, already has the mouse, keyboard, speakers and a new Blu-ray optical disk drive.

 

I am asking the highly competent computer builders in this forum to review my computer build and see if there is anything that I forgot or need to make changes on. I think I have everything covered. Even though I have built well over 1,000 computer systems, I have never built a computer system specific for a music studio.

 

He will only accept either NewEgg or Amazon for this computer build.

 

Please, do not go over $5,000 USD! 

 

 
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X99-Gaming 5P ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard  ($309.99 @ Amazon) 
Memory: G.Skill Value 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory  ($229.99 @ Newegg) 
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon R9 290X 4GB WINDFORCE Video Card  ($332.98 @ Newegg) 
Case: NZXT Source 530 ATX Full Tower Case  ($89.99 @ Amazon) 
Case Fan: NZXT FS-200RB-GLED 89.5 CFM 193mm  Fan  ($14.99 @ Newegg) 
Case Fan: NZXT FS-200RB-GLED 89.5 CFM 193mm  Fan  ($14.99 @ Newegg) 
Total: $4624.85
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-07-11 14:54 EDT-0400

Edited by Buzzsaw, 11 July 2015 - 02:19 PM.


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#2 JerkyMcDilerino

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 02:22 PM

Uh............Is this suppose to be a question or something else? As $5k build i would rather go with Titan GPUs.


Edited by JerkyMcDilerino, 11 July 2015 - 02:22 PM.


#3 Rocky Bennett

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 02:29 PM

Wow, that looks like an awsome build. What kind of software is he running, Pro Tools? What OS? Windows or Linux?


594965_zpsp5exvyzm.png


#4 Buzzsaw

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 02:40 PM

Wow, that looks like an awsome build. What kind of software is he running, Pro Tools? What OS? Windows or Linux?

 

Rocky,

 

My brother will be using Windows 8.1 and he is using the Ableton Live 9 Studio.


Uh............Is this suppose to be a question or something else? As $5k build i would rather go with Titan GPUs.

 

Re-read my post and you'll find the answer to your question.



#5 JerkyMcDilerino

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 03:11 PM

***** Ignore, invalid points.****


Edited by JerkyMcDilerino, 11 July 2015 - 03:26 PM.


#6 Kilroy

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 07:02 PM

Go with an nVidia card, NOT AMD.  Check with the applications that your brother will be using to verify, but a lot of applications can use an nVidia card's Cuda cores for additional processing.  Same goes with the Xeon processor, check the software to see if it mentions a Xeon over a i7 CPU.  A Xeon CPU is normally used for servers and CAD workstations.



#7 Buzzsaw

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 08:05 PM



Go with an nVidia card, NOT AMD.  Check with the applications that your brother will be using to verify, but a lot of applications can use an nVidia card's Cuda cores for additional processing.  Same goes with the Xeon processor, check the software to see if it mentions a Xeon over a i7 CPU.  A Xeon CPU is normally used for servers and CAD workstations.

 

Kilroy,

 

Ok, I checked with my brother, and he did state that nVidia 4 GB was recommended. It did not state which GTX model line. So, I picked the GTX 970 graphics card.

 

As far as the processors go, it was recommend that either an i7 or a Xeon processor be used. 

 

A good catch on the graphics card, Kilroy!

 

Here's the revised build:

 

 

 
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X99-Gaming 5P ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard  ($309.99 @ Amazon) 
Memory: G.Skill Value 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory  ($229.99 @ Newegg) 
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 4GB WINDFORCE 3X Video Card  ($339.99 @ Amazon) 
Case: NZXT Source 530 ATX Full Tower Case  ($89.99 @ Amazon) 
Case Fan: NZXT FS-200RB-GLED 89.5 CFM 193mm  Fan  ($14.99 @ Newegg) 
Case Fan: NZXT FS-200RB-GLED 89.5 CFM 193mm  Fan  ($14.99 @ Newegg) 
Total: $4631.86
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-07-11 21:01 EDT-0400


#8 Charlie_Delta1

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 07:35 PM

4 - 1 Tbyte SSD's at $500 each seems HIGHLY retarded to me.



#9 killerx525

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 09:41 PM

G'day Buzzsaw, the build list is looking awesome! A suggestion would be selecting a beefier cooling solution, the reason is the CPU can get fairly warm once under full load and it has a 95W TDP, hence something like Noctua NH-U14S which will keep temperatures at reasonable level during load.


>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#10 JerkyMcDilerino

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 10:33 PM

G'day Buzzsaw, the build list is looking awesome! A suggestion would be selecting a beefier cooling solution, the reason is the CPU can get fairly warm once under full load and it has a 95W TDP, hence something like Noctua NH-U14S which will keep temperatures at reasonable level during load.

Corsair H80I or even greater Corsair H100i dual 120mm radiators will do ways better than Noctua NH-U14S.


Edited by JerkyMcDilerino, 19 July 2015 - 10:33 PM.


#11 SEANIA

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 10:49 PM

W00t go Buzzsaw! Hope you'll value my input.

 

First- serious question. Do you know, and if not can you ask, is he planning on/does he heavily use external mixers/devices that he's running through USB and/or S/PDIF for input- or - does he use/want to use a system where everything is directly connected to the computer to do all (obviously some will always be in software) the mixing in software without any external mixers as a front end input?

 

If he does everything through external mixers then it's fine, but a specific dedicated audio card would be required (or recommended) for use as a direct input (the only occasion where a dedicated card is really required anymore). Keep in mind they're special cards that can do stuff no "gaming grade"  card like the  "sound blaster" or "Xonar" line can do. 

 

2nd- Ask him ASAP if he's ok with a high grade consumer GPU or if he needs a workstation grade Quadro card. Though technically both lines use the same chips, the Quadro serious has things enabled in their drivers that lets them do stuff the other cards are incapable of doing or that make them incompatible with professional software. 

 

3rd- Did you know Newegg has http://www.neweggbusiness.com/ specifically getting those special workstation type parts from?

 

4th- Perfect SSDs for the budget! most stable consumer SSD there is with that 10-year warranty. Wish it was is in the budget for a PCIe enterprise SSD like this, dem 3D drives are the next best thing though.

 

5th- That CPU cooler is probably not going to be enough for that CPU. The E5 2660 v3 is rated at a whopping 105 watt TDP of heat output. Coolermaster doesn't give a TDP rating for the GeminII M4, but I've seen similar coolers rated at only 95 watts.  Looking into a Noctua cooler might be worth doing, especially since rendering on all 10 cores will really push whatever cooler is attached- and I doubt he'd keep the inside of the case clean or put it in the best airflow spot. 

 

I don't use liquid coolers either. Even the pre-built all-in-ones that are built for maximum on time without maintenance are only rated for 3 years. Where as custom builds are recommended for a once a year clean out to maintain stability. 

 

6th- Bit of a minor thing, but since it a audio PC a more silent oriented case might want to be used. Like the Crosair Carbide 330R case (yes it can use E-ATX boards), and it looks a bit more professional. 


99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 


#12 SEANIA

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 10:52 PM

*bangs head into wall* I know you told me not bother, sorry. 

 

Corsair H80I or even greater Corsair H100i dual 120mm radiators will do ways better than Noctua NH-U14S.

 

 

If you had read the early posts, you'd know he specified no liquid coolers. I'll even quote. 

 

 

He does NOT want a liquid based cooling system. (he had a bad experience with one long time ago and it ruined his computer system. No, I did not build it... someone else did.)


99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 


#13 Buzzsaw

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 06:29 AM



W00t go Buzzsaw! Hope you'll value my input.

 

First- serious question. Do you know, and if not can you ask, is he planning on/does he heavily use external mixers/devices that he's running through USB and/or S/PDIF for input- or - does he use/want to use a system where everything is directly connected to the computer to do all (obviously some will always be in software) the mixing in software without any external mixers as a front end input?

 

If he does everything through external mixers then it's fine, but a specific dedicated audio card would be required (or recommended) for use as a direct input (the only occasion where a dedicated card is really required anymore). Keep in mind they're special cards that can do stuff no "gaming grade"  card like the  "sound blaster" or "Xonar" line can do. 

 

2nd- Ask him ASAP if he's ok with a high grade consumer GPU or if he needs a workstation grade Quadro card. Though technically both lines use the same chips, the Quadro serious has things enabled in their drivers that lets them do stuff the other cards are incapable of doing or that make them incompatible with professional software. 

 

3rd- Did you know Newegg has http://www.neweggbusiness.com/ specifically getting those special workstation type parts from?

 

4th- Perfect SSDs for the budget! most stable consumer SSD there is with that 10-year warranty. Wish it was is in the budget for a PCIe enterprise SSD like this, dem 3D drives are the next best thing though.

 

5th- That CPU cooler is probably not going to be enough for that CPU. The E5 2660 v3 is rated at a whopping 105 watt TDP of heat output. Coolermaster doesn't give a TDP rating for the GeminII M4, but I've seen similar coolers rated at only 95 watts.  Looking into a Noctua cooler might be worth doing, especially since rendering on all 10 cores will really push whatever cooler is attached- and I doubt he'd keep the inside of the case clean or put it in the best airflow spot. 

 

I don't use liquid coolers either. Even the pre-built all-in-ones that are built for maximum on time without maintenance are only rated for 3 years. Where as custom builds are recommended for a once a year clean out to maintain stability. 

 

6th- Bit of a minor thing, but since it a audio PC a more silent oriented case might want to be used. Like the Crosair Carbide 330R case (yes it can use E-ATX boards), and it looks a bit more professional. 

 

Seania,

 

First of all, your post was a breath of fresh air instead of reading all of the "face palm" posts that have populated this and other threads. (if you get my drift)

 

1. He has stated that he's going to do things both ways. Ok... since I'm not a music engineer, nor do I claim to be one, I would have to agree with your assessment that we would have to take your advise on getting the right kind of dedicated audio card.

 

If you were tasked with this kind of build, what dedicated audio card would you recommend for this build? Keep in mind of the budget. Even though, currently it stands at $4,667, I am fairly certain that my brother won't go for a $300 dedicated audio card. 

 

2. Regarding the GPU, I understand your point and it's valid, but I am going by whatever my brother has stated by the software stuff that he uses. Just in case something changes there, can you recommend a graphics card or two that would fit the bill?

 

3. I'm glad you brought up the Newegg Business website. I had completely forgotten about it. That's another option that is available to me.

 

4. PCIe enterprise SSDs are really nice, but hard to justify that into the build. Besides that, my brother is a bit of old school, so he'd rather have drives that he actually can see (the 4 SSDs) as opposed to a single PCI-e.

 

5. As suggested by killerx and yourself, I changed this cooler to the Noctua cooler. (see revised build)

 

6. As suggested by yourself, I changed this computer case to the Corsair one. (see revised build)

 

 
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U14S 55.0 CFM CPU Cooler  ($70.98 @ Newegg) 
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X99-Gaming 5P ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard  ($309.99 @ Amazon) 
Memory: G.Skill Value 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory  ($229.99 @ Newegg) 
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 4GB WINDFORCE 3X Video Card  ($331.99 @ Amazon) 
Case Fan: NZXT FS-200RB-GLED 89.5 CFM 193mm  Fan  ($14.99 @ Newegg) 
Case Fan: NZXT FS-200RB-GLED 89.5 CFM 193mm  Fan  ($14.99 @ Newegg) 
Total: $4667.52
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-07-20 07:28 EDT-0400
 


#14 YeahBleeping

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 07:32 AM

To be able to properly recommend a sound card I guess we need to know .. does he plan on using external instruments to 'make music' ie. guitar / electric piano etc.. or will he be using Ableton for everything.  In which he does not need a Midi interface  I think Soundblaster is still the best sound card for reproduction.



#15 Buzzsaw

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 07:35 AM

To be able to properly recommend a sound card I guess we need to know .. does he plan on using external instruments to 'make music' ie. guitar / electric piano etc.. or will he be using Ableton for everything.  In which he does not need a Midi interface  I think Soundblaster is still the best sound card for reproduction.

 

Yeah, 

 

As I stated in my previous post, it's a little bit of both. That's the way my brother was describing things to me.

 

I did ask Seania what would be the recommended sound card for this situation?

I would ask you the same thing. Soundblaster has many lines of sound cards, you need to be more specific if possible.






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