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Which specs. for a modern DAW ?


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#1 wuzzo

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 06:30 AM

Hello

I haven't built a PC for about four years but I'm toying with the notion of building a new DAW.   Anybody care to venture some ideas ?

I've got as far as thinking that a couple of hefty SSDs would solve noise and storage probs. that my current rigs suffer from.


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#2 Platypus

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 06:46 AM

SSDs do wonders for any system, but certainly they'll be great for a DAW. Does the noise consideration mean it's for in-studio use? If my budget allowed an upgrade from my modest i5 laptop, I think I'd be considering trying out Ryzen, for being able to get 8 core 16 thread with a 65W TDP, which should be able to be quiet.

Do you know how well your preferred software utilizes multithreading?

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#3 wuzzo

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 10:06 AM

Thanks, Platypus-  I've long been an AMD user and the only machine I didn't build myself is my i7 laptop.   

' Ryzen ' is, of course, new to me as I've been out of the building obsession for a few years.   I've just had a squiz and the power and price certainly look good.

 

My main software is Spectrasonics Omnisphere-  which is very hungry but hasn't over-eaten my quad core as yet.   Spectrasonics states that the more powerful the CPU the smoother it will run.  It's been running on two machines, the lappy with 16GB RAM and my last build with 8GB ram with no problems bar a comparatively slowish load-up on the PC.

I can add another 8GB to the PC and fit a SSD as a stop-gap while I'm investigating what's new. 

 

The lappy is a live performance rig  ( Fishman TriplePlay/Jam Origin Midi Guitar utilising Omnisphere and a heap of Reaper plugins )  and the PC is now getting some use in a home studio setup.  Everything is running smoothly with a Focusrite 18i20 interface but I'd like to get future-proofed as my studio knowledge and interest expands. 

 

As I'm using Windows 7 Pro can you tell me if these latest AMD processors have been doctored-  like Intels-  not to run an older OS ?    Dirty business to my mind. 


Edited by wuzzo, 20 November 2017 - 10:07 AM.

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#4 jonuk76

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 01:24 PM

It's not the processors which have been altered to not run Windows 7.  It's Microsoft's decision to block all updates on anything other than Windows 10 on PC's with Intel Kaby Lake onwards, and AMD Zen (including Ryzen).  There are some difficulties with installing Windows 7 on newest platforms (e.g. doesn't support USB 3/3.1 or NVME out of the box) but these aren't insurmountable with custom installation media.  Some unofficial "hacks" are available, to get around the updates issue.  But honestly, IMHO Windows 10 is a better OS anyway in most respects.

 

I can suggest a few things that may help with regard to system noise.  For a start, a good air cooler is quieter than water cooling usually, and barely behind in performance for the really big air coolers.  Large, good quality, low RPM fans are barely audible.  I use a Thermalright Macho which is pretty good.  Cryorig, Noctua and various others make some decent ones too.

 

The choice of case can have a big effect too.  Some like the Nanoxia Deep Silence range, or the Fractal Design Define range are made to be as quiet as possible, with extensive sound deadening treatment inside. I have a Fractal Design R5 case, and I think it's pretty good on the whole.

 

Many newer video cards are semi passive (fans only operate under high loud) and for a pure DAW machine, you don't need much in the way of graphical power anyway - a passively cooled card or integrated graphics will do the job required.

 

Newer high efficiency PSU's often have a semi-passive fan mode too.  Fully passively cooled PSU's are out there, but pretty expensive, and you will want at least a couple of quiet fans in the case just to get a modest airflow over the various heatsinks that need cooling.

 

Have to say I can't hear my current system over ambient background noise under normal circumstances, with the CPU fan running at 500-ish RPM.


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#5 Kilroy

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 01:27 PM

DAW = Digital Audio Workstation?



#6 Platypus

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 11:17 PM

DAW = Digital Audio Workstation?


Correct.

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