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  • I'm updating my PC...

    I went with a i7 3770K (3.5 GHz quad core) with 16GB of Kingston Hyper-X RAM (the board will take up to 32GB, but RAM's a bit expensive right now), Jetway JNAF93-Q77 socket 1155 motherboard with four PCI slots, which I still need for my PTHD rig. It also has three PCI-e slots for the future. I figure this will do nicely for the transition period between HD and whatever's next - HDX or...? Anyway, it should be a lot faster than the Athlon X2 4200 / 4GB RAM / WIn XP setup that it's replacing. I'm using the Thermaltake Tsunami Dream case from that machine, along with the Corsair GS600 power supply. I went with Windows 7 Professional (64 bit) SP1 for the OS. I also got another 1TB SATA drive and a SATA DVD-RW to go into it. It's burning in now... then comes the "fun" part - loading all the software...

    So... how often do you update your DAW computer hardware? It's been a while for me - the last build (the Athlon X2) was some time ago... 2006? Something like that. It's long overdue! I've purchased a couple of new Macs since then, but this is the first PC build I've done in several years.
    **********

    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
    - George Carlin

    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

  • #2
    I also decided that, since the motherboard has a msata slot, I might as well add a 120GB msata SSD to the setup. The msata drives seem to be less expensive than the 2.5" format sata drives, and while 120GB is fairly small, that should be big enough for the OS and programs.
    **********

    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
    - George Carlin

    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

    Comment


    • #3
      sounds pretty solid dude philthumb
      Marshall Amps
      Gibson guitars
      Tonepros
      Lava cable
      Dunlop/MXR

      Comment


      • #4
        The software install is da bitch.

        I seem to upgrade every couple of years. Usually when MS comes out with a new OS, or the DAW software is upgraded
        are the best opportunities for upgrades because you got to do allot of jacking around anyway to get things to work.
        Major hardware upgrades like yours is the other, and switching to 64 bit is unavoidable because you have to
        reload just about everything.

        I'd like to know how that SS drive works out for you and If you notice any great performance improvements.
        I may want to do the same thing next time around. By then the prices should be about as low as they will get.

        Comment


        • #5
          Yeah, the software installation is always what takes the most time with a new computer build, and since I had already installed my OS and Pro Tools (but not all my plugins), I had to re-install some stuff yet again. Yes, I could have made a image of the drive I had already loaded stuff to and restored that to the SSD, but I wasn't too far into it, and thought I'd just start from scratch. I put the SSD in last night, reinstalled Win7 SP1, iLok, and Pro Tools (but no plugins yet) and boy does it ever make a difference in terms of boot-up speed. I go from a cold boot to the desktop in just a few seconds now. It's a BIG improvement!

          I can't wait to see how fast it loads Pro Tools once I have all my plugins reinstalled. The more plugins you have (and according my iLok account, I have a bunch... ), the longer it takes to load up Pro Tools, so I'm looking forward to the SSD saving me some time there.

          One of the big issues now is noise. My side case fan died and I had to replace it. The new one sounds like a leaf blower. I'm going to put a Zalman Fan Mate in there to knock down the RPMs on that to get it quieter, and also install some rubber shock mounts to decouple it from the case door. I have two big 120mm case fans in there too (one drawing air into the front, one blowing it out the back) and they're being controlled by the system; depending on temps, the motherboard spins them up higher or drops the RPMs when it's cool enough. The side case fan is 90mm, and running at full speed - about 3,500 RPM. I could probably do away with the side fan, but I'm using the stock CPU cooler that came with the i7 3770K, and the Ivy Bridge CPUs are known for their tendency to run hot. I'm not overclocking anything yet... I'll want to see how it does stock before I start messing with that, but the CPU is unlocked and supports it if I decide I want to do it. I may need to go to a more efficient cooler if I do, but for stock CPU speeds, the stock fan seems to be working fine. It's not too noisy either.
          **********

          "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
          - George Carlin

          "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
          - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

          "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
          - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

          Comment


          • #6
            Many of your higher end CPU's use Liquid cooling systems to keep them cool.
            You don't need a noisy high speed fan to move tons of air to cool the coils.
            There is more in there besides the CPU that needs cooling of course.
            Drives recording can get too hot to touch and chips all need ventilation.
            The key is how the blades cut the air, ball bearings vs. bushings and the physical size.
            Two Small fans will have to run at higher speed and make twice the noise over one larger one.

            I don't have much issue with fan noise. Even if the fans were noisy I wouldn't hear them much with how much my studio is padded.
            The noise hits the way and never gets reflected back.

            Comment


            • #7
              I've considered going to a water cooler, but I'm going to hold off for a bit. As a rough test, I ran some recording and playback experiments with 16 audio tracks, each with a full load of plugins (all native) to see how it would do - and I put some pretty power-hungry plugins on all of the tracks - Autotune Evo, D-Verb, Slate VTM, TL Space, and Slate VCC... and the CPU is sitting at around 25% according to Pro Tools - that's with a larger buffer, but even with the smallest one, it can record all 16 tracks for as long as I want it to without problems.

              That's with the stock CPU speed and voltages. It's also with the onboard Intel HD 4000 graphics. My old PCI-e Radeon X550 128MB is way out of date, and the system benchmarks worse with that in there than with the onboard graphics. I'm open to suggestions for a better el-cheapo video card if anyone has any - I'm not going to be doing any gaming with this system and Pro Tools doesn't need anything fancy, so I'd like to keep the graphics card under $50 if I can.

              When I get ready to overclock this system, I'll probably add a water pumper to it to deal with the increased CPU heat. The Ivy Bridge CPU's have a reputation for heating up fast, and even something like a Coolermaster 212 Evo might not deal with the heat efficiently enough if I'm going to crank it up.

              I'm letting the system control the fan speed on the CPU at the moment, and it's going from about 1,200 at idle up to about 2,000 under load. The exhaust 120mm case fan is also system controlled, and runs from about 1,000 to 1,500, depending on load. It's at the rear of the case, up near the power supply, which is a Corsair GS600, which has a 140mm fan. I have the other 120mm case fan (at the front of the case) drawing air in, and it is set with a Zalman Fanmate II to run at 1,200 RPM. The side fan is now throttled back too, and the system is nice and quiet - it's actually quieter than my late 2012 quad core i7 MacBook Pro.

              Everything is staying nice and cool with the way it's all set up now. It's in an older (but still pretty good IMHO) case (Thermaltake Tsunami Dream), but I think the airflow was also greatly improved in the case due to me being able to remove one of the hard drive bays, as well as the removal of the last of my P-ATA components and the switchover to SATA drives exclusively. There's considerably less wire clutter in the case now, and while I have three hard drives and a DVD-RW in there, I've still got room for two or three more drives if I wanted to add them (with externals for backups and extra storage, I really don't see a need at the moment), and best of all, even with a HD2 Accel setup installed, I've still got a two PCI slots and three PCI-e slots still available - I could easily expand to HD4 Accel, move up to HDX, and/or add U/A UAD-2 DSP to the equation if I want to.
              **********

              "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
              - George Carlin

              "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
              - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

              "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
              - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

              Comment


              • #8
                Cool. Sounds like a solid rig. I've considered a similar build and picking up some used HD cards and an interface. But just don't really need it. FWIW I tend to change computers on occasion, but have had my current macbook pro for almost 7 years. It's an older c2d and I can easily run it past it's limits. But my Mac Pro with a 3.2 6-core is a different story.

                And fwiw I just bought a cheap quad i7 laptop to play around with. Metric Halo has shown a preview of some new stuff they're working on. And it supports Windows and Linux. So I'm gonna test those waters and see what happens. Especially since I'm really digging Harrison's Mixbus and it being based on Ardour also works in linux. May be time to start moving away from apples and towards the pengiuns.

                Anyways keep us up to date. And no doubt you're in a whole new league compared to your old rig. Have Fun!!!!
                ∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆ Antelope Zen Tour, Dell Precision 7510 (w/i7-6920HQ, 16GB, 512GB NVMe SSD, 960GB SSD recording drive) Harrison Mixbus 3, StudioOne Pro, Pro Tools 12, and Reaper. Belmont Bigsby, Godin LGSP-90 (NAMM ed.), Godin LGX-SA into an 11 Rack controlled by a FCB1010 with an Eureka Prom. A bunch of other stuff lying around.

                Did I mention that Harrison Mixbus 3 is out? If not check it out. It Is AWESOME!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sounds like you're cooking with gas to spare now Phil.
                  You may not need that extra power but its there if you need it.
                  The extra PCI and PCIe's are good to have too. I'm still using PCI cards and its hard to
                  find new boards that even have them.

                  As far as the Video card goes. I'd get one with the most memory on the board.
                  This keeps it from robbing your installed memory and it will run faster.
                  I'd attempt to stay away from Nvida cards. They are good cards but their drivers can be invasive.
                  If you stick with the windows driver you're fine, but when you install the full drivers you wind up getting all
                  kinds of junk installed including a widget on your task bar that keeps an internet port open for updates.
                  I normally use MSCONFIG from the run panel and disable all programs that don't need to be running from booting.
                  Nvidas additional software can be very aggressive and hard to shut down. When I know I have one of those cards
                  I let windows assign one of their drivers and just leave it that way. It doesn't affect the color or performance and since
                  I have no need to be matching pantone color to printers doing high end artwork, I don't need all that stuff running.

                  You can also go into bios and see what IRQ channel the video on. So long as it isn't on the same
                  Channel as your audio cards/gear, Firewire card or USB you should be fine.
                  Some boards let you switch/swap the IRQ within bios if they are shared. You can also swap card slots to
                  get the IRQ's to change.

                  If you can keep the Drives, Video, Audio, and Network card on separate IRQ's you can usually get the lowest latency
                  and best performance and have less chance of one item sucking resources away from the other.
                  Network cards are especially bad to have on the same IRQ as the sound hardware. It can cause allot of audio
                  disturbances when that nic card kicks in, plus its never idle. If you have to gang them on the same IRQ, stick the ones you
                  use least together as shared.

                  There are also Virtual IRQ's that are incorporated in newer machines that do all kinds of things. 1~16 are the ones
                  you want to try and get your audio and drive hardware installed on if possible. The computer may have 200 additional virtual
                  IRQ's The newer machines don't seem to have issues with Virtual IRQ's so if something gets stuck there, you'll just have to go with it.
                  Like I said, I use PCI cards and found this to be a big factor in getting maximum performance form the cards.

                  Here's a short description on the topic. http://www.manta-2000.com/tech/irq_settings.htm
                  You can view what's on the IRQ's without going into Bios by going to Start> Accessories, System Tools> Information.
                  You can then click on IRQ's and see what's being assigned to them. If you see some numbers below 15 missing its because
                  you have open card slots.
                  Last edited by WRGKMC; 04-09-2014, 08:41 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CME View Post
                    Cool. Sounds like a solid rig. I've considered a similar build and picking up some used HD cards and an interface. But just don't really need it. FWIW I tend to change computers on occasion, but have had my current macbook pro for almost 7 years. It's an older c2d and I can easily run it past it's limits. But my Mac Pro with a 3.2 6-core is a different story.
                    I'll bet that Mac Pro is!

                    I have an old 2.16 GHz C2D (late 2006) MacBook Pro, as well as a more recent 2.2 GHz quad i7 MBP with 16GB of RAM in it. I mainly use the C2D as a spare machine... writing, occasional web browsing... the newer MBP has been my main computer for the past couple of years as far as web stuff, writing articles and reviews, and I've also used it a lot for Pro Tools. I love the mobility of it, and it's fairly powerful - it's certainly faster than the PC was prior to the upgrade...

                    And fwiw I just bought a cheap quad i7 laptop to play around with. Metric Halo has shown a preview of some new stuff they're working on. And it supports Windows and Linux. So I'm gonna test those waters and see what happens. Especially since I'm really digging Harrison's Mixbus and it being based on Ardour also works in linux. May be time to start moving away from apples and towards the pengiuns.

                    Anyways keep us up to date. And no doubt you're in a whole new league compared to your old rig. Have Fun!!!!
                    I will - please do likewise. I'd like to hear more about the Metric Halo stuff, as well as the results of your swim in Lake Linux.
                    **********

                    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                    - George Carlin

                    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by WRGKMC View Post
                      Sounds like you're cooking with gas to spare now Phil.
                      You may not need that extra power but its there if you need it.
                      The extra PCI and PCIe's are good to have too. I'm still using PCI cards and its hard to
                      find new boards that even have them.

                      As far as the Video card goes. I'd get one with the most memory on the board.
                      This keeps it from robbing your installed memory and it will run faster.
                      I'd attempt to stay away from Nvida cards. They are good cards but their drivers can be invasive.
                      If you stick with the windows driver you're fine, but when you install the full drivers you wind up getting all
                      kinds of junk installed including a widget on your task bar that keeps an internet port open for updates.
                      I normally use MSCONFIG from the run panel and disable all programs that don't need to be running from booting.
                      Nvidas additional software can be very aggressive and hard to shut down. When I know I have one of those cards
                      I let windows assign one of their drivers and just leave it that way. It doesn't affect the color or performance and since
                      I have no need to be matching pantone color to printers doing high end artwork, I don't need all that stuff running.

                      You can also go into bios and see what IRQ channel the video on. So long as it isn't on the same
                      Channel as your audio cards/gear, Firewire card or USB you should be fine.
                      Some boards let you switch/swap the IRQ within bios if they are shared. You can also swap card slots to
                      get the IRQ's to change.

                      If you can keep the Drives, Video, Audio, and Network card on separate IRQ's you can usually get the lowest latency
                      and best performance and have less chance of one item sucking resources away from the other.
                      Network cards are especially bad to have on the same IRQ as the sound hardware. It can cause allot of audio
                      disturbances when that nic card kicks in, plus its never idle. If you have to gang them on the same IRQ, stick the ones you
                      use least together as shared.

                      There are also Virtual IRQ's that are incorporated in newer machines that do all kinds of things. 1~16 are the ones
                      you want to try and get your audio and drive hardware installed on if possible. The computer may have 200 additional virtual
                      IRQ's The newer machines don't seem to have issues with Virtual IRQ's so if something gets stuck there, you'll just have to go with it.
                      Like I said, I use PCI cards and found this to be a big factor in getting maximum performance form the cards.

                      Here's a short description on the topic. http://www.manta-2000.com/tech/irq_settings.htm
                      You can view what's on the IRQ's without going into Bios by going to Start> Accessories, System Tools> Information.
                      You can then click on IRQ's and see what's being assigned to them. If you see some numbers below 15 missing its because
                      you have open card slots.
                      Thanks for the excellent tips. I didn't know that about the Nvidia cards - I'll keep that in mind. As far as the IRQ stuff, I've already done all of that. This is my first build since the introduction of virtual IRQs, so that was something new for me, but the rest of it - card swaps, assignments, sharing and conflicts - that's all familiar territory.

                      I also disabled a bunch of stuff on the mobo in BIOS that I don't need... this board has a zillion COM ports that I have no use for, so all of that's been shut down. Same with the printer and Ethernet ports - I don't need / use them, so they've been shut off too, which of course clears those resources. The only network connection is via a Belkin N600 802.11n wifi USB adapter. That way, when I don't need it (for software updates & authorization - outside of that, I like to keep my DAW PC offline as much as possible), I can unplug it.

                      You're right - finding a board with a lot of PCI slots wasn't easy. I learned about this particular board over on the DUC. That's usually a great place to find out what people have had success with when running Pro Tools rigs. Newegg didn't have them in stock when I went to order it, and I didn't know if they'd be getting any more, so I searched around and found a place called Tierratek that had them on their site. They were really helpful and had it in my hands in a couple of days. I wouldn't hesitate to purchase from them again, although I see that Newegg has this board in stock once again. It's a bit less expensive from Tierratek though.

                      While I am not quite ready to give the Jetway JNMF93-Q77 my full endorsement, so far, I have no real concerns to report about this board / system. Everything seems to be working fine. It's much, much faster than my previous PC, and a definite step up from the i7 MacBook Pro in terms of speed and processing power. Eventually I'll get a better CPU cooler in there and overclock it, and another 16GB of RAM for it, and probably a dedicated video card, but using the onboard graphics doesn't seem to be having a huge negative effect on system performance. I'm sure it would be better with a decent card in there though.

                      I have to say... I am LOVING the SSD boot drive - that really makes a huge difference in bootup and program load times.
                      **********

                      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                      - George Carlin

                      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes SSD's are amazing!! Everyone should have one. The one in my Mac Pro is only a 64GB, but works great. And I still haven't tried a rig with a true sata3 SSD. Bet that's unreal. I also have a 480GB in my MacBook Pro. Keeps it feeling snappy despite it's age.

                        As far as my laptop experiment goes, it's been an experience. I now have osx, w7, and ubuntu studio running on it. Took some help from the guys at tonymac and google to get osx sorted, but seems to be fairly solid. Ubuntu and mixbus are a cool combination. I miss some of my go to plugs however. Mostly the metric halo bundle, but it's definitely useable. And I've yet to figure out how to get linux to write to hfs discs. I know linux using hfs not ideal, but my external drives are hfs and haven't found a good alternative. Plus I have windows working with hfs+. So for now I'll keep trying it, but stick to osx and windows mostly.

                        Good news is I now know for sure a 2.0+ghz i7 quad can do what I need to do. I do wish the laptop had a higher resolution screen. It's 1366x768. So will probably keep my eye out for a good deal on something else like a newer MacBook Pro. Or there are some HP's that are well supported in the hackintosh community. And I can't even imagine what your built is like Phil. I would probably have to hit it hard to make it even blink.
                        Last edited by CME; 05-03-2014, 09:13 PM.
                        ∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆ Antelope Zen Tour, Dell Precision 7510 (w/i7-6920HQ, 16GB, 512GB NVMe SSD, 960GB SSD recording drive) Harrison Mixbus 3, StudioOne Pro, Pro Tools 12, and Reaper. Belmont Bigsby, Godin LGSP-90 (NAMM ed.), Godin LGX-SA into an 11 Rack controlled by a FCB1010 with an Eureka Prom. A bunch of other stuff lying around.

                        Did I mention that Harrison Mixbus 3 is out? If not check it out. It Is AWESOME!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I really do like that SSD. I'm thinking about putting one into my quad core 2.2GHz i7 MacBook Pro (the model right before the retina displays came out) and removing the DVD-RW, putting it into an external USB case, and moving the stock HDD over there. I hardly ever use the optical drive on the laptop anymore, and the increase in boot speed and program launches on the PC is starting to spoil me...

                          I just got a couple of Thunderbolt capable interfaces for review, so the MBP is still very important to me. I'd also like to do some more mobile stuff, and it's perfect for that. I don't do a ton of swapping between platforms, but I need to be able to move stuff occasionally from one machine to the other - I normally just use a 16 or 32GB flash drive for that.
                          **********

                          "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                          - George Carlin

                          "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                          - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                          "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                          - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sorry that my last post was a blob. I used paragraphs, but was on my phone and somehow they got lost in translation. I'll fix it shortly Anyways I've decided to sell my Mac Pro and just get a quad-core MacBook Pro. If I can find deal I might consider an HP Elitebook, but think the thunderbolt could come in handy. In the process I think I will also sell my laptop I just got finished hackintoshing. While it will do everything I need, I'm having some issues with Jack under OSX, which makes Mixbus a no go. I can still use Mixbus on Linux and Windows, but I can make those OS's also work on a MBP. I also want to have more resolution. The 1366x768 is kind of a drag since I've had a 1440x900 screen for so long, and full HD with the Mac Pro. Guess I've been spoiled. I have however learned a quad-core i7 is a work horse and they only seem to be getting better.

                            And speaking of being spoiled, yes SSD's are addicting. I bought a used 160GB Intel X-25 several years ago for my current MBP. Put a 500GB drive in the optical bay and was off. For various reasons I've swapped around since then. Even back to a regular HDD for like a week. Even though it was a 7200 rpm drive I didn't like it. Had to get another SSD. So now it has a 480GB SSD, and unless I buy something with an SSD, you better believe it will be installed in whatever I buy next.
                            ∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆ Antelope Zen Tour, Dell Precision 7510 (w/i7-6920HQ, 16GB, 512GB NVMe SSD, 960GB SSD recording drive) Harrison Mixbus 3, StudioOne Pro, Pro Tools 12, and Reaper. Belmont Bigsby, Godin LGSP-90 (NAMM ed.), Godin LGX-SA into an 11 Rack controlled by a FCB1010 with an Eureka Prom. A bunch of other stuff lying around.

                            Did I mention that Harrison Mixbus 3 is out? If not check it out. It Is AWESOME!!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Do you have any preferences as far as which brand of SSDs you like the best?
                              **********

                              "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                              - George Carlin

                              "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                              - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                              "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                              - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                              Comment

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