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music producer converting from iMac 1st time PC build

Conscious_Pilot
  • 57 months ago
  • Budget: Around $1,500 (I can spend more if needed)
  • Location: USA
  • Use (Gaming, Rendering, etc): Music Production
  • Peripherals required (monitor, keyboard/mouse, etc): I probably need a double monitor display for my music production software. I'm spoiled with my iMac's 24" display, which allows for lots of room. The music software I use has 2 windows which take up the entire width of a normal monitor, and I would like to be able to see the windows side by side. ALSO, I burn a lot of CD's so I'd need a solid optical drive.
  • Operating System required: Windows

I am a professional independent music producer and I have only ever used Mac computers in the past. I now use a 2009 iMac that is on it's last leg, and I'm tired of replacing the entire setup every 5 years with another iMac that is just a pain to fix. I've swapped out internal HD's when they've gone bad, upgraded RAM, etc....but it's always such a pain to work on because of how compact it is. It's getting expensive, and I want to give PCs a try. It seems like building my own PC is the way to go, but this would be my 1st build so I'm unsure of what I should do. Below is some information that may help.

  • I use Reason (https://shop.propellerheads.se/product/reason-8/) to produce music, system requirements for this are as follows: Fast internet connection for installation and registration required! Intel or AMD processor with dual cores 4 GB RAM or more 3 GB free hard disk space (program may use up to 20 GB scratch disk space) Windows 7 or later (64-bit) Monitor with at least 1280x768 resolution Audio Interface with ASIO driver MIDI interface and a MIDI keyboard recommended

  • I also use a Firewire audio interface, so I'm assuming I wouldn't need some fancy sound card. Presonus Firestudio (http://www.presonus.com/products/FireStudio), system requirements for this are as follows: Windows Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 (32- and 64-bit) Note: Windows 7 was the last supported Microsoft OS for this device Intel Pentium 4 1.6 GHz processor or AMD Athlon 64 3000+ (Turion) (2.8 GHz or faster recommended) 1 GB RAM (2 GB or more recommended) Windows and Mac Systems IEEE 1394 FireWire 400 Port Internet connection recommended DVD-ROM drive Internal or external 7200 RPM storage drive highly recommended Note that the speed of your processor, amount of RAM and size and speed of your hard drive will greatly affect the overall performance of your recording system. Also, a more powerful system (faster processor with more RAM) will allow for lower latency (signal delay) that you might experience while monitoring audio or MIDI signals. Monitor resolution for both PC and Macintosh should be no lower than 1024x768 pixels.

  • I also use a Glyph (http://www.glyphtech.com/products/studio) external hard drive for backup. Compatible with Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8. Interfaces: USB 3.0, Firewire, eSATA.

  • I also use a Type Heaven keyboard by Topre. I'm assuming you don't need to know that, and that everyone is familiar with it. Fairly standard kit.

That's all I can really think of that may help. I also use Photoshop CS2 casually, and play a flash web browser game named Tagpro...probably TMI. My main concern is that it handles my music needs. Thanks so much in advance!

  • Patrick

Comments

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Xeon E5-2630 V3 2.4GHz 8-Core OEM/Tray Processor $619.99 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Cooler Thermaltake NiC L31 71.0 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler $26.99 @ Amazon
Motherboard SUPERMICRO MBD-X10DAL $293.00
FireWire VANTEC 3-Port FireWire, Use promo VANTEC20SEP15 $15.20
Memory Kingston 16GB (1 x 16GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory $124.99 @ Newegg
Memory Kingston 16GB (1 x 16GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory $124.99 @ Newegg
Storage Sandisk Extreme Pro 480GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $179.99 @ Newegg
Storage Toshiba 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $89.99 @ Amazon
Video Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB WINDFORCE Video Card $129.99 @ Newegg
Case Fractal Design Define R4 (Titanium Grey) ATX Mid Tower Case $89.99 @ Newegg
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA GS 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $94.99 @ Amazon
Optical Drive Asus DRW-24F1ST DVD/CD Writer $12.99 @ Newegg
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 OEM (64-bit) $134.88 @ OutletPC
Monitor LG 25UM57-P 60Hz 25.0" Monitor $197.99 @ Adorama
Monitor LG 25UM57-P 60Hz 25.0" Monitor $197.99 @ Adorama
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $2333.96
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-09-22 00:31 EDT-0400

The machine shown here, is a dual socket workstation with a direct upgrade path to 16 cores (add another equal CPU and HSF and more RAM later). The machine also has indirect upgrade path options to 36 haswell cores (replace the CPU or pair of equal CPU's, supports the entire E5 V3 CPU sequence). In a few years, when Intel replaces this platform, the enterprise market will start dumping 12-18 core parts into the used market. That might be a good time to upgrade this to a 24-36 core monster. (right now those parts are ~$1500-4000 each).

This machine supports more memory than you'll ever likely have use for. With standard DDR4 ECC RDIMM's, available up to 32GB per DIMM, this machine will support 128GB of RAM per CPU socket, (more with load reduced RDIMMs).

This machine supports up to 10 SATA devices controlled directly from the motherboard, and actually has room to mount that many in the case (case actually has mounting for 12 SATA devices, including the 2 optical drive bays). There's really no tangible limitation to how much project space and backup you can expand into with this build. Add more drives as needed.

External backup is fine, but my advise would be to migrate towards "internal" backup, where you backup on multiple drives installed inside the machine, and then use cloud based off-site backup for the really important stuff. An external backup won't survive disasters any better than the computer.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm really liking all the options this build offers for upgrading down the road. It's also nice to know it supports that much memory as well, in case my needs change later. Do you have a preference towards "internal" backups versus external, or were you mostly just advising that I should use cloud based off-site backup? If your preference is for internal, do you think it would be worth it to just sell my external hard drive and use that money for internal backup? I currently use cloud based off-site backup in addition to my external hard drive which is synched via Time Machine. Time Machine (if you're not familiar) is a "built-in backup feature of OS X. It keeps a copy of all your files, and remembers how your system looked on any given day so you can revisit your Mac as it appeared in the past.". Now that I'm reading The.Geeked.'s reply I'm thinking maybe I should RAID 1 the external instead of using Time Machine...regardless, I appreciate your opinion and thank you for your help.

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Do you have a preference towards "internal" backups versus external, or were you mostly just advising that I should use cloud based off-site backup?

I think what I meant to say, in more or less words, is that when you have a case with room for a bunch of hard drives, there's no need to clutter up your desk and add unnecessary middle-man interfaces (like USB) for your local backup. SATA drives connected directly to SATA controllers in the machine work best. Off-site backup should be used regardless of the physical arrangement of your local backup.

do you think it would be worth it to just sell my external hard drive and use that money for internal backup?

Not sure, depends on what it would sell for. Internal hard drives are pretty cheap though.


Yes I'm familiar with time machine ;)

You'll probably have to migrate to something different for off-site backup with windows. This is one of those areas where you should do as I say, not as I do. (I don't do offsite backup so can't make a recommendation, maybe carbonite?)

I'm thinking maybe I should RAID 1 the external

No.

For many technical reasons, no.

RAID should be configured with sets of matched drives for best results. In practice, RAID is more likely to cause you to LOOSE data than save it for a number of reasons. It works well in enterprise applications where planned management and best-practices are already determined and employed. RAID solutions in the personal computer are almost always come with more problems than solutions.

Manually copying the files you want backed up to multiple hard drives is the best solution.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't think I have any other questions. I'm probably going to spring for this build, I'll reply here to let you know how it all went! So long iMac :D

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Use the SSD for your OS, RAID 1 the HDD's to stop data loss. If you don't know what that mean; "RAID 1 consists of an exact copy (or mirror) of a set of data on two or more disks" so if one drive dies you'll still have all your data and just need to replace the bad drive.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor $327.99 @ NCIX US
CPU Cooler Corsair H55 57.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler $49.99 @ Newegg
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z97X-Gaming 5 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard $115.04 @ Newegg
Memory Kingston Savage 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2400 Memory $57.99 @ Amazon
Memory Kingston Savage 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2400 Memory $57.99 @ Amazon
Storage Samsung 850 EVO-Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $69.87 @ OutletPC
Storage Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $67.89 @ OutletPC
Storage Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $67.89 @ OutletPC
Video Card MSI Radeon R9 380 4GB Video Card $239.98 @ SuperBiiz
Case Fractal Design Define R5 w/Window (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case $115.99 @ SuperBiiz
Power Supply Corsair RM 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $74.99 @ Newegg
Optical Drive LG BH16NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer $89.99 @ Amazon
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 OEM (64-bit) $86.75 @ OutletPC
Keyboard Logitech MK520 Wireless Ergonomic Keyboard w/Laser Mouse $30.99 @ Amazon
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total (before mail-in rebates) $1493.34
Mail-in rebates -$40.00
Total $1453.34
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-09-22 01:05 EDT-0400

For the double monitor display.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
Monitor Dell U2414H 60Hz 23.8" Monitor $239.99 @ B&H
Monitor Dell U2414H 60Hz 23.8" Monitor $239.99 @ B&H
Other Dell MDS14 Dual Monitor Stand (5TPP7) $113.21
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $593.19
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-09-22 00:58 EDT-0400
  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for taking the time to build this. Looks like it will be able to easily handle what I throw at it with my music production work. That's really good advice regarding the RAID 1 information, I'll definitely take that into consideration. Using an SSD for my OS sounds like a great plan.

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add arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up authorcheckmark clipboard combo comment delete discord dots drag-handle dropdown-arrow errorfacebook history inbox instagram issuelink lock markup-bbcode markup-html markup-pcpp markup-cyclingbuilder markup-plain-text markup-reddit menu pin radio-button save search settings share star-empty star-full star-half switch successtag twitch twitter user warningwattage weight youtube