Jump to content
musikman1

Best Hardware for a PC Upgrade? - Help pls

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, musikman1 said:

I'll try the RAM and SSD first. This chip is pretty fast for most applications, it's just that DAWs and plugins and VSTs give it a good run for the money.

I should be able to at least ghost the image to an external like I usually do now. My friend who works on my PC says it's no problem either. It would save a whole lot of time to not have to reload, re-register, re-activate, etc... not fun, I'd rather be using the time to write and record.

If you are not using all 8GB that you currently have, then adding more RAM will not speed things up. However if you are frequently maxing out the RAM, then adding to it is a no-brainer. Lack of sufficient RAM will force Windows to use the page file on disk when the RAM is full, and that slows down performance.

However, no matter what, upgrading to SSD will change your life and feel like a makeover for your PC. Potentially adding years of useful life to it. The spinning HDDs are the throughput bottleneck for most PCs now. I just use HDDs for archive and backup now, and they are good at that.

I am running two SSD drives now, one for my [C:] Windows boot and programs drive, and another for my [D:] samples, projects, and other misc. content. The computer boots in 30 seconds, and programs and projects launch in less that that. No lag in the UI, and almost instant responsiveness.

Your current CPU has 6 cores at 3.5GHz, so it's no slacker. And you can always use any new SSD drives in a new computer, so that's not wasted money at least trying out that route.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The interesting thing about the AMD FX CPUs is that they aged well, unlike their Intel counterparts. You can still get somewhat of a decent performance with a FX8370 or 8350 with sufficiently fast RAM and a ssd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/13/2021 at 7:41 PM, abacab said:

If you are not using all 8GB that you currently have, then adding more RAM will not speed things up. However if you are frequently maxing out the RAM, then adding to it is a no-brainer. Lack of sufficient RAM will force Windows to use the page file on disk when the RAM is full, and that slows down performance.

I'm not sure what function of CW eat up RAM, but I think I'm going to up the RAM to at least 16GB if not more, because I also do a video project once in awhile, so it won't go to waste.

 

On 2/13/2021 at 7:41 PM, abacab said:

Your current CPU has 6 cores at 3.5GHz, so it's no slacker. And you can always use any new SSD drives in a new computer, so that's not wasted money at least trying out that route.

I was wondering if the SSD drives come with different transfer rates, and I saw an article online that says they do. I'm not sure which to buy, but I would think the fastest one would be the way to go, as long as my motherboard is ok with it, which I have to find out.  This older sample build on Partspicker website seems similar to the build I have now (minus the SSD drive and extra RAM). https://pcpartpicker.com/guide/PB6MnQ/entry-level-amd-gaming-build

I like that the SSDs have come way down in price since the last time I checked. I'll likely go with 2 of them, one for OS and apps, the other for running my CW projects and video projects. Now to decide what size, I see they are mostly 1 or 2 TB, any advantage or disadvantage going with the bigger 2TB?

On 2/14/2021 at 7:12 AM, Bruno de Souza Lino said:

The interesting thing about the AMD FX CPUs is that they aged well, unlike their Intel counterparts. You can still get somewhat of a decent performance with a FX8370 or 8350 with sufficiently fast RAM and a ssd.

I'm glad to hear they age well. Maybe I won't need to change out my motherboard or CPU this time around.  My friend mentioned that 16 core processor not being too expensive, but I think I'd have to change the motherboard along with it, so it could get a little more expensive going that route.  With the VSTs an audio FX plugs getting more and more CPU hungry I'm wondering if it would be wise to upgrade the CPU.

 

On 2/13/2021 at 7:41 PM, abacab said:

I am running two SSD drives now, one for my [C:] Windows boot and programs drive, and another for my [D:] samples, projects, and other misc. content. The computer boots in 30 seconds, and programs and projects launch in less that that. No lag in the UI, and almost instant responsiveness.

Wow, that sounds great.  Before you upgraded to your SSD drives, were you having any audio breakup/dropout issues because of the HDD?  I know my Behringer mixer's audio drivers are not helping me, so that will be on the way out the door in the near future as well.

Speaking of which, I never got a reply specific to my question about what the most common setting I should use for my Record and Render bit depth settings.  I ask because I'm wondering if the settings I have now are causing problems with audio breakup.  I know I'm off right now because mine are set to 16 Record, and 32 Render, doesn't seem right to me.  My friend told me I should be at least 24 on Record, but base on my system specs, do you think I should I change the Render from 32 to 24 as well?  The thing that is confusing is, for Rendering, if I'm going to go with basic CD quality wav file most of the time, (16bit 44,100).. isn't it necessary to set the Render rate at 16? Appreciate any insight on that.  Thanks much!

 

Edited by musikman1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Record at 24, render at 32.

You only need worry about going down to 16 bit for CD on your final, and I mean FINAL export when you use dither to go down to 16bit

Using a render depth of 32 bit gives you much more mathematical precision

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, musikman1 said:

I'm glad to hear they age well. Maybe I won't need to change out my motherboard or CPU this time around.  My friend mentioned that 16 core processor not being too expensive, but I think I'd have to change the motherboard along with it, so it could get a little more expensive going that route.  With the VSTs an audio FX plugs getting more and more CPU hungry I'm wondering if it would be wise to upgrade the CPU.

That you'll have to check on a plugin by plugin basis. I'd say that the worst offenders in terms of the developer not caring about performance are Waves, Kush, Arturia, IK Multimedia, Eventide, iZotope, Zynaptic, NeuralDSP, STL Tones and those are a few I remember off the top of my head.

1 hour ago, musikman1 said:

Speaking of which, I never got a reply specific to my question about what the most common setting I should use for my Record and Render bit depth settings.  I ask because I'm wondering if the settings I have now are causing problems with audio breakup.  I know I'm off right now because mine are set to 16 Record, and 32 Render, doesn't seem right to me.  My friend told me I should be at least 24 on Record, but base on my system specs, do you think I should I change the Render from 32 to 24 as well?  The thing that is confusing is, for Rendering, if I'm going to go with basic CD quality wav file most of the time, (16bit 44,100).. isn't it necessary to set the Render rate at 16? Appreciate any insight on that.  Thanks much!

I keep mentioning FabFilter every other post even though I don't have any of their plugins nor they pay me to do so but....These two videos will teach you everyone you need to know about sample rates and dithering:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/16/2021 at 4:58 PM, Bristol_Jonesey said:

You only need worry about going down to 16 bit for CD on your final, and I mean FINAL export when you use dither to go down to 16bit

Thanks for the info.  Just so I understood what you said correctly,.....you're saying Render at 32 and don't use Dither when I'm exporting my entire mix to a wav file. So you must be assuming that I'll be using another program separate from Cakewalk for the final mix mastering, and that I will then be using that program to Render a final cut for CD at 16 with Dither.  I assume that is what you mean, unless I'm staying within Cakewalk to master the final mix, then I would need to change from 32 to 16 in Cakewalk to output a 16 wav for CD. I am watching the "WTF is Dither" video right now, the fog is starting to clear a little bit..

On 2/16/2021 at 5:58 PM, Bruno de Souza Lino said:

I keep mentioning FabFilter every other post even though I don't have any of their plugins nor they pay me to do so but....These two videos will teach you everyone you need to know about sample rates and dithering:

Thanks Bruno, I appreciate the videos, I'll get to those later tonight.

EDIT: now that I'm watching some of the video, one question popped to mind. What about when I'm recording everything in a project at 24 then I have some drum loops in that project which have been recorded at 16bit? I would guess if rendering at 24 or 32 it won't take away from the quality of the 16 bit drum loop.

On 2/16/2021 at 5:58 PM, Bruno de Souza Lino said:

That you'll have to check on a plugin by plugin basis. I'd say that the worst offenders in terms of the developer not caring about performance are Waves, Kush, Arturia, IK Multimedia, Eventide, iZotope, Zynaptic, NeuralDSP, STL Tones and those are a few I remember off the top of my head.

Well you have a good memory!  I do use some Waves and IK Multimedia Plugs.  The Abby Roads plugs from Waves are nice, but high on CPU.  I also have the IK MM B-3 Organ, and that is definitely high on CPU. Their tech told me because they don't use samples, they use all math with that plug.  I notice I save some CPU when I don't have the B-3 UI open. Once I get my sound I close that. But it is noticeably slowing things down when I have that in one of my projects, it would seem I have enough CPU to handle it, so maybe I need to look at either my RAM being low at 8GM, or my HDD that it could be affecting. This is a good example of what I was saying about these CPU hungry plugs, if I start loading these in, things get a little slow. The other thing I noticed is with some of the heavy plugs is that I need to change the ASIO from Normal to Relaxed to avoid audio dropout. That's ok if I'm just using a plug for playback, but if I'm recording and I set the ASIO to Relaxed, I get more latency and it puts a delay to my notes as I'm playing on my midi controller.

 

Edited by musikman1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think most of the suggestions I have read here make sense. I have had the same questions myself having built mine back in 2014 with an FX8350 AMD3+ chipset and 16Gb of RAM with a 750Gb SSD as the main OS drive and where I have my current CW projects. It works fine but does hit the wall sometimes usually once I have a load of plugins active. I have a 1Tb drive for samples, Kontakt libraries and archived CW Projects and another 1Tb hard drive for backup and archived files. I would recommend as others have, bumping the RAM up to 16Gb first and getting an SSD even if you don't ideally run the OS off it, you could store your projects on it which would improve audio streaming I would expect. As far as improving latency when tracking/recording, the only thing I would suggest is track first then add effects plugins after finishing tracking. You can then work with a lower buffer rate then increase it once you have finished recording, to cope with the extra load once you have started adding fx. Freeze or archive tracks whenever possible to lighten the load

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/12/2021 at 1:32 AM, musikman1 said:

.  My buffers are at 256, but when I try to up them to 512 I get too much latency with most of my VSTi plugs. (My audio interface doesn't help, I'm using a Behringer Xenex 1202FX mixer as my interface, soon to be replaced!)

I wouldn't upgrade the pc hardware to begin with. 

My knowledge with Behringer was somewhat sweetly! It brings a unique sound to recordings that I'd like. Unfortunately most Behringer mixers work best with "ASIO4ALL" (not the best converters) Plus, this drivers does not run smoothly with CbB. It forced me to sell my USB 1202fx and grabbed a new cheap Audio Interface with a dedicated Asio Drivers. I was bummed over this, cause I could have just connected an Interface to it, for better latency performance. 

To update your Usb Drivers and Audio Drivers Click here  

Regarding your system specs: You have nothing to worry here - maybe just up your rams to 16 for now / and / bump up your cores to 8, 12, or 16 when the need for it is required. 

Hope this help you in any way. 

  • Meh 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/17/2021 at 9:47 PM, musikman1 said:

Thanks for the info.  Just so I understood what you said correctly,.....you're saying Render at 32 and don't use Dither when I'm exporting my entire mix to a wav file. So you must be assuming that I'll be using another program separate from Cakewalk for the final mix mastering, and that I will then be using that program to Render a final cut for CD at 16 with Dither.  I assume that is what you mean, unless I'm staying within Cakewalk to master the final mix, then I would need to change from 32 to 16 in Cakewalk to output a 16 wav for CD. I am watching the "WTF is Dither" video right now, the fog is starting to clear a little bit..

 

 

The basic rule is, you only ever dither ONCE and that is when you go from a higher bit rate to a lower one - 24 to 16

Keep everything at your higher rate until the mix is totally finished and then export at 16bit 44.1KHz WITH dither for  CD quality wav files

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/21/2021 at 12:09 PM, Bristol_Jonesey said:

The basic rule is, you only ever dither ONCE and that is when you go from a higher bit rate to a lower one - 24 to 16

Keep everything at your higher rate until the mix is totally finished and then export at 16bit 44.1KHz WITH dither for  CD quality wav files

Thank for clarifying Jonesey, much appreciated! 

The videos above and these articles a friend sent me each helped a lot.  I made quite a few changes to Windows according to the suggestions in those articles and my PC definitely seems to be running more efficiently. I didn't expect to notice it that much, but it was quite a change.  Still need to upgrade some hardware, but in the meantime things have improved, thanks guys, much appreciated.

How to tune a Windows PC for best audio performance...

https://www.audinate.com/learning/faqs/how-can-i-tune-a-windows-pc-for-best-audio-performance

10 Things to disable in Windows....

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/10-things-to-disable-in-windows-10/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/18/2021 at 5:35 AM, Will_Kaydo said:

My knowledge with Behringer was somewhat sweetly! It brings a unique sound to recordings that I'd like. Unfortunately most Behringer mixers work best with "ASIO4ALL" (not the best converters) Plus, this drivers does not run smoothly with CbB. It forced me to sell my USB 1202fx and grabbed a new cheap Audio Interface with a dedicated Asio Drivers. I was bummed over this, cause I could have just connected an Interface to it, for better latency performance. 

To update your Usb Drivers and Audio Drivers Click here  

Regarding your system specs: You have nothing to worry here - maybe just up your rams to 16 for now / and / bump up your cores to 8, 12, or 16 when the need for it is required. 

Hope this help you in any way.

I have already purchased a replacement for my Behringer. For now I got a deal on a Soundcraft Sig MTK 12. I don't know about their drivers, but they have to be a notch better than the Behringer, maybe a few notches from what I'm told.  Funny you mention that too, cuz I was thinking of trying to just hook up my Audiobox interface just to see if the problems still continue, will have to try that.  Thank you for the drivers link too, I was having trouble finding those for some reason. Behringer's website is kinda confusing to me, you?  I am definitely looking in that direction on the upgrade, at least an SSD drive and more RAM, then go from there. The six core seems fine for most CW applications unless I load a project with a lot of CPU heavy plugs, and I pretty much know which ones those are now.  Yes it has helped, and thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/18/2021 at 1:10 AM, Hatstand said:

 As far as improving latency when tracking/recording, the only thing I would suggest is track first then add effects plugins after finishing tracking. You can then work with a lower buffer rate then increase it once you have finished recording, to cope with the extra load once you have started adding fx. Freeze or archive tracks whenever possible to lighten the load

I hear that, and for awhile now as my plugin library has grown, I have been learning that even if I want to have all my plugins running for editing and stuff, sometimes I just have to work my project in pieces, as you have suggested. It kinda sucks sometimes, but I've found it doesn't hurt me to find ways to work more efficiently, given whatever PC limitations arise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh no. I have a sound craft signature 10 mixer and the driver was sort of ok definitely not as good as Focusrite Tascam or Motu. It’s made by Harman  I think Harman is with Korg. 
but after one year of light occasional use at a few gigs it no longer works. It seems the connection port or possibly the chip inside is fried.   This is unacceptable as I’m very careful about gear.
I got no where’s on the user forum and with support. 
you are better off with a proper  interface. Mixer interfaces seem iffy  

It’s a good mixer. The compressor sucked  but it was best bang for the buck for channel count ant aux sends. All made in China even though it has British flag on it. 

Edited by John Vere

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if your main setback is latency, I would suggest upgrading you digital interface.  If you want to keep the budget low, then research the newer (last few years) MOTU units. They have really improved the latency compared to the older. I still get better latency with RME, but they are pricey -or buy used like me. I am still using an i5 but usually can work with two instances of Omnisphere loaded, various other plugs at 2.9ms. When I start adding Izotope mastering plugs, etc for mixing, I boost if up to 5.8 or even 11.6, but I am finished tracking by that time. And yes, SSD will make a huge difference.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, John Vere said:

you are better off with a proper  interface. Mixer interfaces seem iffy  

It’s a good mixer. The compressor sucked  but it was best bang for the buck for channel count ant aux sends. All made in China even though it has British flag on it. 

Thanks for the heads up John. I'll take that suggestion about an interface. I have a basic 2 channel Audiobox that I sometimes use with my laptop, but I'll look into a better one going forward. I use a mixer cuz I'm usually running two keyboards, each in stereo, a couple guitars and a mic, so I like the mixer and having all of it connected all the time, even if I'm not trying to get a signal to my DAW.  Also, the MTK 12 can send multiple USB channels to multiple tracks in CW, so if I want to record an acoustic guitar track I can have three separate tracks recording simultaneously, one with a mic, one direct, and one room mic.  I can't do that with the Behringer, it's only a two way street, one in and one out.  

16 hours ago, Michael Fogarty said:

if your main setback is latency, I would suggest upgrading you digital interface.  If you want to keep the budget low, then research the newer (last few years) MOTU units. They have really improved the latency compared to the older. I still get better latency with RME, but they are pricey -or buy used like me. I am still using an i5 but usually can work with two instances of Omnisphere loaded, various other plugs at 2.9ms. When I start adding Izotope mastering plugs, etc for mixing, I boost if up to 5.8 or even 11.6, but I am finished tracking by that time. And yes, SSD will make a huge difference.

I love Omnishpere! I used to have Atmosphere years ago, but it's gone now and I can't find my registration info, and to upgrade to Omnisphere without it is really pricey.  I called them and they had no record of my registration, too many years have passed, so I'd have to purchase as a first time user, can't afford that right now. It's a great plugin, so is Bass Trilogy, but way overpriced imho.  Yeah I think I will eventually have to go with an interface that will give me super low latency compared to using my USB mixer.  The mixer will have to do until such time as I can afford another interface, but it's looking more like one of the best ways to beat it.  I'm using 80-90% of my 8GB of RAM all the time, according to the performance meter in CW, and my HDD is over 65% full and the HD meter in CW is always lit up red even in very small projects while the audio engine is running.  So there are definitely a few things that need addressing as far as upgrading.  SSD and RAM for sure, no question.

 

Edited by musikman1
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you mentioned in another post the Audiobox. I have had and still have a Presonus interface. On my Studio 192 the pres and converters are very good -close to the big boys. What i did find out from the Asian representative though is that their interfaces are made to go with the software. The latency doesn't work well with other DAW - and I can testify Cakewalk is one of them. Seems it might have been a bit of an oversight, but they were stuck with the results. My RME and MOTU and even the interface in my Yamaha Keyboards get great latency - the RME down to 64 and it is an older unit. If you don't need more than two tracks, get a used Babyface. Probably very cheap on ebay or in a music store, classifieds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/23/2021 at 1:49 AM, musikman1 said:

I was having trouble finding those for some reason. Behringer's website is kinda confusing to me, you? 

Navigations were easy on their website for me. All you need to do is type in what you want. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Michael Fogarty said:

you mentioned in another post the Audiobox. I have had and still have a Presonus interface. On my Studio 192 the pres and converters are very good -close to the big boys. What i did find out from the Asian representative though is that their interfaces are made to go with the software. The latency doesn't work well with other DAW - and I can testify Cakewalk is one of them. Seems it might have been a bit of an oversight, but they were stuck with the results.

Too bad about the Audiobox latency, thanks for mentioning, I wasn't aware. I only used my Audiobox a few times on my laptop and it was just to connect a guitar for practice, latency seemed fine for that, but I never tried putting it to the test on a decent sized project in CW.   I used to use an old Delta 66 by M-Audio, and it worked well for me at the time, but I've found M-Audio stuff to be kinda buggy in general sometimes.  I'm gonna have to make a list of which Audio Interfaces play well with CW, and also list the prices.  What are the Focusrite interfaces like, any good? I just watched another video on bit depth and the speaker mentioned they were decent for a budget interface. 

20 hours ago, Michael Fogarty said:

If you don't need more than two tracks, get a used Babyface.

Not sure what you mean about only needing two tracks.....you mean only two instrument inputs/outputs?  I use a mixer because if I want to have all my stuff connected and ready at any time, I need a minimum of 4 inputs for my stereo keyboards, 1 for my electric guitar, 1-2 for mics. That said however, I do usually only record one thing at a time since I do it all myself most times, so having something like an Audiobox would mean connecting whatever instrument I'm using to record and then disconnecting that to connect the next one.  I kinda like having it all available at once in case I want to audition other parts. 

12 hours ago, Will_Kaydo said:

Navigations were easy on their website for me. All you need to do is type in what you want. 

Ok, I just tried again and for some reason last time I selected 1202fx instead of 1204fx, my bad. I'm not sure if this is the one I need, or if I even need it, I'll have to check my driver version first.  Driver update can be a pain for me, can't seem to ever just be a simple process. The Behringer downloads page re-routes me to this page....  https://www.asio4all.org/

Edited by musikman1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, musikman1 said:

Ok, I just tried again and for some reason last time I selected 1202fx instead of 1204fx, my bad. I'm not sure if this is the one I need, or if I even need it, I'll have to check my driver version first.  Driver update can be a pain for me, can't seem to ever just be a simple process. The Behringer downloads page re-routes me to this page....  https://www.asio4all.org/

Yes, unfortunately most Behringer Devices works best with this drivers. 

but, try to hook your Audio Interface to it too. 

Back when I had my Behringer, I recorded all my electric and acoustic guitars only through the mixer and vocals through interface. Every felt as if you could taste a sound 😂 Well, it gave me that. 

Watch here: How to connect your interface to a mixer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that link Will, interesting, ..gonna watch tonight.  It never really occurred to me to connect the two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...