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It depends on what you will be doing. Will you be working with a lot of synth VST's? Large projects? Lot's of samples? If so then you'd be happier with an i7 or i9 but an i5 would work just as well if you freeze your synths taking them out of memory or record them live to a wave file. An i5 based system will serve most of the home user crowd. If you are mainly dealing with wave files and drag and drop samples and don't mind freezing synth's if your latency starts to get bad than an i5 is perfectly fine. To give some perspective the new i5's are faster than my i7 6700K and I have no problem running projects with 30 or more tracks with dozens of plugin's and 7 or 8 synth's/drum samplers. I do have to freeze some things when the project builds and gets a lot of synths vst's but that's not a big deal.

Your CPU/RAM/Mobo won't effect latency but your audio interface will. Research those and look for sites that have tested them and show how well the ASIO drivers work. If you're a home user with a limited budget you would be better served by putting a majority of your money in a solid reliable and low latency audio interface. You'll spend almost as much if not more on it than your PC.

An i5 w/32GB RAM and an SSD for your programs and vst's and a secondary drive for your samples. Or one large SSD for everything. Get a CPU with built in video output unless you are going to be editing video. Then you'll need a dedicated card. Not all CPU's have built in GPU's so check to make sure. Also you'll need Windows 10 Pro not Home because you can tweak it more to set it up for DAW usage.

The two most important factors I have run in to for stability is RAM and good audio interface drivers. Once you pick out a Mobo go to their web site and search for supported RAM and CPU's. They will show you what they have tested with that particular motherboard. Not all ram works reliably with all motherboards even though spec wise it may fit. Always choose RAM they have actually tested with the motherboard that they verified works. I avoid Corsair even if they test it and it's in the list. I personally prefer Kingston. I've never had Corsair RAM last more than a couple years in any PC I've ever had. I also don't like to overclock. It creates more heat and stresses everything. Some people do and it works fine for them. Some people like Corsair too. I avoid both at all costs.

You can build your own but I would also check out a prebuilt DAW here. You may find the price is about the same as DIY especially if you factor in the research time and aggravation factor.

Hope this helps.

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Contact JimRoseberry through this forum. He’s a long term Sonar/Cakewalk pro user and the company he owns and operates builds Studio PCs. 
For a modest fee he’ll provide you a list (including links where to buy) of tested not just recommended components for assemble yourself or build one for you. 
The advantage is that he knows from his vast system building experience, what works and what doesn’t or component incompatibilities that are unsuitable for a DAW. 

Many here have used his services including myself and I’ve never heard a negative comment. 
Additionally he’ll give you great support for a DIY  setup and of course full warranties and support for his purpose built machines. 

All the best. 

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If You use it for Midi & use external modules or keyboard sounds you don't need a lot of processing at all. The soft synth's really are the things that slow the machine  down. Heavy duty effects can do the same. You can freeze them to take the load off though. (as mentioned above) I tend to get the sounds going with modules and make one stereo mixdown track & then vocals.

Maybe I add some limited soft synth's later & freeze them. I like the Ample guitars for example.

 

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Unfortunately in these strange times you might have to settle for whatever you can get without paying way over the odds to scalpers and price gougers.

My advice would be to wait, if possible, until the market returns to something more like normality.

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On 4/1/2021 at 9:10 PM, Shane_B. said:

 

You can build your own but I would also check out a prebuilt DAW here. You may find the price is about the same as DIY especially if you factor in the research time and aggravation factor.

I am thinking about a new DAW. The Studio Cat link is useful as it explains a few things. I am in the UK, so I would not be buying from them. I will probably use Scan Computers who built my current DAW about 7 years ago and I have been very happy with it.

Interesting comments from Studio Cat on  using HDD as an audio drive and performance comparisons between HDD, SDD and M1 drives for sample streaming.

I am not sure the performance advantage of an M1 is sufficient to justify the much higher cost compared to a SSD, I am going to need quite a big sample drive.

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