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jimsavitt1

New PC Specs / Platinum upgrade

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Resource planning and management is not a one-size-fits-all proposition.

Discussing machine specs without knowing the application, projected lifespan and budget is not very practical.

One reason, I try to avoid these threads.

A DAW builder like @Jim Roseberry may have some suggestions.

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What I do (only if it helps with inspiration :) )

  • Main OS drive: NVME 500 GB
  • Apps (DAWs, Office etc): another NVME 1tb - I use this PC for everything including music
  • All samples/libraries: 2 HDDs of 2tb each in Raid 0 mode (to get to SSD speeds) - I have all installers available in case something fails anyway
  • Project files: 1 separate 500GB SSD
  • Backups (done externally on a 6tb USB 3 HDD) for the OS/APPS/Project drives using Acronis every 2 weeks, Backup for the libraries done only when I trigger it (it takes ages to backup zzzz....)

I hope it helps, my 0.02

Nick

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21 hours ago, scook said:

Most of this is wrong too but I will leave it for others to decide for themselves.

 

Not sure where to start dissecting the "information", but +1 to @scook

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Posted (edited)

I would quote the minimum hard drive number as 3 internal and one external for backupin a Desktop PC home computer music DAW, new build.  This covers all the bases that you can use the DAW for and guarantees the best performance. The number of hard drives and how you use them is more important than CPU size or RAM in today's computers. Yet it seems every post for advice on computer setups seems to start with CPU power and RAM amount, with hard drive setup not seen as important.

1. OS and applications (500g - 1Tb)
2. Recorded material/projects (500g - 1Tb)
3. Samples/loops (1Tb - 2Tb)

That would achieve what you are trying to do, if you are resurrecting old projects and you already have some sounds. I don't know how those old sonar platinum sounds stack up to modern stuff, you might want to upgrade those or not, plenty of room for expansion.

The number of times where I see threads on forums of people complaining about problems and in the end it boils down to their hard drive setup. People start doing small music stuff on their computer that it might be able to handle but then as the number of tracks, recordings and the number of libraries used increases (it usually does), their performance suffers. Not to mention that some synths can tax the CPU a bit which can add to the bottleneck. It's also good housekeeping.

Why bother, get 3 internal SSD's and an external hard drive for back up and then your done.

I use a 3rd generation i5 and 8gig of ram but 3 hard drives and it works well enough for me not to be able to justify upgrading regardless of what I throw at it. I know that if I tried those same projects on the same computer with one hard drive, there would be no end of problems. I know because I've tried it.

You may get away with 2 ssd's, I don't know. If you do a search on hard drive setup's for music DAW's, you will see that the recommended setup today is the 3 hard drive set up. Ever since I switched to a 3 drive setup I have never had any problems with any of the DAW's. It's also good for when you might need to do some video editing or putting music to video.

My only reason for upgrading the computer now appears to be to get a smaller case that I can smuggle into the Library to use their internet to download things like KU13 because where I live the internet is terrible. But I will only be using a ninth gen i5 with 16g of RAM in the new build. I might upgrade my sample disc from 1Tb to 2Tb. I stick with i5's because I find them more than powerful enough and they run quieter and cooler. I want the case to be sealed with a stock CPU fan and one rear case fan, that's it. Nice and quiet with no surprises.

My new business laptop, I went against my convention and got an i7 because it was at a good price and while for the most part it is quiet, sometimes it sounds like a harrier jet taking off from the table. My old i5 Dell precision with 3 hard drives editing video was quieter.

In Australia, I want the computer to function when it is an ambient temperature of 47 degrees celsius and to do that all day if necessary, my computer doesn't let me down. Although my Mackie monitors blew up and so did my Presonus mobilepre interface. But the rokits and the UR44 are fine with it. Also, electricity is expensive here so every little bit helps.

You may want a more powerful CPU if you intend to use very CPU heavy synths, or you are chasing super low latency on an amp sim or for some other purpose, or more ram for Libraries that may require it. Or if you are setting up a 32 track simultaneous recording studio or something, but that is moving into different territory, a professional studio. You might want to get extra external SSD's if your samples and libraries increase.

Depending on your budget constraints, you don't want to spend heaps on things that might not benefit your project intentions and then find yourself short to buy other things that might benefit you more, like good sounds, plugins and external equipment like mics and an audio interface etc. Depends what you've got.

 

Edited by Tezza

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I can't see an issue with older Sonar Plugins, like someone said here. I can run even some of the old 32-Bit Plugins like Beatscape and Dropzone with the internal Bitbridge. No issues here. Just start install everything you need with the older Versions and the go on to CnB. 

And to your question about system requirements, dang you got a monster of PC! :D

I can still use my OC'd i5 750 (4,0 GHz) with 16 GB Ram, 1 TB SSD for System, 750 GB SSD for my Libraries and an oldscool HDD for my projects. No issues, or bottlenecks. 

 

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These threads go the same route as the ones about interfaces. 
What Steve said about there’s no point in telling someone what they need without knowing what they are doing with it is so true. 
 

Like all this taking about having a zillion GB of data or 64 GB of Ram. 
This is overkill for many home studio set ups. 
Example. I don’t use loops and I don’t score movies. I think if I looked my instrument sample libraries use under 60 GB of storage. And I have 4 machines all set up for music and because I don’t store anything on my C drive they all only have well under 100 GB of space used. So why would I need a huge OS drive?  
Not everyone uses sample libraries or even a lot of effects.
You build the machine that meets or exceeds your needs going with quality not quantity. Quiet operation is 1st priority. Lots of USB ports. On board graphics that support extra monitors. Power supplies are also really important for both noise and quality.  there’s lot you need to think about. 

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Some computers don't have a lot of USB C ports which could be important for some. So in some cases it might be a good idea to get  a machine with expansion ports available. With expansion ports you can add USB cards. It looks to me like a lot of low & mid range computer are scant on this item. Some mini computers may not have any.

Laptop are not big on these items & cost more as well.

Just something to think about.

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My mobile studio laptop has room for 2 M.2's an at least one HDD. So nice not to need an external drive anymore. :D

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18 hours ago, rfssongs said:

Some computers don't have a lot of USB C ports which could be important for some.

 

+1 there is some decent Steinberg audio interfaces with onboard DSP and FX that only run off USB-C (bus power) and I guess others will be coming.

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5 hours ago, sjoens said:

My mobile studio laptop has room for 2 M.2's an at least one HDD. So nice not to need an external drive anymore. :D

Which laptop do you use? I had a dell precision that could have 3 hard drives in it, it was great but a bit old now, been looking at the MSI gaming laptops, don't seem to be many around that can do 3 hard drives.

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