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John Vere

Help with Upgrade

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I have 3 Computers with CbB installed. Two of them are  Desktops  and one is a Laptop used for remote recording.  The desktops are, one I built my self, and one is an HP Pavilion HPE series. 

I was fine with the one I built myself as I used pretty good components and choosing an i5 processor at the time was a budget choice and all I needed.  ( see pictures for details ) Then I was given the HP when my Mother in Law passed away. It had an i7 so I figured I'd now use this as my Main DAW. It came with W7 and a ton of the expected bloatware. My in laws had missed the free upgrade but I managed to score W10 free using the Accessibility back door.  A bit later I decided to put a 250 GB SSD drive and I managed to re install W10 but it was a weird experience and as a result the drive ended up with  3 partitions.  Sloppy work on my behalf. 

It's all worked just fine as my Cakewalk needs are very simple. I'm not a plug in crazy person. I work much as I always have for 30 years. But now I'm editing video and rendering is real slow. So I feel the need to upgrade. 

The options I see are:

1.  Buy off the shelf Machine.  Cost $ approx. 1,000 - $2,000

    Pros- Will be compatible with W11, I'll now have 3 computers, all ready built and parts are compatible, guaranteed to work perfectly 1st time ? extended lifetime

  Cons-  I'll now have 3 computers, it will need massive amounts of tweaking to get rid of bloatware etc. It will probably have cheap components unless I up my budget out of reach.                   Probably still need a good video card. 

2. Build my own as in the past.   Cost approx. $ 1,000 - $2,000

  Pros- should be compatible with windows 11, No Bloatware,  better quality components  including video card,  Quiet , Extended lifetime

  Cons-  Lots of time to research, I understand parts are hard to get right now?   have to buy W11 outright, weirdness because I'm limited in knowledge about building so  not guaranteed to work 1st time. 

3. Upgrade the HP Pavilion  Cost ? $ 500 - $ 800 

Pros - save money, recycle perfectly good parts, easy fix and within my field of expertise. Can stay with W10, already in studio.  

Cons- Limited lifespan re- W11 incompatibility issue? needs  more parts , RAM, fans, a new power supply.  New hard drive for OS means a few days or time to re build system. 

4. Upgrade the Home made i5. Cost $ 300- $ 500

Pros- Even cheaper to upgrade because it has better parts already.  Has 500 GB SSD for OS already so don't have to re install anything.  

Cons- Limited lifespan re-  W11 compatibility,  have to move it 20 '. 


Upgrading the HP = My plan was the new 870 EVO 500 GB to replace the 750 Evo 250 GB. All new ( faster) RAM to make it 16 GB and a Video card as recommended by those who do videos.

The i5  My Build is my office computer. It is fully loaded with almost everything the HP has as my backup. It already has a 500 GB SSD so I don't need to go through the hassle of a new OS and 2 days worth of installing my stuff.  

I think the video card is my bottleneck right now and no matter which way I go I'll be buying one anyhow. 

But here's where I need help from you wonderfully more knowledgeable people. Is the i5 Office computer going to drag things down? I would think there's a small difference between the 2 machines CPU wise,, is this so? this is what is I guess the important part. 

Please look at the specs of the 2 machines and advise which one I should upgrade or should I just replace and buy into the future. 

I'm not against swapping components either.  Thanks for your help. 




HP graphic card


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All are old and limited in upgradeability (Intel chipset is one limit).  Most factory built PC's have proprietary items that can limit choices for upgrading and swapping components.  The memory in those models is all outdated and getting harder to find.  Whatever you could do to any of those systems and you will still have an "old" PC. 

Best option is to bite the bullet and build a new desktop.  Intel CPU's are now up to 12th generation.   You probably don't need an i7 12th gen CPU.   A 10th or 11th gen will do well for many years.  The Intel CPU video is more than adequate for DAW and general PC work and a separate video card isn't needed.   However if you do install a video card make it an AMD to minimize potential DPC latency problems.   

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Jack is right, given that your video editing is dragging your current systems down, I’d “bite the bullet”. 
Talk to @Jim Roseberry,  I have two of his systems, the older 2011 build still “purrs”. He consults as well as builds. 


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Thanks that’s  good info about how outdated my machines  have become.  A new build is long overdue but we bought an old house and the renovations have zapped us even though I do all the work. 
Im not thinking I’ll ever play live as a solo act anymore so plan A is to try and sell off all that gear and invest in the studio. 

Building  is more of a challenge right now as Parts are a bit low in supply. especially any video cards that are for gamers. And the cards recommended by video forums are like $1,000 yikes! And all The reasonable priced stuff is what is out of stock. 

So to buy time while I gather the cash to do this I’m thinking I might just buy the much needed video card and put it in the office computer. 

Edited by John Vere

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John, you might want to consider a Ryzen cpu and a B550 mother board (MSI or Asus). 

They are W11 compliant and now both MS and AMD have issued corrective updates for the latency issue they had, my machine purrs along. YMMV but i’m not going back to intel for the foreseeable future.

Plus the price is great !


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