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Doug Steinschneider

Thinking about doing a micro build

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I'm using some laptops now that have been good for years (i5 3.5Ghz, 16GB RAM, SSD) but between Windows 10 updates and newer VST's I'm starting to get some glitching (Spitfire and IK B-3X for example). I want to go to the micro form factor plus a screen. Some motherboard, ram and storage configurations work better together for music production, any recommendations would be very appreciated. 

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 I can only offer my opinion here. The only people I see building micro PC are those who want a very basic computer to control something in industry( a step up from Rasberry pi) or live keyboard players using soft synth rigs. While a person can make a very fast and capable micro, it isn't as easy to do. I never seen any advantage for one in the studio, especially given what can be obtained for larger form factors is often much more capable. Add in often better heat removal and it's a no brainer for me to go larger unless something smaller was a requirement for some reason.

 

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My recommendation is to figure out what's causing your instruments to glitch. The system specs you indicate are surely capable.

Have you excluded your sample and plug-in folders from Defender's realtime scanning? Have you tried running Resource Monitor to see what's going on in the background when you use those instruments?

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By "micro", do you mean something like a NUC?

 

If you're trying to get away from the performance limitations of a laptop, don't get a "micro" build that's using a mobile CPU.

It's essentially a laptop without the display/keyboard/glide-point

 

You can build a Mini-ITX system that has all the speed of a full-tower.

The key is a configuration that allows proper cooling... to enable that i9-12900ks CPU (16 cores, 5.5GHz) to run at full-speed.

That's not happening in a NUC sized form-factor.   😉

 

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Posted (edited)

I am looking at a mini-itx system right now, might pick it up. For me it's more about hard drives, noise and heat than CPU or ram.

This one has the capability for 3 SATA ssd's which is what I would need, a lot of the smaller cases and motherboards only have capability for 2 hard drives, at least the pre-built ones do. It has an 8th gen i5 (I am using a 3rd gen i5 at the moment) and 8gig or ram, all I would do is put another stick of ram in it to get it to 16gig.

Case looks good for noise and being an i5 it wont get too hot, so should be ok. It appears as though I may be able to fit my full size graphic card in it as well. I have to check that out.

I'm not having any major problems with my current system except it's slowed a little since I put KU13 on it. Taking a little longer to present the GUI for VST's. Otherwise it functions flawlessly for what I need it to do.

If you want to use it as a video machine as well then being able to have the option of sticking a full size graphics card in a mini-itx is a big bonus. Also, for me anyway, a 3 hard drive set up is non negotiable.

 

 

 

Edited by Tezza

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The use case is for gigging with VST synths. The host software is Cantabile. The laptops have been excellent (one is a backup). The past six months I made a lot of changes (Win10 updates, UMC204HD driver newer version, new updates to some of the VST's, new version of Cantabile) and noticed some glitching when playing lots of notes that wasn't there before, I will take Erik's advice and make sure all recommended tweaks for a music machine are in place correctly. 

I have removed anything that doesn't need to be running, turned off power management for hardware devices, tweaked the power configuration, and a long list of other things listed. 

I'm willing to go larger than a NUC as Jim recommended above. I think a Mini-ITX will be the build

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If you're after maximum performance, you can get a mini-ITX case that's ~9.5" x 6.5" x 14" that'll allow cooling for the 12900ks (16 cores, 5.5GHz max turbo).

That's the fastest machine you can currently build for running virtual-instruments.

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Hi Jim,

I looked at Mini-ITX cases but didn't come across one  these dimensions - 9.5" x 6.5" x 14". I saw some smaller that I think would be a cooling issue as other's mentioned and others that were sized for home theater.  The size above would be a good compromise - do you know which case company makes one that size - Thanks!

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On 5/8/2022 at 10:28 AM, Jim Roseberry said:

If you're after maximum performance, you can get a mini-ITX case that's ~9.5" x 6.5" x 14" that'll allow cooling for the 12900ks (16 cores, 5.5GHz max turbo).

That's the fastest machine you can currently build for running virtual-instruments.

Does this setup use water cooling?

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21 hours ago, Doug Steinschneider said:

I looked at Mini-ITX cases but didn't come across one  these dimensions - 9.5" x 6.5" x 14". I saw some smaller that I think would be a cooling issue as other's mentioned and others that were sized for home theater.  The size above would be a good compromise - do you know which case company makes one that size - Thanks!

SSUPD Meshlicious

For 12th Gen i9, you can't use anything smaller.  

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On 5/13/2022 at 1:45 PM, Jim Roseberry said:

SSUPD Meshlicious

For 12th Gen i9, you can't use anything smaller.  

Thanks, I actually did glimpse that one on Newegg but for some reason it didn't register. 

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