Using a PC for producion exclusively?

Discussion in 'Production' started by Attire, May 4, 2012.

  1. Attire

    Attire Last Winter

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    Yeah ok so I am half looking into getting a PC for my next step up, fuck knows where it will go though..
    I am on my laptop at the moment so clearly not ideal, and as a matter of fact it is starting to lag pretty bad now whenever I run a high memory program (ie my DAW)
    I have searched on here and there are a few threads about building your own PC, but a) I don't know if there have been significant technological advancements in parts over the past few years and b) I have no clue whatsoever on PCs. :teeth:

    I guess the main questions I have are;

    1) If I build a PC, how do I know what parts are good? And would it be easy to upgrade the parts (if I need to down the line) without the PC dying or something?

    2) Would it be better to JUST use the PC for running my DAW and plugins and whatever, or can I also get away with running games on it without too many adverse effects on my producing? Because my laptop is sucking at running games as well at the moment...

    That's all for now, thanks for any help guys :2thumbs:
     
  2. logikz

    logikz I Am Not The King Staff Member

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    i got a guy here at work to order all the parts separately and assemble them for me. it was cash as they say and i got away with paying a very modest sum. i use it for making music exclusively, no internet on it or nothing. cant risk it.
     
  3. jimjimjim

    jimjimjim oldskool

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    hi,
    if you havent built a pc before there is quite a bit to learn - which components go together etc.
    Ive been in IT for 15years but these days i cant be arsed to build my own.
    Bought my last pc from pcspecialist.co.uk - they have a "build you own" bit,
    basically you can pick from components that all work together - so you wont mess it up.
    Lots of other websites do that as well but i found they were the cheapest. got my last 2 PC's from them - no problems.
    Also what you could do is choose a spec on that site then go buy the parts from elsewhere - if you really wanted to save a few extra pound

    As for running the pc - well i use mine for gaming as well as production (but i dont do much gaming now) - so yeah that should be fine.
    Games sound great on monitor speakers :D
     
  4. Freek

    Freek Lets get freeeeeeky

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    I built my pc with absolutely no IT experience or know-how. That was four years ago and its still running perfect without any upgrades needed.

    my advice, go online, choose a motherboard/cpu bundle and then choose the components that are compatible with that motherboard. look up online which pieces go where, i just used the instruction manual in the motherboard, told me everything i needed to know and i saved myself a good grand by doing it all myself.
     
  5. Linden

    Linden New Member

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    Building your own PC is certainly the way to go, buying an equivalent premade at somewhere like PC world would literally cost twice as much. Finding the right components isn't really that difficult, the only compatibility issue is between the motherboard and the processor and plenty of sites sell Motherboard/CPU/RAM/case bundles at similar prices to buying them all seperately anyway. If you're concerned about being able to upgrade components further down the line you should invest in a solid motherboard that won't bottleneck more up to date components. If you're building a totally new system you really aren't going to want to get anything less powerful than an i3, or quad core if you're going for AMD. The main thing to decide is whether you're going for an AMD or intel processor. For multitasking and producing music I'd recommend an AMD Phenom II X4, but if you're more concerned about gaming there's no contest: intel processors outperform their AMD counterparts at gaming in almost every price bracket. Sorry I had some links ready but this is only my second post so it won't let me include them. If you google "CPU gaming chart hierarchy" you will find a useful comparison chart. Shame that no similar charts exist for music production/ video editing etc as far as I'm aware.

    Aside from processor/motherboard you'll need:

    • At least 4gb DDR3 RAM
    • Graphics card - not that important at all unless you're gaming.
    • Power supply - again highly dependent on whether you're building a setup for gaming or not.
    • Hard drive
    • Case
    • USB audio interface
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  6. Freek

    Freek Lets get freeeeeeky

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    now my technical knowlege might not be great but im pretty sure the PSU is essential hahaha
     
  7. neddez

    neddez Member

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  8. Skuff

    Skuff Well-Known Member

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    I did and do exactly the same. It will never be connected to the Internet, that's when a lot of the trouble starts IMO. Think it worked out at £600 for mine in the end. Windows 7, i7 quad core, 16gb Ddr3 ram, USB3, 120 gb solid state drive for the OS and program's to run off, and 1000gb hard drive for samples etc Could of done it slightly cheaper if I did it for myself, but preferred to have it done by someone that knew what they were doing
     
  9. Linden

    Linden New Member

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    Haha well obviously. I was referring to HOW powerful the PSU would need to be. The graphics card is the most power hungry component of all - a good gaming setup could add an extra 300W to the overall power requirement.
     
  10. Freek

    Freek Lets get freeeeeeky

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    i know i know it just sounded funny as i was reading it! o_O
     
  11. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

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    Building your own PC is definitely the way to go. Not only do you save tons of money, but you can selectively choose your components.

    Chipset & Motherboard. Don't short yourself on a quality motherboard and chipset. You want Intel, and you want to go for at least an i5, though an i7 isn't too much more, and definitely go for Quad Core (more if you can afford it). Once you've determined your chip of choice, pick up the complimenting motherboard (Intel based).

    Graphic Card. You'll want a decent graphics card, but there's no need to break the bank. Make sure it comes equipped with it's own RAM as well as onboard cooling fan. Also, make sure to check the card's power requirements to ensure it is compatible with your power supply. To add, ensure it can handle multiple displays.

    As far as hard drives go, I'd strongly consider grabbing three hard drives. You'll want your boot drive to SSD (120GB) to serve as your boot disk. Your system will load faster and your core programs will run much better. Your second drive will hold your samples/instruments and should be 7200RPM with a decent cache size. Your third drive will store your DAW project files. By setting up this way, you'll maximize your DAW's processing.

    RAM. Get as much as your system can hold. Having said that, make sure you have a 64-bit operating system to handle the extra RAM as 32-bit have RAM limitations.

    If you're truly going to use this as DAW workstation, stick to that thought. Only go online when it's absolutely necessary (to grab updates, sample packs, etc.). If you stick to your guns, you'll have no need for any type of Virus or other protection software that eats up CPU, temp files and general processes. Keep your machine from internet molestation.

    Cheers.
     
  12. spyre

    spyre sample all the things

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    Actually try re-installing windows on your laptop first, might just be slowed down by crap
     
  13. Attire

    Attire Last Winter

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    Cheers guys, some good info in here but I'll have a proper look tomorrow and have a serious think :D
     
  14. Attire

    Attire Last Winter

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    Bumping this thread as we're finally getting round to looking at a proper pc for my 21st.

    We've gone onto PCSpecialist and selected what we think is a reasonable build, based off of opinions on here and in general.
    If you don't know how the site works, basically they provide lists of parts and you select what you need and they tell you if it's compatible etc. I know there are other choices of parts out there but I feel more comfortable letting these guys build it than try to myself.

    So I'm just wondering if you tech savvys could take a look and give me any further pointers? It's come to around £850 as it is and I'm obviously wary of forking out for that with the limited pc knowledge I have.

    Case - Fractal Define R4
    Processor - Intel quad core i5-3570k 3.4GHz 6MB cache
    Motherboard - ASUS P8Z77-V LK - I don't have a clue about motherboards and the ones listed all seemed to be pretty much similar so..
    RAM - 16GB samsung dual-DDR3 1333MHz (2x8GB)
    Graphics card - 1GB Nvidia Geforce GT630
    Hard drive 1 (boot drive) - 120GB Kingston v300 SSD
    HD2 - 1TB WD1002FAEX
    PSU - Corsair 650W TX650
    Processor cooling - super quiet 22dBa triple copper heatpipe intel CPU cooler
    Soundcard - onboard - I have a M-Audio usb interface so I'm assuming I don't need anything here?

    Do I need any more fans?
    I want a pc that isn't going to overheat but I also want it fairly quiet as well..
    Like I said I really don't have much technical knowledge at all, so yeah any help, in particular with parts that would be better improved/downgraded etc, would be great.
    Thanks.
     
  15. JoeCarlse

    JoeCarlse -ToxicExit09-

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    How much should you be looking to spend when building a decent PC?
     
  16. spyre

    spyre sample all the things

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    A decent amount
     
  17. Attire

    Attire Last Winter

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    (y)

    Price isn't really the issue, I just don't want to spend more than I have to for little gain.
     
  18. spyre

    spyre sample all the things

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    Yeah, I'm not really up to date with PC stuff these days but those specs you posted look great, fast hdd would be good too - have you looked at ssd's?
     
  19. Attire

    Attire Last Winter

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    Yeah man I picked a SSD for the main drive that will be running the OS and the programs.
     
  20. spyre

    spyre sample all the things

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    Wicked, one for all the samples too would be the dream :)