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First Time Build Specs

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Instinct1

Registered
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
Hey guys

I've pieced together some specs for an intended build - I'm learning this **** as I go, intend to use this build for music production (using multiple VST applications simultaneously, heavy on resources) as well as gaming - nothing hardcore but enough to run Skyrim and similar on medium / high settings.

Would really appreciate your guys thoughts on suitabillity, compatibility, alternatives etc.

CPU: Intel i7 6700K
Cooling System: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid Cooler
MB: Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming 6 ATX
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32Gb (4 x 8Gb) DDR4-2666
Storage: Intel 600P Series 512GB M.2-2280 SSD
Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200rpm HDD
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1060 6GB GDDR5
Case: Silverstone Primera White ATX Mid Tower
OS: Windows 10 64-bit

Dpending on how good on-board sound is, thinking I'll most likely need to get external soundcard as well.

Cheers
 

Mjolnir

Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2009
Location
Sydney, Australia
Looks fine. No major complaints here.

If you're looking at music production heavily consider an external Dac/AMP or combo. The onboard may be good enough for daily use, but I wouldn't personally use it for anything production related.

If you're at 1920x1080 i think you'll be fine maxing out most current games with a 1060.

Edit: one consideration, though, is perhaps look at an air-based solution? I've yet to find an all in one I couldn't not hear the pump of in some minor way. I just personally prefer air coolers, over water, but it depends how sensitive you are to that (I'm only suggesting this as you'd want a near silent build for music work). If it's going to be on the floor away from you it's likely a non-issue, but if it's next to your head maybe consider otherwise. (Noctua D15?)
 
OP
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Instinct1

Registered
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
Awesome Mjolnir, exactly what I'm after. You're right, will definitely need system as quiet as possible so will like into Noctua as you suggest.

One query re the Primera case - I note that it has no external 5.25" drive bays. If I look at air cooling, was thinking about putting in an external fan controller (for the reasons you suggested above, will need to dim the fans during recording etc). How do I go with this if there are no accessible drive bays - is there something I'm missing? I understand that fans can be controlled through BIOS but would be really handy if I could control them on the fly.
 

Mjolnir

Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2009
Location
Sydney, Australia
You can generally control them via the bios yes, but almost all boards come with software that also allow you to change them inside windows itself if it's enabled as controllable in the bios. Assuming PWM. Some 3 pin models may not work this way.
 

wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
You might want to go with a GTX 1070 if you plan on purchasing new games within 2 or 3 years.
 

bob4933

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Some tips and advice.. I make lists, because I like lists

1) for DAW rigs, multiple monitors or ultrawide REALLY help out
2) you dont need an i7 for any music production or mild gaming. Unless youre on a time crunch for rendering, an i5 will suit your needs admirably. Theres a point of diminishing returns above an i5, it just may not be worth it for your uses. I7's speed up rendering time considerably, but only rendering time.
3) you also don't need an expensive m.2 SSD. You wont be moving large files, and any mid grade SSD will save you quite a chunk of money. The benefits of m.2 aren't being seen yet, and real world applications see very little benefit from m.2. For content creators, it can be a time saver; but not for DAW stuff
4) you wont need anywhere near 32gb of ram, 16 is PLENTY
5) most motherboards nowadays have optical out, giving you reference quality sound into your monitors. A sound card typically will color the sound, and will kinda defeat the purpose of having a reference output.
6) I'd move some parts around in your build and work in a gtx 1070 over a 1060.
7) unless you have some old school delta fans, and you are likely to be doing direct recording anyway, theres no reason to sweat some fan noise, as it simply wont be an issue. In that regard, I would recommend getting a fractal or be quiet! case.


What are you trying to record here? Do you have a DAC already?
 

Jeff G

Member
Joined
May 22, 2016
I would also recommend sticking with a Dual Channel memory kit like 2x8gb, and sticking with either DDR4-3000 or DDR4-3200.
 

Mjolnir

Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2009
Location
Sydney, Australia
The Intel 600P is not what I'd call an expensive M.2 SSD. It's similarly priced (just a touch more?) than similar 850 Evo 2.5 drives. So Not really a waste. Agreed perhaps RAM can be knocked back, but really depends on cost.. RAM isn't that expensive atm, especially for US based..
 
OP
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Instinct1

Registered
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
Cheers Bob, answers to a couple of your points -

* Have run dual screen on the last rig and worked really well, plan to do the same this time

* My reasoning for the i7 (and correct me if I'm wrong here) is:

1. The larger cache - the way I understand it, makes accessing active memory quicker than through RAM?? Figured this would be useful when using multiple synths that draw big resources. Thoughts?

2. Hyper-Threading - no mid range i5's with hyperthreading? Seems to be some conjecture on whether DAWs benefit from this. I know programs like Pro-Tools and Cubase say to turn it off, but others like Ableton and possibly Fruity Loops can make use of it. Reading conflicting info on this.

3. Probably an element of future-proofing with me wanting the i7 - you guys might tell me that's a flawed way to go about things.

* Note your comments re SSD, RAM, Optical Out and upgrade of GPU so will take these on board - thanks! Will also check out the cases you mentioned

* Most of direct recording will be through condenser mics - thinking I'll run Pro Tools, which only operates through M-Audio (M-Box etc) hardware.

Appreciate the advice Bob.
 

Mjolnir

Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2009
Location
Sydney, Australia
On desktop hyperthreading is available on i7's and i3's.

Thing about RAM is you can grab 16GB now and throw in another 16GB later if you actually NEED it, so you could save on your initial cost. Maybe drop boards to a slightly cheaper board? If you're going to use an external audio device or otherwise I don't think going any higher regarding a board will really benefit you.

I think the i7 is still valid, if you plan to keep the rig for a good few years.

But I don't think the extra cache will help as much as you'd think for audio production, though. i5 would be enough, but eh, i7 is nice :p.

Consider perhaps a Noctua U12s to save a few bucks on the CPU cooler, drop the board to GIGABYTE GA-Z170-HD3 maybe? Should do the job? Perhaps may not look as nice though.. XD.

In short
Cooler > Noctua U12s
RAM 16GB to start
Board to cheaper
Grab a 1070 instead of 1060
??? profit??? lol
 
OP
I

Instinct1

Registered
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
Nice Mjolnir, cheers dude - all seems like good advice. Ultimately my thought process was to build a beast so I'd never have issues with maxing it out, regardless of how many VSTs etc I was using. Have had issues in the past with latency because I can't set a small enough buffer coz the computer simply wasn't powerful enough to process the data. Figured this way even though I may never need the power, at least I can drop buffer right down and have minimum latency without having to worry that the computer is going to wig out.

Sounds like half the RAM I thought and even an i5 with air cooling would solve these dramas, allow me to upgrade GPU and still save some dollars. Will give that some serious thought.

Cheers lads. Steep learning curve.
 

wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
Don't worry about cache that is mostly for programs or instruction that will fit in cache, otherwise you are still using main memory most of the time. You could save some on the motherboard and memory to apply the savings towards a GTX 1070.

I purchased a i5 6600k instead of i7 6700k because I have a 1080p 60Hz monitor for gaming and only listen to music, watch videos, also non professional encoding, so I don't need to save 1 minute out of 16 minutes total with a i7 6700k. This system should last me 3-5 years.

Here are some bench marks on i5 6600k vs i7 6700k. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/1543?vs=1544
 

bob4933

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
What is your recording interface? On my rig right now, I can run 192 khz with a 64 buffer with no issues. Likewise, on FL studio, I can run TONS of VST's and have no issues.

That said, the differences between the i5 and i7 in this case are slight. I'll hit about 12-14 gb during a massive project in FL studio, but running reaper with a dozen or so vst's for guitar (including BIAS), I don't really see much cpu nor ram usage. That problem is more archaic than anything, its like emulators a few years ago were pretty rough, but now even modest PC's can crush em.

Im NOT saying "dont get an i7 or m.2 drive" Im saying "dont sacrifice the whole package to get very slight boosts in areas you probably wont see benefits".

FWIW, mid range SSD's kick all kinds of butt now, and are very compelling cost wise. For benchmarks, PCIE and m.2 drives absolutely slaughter your "typical" SSD's, but beyond raw data, unless youre consistently moving gigabytes of data all the time, you really wont see a difference you can even notice. I believe windows startup time might improve from 9 seconds to 7 seconds for instance lol.