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Another new DAW - please comment.

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Another new DAW - please comment.

Postby evaluna001 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:50 am

Hi,
Since I could not find a dedicated DAW builder in my city, I have decided to just build my own again, specced from various forums and sites. I would appreciate any comments or advice, especially from people using similar systems, and running similar software packages. I haven't built a system for a good few years, so I am a little rusty, but hopefully I can put together a system that runs smoothly, quietly and without hiccups and crashes. I don't plan on overclocking.

The planned hardware:

Asus P8Z77-V motherboard
Core i7 3770 CPU
8Gb Corsair Vengeance DDR3 - 1600 (2 x 4Gb)
Corsair Obsidian 550D Quiet chassis
Corsair Enthusiast Series TX650M 650w PSU
Graphics - either on board, or Asus Nvidia GT610

I will be using my existing SSDs and HDDs.

Will the on board graphics be sufficient, or do I need to pick up a GPU? This is strictly a DAW, no gaming or other applications will be used.

My main sequencer is Sonar X1, mostly used with NI Kore & Komplete 9, with a few other plugins. My old Echo Gina soundcard died a while ago, so I am using the Kore hardware sound for now, until the machine is built, when I will replace it with a MOTU or RME interface.

Any comments or suggestions welcomed.
Thanks,
Terry
:)
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Re: Another new DAW - please comment.

Postby Javan Green » Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:17 pm

Stick another 8GB of RAM in there and I'd say that you're good to go.

It's always better to have than have not and 16GB would just help to ensure you get an extra year or so out of your system.
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Re: Another new DAW - please comment.

Postby Goddard » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:05 pm

The integrated graphics should be fine for DAW usage, and allow use of dual displays. But even though that motherboard has 4 separate display connectors, only 2 total can be used simultaneously (as there is only a single Displayport port).

If you don't intend to overclock (which, from your specifying the i7-3770 rather than the overclockable 3770K version I assume you don't), then you could use an H77 motherboard rather than a more costly Z77 one.

Be aware that Z77 (nor H77 either) does not support "native" PCI slots (only B75 or Q75/77 do). Not an issue if you intend to use a PCIe (PCI-Express) interface, though you still end up with basically useless PCI slots on the motherboard.

Unless you need all the extra onboard features (WiFi and additional SATA and USB3 ports) which will use up system resources on that motherboard, you might consider a less feature-rich (and probably less expensive) motherboard.

As said, more memory (16 GBs) might be useful, especially when running large sample libraries (for which an SSD is also useful).

Btw, even if there is no dedicated DAW builder in your locale, most are happy to ship (and to offer advice and setup and burn-in and aftersale support).
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Re: Another new DAW - please comment.

Postby evaluna001 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:41 am

Thanks for the comments - the reason I went for the Z77 is that I saw a number of DAW builders specify that chipset on their websites, and I would rather spend a little extra knowing that it has been tested by others in music applications.
Regards,
Terry
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Re: Another new DAW - please comment.

Postby Goddard » Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:19 am

Z77 is popular as it enables "overclocking" the "K" processors. Z75 enables that also and Z75 boards should come at lower cost, but have been slow to hit the market so far while Z77 already proliferates.

Z77 is fine (so long as "native" PCI support is not needed). But I doubt most pro DAW builders would choose a board with lots of add-on features (except perhaps for Thunderbolt).

A smart choice might be a micro-ATX form factor Z77 or Z75 board offering only PCI-Express slots and no PCI slots whatsoever, although it's surprising how few such boards are offered.

Then again, Intel's new "Haswell" processors will be released in a few months, so it might be wise to wait a bit.
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Re: Another new DAW - please comment.

Postby Agharta » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:13 pm

That system at full CPU load will pull less than 150W DC so a 650W PSU is overkill.
But if you want a high quality modular PSU you will probably be looking at 400W minimum so I’d buy on reliability, features and price. So your choice may be fine but keep that in mind.

I’d try the Intel IGP and see how you get on as I doubt the nVidi card will add anything for your usage.

I have an Antec P8Z77M Pro and can recommend the Fan Expert 2 software. If your board doesn’t list it as a download you can get it from another Asus board as it will install, well it does on mine. I got it via the page for the P8Z77-V.
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Re: Another new DAW - please comment.

Postby evaluna001 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:45 am

Hi,

The reason I chose that PSU is more for the silent operation than anything else. I will be running 5 HDDs, and it has power connectors for 8 SATA devices, so there is a bit of room to add HDDs, which is always useful.
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Re: Another new DAW - please comment.

Postby evaluna001 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:42 am

One slightly cheaper alternative to the Asus P8Z77-V is the Asus P8Z77-M, which has fewer slots, and one or two other features missing, but still does pretty much all I would need. Is it safe to assume that the motherboards are similar enough that I could replace the P8Z77-V with the P8Z77-M and still have a decent experience with the DAW? Is anyone here running either of these motherboards, and if so, what has your experience been with them?

Thanks for the input.
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Re: Another new DAW - please comment.

Postby robinv » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:40 am

evaluna001 wrote:One slightly cheaper alternative to the Asus P8Z77-V is the Asus P8Z77-M, which has fewer slots, and one or two other features missing, but still does pretty much all I would need. Is it safe to assume that the motherboards are similar enough that I could replace the P8Z77-V with the P8Z77-M and still have a decent experience with the DAW? Is anyone here running either of these motherboards, and if so, what has your experience been with them?

Thanks for the input.

I run both and yes if you don't need the extra slots they are pretty interchangeable. Although i've never tried to overclock the M - we use them in a smaller form factor system that doesnt have as good cooling so we dont tend to venture into overclocking on that one.
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Re: Another new DAW - please comment.

Postby Pete Kaine » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:15 am

The M doesn't really overclock, but as he's picking up a none "K" chip that's not really relevent and to be honest. If the is no overclocking you might as well save money and go for the "M" edition board.
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Re: Another new DAW - please comment.

Postby stewk » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:37 am

Just to let you know that I built my DAW a couple of months ago using the Asus P8Z77-V Pro motherboard and am using my PCI E-MU 1820m in it with absolutely no problems whatsoever. I may have just been lucky however I haven't had a single glitch since it was built.

Asus P8Z77-V PRO
Intel i7 3770K
16GB Corsair Vengeance Black DDR3 memory
256GB OCZ SSD
2 x 1TB HDD

E-MU 1820m PCI Audio Interface
Sonar X2 Producer
Emulator X3
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Re: Another new DAW - please comment.

Postby evaluna001 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:41 pm

Thanks for all the responses - I don't see any reason not to go for the slightly cheaper M edition of the board (as I mentioned, I am not planning on overclocking). Good to know that others are running these boards without problems.
Regards,
Terry
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Re: Another new DAW - please comment.

Postby Agharta » Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:04 pm

evaluna001 wrote:The reason I chose that PSU is more for the silent operation than anything else. I will be running 5 HDDs, and it has power connectors for 8 SATA devices, so there is a bit of room to add HDDs, which is always useful.
The non modular version was well reviewed for noise at SilentPCReview quite a few years ago.
If you are running 5 HDDs that will be an issue to keep quiet although I see you have chosen a case oriented for low noise. The review at SPCR suggests that it may not be an ideal case for multiple drives but it depends how many of yours are SSDs.

This is with only 1 drive installed:

“While our SPL measurements were low, we could hear a low pitched hum being generated by the system, likely the result of hard drive vibration. We could feel the vibrations in the case. Typically, this effect is caused by loose side panels and/or hard drive cages, but both are quite solid in the 550D. In this case, the culprit seems to be hard drive trays which don't snap tightly into their cages.”

SPCR
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