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PC Upgrade-SSD-Mobo etc.

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PC Upgrade-SSD-Mobo etc.

Postby hardminder » Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:45 am

Hi, first of all, hello to everyone, I'm new here (as a registered user). I've read several topics here without finding an answer to my few questions.

My setup:
Cubase 10
Windows 7 64x
16gb of ram
My built in HDD supports everything

I'm planning on upgrading towards:

24-33gb of ram
SSD (1-2TB)
New Mobo

So, my condition is the following : I work with a lot of samples, A LOT. 16gb of ram doesn't cut it for me. My PC is not following. I always have to freeze tracks and even there...

So I thought, I'm going to buy an SSD to transfer all my sample librairies etc. and I'll keep my OS, VSTs and DAW on the original HD. Also, I'll upgrade my RAM to 24-32 gb to be able to deal with those samples once they're loaded. but to do so I'll have to update my Mobo because mine supports 16gb ram only. :headbang:

Do you guys think that's a good plan?
I'm making a major move, should I plan it otherwise?
Should I install the DAW and OS on the SSD as well?
If so, what about backups, ill have to buy another External HD?
Also if you have any recommendation on good SDD and Mobo, feel free to drop that!

I'm asking a lot of questions here, sorry if it's not the standard form but I thank you all in advance. Pardon my english if some formulation don't exactly make sense. :?: :?:

Thank you
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Re: PC Upgrade-SSD-Mobo etc.

Postby OneWorld » Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:17 pm

I would be inclined to put the OS/Apps on an SSD drive and the samples and other data on a fast HDD. That being said, given the ever decreasing price of SSDs I ended up putting sdamples on an SSD drive too, and before buying an SSD, check out the various manufacturers, of course the better ones work fast and are more reliable.

A decent modern motherboard will handle 64gig of RAM. There are other contributors on here that are professional system builders and am sure they too will offer useful advice.
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Re: PC Upgrade-SSD-Mobo etc.

Postby Jadoube » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:01 pm

hardminder wrote: but to do so I'll have to update my Mobo because mine supports 16gb ram only

I always find motherboard upgrades problematic. If your processor is not too old and you have the patience to find a good fit (compatible chipset that supports more RAM and of the same type you already have) this could work, but usually upgrading the motherboard for me = additionally, new CPU; new RAM.

This is my opinion and experience. You may have a better experience.
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Re: PC Upgrade-SSD-Mobo etc.

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:08 pm

Been there and done that, more time than I care to remember :headbang: . These days I'd just buy a more modern computer.
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Re: PC Upgrade-SSD-Mobo etc.

Postby Agharta » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:58 pm

Tell us what CPU you have as that will affect the maximum RAM supported.
So the limitation may be more than just the board, unless you have a board with only 2 RAM slots which halves the supported capacity.
In that case a new board will address that issue but that's not necessarily the recommended route to take overall.
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Re: PC Upgrade-SSD-Mobo etc.

Postby hardminder » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:56 am

Agharta wrote:Tell us what CPU you have as that will affect the maximum RAM supported.
So the limitation may be more than just the board, unless you have a board with only 2 RAM slots which halves the supported capacity.
In that case a new board will address that issue but that's not necessarily the recommended route to take overall.

My CPU : Intel Core i5-3450 3.10GHz, it has 4 slots , actually occupied with 4x4gb sticks.

What would you suggest?
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Re: PC Upgrade-SSD-Mobo etc.

Postby hardminder » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:57 am

Jadoube wrote:
hardminder wrote: but to do so I'll have to update my Mobo because mine supports 16gb ram only

but usually upgrading the motherboard for me = additionally, new CPU; new RAM.


Thanks, yes, I'm planning on getting new RAM, I just don't know if changing my CPU is mandatory. Thank you for you response
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Re: PC Upgrade-SSD-Mobo etc.

Postby hardminder » Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:23 am

OneWorld wrote: put the OS/Apps on an SSD drive and the samples and other data on a fast HDD.

Thank you for you reply. So what would be the upside of putting my sample on an HDD or the downsides of putting them on a SSD? Right now I'm waiting sometime several minutes for my libraries to charge. SSD being much faster than HDD, I would've thought the best thing to do would be to put my librairies on one of them. Is there something I'm missing?

Thank you
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Re: PC Upgrade-SSD-Mobo etc.

Postby Agharta » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:07 am

hardminder wrote:
Agharta wrote:Tell us what CPU you have as that will affect the maximum RAM supported.
So the limitation may be more than just the board, unless you have a board with only 2 RAM slots which halves the supported capacity.
In that case a new board will address that issue but that's not necessarily the recommended route to take overall.

My CPU : Intel Core i5-3450 3.10GHz, it has 4 slots , actually occupied with 4x4gb sticks.

What would you suggest?

That's a 7 year old platform so I suspect you will need to purchase a second hand board if you want to stick with that platform.
Seemingly your board uses a budget chipset which restricts RAM to 16GB as the CPU itself supports 32GB.
You can still buy DDR3 new for reasonable prices. I just looked on Amazon where it can be had for under £100.

Whether it is recommend to spend much money and time on upgrading a system of that age is open to discussion.
I wouldn't personally unless I couldn't face having to make a fresh installation of Windows.
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Re: PC Upgrade-SSD-Mobo etc.

Postby Mike McLoone » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:36 pm

I recently upgraded a similar system of mine, so I'll chip in with some observations.

Although I was an Intel fanboy since my first 286 PC, Intel have now dropped the ball in the desktop CPU market and are playing catch-up to AMD. Currently, the latest AMD Ryzen 7 and 9, 3000 series CPUs are seriously powerful for the money, I would recommend going for an 8-core or 12-core, even 16-core if you can afford it. AMD x570 is the latest chipset, if you are looking at mainboards, but there is also x470 and x370, which may be cheaper. Check they support the CPU you want to use before buying anything.

You will need DDR4 RAM for the new Ryzen mainboards, the sweet-spot is 3200 MHz for performance/price ratio.

Instead of (or in combination to) SSD you can also opt for M.2 drives. These are just the memory chips on a PCBA which is attached directly to the mainboard, therefore going straight to the PCI bus and bypassing the SSD interface altogether.

For example, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB M.2 will get you 3500 MB/s read and 3300 MB/s write speeds. Compared to a Samsung 860 EVO SSD which can achieve around 560 MB/s read, 530 MB/s write, the M.2 is crazy fast. This is fast enough for 4k video editing, for example, so for loading sample libraries would also be fantastic.

Therefore, M.2 is the way to go if you can afford it. Check how many M.2 drives the new mainboard will support, some just one, some up to three. Worth knowing for the future, as prices of these will just keep coming down.

Currently the Samsung EVO SSDs would be the standard SSD to go for. They have a much more expensive PRO series (improves reliability), and a budget QVO (which drops the speed somewhat), so just stick with the EVO and you get the best bang for buck. Same with the Samsung M.2's, just stick with the EVO or EVO Plus, the PRO is adding considerably to the cost.

Having said that, I have seen a Crucial branded 1TB M.2 for around 100 euro online, this would not quite hit the same 3500 MB/s speeds as the Samsung (2000 MB/s and 1700 MB/s read-write actually), but considering the cost, one could begin to put sample libraries on such a drive. Basically it would mean a 2000 MB/s read speed instead of around 600 MB/s from an SSD, so 3x faster.

The Samsung EVO Plus M.2 is regrettably more expensive, but 3500 MB/s read, compared to 600 MB/s SSD, so it's almost 6x faster than SSD.

Even moving from a mechanical hard-disk to any SSD will be a significant improvement, so if budget is a problem then skip the M.2 for now. I would then get a smaller drive SSD for the OS (250 or 500GB) which are relatively cheap and say one or more 1TB SSDs for samples. That way, still have an SSD for fast booting, and SSD speed for samples.

Or if you can afford it, one 250-500 GB SSD for OS, and one or more 1TB M.2 for sample data. This will then get you the speed of the M.2 for loading samples.

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Re: PC Upgrade-SSD-Mobo etc.

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:27 am

Mike, M2 devices are SSDs - the M2 designation refers to their form-factor.

I believe you mean to refer to NVMe when you say "bypasses the SSD interface", and again you have to be careful as not all M2 devices are NVMe - some are SATA, which is what I believe you mean by "SSD interface".

M2 is not the only physical form-factor for NVMe SSDs, though it will generally be what is used on consumer boards.

It's important to be aware of the distinction, as many boards with multiple M2 slots won't all be NVMe slots. Also, even SATA-based SSDs will absolutely smoke traditional platter-based HDDs for latency and in many cases perform just as well as NVMe for loading sample libs, depending on how the software side of things handles file reads, setup etc.

That said . . . you're broadly correct in your assertions. It'd be crazy to put OS / apps on SSD and sample-libs on spinning rust! In fact, when it comes to NVMe there's no real point in separating out data like this from a performance standpoint at all.

Where it does make sense is in case of device failure or similar disasters, and recovery thereof.
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Re: PC Upgrade-SSD-Mobo etc.

Postby hardminder » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:38 pm

Thanks a lot Mike for your reply, that was very detailed and informative. So under that light, I'm considering a couple different options.

Just to set up a budget, I wouldn't want to excess much more than 700$ (CAD) for my upgrade

I'd like to get a new cpu like the ones you mentionned but to start, it's not exactly cheap at 300$ for the 8-core. I could afford that if that was only it but this implies i'll have to get a more recent mobo and ddr4 sticks, which are both more expensive. I'm not putting that aside, just evaluating my other options.

Would that be crazy to keep my same CPU ( Intel Core i5-3450 3.10GHz) and get a new mobo that's compatible with my present CPU and can handle 32gb ram like a Intel DH67BLB3 for 100$ (cad)? Because as someone mentionned, my cpu can take 32gb of ram but my motherboard can't. I understood that using SATA M2's is pointless so I would need a motherboard that supports nvme, or does any pci-e can be used with an adapter? Depending on that I would get a 1tb crucial M2 for my samples and a 250gb or 500gb Samsung 860 EVO SSD for my OS and DAW. Get 4 sticks 8gb ram and that's it. That option would set me back somewhere between 500-600 CAD $

OR

I go a bit bigger but not all the way up. I get a new CPU. I can't really afford 16 or 12 core so i'd have to stick to 8. Therefore I would go for a 2000 (would that cut it?) or 3000 serie around 300-400$. A x370 mobo would be around 150$. On top of that I'd buy 4x8gb DDR4 ram (200$). Same setup as previously mentionned with a crucial 1tb m2 and a 250-500gb evo for my samples and OS respectively. That would set me back 900$, a bit over my budget but i guess I could maybe squeeze that if it really worth it, i would basically end up with a brand new PC.

What do you think, is my first option ludacris or does it make some sense. Would there be other options? Basically I'm wondering if it's crucial to change my cpu. I could always get the x370 mobo, keep the same CPU and upgrade it in a few year and still keep the same other components?

Thanks a lot again for your time and knowledge.
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Re: PC Upgrade-SSD-Mobo etc.

Postby hardminder » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:44 pm

n o i s e f l e ur wrote:
It's important to be aware of the distinction, as many boards with multiple M2 slots won't all be NVMe slots. Also, even SATA-based SSDs will absolutely smoke traditional platter-based HDDs for latency and in many cases perform just as well as NVMe for loading sample libs, depending on how the software side of things handles file reads, setup etc.


thereof.

Thank you for you precision on the subject, it made me understood what M2s are a bit more correctly. Feel free to chip in on any of my other questions, I would greatly appreciate it.
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Re: PC Upgrade-SSD-Mobo etc.

Postby hardminder » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:45 pm

Agharta wrote:
hardminder wrote:
Agharta wrote:Tell us what CPU you have as that will affect the maximum RAM supported.
So the limitation may be more than just the board, unless you have a board with only 2 RAM slots which halves the supported capacity.
In that case a new board will address that issue but that's not necessarily the recommended route to take overall.

My CPU : Intel Core i5-3450 3.10GHz, it has 4 slots , actually occupied with 4x4gb sticks.

What would you suggest?

Whether it is recommend to spend much money and time on upgrading a system of that age is open to discussion.
I wouldn't personally unless I couldn't face having to make a fresh installation of Windows.

Well, if i upgrade my RAM, Mobo, CPU and change get some SDDs I'm pretty much getting a new system no?

Thank you for your time.
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Re: PC Upgrade-SSD-Mobo etc.

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:01 pm

No worries.

Firstly, your current CPU supports 32GB, so that's an option. What motherboard do you have? You never actually told us, and as the memory controller is a function of the CPU and the motherboard has four slots I'm surprised it doesn't support 32GB.

So basically . . . what motherboard is it?

Secondly, if you do decide to go with a new system there's no need initially to get two SSDs. A single fast NVMe M2 will do for OS, apps and data.

Further to that, keep in mind that unless you go with the latest AMD CPUs you may not see much if any improvement as only the latest gen are competitive with Intel offerings for audio performance.
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Re: PC Upgrade-SSD-Mobo etc.

Postby hardminder » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:56 pm

n o i s e f l e ur wrote:
So basically . . . what motherboard is it?

Yes, sorry about that. My motherboard :
Gateway DX4860 (yes i know, crappy motherboard).
Chipset : Intel Ivy Bridge
Southbridge Intel H67
BIOS : American Megatreds P03-A3
Graphic Interface : PCI-E

Someone suggested that cheap chipsets could be the cause for my CPU not taking 32gb ram.

Would I be able to enjoy the advantages of the NVME M2 with only a new Mobo without changing my CPU or would that be plain stupid?

Thank you
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Re: PC Upgrade-SSD-Mobo etc.

Postby hardminder » Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:00 am

n o i s e f l e ur wrote:
Further to that, keep in mind that unless you go with the latest AMD CPUs you may not see much if any improvement as only the latest gen are competitive with Intel offerings for audio performance.


So if I have to change my CPU, no AMD until I go in the 3000 series. Noted!
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Re: PC Upgrade-SSD-Mobo etc.

Postby Agharta » Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:58 am

I'd build a Ryzen system even if it means buying a 6 or 8 core 2000 series to keep the price down.

The Ivy Bridge platform probably won't be able to boot from an NVMe drive if that matters.
Assuming you can even use an NVMe drive you will require an adapter which is an extra cost.
There are limited PCIe 3.0 lanes for the platform so expansion is limited and especially if you require a dGPU.
Then there are the security issues with Intel platforms and the issue of whether the board you buy will have the latest and future updates.

I'd rather use a modern platform alongside a SATA SSD for storage to save cost than mess around with a second hand platform of that age with unknown compatibility and security issues.

You can always upgrade your storage later as well as the CPU, RAM etc.
You're going to have to buy new RAM anyway and there's no difference in price if buying new from what I can see between the older and newer formats.
Buy 2x 16GB just in case you want more in 7 years time.

You bought a system with limited upgradeability last time so don't do the same now.
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Re: PC Upgrade-SSD-Mobo etc.

Postby Agharta » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:01 am

I'd put the O/S on a small SSD, 256 GB, and buy the largest you can budget for data.
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Re: PC Upgrade-SSD-Mobo etc.

Postby hardminder » Sun Nov 10, 2019 4:28 am

Agharta wrote:I'd build a Ryzen system even if it means buying a 6 or 8 core 2000 series to keep the price down.
...
You can always upgrade your storage later as well as the CPU, RAM etc.
You're going to have to buy new RAM anyway and there's no difference in price if buying new from what I can see between the older and newer formats.
Buy 2x 16GB just in case you want more in 7 years time.

You bought a system with limited upgradeability last time so don't do the same now.

Well, my initial need was to upgrade my RAM and Storage so I don't plan on upgrading it later. I now understand that I will need toupgrade my motherboard because it doesn't allow for 32gb ram. You said you would build a Ryzen system no matter what but later you say "you can upgrade your CPU later". You mean later like after the new one I'll buy is not relevant anymore or like in "don't upgrade anything but your mobo and maybe upgrade the rest later". Sorry I receive a lot of information from 3 different people that might not have the same vision on the same issue and I have to go through that and take a bit everywhere. I know the basics about building a machine but I'm learning a lot s I read your replies as well. Please don't stop but sorry if not everything seems clear for me, I'm here to learn. Thanks
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