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Suggestions for new PC

Postby mozart999uk » Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:11 pm

So rather a generic question I know but......

I'm currently running a 5 year old scan 3xs PC. i7 3930k. Overclocked at 4.2gHz. 64 GB ram.

I'ts been rock solid but lately I'm having a few problems with asio peaks and freezes and having tried all the options I can think of, I've settled on a reinstall of Windows as the next step.

However, faced with about 2 days of reinstalling everything and with the tax year end coming up I'm wondering about reinstalling everything ....but on a new PC.!


I work as a media composer so lots of memory hungry sample libs and as the machine lives under my desk I need something quiet.

I've been looking at the scan 3xs i9 PC (10 core) as a possible.

Will I notice that much more power compared to my 3930?

I've tried looking at various DAW bench charts but can't find anything that compares the two.

I'm aware there's issues with windows 10 (i'm on 7) and there's many other things I need to consider but generally speaking....once versus the other? Much improvement?
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby resistorman » Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:04 pm

I would hope you see a big improvement! Just in refinements of the motherboard and chipset if nothing else. I suppose raw performance depends on how well your software handles extra cores. As to Windows 10, you’ll need it to get the most out of new hardware. I have had no issues with it... I use an RME interface, and all my software and plugins run as expected. I recommend Win 10 pro, which gives you much more control over updates.
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby mozart999uk » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:06 am

Thanks. That's encouraging.

I've got an RME 9632 which is PCI so I'll need to get an AIO to use in the new mobo. Was pleased to see that RME are still near the top in terms of latency / performance in a post on this forum. Bodes well :-)

Do you have any experience of i9's? I'd read in one of Pete Kaines early posts that they run quite warm and therefor more cooling was needed. Keen to keep my machine as quiet as possible....
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby James Perrett » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:12 am

It may also be worth looking at something like a Digiface USB to replace your 9632 card.
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby mozart999uk » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:15 am

Thanks James. Any reason you'd suggest uSB 3 over pcie?
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby ef37a » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:57 am

Way out of my league but very interested.

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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby James Perrett » Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:23 pm

I was thinking mainly in terms of versatility - no need to open up the PC if you want to use the interface on another machine. I'm also thinking that USB may be around for longer than PCIe.

The downside is that performance may not be quite as good as a PCIe alternative and the AIO seems to offer a wider range of connections. If you are mainly using ADAT inputs and outputs then you may find that the RayDAT card is closer to what you have already.
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby mozart999uk » Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:42 pm

Thanks James. food for thought.....
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby resistorman » Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:31 pm

I use an RME UFX, and with totalmix, usb latency is not an issue for tracking monitoring. However, if you want to use plugins during tracking, the thing to get would be the UFX +. Thunderbolt seems to be the future of high speed low latency i/o, and it’s directly supported by the i9.
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby mozart999uk » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:00 pm

Thanks. Yes indeed. That does look good!
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby Pete Kaine » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:09 pm

mozart999uk wrote:Will I notice that much more power compared to my 3930?

I've tried looking at various DAW bench charts but can't find anything that compares the two.

Much improvement?

Yes, none of my DAWbench testing has a direct comparison as the test changed between the two generations, and older results don't line up with the newer ones

The best I can note is more generic testing like CPU Benchmark returns roughly 12,000 points for the 3930K and 22,000 points for the 7900X. So yes, should be noticeable but then as already mentioned it might depend as much on your sequencers ability to leverage the cores on offer. With that said, most software can now without a problem, just worth checking up first where you can through.

What's your sequencer(s) of choice?
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby mozart999uk » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:37 pm

Thanks Pete. I'm on Cubase.

Might step up from the 10 -12 core as it's not much more money.

I read your article a while back when i9s first came out. You mentioned they ran quite hot and needed a fair bit of cooling. Would a 3xs i9 be any louder than my 3xs oc'd 3930?
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby resistorman » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:48 am

I think your concerns about heat and noise would be best addressed by Scan. Keep us informed about your new PC!
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby Agharta » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:59 am

mozart999uk wrote:Do you have any experience of i9's? I'd read in one of Pete Kaines early posts that they run quite warm and therefor more cooling was needed. Keen to keep my machine as quiet as possible....

There is a trade-off to be made there between the maximum noise level you will accept and the maximum performance on tap.
Once you go beyond the mainstream Intel and AMD CPUs the power consumption can climb significantly.
If you aren't prepared to pay the price of higher noise levels then buy a slower CPU and save some money at the same time.
The i9 chips aren't generally required for DAW usage so unless your usage patterns are extremely demanding they sound overkill to me.

With regard to sound levels, custom solutions are usually preferred unless buying from a manufacturer who have expertise in that area. Not sure if Scan focus much in this area.
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby mozart999uk » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:13 pm

resistorman wrote:I think your concerns about heat and noise would be best addressed by Scan. Keep us informed about your new PC!

Thanks will do.
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby mozart999uk » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:15 pm

Agharta wrote:
mozart999uk wrote:Do you have any experience of i9's? I'd read in one of Pete Kaines early posts that they run quite warm and therefor more cooling was needed. Keen to keep my machine as quiet as possible....

There is a trade-off to be made there between the maximum noise level you will accept and the maximum performance on tap.
Once you go beyond the mainstream Intel and AMD CPUs the power consumption can climb significantly.
If you aren't prepared to pay the price of higher noise levels then buy a slower CPU and save some money at the same time.
The i9 chips aren't generally required for DAW usage so unless your usage patterns are extremely demanding they sound overkill to me.

With regard to sound levels, custom solutions are usually preferred unless buying from a manufacturer who have expertise in that area. Not sure if Scan focus much in this area.

Thanks. My current scan PC is quite quiet. They've used quite components and yet for an overclocked machine it runs quite cool. Still, I'll get in touch with their sales team and see what they can tell me about the i9s. I do run some fairly demanding projects 30-50GB in size with 100's of tracks......
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby Pete Kaine » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:59 pm

mozart999uk wrote:Thanks Pete. I'm on Cubase.

Might step up from the 10 -12 core as it's not much more money.

I read your article a while back when i9s first came out. You mentioned they ran quite hot and needed a fair bit of cooling. Would a 3xs i9 be any louder than my 3xs oc'd 3930?

That would have depended on the cooling options at the time, so please PM me your previous invoice number/account number/linked phone number/e-mail and I'll check your previous cooling options in the current system by pulling the old records.

The 10 core / 12 cores are rated to about 140w currently. Your chip was a 130w edition, so stock clocks wise it shouldn't be pulling much more voltage than your current chip and same when overclocked as I'd expect both of them to peak around 150W - 160W overclocked and under load.

Of course, the newer chip has far more cores and threads in there, so it does tend to rise rather more sharply, although there have also been advances in load balancing at the OS level which do seem to help to level out thermal peaks on any given core. Certainly seeing less of the "1 core, 10+ degrees higher than the rest" syndrome that used to be more common.

The chips seem to be running cooler now than at launch, which we do expect that as the product revisions occur. I wouldn't say it's an astounding improvement, but even a few degrees help of course and I'm far happier with them now than I was back then.

The chips above this (i9's) are 160w basic raising to 190w with any attempt overclocking, that's where it gets a bit hot and noisy without carefully considered cooling arrangements.
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby Agharta » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:48 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:The 10 core / 12 cores are rated to about 140w currently. Your chip was a 130w edition, so stock clocks wise it shouldn't be pulling much more voltage than your current chip and same when overclocked as I'd expect both of them to peak around 150W - 160W overclocked and under load.

The chips above this (i9's) are 160w basic raising to 190w with any attempt overclocking, that's where it gets a bit hot and noisy without carefully considered cooling arrangements.

I've seen plenty of reviews showing that the 140W TDP i9 parts are capable of consuming much more power than that at stock speeds and when over-clocked the power consumption jumps dramatically.
Seemingly gone are the days of medium range over-clocks that don't push the power consumption too much.
Here is one review:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/intel-core-i9-7900x-skylake-x,review-33922-10.html

On top of that these chips use a poor quality thermal compound under the heat-spreader which means the temperatures are higher than they need be which negatively impacts the ability to cool them quietly whilst keeping temps in check.

I do wonder how relevant most CPU reviews are for DAW usage in terms of power usage and temps.
Usually it seems to be video encoding software is used when testing power consumption which typically can load all threads fully and continually leading to figures which I think a DAW will struggle to match as the load tends to have more peaks and troughs which leads to lower average power consumption and temps.
On top of that some of this video software uses AVX instructions which pushes the chip much harder than most.
Pete, have you done any testing of DAW power consumption?
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby resistorman » Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:42 am

Is overclocking even necessary with this many cores, a lot of memory, and ssd drives?
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby mozart999uk » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:15 am

Pete Kaine wrote:
..., so please PM me your previous invoice number/account number/linked phone number/e-mail and I'll check your previous cooling options in the current system by pulling the old records.


Hi Pete. Have just sent you PM with the details. Happy to discuss here (as long as no personal deats :lol: ) as it might be of interest to some of the others...or we can carry on via PM / email
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