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Creating a dedicated offline, DAW only OS on a new SSD - Should I opt for Win 7 Pro or Win 10 Pro?

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Creating a dedicated offline, DAW only OS on a new SSD - Should I opt for Win 7 Pro or Win 10 Pro?

Postby Rhys Llewellyn » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:35 pm

I'm currently upgrading all my software to 64 bit (about time!) and my hardware -

My shopping list (if relevant) consists of:

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
Cubase Artist 10
Superior Drummer 3
Amplitube 4
and a nice orchestral VST, which I'm undecided on yet.

I have a Samsung 840 Pro (128GB) SSD which I plan to install this on (with the libraries running on separate 1TB Seagate mechanical drives).

I have a Win 7 Pro license with the option to upgrade to 10 if I wish. Once everything is installed, I plan to optimise the operating system as much as possible for audio, to squeeze as much performance as I can out of my Intel i5-2300 (8GB 1333MHz RAM).

Would I be better off using Win 7 or 10 to achieve this?

Thank you :)
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Re: Creating a dedicated offline, DAW only OS on a new SSD - Should I opt for Win 7 Pro or Win 10 Pro?

Postby The Korff » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:29 pm

Interesting question...

You might find the 128GB SSD a bit limiting, even if it's only for the OS... Some VSTs prefer to install to the system drive (even if they allow you to store the sample data elsewhere; Kontakt works like this at least), and they can take up a good few hundred MB apiece. And if you also want to install Cubase onto the SSD (which would give you nice snappy Cubase boot-up times for when inspiration strikes), you might find yourself running out of system drive space sooner than you think!

If you're determined to stick with the 128GB SSD then Win7 would be the way to go (it's smaller, and compatibility isn't yet an issue), but Win10 (on a larger SSD) would be the best way to stay as 'current' as possible... On the other hand, if you plan on having a completely static, unsullied-by-Internet machine, without troubling yourself with updates, and you're happy to have the exact same system running for the next 5-10 years (for stability's sake), then Win7 and your small SSD might just do the job.

Cheers!

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Re: Creating a dedicated offline, DAW only OS on a new SSD - Should I opt for Win 7 Pro or Win 10 Pro?

Postby Rhys Llewellyn » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:05 pm

Thanks Chris :)

Yeah unfortunately, I don't have much choice about upgrading the SSD, so I'll have to keep my fingers crossed that all the products I buy all allow me to shift at least some of their data to other drives.

You mention putting Cubase on the SSD... I was intending to put the program on the SSD and then create new folders on one of the bigger drives to record on to. That said, I'm terrible with starting new songs and never finishing off old ones. If I record to SSD, then that'll force me to finish a track and then move it to the bigger drives after! Whether there'll be any noticeable performance advantage over this though, I'm not sure? I generally don't generate large track counts. Maybe 4-6 guitars, a few synths, drums and bass and a few plugins. I've never struggled before even when my DAW was only seeing 4GB of RAM, so perhaps for SSD longevity and less 'house-keeping', I'll stick to recording to one of the slower mechanical drives.

As far as Win 7/10 is concerned then, given your advice, I will install 7, activate immediately and then disable the network and disable updates for when I do have to go online to activate the studio software.

I'm a firm believer in "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", so provided everything is stable, I'm more than happy to stick with the exact same system for the foreseeable future.

From a performance point of view I wasn't sure if one OS takes up more RAM/CPU in background services and the like. That would probably change my mind if, say, Win 10 was 25% more RAM efficient, or whatever.

Thanks again :)
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Re: Creating a dedicated offline, DAW only OS on a new SSD - Should I opt for Win 7 Pro or Win 10 Pro?

Postby OneWorld » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:32 pm

I am happy with Win10/64 - except its insistence on sometimes almost trashing your computer, having it setup to include every bit of penny muck, trinkets, bling, trishtrash, bric-a-brac and flotsom and jetsom Microsoft seems to think we need in our lives, when in fact we need everything but.

You can using various methods and utilities trim it down a lot. But I am convinced Win10 has the internet knitted in to it such that you can hardly use it without, and there are some apps that also cease to function without a live connection. It is a case of experimentation though.

So it looks like WIn7 is the better option in your case.

Whatever you do, make backups and images, and I really would save your main drive, SSD or otherwise, for OS and Apps, and for the data drive, you can get a 512GB-SSD for a £100 or so.

I do take your point about reducing the size of the C:drive to a minimum, so that you would avoid the situation where you start many songs but finish none, but I think that would happen regardless. I use a 256GB-SSD + 512GB-SSD data drive.

I have gone back to writing using a little portable multi-tracker and if I feel a song should not be throttled at birth, then I transfer it to the PC after getting the basic tune down. There are too many distractions on a DAW but once youj get a song 'written' then once transferred to the DAW youj then have something to work on, for me the DAW is an editing tool as opposed to a composing tool, unless doing something like EDM, Rap, Grime, Dirt, Muck, Driller Killer et, as the chords hardly change but you can add loads of nick-knacks to the track.
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Re: Creating a dedicated offline, DAW only OS on a new SSD - Should I opt for Win 7 Pro or Win 10 Pro?

Postby InactiveX » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:15 am

I recently reverted to Windows 7.

I hate the idea of a rolling-release operating system, where everything can and is changed around by the dullards at MS, adding silly features all over the shop.

Windows 10 (and 8.1) is no doubt more efficient for DAW use than 7, fewer kernel calls and that, but I've never actually noticed a real difference.

For me the big advantage of 7 is that I can boot it up and I know that it will be just how I left it.
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Re: Creating a dedicated offline, DAW only OS on a new SSD - Should I opt for Win 7 Pro or Win 10 Pro?

Postby ef37a » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:38 am

I am in a rather similar position. This i3 laptop and another desktop PC are W7 and I intend to leave them so. They both have Samplitude Pro X3 on them and I do not want W10 causing possible problems. (MAGIX are pretty good at giving new activations when one has cocked up but 'tis a bind and a trial!)

I shall simply have to stump up for a new W10 laptop for internet and "office" work.

The only reservation I have about the OP's situation is if he needs new hardware down the line? I suppose drivers can be downloaded to USB sticks and carried over that way? That is something gear mnfctrs should perhaps be asked these days?

I am also pretty sure you can "tell" Cubase to record to any specified drive? I know AA asks which one you want to use when you install it. I only found out a week or so ago that some DAWs allow you to pre-load samples into ram?

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