AdviceAudio Workstation PC BuildPosted:

G_H_E
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I'm looking to build a PC for use in a professional recording studio environment. So far I have a list here pcpartpicker.com/list/LM6fZf of that parts that I'm looking at that I think will all work together.

Because this is a PC that is going to be used exclusively for audio production, recording, and post production editing I'm investing most into CPU and keeping the noise level at a minimum. I haven't included a power supply in the list as of yet because I'm not sure what I would need regarding something that has all the connections I would need, supplies efficient power and is as quiet as possible while not being too expensive.

I'm also planning on running the two 2TB NVMe SSD's in a RAID 1 system using this expansion card asus.com/Motherboard-Accessories/...EN-4-CARD/ which I intend to upgrade to a RAID 5 system once budget permits. I also already have two 2TB HDD's in my current computer that I plan on using in the new build.

This is my first attempt at building a PC by myself so I wouldn't be surprised if there's some things that could be changed. I'm looking to keep this under $2500 too. Would love any advice and knowledge on how I could improve on this build or any potential things to look out for.
#2. Posted:
Scratched
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So what kind of equipment are you using? Is it all software based production or do you have hardware you need to integrate? Mixers, DACs, AMPs, Pre-Amps, Mics, Lifters, Faders?

While I understand the desire for SSDs, especially 2TB ones.. Depending on your ACTUAL needs it might just be that you need a new motherboard, an RTX 2060 to help with some encoding alongside of a lot of RAM. Like 128 or 256GB of RAM. Entirely depends on what it is you have open in your productions and how much of it you use. Don't get me wrong a fast loading SSD is great but when you can cut the costs to them and go where you really need it.. External HDDs and SSDs are cheap and easy to come by, perfect backup solutions, portable and integrate with just about anything fast and easy. 1 or 2 1TB SSDs for main production, a 2-6TB HDD for backup, another for redundant. 3900X for heavy lifting, 128GB of RAM for massive loads...


My main question for you is how invested are you into music production? Is this your goal?
What kind of mics do you have?
What kind of mixers do you have?
Faders, lifters?
Instruments?
Sound proofed room?

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/wg8Dsk
#3. Posted:
G_H_E
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Some of the projects that I've worked on have been 60+ GB and has taken 15+ minutes to load because of the amount of WAV files in them, entire sets from festivals or gigs sometimes. So I'm planning to have those projects on the RAID system for quick loading times and a safeguard if a drive were to crash.

Already very heavily invested into music production and working in audio part time. I have all external studio equipment at my home already and really just need to upgrade my PC, as I've been having to book studio time to get it done because my home PC just isn't up to handling the projects anymore.
My current computer is about 8 years old now and was a beast at the time of creation but just not up to it anymore and want to start with a full fresh build.

So really I want this build to be able to handle everything that a full recording studio would have to so I can cut back on costs of hiring professional studio time.
#4. Posted:
21
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Scratched wrotean RTX 2060 to help with some encoding

GPU is completely unimportant for an audio workstation. OP would be fine with integrated graphics, though obviously he should be buying an R7 or R9 CPU which won't have an iGPU, so any cheap GPU will do, it's just for display output really.
To be fair though, with a $2500 budget I would still probably have an RTX 2060 or something like that in there, but it's completely unnecessary.

Scratched wrotealongside of a lot of RAM. Like 128 or 256GB of RAM.

OP doesn't need anywhere near this much RAM. If they were using a shit ton of plug-ins in Fruity Loops or something, then yeah extra RAM would be beneficial, but even 64GB is plenty in that case, and it doesn't sound like that's OP's plan.


G_H_E wroteI'm looking to build a PC for use in a professional recording studio environment. So far I have a list here pcpartpicker.com/list/LM6fZf

Why is the motherboard listed at $420(ayyy)? That is nowhere near a $420 motherboard.
Same for the GPU, why is it listed at $240? That was barely a $240 GPU when it was brand new.
The Fractal Define R6 is also not a $260 case, so there's several hundred dollars you could save very easily since not one of those components make sense at that price.

G_H_E wroteand keeping the noise level at a minimum.

Not with a cheap Cooler Master liquid cooler you're not. Pump, liquid, and fan noise from that will be horrendous. Buy a big, beefy air cooler, take the fans off, undervolt the 3900x at stock speeds and you'll have an actually silent system.
Or, just leave the 3900x at stock settings and use a beefy air cooler with the fans still on, won't be silent but it'll be much quieter than a cheap liquid cooler.

G_H_E wroteI haven't included a power supply in the list... and is as quiet as possible while not being too expensive.

If you want an actually silent system, then buy a fanless PSU. You'll get a 460-550W fanless unit from Seasonic for <$200. Obviously it would be wasted money if the rest of your system is not entirely silent though.




OP- If you're spending $2500 on an audio workstation, you should be looking at something like this;
PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 3.5 GHz 16-Core Processor ($699.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 50.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($89.90 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus PRIME X570-PRO ATX AM4 Motherboard ($249.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 64 GB (2 x 32 GB) DDR4-3600 CL18 Memory ($249.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Sabrent Rocket 2 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($279.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Sabrent Rocket 2 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($279.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 6 GB OC Rev 2.0 Video Card ($319.99 @ Best Buy)
Case: Fractal Design Meshify C ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Cooler Master MWE Gold 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($119.99 @ Best Buy)
Total: $2389.81

You could even fit a better GPU in there, like an RTX 2070 or RX 5700XT.
On the other hand, you could save a bunch of cash by dropping to a lower end GPU, dropping one of the 2 x SSD's, and dropping to 32GB RAM instead of 64GB. You could also obviously switch the 3950x back to a 3900x. Doing all of this will easily take you down to around $1500.
#5. Posted:
Scratched
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I'd at the least start out for 64GB of RAM for the matter of having it and knowing you're in overkill and have the ability to expand on that in the event you've began to overload that RAM.

@21 Towards the 2060, if he's using things like photoshop, aftereffects and so on that can have some advantage. Though yes you are completely correct, planning though for events lighting controls and such can have some potential benefit.

If you're looking for deathly quiet, honestly AIO and underclock the CPU. While not a good choice for an 3900X, it is an option.

In the case for fast load times, that depends frankly on what you're loading. SSDs are already extremely fast. CPUs are significantly leaps and bound above what they once were. I can understand the desire for a raid setup, but in all honestly I think you're not realizing how much faster modern systems really are compared to your Old Yeller. In the case for having those load times it could be HDD slowing, failing, RAM not able to process the large load due to reaching capacity too quickly, CPU failing to keep up.. Lot of scenarios that make load times long.

You can ask me or anyone else here what difference an SSD is compared to a HDD. Trust me I remember DSL connections on WoW and that 20 minute load to restart a PC... With an SSD, I can genuinely miss the F12 / Delete key press to get into my BIOS. It loads ridiculously faster, not even 5 seconds and it's done.

The PCs me and 21 have suggested can definitely get you where you're going.

One more option in the event you wanted to skip the GPU.
https://pcpartpicker.com/list/Ltpd27

@21 Would you really say going to a 5700 XT is even wise at this point? I have actual regret recommending that card now because of the amounts of failures I've seen from it.
#6. Posted:
21
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Scratched wroteI'd at the least start out for 64GB of RAM for the matter of having it and knowing you're in overkill and have the ability to expand on that in the event you've began to overload that RAM.

Even 64GB would likely be overkill for OP. 32GB would be fine, and is a good place to start. Admittedly, I wouldn't go any lower than 32GB though and if OP is spending the full $2500 budget, then yeah, definitely aim for 64GB.

Scratched wrote@21 Towards the 2060, if he's using things like photoshop, aftereffects and so on that can have some advantage. Though yes you are completely correct, planning though for events lighting controls and such can have some potential benefit.

From OP's explanation, it seems he's just doing audio production, some recording, and mixing/mastering, so a GPU is entirely unnecessary. Granted, if he were to do literally anything else, a GPU could become beneficial, which is why I recommended an RTX 2060 anyway.

Scratched wroteIf you're looking for deathly quiet, honestly AIO and underclock the CPU. While not a good choice for an 3900X, it is an option.

No, if he wants properly quiet, an AIO is not a good way to go at all. A high end air cooler is likely to be a quieter option even. However, if he wants a truly silent system, he needs to buy as big a heatsink as he can find, remove all case fans, and use a fanless PSU. He'd almost definitely have to undervolt a 3900x in this scenario, but he won't have to underclock.

Scratched wroteOne more option in the event you wanted to skip the GPU.
pcpartpicker.com/list/Ltpd27

This system would need some sort of discrete GPU. The 3900x does not have integrated graphics so it needs something for display output.

Scratched wrote@21 Would you really say going to a 5700 XT is even wise at this point? I have actual regret recommending that card now because of the amounts of failures I've seen from it.

Depends on the situation. I have no trouble recommending a 5700XT in the right situation, especially since Navi drivers have apparently been getting much better for a while now. I've not heard of many people complaining about an actual "failure" of a 5700XT though? Just driver bugs and weird issues like that mostly, seems to be mostly ironed out now though.
It's also pretty much guarantee'd that Navi drivers are only going to improve. It's almost impossible for them not to. Remember, Navi is going to be used in everything- PS5, new Xbox, RDNA2 GPU's will still be Navi based architecture. The entire purpose of the RX 5X00 GPU's is to pave the way for big Navi and consoles lol, they had to get the drivers ironed out for those launches.
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