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Old 04-29-2012, 12:23 PM
Hippocampus Hippocampus is offline
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Default New build for Complete Composer's Collection

Hi all,

I am contemplating on a new build to comfortably accommodate my brand new Complete Composer's Collection with EWQLSO Platinum Plus and 8 other libraries. The CCC libraries will be my only libraries in the beginning. I have composing experience but in terms of digital audio and virtual instruments I am a beginner, with no experience so far.

The workstation should be able to handle full orchestral texture plus a few additional instruments here and there without any bottlenecks. It would be wise to leave some room for a few future sample library purchases, too. There is no fixed upper price limit for the system, I'm just looking for good value for the money. I've thought about ordering something in these lines:
- i7-2600K
- A motherboard with Z68 chipset
- 32 GB RAM
- An SSD for the operating system (I guess EWQLSO and CCC should work fine from the provided 7200rpm drive)
- A silent case with a 650W power supply
- Win7 Pro 64-bit and Cubase

So what I would like to ask you is:
- This system will work fine, won't it?
- Does the 32GB (instead of 16GB) have any use to justify the increased price tag?
- Does CCC work fine from the provided 1TB 7200rpm drive?

Thanks.
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:08 PM
jspencer jspencer is offline
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I have an i7-2700 with 32GB RAM and it is more than adequate for my setup. I have SO Gold, RA, SD2 Pro, HS Gold, SC and a bunch of other VST intsruments.....all running under Sonar X1 64 bit. I have run some fairly large templates, and have yet to see my RAM usage exceed 16GB. IMO, don't use the supplied HD for your everday usage. Get a secodary HD (or SSD) and transfer all the CCC library files to that drive. Keep the orginal drive as a backup just in case!

Also, consider using the SSD for the samples, and put your OS on the regular HD. I think the only advantage of having the OS on an SSD is for faster boot time (which isn't really a big deal unless you want to save an extra 30 seconds). Other than that, I think the system looks really good.

What sondcard are you going to be using? That will also be a factor.

There's my 2 cents!
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippocampus View Post
So what I would like to ask you is:

- This system will work fine, won't it?
- Does the 32GB (instead of 16GB) have any use to justify the increased price tag?
- Does CCC work fine from the provided 1TB 7200rpm drive?

Thanks.
- We have very similar specs. and I can confirm that you will definitely be fine with it..., and then some.

- Always get as much RAM as you can without delay. Your goal is to get all your current project samples to load into memory. In some cases, that won't be possible (samples from the "Pianos" library for example), so this library would be a good candidate to install on an SSD. Mind you, a good HD such as the Western Digital Caviar Black (64MBs cache) will also serve you well for this.

If you have budget constraint, then I would suggest that you get at a minimum 16GBs of RAM in a "2 x 8" configuration, hence allowing you to add another 16GBs in the near future if it becomes a need. Then again, the cost is really reasonable nowadays.

- Contrary to conventional wisdom and the excellent advice being dispensed on these forums, I installed my CCC HD directly in my system..., BUT I also have purchased a external 2TB USB 3.0 HD, where I have stored a "verified" image of my CCC drive. The external drive is the one I put away (in a nice dry place) when done with my miscellaneous backups/images. Whichever method you decide to adopt, just make sure to back yourself up in case something unfortunate happens to your CCC drive. And yes, these drives are quite capable of streaming without any dropouts in a well configured environment.


Additional notes...

The 2600K offers you integrated graphics (the Intel HD 3000) which in my experience works very well in a dedicated DAW context (dual screen capable), BUT the Intel stock cooler won't deliver under heavy loads. Meaning, you need to get yourself a good and silent cooling solution. I personally went with the NOCTUA brand and can confidently recommend it based on my experience.

I have purchased an SSD for the OS and applications. An OCZ Vertex 3 (120GBs = 111GBs of actual usable space) which after almost a year now, is only filled up to approx. 50GBs. And although there are divergent opinions on their usefulness as an OS drive, I can confirm to you that it's more than just faster boot times, BUT if you have the budget I would certainly recommend multiple small size SSDs for your sample libraries as a priority over an SSD for the OS (great stuff if you can afford both). I've heard that OCZ is just about to release the Vertex 4, and if the performance of the Vertex 3 is any indication of what's in store for us with the new drive, it's definitely worth a "very" close look.

Anyways I'm rambling.

Good luck with your build and let us know what you end up with.

jc
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Dedicated DAW

Windows 7 Professional SP1 (x64)
Asus P8Z68-V Pro - Intel Core i7 2600K @ 3.4GHz
Noctua NH-C14 cooling solution (1 fan @ 140mm in a low-profile configuration)
Antec Take 3 rackmount 3u case - 650w PSU
16GB Kingston HyperX Genesis - DDR3 dual-channel @ 1600MHz (4 x 4)
1 x 120GB OCZ Vertex 3 - SSD (SATA 3 - 6Gbps)
2 x 600GB Maxtor Velociraptors @ 10k rpm - 32MB Cache (SATA 3 - 6Gbps)
1 x 1TB WD Caviar Black @ 7200rpm - 64MB cache (SATA 3 - 6Gbps)
1 x 2TB Seagate GoFlex External @ 5400 rpm - 32MB Cache (USB 3.0 - 4.8Gbps)

EWQL SO Platinum + | EWQL CCC | QL Pianos | QL RA | QL SPACES | PLAY 3

  #4  
Old 04-30-2012, 11:27 PM
Hippocampus Hippocampus is offline
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Thanks for the suggestions. Good answers often raise new questions, especially for a beginner like me...

Quote:
- Always get as much RAM as you can without delay. Your goal is to get all your current project samples to load into memory. In some cases, that won't be possible (samples from the "Pianos" library for example), so this library would be a good candidate to install on an SSD. Mind you, a good HD such as the Western Digital Caviar Black (64MBs cache) will also serve you well for this.
Could you shortly explain when I won't be able to load all samples into memory, such as in the case of Pianos? Is the sample library size the reason, one piano exceeding the 32GB? (I ordered Pianos Platinum with CCC.) How is this different from EWQLSO, a large library in its own right? What measures should I take when I am unable to load all of them? Perhaps this would be crystal-clear if I had the equipment, sorry for n00b questions...

Quote:
The 2600K offers you integrated graphics (the Intel HD 3000) which in my experience works very well in a dedicated DAW context (dual screen capable), BUT the Intel stock cooler won't deliver under heavy loads. Meaning, you need to get yourself a good and silent cooling solution. I personally went with the NOCTUA brand and can confidently recommend it based on my experience.
Somewhere I read that a DAW should have a separate graphics card in order to reduce the load of the motherboard by not using the integrated graphics, and thus improve the music studio performance. So that may still be worth consideration. I will stay away from the latest and greatest gaming cards though.

Quote:
And although there are divergent opinions on their usefulness as an OS drive, I can confirm to you that it's more than just faster boot times, BUT if you have the budget I would certainly recommend multiple small size SSDs for your sample libraries as a priority over an SSD for the OS (great stuff if you can afford both).
The CCC I bought is over 600 GB because of EWQLSO Platinum Plus and Pianos Platinum. I cannot afford putting all samples and OS into SSDs. Would it be possible to divide EWQLSO (194GB), putting often-used parts of it into one or two small SSDs? What should I consider when dividing it?

Quote:
What sondcard are you going to be using? That will also be a factor.
Good question. I am looking for a mid-range soundcard for the samples only, audio recording features are not important but low latency seems to be. Again a beginner question: As I am going to mix the music internally with Cubase, then the low latency is only important in terms of playing the samples in sync during the composing and mixing session, right? Do I need to consider anything else when choosing the soundcard other than low latency and a MIDI In for my keyboard? I have read that PCI soundcards provide even better latency results than FW/USB interfaces, and RME would be a brand to consider as far as low latency is concerned, e.g. their HDSP 9632. But I would be glad to hear your recommendations.

Thanks again.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:10 AM
jspencer jspencer is offline
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If you have a PCI slot available, and have a tight budget, I recommend getting an M-Audio Audiophile 24/96. You can get one for around $100 on the M-Audio website, and it offers low latency and excellent sound quality. It also has 64bit drivers that work great in Win 7. I am still happy with mine, and have done numerous pro projects with it. There are plenty of alternatives as well, but I have not had experience with anything else. Down the road I would definitly take a serious look at the RME lineup, especially Babyface.

With regards to the video card, don't use the onboard graphics...especially if you are going to score to picture. You can get a good AMD card, with dual monitor support, for well under $100.

Good luck!!
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:52 PM
Hippocampus Hippocampus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspencer View Post
If you have a PCI slot available, and have a tight budget, I recommend getting an M-Audio Audiophile 24/96. You can get one for around $100 on the M-Audio website, and it offers low latency and excellent sound quality. It also has 64bit drivers that work great in Win 7. I am still happy with mine, and have done numerous pro projects with it. There are plenty of alternatives as well, but I have not had experience with anything else. Down the road I would definitly take a serious look at the RME lineup, especially Babyface.

With regards to the video card, don't use the onboard graphics...especially if you are going to score to picture. You can get a good AMD card, with dual monitor support, for well under $100.
I have now a M-Audio Audiophile USB at home and am disgusted by the amount of issues I've had with it. The RME interfaces seem to offer quite low latency, including the Babyface, so perhaps I indeed should consider them.

Could someone explain why it isn't a good idea to use the onboard graphics? For example the Z68 motherboards should have fairly good onboard graphics. Let's say that I'm not going to score a picture right away for that sake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jspencer
I have run some fairly large templates, and have yet to see my RAM usage exceed 16GB.
I recently posted a draft shopping list on a computer forum with 32GB and got bashed by some computer guys questioning the need for those extra GBs. One thing they might have been unaware of were the doublings of patches. But if you say that even large templates don't exceed 16GB, then I guess 16GB should be enough for me.
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:01 AM
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shponglefan shponglefan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippocampus View Post
So what I would like to ask you is:
- This system will work fine, won't it?
It will be more than adequate.

Quote:
- Does the 32GB (instead of 16GB) have any use to justify the increased price tag?
Unless you've got incredibly humongous projects, I can't see you using more than 16 GB. But it's always better to have too much RAM than not enough. Especially if you later add newer, bigger libraries (Hollywood etc...).

FWIW, I started out with only 3 GB of RAM under Windows XP with the EW CCC. Now mind you I was using SO Gold as opposed to Platinum. But never had any issues with any of the EastWest libs.

Quote:
- Does CCC work fine from the provided 1TB 7200rpm drive?
Yes.

Last edited by shponglefan; 05-05-2012 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:02 PM
Hippocampus Hippocampus is offline
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Thanks for the answers. I have decided to take 16GB, not 32GB. The prices of 32GB have come down, but it does not seem to be worth it at this beginning phase.

How much power should the power supply have? Many people seem to have 650W, but would things work equally well with less power, let's say 500W?
  #9  
Old 05-06-2012, 11:26 AM
jspencer jspencer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippocampus View Post
Thanks for the answers. I have decided to take 16GB, not 32GB. The prices of 32GB have come down, but it does not seem to be worth it at this beginning phase.

How much power should the power supply have? Many people seem to have 650W, but would things work equally well with less power, let's say 500W?
The power supply is one of the most critical components in a computer, just spend the few extra dollars. I would go at least 650w.
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