If you were me, PC build

cjaudio

New Member
Hey guys

After a few weeks of trying to inform myself on building a computer and thinking "I've got the build" only to see motherboards being out of stock I am a bit stuck.

Currently running a Macbook Pro 2.2GHz i7 quad core 16GB Ram mid 2014 model. I can tell that I am outgrowing this computer with the last few projects I have done and it is limping along currently. Finally able to scrape together a budget of $2500ish together for a build and it seems PC/Hackintosh would be more value at that price point. I have two films I have composed for under my belt one being a Blumhouse indie film and another that had some recognizable actors so I am clawing my way up the food chain. My laptop barely completed those projects so I hope to build something that I can use for 5 years. I also record bands a fair amount and have been having issues with not enough CPU power.

I've never built a PC/Hackintosh and while I am learning and catching on to things it is a lot to comprehend. Also I run Apollo 8p and thunderbolt 3 is something I need.

So if you were me, which route would you go? AMD or Intel 10th gen chip? Motherboards for both with Thunderbolt 3 seem almost impossible to find in stock.

I am possibly up for Windows only and wait to do the hackintosh till further down the road, but I've been using Logic for so long and spending money on Cubase is something I am not sure I really wanna commit to.

Appreciate any advice!
 

josejherring

Senior Member
I've I were you I'd just get a real Mac.

I'm a long time windows user and I don't like W10. And, who knows how long the Hackintosh will be viable.

And, PC building has gotten confusing enough. This coming from a dude who has built every PC he's ever used since 2002.

The combination of windows 10 and hardware is getting too much for even me to take add to that the idea of a Hackintosh--the amount of lost sleep in the future is enough to make me run.

But, if you're into endless nights of tweaking then by all means.

If not, then just get a better mac than what you have. I just priced out an I7 mac mini with 1tb hard drive and 32gigs of ram for around $2000 which is what you'd spend on a similarly speced windows Intel build. Probably could do a few hundred bucks better on AMD--but would it be worth it?
 
OP
C

cjaudio

New Member
I've I were you I'd just get a real Mac.

I'm a long time windows user and I don't like W10. And, who knows how long the Hackintosh will be viable.

And, PC building has gotten confusing enough. This coming from a dude who has built every PC he's ever used since 2002.

The combination of windows 10 and hardware is getting too much for even me to take add to that the idea of a Hackintosh--the amount of lost sleep in the future is enough to make me run.

But, if you're into endless nights of tweaking then by all means.

If not, then just get a better mac than what you have. I just priced out an I7 mac mini with 1tb hard drive and 32gigs of ram for around $2000 which is what you'd spend on a similarly speced windows Intel build. Probably could do a few hundred bucks better on AMD--but would it be worth it?

I'll take that into consideration and have thought about that for sure. The allure of 12 cores of AMD or i9 10 cores is very appealing though. I don't believe it is the RAM that is choking me out, I am pretty sure it is my CPU power so almost doubling that is what is driving me to Windows.

I feel you on sleepless nights though, trying to find compatible hardware with most likely the pandemic and new processors coming out has made it tough to put a build with TB together
 

klawire

Member
If you are up for going full Windows and scrapping the idea of changing to a hackintosh later, I would go with AMD as it's much better value for money right now. Ryzen 3900x or 3950x. I'm building a new PC myself right now with Ryzen 3900x, AsRock x570 Steel Legend (has a TB3 connector), and 128GB RAM plus the rest of the necessary components for less than 2000 euros.

If you go down this road, be prepared to learn how to use and tweak Windows. It usually doesn't need much tweaking after the initial setup, but you do need to figure out how to do the initial set up and it can take quite a bit of time to figure out what you need to consider. After the setup, things should be smoother if you're adaptable and not set on getting everything working exactly like a Mac would work.
 
The key thing in your post is your mention of UAD and TB3. UAD seem to design their hardware and software predominantly for Macs, with Windows as very much an afterthought. Forget AMD components ( they don’t seem to support TB3 at all on AMD), and stick with Intel, but even then make sure you choose exactly the right components. Even there your experience probably won’t be as smooth as on a Mac. I’ve read that the Windows sound drivers don’t automatically adjust to the sample rate of the device, and you have to manually keep them in sync to avoid clicks/pops/faster/slower playback (when not using ASIO). Core Audio is what keeps many musos on the Mac platform.

I was looking at a similar scenario myself recently when a Mac OS update did something nasty to my Mini. Even contemplated switching to Cubase. I’m also a UAD user, and would likely have had to invest in a new interface too. Managed to sort the Mini in the end though so all good. And no matter how frustrated I get at recent Apple software quality, I get more frustrated with my work laptop running Windows.

If you have $2500 ish then consider an iMac, or a Mini of you already have a good screen. There is a rumour that new iMacs are due to be released very soon. Possibly with a redesign and 10th gen processors.

Wayne
 
OP
C

cjaudio

New Member
The key thing in your post is your mention of UAD and TB3. UAD seem to design their hardware and software predominantly for Macs, with Windows as very much an afterthought. Forget AMD components ( they don’t seem to support TB3 at all on AMD), and stick with Intel, but even then make sure you choose exactly the right components. Even there your experience probably won’t be as smooth as on a Mac. I’ve read that the Windows sound drivers don’t automatically adjust to the sample rate of the device, and you have to manually keep them in sync to avoid clicks/pops/faster/slower playback (when not using ASIO). Core Audio is what keeps many musos on the Mac platform.

I was looking at a similar scenario myself recently when a Mac OS update did something nasty to my Mini. Even contemplated switching to Cubase. I’m also a UAD user, and would likely have had to invest in a new interface too. Managed to sort the Mini in the end though so all good. And no matter how frustrated I get at recent Apple software quality, I get more frustrated with my work laptop running Windows.

If you have $2500 ish then consider an iMac, or a Mini of you already have a good screen. There is a rumour that new iMacs are due to be released very soon. Possibly with a redesign and 10th gen processors.

Wayne
I read a few things about compatibility but mainly from people that use the UAD PCIe cards and not the interfaces themselves. I could be wrong but that was one thing I went through and found quite a few people that had no issues or were fine after they went in and updated BIOS.

I totally hear ya on core audio, that does sound like a pain but I'd be willing to change stuff manually so I can stay with UAD. I'll research the new iMac's but having that much power from AMD just sounds so goood and for several thousand less than what I have found with similar specs that Apple offers.

Appreciate your 2 cents!
 
I read a few things about compatibility but mainly from people that use the UAD PCIe cards and not the interfaces themselves. I could be wrong but that was one thing I went through and found quite a few people that had no issues or were fine after they went in and updated BIOS.

I totally hear ya on core audio, that does sound like a pain but I'd be willing to change stuff manually so I can stay with UAD. I'll research the new iMac's but having that much power from AMD just sounds so goood and for several thousand less than what I have found with similar specs that Apple offers.

Appreciate your 2 cents!
Have a quick look on the UAD forum about working TB3 setups on Windows. Page 39 towards the bottom.


Plenty of working setups, all Intel based. Some comments about a Ryzen but not very positive yet. UADs own support page only mentions Intel.

I’d say that if you want to go Windows and stay with your Apollo the go for an Intel build.

The performance for £ of these multi core windows systems is tempting. I just don’t fancy the hassle.

Good luck with your system, whichever route your choose.

Waynw
 

Ben

VSL Support
And, PC building has gotten confusing enough. This coming from a dude who has built every PC he's ever used since 2002.
IMO building a PC was never easier: There are so many great build-guides out there on YouTube (please don't use the Verge's guide if you want a working computer ;) ). And there are also computer configurators out there that also check the selected components for known incompatibilities to each other (for example this one).
 

vitocorleone123

Senior Member
You can also buy a system from a music system maker- but then you wouldn’t be saving much money, if any. But you may be saving time and frustration if you’re not used to building and troubleshooting a new PC.