Opinions on this PC build

OP
Counterpointer
Counterpointer, do you really need a graphic card in your DAW?

The integrated graphics of the 9700k work fine if you're not into (heavy) gaming.
Even using multiple screens isn't a problem, and you have less heat & noise issues.

The Samsung 970 EVO 1TB is IMO an excellent choice. But why a separate 250G one? When starting from scratch, I personally would try to keep an M.2 slot free for another 1 or 2TB NVM SSD in the future when prices come down...
Thanks for your input! Well, as for the gaming part, I do wan't to be able to do some gaming if I find the time in between sessions. I have a dream to compose for games, and so I find it very relevant to at least try to keep up with the trends by playing some games myself. It's also a lot of fun!

And for the discs, my idea was to put the OS and projects on a smaller disc (250GB or 500GB) and all libraries on a separate, larger disc. I was under the illusion that one saves a bit CPU by installing (at least in Kontakt) the applications on the C-drive and the samples on a separate drive. Am I wrong?
 
Having a separate C / boot / system drive is in my humble experience not really needed anymore. Certainly not from a performance point of view when you are using a fast, reliable NVM SSD.

Windows has it's own directory, and you can still do a windows repair without messing up your sample / VST data should that be necessary. You can of course also create a separate partition for Windows, but that will likely cause more troubles further down the road as Windows has a tendency to grow...
 
OP
Counterpointer
Having a separate C / boot / system drive is in my humble experience not really needed anymore. Certainly not from a performance point of view when you are using a fast, reliable NVM SSD.

Windows has it's own directory, and you can still do a windows repair without messing up your sample / VST data should that be necessary. You can of course also create a separate partition for Windows, but that will likely cause more troubles further down the road as Windows has a tendency to grow...
Okey, thanks! So it would be better to start off with one, large drive and expand along the way, when I'm starting to fill up my C drive?
 
Okey, thanks! So it would be better to start off with one, large drive and expand along the way, when I'm starting to fill up my C drive?
IMO yes. More economical. I did the same, and have all sample libs under a dedicated directory on the root of the c drive. It's good practice to keep library paths as short as possible (under 240 bytes after extracting library data) and perhaps to exclude this dir from scanning in your anti virus / malware program.
 
OP
Counterpointer
IMO yes. More economical. I did the same, and have all sample libs under a dedicated directory on the root of the c drive. It's good practice to keep library paths as short as possible (under 240 bytes after extracting library data) and perhaps to exclude this dir from scanning in your anti virus / malware program.
Ah, interesting! Do you keep both 32bit and 64bit plugins in the same dirdctory or separate folders?
 
Well, I love keeping things simple. Made a c:\\sample libraries and a c:\\VST folder for keeping plugin installers.

I really try to avoid any 32bit plugins on our new DAW, and avoid having any lib or plugin data under c:\\users\...

The only issue is that some sample library and plugin installers (NI...) attempt to put stuff at various places where I don't want to have it. And worse, some badly written installers screw up things by not remembering (i.e. correctly updating the Windows registry) when manually pointing the installer to the desired path. So sometimes I need to manually edit the registry for the worst offenders. This should not be needed, but I believe it's worth it in the end as I know then exactly where things are.

I decided on our new DAW to avoid the mess that we had before by just letting installers do whatever they want.
Our previous DAW had 10 hard disks, and I used Snapraid to keep everything under one directory. This works, but like any raid or storage pool solution also has its drawbacks.

This time I purposely avoid any RAID whatsoever, as IMO the disadvantages do not outweigh the gains.
So, after the first NVM SSD gets full, another one will be added under D:\\sample libraries.

One could argue to have a fast and expensive NVM SSD only for the OS and plugins, while keeping sample libraries on cheaper and slower SATA SSD's. But after experiencing the blazing speed and system responsiveness with our 2TB Samsung 970 Evo SSD, I just don't want anything else :)

Most likely prices come down next year of NVM SSD's, it doesn't really make sense using SATA anymore for new builds IMO.
 
OP
Counterpointer
Well, I love keeping things simple. Made a c:\\sample libraries and a c:\\VST folder for keeping plugin installers.

I really try to avoid any 32bit plugins on our new DAW, and avoid having any lib or plugin data under c:\\users\...

The only issue is that some sample library and plugin installers (NI...) attempt to put stuff at various places where I don't want to have it. And worse, some badly written installers screw up things by not remembering (i.e. correctly updating the Windows registry) when manually pointing the installer to the desired path. So sometimes I need to manually edit the registry for the worst offenders. This should not be needed, but I believe it's worth it in the end as I know then exactly where things are.

I decided on our new DAW to avoid the mess that we had before by just letting installers do whatever they want.
Our previous DAW had 10 hard disks, and I used Snapraid to keep everything under one directory. This works, but like any raid or storage pool solution also has its drawbacks.

This time I purposely avoid any RAID whatsoever, as IMO the disadvantages do not outweigh the gains.
So, after the first NVM SSD gets full, another one will be added under D:\\sample libraries.

One could argue to have a fast and expensive NVM SSD only for the OS and plugins, while keeping sample libraries on cheaper and slower SATA SSD's. But after experiencing the blazing speed and system responsiveness with our 2TB Samsung 970 Evo SSD, I just don't want anything else :)

Most likely prices come down next year of NVM SSD's, it doesn't really make sense using SATA anymore for new builds IMO.
Thanks! Great info here. My current computer is a total mess when it comes to directories (I have a lot of NI stuff). I'm very attracted to the idea of one single path for all libraries and one for applications, all on one large disc. This gives me confidence to go in that direction.
 
OP
Counterpointer
Well, I love keeping things simple. Made a c:\\sample libraries and a c:\\VST folder for keeping plugin installers.

I really try to avoid any 32bit plugins on our new DAW, and avoid having any lib or plugin data under c:\\users\...

The only issue is that some sample library and plugin installers (NI...) attempt to put stuff at various places where I don't want to have it. And worse, some badly written installers screw up things by not remembering (i.e. correctly updating the Windows registry) when manually pointing the installer to the desired path. So sometimes I need to manually edit the registry for the worst offenders. This should not be needed, but I believe it's worth it in the end as I know then exactly where things are.

I decided on our new DAW to avoid the mess that we had before by just letting installers do whatever they want.
Our previous DAW had 10 hard disks, and I used Snapraid to keep everything under one directory. This works, but like any raid or storage pool solution also has its drawbacks.

This time I purposely avoid any RAID whatsoever, as IMO the disadvantages do not outweigh the gains.
So, after the first NVM SSD gets full, another one will be added under D:\\sample libraries.

One could argue to have a fast and expensive NVM SSD only for the OS and plugins, while keeping sample libraries on cheaper and slower SATA SSD's. But after experiencing the blazing speed and system responsiveness with our 2TB Samsung 970 Evo SSD, I just don't want anything else :)

Most likely prices come down next year of NVM SSD's, it doesn't really make sense using SATA anymore for new builds IMO.
Now I'm about to pull the triigger on this maschine.One question though: My project files, should I keep them on the C drive as well or get a separate mechanical for that?
 
OP
Counterpointer
I created a better build https://www.inet.se/produkt/b1045064/datorbygge
This build got a way better motherboard, GPU, cooling and PSU.
The AMD gpus are better for sound, see why
https://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7060297
Hello!

after asking around about storage I think I need several ssd's to minimize bottlenecks. The motherboard you chose only has 2 m.2 ports. What do you think about this build? It's a bit more expensive but since it's holiday discounts it's not that bad.

https://www.inet.se/produkt/b1051836/datorbygge
 

Pictus

Active Member
I do not like MSI motherboards...
The for audio workloads bottleneck is *not* the SSD, but the CPU.
As Robert Kooijman mentioned, you can go super perfect with just one big NVMe SSD and install everything there.
Here because the way stuff is done(backup/management) I prefer one separated SSD for the OS.
A new build for you with better CPU, case(got USB 3 type c) and cooler.
If you really want a motherboard for 3 NVMe SSDs, then go for Gigabyte Z390 AORUS ULTRA.

https://www.inet.se/produkt/b1051895/datorbygge
 
OP
Counterpointer
Oke
I do not like MSI motherboards...
The for audio workloads bottleneck is *not* the SSD, but the CPU.
As Robert Kooijman mentioned, you can go super perfect with just one big NVMe SSD and install everything there.
Here because the way stuff is done(backup/management) I prefer one separated SSD for the OS.
A new build for you with better CPU, case(got USB 3 type c) and cooler.
If you really want a motherboard for 3 NVMe SSDs, then go for Gigabyte Z390 AORUS ULTRA.

https://www.inet.se/produkt/b1051895/datorbygge
Oket, thanks!

And an i9! I didn't realize there was such a discount on those now. I'll probably add a small SSD for OS and keep all samples on the larger SSD. And projects on the HDD.
 

Synetos

Gear Addict
I recently rebuilt my main DAW rig and use a Cool Master HAF (High Air Flow) XB EVO case and a Noctura NH-D15 dual fan cooler. It is running very quiet overclocked by 36%. CPU temp hovers around 77 degrees F.

I run my OS on its own SSD, samples on separate SSD, and Projects on additional SSDs.

I am not a fan of WaterCoolers for CPU. I think they are louder than a good fan setup, and do not perform as good. Some may argue that, but I prefer a fan setup. One benefit to water-cooler is for mobile transport of DAW for field recording.

With the HAF rig, my CPU fan is upright and not hanging off the MB. I could easily add some stabilizers bands if I was going to let someone other than me transport it or had to ship it for some reason.
 

Synetos

Gear Addict
Synetos, he is buying the PC mounted, because of the heaviness of the heatsink over the motherboard they not build with Noctua NH-D15, so have to be water cooler....
The Corsair H150i Pro is +- the same as Noctua NH-D15 in noise/performance.
https://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/8540/corsair-h150i-pro-rgb-cpu-cooler-review/index7.html
Oh, I see. I didn’t catch that. My bad.

Perhaps my bias against water Cooler is that I never had a case that seemed to fit them well. Running four fans push-pull maybe was the issue on one machine, and in fairness, it was on a 3930k, which ran hotter.

I do like the tidiness of the water cooler in the case. Less in the way for some of my ram chips that have large cooling fins.

Anyway, always exciting building a new rig. Hope it inspires the OP to create beautiful music to share with the world.
 

JohnG

Senior Member
Counterpointer, do you really need a graphic card in your DAW?

The integrated graphics of the 9700k work fine if you're not into (heavy) gaming.
Even using multiple screens isn't a problem, and you have less heat & noise issues.
I agree. Integrated graphics have given me far fewer problems than separate cards. Definitely avoid Nvidia; I know they've improved their drivers but on one of my PC slave computers they are still not great for latency.

The life expectancy for the Samsung PRO is at least 2 times of the EVO in the same series line like PRO 970 to EVO 970, but the EVOs are good enough see https://3dnews.ru/938764/page-3.html
I agree -- you don't need the fastest SSDs. Even the slowest SSDs I own from years ago are still so fast that they are good enough to stream samples. Some argue that the longer warranty indicates higher quality and reliability, which may be true, but I have not experienced a single SSD failure yet and was an early adopter, so some of mine are quite old now.

Just to confess, though, I am something of a hypocrite arguing for "good enough" SSDs, since I bought an Intel Optane for strings. Like many, I am very demanding with that section.

I have a dream to compose for games, and so I find it very relevant to at least try to keep up with the trends by playing some games myself. It's also a lot of fun!
Definitely if you want to work in games it's a good idea to play games, especially if you enjoy them.

I also agree with the advice, just for updates and housekeeping, to maintain a separate C: drive. Not sure it's strictly necessary, but for simplicity it might be easier. I also use a separate project drive on my main computer; despite the fact that I don't think you really need that anymore, I find it easier to conceive of my backup strategy that way. The project drive gets backed up at least once a day to another location.

Good luck and best wishes.

Kind regards,

John
 
OP
Counterpointer
Oh, I see. I didn’t catch that. My bad.

Perhaps my bias against water Cooler is that I never had a case that seemed to fit them well. Running four fans push-pull maybe was the issue on one machine, and in fairness, it was on a 3930k, which ran hotter.

I do like the tidiness of the water cooler in the case. Less in the way for some of my ram chips that have large cooling fins.

Anyway, always exciting building a new rig. Hope it inspires the OP to create beautiful music to share with the world.
Thanks!
 
OP
Counterpointer
I agree. Integrated graphics have given me far fewer problems than separate cards. Definitely avoid Nvidia; I know they've improved their drivers but on one of my PC slave computers they are still not great for latency.



I agree -- you don't need the fastest SSDs. Even the slowest SSDs I own from years ago are still so fast that they are good enough to stream samples. Some argue that the longer warranty indicates higher quality and reliability, which may be true, but I have not experienced a single SSD failure yet and was an early adopter, so some of mine are quite old now.

Just to confess, though, I am something of a hypocrite arguing for "good enough" SSDs, since I bought an Intel Optane for strings. Like many, I am very demanding with that section.



Definitely if you want to work in games it's a good idea to play games, especially if you enjoy them.

I also agree with the advice, just for updates and housekeeping, to maintain a separate C: drive. Not sure it's strictly necessary, but for simplicity it might be easier. I also use a separate project drive on my main computer; despite the fact that I don't think you really need that anymore, I find it easier to conceive of my backup strategy that way. The project drive gets backed up at least once a day to another location.

Good luck and best wishes.

Kind regards,

John
Thank you!
 
Now I'm about to pull the triigger on this maschine.One question though: My project files, should I keep them on the C drive as well or get a separate mechanical for that?
As soon as you add a mechanical HD to your DAW, performance and responsiveness suffers. Especially if your HD spins up / down all the time which is the default behavior for most disks and standard Windows power saving settings.

One or more SSD's, non- raided, each with their own single volume and drive letter, with as few partitions as possible would be preferred IMO.

Using mini-partition manager one can get rid of all hidden, bloated, unnecessary partitions that only take up space. Deactivate system restore, delete any restore points, turn off hibernation, set virtual memory to zero, and create an 8GB rescue USB stick in Windows. You'll have a clean and recoverable system.

Regarding integrated graphics: our new DAW uses an Asrock extreme4 motherboard that we have hooked up to 3 displays using only integrated graphics (HDMI, DP and VGA port) all at the same time. This works really well, but then the DAW is of course hardly used for gaming...
 
OP
Counterpointer
I agree. Integrated graphics have given me far fewer problems than separate cards. Definitely avoid Nvidia; I know they've improved their drivers but on one of my PC slave computers they are still not great for latency.



I agree -- you don't need the fastest SSDs. Even the slowest SSDs I own from years ago are still so fast that they are good enough to stream samples. Some argue that the longer warranty indicates higher quality and reliability, which may be true, but I have not experienced a single SSD failure yet and was an early adopter, so some of mine are quite old now.

Just to confess, though, I am something of a hypocrite arguing for "good enough" SSDs, since I bought an Intel Optane for strings. Like many, I am very demanding with that section.



Definitely if you want to work in games it's a good idea to play games, especially if you enjoy them.

I also agree with the advice, just for updates and housekeeping, to maintain a separate C: drive. Not sure it's strictly necessary, but for simplicity it might be easier. I also use a separate project drive on my main computer; despite the fact that I don't think you really need that anymore, I find it easier to conceive of my backup strategy that way. The project drive gets backed up at least once a day to another location.

Good luck and best wishes.

Kind regards,

John

I went over the build again and decided to go with your advice. I removed the graphics card to save some money. I prioritized storage instead and chose a 1Tb evo 970 for samples, a 250gb evo 970 for OS, a 1tb 870 evo for projects and a 2TB HDD for backup.

Me and my wife bought ourselves a PS4 for christmas so I reckon I can do all of my gaming there.
 

wst3

my office these days
Moderator
I go back and forth on the video card vs on-board GPU, so pay no attention to my opinion on that.

For storage, it is probably not necessary to separate out the operating system and applications, but there are an awful lot of practical reasons to do so, I think you are wise to use a separate drive for OS & Apps. I might make it a tad larger if budget allows, but I have yet to use 256GB on my OS drive.

I separate my storage based on housekeeping, with a special focus on restoration:
  1. OS & Apps - I keep all the installers, so in the absolute worst case I can rebuild. I also do image snapshots when I I make changes, although I am not as disciplined as I should be about that. Partly because there are benefits to a scorched earth installation from time to time. Wish it were not so!
  2. Data - this is stuff I can't easily reproduce, project files, writing and spreadsheets, photos, etc. This stuff gets backed up six ways from Sunday. But performance is not an issue. While a really large project might take a while to load, it isn't the project file (as a rule) but rather all the libraries that it uses. I still use spinning platters for my "D" drive, although that will change to SSD in the very near future. It just isn't a priority, and backups of this drive are!
  3. Sample Libraries and other content - stuff I could reinstall, but would prefer not to based purely on volume. As it turns out, this stuff is also demanding on throughput - well, Kontakt libraries certainly can be, and that is by far the majority of storage.
As for the path issue - too many installers behave badly, and there are no good reasons for it, but there it is.

So I let every installer just do it's thing, and I use symbolic links to keep things where I can find them. It is a little bit of work to set up, but once you get used to managing the links it really does get easier. You don't even need to do the registry edits - I still do, but I could get away with not.

For the rest - you have reached a point of diminishing returns, I think. Although I am guilty of doing the same!

Best wishes, and please let us know how it turns out.