Suggestions Needed: ATX MOBO and CPU on $500-600 Budget

Discussion in 'Your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)' started by DaddyO, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. DaddyO

    DaddyO Senior Member

    I need to replace my ASUS Z97 Pro MOBO from my 2014 build, and if I do that I might as well set myself up for the next four, five years. That means buying a new processor to replace my i7-4790K CPU as well.

    So far my work has fared fine using the cooler that came with my processor. I intend to continue without a separate cooler. I do not need to overclock, though my current processor has that capability and the BIOS does that automatically. I do not need gaming level graphics capability.

    My max budget for both is "in the neighborhood" of 500 dollars.

    I'm aware of PCPartpicker, but I need some suggestions to help me narrow down the bewildering variety of options. I'm not the most "in touch" guy with regard to computer builds.

    I'll be happy to answer any questions. I don't need high end, but I do want to get bang for my buck.

    I currently have 32GB DDR3 RAM, but I figure I will buy a 64GB max board for future flexibility. (Edited to add, I just found out that DDR3 RAM will not fit into a DDR4 slot. This will have a serious affect on my plans.)

    I do orchestral work with Cubase (9.5), and Dorico (2). I do not do hundreds of tracks, but I might need up to 100. I have the complete VSL Special Edition Bundle, VI Pro, VE Pro 6, MIR Pro. Not really into Kontakt instruments at this point, but I do want to retain flexibility.

    Thoughts? Advice?
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
    whiskers likes this.
  2. wst3

    wst3 my office these days

    Apr 2, 2010
    Pottstown, PA
    Maybe, quite possibly, the worst part of using computers in studios!

    I have a similar machine as my primary, and depending on how well the latest experiment with a secondary machine goes I am probably in the same place.
    CPU: Intel Core i7 4790K @ 4.00GHz
    RAM: 32.0GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 799MHz (9-9-9-24)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z97 Extreme4

    The system has worked brilliantly for me, and only recently have I started to run into walls.

    My first pass was overclocking, but either I didn't take it far enough or it won't solve the problem. Second pass was a new machine, but the price point scared me away, perhaps I set my sights too high? Third, and current pass is adding a secondary machine to host (mostly) Kontakt via VEPro. I've used multiple machines in the past, and there are benefits, but having everything on a single machine for the last few years did feel glorious. Then I picked up a GigaStudio machine to replace mine (that had died), and I'm back to multiple machines anyway, till I wean myself off GS, which will happen one way or another when the current GS machine goes bye-bye.

    Still too soon to tell. I am optimistic that this will extend the life of the main DAW. (Why else would I have done this?)

    The secondary machine turned out to be quite inexpensive, a combination of parts purchased here and stuff sitting around collecting dust. WAY less than the cost of a new main machine. I admit, that surprised me. And unless it is a total bust (highly unlikely) I imagine I will keep it even when I do finally upgrade the main DAW.

    Where my situation may differ - I use an UA Apollo Twin USB, and I want to upgrade to their 8 channel interface - at this point the 8x. I want the second Unison instrument input for a variety of reasons, I want the full S/P-DIF interface, and adding six more DSP cores can't hurt. Several friends who have already taken the plunge report that the converters sound better, although in my current space I don't know if I will hear the difference. So my upgrade will not only include a new PC, but also a new audio interface, which more than doubles the cost of the adventure. Hence my reluctance<G>!

    Do your research, and I'll dig up mine and share it here. However (ain't there always a "however" or a "but"?) - do yourself a favor and contact Jim at to review your configuration. It may be the best $40 you'll spend on this project. He is extremely knowledgeable, and extremely helpful. In fact as I type this I know I need to add a step 1A, and call him to see if there are any more tricks for my machine.

    Good luck, I for one will be watching!
  3. ridgero

    ridgero Member

    Apr 17, 2018
    Gigabyte H310M DS2V DDR3

    According to (my favorite pc website) its even with the i9 9900k combinable.
  4. OP

    DaddyO Senior Member

  5. OP

    DaddyO Senior Member

    Thanks, wst3. I will post if this project moves along. And thanks for the suggestion about Jim at
  6. OP

    DaddyO Senior Member

    Does anybody know of a brand of feature-rich ATX MOBO's that aren't gaudy gaming boards? I know that's where the buyers are, but I don't need a bunch of flashing lights and gaudy covers.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019

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