New PC Build

New PC Build
0

#1

I’ve been planning to get a dedicated PC to make music on for a while–mainly so that I can have my office (I work from home) as a totally separate space from where I make music. I decided to keep the computer I already have for work/gaming/video editing/etc., and then build a new one for music making.

I sort of already ordered it, but I’m still curious what you guys think and thought maybe it could spur a discussion about what’s most important when building a machine to make music on. Here are the things I had in mind when I was shopping around:

  1. Quiet as possible
  2. Powerful enough to run my plugins/virtual instruments (within reason)
  3. Under $1,000

I used a few resources. One was this guide by the makers of FL Studio which had a lot of useful information in it. I don’t use FL Studio but I think it should apply pretty well to most DAWs.
https://support.image-line.com/action/knowledgebase?ans=214

I also used https://silentpc.com/ just to scope out what parts they’re using in their builds. I kind of used this computer as a sort of a base model: https://silentpc.com/powerhouse-pcs/coffee-lake-tower-pc

And then just general googling for reviews, comparisons, advice, etc.

CPU: Intel i5-8400. I knew I wanted Intel, and might as well get the latest generation. The reason I chose this over the faster i7-8700 was because it was cheaper, and it also runs quite a bit cooler (65W TDP vs 95W.) And I feel like the cooler I can keep my components, the quieter the PC will be overall.

CPU fan: Noctua NH-U9S. Noctua had killer reviews overall. The one recommended on silentPC was so expensive that I looked at other options, and this seemed to be a good one for my CPU/case.

Motherboard: Asus Prime Z370-A. Just picked this right off of the silentPC build I was looking at. shrug

RAM: (2 x 8GB) CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 288-Pin DDR4 2666. I might be okay with 8GB, but I feel better about having 16. It costs a little more than the CPU though.

PSU: EVGA BQ 500W. The PSU seems to be an important factor in overall noise. I found this component for sale on quietPC.com or something, and it had good reviews and was on sale ($40!) so… I hope it works out well. I don’t even need nearly that much power, but wanted to have the option to add a small video card later on if I need it for more/bigger monitors or something.

Storage Drives: I went with 3 SSDs: One for my OS/programs, one to record onto and store my recording sessions, and one for my samples. Since they are SSDs they won’t make any noise. For my OS and recording drive I got a couple of Kingston A400 120GB SSDs. These were cheap and should be fast enough and have enough space. I have an external drive that I can keep old recording sessions on if need be. The last one is a 250GB Samsung 960 EVO. It plugs right into the motherboard. That’s for my samples. I hope they’ll load quick!

Case: Corsair 330R Quiet Tower Case. Pulled it off of the silentPC build. Looks nice enough.

With taxes and shipping it came to about $950. So yeah, for any fellow PC nerds out there, how’d I do? There’s still time to cancel my orders if I made a serious goof! Haha.


#2

Here’s a resource I’ve run across while dreaming of my next DAW.

Nothing else to add here except some serious jealousy. :grin:


#3

I think you made all of the correct decisions and cannot see any problems with the components you have picked.
You can always get more RAM if needed. Looks like your system supports up to 64GB.

Have fun.


#4

Looks good, when I got my i7-7600 two-and-a-half years ago I also got 16 Gig. It’s been great. I use normal disks though, not too worried about the sound. Have so much stuff making noise here anyway…
This machine rarely breaks into a sweat. So much faster than the previous AMD955 machine.
Enjoy the new machine !

S


#5

I’m interested to hear about how the noise level turns out for you. I seem to be incapable of building a silent PC.


#6

Sure, I’ll post back when I have a good idea of how quiet it really is.


#7

I have used Noctua CPU and case fans in several pc builds and they are very quiet.
With a 65 watt CPU, I’m guessing it’s going to very quiet unless all the cores are pegged and even then, it shouldn’t be too loud.


#8

This is a great build Cristina, very similar to how I just rebuilt my rig to correct that maddening power issue-- in fact, this right here is my first post on the rebuilt rig! I settled for 7th gen instead of 8th, with an i5 7500, and an MSI Z270-A Pro m/b and 16 gigs DDR4/2666 powered by a Be Quiet! 650W p/s with Nexus and Noctua case fans. I have a SSD as the system drive and a 2TB platter for storage, and it’s pretty dead quiet. I’m sure yours will be too.

Nice thing about these late-model mobos is that you can get into the BIOS and assign “smart” control to the system fans, so that they spin down at low load automatically-- very customizable in terms of their response profiles.

My total price tag was about $650, but I didn’t have to replace any drives, so I reckon we’re right on par in terms of power/$ ratio. You did great! I’m sure you’ll be set for a good while with that setup. Good luck!


#9

Jealous? Me?