I am planing to buy a new computer for Cubase 12 Pro and would like to hear some suggestions if someone could be so kind. I already read that there may be issues with 12th and 13th Gen Intel Processors regarding clicks and pops bechuase of the ecores. I want to have the most unproblematic setup as possible. I want to use a 19" rack casing and it would be required to be as noiseless as possible. So I would ask kindly for suggestions which CPU, amount of RAM, sound card and if possible a two to three hight units 19" rack case. I plan to use Windows 11 but would also go down to 10 if it safer in any regards.
Your plan sounds thrilling. And if I currently had the funds, I’d probably go for something like the following (including the matching RAM type and up to 128 GB, a large NVME system partition of up to 2 TB, some mid-range mainboard known for stability rather than for extreme gaming performance, a mid-range AMD GPU, etc.):
I’m not sure, as I still don’t have such a new system.
Some cooler noise might be inevitable, though.
However, there are solutions that can cope with excess system noise, also the one created by backside air streams / air whirls, etc. There can be additional sound traps permanently built into a studio room (including a dedicated rack cooling system), or closed / noise isolating rack cases, stationary ones as well as the ones on wheels, like the rack cabinets on this list:
For noise concerns, get a Mac. The M2 machines are super quiet. I’ve got one sitting right next to me in the studio, and I can’t hear it.
If you want to stick with Windows, I’d stick with AMD, personally. Up until a couple of years ago, almost all my Windows and Linux machines were Intel, but I kept on running into minor issues with recent Intel chips TBH, so I’ve switched recent builds over to AMD. With the Intel ecores, I don’t touch Intel any more for DAW work. At least for now. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. AMD has been outstanding.
However, even with the best cases and Noctua fans for cooling, my Win/Linux machines are still louder than Macs, so for years I have kept Intel/AMD machines in a different room. However, these new Macs have changed how I can configure my studio. They are far from perfect and MacOS has its own issues of course, but for silence, it’s hard to beat.
You should be fine with something like a Noctua D15 or be quiet! Dark Rock Pro.
If they fit the 19“ rack case of course. Also keep in mind that you don’t need to run these CPUs at full power or even overclocked. Reducing power a little bit can make quite a big difference in heat generated without a huge loss in performance.
I am building DAW PC in upcoming weeks.
Mobo: ROG MAXIMUS Z790 HERO
CPU: i9 13900k
RAM: CORSAIR CMK96GX5M2B5600C40
Cooling: Noctua NH-D15
PSU: Seasonic PRIME PX-1000
Case: Fractal Design Define 7 gray/black solid(no window)
Storage: I already have plenty of storage but few M2 and SATA SSDs will do the job. I personally prefer Samsung.
So what you need need to know when building DAW PC
The most expensive components aren’t necessarily means they will be the best. As you can see I put some old GPU but it’s reliable so I expect good DPC latency and overall good stability as I check with few studios.
Pay double attention on RAM that is on QVL list(every motherboard has memory support list) I also advise you to be realistic how much memory you need and to give your best to populate only 2 ram slots, the main reason when it’s all 4 populated there is greater chance you will have boot loops, error code 55(50 to 55 basically) or sudden shutdowns or reboots cause of Ram and it’s XMP/EXPO profiles. You can Google above and you will see that lot of users has this problem since they want full speed and full capacity and that isn’t possible with todays platforms (this is the case with Intel and AMD as well)
Keep in mind that you have to be prepared for some trouble shooting as well to learn “computer things” prior choosing components. Otherwise it’s safer bet to buy from scanproaudio or similar companies who build PC DAWs
For soundcard I would look no further than from RME, the most stable drivers for PC and support is phenomenal.
I would be interested in your experiences with your DAW PC when its done. Consulting the QVL list is important I know, I would only choose RAM that is on the QVL of the mobo and RAM manufacturer to be sure and yeah I would want to go with two banks occupied but with the option to expand from like 64 GB to 128GB or further in the future. Any specific RME sound board ?
One thing to keep in mind here that is that modern RAM can be quite delicate, which is why you should not mix and match memory sets - even if it’s the same vendor and model. This in addition to what has already been said about sticking to two slots if possible.
So, say you currently have 2x32 GB and you want to expand that to 128 GB, then you might be better off selling those 2x32 GB and get a fresh set of 2x64 GB (if this is available then, currently it would probably be 2x48 GB). But I would not get just another set of the same 2x32 GB, even if it’s the same model and spec. Only modules you buy in a set are kind of guaranteed to work with each other.
These “troubles” would be another advantage of Apple Silicon systems. There you have the memory integrated with the CPU, which is both faster (sometimes much faster) and guaranteed to work.
The downside being that it’s not expandable at all and, being Apple, also quite expensive - around 400 bucks for each additional 32 GB.
Just buy whole one kit of 128, not 2 kits, since it would be mixed kits even if they are practically the same. Also DDR5 turns better than DDR4 on some tests for DAW.
For the soundcard depends what are your needs if its recording or just in the box work, but if you dont need anything extra Babyface pro FS, There is RME AIO Pro which is PCIe card has slightly better RTL (round trip latencies) but it might be the hassle with ground noise from PC case or squeaking noises. I have earlier model of AIO(not pro) and I fix it with isolation tape where I Isolate PCIe L bracket, its a bit workaround and hassle but when its don its super stable noise free experience. You have good insight on RME forum, i read there that they cannot fix problem since its by mobo manufactures who are responsible for those circuits, and also they cannot provide non cunducting PCIe L bracket (plastic for ex) because of regulations or whatsoever. Similar thing I read about PCIe Lynx too cards if i recon. If you need something big scale their Fireface USB/thunderbolt units are phenomenal.
Interesting. Thanks for the links, I will calculate how much I can save when I “copy” one of their setups and evaluate if I build it myself or let them do it. But I am still not 100% sure which of all the excelent options I choose.