Help planning PC upgrade

Hi all, I want to upgrade my aging i5-4690k gaming PC and get something more specifically tailored for music production and recording (although I will still be occasionally video-editing and gaming on it).

Most mainstream reviews and guides focus on different usecases so I’d love to get some tips on what is most important for DAW performance and what is a waste of money better spent on different components.

Budget is around 2000ish usd, preferably less, but willing to go a bit over if needed. Using Cubase 11.

Main questions are:

  1. Intel or AMD? I assumed Intel’s new P/E cores design would be beneficial to audio work as I understand background procceses can be a source of glitches at lower latency settings, but browsing through this forum I learnd at least atm it is problematic?
    Also how many cores should one get for a music workstation? I understand most audio programs can’t utilize additional cores beyond a certain point.

  2. DDR5 worth it or can I stick with DDR4 for lower cost/higher capacity? Does memory clockspeed matter?

  3. I’d like this PC to be pretty quiet, should I go with air or liquid cooling? Are silent cases worth the worse thermal performance or should I stick with a more open case and tune the fan speed down?

Right now my planned build would be something like:

CPU: i7 13700k
Mobo: Asus prime Z790-p (worth downgrading to z690?)
RAM: 32gb of whatever DDR5 memory is affordable
Cooler: Noctua nh-d15 air cooler (should maybe go liquid?)
Case: was thinking about a Be Quiet silentbase 802, again not sure if worth it for silence
PSU: 850w

I’ll need to get an nvme SSD as a boot drive, but already have some sata SSDs from my current machine for storage.

While less relevant for music, I’ll be getting a mid-range GPU (probably 3060ti), but if it matters for some reason like drivers etc let me know!

Sorry for the long post, and thanks in advance!

Hi.,… Similar to my build… I used a 13900k, asus z790 a prime, 64gb of ddr5 @5200mhz. Definitely recommend liquid cooling. I used the corsair iCUE H170i.

Interesting. Did you choose to go with DDR5 due to performance increase or just for future proofing? I’m trying to decide if this is a good place to save some money.
How is the cooler noise-wise? Any noticable pump noise?

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Hi… I thought I’d leverage all I could in the build to make sure there were no bottlenecks impinging on core CPU performance and the price difference was faily low (compared to the overall cost of the build).

Cooler… I can’t even hear the fans during normal operation… And by normal I mean Cubase…

Here’s a snip from icue showing current cpu temps… So cooler is hugely recommended… I too was dubious so I researched the history of enthusiast cpu cooling and discovered that the current generation of AIO is very safe and reliable… And the lights make it all worth it :slight_smile: