Lost in the sea of computer builds.... Help!

Hi guys,

I have read through countless threads and post here and across the inter-webs. Still find myself unsure of the direction i need to go. I have not built an audio machine since 2006 and when that crapped out I received an free HP machine with a AMD Athalon X4 654 and 12 gb ram. I was on Cubase 5 pro until last year when I caught the right sale and decided to upgrade to 10 pro. Now I find myself in the position of the pc just not able to keep up.

I used to mainly use my machine for simple home recordings but as of late I want to get into mixing. The real question is what if any budget builds that won’t break the bank are possible? I don’t use alot of heavy VSTi and sample driven stuff. Mainly mixing rock, metal, pop ect. style music with waves, ozone plug-ins.

I am still confused on the AMD vs Intel situations. Essentially I need to build a budget machine that will keep up with present day demands. If that means saving my pennies for a 9700k then so be it but I just don’t know if that is necissary. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.


I would like to stay within 500 if possible.

And are you reusing any components? It’s for only the PC, correct?

Only for the pc. I have a Kingston 500gb SSD with Win 7. If there is a huge benefit from moving to a m.2 I will probably go that direction a bit later.

Right now I can’t get over 20-25 tracks with relatively light processing with out the jumpy playback and my buffer is set to its max on my interface.

My first guess is processor, ram combination that is holding me back.

I had been building machines a lot previously, but then I got to the point where it became too expensive. The only way to build a good machine and save money is to wait when everything is on sale - otherwise your bill will be pretty much the same as pre-build machines in reputable computer stores - but with much wonkier warranty… so in fact I do suggest to go and see what a good computer store has (and I don’t mean best buy, but a store that sells components but also build their own setups - for example here in canada we have Canada computers)

As for AMD and intel - i was exclusively Intel guy i5, i7, can’t find anything bad to say, but for less money I tried the AMD Ryzen last year or so - my daughters gaming computer was dying. I’ve got good price on the Ryzen 5 - was about half price of similar intel so why not to try… after the build, I was really impressed… simple setup, runs fast and cool - no complains from my daughter and I saved some dough. So the Ryzen got there with the big boys for sure. The old AMD A6, A8 etc were all under-powered and had so many hiccups…and needed lots cooling but the Ryzen put AMD back on the map.