New Home-Studio Workstation

I want to build a new workstation for my homestudio.
I work mainly as a filmcomposer. I record single instrumenst in my homestudio and on the other hand work with different samplelibraries. usually I mix both samples and live-recordings.
I’m still working with cubase 6 but will uprgade to cubase 7 as soon as I have my new computer
here is a list of what I often work with:
-VSL special edition plus
-addictive drums
-evolve & evolve mutation1&2
-symphobia 1
And I just ordered the complete composers collection of ewql (symphonic orchestra platinum plus, symphonic choir, pianos platinum, gypsy, ra, silk, fab four, stormdrum 2)
for audio-editing, mixing and masteriung I often use waves plugins and iZotope ozone5.

My new computer should obviously be very powerful and also quiet and I have a budget of about $4’000.-
what gear would you recommend for my purpose:

CPU: I was thinkning Intel Xeon E5-2687W or Intel Core i7 3970X BOX
RAM: 64 GB - But what brand and model should I take?
Mainboard: is Asus P9X79 WS a good choice?
power suply: maybe this?> be quiet! Straight Power E9 CM, 580 Watt, 80 Plus Gold
Case: Should I take a silet-case with damping? or might this be a problem for the cooling?
Cooling System: water cooling or not?
Graphic Board: ?
HD: I was thinking of I. 120 GB SSD (for operating programm, cubase 7, and vst plugins) II. 500GB SSD for samplelibraries, III: HDD 2TB for projects.
What should I consider cencerning the Harddisks?

What else should I consider?

Thank you for your advice and tipps!

2nd graph down look at 32 and 64 buffer… not worth the money)

(Xeon is a waste of $)

minimum 700W power supply I like Coolermaster quiet series
3930K over clocked to 4.5GHz
minimum 32gig ram (start there you can add more later) 4x8 gig sticks board has 8 slots.
any OS drive, ssd is nice to have but wont effect performance for audio
raptor 1TB for audio
1TB for whimpy samples
240+ SSD for LAS and VSL, maybe east west… most their stuff is not that bad.

SSDs Intel, Samsung or at minimum Crucial… NOTHING ELSE

thank you for your response!
I’m planing on building together the PC myself but wouldn’t really now how to over clock the 3930K to 4.5GHz…is this something I could do myself?
would the “WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ, 10’000rpm, 64MB, 1TB, SATA-3” be appropriate?

what do you mean with "whimpy samples? (sorry english isn’t my first language)

one mor question: why should I have a minimum 700W power supply?

what do you think of the Gigabyte GA-X79-UP4 instead of the Asus P9X79 PRO?

So you have plenty of power ceiling for upgrades in the future, also noise/heat, a 700w power supply powering 550w of components will run cooler, thus less noise than a 550w power supply running at full bore, the 700w supply will also outlive the 550w.

Since you are concerned about noise and heat…as you should, I can tell you from experience that the the Velociraptors emit a high pitched whine! If you don’t properly isolate the drive from the chassis… everytime the drive spins-up (if your hearing is like mine) you will notice it! I’m now using a Caviar Black series 2TB Western Digital drive and I don’t notice it in the case (Silverstone Fortress FT02B), but this case is far from silent! I also have a SeaSonic 1050w X series power supply and that also has a fan that will start under load, hence I also notice that! Check my sig… you will see that i’m curently using the P9X79 Deluxe model with the Intel 3930k Core i7… this machine screams and it is not overclocked!

I like the Asus X79 offerings, but be careful in your model selection if you are using older audio or firewire cards! The Deluxe model doesn’t even have a legacy PCI slot, or native Firewire, but does have 2 PCIe 1x slots that are shared with other on-board functionality! If you are thinking Asus… go to the website and grab the manual pertaining to your motherboard selection and “READ THE FINE PRINT” concerning the shared functionality of the PCIe slots!

That being said… I love my new machine! :smiley:


thanks for your feedback…

so would you recommend a solwer harddisk?..or just an absorb case for the WD VelociRaptor?
Also i think the PC case that I’m getting (Fractal Design Define R4 - Black Pearl) offers “maximum sound reduction”, as they say…

I’m actually thinking of getting the Gigabyte GA-X79-UP4 instead of the Asus…the price-performance ratio seems to be bette…or what do you think?

I don’t know that the Velocirapters actually perform as claimed. There might be some Windows/ Buss driver issue, but Windows defaults my Velociraptors as Multi-Word DMA 2 devices! :open_mouth: Do some research on Velocirapors and actual throughput to see for yourself…you might find the Caviar Black series is actually more bang for the buck!

Can’t answer for the Gigabyte offerings… After I had a Gigabyte P4 offering (GA-8KNXP) just stop working two months before the warranty expiration, having it repaired under warranty only to have it die again one month after the warranty expired, I decided to try a new manufacturer. I’m not saying Asus is better or worse than Gigabyte…just that it’s very difficult to get the whole picture unless you have tried it for yourself! A great place to start researching is on the manufacturers forums to get a glimpse of the types of issues others are having with a particular offering!

I know you know this already, but when it comes to computers… there are just too many variables to be overly decisive! But as I’ve said… I’m really happy with my present machine! :smiley:

Did I understand that right? Are you saying that having a 3gbps SSD is no faster for audio performance than a sindle 7200 rpm drive? What about seek times etc. on an SSD being so low as almost non existant compared to a 7200 rpm drive, does that not have any bearing on audio peformance?

you don’t recommend OCZ then scot ? the vortex 3 comes back with a windows experience of 7.9

Huh? :question:

SSD’s completely decimate mechanical drives on read/write times, including raptors.
Data transfer is fast enough to saturate the main system bus.
Migrating to a Samsung 840 literally improved performance on my system 100% - everything from boot times to application launch was cut in half, and application performance (relative to disk activity) was effectively doubled.
Saved me from having to do a new build for about another year.

I retained a dual boot of W7 on a WD Black for web development uses…after living on the SSD a while, the black was so painful to use, I had to eventually move all my web development apps to the SSD.

OMMV somewhat, but I don’t know of anyone who’s gone SSD who isn’t a complete zealot for them.


I think what JCschild meant was, using an SSD for your “C” or programs drive won’t increase “audio” performance on your SATA audio drive. I agree that fast 7200 rpm SATA drives are probably all you need for audio recording and the SSDs are nice (but not necessary) for boot drives and an improvement over SATA with huge sample libraries.

ok well , I recommend the ocz vortex 3 ssd as they are a faster transfer rate than the sony 840 and also give you top marks on the windows experience and all reviews of the vortex 3 are good .

to clarify

using an SSD as an OS drive is 100% pointless with concern to audio performance.
NOT to be confused with windows experience and how it will make your system snappier.

in OTHER words for those who cant grasp this.

in benchmarks for audio when there is an OS drive and a separate audio drive
having a sata or SSD as the OS makes absolutely NO DIFFERNCE in performance.

this is a PROVEN FACT not opinion.

now if say you are on a laptop with only a SINGLE drive where you are using the OS drive as your record to drive then you will some mind you “some” benefit.

as an Audio drive totally pointless for an SSD
as a samples drive they rock (assuming you have heavy hitting samples not synths)

OCZ? wouldnt touch them with a 10’ pole and anyone who references their WEI numbers… (like that matters or has any real indication of performance) well nuff said

high fail rate, bad firmware, lousy rma dept, all round lousy company period
Intel, Samsung or Crucial is all I will sell and support.

And you are but ONE of many custom builders and your entitled to your opinion . Ive got 5 and ive had no issues at all and I would have thought if they have such a high fail rate one of mine would of popped it’s clogs but nope ,maybe Im just the only lucky user of them in the world then . I suppose you hate their bronze 80+ power supplies as well then ?

Performance isn’t the only thing going for SSDs.

  • NO heat (not that you can really feel) = one less fan to worry about for direct cooling drives, but also less heat inside the case to extract.

  • NO vibration.

  • NO whine.

  • NO head chatter.

After we went all SSD, the peace was wonderful.

Will put some into the NAS boxes at some time.