I’m typing this on my 4 day old new PC. While I am enough of a techie to build my own PC I’m way more of a mechanical klutz to actually consider ever doing it. I am a big fan of getting a PC that is specifically built to be a DAW rather than a general purpose machine. They pay attention to the individual components and how well they work for real-time audio applications.
I got it at ADK Pro Audio (as well as the one it is replacing) and here are the specifics of the build. So far it is feeling pretty beastly…
Besides UAD I avoid AMD processors 'cause I used to work at Intel & indirectly they are paying for the PC. When I talked to ADK they were big on the next generation of Intel processors. But I needed something now as the old PC which I was already wanting to replace had a system disk fail, so it forced my hand a few months early. They also said the current chip-shortage choke point is for graphic chips, fwiw.
Also with computers it seems like there is always some new technology just over the horizon that is worth waiting for.
It’s not complicated mechanically. It’s a bit like Lego. Things can only plug in one way where it’s supposed to go and all you have to do is not break things. It gets more complicated when it comes to choosing components, but like Poinzy wrote there’s a good section on Gearspace.com.
The two main things really when rolling your own is that you’re responsible for it all and that includes drivers and software. It’s a good thing and a bad thing depending on what you’re comparing it to. You won’t get one vendor to go to for support and instead get one vendor per purchase - or the manufacturer. It also means troubleshooting is on you. Again though: In many cases when people have computers that actually break they’re stuck because they never learned how to troubleshoot and exchange components, and so they have to hand over the computer to some service company or whatever whereas if you built it yourself you can get yourself a new graphics card or power supply and just put it in yourself… unless you’re unlucky and can’t find the problem.
The problem with the “wait until” is that that never really ends. AMD has shown a new feature on the current architecture (stacked memory) and it promises a pretty hefty uplift in performance. So when the new Intel chips come out it’s either time to compare with the new AMD chips or you can still say the same thing: Wait until the new AMD chips come out… at which point new Intel chips may be coming… and so on.
Unless there’s a major change in the architecture I think it’s better to buy sooner as long as the price is right, because you get to use the computer for all these months you otherwise would be waiting - which is worth something.
I guess this is what Raino said pretty much.
Actually, if anything, the main CPU to really wait for is probably Threadripper with Zen 3 which is coming soon. That’s an actual HEDT CPU with not only a massive amount of cores, but far more CPU lanes and more memory channels. If the performance uplift is the same and if it is less “picky” about setups than previous generation Threadrippers then that’ll be the “Beast” to beat for the near future. I bet it’ll be pricy as all hell though…
Not sure what combo you have but my UAD-2 Quad works on with first generation Ryzen 7 1700 system with an x370 motherboard.
I just built a 32 gig ram, amd 7 5600g 4.2 ghz o.c., case, 650 gold psu, msi b450 tomohawk for $900. I can upgrade cpu and ram if I need to.
My last build cost me 500 in 2011 and has lasted right up till now. It still works fine, but some of my new vsts are bogging it down. I will hand the old pc to the kid. During the 10 years I only had to reinstall the os once. The old rig was 8 gig, 3.5ghz hexacore.
I do not think I need 32 gigs of ram, but I figured, why not.