building a DIY ultra-powered desktop pc for production - is it the way to go?
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  1. #1
    Tech Guru DJZILCH's Avatar
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    Default building a DIY ultra-powered desktop pc for production - is it the way to go?

    as both my desktop iMac 21 inch (late 2009) and Macbook Pro 13 inch (late 2010) are showing their age when doing heavy music production sessions (Maxed out Ableton Live 8 / Logic sessions with 60+ tracks, 5 fx returns)

    I was looking at the current generation of Apple desktop/laptops and i came across some really really attractive alternative:

    I realised that for not that much money, i can build myself a top-of-the-line Intel I7 2700K (3.5 GHZ of RAW Power!!!) , 16GB DDR3 Ram , 2TB 7200 rpm hard drive, dual full hd screen (1920 x 1080 res each, 22 inch) for about $1200 SGD (about USD $1000)


    i was like - WOW - now im really confused, I mean I love my macs and I really cant see myself going back to windows after converting to Mac about 3 years ago, but the insane low price and the extreme specs made me think - is this the way to go for music production rigs?

    The same Specced Mac Pro Desktop would have costed about 5 times this

    if you really wanna go crazy you can add in a WD Raptor 10,000 rpm hard drive as the boot drive, and a crazy dual SLI graphics card (for you gamers) - of course for some extra $$$ if you need them


    Of course we are talking about using it for music production, for djing even my slightly aged macbook pro does the job fine and i dont intend to replace my macbook pro for djing, but for home desktop production power house, i think custom built intel desktops are really really.... awesome!

    Thoughts? Comments?
    Setup:

    Traktor Pro 2 / S2 MK2 / X1 MK2 / Audio6 / Pioneer HDJ2000 / Westone UM3X / rMBP 13 inch 2014 (2.8 GHz) / Focal Alpha 50

  2. #2
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    (I just posted this is Xone's build thread: http://forum.djtechtools.com/showthr...ght=hackintosh)

    The Kakewalk (Hackintosh) Site has a suggested build for around $1200:

    CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3
    Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6870
    RAM: Corsair XMS3 DDR3 (16GB)
    Case: Antec Three Hundred
    Power supply: OCZ 600w ModXStream Pro
    Optical drive: Sony Optiarc
    Hard disk drive: WD Caviar Green 2TB
    Solid state drive: Intel 320 Series 160GB

    http://www.kakewalk.se/computer-builds/

    I might price that up in GBP and see where I get...
    DJ'ing: 2x1200MK2, DJM 850, Dicers, F1, Zomo MC-1000, Sony MDR-v700, i7 Win 10 HP Envy
    Production: Ableton Live 8 and a mouse, Sennheiser HD400, Sony VAIO

    Click HERE to D/L Free Tracks from Soundcloud!!!
    https://www.facebook.com/Patchdj

  3. #3
    Tech Guru DJZILCH's Avatar
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    hmm thanks for that, didnt realize there was another thread that was kinda related

    not really keen to go the hackintosh route tho - seems like a frankenstein job and not exactly future proof, future updates will probably render the hackintosh unusable or something ?
    Setup:

    Traktor Pro 2 / S2 MK2 / X1 MK2 / Audio6 / Pioneer HDJ2000 / Westone UM3X / rMBP 13 inch 2014 (2.8 GHz) / Focal Alpha 50

  4. #4
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    looking at your MBP it should do the job... are you bouncing down the audio from your vst?
    Macbook Pro 2011 :: Xone 22 :: Technics 1200 :: Denon DNS3700 :: 2x Midifighter ::Akia MPD24 :: Kaoss Pad 2 :: Audio 6 :: KRK Rockit 5 Darkstar :: Roland Sh-101 :: Traktor Scratch Duo :: Ableton live 8


  5. #5
    Tech Guru DJZILCH's Avatar
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    i try not to "freeze" or bounce down plugins into audio coz first, the hard drive space would be too much, second, once its bounced i cant change the midi notes and stuff like that,

    a single instance of native instruments razor (inside reaktor) costs 20% of CPU by itself, i think thats pretty crazy, my desktop imac (C2D 3GHZ) can handle most of the stuff, but when i transfer my session files to my laptop (C2D 2.4ghz) - ableton can barely playback the session without stuttering / spinning umbrellas

    the heavy cpu plugins:
    Camel Audio Alchemy
    NI Razor (inside Reaktor)
    izotope stuff
    Setup:

    Traktor Pro 2 / S2 MK2 / X1 MK2 / Audio6 / Pioneer HDJ2000 / Westone UM3X / rMBP 13 inch 2014 (2.8 GHz) / Focal Alpha 50

  6. #6
    RGAS Guru Xonetacular's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJZILCH View Post
    hmm thanks for that, didnt realize there was another thread that was kinda related

    not really keen to go the hackintosh route tho - seems like a frankenstein job and not exactly future proof, future updates will probably render the hackintosh unusable or something ?
    With Kakewalk it is easy and no real messing around required, just run kakewalk and you select your motherboard and al the components on their site work out of the box. If I priced out a mac pro of similar specs it would be over $4000 and mine is still better.

    As far as updates go they are definitely doable and people upgrade all the time but personally I don't really care or plan to upgrade from lion for a couple years anyway (there was hardly a different from snow leopard to lion). Plus if you are building a pc you might as well get all hackintosh compatible components for the same price since you can always fall back and just run windows if you don't like it.


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJZILCH View Post
    i try not to "freeze" or bounce down plugins into audio
    I suppose there is good and bad from each side... I normally bounce down once happy with my midi notes and then start resampling and adding the effects to the audio.

    If you want to change a notes you can always hack the stem apart and pitch. this can create some nice process sounds as well. Not to sure how easy that is in cubase as i use ableton
    Macbook Pro 2011 :: Xone 22 :: Technics 1200 :: Denon DNS3700 :: 2x Midifighter ::Akia MPD24 :: Kaoss Pad 2 :: Audio 6 :: KRK Rockit 5 Darkstar :: Roland Sh-101 :: Traktor Scratch Duo :: Ableton live 8


  8. #8
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    Just build your own rig, like you already stated you can build the same spec machine as a Mac for significantly cheaper. Plus the ability to swap out parts and upgrade as the years go on, instead of buying a whole new computer, further add to the cost savings. My favorite thing tho is just the whole process of doing it, picking out the parts, putting it together, etc. The cost saving is just a bonus.

  9. #9
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xonetacular
    ...since you can always fall back and just run windows if you don't like it.
    Exactly this...

    I'm super tempted to build a desktop instead of buying a new laptop. I REALLY want it to fit into one of the cubes in my (expedit) DJ desk, though... Seen some nice small cube cases - but I don't think all that high end stuff would fit in such a small case...
    DJ'ing: 2x1200MK2, DJM 850, Dicers, F1, Zomo MC-1000, Sony MDR-v700, i7 Win 10 HP Envy
    Production: Ableton Live 8 and a mouse, Sennheiser HD400, Sony VAIO

    Click HERE to D/L Free Tracks from Soundcloud!!!
    https://www.facebook.com/Patchdj

  10. #10
    Tech Guru DJZILCH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xonetacular View Post
    With Kakewalk it is easy and no real messing around required, just run kakewalk and you select your motherboard and al the components on their site work out of the box. If I priced out a mac pro of similar specs it would be over $4000 and mine is still better.

    As far as updates go they are definitely doable and people upgrade all the time but personally I don't really care or plan to upgrade from lion for a couple years anyway (there was hardly a different from snow leopard to lion). Plus if you are building a pc you might as well get all hackintosh compatible components for the same price since you can always fall back and just run windows if you don't like it.

    wow this kakewalk thing is really interesting - gonna check it out looks like they got it all sorted out

    i have no problems running windows for audio production (not as critical as djing where one skip/glitch can mess up a set in front of hundreds of people) i will probably miss logic but since i got ableton 8 and cubase 6.5 as well i think i'll survive on windows haha, and yes part of the fun is choosing, buying, and putting together the hardware parts that WE chose, its kinda like playing a puzzle game where you customize stuff hahaha

    one question about windows 7 64 bit tho - i have been away from windows for a long time, can anyone tell me how are their experience with 64bit windows so far? i mean do you need to install a separate 64bit/32bit installation instead of in OSX where you can just right click and choose whether the program starts in 32/64 bit?

    and in case you still have some 32 bit programs would they still run in win7 64 bit?
    Setup:

    Traktor Pro 2 / S2 MK2 / X1 MK2 / Audio6 / Pioneer HDJ2000 / Westone UM3X / rMBP 13 inch 2014 (2.8 GHz) / Focal Alpha 50

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