Question Music Production Build/Setup $5000 Budget

basinabas

Prominent
Apr 26, 2020
16
1
525
0
I have a $5000 budget for a PC that I am going to be using primarily for music production, but I will also be gaming on this machine.

The setup here includes not only a PC, but decent keyboard and mouse, three monitors plus stand, and a webcam. I already have most of my audio equipment that I use for production on my current 5-year-old Dell Precision laptop.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 3.5 GHz 16-Core Processor ($749.99 @ B&H)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 50.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($79.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus ProArt B550-CREATOR ATX AM4 Motherboard ($299.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix 64 GB (2 x 32 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16 Memory ($375.99 @ B&H)
Storage: Crucial P2 2 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($190.99 @ B&H)
Storage: Western Digital Black 4 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($149.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Black 4 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($149.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Black 4 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($149.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Black 4 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($149.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Asus GeForce RTX 3070 8 GB TUF GAMING OC Video Card ($749.99 @ B&H)
Case: Cooler Master HAF XB EVO ATX Desktop Case ($119.99 @ B&H)
Power Supply: NZXT C 850 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Wireless Network Adapter: EDUP EP-9636GS-BL PCIe x1 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax Wi-Fi Adapter ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Thermaltake Pure 129.63 CFM 200 mm Fan ($13.99 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: be quiet! Silent Wings 3 50.5 CFM 120 mm Fan ($21.90 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: be quiet! Pure Wings 2 26.3 CFM 80 mm Fan ($9.90 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: be quiet! Pure Wings 2 26.3 CFM 80 mm Fan ($9.90 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: be quiet! SHADOW WINGS 2 85 CFM 140 mm Fan ($19.98 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: be quiet! SHADOW WINGS 2 85 CFM 140 mm Fan ($19.98 @ Amazon)
Monitor: Asus ProArt Display PA278QV 27.0" 2560x1440 75 Hz Monitor ($299.00 @ ASUS)
Monitor: Asus ProArt Display PA278QV 27.0" 2560x1440 75 Hz Monitor ($299.00 @ ASUS)
Monitor: Asus ProArt Display PA278QV 27.0" 2560x1440 75 Hz Monitor ($299.00 @ ASUS)
Mouse: Cooler Master MM710 Glossy Black Wired Optical Mouse ($39.99 @ Amazon)
Webcam: Logitech C922 Pro Stream HD Webcam ($99.99 @ B&H)
Custom: ECHOGEAR Triple Monitor Desk Mount Stand For Screens Up To 24 Inches - Height-Adjustable For Comfortable Gaming & Work - Works With 3 Vertical Or Horizontal Monitors - Perfect For Array-Style Gaming ($129.99 @ Amazon)
Custom: Logitech K845 Mechanical Illuminated Keyboard, Mechanical Switches, Strong Adjustable Tilt Legs, Full Size, Aluminum Top Case, 104 Keys, USB Corded, Windows (TTC Brown Switches) ($58.05 @ Amazon)
Total: $4649.53
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-05-07 21:19 EDT-0400


In terms of the main use of this PC, I make music using Pro Tools Ultimate, Adobe Audition, Mixcraft and Audacity. I have no question about this computer's ability to handle that kind of work load - if my current "setup" can handle it, I'm sure this would blow it out of the water - but I want to see how I can maximize my budget here. Am I buying the right things? I am a little iffy about my storage choice, but mass-storage (at least, what the HAF XB EVO can manage) is a must for me, as Pro Tools session files get reeeeeeeeal big real quick.

I know that the GPU market and CPU market, particularly for the new Ryzen chips, is absolutely ballistic right now - I am doing my best to account for that. I was lucky enough to find that 3070 for $749.99 at B&H, but I don't expect that to last long. I am going with a 3950X instead of my original intention of going with a 5800X - my logic there being that the more cores, especially for my workload, the better. Once the 5950X becomes available, I will have no issues with upgrading to that.

Any advice anyone has would be much appreciated!

Thanks,
BinaB
 

basinabas

Prominent
Apr 26, 2020
16
1
525
0
Storage:
Do you need that 16TB in the actual PC?
Might that be better in a NAS box on the LAN, and another SSD in the PC?

Also, backup situation.
Budget for that.
I was looking at doing a RAID 10, with two 4TBs each in a RAID 1, then RAID 0ing that. I also already have a high capacity external hard drive and I have the highest capacity DropBox offers, so backing up is not an issue.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
141,346
7,929
174,090
21,880
I was looking at doing a RAID 10, with two 4TBs each in a RAID 1, then RAID 0ing that. I also already have a high capacity external hard drive and I have the highest capacity DropBox offers, so backing up is not an issue.
It had to be asked, because far far too many people don't consider that.

So, 8TB usable space.
I'm still thinking internal SSD's is better. They are definitely faster than any HDD RAID.

But, your use case is one of those rare things where the RAID might make sense.
Very rare.
 
Nah.........

That HDD setup is sensible running in RAID 1 for total of 8TB. But I would like to advise to not run them in raid 10 which is combo of RAID 1 and RAID 0. Just use RAID 1.

There is no big speed increase going for RAID 0 in HDDs.
 

basinabas

Prominent
Apr 26, 2020
16
1
525
0
Nah.........

That HDD setup is sensible running in RAID 1 for total of 8TB. But I would like to advise to not run them in raid 10 which is combo of RAID 1 and RAID 0. Just use RAID 1.

There is no big speed increase going for RAID 0 in HDDs.
But if I just RAID 1 all the drives, wouldn't I just have 4TB of storage?
 

basinabas

Prominent
Apr 26, 2020
16
1
525
0
Correct. 4TB RAID 1 array.
Okay. I wouldn't be running in RAID 0 for speed purposes, just for storage expandability. I don't care much about the speed, I am just going to be using them as pure data drives. Pro Tools sessions, the like - I not only produce my own stuff, but am a freelance mixer as well, so I am going to need all the extra storage I can get.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
141,346
7,929
174,090
21,880
Okay. I wouldn't be running in RAID 0 for speed purposes, just for storage expandability. I don't care much about the speed, I am just going to be using them as pure data drives. Pro Tools sessions, the like - I not only produce my own stuff, but am a freelance mixer as well, so I am going to need all the extra storage I can get.
If it is just for space size, the only benefit of the RAID 0 is a single drive letter/volume.
Actual "space" is the same.

4TB + 4TB + RAID 0 = 8TB.
4TB + 4TB + no RAID 0 = 8TB. Just a second drive letter.

The RAID also adds complexity and fail potential.
 
But if I just RAID 1 all the drives, wouldn't I just have 4TB of storage?
No if you have two pairs in RAID 1 then you will have total of 8TB Storage. By not implementing RAID 0 or resultant 2 volumes of RAID 1 Storage the Volumes even if combined will act as independent storage and the Files being stored will get stored to Individual Volumes as a complete Package instead of being stripped and stored between the two Volumes which is what caused by RAID 0. Write speeds will be slow but not by a lot.
 
It's not in stock now their no cards in stock anywhere.

Raid is a bad ideal it's not real backup.
Partially correct and partially incorrect.

RAID 1 is not a bad idea. But what I recommend OP is to go for WD GOLD 10TB HDD priced at $300 each get 4 of them. Run two of them in RAID 1 inside the PC. Purchase WD My Cloud Pro 2100 and use the second pair of HDDs in that and run them in RAID 1.

Or if you wanna cut down on cost then only purchase one pair of that 10TB HDD and use it in WD My Cloud Pro 2100 in RAID 1.

But doing that you need to have it connected to PC regularly for transferring data to and fro regularly.

It all comes down to your convenience, level of importance of data and limit of expenditure.

If you are earning through it then the expenditure to make it redundant and have backup is rectified. But if you are doing it as a hobby then you are fine with one pair of redundant backup.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
141,346
7,929
174,090
21,880
Hobby or money making, RAID or no RAID...a true backup routine is required.

All a RAID 1 gives you is continued uptime in the rare case of a physical drive fail.
Does little or nothing to protect the actual data.
 

Zerk2012

Titan
Ambassador
Partially correct and partially incorrect.

RAID 1 is not a bad idea. But what I recommend OP is to go for WD GOLD 10TB HDD priced at $300 each get 4 of them. Run two of them in RAID 1 inside the PC. Purchase WD My Cloud Pro 2100 and use the second pair of HDDs in that and run them in RAID 1.

Or if you wanna cut down on cost then only purchase one pair of that 10TB HDD and use it in WD My Cloud Pro 2100 in RAID 1.

But doing that you need to have it connected to PC regularly for transferring data to and fro regularly.

It all comes down to your convenience, level of importance of data and limit of expenditure.

If you are earning through it then the expenditure to make it redundant and have backup is rectified. But if you are doing it as a hobby then you are fine with one pair of redundant backup.
Actually that is 100% correct.
Backup should be in a least 2 places if absolutely you can't afford to loose your data. You can keep two external one on site and one off site.

Raid 1 is just for uptime and is in no way a backup. Example your a DJ playing a gig and one drive fails no biggie the other drive is still fine.

For the OP I can't even imagine the need for that much storage a single 4TB drive will hold 7 years of music (24/7) without ever hearing the same song twice about 60,000 hours.
 

Zerk2012

Titan
Ambassador
I was looking at doing a RAID 10, with two 4TBs each in a RAID 1, then RAID 0ing that. I also already have a high capacity external hard drive and I have the highest capacity DropBox offers, so backing up is not an issue.
4TB of storage holds a ton of songs like 60,000 hours worth. You could add another 4TB when/if needed. they make a adapter for 2.5 SSD to 3.5 HDD that you can mount 2 SSD's in one HDD slot.
For your backup you could use external drives raid does not replace this if your PC gets zapped you could loose all the drives.
Not counting the external backup I would think this setup would be better (I don't know the exact amount of storage you need)
Drives and their use.

The NVME 1 TB should hold your OS, programs, add-ones/ plugins .
MX 500 for your games.
860 EVO used as a scratch drive for the music work. After mixing to the finished product copy it to the 4TB HDD you can keep using this drive for the same purpose and when it's almost full just secure erase it and start over on it.

After you get the finished product on the 4TB drive it would be time to copy it to the external drive if you missed a few days backup should be no issue since it would also be still on the 860 EVO drive and the 4TB HDD until you need to secure erase the SSD.

Just my thoughts drive capacity could be adjusted to your needs.

Depending if your making you living on this or is more of a hobby I would dispute a lot of the PC if it was more of a hobby and spend a lot less on the hardware.

Video cards for gaming on 3X1440p monitors good luck getting one and you should be looking the the very least a RTX 3080. (depending on the game but pretty much any modern game)

If your not making money from this a Intel 10700 (400 bucks less you never stated the programs used so no clue if they can actually use a ton of cores like the 3950x has) or 11700 would probably just stomp on a 5 year old Dell LT performance. ( you never listed the model number of the LT you were using or stated if this was for professional use or more of a hobby)

EDIT in short unless your making your living from this most of what you have listed is just overkill.
 
Last edited:
Hobby or money making, RAID or no RAID...a true backup routine is required.

All a RAID 1 gives you is continued uptime in the rare case of a physical drive fail.
Does little or nothing to protect the actual data.
RAID 1 does a lot to protect actual data loss even if a drive fails as there is second copy available which can be further duplicated to other pair for no loss.

If it for Hobby or regular usage it is fine if not have a true backup. Always better to have external backup but not a compulsory thing in this case of usage. He can avoid that if he is tight on budget. I mean I did say that it is fine not having external storage, but I never said that he shouldn't have one.

Actually that is 100% correct.
Backup should be in a least 2 places if absolutely you can't afford to loose your data. You can keep two external one on site and one off site.

Raid 1 is just for uptime and is in no way a backup. Example your a DJ playing a gig and one drive fails no biggie the other drive is still fine.

For the OP I can't even imagine the need for that much storage a single 4TB drive will hold 7 years of music (24/7) without ever hearing the same song twice about 60,000 hours.
RAID 1 is in fact a way of backup. I mean I don't know if you guys realize a simple fact that When one of the drive fails the other holds the entire data which can be further used and be copied without any loss. That is what a backup is. It is not like if a drive fails the only thing RAID 1 does is to run the current process uninterrupted and when the process is completed the second drive also becomes nonfunctional. Sadly that is not the case. So I don't understand why you guys are not considering it to be a redundant backup of the entire data.

And going with WD Gold 10TB is matter of reliability and next storage value per $. WD Gold is the most reliable HDD and the 10TB HDD is priced well compared to its lower capacity models.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
141,346
7,929
174,090
21,880
RAID 1 does....
No.

The user and OS see one copy of the data.
If you or some malicious process deletes a file, it is gone. There isn't a "second copy" on the other drive.
Ransomware, formatting, etc, etc....

An actual backup laughs that off. Just retrieve the files from last nights backup.

Yes, as said a RAID 1 protects in case of physical drive fail. The data still exists on the other drive(s) in the array, and can still be used.
And that is it.

Continued uptime, yes
Data security, no.

RAID 1 absolutely has its uses.
If you're running a webserver, and a dead drive means lost sales...absolutely. The system can continue to run until such time as you can rebuild the array with a new drive.

But any RAID 1 also needs a real backup behind it.
And if you can "suffer" through an hour downtime while you recover the data from your backup routine, the RAID 1 isn't needed anyway.
 
No.

The user and OS see one copy of the data.
If you or some malicious process deletes a file, it is gone. There isn't a "second copy" on the other drive.
Ransomware, formatting, etc, etc....

An actual backup laughs that off. Just retrieve the files from last nights backup.

Yes, as said a RAID 1 protects in case of physical drive fail. The data still exists on the other drive(s) in the array, and can still be used.
And that is it.

Continued uptime, yes
Data security, no.

RAID 1 absolutely has its uses.
If you're running a webserver, and a dead drive means lost sales...absolutely. The system can continue to run until such time as you can rebuild the array with a new drive.

But any RAID 1 also needs a real backup behind it.
And if you can "suffer" through an hour downtime while you recover the data from your backup routine, the RAID 1 isn't needed anyway.
Yeah but that doesn't mean it is not considered to be a backup. Because in case of drive failure the entire DATA is safe and can be accessed on the second drive.

And if anything directly effect the storage then mostly entire thing crashes unless it is goes undetected in which case that will also effect the external backup storage when connected next time to back it up. And what you are considering as sudden malware crashes then sadly the OS disk is compromised while rest are unaffected specially if using Windows or Mac PC.

There are many ways malware can effect and as I said if it undetected then when connected to backup storage even that will be effected.

Malware cannot be considered as a valid example. It will slip in one way or the other unless we are not careful.

The one thing that Internal as well as External Storage can prevent is data loss on drive failures.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
141,346
7,929
174,090
21,880
Yeah but that doesn't mean it is not considered to be a backup. Because in case of drive failure the entire DATA is safe and can be accessed on the second drive.

And if anything directly effect the storage then mostly entire thing crashes unless it is goes undetected in which case that will also effect the external backup storage when connected next time to back it up. And what you are considering as sudden malware crashes then sadly the OS disk is compromised while rest are unaffected specially if using Windows or Mac PC.

There are many ways malware can effect and as I said if it undetected then when connected to backup storage even that will be effected.

Malware cannot be considered as a valid example. It will slip in one way or the other unless we are not careful.

The one thing that Internal as well as External Storage can prevent is data loss on drive failures.
Why is malware not a consideration? Data loss due to physical drive fail is far down the list.

If any, or all, of my drives were to get hammered by <whatever>, right now...I could recover from last nights backup.
Including the OS drive. Fully recoverable.

Be it a physically dead drive, or malware, something else.


That is what a backup is.

In a RAID 1...delete a file by accident.
Now...go get it off 'the other drive'.
You can't. It no longer exists.
Similar to accidental formatting, partition deletion, etc, etc.

Again...a RAID 1 is good for continued uptime in the event of a physical drive fail.
It absolutely has its uses. But don't fool yourself into thinking it is the only thing needed.
 
Why is malware not a consideration? Data loss due to physical drive fail is far down the list.

If any, or all, of my drives were to get hammered by <whatever>, right now...I could recover from last nights backup.
Including the OS drive. Fully recoverable.

Be it a physically dead drive, or malware, something else.


That is what a backup is.

In a RAID 1...delete a file by accident.
Now...go get it off 'the other drive'.
You can't. It no longer exists.
Similar to accidental formatting, partition deletion, etc, etc.

Again...a RAID 1 is good for continued uptime in the event of a physical drive fail.
It absolutely has its uses. But don't fool yourself into thinking it is the only thing needed.
But if we have to consider Malware as I said above nothing can be considered as backup. Because even the external Backup source will get effected by the Malware. So yeah there is equally high possibility of even the backup source getting corrupted.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
141,346
7,929
174,090
21,880
But if we have to consider Malware as I said above nothing can be considered as backup. Because even the external Backup source will get effected by the Malware. So yeah there is equally high possibility of even the backup source getting corrupted.
If you just randomly have it connected all the time, or if you reconnect it without first fixing the actual malware problem...then yes, your backup might also get screwed up.

Don't do that.

My nightly imaging to the NAS might be affected.
The weekly backup internally in the NAS won't. The PCs know nothing about it.
Only accessible if logged on to the actual NAS.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY