Build Advice Music production/engineering PC build - thoughts and advice

dadinjo

Honorable
Jan 1, 2017
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Hello everyone. As the title says, I will be building a PC (for the first time in my life) primarily for music production/sound work and occasionally some light/amateur Photoshop (not including basic everyday tasks like browsing obviously). For the past month I've been intensively informing myself about the current state and trends regarding PC components, and although I'm not nowhere near being a geek, I consider to have learned quite a bit to at least be able to explain my intentions.

Budget would be anywhere from 700 euros up to 900-950 max, depending on the CPU solution I go with. Also, this post will be somewhat long, just so I can include every note /question I can think of and spare everyone's precious time and energy from writing unnecessary text. I'd also like to note that I'm not from U.S./Western Europe, so any products made and sold in these markets (also Amazon) are out of question.
Some of the components I have pretty much already fixated on, but most aren't decided on yet, so I'll include every option I have in mind. Spec sheet is the following:

CPU*: Intel i7-12700F (~310e) or AMD Ryzen 7 5800X (~290e) (higher end solution) / Intel i5-12400(F) (~185e/~165e for F variant) if I choose the cheaper path
CPU cooler** : Scythe Fuma 2 Rev. B (expensive option) / Arctic Freezer 34 eSports DUO (cheaper variant)
Motherboard: GIGABYTE B550M Aorus Pro-P (rev. 1.0) (~110e) for AMD or MSI Pro B660M-A DDR4 (~145e) for Intel
RAM***: G.SKILL 32GB Ripjaws V DDR4 3600MHz CL18 KIT or 3200MHz CL16 KIT (~120e, 3200MHz variant is only 5 euros more expensive)
Storage****:
OS/Boot drive: M.2 NVMe SSD 512GB - for Windows (obviously) and utility programs (browser, WinRAR and similar) + eventually DAW software and plugins (depending on what will be written below)
2nd drive: M.2 NVMe SSD 1TB - mainly for sounds/samples and VST libraries + DAW and plugins in case they don't end up on OS drive
3rd drive: WD Blue 1TB 7200 RPM HDD (taken from my current PC) - for backup and less important files
GPU: nVidia GT 740 LP 2GB DDR3 (also transferred from my current PC)
PSU: Chieftec GPE-600S 600W ECO or GIGABYTE GP-P650B 650W (both around 60 euros)
Case*: FSP CMT 150, Thermaltake Versa J21 or Cooler Master Q300L (I seriously suck at judging airflow capabilities based on pics) (all of them are under 60 euros, FSP is just above 40e)
Fans: probably Arctic P12 PWM if needed for additional temp regulation

IMPORTANT USAGE NOTES:
I do not plan on overclocking, manually tweaking or any kind of advanced performance altering of components (except for maybe limiting TDP of i7 if temps go wild). What is bought and assembled will stay put in place as it is for years to come. I'll certainly open the case to clean it inside every once and a while and the only circumstance in which I would replace components would be in case of faulty hardware which has to be replaced.... or additional storage in case I run out of it. So almost no upgrades. GT 740 is totally fine for my needs as I do not intend to primarily play games, but even if I did, light and older games can run just fine. Pretty much anything that runs at 720p with 15-20fps is perfectly playable in my books and I've beat most of the games in these circumstances.

* CPU is most definitely the center of this build as it is the most important piece of hardware for music/audio work. Honestly, since I plan on using this PC for at least 4-5 years, I figure that splurging more cash on a higher end CPU is definitely a better move and I'd instantly get i7-12700F... except everything about it is so damn confusing. Hybrid core concept is definitely a game-changer, but how would it reflect on my line of work performance wise? Picking this CPU would also mean opting for Windows 11 (which I'm not a fan of honestly + takes up waaay more storage) because, if I understood correctly, Intel's Thread Director works on it properly, whereas on Win 10 (definitely a wanted solution IMO) tasks wouldn't really be allocated to P-Cores and E-Cores accurately (per what I've read online). Also, does Intel's Turbo Boost operate on short-term basis or it can run for longer periods without lowering the clock? Once my music projects start to get filled with VSTs, plugins and various resource consuming tools, I figure that DAW would need a consistent boosted/higher performance as the working time passes (correct me if I'm wrong). In that case, would 5800X be a better solution? (considering it has 8 same cores and base clock of 3.8 GHz and can run on Win 10 optimally)

** As for cooling, I would like to refrain from AIO variants since I find liquid cooling risky and wouldn't like to have my mind changed. Fuma 2 got rave reviews (both user and professional) everywhere I looked and many people said it cools CPUs I've mentioned seamlessly, without reaching 80C most of the time. Would it be enough for Intel's PL2 of 180W and Ryzen's temp surges? Just please don't mention Noctua as it is too expensive.
As far as Arctic's model goes, it looks like an absolute steal for how it performs (some reviews say it's cooling i7s and Ryzen 7s without any hassle) and since I'm not planning to overclock, do you think it would do the job for me? I can get it for 35 euros, while Fuma is around 60-70.

*** Regarding RAM, the internet says there's virtually no difference in practical operation of 3200MHz CL16 and 3600MHz CL18 when it comes to latency + Ryzens supposedly love fast RAM. Should I go for 3600MHz no matter which CPU I choose? (as I've said, I'm not a geek or super-user, so if the CL difference isn't impactful on real world performance then there should be no reason to get slower RAM).

****SSDs are what gave and still give me the biggest headache of all components; particularly DRAM vs. DRAM-less debate. In a nutshell (to my understanding), DRAM serves for some kind of maps that make it easier for the drive to access them and also prolongs its lifespan. I've seen bunch of hate on DRAM-less NVMes' account, but do they really suck that bad?
Since I'm not familiar with what piece of software or usage writes data and how much of it, would a DRAM equipped NVMe be more suitable for OS and DAW? When it comes to samples drive, I would essentially install whatever libraries I need and that's about it writing wise (excluding potential updates and complete reinstall of a library if it bugs out and starts behaving badly, but that's like a yearly occurence). Does that mean 2nd drive would basically just read sample data inside projects from installation onwards or would it continue writing additional chunks of who knows what? Because if it's mainly going to do reading, I figure DRAM-less drive is a perfectly suitable solution.

Some M.2 NVMes I've singled out for purchase:
With DRAM: Teamgroup MP34, Silicon Power P34A80 (I've heard SP started mutilating it with mediocre components), WD Black SN750 and Samsung 970 EVO Plus (latter two if the price is right)
DRAM-less: WD Blue SN570, Silicon Power P34A60 and Samsung 980 non-evo (recently saw it at a great price, don't know if it's still at it though)
Since I'd be jumping from a regular HDD I'd prefer to skip on SATA SSDs and go for NVMes as they're even faster.

* Feel free to recommend a cheap case with decent airflow - Corsair 4000D Airflow and NZXT H510 Flow are far from cheap and budget options where I live, so possibly under 60 euros, I couldn't care less about RGB and flashy gimmicks if it does the job properly (though tempered glass panel would be a nice touch).

THANKS TO EVERYONE IN ADVANCE!
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Reconsider the PSU. A higher wattage for certain. Not sure about the current quality of Chieftec PSU's.

Start with the following links: first to determine the wattage requirements and then second as lead into determining a well rated PSU.

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-psus,4229.html

https://www.tomshardware.com/topics/power-supplies

Read product reviews, PSU User Guides/Manuals, and manufacturer FAQ's and Forums.

A quality PSU with "extra" wattage available is a critical must. Do not skimp on the cost of the PSU.
 

dadinjo

Honorable
Jan 1, 2017
26
0
10,530
0
Reconsider the PSU. A higher wattage for certain. Not sure about the current quality of Chieftec PSU's.

Start with the following links: first to determine the wattage requirements and then second as lead into determining a well rated PSU.

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-psus,4229.html

https://www.tomshardware.com/topics/power-supplies

Read product reviews, PSU User Guides/Manuals, and manufacturer FAQ's and Forums.

A quality PSU with "extra" wattage available is a critical must. Do not skimp on the cost of the PSU.
Thanks for answering. Using these calculators, Corsair's has shown 350-360W would be used and Newegg's put it in between 400-499 watts. 600/650W I've mentioned seems like an overkill (especially when their efficiency is at least 80%) and I'm not crazy for modular cables. The link you sent shows the best PSUs and, to be frank, I don't intend to spend over 60-65 euros on a PSU.
I've just stumbled upon Thermaltake Smart RGB 600W 80+, the reviews are pretty solid and I can get it for 50 euros from a legit store (since most of the parts I would buy are from individuals who import stuff from EU - which means no paper warranty and receit, I'd have to rely on serial number registration). Corsair VS650 seems fine too, though it's a bit over 60e and not from store.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
This PSU?

https://www.powerplanetonline.com/en/fuente-alimentacion-600w-thermaltake-smart-rgb-80-plus-en

Having extra wattage is not, to me anyway, "overkill".

Remember that although a PSU may manage to output some listed wattage that does not mean that that wattage can be sustained or otherwise stable at peak loads around that wattage value. Or, if so, for how long...

And do keep in mind that wattage is provided via various voltages (3.3, 5, 12).

Many products are tested under ideal situations with little or no available information regarding the test parameters and conditions.

No disagreement and you certainly know your requirements , available product lines, and sources much more than me.

However, I do encourage that you consider spending a few extra euro's, if you have a choice amongst PSUs.

And before making a final decision be sure to read the PSU manufacturer's User/Installation Guide as well as any available FAQs and Forums.

Plus watch for other ideas, suggestions, and comments that may be posted within this thread.

There may be other thoughts and postings.
 

dadinjo

Honorable
Jan 1, 2017
26
0
10,530
0
This PSU?

https://www.powerplanetonline.com/en/fuente-alimentacion-600w-thermaltake-smart-rgb-80-plus-en

Having extra wattage is not, to me anyway, "overkill".

Remember that although a PSU may manage to output some listed wattage that does not mean that that wattage can be sustained or otherwise stable at peak loads around that wattage value. Or, if so, for how long...

And do keep in mind that wattage is provided via various voltages (3.3, 5, 12).

Many products are tested under ideal situations with little or no available information regarding the test parameters and conditions.

No disagreement and you certainly know your requirements , available product lines, and sources much more than me.

However, I do encourage that you consider spending a few extra euro's, if you have a choice amongst PSUs.

And before making a final decision be sure to read the PSU manufacturer's User/Installation Guide as well as any available FAQs and Forums.

Plus watch for other ideas, suggestions, and comments that may be posted within this thread.

There may be other thoughts and postings.
The exact model has a few different letters (SPR-600AH2NK-2), but I figure that's just different market naming.

What shocks me is that pretty much all stores here (and private vendors) that sell pre-configured and already assembled builds put some dumpster PSUs like IG-Max (not even Raidmax or LC Power) and similar "no-name" cheap junk with components like Ryzen 7s and nVidia xx60 cards. They put that junk in without any shame, hesitation or care for eventual performance and safety...

That's why I think even this Thermaltake one or Gigabyte's model would be decent (at least compared to what I mentioned is being sold).
Once again, thank you and I'll definitely be sure to look in-depth for all available PSUs in my country.
 

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