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Thread: Best hardware recommendation for an X79 DAW system?




  1. #1
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    Question Best hardware recommendation for an X79 DAW system?

    I'd like a hefty configuration for DAW/Audio work running a ton of plugins may be even at 88.2 sampling rate. Right now I can't afford a Xeon config, but I am still shooting for the next best thing with like a 2k budget, may be and change. I don't want to worry about CPU load anymore, using all native stuff. Am I starting off right so far?

    GIGABYTE X79-UP4 Intel X79
    i7-3970X Extreme Edition 6Core 15MB Cache
    16GB DDR3/2133MHz Quad Ch.


    Can you recommend something better? Is 2133 RAM even worth it for this type of work? Hoping there are some audio experts here too.
    Last edited by essotereh; 02-11-2013 at 11:30 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default re: Best hardware recommendation for an X79 DAW system?

    For a digital audio workstation, I think that you probably should use the maximum amount of memory that you can install.
    I doubt that higher speed memory will make a difference in performance.
    1600MHz memory will be easier to set up and get stable.
    You should by 2 quad channel memory kits that are on the ASRock QVL list or buy kits that the memory manufacturer has tested to be compatible with your motherboard.

    See if any of the DAW forums have specific recommendations for optimal memory speeds.
    It's possible that some very intensive applications might benefit from slightly higher memory speeds.
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  3. #3
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    Default re: Best hardware recommendation for an X79 DAW system?

    Well this is will be a pre built system but there's flexibility in customizing it. Also, they will overclock it as well. So on one hand I was thinking that they know what they're doing and they are overclocking it, so may be the best RAM spec wise is the way to go, such as the 2133. But I see many saying that after 1600 it is a waste pretty much. Is this really the case though considering the 3970 extreme, especially OC'ed?

    You are definitely right about the amount of RAM for audio production however, it is more in the case of working with samples, samplers and virtual instruments. I won't be doing that here. I will be however running audio plugins, may be even at 88.2 sampling rate at times like I had mentioned. In this scenario, around 16g ram seems to be ideal.
    Last edited by essotereh; 02-09-2013 at 10:40 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default re: Best hardware recommendation for an X79 DAW system?

    A web search using: daw recommended memory should provide some useful but contradictory information.

    While 16GB might normally be enough, if you used 32GB of memory, you would be able to create a large Ram Disk where you could put your pagefile, Temp and Tmp folders, and also put any DAW software "work" folders. The read/write performance to and from a ram disk will be much faster than having these folders on an ssd or hard drive. SSD life would also be extended by reducing the amount of write/erase cycles to the ssd.

    Have you done a web search using: daw memory speed benchmarks ?
    Are there any specific recommendations by the DAW software vendors that suggests minimum and optimum amounts of memory?
    It's possible that your system will work best with a high cpu overclock with memory speeds at 1600 - 1866MHz.

    Does the builder of your system have first hand experience with building DAW systems and optimal memory requirements?

    It's possible that some demanding software applications might benefit from significantly higher memory speeds but I haven't seen any proof that higher memory speeds (e.g. 1866 - 2400MHz or higher) leads to faster real world performance.

    Let us know what you find out and how well your new system performs with the memory setup that you end up with.
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    Seasonic SS-660XP2 80 Plus Platinum psu (660w)
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    SLI @ 16/4 works when running HyperSLI
    Cooler Master 120XL Seidon push/pull AIO cpu water cooling
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    Asus VH242H 24" monitor [1920x1080]
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    Default Re: Best hardware recommendation for an X79 DAW system?

    food for thought:

    from TechEye.net

    Leaked roadmap reveals Intelís Ivy Bridge-Eís appearance
    Just months after Haswell

    A leaked Intel roadmap has found its way onto the world wide wibble which shows that Intelís Ivy Bridge-E will launch in the third quarter.

    A leaked slide shows that the fashion bag maker plans to launch the chip just a few months after the fourth generation Haswell core and several weeks before the Paris fashion shows.

    It looks like Intel wants to bring fast Sandy Bridge-E CPUs in the second quarter along with Haswell desktop processors and Ivy Bridge-E in the third.

    If the roadmap is valid, Intel will launch CPUs for its Ivy Bridge-E HEDT platform throughout the second half of the year.

    The chips would be compatible with the Socket LGA 2011 and X79 chipset, feature lots of crunchy L3 Cache and be built around between six to 12 cores.

    The TDP would be the same as the Sandy Bridge-E but clock speeds and specifications would be better due to 22nm Tri Gate architecture.

    The CPUs would use Quad Channel memory controllers and can support 8 GB of DDR3-1066/1333/1600/1866 per DIMM slot. PCI-express 3.0 would also be supported by the new processors churning out 40 lanes and four lanes for PCI-e 2.0.

    It is fairly likely that the CPUs will launch under the Core i7-4900 branding. So we will see the Core i7-4930, Core i7-4960, Core i7-4970 and the Core i7-4990

    It appears that Intel will use the HDET platform for the 22nm Ivy Bridge-E and will update its current Sandy Bridge-E lineup. It appears that the Core i7-3970X which was a higher clocked 3960X did not have enough bells and whistles for consumers. It is expected that there will be faster variants of the Core i7-3930K, Core i7-3820 and a new Extreme Edition processor built to replace the Core i7-3970X.

    You can see the slides here and if you have a translator which can manage Chinese you can even read the article.

    - - - -

    A web search using "ivy bridge-e" (with quotes) will provide more information/rumor links.
    Q9650 @ 4.10GHz [9x456MHz]
    P35-DS4 [rev: 2.0] ~ Bios: F14
    4x2GB OCZ Reaper PC2-8500 1094MHz @5-5-5-15
    MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack (1GB) video card <---- SLI ---->
    Seasonic SS-660XP2 80 Plus Platinum psu (660w)
    WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data)
    Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD (boot)
    SLI @ 16/4 works when running HyperSLI
    Cooler Master 120XL Seidon push/pull AIO cpu water cooling
    Cooler Master HAF XB computer case (RC-902XB-KKN1)
    Asus VH242H 24" monitor [1920x1080]
    MSI N460GTX Hawk (1GB) video card
    Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium
    HT|Omega Claro plus+ sound card
    CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS
    E6300 (R0) @ 3.504GHz [8x438MHz] ~~ P35-DS3L [rev: 1.0] ~ Bios: F9 ~~ 4x2GB Kingston HyperX T1 PC2-8500, 876MHz @4-4-4-10
    Seasonic X650 80+ gold psu (650w) ~~ Xigmatek Balder HDT 1283 cpu cooler ~~ Cooler Master CM 690 case (RC-690-KKN1-GP)
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Best hardware recommendation for an X79 DAW system?

    Doh! now it becomes that game of do I pull the trigger now or wait. I kind of sort of need the new system now-ish. But with this release no doubt the 3970's will drop in price. damn it lol

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Best hardware recommendation for an X79 DAW system?

    Other considerations:
    • Release dates can often slip, sometimes by several months.
    • The current Sandy Bridge-E system bioses have matured and the newer Ivy Bridge-E bioses will take several months to mature.
    • As of today, Haswell Ivy Bridge systems are scheduled for release in mid to late spring or early summer.
    • Maybe a current high end Ivy Bridge i7-3770K system is a viable alternative with 16GB or 32GB of ram.

    At some point you've gotta bite the bullet and spend, spend, spend.
    Q9650 @ 4.10GHz [9x456MHz]
    P35-DS4 [rev: 2.0] ~ Bios: F14
    4x2GB OCZ Reaper PC2-8500 1094MHz @5-5-5-15
    MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack (1GB) video card <---- SLI ---->
    Seasonic SS-660XP2 80 Plus Platinum psu (660w)
    WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data)
    Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD (boot)
    SLI @ 16/4 works when running HyperSLI
    Cooler Master 120XL Seidon push/pull AIO cpu water cooling
    Cooler Master HAF XB computer case (RC-902XB-KKN1)
    Asus VH242H 24" monitor [1920x1080]
    MSI N460GTX Hawk (1GB) video card
    Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium
    HT|Omega Claro plus+ sound card
    CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS
    E6300 (R0) @ 3.504GHz [8x438MHz] ~~ P35-DS3L [rev: 1.0] ~ Bios: F9 ~~ 4x2GB Kingston HyperX T1 PC2-8500, 876MHz @4-4-4-10
    Seasonic X650 80+ gold psu (650w) ~~ Xigmatek Balder HDT 1283 cpu cooler ~~ Cooler Master CM 690 case (RC-690-KKN1-GP)
    Samsung 830 128GB SSD MZ-7PC128B/WW (boot) ~~ WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data) ~~ ZM-MFC2 fan controller
    HT|Omega Striker 7.1 sound card ~~ Asus VH242H monitor [1920x1080] ~~ Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium ~~ CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD U.P.S
    .


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Best hardware recommendation for an X79 DAW system?

    I know I know haha in truth I am not one to nit pick to the end with this stuff. I'll make or at least try to make the most informative decision and keep in mind
    whatever I do get it is still in the high end echelon ultimately. In other words, i can't really lose.-well not too bad I hope lol

    EDIT: but I posted this question because I don't know much about the new 2133 speeds so, there you go

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Best hardware recommendation for an X79 DAW system?

    Ok, so I have read quite a bit. But this time it leaves me questioning more. For example, I am set on 3970x. A pro will be building it but I am not sure if I should pay for the overclocking or not. On top of that, he offered me two levels of overclocking, one more moderate and the other extreme. Shouldn't I just use the Turbo with the software?

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