Windows PC desktops we use.... Practical experience, tech data.

Kubrak
Kubrak Member Posts: 1,035 Pulse
edited July 8 in Tech Talks

Let's start discuss what Win desktop PCs we use...

It may be help and inspiration for others. It is hard to guess, mainly for beginners, how strong PC they need. One does not anticipate, that music production needs often pretty strong PC and buy too weak computer.

It has happened to me, when I have started. And I am in computers for 40+ years.... I have bought two core i7 notebook back then.... and quickly found out that no go... I switched to old four core i7 notebook... It was OK for few years, until I started use larger Kontakt libraries.. Had to double RAM to 16 GB. Also found original HDD slow and replaced it by SATA SSD. But shortly even that was not enought. And CPU had also hard times....

I did not want huge PC tower eating 800+ W and I did not need notebook really as I had notebook anyway attached to monitor, keyboard and mouse.... But I wanted be able to transport PC easily. Sort of compromise between notebook and desktop.

I found this.

ASRock barebone MiniPC. I have AMD Zen3 Ryzen7 APU (8C/16T 4GB+ clock), 64 GB RAM (2x32GB), 2x 1TB NVMe SSD and Noctua low profile cooler.

One could add up to two 2.5" SATA III discs. They may be only 8 mm thick. I am planning to add two 2 TB HDD. Bigger do not fit in, they are too fat.

It is real small (15x15x8 cm - only 2 litres) and silent. CPU takes cca 80 W at most, usually 10-30 W.

It has plenty of USBs (I bought optional USB expansion set to add few more) and one can have up to 3 monitors...

It cost me about 1 000 EUR including VAT in September 2021. It would cost less, now.

-------------

Experience.

1) Stock cooler that comes with MiniPC is rather noisy, to my ears.

2) Stock cooler that comes with AMD CPU is better. It fits inside, if one removes upper ring of the cooler to make it less high.

3) Noctua is great.

4) 64 GB might be overkill. 32 GB would do for my use case (at present), 16 GB would not.

5) Using 2 x 1 TB was not the best decision. My Kontakt libraries and Expansions do not fit on 1 TB... So, part of it has to be on system disc. Would be better use smaller SSD for system disc and 2 TB SSD for Kontakt and so.

6) I recomend using fast NVMe SSDs, they are way faster than SATA SSDs, not speaking about HDD. Some Kontakt libraries are real big and projects would load minutes even when using SATA SSD....

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Comments

  • nightjar
    nightjar Member Posts: 398 Saw
    edited July 8

    Planning and building a smartly optimized system of any type is a fun process. Hope many can enjoy this thread with a positive voice and open mind for different needs and desires!

    Broadly speaking... more affordable larger SSDs have been the biggest transformative thing for me in the past decade. What a change!

  • F1308
    F1308 Member Posts: 21 Sine
    edited July 8

    Thank you very much, Kubrak.

    Very nice of you. The first thread ever started to suit my needs as soon as I asked for it. Thank you. My five restaurants in Spain are at your disposal. 😃😃😃😃


    I will keep watching this thread, as I want to add some software to my hardware, a Roland Fantom 8.

    I saw this fanless...


    Going Intel I9-12900T, DDR5, 64GB RAM, 2x 2TB M.2 - NVMe and 2x 4TB SATA, extreme cooling, sealed, WiFi 6 and Windows 11 Pro, approaches 5000€.

    🙄🙄🙄🙄

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 1,035 Pulse
    edited July 8

    AMDs are IMHO way better than current Intels, if one wants PC that is not very hungry. Also big.little concept may make problems, if SW is not aware of that concept, which is all, but very recent SW...

    AMD Zen4 will come soon - 3/4Q22. APU will have much better iGPU (2x), and CPU will deliver 20-30% more computing power.

    One more aspect. AMD is not like Intel concerning CPU socket/chipsets... AM4 socket was used for several years and five generations/semigenerations.... Zen4 will have AM5 and one may expect, it will be possible to upgrade CPU, if needed one day. But one must buy more expensive chipset from producer with good reputation. Not all motherboard producers provide a new bios needed for newer models... :-(((

  • nightjar
    nightjar Member Posts: 398 Saw

    If I were to build a windows machine, I believe I would go with AMD based on their roadmap.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 1,035 Pulse

    @F1308

    My five restaurants in Spain are at your disposal. 

    Do not tell it twice. I like food and can eat a lot. :-DDD

  • PK The DJ
    PK The DJ UKMember Posts: 211 Saw

    I bought my PC from a company (Inta Audio) that makes bespoke systems for use in recording studios. It's silent, like a ghost compared to my previous PC from a high street retailer.

    It's a few years old now, but still very capable. For me, it's Intel CPUs always.

  • F1308
    F1308 Member Posts: 21 Sine
    edited July 8

    Said treble.

    Hope you also enjoy the views...

    Look that skyline !!!!


    The issue with new chips is that drivers are to be readjusted and lots of issues might arise in the meantime.

  • F1308
    F1308 Member Posts: 21 Sine
    edited July 8

    Are you aware of the next wireless audio transmitter/receiver CME is working on ?

    Imagine our computers, keyboards, power amps sending audio wirelessly to the loudspeakers, no cables around !!!!


  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 1,035 Pulse
    edited July 8

    @F1308

    The issue with new chips is that drivers are to be readjusted and lots of issues might arise in the meantime.

    Maybe with new chipsets, they need new drivers, but CPUs not. Unless it is something very new like big.little in x86.... But that is rare thing..

    But there always may be some kind of problem with drivers and interhardware compatibility in PC world. In this aspect Mac world has advantage. Few models that may be well tested and that fit well OS.... Win world brings more choice, but higher probability of problems.

    But OK, no problem to buy something more mature. And it is cheaper...

    Look that skyline !!!!

    Beautifull. What town is it? It seems to me a bit familiar...

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 1,035 Pulse

    I like Cirrus incus fanless case.

    Just a bit pricey, but nice design. And fanless is worth it. If it works well. But it is twice as big as my DeskMini. :-( But nice is that it is designed for the motherboard that is in my DeskMini. I could just buy the case and move PC to it. It is true, that DeskMini case could have better build, but for that price one cannot expect more....

    I will consider this case for my next PC setup....

  • F1308
    F1308 Member Posts: 21 Sine
    edited July 8

    Segovia.Spain.

    N4057.0 W00407.0

    3300 ft.


    Fanless is a must for me. Once used one, no way back.

    My background noise is around 38 dB and I hate fans spinning and winning as computing demands rise.

    I love hearing the mercury going up and down the thermometer, the feathers striking the strings in the harpsichord (Fantom is so great) and...well, all those little details.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 1,035 Pulse

    Fortunately. I cannot hear my fan, even if I try, the best. Better said it is hearable only if I stress CPU to full load for longer time. Which is case only at CPU stress tests.

    Still, fanless might be cool. Just, I wish it was half the size. It is too big. They could do something smaller one day...

  • F1308
    F1308 Member Posts: 21 Sine

    For me it looks very small indeed, although the AsRock you talk about is even smaller, but noiser.

    And since I am not moving it at all...

    Anyway, I am starting the search and I am not in a hurry at all.

  • F1308
    F1308 Member Posts: 21 Sine

    Curiously enough, just saw this article:

    Intel’s latest CPUs can break your browser...

    https://www.pcworld.com/article/802722/intels-latest-cpus-can-break-your-browser.html

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 1,035 Pulse

    More exactly iGPU on 12th gen Intels causes problem with certain browsers....

    Intel generally has poor iGPUs/GPUs and poor drivers for GPU....

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