Computer for recording in 2018

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by eayottes, Jun 2, 2018.

  1. Lukhas

    Lukhas SS.org Regular

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    Generally it's a lack of support from manufacturers combined with Microsoft being pushy about upgrading to Windows 10. Manufacturers tend not to deliver new drivers to older models for a new version of Windows, even if Microsoft does provide them with the resources to do so way before the release of a new OS. It's particularly prevalent with laptops, where touchpads or certain FN button combinations can stop working after an OS change because the manufacturer didn't bother to create a new driver for that OS. They prefer you to buy new stuff every year... which isn't unlike Apple's practices either to be fair. Microsoft does well by providing a lot of generic drivers that work pretty fine, but every once in a while you can have very specific driver demands for very specific hardware for which the manufacturer didn't provide drivers, disappeared or else. I agree with that it's rare, but it happens.

    Also, I've seen Apple users having trouble with certain programs we use because they work on that version of OSX and not the other one, so it's not black or white on that matter.
    I built my PC, since as said earlier I also use it to play video games. There's no way to get something similar in price with a built solution, Windows or Apple. Obviously it requires you to have the will to build it to make the huge savings; it's not hard at all since almost everything is standard in terms of connections, but it takes time. Which is why I said this about it:
    I also made the "choice" to pick up a Dell M6600 used for 500€ rather than an Apple laptop despite them being rife at my college, especially in music. I knew it was a cumbersome solution, but I liked that if anything ever broke I could disassemble it completely and change that part rather than having soldered RAM, soldered SSDs, non-traditionally removable batteries, requiring dongles and all that nonsense. It's one of the reason it's pretty bulky (aside from being a pretty powerful workstation), but I compromised for reasons that made sense to me instead of going for a very thin notebook. Also, the size of it makes it very comfortable to work on it as it's very similar to working on a PC keyboard (which is one of the reasons the "new" ThinkPad keyboard is so decried).
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
  2. JustinRhoads1980

    JustinRhoads1980 SS.org Regular

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    the unpopular a opinion.

    If I were you I would just build a PC. At the end of the day you can do whatever you want to it such as upgrades and other stuff that you can't do on the mac and if you can you void your warranty with it and might damage the computer. If you need any help building it I can assure you it is fairly easy, it is pretty much screwing stuff in, plugging stuff in and such, very very easy and as long as you follow directions and such it should be straightforward.


    I had a mac and it died within a year after medium usage so I would stray away from them. My custom pc that costs as much as the Imac is still running as good as it did on day one a year and a half later. At this point in time with my Imac it started getting slower. I would ignore the whole mac idea, you are better off building since you can repair it yourself and make your own upgrades. Plus it is a machine optimized for your use and needs which is the most important thing at the end of the day. Generally they also have a WAY longer lifespan than the Mac's as a whole.


    If you want to build a PC for one it is more cost effective and just a better option. I don't care if it is easier to use the mac, you will start having problems with it slowing down and taking forever to load a file and have no solution to it other than buying another mac within 2-3 years (depending on your tolerance for apple's bullshit of putting questionable parts in pricey computers).

    For the PC I would recommend:

    I7- Base clock speed at 3.6Ghz to 4.0Ghz. You can get an overclocked processor (you can customize how high the Ghz can go within reason), but I would only recommend this if you were doing heavy video editing or music production, other than that a regular non-overclockable I7 will suffice.

    16gb DDR4 Ram: I would recommend this as the minimum amount of ram for what you are doing. I would try to get 32gb, but most computers don't come stock with that if at all and ram is a little expensive atm, but if the money isn't an issue for a good product then I would should for a 32gb.

    Hard Drives: I would get a 1tb hard drive to store a lot of files in, but be weary that they do get SLOW! yes over time they get really fucking slow especially if you have a lot of stuff on there, it could take a minute or two to launch a program or file. I would recommend getting an ssd drive, like 500gb for your primary source for music stuff so it loads and runs fast so you don't have to sit and wait there for minutes for something to load.

    In all you do whatever you want at the end of the day since it is your money, but before you jump on anything, I would urge you to be open minded about this and look at the pros and cons of the Mac and the pros and cons of building a computer for yourself. Personally I would go for the Windows custom build.

    If you would like any additional information about this DM me or ask some questions and I would be glad to help you. I have also built 6 custom computers and not one has had any issues whatsoever and I am a complete geek at this stuff.

    Please feel free to PM me as I am willing to help you with this.
     
  3. Lukhas

    Lukhas SS.org Regular

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    I'd personally go for a Ryzen 7 like the 2700X. For applicative tasks, there's no Intel equivalent for a similar price. The 8700/8700K doesn't do as well in applicative tasks, and the 7820X that beats the Ryzen is 50% more expensive.
     
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  4. Rawkmann

    Rawkmann SS.org Regular

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    I’ve always felt the exact opposite. I have a 2006 iMac that up until last year I was using regularly to record demos with, and I still use it for general work and browsing purposes.
     
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  5. JustinRhoads1980

    JustinRhoads1980 SS.org Regular

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    That is also a great alternative. Though he hasn't said how extensive his music stuff would be. Either way both great processors, and yes the Ryzen 7 is betterfor that type of applications, but it also matters how extensive he is doing it aswell
     
  6. JustinRhoads1980

    JustinRhoads1980 SS.org Regular

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    Newer Macs are not like that. The older macs were built to last, the newer ones, oh boy. Plus on yours I believe you can pop open the hood and make repairs/upgrades if needed
     
  7. groverj3

    groverj3 Biologist/Guitarist

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    Add in that Macbooks dying because of inadequate ventilation is a really common issue. Apple seems completely uninterested in fixing this, too. Possibly because their unibody design simply doesn't allow for adequate cooling.
     
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  8. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    If you can afford it, get a MacBook pro. Otherwise get... Fucking whatever. Any modern computer with a little bit of horsepower will work just fine.

    But seriously MBPs are the shit. I got one for work (software engineer) a few years ago and they're just a joy. Everything works - quickly and smoothly. And you can drop into a Unix terminal and get super user all over the place.

    But again, anything with a decent amount of juice will work fine. Just get yourself a decent interface and have some fun.

    And you probably want a laptop. If you ever want to record anywhere but your home, you'll be glad.
     
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  9. eayottes

    eayottes SS.org Regular

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    Weird coincidence: a friend of mine called me yesterday to tell me he accepted a job position in Saudi Arabia (he's a lawyer). He had to give/sell all his stuff. He sold me his almost new 27'' last gen iMac for a ridiculously low price. I just need to buy some RAM and I'll be set. I'm happy to say goodbye to Win10 compatibility issues related to my audio interface.

    I'm not saying I made the optimal choice in absolute terms, but I think it would have been stupid not to jump on the occasion.

    Sidenote: I work (R&D on numerical programming stuff) and do most of my non-musical computer activities on a PC. I'll be putting some of the money I saved to update my personal/gaming PC (buying RAM and a bargain GTX 1070 graphics card).

    Thank to all of you for the suggestions. I hope this thread will help anyone else looking for a recording computer.

    Now I'm back to looking around for audio interfaces.

    @Winspear and @JustinRhoads1980 : thanks a lot for your help offers :)
     
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  10. Rawkmann

    Rawkmann SS.org Regular

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    That's awesome to hear man, I think You'll be very happy with Your setup.
     
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  11. Avedas

    Avedas SS.org Regular

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    I use a Pro for work. I've had it for 1 year now and the keyboard is starting to die, but otherwise I like it. It does run hot though because the ventilation is ass. I have to constantly monitor processes in htop because it seems like everything Cisco puts out has some sort of quirk that brings my laptop feel like it's going to burst into flames.
     
  12. JustinRhoads1980

    JustinRhoads1980 SS.org Regular

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    That is why PCs are so much better. Since they are bigger you allow more air flow allowing the components to not get overheated. Plus the towers have great sized fans that allow air to move in efficently.

    I took apart my brothers macbook air and there was the itsy fucking tiny piece of shit fan that would cool the whole system. No wonder why I would always have to be cautious of where I put my hand since it would be burned.
     
  13. will_shred

    will_shred Wannabe audio engineer

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    I just got a custom recording PC. The specs are

    AMD Ryzen 1800x 8 core processor

    Gigabyte motherboard

    GTX1050 4gb

    32gb ddr4

    256gb SSD

    2tb HDD

    6 USB ports and a SETA port.

    I could upgrade to a thunderbolt for $80 but I don't have the need to.

    I'm also running protools, which uses more processing power than reaper.
     
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  14. JustinRhoads1980

    JustinRhoads1980 SS.org Regular

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    And that is running windows correct?
     
  15. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    To me there are only three things worth buying from Apple: The 27" iMac, the 2015 Macbook Pro and the iPad Pro. iPad Pro is of course out of the question for this thread's purposes but it is a good device. Everything else they make is usually more expensive than just buying a suitable laptop or desktop running Windows.

    I have a 2016 MBP for work and it's such a shit machine. The Touchbar is useless, the trackpad too large (lots of misplaced cursors), the keyboard is unbelievably bad feeling and unreliable and the adapter hell is real with only USB-C ports. The 2015 model had none of these issues.

    If you want a Mac, buy used or refurbished. Computers haven't advanced at a pace where for most people having the latest and greatest would make much of a difference.
     
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  16. Sumsar

    Sumsar SS.org Regular

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    In 2018 the cheapest windows pc on the market should be fine for audio production for your first couple of years.
     
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  17. will_shred

    will_shred Wannabe audio engineer

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    It really depends on what you're doing, but I think an i5 processor with 8gb of ram would be a decent starting point if you're running reaper.
     
  18. DarthV

    DarthV SS.org Regular

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    You can get a decent windows pc (or laptop) for close to half the cost of a similarly spec'd Mac. Their markup is insane. And with the screen and keyboard issues on their laptops (and iMac screens) over the last couple of years... have no idea why people spend money on them.

    They are also increasingly difficult to self repair and the longest warranty you can get is 3 years.

    Actually convinced my 2 senior devs here at work to switch from their 27" imacs to Dell Precision workstations (running linux). Their dev builds take much less time, the Dells were cheaper and we don't have to replace their new 27" monitors every time they get a workstation upgrade. Simila spec'd iMacs would be over $4k CAD...and slower since Apple doesn't sell 6c/12t CPUs in iMacs ;)

    Apple's engineering and quality control has taken a larger dip in the last 4-5 years.
     
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  19. JustinRhoads1980

    JustinRhoads1980 SS.org Regular

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    A $4000 mac compared to a $4000 custom built computer oh boy Mac doesn't stand a chance
     
  20. DarthV

    DarthV SS.org Regular

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    And that was IMO an overpriced Dell workstation. You could build something just as powerful for much less and be able to reuse parts for your next build.
     
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