Old 05-03-2021, 12:16 AM   #1
tjw1979
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Default Recommend a Tower PC

Good morning reaperites of the fair kingdom!

I am opening this thread specifically for recommendations for a desktop pc for recording.

At the moment my system is doing an OK job but I am aware there are other solutions that can provide a faster CPU and or numerous cores.

I am not well versed in computers really so forgive me if I am not on point with some of the things I am saying.

I realise a lot of people out there use macs, but I have no experience with these whatsoever and would prefer to stay with windows.

Is there an out of the box solution for what I am outlining?

Here's what I require:

-excellent CPU
-multi core
-plenty of ram with room for more
-1tb ssd with room for more
-quiet operation

Let's hear your ideas!

Cheers

Tim
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Old 05-03-2021, 12:38 AM   #2
fred garvin
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Originally Posted by tjw1979 View Post
Good morning reaperites of the fair kingdom!

I am opening this thread specifically for recommendations for a desktop pc for recording.

At the moment my system is doing an OK job but I am aware there are other solutions that can provide a faster CPU and or numerous cores.

I am not well versed in computers really so forgive me if I am not on point with some of the things I am saying.

I realise a lot of people out there use macs, but I have no experience with these whatsoever and would prefer to stay with windows.

Is there an out of the box solution for what I am outlining?

Here's what I require:

-excellent CPU
-multi core
-plenty of ram with room for more
-1tb ssd with room for more
-quiet operation

Let's hear your ideas!

Cheers

Tim

Oh my. Well since you don't specify a budget I'll assume that's not an issue. Why settle for anything less than:

Case
CORSAIR CARBIDE SERIES™ 275Q QUIET CASE
Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™ i9 10 Core Processor i9-10900X (3.7GHz) 19.25MB Cache
Motherboard
ASUS® PRIME X299-A II: ATX, USB 3.2, SATA 6 GB/s, ARGB Ready
Memory (RAM)
128GB Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 2400MHz (8 x 16GB)
Graphics Card
2GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GT 1030
1st Storage Drive
10TB SEAGATE IRONWOLF PRO 3.5", 7200 RPM 256MB CACHE
2nd Storage Drive
10TB SEAGATE IRONWOLF PRO 3.5", 7200 RPM 256MB CACHE
1st M.2 SSD Drive
8TB CORSAIR MP400 NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD (up to 3480 MB/R, 3000 MB/W)
RAID
RAID 1 (MIRRORED VOLUME - 2 x same size & model HDD / SSD)
Power Supply
ASUS ROG STRIX 1000W MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Processor Cooling
PCS FrostFlow 240 Series RGB High Performance Liquid Cooler
Thermal Paste
STANDARD THERMAL PASTE FOR SUFFICIENT COOLING
Sound Card
ONBOARD 8 CHANNEL (7.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Network Card
10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT
Wireless Network Card
WIRELESS 802.11N 300Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD
USB/Thunderbolt Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 6 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS
Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64 Bit - inc. Single Licence [KUK-00001]
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Windows Recovery Media
Windows 10 Multi-Language Recovery Image - Unlimited Downloads from Online Account
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft 365® (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
BullGuard™ Internet Security - Free 90 Day License inc. Gamer Mode
Browser
Microsoft® Edge (Windows 10 Only)
Warranty
3 Year Standard Warranty (1 Month Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)
Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 12 to 14 working days

£3,514.00 inc VAT and Delivery

@pcspecialist dot etc.

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Old 05-03-2021, 02:12 AM   #3
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Whatever fits your mystery budget from here

https://www.scan.co.uk/3xs/custom/da...s/workstations
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Old 05-03-2021, 03:19 AM   #4
tjw1979
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Whatever fits your mystery budget from here

https://www.scan.co.uk/3xs/custom/da...s/workstations

Should of specified a budget sorry guys!!

Probably up to around £2k top end although I can keep saving for the right one.

Open to all ideas from the cheaper end through to the pricey end.

Seems difficult to find good info online, most sites just specify iMacs as the number one with a smattering of lower end Windows options.
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Old 05-03-2021, 03:25 AM   #5
tjw1979
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Originally Posted by fred garvin View Post
Oh my. Well since you don't specify a budget I'll assume that's not an issue. Why settle for anything less than:

Case
CORSAIR CARBIDE SERIES™ 275Q QUIET CASE
Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™ i9 10 Core Processor i9-10900X (3.7GHz) 19.25MB Cache
Motherboard
ASUS® PRIME X299-A II: ATX, USB 3.2, SATA 6 GB/s, ARGB Ready
Memory (RAM)
128GB Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 2400MHz (8 x 16GB)
Graphics Card
2GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GT 1030
1st Storage Drive
10TB SEAGATE IRONWOLF PRO 3.5", 7200 RPM 256MB CACHE
2nd Storage Drive
10TB SEAGATE IRONWOLF PRO 3.5", 7200 RPM 256MB CACHE
1st M.2 SSD Drive
8TB CORSAIR MP400 NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD (up to 3480 MB/R, 3000 MB/W)
RAID
RAID 1 (MIRRORED VOLUME - 2 x same size & model HDD / SSD)
Power Supply
ASUS ROG STRIX 1000W MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Processor Cooling
PCS FrostFlow 240 Series RGB High Performance Liquid Cooler
Thermal Paste
STANDARD THERMAL PASTE FOR SUFFICIENT COOLING
Sound Card
ONBOARD 8 CHANNEL (7.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Network Card
10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT
Wireless Network Card
WIRELESS 802.11N 300Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD
USB/Thunderbolt Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 6 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS
Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64 Bit - inc. Single Licence [KUK-00001]
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Windows Recovery Media
Windows 10 Multi-Language Recovery Image - Unlimited Downloads from Online Account
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft 365® (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
BullGuard™ Internet Security - Free 90 Day License inc. Gamer Mode
Browser
Microsoft® Edge (Windows 10 Only)
Warranty
3 Year Standard Warranty (1 Month Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)
Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 12 to 14 working days

£3,514.00 inc VAT and Delivery

@pcspecialist dot etc.


I bet that's a monster. Pretty darn impressive. May have to keep saving,
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Old 05-03-2021, 05:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Stella645 View Post
Whatever fits your mystery budget from here

https://www.scan.co.uk/3xs/custom/da...s/workstations
+1 for Scan
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Old 05-03-2021, 05:15 AM   #7
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You didn't mention anything about your working environment, how many lines you record simultaneously, number of tracks, effects, things like that.

You can spec out a monster box, spend lots of cash on that, and have a pretty good system, but you might be paying for things that you'll never really take full advantage of.

Post how you record and what your production needs are. That way, people who work in a similar environment can post what they use and then you can start narrowing down the hardware.

Good luck.
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Old 05-03-2021, 07:37 AM   #8
tjw1979
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Originally Posted by toleolu View Post
You didn't mention anything about your working environment, how many lines you record simultaneously, number of tracks, effects, things like that.

You can spec out a monster box, spend lots of cash on that, and have a pretty good system, but you might be paying for things that you'll never really take full advantage of.

Post how you record and what your production needs are. That way, people who work in a similar environment can post what they use and then you can start narrowing down the hardware.

Good luck.
Interfaces
Tascam US1800
Babyface pro FS

My needs are plenty of guts processor wise, plenty of storage,2 hdmi for dual monitors, around 5 usb2 ports, a few usb3 ports, rock solid set up with minimum noise as I usually record everything in the same room as the computer. I have a laptop that I use for mobile tracking of drums.

I generally record 1 track at a time in my current workflow, but occasionally up to or around 9 tracks of acoustic drums simultaneously.

Projects typically contain anything from 6 to 25 tracks of audio, up to about 35 plugins across a mix, depending what I am doing etc.

I record daily and it usually starts with a drums track and then I build on that with guitars, bass and vocals.

I sometimes use maschine and it's software to build a project. Usually studio drummer and some synths.

Cheers

Tim

Last edited by tjw1979; 05-03-2021 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 05-03-2021, 07:39 AM   #9
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Another +1 for Scan
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Old 05-03-2021, 07:48 AM   #10
tjw1979
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Another +1 for Scan

Yeah to be fair they seem pretty good. Just having a look now
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Old 05-03-2021, 08:19 AM   #11
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I generally record 1 track at a time in my current workflow, but occasionally up to or around 9 tracks of acoustic drums simultaneously.

Projects typically contain anything from 6 to 25 tracks of audio, up to about 35 plugins across a mix, depending what I am doing etc.

I record daily and it usually starts with a drums track and then I build on that with guitars, bass and vocals.
Not that much different than what I do. I don't use that many plugins, and 15 tracks tends to be my average, 7 or so of those tracks are midi drums, and I'm still running an i5 with 8G of RAM, an SSD for OS and programs and an old spinner for data.

I get together with some other guys in a studio once a week and for awhile, we were recording our rehearsals on a computer that's not that much bigger than mine. 2 guitars, a bass, 3 mics for vocals, and 7 or so mics on the drum kit. Never had any issues recording that many inputs at once on that machine.

You say your current system is working OK, if you don't mind me asking, what benefits are you expecting from more powerful computer hardware?
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Old 05-03-2021, 08:31 AM   #12
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Not that much different than what I do. I don't use that many plugins, and 15 tracks tends to be my average, 7 or so of those tracks are midi drums, and I'm still running an i5 with 8G of RAM, an SSD for OS and programs and an old spinner for data.

I get together with some other guys in a studio once a week and for awhile, we were recording our rehearsals on a computer that's not that much bigger than mine. 2 guitars, a bass, 3 mics for vocals, and 7 or so mics on the drum kit. Never had any issues recording that many inputs at once on that machine.

You say your current system is working OK, if you don't mind me asking, what benefits are you expecting from more powerful computer hardware?
Thanks for that info.

I'm using an i3 dual core Asus mini pc

On the whole it is doing ok, but I am getting pops and clicks when mixing and recording using vsti even after setting my soundcard to high latency for mixing. I have increased my buffer size as well. I know I can freeze tracks after they are recorded but I would prefer not having these problems in the first place.

So I am expecting to have the opposite to the above issues, no drop outs or freezes and nice fluid processing when recording and mixing.

Cheers
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Old 05-03-2021, 08:48 AM   #13
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That sounds reasonable.

Fred's config is probably way more than you need, but it's definitely a beast. Maybe split the difference and look at something along an i7 (or AMD equivalent) with around 30 to 60 G of RAM and a couple of SSD. I still like having at least two physical drives, one for executables and one for data.

If you buy a box from Dell, HP, or any other manufacturer, the first thing you probably want to do is wipe the factory hard drive, get all that bloatware off of it, and then do a clean install of Windows 10.

Computer hardware is rock solid these days. Any good mid range system will probably be more than enough for your needs. The trick isn't with the hardware itself, it's getting all the other pieces playing nice with each other.
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjw1979 View Post
Interfaces
Tascam US1800
Babyface pro FS

My needs are plenty of guts processor wise, plenty of storage,2 hdmi for dual monitors, around 5 usb2 ports, a few usb3 ports, rock solid set up with minimum noise as I usually record everything in the same room as the computer. I have a laptop that I use for mobile tracking of drums.

I generally record 1 track at a time in my current workflow, but occasionally up to or around 9 tracks of acoustic drums simultaneously.

Projects typically contain anything from 6 to 25 tracks of audio, up to about 35 plugins across a mix, depending what I am doing etc.

I record daily and it usually starts with a drums track and then I build on that with guitars, bass and vocals.

I sometimes use maschine and it's software to build a project. Usually studio drummer and some synths.

Cheers

Tim
Unless you are using some modern MIDI VSTi synth plugins that pound on the CPU, that's a pretty lite workload. If there aren't any CPU hungry plugins in the mix, any decent C2D machine from 15 years ago could handle that.

You might want to take a look at the Performance meter in Reaper and/or the Activity Monitor or Task Manager and see if there's a bottleneck that can be avoided. As mentioned, it would be insulting to discover a new expensive build didn't address whatever the problem is and then find out it was some software setting the whole time and your old machine was more than enough.

It could be something simple like using an aging lower performance HDD (spinner). An upgrade to an SSD would be the upgrade you're looking for if that's the case.

FYI
Buy a used Jobs-era Mac if you want a Mac. The post-Jobs machines aren't very Mac-like anymore. You could snipe up a used i7 machine for good bang for the buck.
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:47 AM   #15
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Unless you are using some modern MIDI VSTi synth plugins that pound on the CPU, that's a pretty lite workload. If there aren't any CPU hungry plugins in the mix, any decent C2D machine from 15 years ago could handle that.
Yes, it's strange how I'm encountering such problems, defo something up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by serr View Post
You might want to take a look at the Performance meter in Reaper and/or the Activity Monitor or Task Manager and see if there's a bottleneck that can be avoided. As mentioned, it would be insulting to discover a new expensive build didn't address whatever the problem is and then find out it was some software setting the whole time and your old machine was more than enough
Yes your absolutely right. Apologies for being a numpty, but can you take me through the method to work out such a bottle neck or software setting. I can see my CPU is getting ravaged in performance monitor. I just redid some vocals on a track and I had to freeze up a few tracks just to make it bearable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by serr View Post
It could be something simple like using an aging lower performance HDD (spinner). An upgrade to an SSD would be the upgrade you're looking for if that's the case.
I'm using an internal 1TB ssd for my projects now, transferred them over from my exhdd

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Originally Posted by serr View Post
FYI
Buy a used Jobs-era Mac if you want a Mac. The post-Jobs machines aren't very Mac-like anymore. You could snipe up a used i7 machine for good bang for the buck.
Thanks and cheers
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:59 PM   #16
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Well of course that first one was just a laugh, all the most expensive options lol. The 2K version is still a real beast, same CPU, liquid cooling, 64GB RAM, 8 TB HD storage plus 1 TB SSD. Still way overkill for your needs, but I certainly understand wanting the best you can afford and be done with it. Good luck, let us know how it turns out.
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Old 05-04-2021, 06:24 AM   #17
Rhonin
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Default what IS a budget comp to run reaper on?

Im really curious what the answer to the OP is\ i work on a laptop

i think if i want to do 8-16 tracks of recording ill need a small tower
otherwise i haave the same workflow as the op

i dont know anything about specs it would have to run win 10 though
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Old 05-05-2021, 01:50 AM   #18
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Well of course that first one was just a laugh, all the most expensive options lol. The 2K version is still a real beast, same CPU, liquid cooling, 64GB RAM, 8 TB HD storage plus 1 TB SSD. Still way overkill for your needs, but I certainly understand wanting the best you can afford and be done with it. Good luck, let us know how it turns out.
Will do mate and thanks!
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Old 05-05-2021, 08:56 AM   #19
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Serr touched on a good point, that being that maybe something besides your hardware is responsible for the problems you're having.

The pops and clicks you mentioned you are getting when you record and mix, is this something that recently started happening, or has it always been an issue?

If it's something that recently started happening, can you think of anything that's changed? Have you started using any new software, plugins, etc.
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Old 05-05-2021, 11:20 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by toleolu View Post
Serr touched on a good point, that being that maybe something besides your hardware is responsible for the problems you're having.

The pops and clicks you mentioned you are getting when you record and mix, is this something that recently started happening, or has it always been an issue?

If it's something that recently started happening, can you think of anything that's changed? Have you started using any new software, plugins, etc.

It's been happening once I reach a certaint point in my projects with this new pc I'm using.

Part of me is wondering whether it is epicverb which I've using as a verb buss.

I will cross check this tonight and also go through other plugs to see if I'm getting CPU spikes.

Cheers

Tim
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Old 05-06-2021, 08:23 AM   #21
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It's been happening once I reach a certaint point in my projects with this new pc I'm using.
So this Asus mini PC with the i3 in it is a new PC, is that correct?

If so, have you taken any of the basic steps to optimize the OS for audio, and do you have two hard drives in the computer or just one? Also, have you checked Task Manager to see what else might be running in the background when you're on Reaper.

In your requirements you mention 2 monitors, 5 USB 3 ports, and a few USB 2 ports. Are you using two monitors now? If so, do you have a graphics card installed in the PC or are you using the motherboard graphics?

On board graphics typically use the CPU to process video where graphic cards have their own micro processors to handle that. You don't need a real hi end graphics card (unless you're doing video) just a good mid range card that will take that video overhead off the CPU. I'm not up to speed on the specs on the i3, but I did notice that in some places it is classified as a mobile CPU, meaning it's designed for laptops and such. In cases like that, they typically run those CPU's at slower speeds because of heat dissipation issues and if that's the case with yours, then making sure that CPU isn't getting bogged down with other unnecessary tasks can help with performance.

As far as all the USB ports go, how many USB devices (related to audio) do you have connected right now?

Also, you mentioned you moved your project files from an external drive to an internal 1 TB SSD. Is that drive the only physical drive you have in your computer, or do you have one drive for OS and programs and a separate drive for your audio and project files.

Sorry for all the questions, but sometimes performance problems aren't so much based on what you have, but how it's being used and other things that might be going on behind the scenes.
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Old 05-06-2021, 09:47 AM   #22
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I just built my UBER computer for like 700 bucks, if you want it prebuilt, Scan or Jim Roseberry would be a great way to go
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:38 PM   #23
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Thanks for the reply, and apologies for my late arrival

Quote:
Originally Posted by toleolu View Post
So this Asus mini PC with the i3 in it is a new PC, is that correct?
Yes that is correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toleolu View Post
If so, have you taken any of the basic steps to optimize the OS for audio, and do you have two hard drives in the computer or just one? Also, have you checked Task Manager to see what else might be running in the background when you're on Reaper.
Yes I followed basic instructions from a few pages online. I have one 1tb ssd internally and one external 1tb hdd.
I have opened task manager to see but I will do so again and pay more attention and feedback here.


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In your requirements you mention 2 monitors, 5 USB 3 ports, and a few USB 2 ports. Are you using two monitors now? If so, do you have a graphics card installed in the PC or are you using the motherboard graphics?
Yes I am using two monitors. 1 usb port for my interface, 1 for my mouse, 1 for my keyboard, 1 for my N.I Maschine MK3, and 1 for my exdd.
I am using a hub for some of this connectivity. Hub is plugged in via USB c. (My interface isn't connected to this, just mouse keyboard and exhdd)
No graphics card as far as I know. A friend built the PC for me and I'm pretty sure he opted out on that.

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On board graphics typically use the CPU to process video where graphic cards have their own micro processors to handle that. You don't need a real hi end graphics card (unless you're doing video) just a good mid range card that will take that video overhead off the CPU. I'm not up to speed on the specs on the i3, but I did notice that in some places it is classified as a mobile CPU, meaning it's designed for laptops and such. In cases like that, they typically run those CPU's at slower speeds because of heat dissipation issues and if that's the case with yours, then making sure that CPU isn't getting bogged down with other unnecessary tasks can help with performance.
Sounds like this could definitely be happening here then!

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As far as all the USB ports go, how many USB devices (related to audio) do you have connected right now?
PC - 2
Hub via usbC -. 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by toleolu View Post
Also, you mentioned you moved your project files from an external drive to an internal 1 TB SSD. Is that drive the only physical drive you have in your computer, or do you have one drive for OS and programs and a separate drive for your audio and project files
One drive that everything is on, about a third of the way full mainly with NI packs for maschine and reaper files.

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Originally Posted by toleolu View Post
Sorry for all the questions, but sometimes performance problems aren't so much based on what you have, but how it's being used and other things that might be going on behind the scenes.
No problem you've given me a really detailed response, thank you so much.
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:40 PM   #24
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I just built my UBER computer for like 700 bucks, if you want it prebuilt, Scan or Jim Roseberry would be a great way to go

Interested to hear your spec rundown if you've got time!
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Old 05-08-2021, 01:01 PM   #25
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If so, have you taken any of the basic steps to optimize the OS for audio, and do you have two hard drives in the computer or just one? Also, have you checked Task Manager to see what else might be running in the background when you're on Reaper.
OK so I've just checked task manager

Project Stats :
12 tracks, 9 of which are audio, 2 are buss tracks, and the last is a folder track.
8 tracks have VSTs

Reaper Performance Meter says
28 FX
Total CPU - Fluctuating between 17 and 30%
RT CPU - Between 5 and 8%

Even with my soundcard set to high latency, according to task manager my PC is absolutely crushed on this particular project.

Reaper is dominating the CPU bouncing from 30% to 90% to 70% - it's all over the place, but very high usage in general.

Antimalware Service Executable is the next highest usage at 4.9%. Everything else is low.
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Old 05-08-2021, 02:58 PM   #26
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Looks like some prices have gone up and others down, but I bet there's some stuff you could substitute

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/GtGMwz...R1hjIcvqeqodlE
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Old 05-09-2021, 10:12 AM   #27
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A couple of suggestions:

Read "Glitch free" and sort out all the things that can slow your computer down or cause bottlenecks.
Also download and run resplendence.com latency checker & run it, just in case you missed anything with Glitch Free,

Best part of doing thsi is that it is all free and VERY effective in streamlining any windows system.

FYI I too have an i3, but very old. Yesterday I stuck an SSD in it and installed Ubuntu Studio. Linux.
No previous experience and I am sure I have missed a load of stuff, but boy how that machine has speeded up!

Subject to any limitations I find, I am already tempted to ditch W10.
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Old 05-09-2021, 11:29 AM   #28
toleolu
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Do you use the external USB drive connected to the USB hub during recording/editing?

I'm just guessing at this point but I have seen a number of posts in the past where people have had problems with those USB hubs.
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Old 05-09-2021, 09:53 PM   #29
tjw1979
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
A couple of suggestions:

Read "Glitch free" and sort out all the things that can slow your computer down or cause bottlenecks.
Also download and run resplendence.com latency checker & run it, just in case you missed anything with Glitch Free,

Best part of doing thsi is that it is all free and VERY effective in streamlining any windows system.

FYI I too have an i3, but very old. Yesterday I stuck an SSD in it and installed Ubuntu Studio. Linux.
No previous experience and I am sure I have missed a load of stuff, but boy how that machine has speeded up!

Subject to any limitations I find, I am already tempted to ditch W10.
Will do cheers!

I've run latency checker and the reports seem ok toy untrained eyes.

Will check out glitch free today, cheers!

Tim
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Old 05-09-2021, 09:55 PM   #30
tjw1979
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toleolu View Post
Do you use the external USB drive connected to the USB hub during recording/editing?

I'm just guessing at this point but I have seen a number of posts in the past where people have had problems with those USB hubs.

I used to, but have since transferred all projects to my internal ssd and do all recording and editing there. (Haven't noticed any difference in performance, still maxing out CPU)

I'll have a read of glitch free later and hopefully that will enable me to make a difference.
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