Old 06-20-2017, 12:46 PM   #1
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Default Time for a new DAW!

No, I'm not leaving REAPER behind!! Far from it actually. This isn't about new DAW software. It is about new hardware.

My main DAW PC is nearing a decade in age and while it still runs perfectly, it is running out of processing power for my bigger projects. I built it in 2008 based on an Intel Q9450 quad core CPU, Asus P5Q deluxe mobo, 8GB RAM, WD black HDDs (although it is now running a Samsung 850 EVO SSD) and other supporting peripherals.

I'm going to keep this PC in running order and use it for other purposes (probably running Cantabile and some VST instruments) and add a new PC as the main DAW computer.

Here's what my new build will consist of:

Case: Carbide 330R silent Titanium edition

PSU: Corsair 550W RMX 80+ Gold

Motherboard: Asus Prime Z270a

CPU: Intel i7 7700K

CPU cooler: Coolermaster MasterAir Maker 8

RAM: Corsair 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 3000MHz Vengeance LPX

SSD: Samsung 850 EVO 3x 500GB 2.5"

OS: Win 10 Pro 64 bit

I was originally considering going for Samsung 960 Pro m.2 SSDs but the cost was significantly more and I'm not sure the extra burst speed would be worth trying to justify. The only time I could see it being an advantage would be loading sample libraries but they load fast enough on my current rig with an 850 EVO.
Besides, I can always add a 960 Pro m.2 later if I want.


My main audio interface is an RME Fireface UFX which I have been extremely happy with.

The motherboard I have chosen is one without all the bells and whistles of the more expensive gaming boards. I've gone this route to deliberately avoid resource issues with latency from things like WiFi and gaming stuff.
For Internet, I'll be using a TP-Link USB3 WiFi dongle when needed.

Since this will be a dedicated audio PC, I'm going with the onboard graphics in the 7700K and motherboard. This particular motherboard can run three monitors at very high resolution and decent refresh rate which is all I need.

The 7700K seems to be the best choice for dedicated audio work with REAPER as far as price vs performance in the 7th gen Intel family from what I've researched. It doesn't have as many cores as some of the others but it has the fastest base clock speeds per core in this class.

I won't be overclocking (at least I don't plan to) but have chosen the K CPU for stability and options if I change my mind regarding overclocking later. My primary concern is reliability, stability, silent running and cool temperatures.

AMD Ryzen may well turn out to be a decent platform in the coming weeks and months but Intel is a known and proven platform right now and that is right up on my priority list. This will be my everyday studio rig and I want it to be rock solid.


I'll post my feedback on how this rig performs once I have it up and running.
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Old 06-20-2017, 01:11 PM   #2
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Are you aware of all the new Intel CPU's that just dropped yesterday.

Core i7:
•Core i7 7820X (3.6GHZ), 8 cores/16 threads, $599
•Core i7-7800X (3.5GHz), 6 cores/12 threads, $389
•Core i7-7740X (4.3GHz), 4 cores/8 threads, $339
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Old 06-20-2017, 01:20 PM   #3
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Those are probably not yet a smart choice as X299 didn't yet prove itself as a platform.

7700K and Z170 are battle-tested by now. Not to mention X299 would be a more expensive platform from the onset... And those CPUs not having integrated GPUs might be a dealbreaker to some.


I would just urge OP to check out Fractal Design cases. They are a beauty, and really well soundproofed.
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Old 06-20-2017, 01:40 PM   #4
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Those are probably not yet a smart choice as X299 didn't yet prove itself as a platform.

7700K and Z170 are battle-tested by now. Not to mention X299 would be a more expensive platform from the onset... And those CPUs not having integrated GPUs might be a dealbreaker to some.


I would just urge OP to check out Fractal Design cases. They are a beauty, and really well soundproofed.
I second the Fractal design cases. Especially the Define R5. I've built 2 separate pc's with those cases and they are excellent for silence and flexibility.
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Old 06-20-2017, 01:57 PM   #5
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http://www.fractal-design.com/home/p...r2-black-pearl

I got this one!
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:36 PM   #6
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I second the Fractal design cases. Especially the Define R5. I've built 2 separate pc's with those cases and they are excellent for silence and flexibility.
I third the Fractal design cases.

Good value for the price and everything you want in it.

For silent fans I can recommend silentpcreview.com as a source for further investigation.
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:38 PM   #7
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Noctua NH-D15
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Old 06-22-2017, 03:21 PM   #8
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YeEes! ReaDave picked the same mobo as moi!
I am 'supposed to be biased towards Noctua and Fractal but.. your stuff of choice looks good to me.

*me breakdances into the sunset*
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Old 06-22-2017, 05:05 PM   #9
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Those Fractal Design cases do look nice guys.

ED,
I share your thoughts on the new CPUs too.
The Noctua cooler looks pretty good and is pretty similar in benchmarks I've read to the Cooler Master one I've chosen.

Overall though, I'm pretty happy with my final choices and a deposit has been paid and parts are on order.

SmajjL,
You have a knack for making me smile!!
I can just picture a mid 80s scene with a huge ghetto blaster and some breakdancing (the helicopter comes to mind - do they still do that??) on a basketball court!!
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:42 AM   #10
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Readave,

Sounds like you have done extensive research.. Good luck with the project, I guess it will keep you out of mischief for a few months.


All the best.
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Old 06-23-2017, 06:26 AM   #11
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One way to do it is to convince one ReaDave to be the propeller somehow.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7ErSmjM56w

And, if you try your mobo's internal soundcard with asio4all w 64 buffers and if your pad does not feel instant'ness, then I am Donald Duck.
I know you have a real soundcard, just saying, I will go with the RME Baby Pro myself soon'ish I have decided and can't be overruled.

Edit: You wanna bet? - you donkey..SchmajjL
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Old 06-23-2017, 01:12 PM   #12
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Readave,

Sounds like you have done extensive research.. Good luck with the project, I guess it will keep you out of mischief for a few months.


All the best.
Cheers Sambo
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Old 06-23-2017, 01:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by SmajjL View Post
One way to do it is to convince one ReaDave to be the propeller somehow.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7ErSmjM56w

And, if you try your mobo's internal soundcard with asio4all w 64 buffers and if your pad does not feel instant'ness, then I am Donald Duck.
I know you have a real soundcard, just saying, I will go with the RME Baby Pro myself soon'ish I have decided and can't be overruled.
Pretty impressive video!!! I'm not too keen to volunteer though!

You certainly won't regret getting the RME. My UFX has been one of the best purchases I've made for my studio.
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Old 06-24-2017, 07:18 AM   #14
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Knew you were gonna say that.
A sub and some civilized non destructive DIY room treatment left after that, I don't think I will regret either even a normal clap freq can bounce around here in an obvious way atm, no good.
Producing ideas with headphones is not illegal thank gawd.
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Old 06-24-2017, 08:16 AM   #15
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ReaDave, sounds like a good selection. If I was to get a new machine though, I would select some other options that may be more cost-effective while sacrificing virtually nothing.

First, I would go with a i7-7700 or just plain i5.

Then, I would replace the Gold-rated PSU with a Bronze (it's just an efficiency rating, doesn't affect performance).

Third, I would get a lower-frequency RAM. Last time I researched on it, RAM frequency had virtually no effect on performance - a counterintuitive fact. Theoretically, this may have changed with the introduction of the DDR4 standard but I doubt it did.

The z270 chipset is a great choice, but I tend to distrust Asus products (I'm a computer tech and have my reasons) so I would go for a safer bet which is Gigabyte. Specifically, GA-Z270-HD3P.
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Old 06-24-2017, 10:22 AM   #16
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just curious cuz I don't know...

I've gone with the corsair LC solutions that work with their own cases...

because of your post I went and looked at the coolmaster one... which is interesting but seems to me a bit awkward to have all that mounted on top of the cpu...

so just wondering why you picked that over the corsair LC units?

also for the SSD's... I went with the EVO series but with the 1TB for the system and then the 2TB models for the lib and other stuff...
[and also a disk HD that is 8 tb for slower storage but gotta have that kind of room as well]
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Old 06-24-2017, 11:16 AM   #17
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Knew you were gonna say that.
A sub and some civilized non destructive DIY room treatment left after that, I don't think I will regret either even a normal clap freq can bounce around here in an obvious way atm, no good.
Producing ideas with headphones is not illegal thank gawd.
Room treatment is probably one of the most important things in making our studios usable. I'm pretty happy with mine in the mix position right now but I still have more to do.
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Old 06-24-2017, 11:26 AM   #18
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ReaDave, sounds like a good selection. If I was to get a new machine though, I would select some other options that may be more cost-effective while sacrificing virtually nothing.

First, I would go with a i7-7700 or just plain i5.
That was my initial thought but I want the option of overclocking in case I decide to experiment later on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by avocadomix View Post
Then, I would replace the Gold-rated PSU with a Bronze (it's just an efficiency rating, doesn't affect performance).
There are two reasons I went with this one. The first is better efficiency generally = less cooling requirements for the same power output and potentially less noise.
The second reason is that my home and studio is running from a custom solar/battery install so efficiency when running my studio on batteries is important.
Every little bit adds up.

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Originally Posted by avocadomix View Post
Third, I would get a lower-frequency RAM. Last time I researched on it, RAM frequency had virtually no effect on performance - a counterintuitive fact. Theoretically, this may have changed with the introduction of the DDR4 standard but I doubt it did.
You might have a point here but it didn't really add much to the overall cost so I just went with the top spec in this class.

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Originally Posted by avocadomix View Post
The z270 chipset is a great choice, but I tend to distrust Asus products (I'm a computer tech and have my reasons) so I would go for a safer bet which is Gigabyte. Specifically, GA-Z270-HD3P.
I guess we all have varying experiences and our decisions reflect this. I have had some bad experiences in the past with Gigabyte. That might have changed now but in the 17 years and multiple systems I've built and purchased in that time, I've used almost exclusively Asus products and never had an issue.
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Old 06-24-2017, 11:33 AM   #19
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just curious cuz I don't know...

I've gone with the corsair LC solutions that work with their own cases...

because of your post I went and looked at the coolmaster one... which is interesting but seems to me a bit awkward to have all that mounted on top of the cpu...

so just wondering why you picked that over the corsair LC units?

also for the SSD's... I went with the EVO series but with the 1TB for the system and then the 2TB models for the lib and other stuff...
[and also a disk HD that is 8 tb for slower storage but gotta have that kind of room as well]
There are a couple of reasons I went with the air cooler.
Firstly, I don't really like the idea of having all that liquid inside the guts of a computer system. My fears might be unfounded but if something broke and the liquid got out, that could be disastrous.
Secondly, it seems liquid coolers can be noisier than one would expect. They have fans AND a pump. I'm aiming to make this PC as silent as possible.

As you mention though, there is a lot mounted on top of the CPU with these bigger air coolers but the weight is distributed by a pretty hefty mounting system that spreads the load over a reasonable area.
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Old 06-24-2017, 11:41 AM   #20
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I see OK well just to say, the coolmaster also has liquid that turns to a gass when heated, eh? in my experience so far, the corsair LC's very nice and yes they do have fans and a radiator... and since I use the biggest radiator the case has to allow for the installation [I do it at the top] but they do seem very safe... I know the old LC's seemed dangerous to me as well but these seem fine... and they are quiet fans... barely a whisper except on really hot days when the amibient room temp gets too damn hi... we've had a week of well over 100 degree F and during the hot part of the day my room got warm and I could hear the fans... normally I don't and the cpu stays below human body temp.
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Old 06-24-2017, 11:59 AM   #21
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I am using Noctua NH-U12S and that thing only have one - fan atm and I even added a resistance cable because I could, don't recall having noise issues without it either.
According to the BIOS, 31C @ 511 RPM atm (summertime).
Some say the i7 7700K is HOT, omgomg.. hmm.. ?
I think you will be fine and happy for some time now as far as DAWs is concerned ReaDave.
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Old 06-24-2017, 12:01 PM   #22
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@hopi - Yeah. My concerns regarding liquid coolers may well be unfounded.
The vapour chamber of the Coolermaster is also a potential point for leaking liquid but it seems to be contained inside a pretty robust metal housing and it is a lot less liquid than the big water coolers.
At the end of the day, if it keeps my CPU cool and doesn't create a noise issue, I'll be happy.

I can always change over to a liquid cooler later on and if I do that, the Corsair would high on my list.
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Old 06-24-2017, 12:02 PM   #23
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I am using Noctua NH-U12S and that thing only have one - fan atm and I even added a resistance cable because I could, don't recall having noise issues without it either.
According to the BIOS, 31C @ 511 RPM atm (summertime).
Some say the i7 7700K is HOT, omgomg.. hmm.. ?
I think you will be fine and happy for some time now as far as DAWs is concerned ReaDave.
I'm sure looking forward to firing this up once everything arrives.
Those temp specs look pretty good to me too.
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Old 06-25-2017, 09:39 AM   #24
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hmm.. for some reason Asus USA drivers section is abit schooby doo atm..

Eum edit: .au seems to work also
https://www.asus.com/au/Motherboards...Desk_Download/
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Old 06-26-2017, 03:18 AM   #25
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I just purchased the upgrade from Komplete 8 standard to Komplete 11 ultimate and am really glad I did.
However, this is really making me even more eager to have my new rig up and running (still waiting on mobo to arrive). I've been playing around with Reaktor Blocks and this thing is AWESOME but it is a HUGE CPU hog. More so than even Diva in divine mode on big pad patches!!
It will be very interesting to see just how much more I get out of the new rig and Blocks looks like a great way to compare.
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Old 06-26-2017, 06:08 AM   #26
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Ohh-la-lah! I did not know about Reaktor Blocks and I only have what came along with the Maschine Mikro MK2.
I would be more interested also in going for their whole thing collection ultimateness rather then pick a few, maby some day.. totally blaming ReaDave if..

Also, never even crossed my mind that I/We have Thunderbolt on the mobo now and Apollo Twin MkII exists and sure looks sexy/interesting to me for my needs/taste and I am on Windows 10 also, hmm... poop........
Think I need to go back to Malmö and visit Master "Yoda" and have a chat and demo/fun.

Will you RAID two of the SSDs btw?
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Old 06-26-2017, 06:57 AM   #27
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@hopi - Yeah. My concerns regarding liquid coolers may well be unfounded.
The vapour chamber of the Coolermaster is also a potential point for leaking liquid but it seems to be contained inside a pretty robust metal housing and it is a lot less liquid than the big water coolers.
At the end of the day, if it keeps my CPU cool and doesn't create a noise issue, I'll be happy.

I can always change over to a liquid cooler later on and if I do that, the Corsair would high on my list.
just to be clear.... the corsair LC is not really water... it is some special liquid [which if it got out likely uglier than water...]

I just don't love the thought of that huge chunk of hardware and fans standing on top of the poor little cpu... but that's just me.
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Old 06-26-2017, 02:45 PM   #28
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Ohh-la-lah! I did not know about Reaktor Blocks and I only have what came along with the Maschine Mikro MK2.
I would be more interested also in going for their whole thing collection ultimateness rather then pick a few, maby some day.. totally blaming ReaDave if..

Also, never even crossed my mind that I/We have Thunderbolt on the mobo now and Apollo Twin MkII exists and sure looks sexy/interesting to me for my needs/taste and I am on Windows 10 also, hmm... poop........
Think I need to go back to Malmö and visit Master "Yoda" and have a chat and demo/fun.

Will you RAID two of the SSDs btw?
There are just so many really good things in Komplete 11 ultimate. I've been eyeing off the upgrade for a while now and when the half price sale started, I decided it was the perfect time to take the plunge.
I don't have any NI hardware yet but am seriously considering an S61 at some point when my budget recovers.

Regarding thunderbolt, do your research first. I've heard mixed reports about it on Windows at this point. I'd still be going for the RME if I was you. It is proven tech with great drivers and top support.

I won't be using RAID on any of these drives. My plan is to have one for OS, one for recording and one for sample libraries.
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Old 06-26-2017, 02:49 PM   #29
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just to be clear.... the corsair LC is not really water... it is some special liquid [which if it got out likely uglier than water...]

I just don't love the thought of that huge chunk of hardware and fans standing on top of the poor little cpu... but that's just me.
That's a valid concern I guess. It is a lot of weight. However, the full load isn't really on the CPU lid from what I can gather. There's a pretty serious support bracing system that mounts to both sides of the motherboard which spreads the load upon itself.
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Old 06-26-2017, 06:22 PM   #30
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having had a recent nightmare and a half with thunderbolt on new PC, I would stay clear of it until such a time that you have seen MANY verifications of it totally working....

even partially working... like for a video or ext. hard drive is not enough for an audio card...

TB is a swell 'idea' but ... maybe in a few more years
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Old 06-27-2017, 02:12 AM   #31
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When do the parts arrive ?

Half the fun is putting it together, like any shiny new tool/toy.
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Old 06-27-2017, 03:40 AM   #32
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When hireing movers (strangers) un-sensitive donkeys, that could potentially damage whole suthern Sweden then I was a tad Nerve'ous having a chunk of block with weight and added some foam just in the case, but yeah, the mounting is backplated and feels Solid and survives a transport so.

Ohh-K - I think I am gonna take your's advice's and join the RME-club, thanks.

ReaDave have been mature in not upgrading for a loooong time, way longer than me so in theory, one ReaDave should be one happy kid again soon.
They really should bottle up dat new-componentssmell and sell it, love it.
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Old 06-27-2017, 06:58 PM   #33
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having had a recent nightmare and a half with thunderbolt on new PC, I would stay clear of it until such a time that you have seen MANY verifications of it totally working....

even partially working... like for a video or ext. hard drive is not enough for an audio card...

TB is a swell 'idea' but ... maybe in a few more years
Now that you mention it, I remember reading about the fiasco you experienced trying to get TB working on Windows.
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Old 06-27-2017, 07:04 PM   #34
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When do the parts arrive ?

Half the fun is putting it together, like any shiny new tool/toy.
At this stage, the only thing holding things up is the motherboard.
For this build, I'm actually getting the local guy who I'm purchasing everything from to do the build. I normally build my rigs myself but this time I'll get a warranty on the whole build with great support if anything goes pear shaped. He's also going to do the setup and benchmarking to guarantee everything is running smoothly before I even pick it up. I have very limited Internet here so this will save me a ton of data with Windows updates and driver installation.
Basically, I'll receive the whole box with Win 10 Pro fully updated and all the latest drivers installed.
When I get it home, I'll do a full backup with Acronis before installing my studio software. That will give me a bare bones restore point if I ever need it.
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Old 06-27-2017, 07:13 PM   #35
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When hireing movers (strangers) un-sensitive donkeys, that could potentially damage whole suthern Sweden then I was a tad Nerve'ous having a chunk of block with weight and added some foam just in the case, but yeah, the mounting is backplated and feels Solid and survives a transport so.

Ohh-K - I think I am gonna take your's advice's and join the RME-club, thanks.

ReaDave have been mature in not upgrading for a loooong time, way longer than me so in theory, one ReaDave should be one happy kid again soon.
They really should bottle up dat new-componentssmell and sell it, love it.
This one has certainly been a long time coming! And yes, I sure am looking forward to putting it through its paces.
I was using my Sony Vaio Duo 11 for quite a while (dual core i5 with four threads) and it also runs nicely but I ended up going back to the older rig and updating to a Samsung EVO SSD and Win 10. It actually runs neck and neck with my Sony but I have more i/o and two 1080p monitors rather than the 11" screen on the Sony. Besides, that frees up the Sony to use as a VST host for live improvisations (running into the main rig).

With the new rig, I should be able to do most of that all in the one box (should be able to track with even fairly greedy VST instruments at low latency).

Make sure you let us know how you go with the RME when you get it.
Good to hear your CPU survived the move too.
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:38 AM   #36
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Me 2, I would physicaly drop and cry my ass of in public if... *puh*
and Yeah well *ehem ehem* I did snoop around more about the TB / Apollo though.

Seems to me it shoouould work on a PC with Windows10 w/Anniversary Update (a must) and TB seems disabled in the BIOS by default here.
Our mobos have TB3, install without it being connected, update what ever firmware.
Read that one user got it working but had to tweak the buffer or something after every boot to get it kicking again, hmm.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBqEpOrYBrs
&
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spTT-lY6SPk
&
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wId8EhZ5swU

And the manual states a roundtrip of 1.1 milliseconds @ 96 kHz sample rate, how is the input/playback response then I ask lol? majj gawd
And I am not even a roundtrip dude, yet..
Ohh poooOoop.. and if like this was not enough, just got the email from NI.. 499,50 Euro for the Ultimate'ness, sorry, I won't make it this summer NI.. lol
Ah oops: upgrade offer, ok.
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:58 AM   #37
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And on a swedish site I just saw/read Samsung850 Pro giving up after a 9100 terabyte writes test
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:21 AM   #38
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And on a swedish site I just saw/read Samsung850 Pro giving up after a 9100 terabyte writes test
Not sure what that means to us in real world terms.

Regarding interface, I'd still be sticking with RME. They are known and proven and work without any fuss.
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:28 AM   #39
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I chose to read it as good news.
Yeah but but, if lets say the Apollo was 100% problem/issues free, then your answer would be the same? I assume you mean that also.
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:32 AM   #40
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I chose to read it as good news.
Yeah but but, if lets say the Apollo was 100% problem/issues free, then your answer would be the same? I assume you mean that also.
No doubt that Samsung seem to have the edge in the SSD market and I'm certainly very happy with them.

Regarding the Apollo, I'd probably still stick with the RME. I'm obviously biased in that direction but that is for good reason. I've owned numerous interfaces over the years and the RME has been by far the best for reliability, support, build quality, drivers and sound quality.
TotalMix FX is brilliant too. It has formed an essential part of my studio workflow.
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