Suggestions for PC Desktop for running Live???

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
deckard1
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Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:54 pm

Suggestions for PC Desktop for running Live???

Post by deckard1 » Fri May 15, 2015 12:46 pm

Hello,

I have to sell my MacBook Pro, unfortunately. I am planning on purchasing a PC Desktop to replace the Mac and run Live. I already have a monitor, so just need the tower. If someone, or anyone, could help me out with any suggestions that would be great. My price range is 500 US dollars or less. I run a fair amount of virtual instruments (Omnisphere, Diva, SSD4, etc.) and use approximately 10-12 MIDI tracks per project...maximum.

Additional questions:

1. How important is the manufacturer (HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc.)?
2. Is an Intel Pentium series processor a must? Or, would a cheaper AMD or Intel Celeron processor suffice?
2. I assume 2 GB's of RAM is not enough. What would you suggest as a minimum for GB's?
3. Would I run into problems with a 5400 rpm HDD as opposed to using a 7200 rpm HDD?

Obviously, the answers to the above questions would be 'the more, the better'. However, my present budget is only 500 US dollars or less. All suggestions are welcome.

Thanks!!!
Apple 2009-2010 Mac Pro (64 bit); 2.66 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon Processor (max 12-core); 16 GB RAM 1333 MHz DDR3; (RAM max 64 GB)
OS X: Mavericks (10.9.4)


'Compatibility means deliberately repeating other people's mistakes’
- David Wheeler

yur2die4
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Re: Suggestions for PC Desktop for running Live???

Post by yur2die4 » Fri May 15, 2015 1:30 pm

You'll probably hear a lot more detailed responses, but, for starters, stick with Intel, probably at least an i5, but an i7 would be ideal. A desktop processor should blow a laptop processor out of the water. (But be careful to make sure it is a desktop processor, these days they'll make smaller form factor 'desktops' and just toss mobile processors in them)

For ram, at least 8 gigs to ensure you won't have to upgrade for a whole. 4 is acceptable but with operating system upgrades, and the low cost between 4 and 8, you might as well jump to 8. Most will probably offer much more than 8 as an option.

With hard drives, it matters, but it won't stop you from making music. A 5400 will often times be pretty reliable, plus you can have one with a lot of storage for cheap. In that department, what I usually do is go with the stock hard drive and then buy a seperate SSD that I can transfer the OS onto. But if you're not comfortable with that, it's okay too.

More on the hard drives, an SSD can run verrry fast by comparison and is kind of worth the price. The nice thing about a desktop is that a decent one should offer extra expansion options. So you might not need a solid state drive right away. You can get your setup going and then see what needs to be modified as time goes on. If a lower overall cost motivates you to have your new computer sooner, then just make sure the HD meets your storage needs. A nicer hard drive will cost less in the future :P

For brands, I don't really know... but I think we live in an age where they'd practically pay You to buy a desktop haha jk

Kvetch
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Re: Suggestions for PC Desktop for running Live???

Post by Kvetch » Fri May 15, 2015 1:59 pm

The manufacturer is not enormously important but some do install unwanted software on their PCs at the factory, that is something you might want to consider.

Virtual instruments will require the best CPU you can afford, especially the likes of Diva. Also 2Gb of RAM is not really enough, I would go with 4 minimum and 8 if you can afford it.

You would get a far better PC for your money building it yourself than buying.

Here is a full PC which comes to £270 in total (about $420 US)
______________________________________________________________________
CPU - AMD FX 4300 (Quad Core 4Ghz)

Motherboard - ASRock 960GM-VGS3

RAM - Corsair Value Select DDR3 1333Mhz (8Gb Dual channel 2x4Gb)

Power Supply - 500W EVGA 100-W1-0500-KR

Hard Drive - WD1003FBYX (1Tb 7200rpm drive)

Case - CiT Marvel case
_____________________________________________________________________

That whole PC will cost you around $420 building it yourself, plus Windows if you don't have a spare copy. Make sure you get 64bit version of whatever Windows version you get, otherwise you will only get a tiny amount of your RAM in use.

You can of course buy a prebuilt PC from the likes of Dell, HP etc, but they will charge you more money for a WAAAAY more inferior machine

deckard1
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:54 pm

Re: Suggestions for PC Desktop for running Live???

Post by deckard1 » Fri May 15, 2015 2:47 pm

Many thanks for the excellent replies. How hard is it to build a PC yourself?
Apple 2009-2010 Mac Pro (64 bit); 2.66 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon Processor (max 12-core); 16 GB RAM 1333 MHz DDR3; (RAM max 64 GB)
OS X: Mavericks (10.9.4)


'Compatibility means deliberately repeating other people's mistakes’
- David Wheeler

Stromkraft
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Re: Suggestions for PC Desktop for running Live???

Post by Stromkraft » Fri May 15, 2015 2:50 pm

deckard1 wrote:I am planning on purchasing a PC Desktop to replace the Mac and run Live.
The thing is that Pcs are not like Macs. You need to take greater care selecting the best machine/parts. With your budget you should consider buying newer 2nd hand parts and to slim it down as far as you can without compromising performance. I'd definitely vouch for a 7200 or 10000 rpm drive or even a small fast SSD.

I got some interesting responses in Custombuilt Music Computers.
Make some music!

Stromkraft
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Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Suggestions for PC Desktop for running Live???

Post by Stromkraft » Fri May 15, 2015 2:53 pm

deckard1 wrote:Many thanks for the excellent replies. How hard is it to build a PC yourself?
If you are careful paired with some courage, make sure you got good sight/lighting and are prepared to read installation manuals / watch videos and ask questions on builder sites (and friends) it can be done by most. Takes some interest certainly.

I built a Hackintosh just this month. I've opened and repaired numerous Macs before that though, mostly laptops.
Make some music!

deckard1
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Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:54 pm

Re: Suggestions for PC Desktop for running Live???

Post by deckard1 » Fri May 15, 2015 3:27 pm

think I am going to buy a brand name tower. Maybe in the future I will build one. What does it mean if the processor just says Pentium...no i3, i5, or i7 mentioned?

Here is one I was looking at:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-pavilion ... Id=8448576

What do you think?

Thanks for your help.
Apple 2009-2010 Mac Pro (64 bit); 2.66 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon Processor (max 12-core); 16 GB RAM 1333 MHz DDR3; (RAM max 64 GB)
OS X: Mavericks (10.9.4)


'Compatibility means deliberately repeating other people's mistakes’
- David Wheeler

deckard1
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:54 pm

Re: Suggestions for PC Desktop for running Live???

Post by deckard1 » Fri May 15, 2015 6:24 pm

I found an Intel i5 with 8GB of RAM, 7200 rpm HDD...made by Acer in my price range. Here is the link if anyone wishes to comment:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/acer-aspire ... Id=3288131

Thanks.
Apple 2009-2010 Mac Pro (64 bit); 2.66 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon Processor (max 12-core); 16 GB RAM 1333 MHz DDR3; (RAM max 64 GB)
OS X: Mavericks (10.9.4)


'Compatibility means deliberately repeating other people's mistakes’
- David Wheeler

njh
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Re: Suggestions for PC Desktop for running Live???

Post by njh » Fri May 15, 2015 7:05 pm

I was pricing parts on newegg.com and ended up with much better specs for around $600
With the build I was looking at you would get an ssd hard drive, a current gen graphics card and 16 of ram.

When it comes to pc towers I feel its better to just do the research yourself and build the computer.

yur2die4
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Re: Suggestions for PC Desktop for running Live???

Post by yur2die4 » Fri May 15, 2015 9:35 pm

That include OS??

Stromkraft
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Re: Suggestions for PC Desktop for running Live???

Post by Stromkraft » Sat May 16, 2015 5:22 pm

deckard1 wrote:I found an Intel i5 with 8GB of RAM, 7200 rpm HDD...made by Acer in my price range. Here is the link if anyone wishes to comment:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/acer-aspire ... Id=3288131

Thanks.
Best buy doesn't say which i5 model this is. The 4th generation also includes a few dual core: 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i5 Processors (Intel link)
Good idea to make sure it's 4 cores.

It doesn't say what mother board you have in there either. You really have to research which mother board and the ports. Acer have a money back guarantee no questions asked? Perhaps worth a try if so.
Make some music!

deckard1
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:54 pm

Re: Suggestions for PC Desktop for running Live???

Post by deckard1 » Sat May 16, 2015 6:42 pm

I ended up getting the following Acer Tower for $499 US. Any suggestions on what to upgrade first? I am primarily interested in speed. Also, when I had the Mac, I was using the internal soundcard...no third party interface. When I run Ableton Live on my new PC, it doesn't seem to offer any options under Preferences => Audio. Do I need to get an audio interface? I assume my new PC has a soundcard like the Mac did? Very strange.

4th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-4460 processor
Features a 6MB cache and 3.2GHz processor speed with Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz.
Intel® Core™ i5 processor
Features smart 4-way processing performance with a speed boost.
Intel® Turbo Boost Technology
8GB DDR3 memory expandable to 16GB.
Multiformat DVD±RW/CD-RW drive
2TB Serial ATA III hard drive (5400 rpm)
Intel® HD Graphics 4600
2 USB 3.0 and 4 USB 2.0 ports
Built-in high-speed wireless LAN (802.11a/b/g/n)
Bluetooth 4.0
Built-in 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN
Windows 8.1 operating system preinstalled

Thanks!
Apple 2009-2010 Mac Pro (64 bit); 2.66 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon Processor (max 12-core); 16 GB RAM 1333 MHz DDR3; (RAM max 64 GB)
OS X: Mavericks (10.9.4)


'Compatibility means deliberately repeating other people's mistakes’
- David Wheeler

yur2die4
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Re: Suggestions for PC Desktop for running Live???

Post by yur2die4 » Sat May 16, 2015 7:17 pm

Try asio4all for a temporary soundcard fix.

Make sure it is the legit site. There are fake ones out there also.

Stromkraft
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Re: Suggestions for PC Desktop for running Live???

Post by Stromkraft » Sat May 16, 2015 7:49 pm

deckard1 wrote:Any suggestions on what to upgrade first? I am primarily interested in speed. I assume my new PC has a soundcard like the Mac did? Very strange.
It's on the mother board. Check the outs. I sincerely suggest you get a dedicated audio interface for performance reasons. But try the built-in alternatives first. Always good to know your options.

With 8gb I'd definitely run the 64-bit version of Live, given you don't have 32bit plug-ins you must support. But try the 32bit too. I think you can install both bit-versions also in Windows. On the Mac you just change the name.
deckard1 wrote: 4th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-4460 processor
Features a 6MB cache and 3.2GHz processor speed with Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz.
Intel® HD Graphics 4600
That's indeed a 4-core i5. Actually the same I put in the gaming Hackintosh I recently built. The built-in 4600 graphics is alright.
Make some music!

deckard1
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:54 pm

Re: Suggestions for PC Desktop for running Live???

Post by deckard1 » Sat May 16, 2015 8:32 pm

Many thanks!!! The ASIO4ALL did the trick.

If I could ask you guys just one more question I should be good to go with Live. After downloading, unzipping, and installing all of my third party vst plugins, how do you tell Ableton where to find the third party vst plugins? On a Mac, they 'magically' show up within Live :mrgreen: ; however, it seems to be different on a PC. It's as if Live needs me to tell it where to find the third party plugins...something I do not know how to do even after hitting the 'rescan' button in Live's Preferences. Any suggestions???

Thanks again.
Apple 2009-2010 Mac Pro (64 bit); 2.66 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon Processor (max 12-core); 16 GB RAM 1333 MHz DDR3; (RAM max 64 GB)
OS X: Mavericks (10.9.4)


'Compatibility means deliberately repeating other people's mistakes’
- David Wheeler

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