myrnova wrote:Nowadays things have changed, and working on PC is almost better (much easier, cheaper and more choices. Less issues).
miekwave wrote:Depends on how you intend to use Ableton LiveMUNCHED wrote:im looking to upgrade my laptop which is draggin me back from things as its so slow to a macbook or imac but CANNOT affoard it and seen this in my local aldi...giving the specs is it good enough for my studio for a fair few years, i was hopefully goin to build a monster pc but this is a quad core and 3.2ghz so would it be worth it, ill be buying 2 x new monitors
https://www.aldi.ie/en/specialbuys/thur ... esktop-pc/
the price of it in sterling is £344
any help thanks!!!
16 Track Build
If you are running fewer than 16 tracks with minimal reverb plug ins, then an AMD Quad FX4350 or Octo Core FX-8350 + 8 GB ram should suffice.
24 Track Build
If you are going 17-24 tracks with more plug ins, Kontact sampling, an Intel Haswell i5 4670k + 8 should be adequate.
36 Track Build
If you are running 25-36 tracks, lots of plug ins, lots of Kontact type sampling, lots of reverbs, then a Haswell i7 4770k, 16-32GB ram is a must have
40+ Track Build
If you are running 37+ tracks, lots of instrument plug ins, lots of VST processing, and using Kontakt player with greater than 250 voices playing with one or more SSD drives and lots of reverbs and low latency, you will want a Dual Configured Intel Xeon setup at least 2.4 GHZ Intel Xeon E5-2640 (12 threads), E5-2667 (12 Threads), E5-2670 (16 threads) and 32-64GB ram
Projects/Sampling and Ram
Ram, most ram is adequate, however ECC ram is more reliable for sample playback. You might not notice a difference if you are playing fewer than 50 voices in your Sampler program such as Ableton Packs or Kontakt player, but once you hit the 200+ voices you will want to use ECC ram, which will help prevent clicks and pops form your streaming sample. Having said that, the error instance is low, but increases by a factor of 10 when you play a bunch of layered sampled (over 200 voices).
8GB ram should be your bare minimum ram.
Kingston makes the best/most reliable ram on the market for DAW PC (imo). Only get the 1333 or 1600 ram, don't bother with the 2300+ rated ram unless you want to play CPU hungry games; as those can over heat and require additional cooling (and noise). Kingston LOVOLTAGE SODIMM ram is only nano/micro seconds slower than normal ram, (which your DAW and Humans cant perceive a difference) and has the best cooling. If you drive 2300+ ram or CPU hard enough you can cause a fire.
Top SSD Drives
The best Drives on the market for loading projects and samples are the Intel 550 Series, Samsung 840 Pro Series, and the Crucial M500 series (imo). For example, if you have Native Instruments Komplete, a Samsung 840 Pro 512 GB will suit you very well. If you want to get EWQL library, the Samsung serves you well as well. For Projects, you can't go wrong with a Crucial M500 960GB. Defrag SSD drives at 20% defragmentation using Auslogics Disc Defrag
If you want to go cheaper, get nothing less than Western Digital Caviar BLACK for your projects drive. Put dual Caviar BLACK in Raid 0 for optimal performance. Defrag the drive at 10% fragmentation.
If you are using greater than 16 tracks, DO NOT put your Ableton projects on the same OS drive, you will kill your hard drive faster than you can say BSOD.
If you intend to go nuts with ultra low latency + VST + Reverb plug ins, you need Corsair H60 cooling solution, as the realtime load of these plug ins heat up your processor. If you are using a "K" series Intel processor you can ridiculously over clock it for massive realtime Plug in usage at 64-128 sample buffer latency.
Rule of thumb - Lower Buffer Latency = Hotter CPU. This is due to the compounding realtime between the time it takes the sound to load and playback (and be processed). Higher biffer settings (say 512 samples) is adequate for most processors.
Windows Home or Pro?
OS: You need Windows 7/8 PROFESSIONAL to use greater than 16GB ram, otherwise you can use the standard home version.
AMD or i5
Get a power supply rated at 500W (80Plus Bronze will suffice)
i7 or Xeon or with High end Graphics card
Get a power supply that is 800W+ rated 80+Gold or better. You want a Gold rated power supply because anything less than that builds up a lot of heat.
Silent PC does not mean most effective PC. Be sur your PC has SIDE panel, Front and Rear ventilation with fans. Low RPM fans will suffice and usually do not make (too much) noise.
Be sure to have at least 4-6 inches air space for the PC to circulate air. The Hotter your CPU gets the faster the lifespan depletes and more error prone it can become.
While using Ableton Live (or any DAW for that matter), be sure to disable Real-Time antivirus protection, especially if you are using a traditional HDD 7200RPM disc. Also disable internet connectivity where convenient. Disable as much bloatware (auto startup applications) as possible.
Be sure to get a dedicated USB 2.0 hub that is tabletop friendly and label each port as not to confuse windows port IDs when you connect the wrong device in a designated slot.
A Dedicated Firewire 400/800 card is usually more reliable than the Motherboard version
Purchase a separate video card to relieve CPU usage. Haswell and Ivy bridge chips have built in integrated graphics, do not use it if you have a Video card. This will give you an extra 3-10% CPU headroom.
This one is up to you. What I do is Install an Ableton Live program and packs into my C: drive. Then I Install it on my Samsung SSD drive and copy the packs over. The reason I do this is so that I can have quicker installs and load times.
It;s always a good idea to purchase at least 2 years warranty. It might cost somewhere in the ball park of $100 a year, but the added insurance will be appreciated.Murphys law applies to PC's Trust me... I have deviced fail on me when I didn't purchase a warranty, but those I did never failed, lol
CacheVault PCI solutions allow you to tremendously improve access times for projects and samples. You should only use CacheVault if you intend to go beyond 50+ tracks and over 250 voices.
Have as many components/disc drives built into your PC as possible without resorting to USB/Firewire. Your controllers will obviously be external.
PCI cards give you the highest resolution, most tracks, and lowest possible latencies. This is useful for 32+ track projects. You can get away with 48-64 Sample Buffer with a PCI card at high track counts as high resolution.
Firewire Solutions give you flexibility with I/O trackcounts and you can get away with 128 samples without hicking up.
USB audio solutions are usually less reliable than Firewire when it comes to massive trackcount and 256 sample buffer should suffice on most USB interfaces.
Western Digital Caviar Green 2.0 / 3.0 TB drives are very reliable Backup media drives.
Dedicated Page File/ Temp Files , Cache Drive
Western Digital RED drives are designed for continuous access and work as perfect temp folder/cache memory drives. Most 120 GB SSD also work as well. (a SSD with a 50GB pagefile will make ram exchange super fast and transparent). Do not mix a Temp/Cache drive with other drives.