Hello geek people!
I've been doing my home recording for the past 9 years or so on an old Dell Studio Laptop... it still works, but yikes. It's showing its age. I'm looking to upgrade to a mid-market custom-built machine that'll last me another 8-10 years. I'm hoping this crowd of hobbyists might have some input.
- The machine is dedicated to recording. It sits in my studio and has one job. No gaming, video editing, anything like that.
- I'm sticking with desktop rather than laptop... I'm not that mobile with my recording these days, and it's a lot more configurable. Size / form factor is not an issue.
- My main DAW is Ableton Live. Most of my recording is 20+ track stuff with lots of effects but generally not a ton of MIDI-based VSTs. (Ableton is big on multi-threading with multiple cores.) I'll occasionally run something like Komplete as well.
- I'm PC-based. No discussion of going Mac. My initial bias is towards Intel over AMD, with the understanding that multi-threading is handled a lot better in the Intel world. I can be convinced otherwise.
- My key metrics are *silence* and speed. Speed is pretty subjective, but my main focuses are on rendering and the real-time warping Ableton does. Right now, silent means SSDs over HDs, power supplies and coolers that focus on low-fan noise, and cases that feature some noise suppression while hopefully not turning the machine into a hotbox.
- My interface is a FocusRite Saffire Pro 40. It's firewire-based, but pretty much any Firewire card should handle that.
- My setup is dual-monitor, which may require a video card beyond anything built into the motherboard.
- All-in budget before non-OS software is around $1000, with a little tolerance for overage. My initial estimates are a little over that.
In a real sense, I can do MOST of that pretty well on my nine-year old i5 at 2.40GHz (albeit slowly), so a lot of my design could be overkill. But overkill is fun.
Thoughts from the crowd?