Description

This is the first custom PC I have ever built and boy was it satisfying. I'm using this PC mainly for Music Production, some photo post processing with Adobe Lightroom, and probably some gaming.

The reason why I created this build was because I kept stressing my 2012 Macbook Pro which was pretty beefy at its time when it was released, but it gets annoying when your computer keeps thermal throttling due to a thin chassis. It was still handling some heavy projects I was working on in recent months, but performance would take a hit quite often. Plus, using a 1440p ultrawide was pushing the limits for the measly GT650m gpu. I knew that at some point I was going to upgrade to a proper desktop. Although I did want to stay on the Mac and wait for the fabled "modular" Mac Pro, but I know that that wasn't going to happen anytime soon.

Anyways, I thought it was the right time to make a custom built since the Ryzen refresh came out and was pretty comparable to what Intel was offering with the 8700K. The thought of 8 cores/16 threads appealed to me since music, film, photo, and other creative programs can take advantage of the core amount for rendering. I like that the core clocks are pretty high so there's a good balance between cores and clock speeds. The goal was really to have a computer with an overall performance that was about 80% or higher compared to the Mac I own.

After two days of use with this new PC, I haven't experienced a single problem as of yet and it's running extremely stable with a slight overclock of 3.9 GHz. It's much more stable than my Macbook Pro at the moment for sure. Another thing to note, it's also dead silent and the only thing I really ever hear is the western digital drive when it seeking, or when the system is under load. Even under load, it's much less audible than my Macbook.

It feels great being back in the PC realm and I hope to have this build for many years to come.

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

Simply quiet

Motherboard

Great board with so many features that I probably might not use, BIOS is dead easy to use.

Storage

Seriously, this thing runs at breakneck speeds. Windows 10 Pro took literally less than 5 minutes to setup on this drive which completely caught me off guard.

I don't have to wait for anything to load once I log on.

Case

Wanted something subdued, practical, simple, and quiet. Fractal was the best choice.

Power Supply

Thought it was DOA when I installed it, but didn't realize that it had eco mode on and the fan doesn't spin up unless under load which is great!

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Comments

  • 22 months ago
  • 3 points

Looks really nice :) Congrats on your first build.

  • 22 months ago
  • 2 points

very clean build. +1

  • 22 months ago
  • 2 points

Does the gpu come with the backplate?

  • 22 months ago
  • 2 points

Nope, it doesn't.

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  • 22 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build. I'm a fan of Fractal cases and the Ryzen 2700X. Two questions:

  1. Going from Mac to PC, what music production software are you now using on PC?

  2. What brand/model are those monitors we see mounted on stands next to your desk?

  • 22 months ago
  • 2 points
  1. Exact same thing minus Logic Pro X. I mainly use Ableton Live since it's the most efficient workflow for the stuff I do. I was also sort of working with Pro Tools since the studio I work at is built on it, but it's workflow is not my preferred. I used Logic Pro X mostly for when I had to sync music to a short film or something since Ableton doesn't have the option to change frame rates down to 23.976.

  2. The studio monitors are the Yamaha HS8. Great monitors which I have had for about four years now. Probably the best investment I made when I was still fairly new to music production. I think they might be slightly overkill for my room since they have a fair amount of low end ranging down to 38 Hz before it starts cutting off, but I know my room really well them and can "mix and master" my own stuff. I got them for about $700 at the time with the stands, so it was a good deal.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the information, much appreciated.

Yamaha HS8-- looking at your photo again now I notice the logos. Yup, highly regarded. excellent choice.

You said, "...I know my room really well..." --- that comment reveals oodles about your approach and your chops. I salute!

Thanks again for sharing.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

No problem, and thank you for checking my post. :)

  • 22 months ago
  • 2 points

I'll just say this, I'm a music producer myself and I'd avoid any overclocking on a music prod computer. Overclocking on a workstation might sound reasonable on paper, but the tradeoffs usually go against the reason for building a workstation in the first place, especially in a recording environment where any electrical current variation could translate into pop and cracks in the audio files.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

I honestly gave it thought, but it's about a 6-8% increase in performance. I'd understand if you were overclocking to about a whole GHz, but that wouldn't be possible on this CPU anyways. As far as cracks and pops, the projects I used to have problems with on my macbook pro that were large for me, are now non existent. I'll have to really test it's limits with some insane performance modes, especially with some reverbs like 2C Aether or Altiverb.

  • 22 months ago
  • 2 points

My pretentious advice was coming from my bad habit of using all the power I have available at all the time eh. Well that's true, I kinda don't know your workflow. If you're working mostly in the box with digital instruments, it might not even matter.

In all seriousness,it was just intended as a friendly reminder in case you get unwanted artifacts at some points and are not sure where to look for, this might be one explanation.

Pretty sure that Altiverb can crush any computer given the chance eh.

That aside it's a pretty clean and cool build by the way. It's my kind of low key looker.

  • 22 months ago
  • 2 points

Nothing was coming off as pretentious my dude. Just some helpful advice and there's nothing wrong with that.

I am mostly working in the box since what I do is a lot of electronic based stuff, but also bringing in my own recorded stuff for further manipulation of sorts.

Overall, thanks! :D

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

Just putting this in after the fact - the Ryzen 7 2700x does a great job of automatically boosting up to a boost that is safe for the cpu but also will give you an increase in performance, as long as it has cooling head space.

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

I’d be willing to give you my old laptop, which has a GTX 960M 2 GB. I need a new laptop anyway, mine’s 3 years old. Hopefully that should be enough rendering power for what you want to do

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

I would like your laptop :)

  • 13 months ago
  • 3 points

Are you actually serious? If you are, what’s your asking price??

  • 13 months ago
  • 3 points

oh I thought it would be free

  • 13 months ago
  • 2 points

lol nothing is free my friend

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

How are the thermals? Considering the Dark rock for my first build featuring a 2600x.

  • 21 months ago
  • 2 points

Thermals have been great so far. I haven't done anything demanding that has pushed the PC to its limits. All I can say is that It's extremely rare to hear the fans kicking into higher RPMS. I recommend.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build! I am likely going to do something very similar. Are you using the on-board audio for music production (I didn't see any sound card installed)? If so, how does it sound to your ears? Any issues with plug-ins, VST instances, etc?

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh no, using an external audio interface from Focusrite. Eventually going to upgrade to either a UAD apollo twin, or a presonus studio 192.

I haven't had issues with any software that I use so far.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Just a heads up, the UAD Apollo Twin requires USB-C > Thunderbolt conversion, which is only available on Intel motherboards. Coming from an overpowered Ryzen build, this was sad news for me. So I'm building a new Intel based computer for this very reason.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Damn, that's wack :/ I was aware of the whole thunderbolt situation so it wasn't too much of a big deal for me personally.

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

hello

i'm plan to be on the PC route as well for music production. i'm just curious what made you choose amd ryzen over intel sky lake/kaby lake/coffee lake? i'm not hating amd here as i also consider ryzen for the same purpose. i plan to use reaper, ezdrummer 2 and bias fx pro. any thoughts which you think is better for the same price?

cheers!

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey!

I simply wanted to have an eight core cpu for a few years now to obliterate through photo editing, video editing, and music production. I know cores isn't everything, but the 2700X has the right balance of core count and high clockspeeds. Clockspeeds are actually more important while working with DAWs, but this processor was the right balance. I almost pulled the trigger at some point with coffee lake, but the thought of eight cores for under $400 that's pretty much almost neck and neck with intel's offerings was a steal imo.

At the end of the day, it really depends on your workflow. I built my PC with longetivity in my mind for at least 6-7 years minimum.

I have had no complaints since I first started using this build back in June.

EDIT: Apologies for the late response.

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

How does Lightroom perform? Have you tried any raw files with it?

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry for the late reply. Lightroom performs great. Fans crank up just a bit when you're developing a raw file, but very smooth.

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

What temps do you get on the CPU?

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

Since i'm not really gaming much, my temperatures are usually pretty cool. If i'm doing light tasks on the computer, it's usually averaging around 44c-49c. If i'm working on a sort of large project in Ableton loaded with a crap ton of plugins, temperatures are still good. averaging about 50c-60c. I haven't done demanding stuff like rendering videos in Davinci Resolve or Premiere yet so I can't say how temps are gonna be when using that type of workflow.
In the end, it's a quiet and cool cpu paired with the be quiet cooler.

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Do you record audio at all? I've heard that Intel has advantages over Ryzen when it comes to latency - what's your experience been? What buffer size are you using? Nice looking build btw!

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, I record quite a bit of audio. When I'm recording vocals, I don't get latency at all.

Usually, i'm on 128 or 256. I could run it even lower if i want, but since most of the time i'm working with a lot of software plugins, I don't need to be stressing the cpu that much. I haven't had issues with dropouts, unless i'm using some heavy mastering chain with Ozone in the mix.

Thanks :)

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for getting back to me. All the best with your music! Please let me know if you post anything on Soundcloud

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Anytime man. I try to reply to any questions on here when I have the time.

If you want to check out my works, you can checkout my stuff either on SoundCloud or regular streaming like spotify and the like under Carbon Nerve.

Here's some links.

https://soundcloud.com/carbonnerve

www.carbonnerve.net

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice work on "Galvanize". Well done! Liked the way you blended in sounds very patiently. Am I right in saying you were using side-chain compression for the pumping vibe? I haven't had the chance to try that technique yet. Were you using just reverb or delay + reverb? p.s. Following you on Soundcloud now!

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh thanks for checking it out and for the follow!

Yeah, I gave the entire track this sort of pumping vibe. I use some layers of reverb layered in a careful manner so that it doesn't make the track sound too muddy. There's some delay action. Overall a pretty large sounding track due to the layers of reverbs and delays moving around the track,

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

That HDD is almost a price of a 2060..

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Actually had to check and there seems to be a price hike. I got the drive around the mid $150's over the summer so that's weird.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

This is so clean the pictures called me broke. +1

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Nah, don't say that. Built this one on a budget at the time considering I had to hold back on some components I really wanted.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

LOL I was kidding. Still a super clean setup despite the budget. Almost looks like there was no budget. I salute.

  • 13 months ago
  • 2 points

it's chillin :D

Thanks man :)

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