CPU On A Budget - Recommendations Please

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olemon
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2017/03/05 19:18:25 (permalink)

CPU On A Budget - Recommendations Please

I'm trying to select a CPU for a home studio audio workstation build.  There sure are a lot of choices.
 
The AMD FX's like the 6300/6350/8300/8350 are appealing, as are the Intel Core i3's with onboard graphics.  As I read posts and take note of the pc specs in the signatures I see those processors listed fairly often.
 
I don't need top of the line or the latest and greatest.  I just want to be able to record two to four tracks at a time, use AD2 or EZD2, and mix with a reasonable number of plugins.
 
Are those FX's or Core i3's sufficient?  For the Core i3's, are the newer generations better?
 
Thanks.

https://www.reverbnation.com/scottholson
 
 
Platinum, Win 10 (x64), AMD FX-8350, ASUS M5A97 R2.0, 16GB, RME UCX, GA Project Pre-73 MKII, FMR Audio RNC 1773, Summit Audio TLA-50, KRK Rokit 5 G2 Monitors, Guitars
 
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#1

18 Replies Related Threads

    abacab
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    Re: CPU On A Budget - Recommendations Please 2017/03/05 21:41:38 (permalink)
    There are folks running DAWs on AMD, but for low latency audio, it seems that Intel has the edge.
     
    I have a 3rd gen Intel Core i3 that I built a few years ago that is perfect for home recording.  I get low latency and it is capable of many more tracks than I care to manage.
     
    I have always used Intel, since the Pentium 1 days, so I don't really know much about the AMD nomenclature.
     
    As far as Intel goes, the i3 desktop CPU is half of an i7, so instead of 4 cores and 8 threads, you get two cores and 4 threads.  The desktop i5 scales up with 4 cores, but just 4 threads.  The price goes up quickly though.
     
    If your demands are going to be moderate, get the latest gen Core i3 with the fastest clock you can afford.  I have been running my 3.4GHz CPU which rarely goes over 50% with what I do.  Usually much lower, in fact.
     
    The thing to remember is that a single thread can only run as fast as the CPU clock, so that is the speed limit.  Good software developers in some cases have learned how to split up their workload across multiple cores and threads, so in that case a quad core can outperform a dual core.  But the real difference comes down to how heavy you plan to use the system.  Sonar is one application that can take advantage of that and spread the load.
     
    Sure you could buy an i7 and many will say you need it. But unless you plan to run dozens of tracks with multiple plugin effects on each one, you probably can get by fine with an i3 for what you say you need.  It's not a crippled CPU by any measure, it's just that you often see them in cheaply made off-the-shelf PC's, so they have a certain reputation.  But if you pick a quality motherboard, power supply, RAM, you should be good.  And start out with an SSD for the OS drive, the prices on those are very affordable now.  That gives a huge boost to system responsiveness!!!
     
    You can compare prices here:
    http://pcpartpicker.com/list/

    Cakewalk: Sonar Platinum x64 2017-07; X3e; Dimension Pro; Rapture, Z3TA+2; CA-2A  Other: AIR AIEP 3; BIAB; Ignite; Iris 2; SampleTank 3; SynthMaster; Syntronik; SONiVOX; VocalizerPro;  Tracktion Waveform OS: Win10 Pro x64 1607 System: Homebuilt Asus; i3 3.4Ghz; 8GB DDR3; Intel HD Graphics; Dual Monitors; Samsung EVO 850 SSD, 250GB; WD 1.0TB 7200rpm; FireWire  Audio: M-Audio FW-410;  Controllers: A-300PRO; Axiom; CME Xkey  Hardware: Roland JV880; JV1080; XP-30; Alesis QS-6; Casio CZ-1000; Midisport; Mackie 1202
    #2
    kitekrazy1
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    Re: CPU On A Budget - Recommendations Please 2017/03/06 23:23:26 (permalink)
    You probably won't find a better processor for under $100 other than the FX6300.
    If you can find a i7 4770K for around $250 that will last you for quite some time. The prices on them are dropping.
     

    Sonar Platinum, W7 Pro 32GB Ram, Intel i7 4790, AsRock Z97 Pro 4,  NVidia 750ti, AP2496
     
    Sonar Platinum, W7 Pro, 16GB Ram, AMD FX 6300, Gigabyte GA 970 -UD3 P, nVidia 9800GT, Guitar Port, Terratec EWX 2496
    #3
    mitch06
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    Re: CPU On A Budget - Recommendations Please 2017/06/23 06:58:22 (permalink)
    Not sure what your budget is, but something like this might do help: 
    #4
    Grem
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    Re: CPU On A Budget - Recommendations Please 2017/07/13 06:19:35 (permalink)
    kitekrazy1
     
    You probably won't find a better processor for under $100 other than the FX6300.
    If you can find a i7 4770K for around $250 that will last you for quite some time. The prices on them are dropping.
     




     
    I have a FX6300 on my home PC. Specs are in my Sig. I do not do any recording with it. Just projects that have 50+ trks of audio. And I can run a lot of fx before it starts to choke. I use it as a test bed before I put something on my music PC. That and internet surfing.
     
    My music PC has a i7 2600K (I just looked on newegg and they want over $400 for that part! I don't think I paid that much when it was new!!) It can take whatever Project I have on my home PC that is choking it, and play it with ease.
     
    If you do go with an AMD, get a good MB. Asus, Gigabyte, MSI. Or at least look around here and see what othrs are using trouble free.

    Grem

    Michael
     
    Music PC
    i7 2600K; 8gb Ram; 3 256gb SSD, System, Samples, Audio; 1TB Project Storage; 2TB system BkUp; VS-100; Win 10 Pro 64; Sonar Platinum 64,
     
    Home PC
    AMD FX 6300; 8gb Ram; 256 SSD sys; 2TB audio/samples; Realtek WASAPI; Win 10 Home 64; Sonar Platinum 64
     
    Surface Pro 3
    Win 10  i7 8gb RAM

     
    #5
    interpolated
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    Re: CPU On A Budget - Recommendations Please 2017/07/13 06:51:10 (permalink)
    I use gigabyte or Asus. Better support when things go wrong imo.

    I have computer stuff.
     
    https://soundcloud.com/sigmadelta
    #6
    fireberd
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    Re: CPU On A Budget - Recommendations Please 2017/07/13 10:44:24 (permalink)
    I do some PC support/repair.  When anyone asks me about buying (or building) a new PC my responses are (1) Buy as much as your wallet can stand or (2) Buy overkill.  I say that as I see those that "only want a PC to check e-mail" and after they get it they start to do many other things and if they bought the "cheapest" they either are upgrading or buying another.  No difference in recording PC's.  

    Franklin D-10 Pedal Steel Guitar (primary instrument). Dobro, Tele, Gretsch Chet Atkins, 4 and 5 string basses, etc. 
    ASUS Maximus VIII Hero M/B, i7 6700K CPU, 16GB Ram, SSD and conventional hard drives, Win 10 Pro and Win 10 Pro Insider Pre-Release
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    #7
    gbowling
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    Re: CPU On A Budget - Recommendations Please 2017/07/13 12:03:47 (permalink)
    I have an 8350 in a desktop DAW that works great with sonar. Like the recommendation for the 6300, the 8350 is a great "bang for the buck" CPU and I would certainly recommend it.
     
    I have it on a Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 motherboard with 16Gig of RAM.
     
    gabo

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    #8
    azslow3
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    Re: CPU On A Budget - Recommendations Please 2017/07/13 22:39:00 (permalink)
    fireberd
    I do some PC support/repair.  When anyone asks me about buying (or building) a new PC my responses are (1) Buy as much as your wallet can stand or (2) Buy overkill.  I say that as I see those that "only want a PC to check e-mail" and after they get it they start to do many other things and if they bought the "cheapest" they either are upgrading or buying another.  No difference in recording PC's.

    Here I disagree... For someone reading e-mails and skyping  I normally recommend a cheap tablet. There are other solutions for the job, but for comparable weight, usability and accu time, the price difference is 3-5 times.
    One year "old" middle priced notebooks can do Office tasks not worse then $2k monster, which in Office will use clocked down CPU and build in graphics, leaving its most expensive components (discrete graphics and multi-core turbo speed) off.
    Prices drop fast, I always remember a friend who bought FullHD TV when they still was "top", but had no FullHD signal source for 3 years...
    When someone has a bit more money but I am sure the "power" is not going to be an issue, I recommend to invest into quality and/or silence. With questionable application in the observable future, into upgradability. "Most power for $" does not sound like a constructive approach for me.

    Sonar 8LE -> Platinum, Windows 10 pro
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    #9
    abacab
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    Re: CPU On A Budget - Recommendations Please 2017/07/13 23:33:03 (permalink)
    My theory is to build the infrastructure of your PC as high as you can stand, but get a low end CPU for that chipset and socket.  That will save you a few hundred bucks and leave an easy upgrade path in your future.
     
    For example, buy a motherboard with the latest current chipset, CPU socket, and i/o ports, so that you will futureproof your build.
     
    Get a decent case with quiet fans, and a solid power supply.
     
    Then drop in a low end CPU with enough Ghz to get the job done.  If you need to upgrade later, you can just drop in a top end CPU that uses the same socket.
     
    Or you may find that the CPU is not your bottleneck anymore, and spend your money saved on SSD's or audio interfaces! 
     
     

    Cakewalk: Sonar Platinum x64 2017-07; X3e; Dimension Pro; Rapture, Z3TA+2; CA-2A  Other: AIR AIEP 3; BIAB; Ignite; Iris 2; SampleTank 3; SynthMaster; Syntronik; SONiVOX; VocalizerPro;  Tracktion Waveform OS: Win10 Pro x64 1607 System: Homebuilt Asus; i3 3.4Ghz; 8GB DDR3; Intel HD Graphics; Dual Monitors; Samsung EVO 850 SSD, 250GB; WD 1.0TB 7200rpm; FireWire  Audio: M-Audio FW-410;  Controllers: A-300PRO; Axiom; CME Xkey  Hardware: Roland JV880; JV1080; XP-30; Alesis QS-6; Casio CZ-1000; Midisport; Mackie 1202
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    fireberd
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    Re: CPU On A Budget - Recommendations Please 2017/07/14 10:27:10 (permalink)
    Azslow, you missed my point.  My suggestion is because many that start out saying they only want to do menial things such as check e-mail ultimately wind up doing more demanding things with their new PC and thus are faced with upgrading or replacing in some cases.  I have had many of my clients thank me, later on, for my suggestions to buy a better PC rather than a low end/entry level machine.

    Franklin D-10 Pedal Steel Guitar (primary instrument). Dobro, Tele, Gretsch Chet Atkins, 4 and 5 string basses, etc. 
    ASUS Maximus VIII Hero M/B, i7 6700K CPU, 16GB Ram, SSD and conventional hard drives, Win 10 Pro and Win 10 Pro Insider Pre-Release
    Sonar Platinum 64 bit. MOTU 896MK3 Hybrid, Tranzport, X-Touch, JBL LSR308 Monitors,  
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    #11
    azslow3
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    Re: CPU On A Budget - Recommendations Please 2017/07/14 11:25:23 (permalink)
    fireberd
    Azslow, you missed my point.  My suggestion is because many that start out saying they only want to do menial things such as check e-mail ultimately wind up doing more demanding things with their new PC and thus are faced with upgrading or replacing in some cases.  I have had many of my clients thank me, later on, for my suggestions to buy a better PC rather than a low end/entry level machine.

    May be you are right and I am missing your point...
    But when someone ask me for a new computer, I speak with the person at least 20 minutes (usually much more). To know/predict as good as possible what the person (or a group) is going to do with this computer (including questions about periodically coming children, general hobbies, patience level, etc), even when the person does not know that himself. I think I will completely stop to give advises as soon as I no longer able to make correct guesses (I hope that time is in far future, but I know it will come...).

    Sonar 8LE -> Platinum, Windows 10 pro
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    kitekrazy1
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    Re: CPU On A Budget - Recommendations Please 2017/07/18 15:35:32 (permalink)
    No such thing as future proof unless you are content with your hardware.

    Sonar Platinum, W7 Pro 32GB Ram, Intel i7 4790, AsRock Z97 Pro 4,  NVidia 750ti, AP2496
     
    Sonar Platinum, W7 Pro, 16GB Ram, AMD FX 6300, Gigabyte GA 970 -UD3 P, nVidia 9800GT, Guitar Port, Terratec EWX 2496
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    abacab
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    Re: CPU On A Budget - Recommendations Please 2017/07/18 16:10:33 (permalink)
    "Future proof" is an expression not to be taken literally.  It simply means to look ahead as far as practical, or as far as you can afford.  Nobody can see what hasn't been created yet, so ultimately everything will become obsolete.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_proof
     
    I spent many years in the IT industry, and these concepts were frequently discussed there.
     
    For me now, it just means getting about 7-10 years out of a PC build.  Good return on investment! 

    Cakewalk: Sonar Platinum x64 2017-07; X3e; Dimension Pro; Rapture, Z3TA+2; CA-2A  Other: AIR AIEP 3; BIAB; Ignite; Iris 2; SampleTank 3; SynthMaster; Syntronik; SONiVOX; VocalizerPro;  Tracktion Waveform OS: Win10 Pro x64 1607 System: Homebuilt Asus; i3 3.4Ghz; 8GB DDR3; Intel HD Graphics; Dual Monitors; Samsung EVO 850 SSD, 250GB; WD 1.0TB 7200rpm; FireWire  Audio: M-Audio FW-410;  Controllers: A-300PRO; Axiom; CME Xkey  Hardware: Roland JV880; JV1080; XP-30; Alesis QS-6; Casio CZ-1000; Midisport; Mackie 1202
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    fireberd
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    Re: CPU On A Budget - Recommendations Please 2017/07/19 10:56:23 (permalink)
    I too was in the computer industry (LAN/WAN Networking Management) in a US Federal Agency and in the early 90's the "planners" were looking at what the agency may be tasked to do in 2000 and beyond and forming what hardware (and software) may be required or will support possible future requirements.  In 1995 the agency had a plan in place and even started on the "Y2000" potential problems.   Having learned from that is what brought me to the recommendations I make about what to buy.  

    Franklin D-10 Pedal Steel Guitar (primary instrument). Dobro, Tele, Gretsch Chet Atkins, 4 and 5 string basses, etc. 
    ASUS Maximus VIII Hero M/B, i7 6700K CPU, 16GB Ram, SSD and conventional hard drives, Win 10 Pro and Win 10 Pro Insider Pre-Release
    Sonar Platinum 64 bit. MOTU 896MK3 Hybrid, Tranzport, X-Touch, JBL LSR308 Monitors,  
    Ozone, (backup unit Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 2nd Gen)

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    #15
    Grem
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    Re: CPU On A Budget - Recommendations Please 2017/07/21 17:36:45 (permalink)
    abacab
     
     getting about 7-10 years out of a PC build.  Good return on investment! 




    Yes. This is the goal. 

    Grem

    Michael
     
    Music PC
    i7 2600K; 8gb Ram; 3 256gb SSD, System, Samples, Audio; 1TB Project Storage; 2TB system BkUp; VS-100; Win 10 Pro 64; Sonar Platinum 64,
     
    Home PC
    AMD FX 6300; 8gb Ram; 256 SSD sys; 2TB audio/samples; Realtek WASAPI; Win 10 Home 64; Sonar Platinum 64
     
    Surface Pro 3
    Win 10  i7 8gb RAM

     
    #16
    batsbrew
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    Re: CPU On A Budget - Recommendations Please 2017/07/21 20:05:05 (permalink)
    still on my XP system i built in 2008
     
    STILL GOING STRONG.
     
    but i'm looking to update soon

    "Stay"
    "The Time is Magic"
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    Sonar 6 PE>Win XP>RME Babyface Pro>Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GH>GeForce 8400>2GB DDR2 SDRAM
     
    #17
    azslow3
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    Re: CPU On A Budget - Recommendations Please 2017/07/22 11:06:53 (permalink)
    batsbrew
    still on my XP system i built in 2008

    While I still have dual-boot with XP (see my signature), I use it only to upgrade old Android devices. I also had 2GB for long time, but without 4 I could not load modern sample based synth...

    Sonar 8LE -> Platinum, Windows 10 pro
    GA-EP35-DS3L, E7500, 4GB, GTX 1050 Ti, 2x500GB
    M-Audio Audiophile Firewire, SB X-Fi Gamer, Kawai CN43, Roland A500S, TD-11, VS-20, Akai MPK Mini, Peavey StudioMix etc.
    www.azslow.com - Control Surface Integration Platform for SONAR
    #18
    abacab
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    Re: CPU On A Budget - Recommendations Please 2017/07/22 17:41:50 (permalink)
    batsbrew
    still on my XP system i built in 2008
     
    STILL GOING STRONG.
     
    but i'm looking to update soon




    I still have a single core Dell P4 laptop from 2005 with XP and Sonar 8.5 installed that still runs.  Unfortunately my Win XP desktop that was built in 2006 with a single core config started feeling the strain of bottlenecks by 2012.  I finally had to replace that in 2014, with a newer multicore setup.  No regrets!
     
    I must say that I really like what Intel has accomplished in eliminating most of the historical bottlenecks in these modern motherboard chipsets.  Increased video and memory bandwidth, no more front side bus, or north/south bridge nonsense.  DDR3 /DDR4 memory, the fast I/O capabilities of PCIe and USB3, coupled with faster storage devices.  It's hard to believe what the past 10 years have brought us!
     
    Next built will probably be 8-10 cores, M-2 drives, etc., but no hurry.  This rig is still getting the job done!

    Cakewalk: Sonar Platinum x64 2017-07; X3e; Dimension Pro; Rapture, Z3TA+2; CA-2A  Other: AIR AIEP 3; BIAB; Ignite; Iris 2; SampleTank 3; SynthMaster; Syntronik; SONiVOX; VocalizerPro;  Tracktion Waveform OS: Win10 Pro x64 1607 System: Homebuilt Asus; i3 3.4Ghz; 8GB DDR3; Intel HD Graphics; Dual Monitors; Samsung EVO 850 SSD, 250GB; WD 1.0TB 7200rpm; FireWire  Audio: M-Audio FW-410;  Controllers: A-300PRO; Axiom; CME Xkey  Hardware: Roland JV880; JV1080; XP-30; Alesis QS-6; Casio CZ-1000; Midisport; Mackie 1202
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