Hi. Not too long from now I’m gonna have to get a new computer with more RAM. I would like to go maximum 3000$. My knowledge of computers is not the best. Today I have a laptop Asus pc 16 gb ram. So any advice would be welcome.

1 PC or Mac(just advice don’t wanna start a war)?
2 Take the time to learn and to build? Save much?
3 Advice where to buy?
4 What specs to look for?

I’m not a pro but like to have good tools for good work flow.


if you want to start the adventure to build your own pc i had to advise you… it … is…very
well let me explain
you must, before going somewhere to buy you spare part to build you computer, define exactly what you need
first the processor: intel or amd same war than mac vs PC for me it is the same for music, so in this case a core i7 or core i9 will be great or a ryzen 7why not
the mother board go with socket of your computer but before the mother board define how many memory you want to put on it, 32, 64 or more read in the specification of the motherboard if up to 64 Gb is possible then buy the motherboard with the right socket
for the hard drive, SSD for the system 512Gb is enough, a second SSD 1T or more for data and library, and more SSD if you want more
the graphic board, try to not use the onboard graphic board because you loose performance, so take a nvidia chipset graphic board will be great nvidia is a very good product
add a bluray or DVD writer, choose a good fan for low noise , and a big case in order to add element
here is a sample of configuration
INTEL configuration
intel core i7 9700K LGA1151 445$
mother board asus prime Z390 upto64 Gb 139$
RAM DDR4 4x 16Gb Ballistix BLS16G4D26BFSE 73$ each
SSD 512 Gb samsung 860 EVO 100$
SSD 1Tb samsung 860 QVO 120$
graphic board : Sapphire Pulse RX 570 4G 142$
fan : Thermaltake Contac 9 CPU Cooler 25$
power : Fortron (FSP) ATX 650W - 80+ Bronze - HA650M HYPER M 85+ 69$
box : Thermaltake View 71 Tempered Glass Edition 169$

total : 1501$ without software and monitor only the PC
don’t forget this is just to illustrate it is not a guide to buy something

for your question : where to buy, in a computer shop because you can ask all question you want , and some computer makes for you the assembly and the configuration of your computer, you choose all the elements and the shop do the rest for about 30$ in this case you don’t have to take risk to build it on your own :slight_smile:

hope that my answer give you some information


If you use anything other than logic go for PC. It’s just so expensive running Macs. They’re great but the price is so steep for a similar spec when you can get a pc for fraction of the cost.

I would be aware of one thing… having more RAM is a very popular stance by most composers people these days and isn’t always the thing people need. Here’s a bit of tech help to get your head around the main issues involved in either building a computer, or sourcing a ready made computer/Mac.

RAM - random access memory is on charge of two things.

  • processing information at running speed ( for us that means loading and playing back samples and audio)
  • holding data before its saved to disk (Or hard drive)

Then there’s your CPU (central processing unit) this is in charge of how much your computer is able to do at any one given time, it also routes different responsibilities through the software that is held on your ROM. The ROM holds all of the in built software for the computer.

This means that it isn’t necessarily the RAM or hats the issue. As if you have a lot of RAM but a smaller CORE CPU then the CPU acts as a bottle neck for the RAM. This attenuates and caps the ammount you can process at one given time. So we need to make sure that the CPU has a decent size processor, and i7 of above is plenty for this. Also, between16 and 32gb for Ram will be great too.

Think of it like this - RAM is a bit like the headroom of a tube amp. The processor is a bit like the lead you use to your instrument. No matter how much headroom you have, if your using a bad quality lead you’ll end up with a bad sound… the same is true with your RAM. You can have as much ram as you want but the amount you use will be capped by the CPU if it’s not good enough to keep up with your RAM.

Hope this helps!

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Really, really kind of you to take the time to answer. And so detailed! Pc is what I’m aiming for I’ve only owned pc before so that’s what I’m familiar with. My main daw is Cubase. For some projects Studio one.

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I’d go for a desktop pc, I’ve never quite understood the laptop approach unless you have to take your daw somewhere else often. Desktop you can upgrade rather cheaply while laptop you often can’t. I’m making music with a pc from 2013 (i5) with 16gb ram and I’ve never ran into problems with memory or processing power running out, though I rarely use audio tracks, mostly vst’s and a few samples. Big enough SSD’s is a must. The only problems I’ve ran into have been cheap power supplies that have leaked hum into the system but I spent a bit more money on a better one and the hum disappeared.


I’m going for desktop. Now I’m using a business laptop that’s the reason. I can manage quite well with that and 16 gb as long as I just use Kontakt plugins. But when I use hollywood orchestra on play engine it gets a little harder.

It should be pretty straightforward to build a PC for audio these days, but it might be worth doing some research, especially if you’re considering more unusual options.

For example, I’d steer clear of the higher end AMD CPU options (Threadripper) at this point, since they’re NUMA architecture. (Essentially multiple separate machines with separate RAM banks, and “high speed” serial interconnect.) They annihilate all competition in video rendering and the like, but the memory management causes problems for any non-NUMA-aware low latency audio applications, which is, AFAIK, still all of them. (Might be possible to work around with virtualization and VEP, but why build a single machine in the first place, then?)

Windows 10 also has a problem with multithreaded realtime applications if there are more than 28 or so logical cores. Don’t remember the exact core count now, but my 14 core i9 avoids that issue. The 16 core version does not, so unless M$ has finally fixed that issue, you’ll need to disable cores beyond 14, or (in the case of Cubase) ask Steinberg for the “secret” fix. I don’t know how this applies to other hosts, but AFAIK, the root cause is in Windows 10; not Cubase.

But, generally speaking, I’ve had pretty good experiences running Cubase, Sonar, and Pro Tools on various PCs, including some relatively inexpensive laptops these last few years. Using a consumer soundcard (as in, no native ASIO driver) is probably still a bad idea, but other than that, I think the days of IRQ conflicts, nasty GPU drivers and whatnot rendering the typical PC unusable for low latency audio are pretty much over now.

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This will be the plan.
Build pc Windows
Do some reading on the tech
32 or 64 Ram to start with and the possibility to extend as much as possible

First go out and try to find a bucket full of money.

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If noise and sound levels are important then there are cases with noise dampening like fractal design or deep silence (very sturdy but heavy) might be worth a look. Also water cooled is way quieter but is a bit more fun to set up.

I’ve built a few pc’s over the years - mainly for friends and family but more gaming pc’s. I use Mac’s though and still running an old Mac cheesegrater pro. My best tip is get the best and most expandable motherboard you can and a good case. Go for as much storage and memory as you can afford. SSD for your main boot drive.


Insulated machine room! :wink:

After researching overclocking of the i9 series, I gave up on the idea of silent water cooling, and put the machine in a sound insulated cabinet, ventilated via labyrinth sound traps instead. Actually, I’m on my second machine in that cabinet, which hints towards another advantage with this approach: You don’t need to throw lots of extra work and money on WC’ing everything in a noise-free manner. Big heatpipe coolers or integrated water coolers work fine.


Cool approach (if you pardon the pun). I’ve only helped someone build a water cooled pc and its definitely a bit more tricky than the heat sink fan route.

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Also, water cooling isn’t actually all that effective either. Some tests have concluded that a typical big, well designed heatpipe cooler is more effective at keeping CPU temps low and stable! I’m using an AIO solution for the CPU in my machine, but that’s mostly because the RAM has heatsinks and fans, so it’s a bit crowded around the CPU socket.

And, that’s the main advantage with water: You can move the heat to wherever you want to take care of it - like, a truck radiator in the woodshed or something. :smiley: I considered going down that route, so I’d only have a computer with no fans and no pumps in the studio, and a fan fooled radiator elsewhere, or maybe a heat exchanger in the old well. But, lots of work, and if the radiator is outdoors, you get to deal with the risk of the coolant being below room temperature, which means you either need to shunt/regulate it to avoid that, or deal with condensation.

So, I decided it’s just not worth the effort. I’m using 5 meter cables for displays and all, including the 4K@60Hz ones, and you can go even longer than that with the right cables, so gone are the bad old days of needing to basically have the screen sitting on the computer to avoid terrible video.


What insulating cabinet are you using? THe ones I’ve seen are quite pricey. I am looking at building a new X299 based system with i9 10940x CPU. & 256GB RAM.


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Custom build, based on an IKEA 60x60x80 cupboard from the kitchen system, with doors both front and back, with sound trap labyrinths for intake/exhaust below/above the computer compartment.

In hindsight, I’d have built it even larger, for bigger surface area in the labyrinth passages, as flow resistance adds up real quick with a few turns. I’m currently using 8 140 mm Noctua fans in order to move enough air, with enough pressure, without creating too much noise. It works, but could have been more efficient. :slight_smile:


Thanks For the fast response, David! Very creative and interesting idea.

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