prophetik music

I want to build you a computer

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Well now... I got my two 3TB drives and went to set up a hardware-based RAID 1 on them, only to find out that, apparently, only disks up to 2TB in size are supported; the remaining amount ceases to be seen once the drive is configured for RAID. It might just be that my motherboard is several years old, and thus the hardware RAID controller is outdated, but that doesn't change the fact that my plans just got torpedoed. Now, I might be able to use a software RAID within Windows 7 instead, as that will allow for the full 3TB size, but I'm wondering if that'll compromise in any way the ability to recover data from one drive if the other fails or is removed for some reason... Plus, now I'm not sure if I'll be able to install a fresh copy of Windows on a RAID of my two 1TB drives and actually have it work as intended. I can still hardware RAID the two 1TB drives; will that one work as a system drive as I originally thought?

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hardware raid is outdated. never make a raid with onboard raid. get a real card that supports your drives. also remember to research it when you use drives that aren't supported by most mobos anyways =)

also don't raid OS drives. the benefits you get are negated by the fact that SSDs are cheap as balls and way faster. a 120gb SSD is under a hundred now.

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hardware raid is outdated. never make a raid with onboard raid. get a real card that supports your drives. also remember to research it when you use drives that aren't supported by most mobos anyways =)

also don't raid OS drives. the benefits you get are negated by the fact that SSDs are cheap as balls and way faster. a 120gb SSD is under a hundred now.

This is VERY IMPORTANT but is actually incorrect, or sort of. I made those letters big because few people realize the differences between RAID systems. There are three types of RAID:

1. Hardware RAID (Excellent): A PCI card that plugs into a motherboard, which the drives then connect to. The card takes care of all the RAID functions, even when the OS isn't booted. Windows 7 and older systems don't even detect that there are more than one disk behind the card. These are like mini-computers, with their own CPU and memory. To move drives to a different computer, you take out the card and drives, plug it into a new computer, and there is no change. You can go from Windows to a Mac or Mac to Linux with no issues.

2. Software RAID (OK, but Obsolete): Windows 7 or lower, or Windows 2008 R2 or lower, performs all the computations using the CPU. You can't use the drive outside of Windows, you can't boot from the drive, and it is slower because a percentage of the CPU is dedicated to performing computations. With Windows, as long as you take all drives to another computer, it recognizes the array in any order.

3. Firmware RAID (VERY BAD, AVOID AT ALL COSTS): Available on almost all motherboards nowadays. This segment has been taken over by Intel Matrix RAID. This is buggy and can be dependent on drive order and motherboard type and motherboard firmware version. There is metadata stored in the last sector of each disk, and if you change a few bytes, the array is marked as failed (even though no data is lost). The size of the disk reported to Windows is smaller than the actual size because the metadata sectors are removed. Using "3TB" disks from different manufacturers might not work because a "3TB" disk from Seagate might have 5860000000 sectors and a "3TB" disk from WD might have 586000125 sectors. Uses no less CPU than software RAID and cannot be optimized by the operating system. If the motherboard fails, the data is not lost, but you need to send out for data recovery, which is about $5000.

The bottom line is that if you can afford it, buy hardware RAID. I spent $400 on a MegaRAID card, but it has had zero issues for six months - the data is worth more than that.

If you can't afford hardware RAID, then buy a copy of Windows 8, which is only $39.99. Windows 8, which will be released in 26 days, has a brand new feature called "storage spaces," which replaces software RAID. It allows you to connect any number of disks, of any size, speed, and type, and allows you to specify the number of copies of parity data stored across the disks. You can create a storage space where one drive, or two drives, or zero drives (!) can fail before all the data on the array is lost. Windows performs automatic maintenance like consistency checks to ensure the data never gets corrupted.

Conclusion: if you have money, hardware raid is the most reliable and is faster than one disk. If you don't, buy Windows 8 and suffer some speed penalty, but have working storage spaces that are compatible with any 8 or higher (or Server 2012 or higher) computer, and which are the next generation after RAID.

Edited by quintin3265

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Well now... I got my two 3TB drives and went to set up a hardware-based RAID 1 on them, only to find out that, apparently, only disks up to 2TB in size are supported; the remaining amount ceases to be seen once the drive is configured for RAID. It might just be that my motherboard is several years old, and thus the hardware RAID controller is outdated, but that doesn't change the fact that my plans just got torpedoed. Now, I might be able to use a software RAID within Windows 7 instead, as that will allow for the full 3TB size, but I'm wondering if that'll compromise in any way the ability to recover data from one drive if the other fails or is removed for some reason... Plus, now I'm not sure if I'll be able to install a fresh copy of Windows on a RAID of my two 1TB drives and actually have it work as intended. I can still hardware RAID the two 1TB drives; will that one work as a system drive as I originally thought?

FYI, RAID 1 is simply a copy from one disk to another. All you're doing is having the operating system make the same changes to the second disk when changes are made to the first.

RAID 5 and 6 have advantages, but don't use RAID 1. If you have an extra disk already, then just download a copy of "Karen's replicator," a free program. Buy an external case on eBay for $10 and connect it for 5 min/night (or 5 min/week), and run Karen's replicator, then unplug the drive.

Simple backup is almost always better than RAID 1 because RAID 1 replicates deletions and viruses. The odds of human error causing data loss are higher than those of a single disk failing.

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i used the wrong term, yeah - i meant firmware and said hardware. that's pretty clear if you read the rest of the post, where i say that you should have a real card to do RAID =)

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The machine is great, and the only trouble I've had with it so far is that the front USB ports, which I don't really need to use anyway, don't seem to be drawing enough power. I looked at the connections myself - we both think something got knocked loose a bit in transit - and my first attempt didn't solve the issue.

Actually, yeah, I had a similar thing on mine from 3-4 years ago, whenever I bought it from Brad. My front microphone and headphone jacks don't work and for some reason the audio output is considerably more quiet than most machines, even at its highest.

Still, I'll throw yet another recommendation for Brad's work. My machine is still kicking ass, yet I'm wondering if I need to upgrade the RAM here soon, and having only a dual-processor when everyone has quadra, octo or whatever is much better now kinda concerns me.

I know diddly shit about how that stuff works and I need to look at upgrading the machine soon as opposed to buying a new one. Mine's quite fucking solid and I don't even really want to chance a new machine.

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I'm still rockin' a dual-core. In fact there are probably phones with a faster processor than my computer's at this point, but I can still play most games on high settings. If it's still doing what you want, there's no need to upgrade for the sake of upgrading. If you have a lot of memory-hungry apps/VSTs/etc., more RAM is a good idea, but for you a new CPU is probably going to mean a new motherboard and completely replacing (as opposed to just adding to) your RAM as well. If games are too jerky, you'll most likely get the biggest performance boost from upgrading your video card.

Edited by Dhsu

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yeah, you don't want to upgrade just because. wait until there's something you've really gotta have that makes the upgrade worth it. for me, that was an SSD for my primary and an eight-core CPU for my music machine that really turned out to be necessary, and both have been awesome upgrades that were well worth the price. ssd for my primary means 30s boots a year later and loading screens that basically aren't there, and the eight-core on my music system has meant songs that i literally couldn't have handled on my quad.

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hey, i haven't run a deal in a long time. hurr we go.

my wife and i are expecting a baby by early december. if you buy before the baby comes, i'll give you a deal on labor costs for the system! normally i charge 10% the cost of parts plus 50$ as an assembly, handling, and random parts fee. i'll reduce that fee down to 5% + 50$ or just 50$ (whichever saves you more, 5% less on cost of parts or 50$ off). so, you're effectively getting a ton of money off the cost of a custom-built computer, made by OCR's most well-known and active system builder - building systems since early 2008.

here's a few of the systems i have priced out recently. take a look and see if you want any of them. obviously they're completely flexible. just tell me what you're looking for and we'll go from there.

----------------

Ivy Bridge and 7000-series graphics for under $1000

11-129-042-TS?$S300W$

CPU: i5-3570 3.4ghz quad-core (3.8ghz Turbo Boost), with Hyper 212+ CPU fan

GPU: Radeon 7850 2gb - excellent for 1920x1200 gaming

RAM: 8gb (2x4gb) DDR3 1600

Mobo: Z77-based motherboard, USB 3.0 and SATA 6gb/s support

PSU: 650w 80+ BRONZE power supply

SDD: 120gb SSD

DVD: DVD-RW drive

Case: Antec Three Hundred

this is an excellent sub-$1k gaming machine. the combination of an awesome CPU and one of the best price-performance GPUs on the market make for an awesome machine optimized for most things you could ever want to do. having a solid-state drive makes for sub-30s boot speeds and an exceptionally responsive OS, and the PSU is a awesome long-term solution that allows for upgrades down the line as well as rock-solid performance until then.

parts: $866

fee: $86 ($50 waived)

total: $954

-----------------

Music making monster

11-345-019-Z01?$S300W$

CPU: i5-3770 3.4ghz quad-core (3.9ghz Turbo Boost) WITH HYPERTHREADING (8 cores!), with Hyper 212+ CPU fan

RAM: 16gb (2x4gb) DDR3 1600

Mobo: Z77-based motherboard, USB 3.0 and 6x SATA 6gb/s support

PSU: 500w 80+ BRONZE power supply

GPU: GT 520 - fanless card

SDD: 256gb SSD

HDD: 2x 1tb WDC Black

DVD: DVD-RW drive

Case: BitFenix Ghost - complete with sound-dampening panels!

this is a fantastic music-making machine for most people out there. eight cores of 3.4ghz is amazing - you'll really have to struggle to max out that much parallel processing power. 16gb of RAM means you'll never load up too many instruments or synths, and the two 1tb drives means that you have twice the bandwidth to load and stream high-quality audio samples.

note: for an additional $90, you can get a fanless PSU. another $40 will give you an almost-silent Noctua CPU cooler. i'm also familiar with water-cooling solutions and would be happy going over those options as well. the two above options - cooler and PSU - would make for an almost silent computer, easily well below ambient sound levels.

parts as listed: $1275

fee: $64+$50 (5%+$50)

total: $1389

-----------------------

Budget gaming beast

11-147-023-TS?$S300W$

CPU: i3-3220 3.3ghz dual-core

RAM: 4gb (2x2gb) DDR3 1333

Mobo: H61M-based motherboard, USB 3.0 and SATA 6gb/s support

PSU: 500w 80+ BRONZE power supply

GPU: Radeon 7750, factory overclocked

HDD: 500gb WDC

DVD: DVD-RW drive

Case: Rosewill Blackbone

this is a great, cheap machine that'll pound through most modern games at 1920x1200 with medium/high settings. if you use a smaller screen res, this will easily be able to max most modern games that aren't known system-crushers like Metro 2033 or Witcher 2. it's got a speedy CPU that can easily be upgraded for more power or cores, a solid graphics card that is the rough equivalent of an Nvidia GTX 560 SE, and a great PSU and case to last you for a long time.

parts: $540

fee: $54 (50$ waived)

total: $594

---------------------

FAQ:

Q: why not buy from another custom builder, like Digital Storm or Magic Micro?

A: custom builders fall into two categories. they either are a boutique shop doing incredibly amazing builds for way too much money (like Digital Storm or Falcon), or they're an assembly-line gig building crap for cheap (like iBUYPOWER or Magic Micro). since this isn't my job, i don't have to charge stupid money, or cut terrible corners, to make a system that's pretty darn awesome for the price.

Q: i saw a build with that processor speed for $350! why is your stuff so expensive?

A: well, first off, numbers aren't everything, as any benchmark between AMD and Intel will tell you. in addition, most budget systems cut corners on mobo quality, PSU quality, etc. i only use high-quality components that i'd feel comfortable installing in one of my systems. almost all of the systems i've built are still functioning three and four years later for the people who bought them, which is darn good compared to most boutique manufacturers.

Q: why is your fee so high? 10% is a lot of money for some of these builds!

A: custom builders rarely charge less than a 40% fee just for putting it together, not to mention for the software installation, testing, or extra parts needed. since i do this in my spare time, i'm content to make a little less to help the community as a whole.

Q: but you're a dick! how do i know you won't lose my money or something?

A: i do everything through paypal, so we have a full record of the entire thing. paypal covers you for loss just as much as it covers me for fraud, so it's a win-win for us.

Q: you should have used XXX instead of YYY! you're terrible and know nothing.

A: if you think i'm using a poor choice of component, let me know! you're probably wrong and are just spouting whatever garbage you saw on 4chan, but it's worth talking about either way so everyone knows what's going on. i've put together more than 200 machines since early 2008, and performed countless hardware upgrades and fixes in the interim. i even worked in a computer shop, tearing down systems as the breadwinner for my family, for a while. i've got tons of hands-on experience, and if i picked a specific component, there's probably a good reason for it.

Edited by prophetik music

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Those look nice! I'm actually looking to get a computer built around late spring or early summer. It's a shame not to get that 5% deal though... here's hoping other people get on that.

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i'll reduce that fee down to 5% + 50$ or 50$ (whichever saves you more).

Now I just may have comprehended this part wrong, but I can see no situation where 5% + $50 will ever be less than just $50.

More on topic: those are some pretty good rigs with great specs and very reasonable prices.

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i wasn't clear. either $50 off, or 5% of parts instead of 10%. you can see the two varieties in the sales above.

baha, yeah =) i love that 256gb SSD...so awesome.

sphexic, let me know when you're ready to buy. i'm sure we can work something out =)

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quiet little bump. i've had a few people inquire about systems, but they want to change the builds some. that's totally fine! i'm cool with adjusting for whatever you want, like if you want to go a step down on the graphics card, or you want to add hard drives, or something. just let me know and i'll tell you roughly what it'd cost.

i also use different cases if you want. those were just a few demos.

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If I wasn't having a baby in two weeks, I would love to take advantage of that budget computer, even if I had to cut the HD and put it what I currently have here. Alas, no money or cashflow atm until I hear about my funding for next semester. :(

When I do finally get to upgrade though Brad, you're getting a call. Good work putting together these example rigs!

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yeah, we're kind of pinching pennies ATM too for the same reason - although linnea's got another month till the due date.

you never know what the holidays bring. let me know when it's time, bardic =)

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I'm starting to do some research into building my own computer, mainly to use with fl studio. Anyone have any opinions on the following:

AMD or Intel?

RAM recommendations?

CPU speed/good processors to overclock(and max speeds)?

Quality sound card recommendations?

Power requirements(if more power-heavy components are suggested)?

Thanks!

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I'm starting to do some research into building my own computer, mainly to use with fl studio. Anyone have any opinions on the following:

AMD or Intel?

RAM recommendations?

CPU speed/good processors to overclock(and max speeds)?

Quality sound card recommendations?

Power requirements(if more power-heavy components are suggested)?

Thanks!

Ok, let's see here...

Check out this thread, I pulled most of the following from it.

  • Apparently, AMD is a baaad choice. According to Neblix, AMD sucks. That's what my laptop is running, and it can't do worth s*** when it comes to music.
  • Back to what was mentioned in the thread {link} above; if you can help it, go with 8gb RAM, but I guess 4gb is permissible, if barely.
  • Soundcards are also discussed quite a bit, I'd go explore that thread, because I don't know what's what when it comes to soundcards.
  • Overclocking? You'll have to talk to Brad about that.
  • Power requirements? Neblix mentioned this, I think he said 600w minimum, maybe 550w minimum if you don't plan on installing a graphics card.

Right now I'm literally parroting other people's posts on OCR, because I don't know worth crap about computer building, but hey, when you hang around here long enough, you learn fast :-P

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[*]Apparently, AMD is a baaad choice. According to Neblix, AMD sucks. That's what my laptop is running, and it can't do worth s*** when it comes to music.

It's only a bad choice when you're running an old dual-core, as the guy in that thread (edit: which I just realized is you) was. I'm running an AMD quad-core Phenom right now and I have no problem with the performance. The newer AM3 Phenom IIs are even better. In terms of sheer power, Intel is trouncing AMD pretty hard right now, but AMDs are still quite serviceable.

Edited by KyleJCrb

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Ok, let's see here...

Check out this thread, I pulled most of the following from it.

  • Apparently, AMD is a baaad choice. According to Neblix, AMD sucks. That's what my laptop is running, and it can't do worth s*** when it comes to music.
  • Back to what was mentioned in the thread {link} above; if you can help it, go with 8gb RAM, but I guess 4gb is permissible, if barely.
  • Soundcards are also discussed quite a bit, I'd go explore that thread, because I don't know what's what when it comes to soundcards.
  • Overclocking? You'll have to talk to Brad about that.
  • Power requirements? Neblix mentioned this, I think he said 600w minimum, maybe 550w minimum if you don't plan on installing a graphics card.

Right now I'm literally parroting other people's posts on OCR, because I don't know worth crap about computer building, but hey, when you hang around here long enough, you learn fast :-P

Laptop AMD's are atrocious. Hot and slow, but I was specifically talking about YOUR E-350, which is so ridiculously low end.

Kyle is right, you can get decent AMD's if you look for them. They're cheap, but just incomparably low-spec relative to what Intel offers.

A computer is an investment, if you're not gonna buy something ahead of its time you may as well burn your money. Simplified example:

Buy ok $500 PC this year -> buy ok $500 PC 3 years later

Buy great $900 PC this year -> still have it 3 years later

Of course this is incredibly simplified and unrealistic, but that's a basic demonstration of why buy a high end machine. This doesn't even factor things like end user happiness either. :P

Edited by Neblix

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awwww, i missed that computer. zoltan, i banish you!

I'm starting to do some research into building my own computer, mainly to use with fl studio. Anyone have any opinions on the following:

AMD or Intel?

RAM recommendations?

CPU speed/good processors to overclock(and max speeds)?

Quality sound card recommendations?

Power requirements(if more power-heavy components are suggested)?

Thanks!

intel. there are a ton of awesome CPUs for cheap in the intel space. amd is hot, inefficient, and slow, and you are basically wasting money if you're going for the same performance envelope as intel.

G.SKILL is the only ram i bother to buy. it's cheap as balls. don't worry about the speed unless your board can't handle 1600mhz.

if you actually want to overclock your CPU - which i wouldn't bother with unless you really know enough to bother with it - spend the cash on an awesome CPU that's unlocked (the "k" designation).

your cpu is the only thing drawing power in a build without a big graphics card, and even an overclocked mega-cpu ain't taking more than maybe 300w total from the wall. look in the 400-450w range. look for the 80+ label for efficiency. corsair, silverstone, and a few others make nice PSUs in that range. you should be spending roughly 40-50$ for that size. ignore cheap crap.

shoot me a mail with your pricing level that you're looking for and i'll see what i can work up for you to build.

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Looks like I'm dipping into the sweet realm of a new computer here, albeit I'm missing out on the deal. I'm pretty excited!

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i just want to point out that it's super hilarious how everything goes full circle. someone quoted neblix in this thread a few posts back as their guy that they learned computer stuff from. neblix learned from me. it's the ciiiiiiiiircle of liiiiiiiiiife!

anyways, COMPOOTAHS

--------

http://i.imgur.com/Do3dz.jpg

sorry for the crappy picture - my phone's camera is only kinda ok.

this one's clearer but smaller.

j0EKRl.jpg

modular PSUs are just so expensive nowadays for what you get. i could have done more cleanup but wanted to leave it a bit loose for additional stuff down the line.

also, those cronos SDDs are fantastic. i've got a video of it restarting - that is, from windows to off back to windows again - in under 25s, after graphics drivers and everything are installed. not bad at all. my only complaint is that they lack the nubs that allow for snap-in SATA connectors to stay connected no matter what. it might have been my cable, too, so maybe they're flawless =)

really a nice tight system. the only issue i encountered was that i underquoted the shipping cost by almost 40$ (40lbs to washington is apparently more than 40lbs to ohio :( ), but kenogu was nice enough to cover the difference.

he can post specs if he wants.

edit: yes, those are cats dancing around sheet music. a friend of my wife's family made a quilt when we were married. i build computers on it.

Edited by DarkeSword
Please do embed large images.

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