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Music production PC: Intel QX6800 vs i5 3450 vs AMD FX-81xx series


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#1
pinksoir

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Howdy,

Up until now I've been running a system with a Core2Extreme QX6800 and 6GB DDR2 ram, using Reaper x64 (DAW). It was running very solidly and powerfully and I'd never been near touching the ram or CPU limit. But then my motherboard died and I have to look for either a replacement motherboard, or a new system altogether.

It'll be for music production and music production only.

I don't have that much cash to spend, so my first option is obviously to replace the motherboard and keep using my old (socket 775) system. That would be by far the cheapest option, but I'm not sure how I feel about throwing more money at old technology.

So the next option is to build a new system altogether. I've been looking at either an AMD Fx-8120/8150, or an i5 3450. I want to keep costs to a minimum, but I also want to have a system that performs better than the one I've been running up until now.

As I said my current system had more than enough power to deal with what I'd been throwing at it, so for me that was powerful enough.

The AMD vs Intel debate is confusing me. I'm seeing a lot of criticism for the FX-81xx chips, but most of the criticism has come from a gaming POV, of which I'll be doing none. The downside to going for Intel is that the socket 1155 is now pretty much over and a new socket is on the way. Whereas AMD's 3+ is new and there will be room to upgrade later if needs be. That said, with Intel I could always upgrade to an i7 down the line when they become cheaper because of newer chips on the new socket. I don't really care about using older tech if it's giving me the power I need.

Most of all I want a system that's more powerful/efficient than what I have already, otherwise what's the point in spending all the cash to upgrade? The only comparisons I can find between my current QX6800 and other chips places the FX-81xx at similar performance to it, and the i5 above. But again, that was in gaming. I can find no info on how they perform in music applications (multicore/multithread). Reaper has excellent multicore/thread support.

Any advice here?

Thanks a million.
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#2
iammykyl

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Gday pinksoir, Welcome back.


Please list your full system specs, include everything.
In which country will you be purchasing parts?
If you decide to build new, what would be your budget?
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#3
pinksoir

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Thanks iammykyl.

My current specs are

CPU: Intel Core2 Extreme Processor QX6800 8M Cache 2.93 GHz
Mainboard: Gigabyte GA-G33M-S2H ,Intel G33, mATX, PCI-Express
Ram: 6GB Hynix DDR2 6400U (2x2GB, 2x1GB)
PSU: Corsair VX550W 550 Watt
HDD: 500GB Western Digital Caviar
SSD: OCZ Octane S2 128GB
GPU: Nvidia Geforce 8600GT

Now, either the PSU or the mainboard, or both are bunched, so I've to replace both anyway. I'll be buying from hardwareversand.de (Germany), though I live in Ireland. I have around €400 to spend.

At the moment I've narrowed it down to either an AMD FX-8150 or an Intel i5 3450 based system, both come in at around the same price, just under €400.

Thanks for the reply.
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#4
iammykyl

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To get Hyper Threading and core performance you have to go to an i7 CPU. I don't thinkIntelwill be chanbging the 1155 socket for quite some time.

Review, info. >
You will need to use your,
Case,
SSD.
HDD.
Optical drive,
GPU.

If you take your PSU to local store, most will test it free, or a nominal fee. If it proved OK, you could knock it of the price. 2 Mobos to choose from, gone a little over your budget. You may be able to sell some of your old parts on eBay.

Motherboard, #1 > http://lb.hardwareve...55, ATX.article e86
Motherboard, #2 > http://lb.hardwareve..., mATX.article e93
CPU, > http://lb.hardwareve...LGA1155.article e271
RAM, > http://lb.hardwareve...00U CL9.article e36
PSU. > http://lb.hardwareve...HCG-520.article e61

CPU info, > http://www.anandtech...-3770k-review/2

Discuss?
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#5
pinksoir

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Thanks a million.

I went for a lower spec i5 3470 system. I also replaced the GPU with something more low profile and efficient. I think that I could always upgrade to an i7 down the road if needs be and I reckon I'll be able to make some money back from ebay or a local adverts site.

CPU: http://lb.hardwareve...LGA1155.article

Motherboard: http://lb.hardwareve...55, ATX.article

Ram: http://lb.hardwareve...67U CL9.article

GPU: http://lb.hardwareve...D VGA.article

PSU: http://lb.hardwareve...CM-430W.article

CPU cooler: http://lb.hardwareve...M Rev.2.article

It all came in at just over €400 so I'm pretty happy.
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#6
Zolton33

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To get Hyper Threading and core performance you have to go to an i7 CPU. I don't thinkIntelwill be chanbging the 1155 socket for quite some time.

Review, info. >
You will need to use your,
Case,
SSD.
HDD.
Optical drive,
GPU.

If you take your PSU to local store, most will test it free, or a nominal fee. If it proved OK, you could knock it of the price. 2 Mobos to choose from, gone a little over your budget. You may be able to sell some of your old parts on eBay.

Motherboard, #1 > http://lb.hardwareve...55, ATX.article e86
Motherboard, #2 > http://lb.hardwareve..., mATX.article e93
CPU, > http://lb.hardwareve...LGA1155.article e271
RAM, > http://lb.hardwareve...00U CL9.article e36
PSU. > http://lb.hardwareve...HCG-520.article e61

CPU info, > http://www.anandtech...-3770k-review/2

Discuss?



Haswell intel's newest cpu's will not be 1155 from what i understand. And amd fx chips while not good for gaming are excellent for all other jobs. While intel is ruling the gaming roost the amd chips are excellent for their hyper threading and in other benchmarks especially those jobs requiring multitasking that are not gaming exclusive they do top many of intel's chips in performance. But really its no surprise that intel is best for gaming as few games use or take advantage of cpu's that are more then 2 cores (and not a lot of games do use dual cores but that is changing). And that is why the huge amd vs intel debate is happening many who build their own systems do so with gaming in mind so its no surprise that intel is the most recommended as they out perform amd in gaming.

Windows did not recognize all the cores in the fx line or know how best to utilize them which did cause a huge drop in performance but that has been changing recently. And windows 8 is supposed to be a lot more multicpu friendly. Although personally i would not touch windows 8 with a 3 mile long pole. Since you have zero plans to do any gaming an amd choice might suit your needs with the more cores and hyper threading as well. (i7 is 6 cores the fx are 8 cores) So in multitasking situations the amd fx is a better choice when not gaming.
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#7
iammykyl

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I think with the parts you have selected, you will see very little performance gain over the rig you have.
The GPU is lust about on a par with your existing.
You have dropped back to a quad core i5, losing Hyper Threading.
You do not need an after market cooler, the stock one is more than capable of keeping the CPU with it's thermal footprint. You also void the warranty if you over-clock and/or use a heat sink/cooler other than the one supplied with a retail boxed CPU, both from Intel and AMD.

Without testing your existing PSU, replacing it, if still OK, would be a waste of money.


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#8
iammykyl

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Hi.
Just checking in, how you are progressing with your upgrade? An update would be appreciated.
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#9
pinksoir

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Hey, sorry for the late reply.

I bought the parts I listed and am pretty happy with them. I am noticing a very slight performance downgrade from the i5 compared with the QX6800 I was using due to it not having hyper threading. However, it's not an issue as I've still got lots of headroom within my DAW. The ram is much better than the DDR2 I was using too. I can also upgrade to an i7 a bit down the line if needs be. The CPU cooler I bought is extremely quiet, I'm very happy with it.

Yes, the graphics card is less powerful than the one I had been using, but it's quiet (fanless) and more efficient. I am currently using both the onboard graphics from the motherboard and the graphics card (both VGA). I'm not doing anything graphics intensive so for me it's a perfect scenario.

Overall, the system is very stable and fast. I'm very happy with it. It's as quiet as can be too, which is very important for me as I've to have the computer in the same room as where I record. I have it optimized for DAW use and so far it's been more than powerful enough. I was able to sell off my old components for €200 so the cost of a new system was ~€200 and for that I feel it's definitely worth it.

Edited by pinksoir, 15 October 2012 - 06:31 AM.

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#10
iammykyl

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Thanks for the update

pinksoir




Good news that the build went well and you are happy with the results.


Well done

on the costs.

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Come back again if you need help in the future.
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