Linux Audio Workstation Build

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merlyn
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Linux Audio Workstation Build

Post by merlyn »

I'm building a new computer. I've wanted to try a Ryzen processor and see what they're like for audio, so I went ahead.

My approach is perhaps a bit different from the usual build. I just want to get enough stuff to boot it, then I can add more bits as I go along. This stems from buying a stick of DDR4 by accident. I saw it in a second-hand shop and thought it was DDR3 because I had a mask on which makes my glasses steam up. :lol:

So some bits are temporary, like the memory stick and I will take the graphics card out this computer I'm typing on. The usual approach is 'the big bang' where a builder buys every bit in one go.

Here's my spec :

CPU : Ryzen 3900x
Cooler : Noctua NH-D15 SE-AM4
Mobo : MSI B550 Pro
Storage : Adata 1TB Nvme M.2
Case : be quiet Silent Base 601
Power : be quiet Straight Power 11 650W

That should boot. Any thoughts welcome, including that I catastrophically messed up somewhere. :D
The ultimate hidden truth of the world is that we make it, and could just as easily make it differently.
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Michael Willis
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Re: Linux Audio Workstation Build

Post by Michael Willis »

merlyn wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:16 pmI had a mask on which makes my glasses steam up. :lol:
:lol: :lol: :lol:
sunrat
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Re: Linux Audio Workstation Build

Post by sunrat »

Ryzen 3900x may be one of the best current processors for audio production. A test at https://pcaudiolabs.com/amd-ryzen-3900x ... enchmarks/ had it running 48 tracks and 320 Reaxcomp Multiband compressors in Cubase. :shock:
If I were in the build market currently I'd probably go the more lowly but still vastly capable 3700x and save a couple hundred bucks.
What distro are you planning to install?
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sysrqer
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Re: Linux Audio Workstation Build

Post by sysrqer »

Should be fine for most things. An exception might be vcv Rack if you use that, for reasons about CCX that I don't fully understand. It's only in the new zen3 series that this problem is solved apparently.
merlyn
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Re: Linux Audio Workstation Build

Post by merlyn »

sunrat wrote:Ryzen 3900x may be one of the best current processors for audio production. A test at https://pcaudiolabs.com/amd-ryzen-3900x ... enchmarks/ had it running 48 tracks and 320 Reaxcomp Multiband compressors in Cubase. :shock:
I had a look at the link and the 3900x does look good. They seem to have made a mistake somewhere though -- there are more plugins running at 44.1/16 than 96/1024. That doesn't seem right but I'll find out when it arrives.

Yes, the 3700x also seems a good chip. I had been looking at 5000 series chips, so I was prepared for the hit. Perhaps that was a triumph of marketing and price points :)

I'm going to install Arch. From scratch again. I may come to regret that after a week of the command line :D
sysrqer wrote: An exception might be vcv Rack if you use that, for reasons about CCX that I don't fully understand. It's only in the new zen3 series that this problem is solved apparently.

I'll be interested to try VCVRack as I haven't been able to run it a low latency on my current setup. I was hoping I would see an improvement so I will be trying VCVRack.
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merlyn
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Re: Linux Audio Workstation Build

Post by merlyn »

The first part to arrive was the power supply :

Image

One goal of this build is to make it quiet. This is a 650W fully modular power supply and uses a quiet fan. I used PC Part Picker to spec this build and it gives a power consumption of 310W. Choosing a 650W supply means I will be running it at about halfway, which is the where the power supply is at its most efficient. Also the fan won't run at full speed. Fully modular supplies are also supposed to be quiet because having no cables inside means there is more room for air to circulate.
The ultimate hidden truth of the world is that we make it, and could just as easily make it differently.
merlyn
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Re: Linux Audio Workstation Build

Post by merlyn »

The case arrived. It's bigger than I thought. No amount of using a tape measure to help visualise the size of it gave me a true picture. I wanted a case bigger than the one I have, and I certainly got that! A bit of a beast :

Image

This case is supposed to be quiet, in fact that is the brand : be quiet!. It has quiet fans and thick padding to keep noise down. So far I like the fact that the sides come off using a button -- no screwdriver required.
The ultimate hidden truth of the world is that we make it, and could just as easily make it differently.
merlyn
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Re: Linux Audio Workstation Build

Post by merlyn »

The cooler :

Image

I was stunned at how big this was. Again my goal was quiet and I searched 'quietest CPU cooler'. This one got a good review but quiet means it's enormous. Just as well I got the big case.
The ultimate hidden truth of the world is that we make it, and could just as easily make it differently.
merlyn
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Re: Linux Audio Workstation Build

Post by merlyn »

Motherboard :

Image

This has a good solid feel to it. It's got a good weight. There are a few chipsets that can be used with new Ryzen CPUs. X470, X570, B550. There could be more. The higher end chipsets allow more graphics cards and maybe more PCIe lanes -- whatever it was they weren't features that were relevant to this build. I had previously rejected the idea of an X570 because they have a fan. Reports are that the fan on the motherboard is not too noisy, but will that still be the case in a year?

This board was one of the cheaper B550 boards because it has 1Gb ethernet rather than 2.5Gb, which was fine with me.
The ultimate hidden truth of the world is that we make it, and could just as easily make it differently.
merlyn
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Re: Linux Audio Workstation Build

Post by merlyn »

M.2 Drive :

Image

The size of this was a surprise too. This time how small it was and I've put a guitar pick in for scale. These are supposed to be lightning fast and that makes me rethink how I will divide my system across partitions. I usually put /home on a different partition, but if this is my fastest storage and I only have two of these slots I am thinking about just putting everything here: root, /home, the lot and use directories within my home directory for audio projects.
The ultimate hidden truth of the world is that we make it, and could just as easily make it differently.
merlyn
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Re: Linux Audio Workstation Build

Post by merlyn »

The smallest and by far the most expensive part : the CPU. But you don't get diamonds as big as rocks. :D

Image

This an OEM chip so it just came in a box on a bit of pink foam. It went in the socket. Phew. No bent pins.

With this I was thinking power. When I started out with computers this chip would have been considered a supercomputer like a Cray-2 with the main board floating in flourinert.
The ultimate hidden truth of the world is that we make it, and could just as easily make it differently.
merlyn
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Re: Linux Audio Workstation Build

Post by merlyn »

The RAM I bought by accident :

Image

It says DDR4 on it. You'd have to have defective eyesight not to notice. (Or steamed up glasses.)

So that's it. Now it's time to shut this computer down and take the graphics card out. In my research I found there is a global shortage of graphics cards -- some of the prices are ludicrous -- so it's a good time to hang off.
The ultimate hidden truth of the world is that we make it, and could just as easily make it differently.
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