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Recommended Systems for Digital Audio

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Standard

Configure

Compact desktop with up to 18 CPU cores and 64GB of RAM

High RAM Capacity

Configure

Mid-size tower with up to 18 CPU cores and 512GB of RAM

Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) FAQ

Q: Does having more CPU cores improve performance?

A: In most situations, having more CPU cores should give you better performance. With that said, relatively modest projects will likely be just fine with an 8 or even lower core count CPU, but depending on the complexity of your project and the latency you require, you may want to upgrade to a 10, 14, or even 18 core CPU.

Q: How much system RAM do I need?

A: Like the number of CPU cores, this depends on your project complexity including the number of samples, plug-ins, effects, virtual instruments, and a host of other factors. Most users will be fine with 32GB of RAM, but some with especially complex projects may have a need for 64GB, 128GB, or even more system RAM.

Q: Do I need a powerful GPU (video card)?

A: While there are a few plug-ins that can utilize your video card, for most users even a basic GPU is more than adequate. Our workstations default to relatively modest cards, but higher-end cards are available as an option for users that need them.

Q: Should I use an SSD for my project files?

A: Yes! SSDs are much faster than traditional hard drives and in many cases will be noticeably faster than the older style drives. You can play a surprising number of tracks from a traditional drive, but SSDs are typically 2-3 times faster for sustain loads and more importantly they are extremely good at random read/write operations. The newer NVMe drives are even faster than a normal SSD but typically you will become CPU limited (even with the most powerful CPUs available today) before you would see a benefit from the newer and faster NVMe drives.

Q: You only list two DACs, and those are relatively basic. Aren't these workstations for professionals?

A: We list the "M-Audio Super DAC" and the "JDS Labs Objective 2 + ODAC Rev. B", but those are more for someone just getting into digital audio and is simply looking for a solid entry-level choice. We are primarily a workstation manufacturer, and for many types of peripherals like USB DACs we have found that our customers either already own a DAC or know exactly the brand and model they want to use. Rather than trying to carry every high quality DAC in existence (and charging a markup for doing so), we tend to leave high-end peripherals outside the scope of our workstations.

Q: Do any of your systems support Thunderbolt?

A: Our High RAM Capacity workstation supports Thunderbolt 3 which is currently the latest and fastest version of Thunderbolt. Unfortunately, the more compact Standard workstation does not yet have Thunderbolt support - but we are working on it!

Q: I need the quietest workstation possible. Are these systems ultra-quiet?

A:While these workstations are much quieter than the typical workstation you would buy from other manufacturers, the amount of processing power built into them does mean that they are not the quietest computer we can build. If you need a system that is as quiet as possible, we recommend using one of our Serenity workstations. It is not as powerful as the workstations listed on this page, but the performance is still very respectable and more importantly it meets our strictest requirements for noise level.

Related Workstations

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By keeping inventory of our most popular parts, and maintaining a short supply line to parts we need, we are able to offer an industry leading ship time of 7-10 business days on nearly all our system orders.

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Even when your parts warranty expires, we continue to answer your questions and even fix your computer with no labor costs.

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