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Intel i3, i5, i7, i9 (LGA 1151 Socket) 8th and 9th gen.
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Software  
Author Intel i3, i5, i7, i9 (LGA 1151 Socket) 8th and 9th gen.
Rex Coil 7
Intel "Coffee Lake" CPUs (using LGA 1151 CPU sockets)

This is so typical of the computer industry.

The old saying was "Here today, gone tomorrow".

The new saying is "Here today, gone later today".


I'm building a new DAW computer using Win 7/Live 9. The purchase of the Intel i3-8100 has fallen though (problem on the seller's end). So I'm taking this as an opportunity to rethink the selection of CPUs for my project computer. On the Intel web page I see they've released a few goodies in this final quarter of 2018. Here's the list of most of the 8th and 9th gen CPUs that fit the LGA 1151 socket on my motherboard:

i3-8100 = 3.6ghz - 4 cores - 4 threads - 6mb smart cache
$125.00 (B&H Photo)

i3-8300 - 3.7ghz - 4 cores - 4 threads - 8mb smart cache
$175.00 (B&H Photo)

i5-9600 = 3.7ghz - 6 cores - 6 threads - 9mb smart cache
$275.00 (B&H Photo)

i7-8700 = 3.2ghz - 6 cores - 12 threads - 12mb smart cache
$325.00 (B&H Photo)

i7-9700 = 3.6ghz - 8 cores - 8 threads - 12mb smart cache
$(not certain)

i9-9900 = 3.6ghz - 8 cores - 16 threads - 16mb smart cache.
$ 560.00 (B&H)

There are a couple of 9th generation models there, the i7-9700 and the i9-9900.

Reading this "Cores vs Speed" page on Ableton's website, more cores in the CPU is a better spec for handling more simultaneous tasks. Given the choice of either more cores or faster chip speed, I'd think higher core count is more useful.

LINK = https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/articles/209067649-Multi-core-CPU-ha ndling-FAQ

Where things become ~grey~ (for me) is choosing cores vs threads. Comparing the 8th gen and 9th gen i7, the 8th gen has two fewer cores, but four more threads (50% more threads). It seems as though the 8th gen i7 still has the advantage, but I'm still such a novice at all of this.

CPU Power vs More RAM vs Faster Storage?

So with an i3-8100, 16gb of RAM, and 250gb M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD ... where is the most efficient place to spend money for Ableton performance increases?

Increase RAM from 16gb to 32gb?

Uprate the CPU from an eighth gen i3-8100 to an eight gen i7-8700?

Uprate the storage from 250gb M.2x4 plus 1TB HDD to 250gb M.2 plus 1TB M.2?


If you did only one uprate (of the 3) which would it be?

If you did only two uprates (of the 3) which would they be?




Thanks for your patience.

Any wisdom to offer on this?

Om
JohnLRice
There are lot's of "ifs" and "buts" when it comes to this subject. Probably the best bet is finding someone trustworthy that is using the same software and doing the same sorts of recordings you want to do and then find out detailed specs on their hardware and setup.

I think most average processors these days are plenty good enough for DAW use so I would investigate what is the fastest storage you can get, both drives and drive communication buss etc.

This video is good, maybe it wont tell you anything you don't already know and it's a little repetitive and dated but should help temper any thoughts you have of putting most of your money into getting the fastest/highest core count CPU? cool
andybizarre
Perhaps have a look at Cinebench scores. In my opinion, they give a good shot on how CPUs perform audio-wise.

- If you plan to play VSTi`s with the smallest latency or highest voice count possible, then check out the single core performance numbers. Until now, the fastest I7 quadcore with core speeds greater than 4GHz (4770K and the likes) have performed best on this task.
- If you plan to run massive ITB mixdowns and latency is less important, choose the CPU with the highest number of cores and speed you can afford. Intel changes platforms and CPU sockets quite often, so you have to live with that CPU for a while.
- Keep an eye on the thermal design of the processor. In my experience, I managed to cool a 90W TDP CPU to near-silent operation without much hassle. Greater TDP = more effort needed for cooling.

The last I7 notebook I set up for a friend didn`t reach the appropriate Cinebench scores in Windows 7. Upgrading to Windows 10 improved things a lot. Just don`t expect things to run smoothly when you use Windows 7 with a 2018 platform..
Blingley
Upgrading the processor would be my first choice. More processing power leads to more simultaneous tracks, and more power-hungry Synths and Effects. Analog modeling synths and convolution reverbs in particular take up a lot of CPU cycles.

The value of storage varies a lot on what you want to do. If you work with classical sample libraries, which are often huge and need to load a ton of samples, SSD makes an appreciable difference. Of course, if you mostly use softsynths or short samples for drums, it's not going to matter much at all. It also makes your computer (and DAW) boot up faster, though.

16gb RAM should be enough for the processor for sure. I don't think you get much benefit from upgrading to 32gb unless you also upgrade the processor. Even then, 16gb is quite a bit. Again, RAM becomes more important if you use a ton of multisampled orchestral instruments - these tend to load a bunch of data into RAM to run smoothly. Still - you need monumental projects (200+ track range) with a lot sampled instruments to run into trouble with 16gb.
Funky40
i´d put my money first in a good SSD.
it improves all the loading times nicely !
check the M.2 thingys etc. ( i´m also new to this ).
i find 256 gb very low. since you have the option, take 512gb even if you don´t need to load GB hungry librarys.


what i read in another forum is what andybizarre allready stated:
go for single core speed first, then number of cores.
since i was also looking into building a new PC, i stumbled across alots of statements in this regards the last months......(german music forum)


what i read from you and what you are doing with your DAW/VSTs do i think you will be fine with most of your CPU choices, well from the i5-3,6ghz up. i´d leave the i3s out.
personally, thats just a feel: i would not want to go under a 3,6ghz CPU if i had to build now a new system.
I´d say, your choices here in the 300$ range are good ones for you.
( vs. what i read from you´ve planned to do )

(But:) what i read are more modern CPUs much faster at same ghz rating vs. older architectures ( the generation thing). so, a 3.2ghz might do vs. a 3,6ghz (older one) ? not shure on this ..........
also: watch the power consumption rating, TDP !
As andy statet: this has significant influence on the effort needed for cooling your CPU down, thus influence of how noisy your system "could" be.


i´m not the slightest bit of an expert in this regard ! really not !! to make this clear......wink
but i had to read my way thru specs and posts the last few weeks (and months) since i was also on the fence to build me a new Windows Machine. ( i´m mac only since i´m stuck to the Trackpad which i MUCH prefer over a mouse, so i still hold off for now to build me a Win10 power machine )

*i think* the i9s are to power hungry......again: check TDP rating.
you will find that within the common CPU specs in your shops page.


do not save on the Fans/cooling system !! just take something good.
same for PSU !
thats one of the important points/advices i stumble upon again and again
jsco
personally, the first thing i would do is upgrade your fast SSD to 512GB. doesn't cost much, and that should probably be enough to do everything you want plus be future proof for several years. (i'm guessing your second drive will be mainly for audio, which means any HDD will be fine. unless you already bought one, i would wait til you're running low on space to buy the HDD, because they get bigger and cheaper every year.)

don't upgrade ram. 16GB is plenty for now, and you can just add more later if you ever need it down the road.

CPU, i'm honestly not sure. it depends on how many plugins and VSTs and stuff you're running, and i don't have a feel for how much CPU these use. in your boat, i might pick the 9600, but then again the 8100 could very well be more than enough. CPUs are expensive to upgrade later, so it might be best to err on the side of overkill. (one thing to note: speaking from experience, the 8700k is right on the edge of the cooling capability of that 212 evo. it can do it, but it'll make it a lot less forgiving of case airflow problems.)
Rex Coil 7
Like fifteen minutes ago I just bought a 1TB M.2 SSD...

Samsung 970 EVO 1TB M.2 2280 NVMe PCIe MLC Internal SSD (MZ-V7E1T0BW)

SPECS = 3,400MB/s Seq. Read ... 2,500MB/s Seq. Write

So that will be in addition to the same model Samsung that I already bought in 250gb. The ASUS motherboard has provisions for two of these NVME M.2 boards, so that's all good. I'll have that Toshiba 1TB HDD listed on eBay before I go to bed!

I made the mistake of also buying 16gb more RAM (I just bought another of the Corsair Vengence 2x8gb kits). I suppose if it's not needed I can cancel the order if I get to it quickly enough. It set me back another $120.00 shipped.

seriously, i just don't get it

I suppose I can uprate to Win10 (it seems like it's extremely inexpensive if I'm understanding the marketing I'm seeing about it properly). I was avoiding Win 10 because I figured being as new as it is that it would have buggy issues. I could use some advice there. Win 10 also provides access to those USB3.1 ports on that ASUS motherboard (six of them!).

But I'm really bucking against going to Live 10 for now. It's costly (even as a user upgrade the Suite version is around $480.00) and I may be wrong but I think I read that Live 10 is still having "new version blues".

The Intel i7-8700 (8th gen) is going for roughly $330.00 shipped, new in sealed box. That's the 6 core/12 thread CPU running at 3.2ghz. I just looked up the current draw, it's rated at 65 watts (per Intel's web page) ... also 12mb smart cache.

jsco wrote:
CPU, i'm honestly not sure. it depends on how many plugins and VSTs and stuff you're running, and i don't have a feel for how much CPU these use. in your boat, i might pick the 9600, but then again the 8100 could very well be more than enough. CPUs are expensive to upgrade later, so it might be best to err on the side of overkill. (one thing to note: speaking from experience, the 8700k is right on the edge of the cooling capability of that 212 evo. it can do it, but it'll make it a lot less forgiving of case airflow problems.)
And the snowball effect begins!

So when you say "8100" do you mean the i3-8100?

Should I cancel that extra 16gb of RAM?

Is Win 10 really only like $10.00 for the license?

Thank you all for the super helpful comments. Your input is SUPER DUPER EXCELLENTO!

thumbs up
Rex Coil 7
(I cancelled the extra RAM)

PARTS LIST (ON HAND UNLESS NOTED):

** ASUS Prime Z370-A motherboard ... one of the top dogs with the LGA 1151 CPU socket.
** Corsair 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3000MHz C15 Memory Kit.
** 1ea. 250gb Samsung M.2 NVME SSD.
** 1ea. 1TB Samsung M.2 NVME SSD.
** Cooler Master 212 CPU cooler (not a liquid cooling rig).
** (YET TO BUY) PSU = EVGA 500 B1 100-b1-0500-kr 80 Bronze 500 watt.
** (YET TO BUY) The CPU ..
** (YET TO BUY) Chassis fan(s).
** (YET TO BUY) Incidentals like switches, wire, screws, glue, other stuffs.

** Controller: Akai APC40 MkII ... it's like a mixer of sorts.
** Controller: Ableton Push 1, since I intend on using Live 9.
** Both controllers are paid for and en route.

** Interface = Behringer U-PHORIA UMC404HD 4x4USB2 Audio Interface - $106.99 I bought this because it has killer ratings and reviews, it was 35% off, it has six outputs. It's already in my possession (showed up today). I started out by spec'ing a Thunderbolt system, but after a ton of research I decided to wait for Thunderbolt to become more developed since I read a crapload of complaints about super difficult set up, drop outs, and many (many!) other issues. So I decided to really slow down on setting up the computer for anything really new. That put me back to Win 7 (which I already have a new licensed copy of) and USB2 temporarily. So I went with the best interface for USB2 that offered more than two outputs and didn't cost a lot of moolah. The Behringer fit the description perfectly.

Once I get this computer up and running I will have the opportunity to discover a few things about how I'll end up using Ableton before I'll know if I'll only require a USB3.1 interface with just L/R audio outs. But if I discover that the way I will use Ableton will require more than two outputs, then I'll know I'll need a more costly USB3.1 interface.

Meanwhile, I'll use this $107.00 USB2 six output interface until I know ultimately how I wish to use Ableton. I'm only buying one USB3 interface, they're not cheaply priced! So USB2 will be used to learn how I will use Ableton, which will determine how many outputs the USB3.1 interface will need. This method meant I didn't need to buy Win 10, or a USB3.1 interface that may end up being under-featured. Learning on the cheap.

That was the mental process that pushed me towards this Behringer USB2 interface. seriously, i just don't get it

INTENDED USE:

I'll be using this computer/DAW/Ableton pretty much like an audio phrase looper, as well as a "drum machine" of sorts .. all for live jamming. VSTs will be pretty much just what is within Live 9, in addition to an Oberhiem Power Synth emulator VST known as the "OPX Pro II". It's an insanely great emulation of synths like the OBX, OBXa, and many many other 1980s "Power Synths". I may also use one of the wavetable VST synths (like Serum perhaps). But other than ITB FX for the onboard VSTs and audio clips, as well as any sampling/looping I do on the fly, that's about all I'll be doing with Abelton.

I have two hardware Romplers (Proteus family E-MUs), a couple of Nord Micro Modulars, and my 5U modular driven by a Kenton 2000 Pro MIDI-to-CV converter. I play keyboards, so the hardware synths/organ will be played and looped ... most of the live keyboard stuff will originate from the hardware, Ableton may be used for live playing as well. I'll also be using hardware sequencers/arpeggiators, Ableton may end up as a slave instrument (not the master clock). I'll be phrase looping my guitars, my bass guitar, my 1962 Hammond C3, and the occasional other instrument. I'll be doing Tou Yube videos of gear demos and such as well. About like what Member *JohnLRice puts out. I'll also be putting together recordings of songs now and then. We're not talking about commercial music produced for commercial sales here.

So there we go.

nodnod
jsco
Quote:
** 1ea. 250gb Samsung M.2 NVME SSD.
** 1ea. 1TB Samsung M.2 NVME SSD.

i would return or sell that 250gb drive, or hang onto it for another project, and just use your 1TB. having two equally-fast SSDs gives you nothing but a headache.

Quote:
I'll have that Toshiba 1TB HDD listed on eBay before I go to bed

cool, you can dump all your giant sample libraries and days-long multichannel self-running patch recordings here. you can also treat it as a half-assed backup drive by just copying important files over to both drives.

Quote:
The Intel i7-8700 (8th gen) is going for roughly $330.00 shipped, new in sealed box. That's the 6 core/12 thread CPU running at 3.2ghz. I just looked up the current draw, it's rated at 65 watts (per Intel's web page)

ah! you're right. i have the 8700k, and that's 95W TDP. the 8700 is 65W and should be fine.

Quote:
So when you say "8100" do you mean the i3-8100?

yep!

not sure about those $10 windows licenses. i haven't researched how legit they are. i'd be interested to hear what you find.
JohnLRice
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
[I'll be doing Tou Yube videos of gear demos and such as well. About like what Member *JohnLRice puts out.
Mr. Green thumbs up I didn't see any mention of what video editing software you plan on using and if you plan on using the motherboard video output or if you are going to get a dedicated video card. hmmm.....
Rex Coil 7
OH MY GOD ... MY FEKKIN HAIR HURTS! ..... the horror ..... the horror ..... all of this decision stress is nuts!

Ok, I'm going to finish the "USB2 System" (cash required above what I've already spent = $400.00)

** Intel i3-8100 CPU.
** Win 7 SP1
** Live 9.7 Suite.
** Cooler Master 212 CPU cooler.
** Push 1.
** Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD interface.



But if I went with the "USB3.1 System": (cash required above what I've already spent = at least $2,000.00 plus)

** ($325.00) - Intel i7-8700 CPU.
** ($175.00) - Win 10.
** ($475.00) - Live 10 Suite.
** ($100.00) - Noctua NH-D15 cooler (6 tube, needed for the 95 watt i7 CPU).
** (450.00) - Push 2.
** ($1 Million Dollars) - Some sort of USB3.1 interface (much more munnay than the Behringer, That's A Fact, Jack!)



If/when I need to uprate to the USB3 system I've (only) spent a couple of hundred dollars on the i3 and Push 1 that can't be used in the USB3 (i7) system.

If you read the reviews of the 8th Generation Intel i3-8100 people are really impressed, many compare it's performance with 5th gen i7 CPUs. So the "USB2" system will get me into using my new computer much faster and with far less cash spent. Since Ableton is essentially only going to be a "sampling super drum machine/phrase looper" (more or less) for me, the USB2 rig should do just fine for quite a while. I'll only use the VSTs that came with Ableton, along with one that I already own (OPX Pro II). Everything else is outboard hardware.

Keep in mind that in the ASUS Prime Z370-A motherboard, I have a super-fantastical up-to-the-minute motherboard (Optane capable, USB3.1/Ver2 capable, Thunderbolt 3 capable, 32GB DDR4 capable). It's loaded up with 16gb DDR4 RAM, 1TB M.2 SSD and a 250GB M.2 SSD. That's a super solid foundation well suited for upgrades after I work with Ableton for about a year (or more).



USB2 System ..... ahhhhh ..... it feels so good ..... I can breathe again.



cookie?!?
Rex Coil 7
Ok, the hair is hurting again! ... I thought I had this all worked out ... then I read this stuff.

jsco wrote:
Quote:
** 1ea. 250gb Samsung M.2 NVME SSD.
** 1ea. 1TB Samsung M.2 NVME SSD.

i would return or sell that 250gb drive, or hang onto it for another project, and just use your 1TB. having two equally-fast SSDs gives you nothing but a headache.
OK, now you've confused the hell out of me. I thought the idea was to have a "smaller" SSD for applications (aka "boot drive") and a 1TB for libraries and generated content. So I went with the 250GB SSD as the boot drive, and the 1TB SSD as the mass storage drive. But now you're saying that will be a problem? Please straighten this out.

By the way, I'm looking over "Hot swap" options for removable storage and archiving (using SSD cards), along with CD/DVDs

jsco wrote:
Quote:
I'll have that Toshiba 1TB HDD listed on eBay before I go to bed

cool, you can dump all your giant sample libraries and days-long multichannel self-running patch recordings here. you can also treat it as a half-assed backup drive by just copying important files over to both drives.
That's why I bought the 1TB SSD, to replace the HDD with. When I said I'd have the HDD "listed on eBay before I go to bed" ... that means I'm selling it.

I am totally confused here.

jsco wrote:
Quote:
The Intel i7-8700 (8th gen) is going for roughly $330.00 shipped, new in sealed box. That's the 6 core/12 thread CPU running at 3.2ghz. I just looked up the current draw, it's rated at 65 watts (per Intel's web page)

ah! you're right. i have the 8700k, and that's 95W TDP. the 8700 is 65W and should be fine.
So a cooling system heavier than the 212 would not be not required then?

jsco wrote:
Quote:
So when you say "8100" do you mean the i3-8100?

yep!

not sure about those $10 windows licenses. i haven't researched how legit they are. i'd be interested to hear what you find.
I researched that last night .... seems the cheapo license may be for people that already have LEGIT Win 7/8 licensed to them qualify for the "$10 buck Win10 upgrade". If you're a new Win user (like coming from MAC or something) then Win 10 Pro runs about $175.00 or so ... for a LEGAL copy.


JohnLRice wrote:
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
[I'll be doing Tou Yube videos of gear demos and such as well. About like what Member *JohnLRice puts out.
Mr. Green thumbs up I didn't see any mention of what video editing software you plan on using and if you plan on using the motherboard video output or if you are going to get a dedicated video card. hmmm.....
Even for just shooting a stupid smartphone video and sticking audio taken "from the desk mixer" with it? I thought Tou Yube had video editing software available in one's account?

If it's beyond that I'll stay with SoundCloud.

(I'll PM you about all of this ~video stuff~ John).

ack! .... just when I thought I had my shit together d'oh!

(relevant part begins at 1:30)


JohnLRice
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
JohnLRice wrote:
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
[I'll be doing Tou Yube videos of gear demos and such as well. About like what Member *JohnLRice puts out.
Mr. Green thumbs up I didn't see any mention of what video editing software you plan on using and if you plan on using the motherboard video output or if you are going to get a dedicated video card. hmmm.....
Even for just shooting a stupid smartphone video and sticking audio taken "from the desk mixer" with it? I thought Tou Yube had video editing software available in one's account?

If it's beyond that I'll stay with SoundCloud.

(I'll PM you about all of this ~video stuff~ John).

ack! .... just when I thought I had my shit together d'oh!

(relevant part begins at 1:30)


It never ends but if you are doing just short videos (5 minutes or less) at fairly low resolution (720P or less) and you aren't concerned with doing color grading or special effects etc, the on-board video stuff should be more than good enough. I've never tried to edit on YouTube's site so I don't know how easy or good it is but it's probably OK? It's probably better to keep things simple since the more sophisticated hardware and software I get in an effort to do a better job, the less inclined I am to make videos because of the increased thought and effort it takes. Dead Banana I'm part way through some major upgrades and of course things are not as simple as I would like them to be . . . .
jsco
Quote:
OK, now you've confused the hell out of me. I thought the idea was to have a "smaller" SSD for applications (aka "boot drive") and a 1TB for libraries and generated content. So I went with the 250GB SSD as the boot drive, and the 1TB SSD as the mass storage drive. But now you're saying that will be a problem? Please straighten this out.

sorry!!! this shit is confusing. the reason people do two-drive systems is because faster drives are more expensive, so if you get a small, fast drive and put your OS, small applications, and frequently accessed data on it, then dump your huge applications and huge data onto a big, slow, cheap drive, you can kind of get the best of both worlds. (basically, caching theory applied to the problem of consumer disk drives.)

in your case, you now have two equally fast drives, so having two drives doesn't really gain you anything other than the hassle of having to split up your data.

since you ponied up the cash for the 1TB SSD, i doubt you'll ever fill it up with mere audio (the usual space hogs are video and/or games). BUT, if you do, then you could buy a cheap 4+TB HDD for all your audio. it would be slower than an SSD, but it wouldn't really matter for that kind of data.

Quote:
When I said I'd have the HDD "listed on eBay before I go to bed" ... that means I'm selling it.

haha, whoops, i read that exactly the wrong way. but i agree with selling it.

Quote:
So a cooling system heavier than the 212 would not be not required then?

right-- i think the 212 evo is fine for the i7-8700 (65W), but iffy for the i7-8700k (95W).

all said, i think you can't make a wrong decision between the i3-8100 and the i7-8700 here. they'll both be 100% fine. (the 8700 costs more but might postpone a future upgrade for a little longer, and it's hard to estimate that kind of tradeoff, so i truly think the difference in lifetime bang for the buck between the two is within error margin.)
hex
You might find this useful: http://www.scanproaudio.info/tag/dawbench/
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