PC Rig Builds - Show Us Your Builds


It’s worth pointing out that it was a head-to-head match up - both are 8C/16T. It was also very, very close, with Ryzen coming out ahead by like 20 points in the benchmark. The question is whether Zen 2 is actually beating Intel on single core performance or if AMD’s microcode benefits the number crunching that Cinebench requires (256-bit float, larger FMA, etc).

If I was a betting fellow, I’d guess that it’s a bit of both. Ryzen is likely better suited to large scale parallel number crunching tasks like Cinebench (which does sort of sell it for content creation), and AMD is probably edging up on Intel for single core, which they’ll again lose ground to when Icelake drops. There’s just not enough details about Zen 2 to really know, and like you said, I’m not putting money into something without longer and better testing by third parties.

lol “you’re really good at being nerdy!” Combination of doing it since the early 80s and having careers that have kept me close to it. As I mentioned before, I’ve been out of the loop with consumer parts, so this is all recent research and I just happen to have the background to grok it. And I’ll be perfectly honest, a lot of it is just straight up geekery - there’s no reason even enthusiasts should be concerned with most of this.

My current setup was totally awesome five years ago, which means I could get almost anything and it be a noticeable improvement. I’m only hand-wringing because I can (and I have a totally irrational fear of commitment when it comes to buying parts).


I think they’ll be pretty cool but not something that if I were to build a system, i would wait for. Especially them fittingbinto the board I currently have, with some bios updating. That means I can literally future path up to whatever Zen comes along, assuming that doesn’t change in a few iterations.

Of course, Intel may come along and drive their specs into the dirt but at a higher cost(assumed by previous pricings). I’d say that even if you’re an Intel dude, if AMD can effectively make your next CPU cheaper simply by doing well in the market, that’s a plus too.

I think this weekend I’ll do some checking on my system. I’ve had Ryzen Master running on my second monitor. Boosting up to 3.9 MHz all on its own. I know performance is lower with it in the background but I more or less want to see what the software does.

I’ve been trying to check my temps while I game, etc. It idles at 30c, if not below at points. And it hasn’t really gone over 50c. Of course the ambient temperature is pretty low right now and partly due to the case being seemingly very good at moving air in and out. But it’s on the stock cooler, which I’ve seen people saying isn’t great compared to the one that shipped with the 1600(thinner heat sink/non-copper).

I think I said it previously, my case feels cold to the touch. But yeah, I think this weekend I’ll pull it back apart and try a few more astetically pleasing things and snap some photos while I’m at it.

Again thanks for the back and forth in here guys. Been some fun reads.

@Manton are parts somewhat more expensive in AU? I can get the CPU price but no idea cost. But damn, that board alone. $500+…


I think with a 200 mm fan in front, you don’t have to worry too much. I used to have a case with one on the side pushing cool air straight onto the motherboard from on top, and only ever overheated once doing some very hard number crunching on an overclocked processor that drew 150 watts stock when it was over 100 degrees F in my room. I still use that case for another pc, but I wanted something quieter.


I remember reading a while ago when building a rig for a friend, that DAW’s typically only can utilize 1-2 cores anyway (so it’s software dependent), but the clock speed is vital to processing a large number of “tracks” (or channel strips) or as you say, very long WAV files. If your using heaps of VSTs, a larger amount of RAM is necessary. Does that make sense?


Every modern DAW I’ve looked at will utilize as many cores/threads as you can throw at it, up to it’s programming limit (which is currently 32 or 64 for most of them). The question is how it utilizes them.

Very generally each signal path will use one thread until they’re all used up, and then it starts queuing them. So if you have a 4 core/8 thread cpu, your DAW will assign tracks 1-8 to each of the threads, then track 9 goes to the next available thread. Thus for lots of tracks, more cores/threads are helpful.

Each track is processed at the speed of a single thread. If you have a cpu heavy synth (omg Diva) followed by real-time Melodyne and a a stack of convolution reverbs, that’s a ton of processing on a single thread. In that case single core performance is beneficial, as those extra cores can sit idle while the one tries to complete. Also, if you have more tracks than cores, the quicker it clears that queue. It’s a bit of a balancing act.

Some DAWs also split off VST processing to available threads, further murkying the waters. I’d argue that the difference in single core performance and thread counts are so small these days that you’d almost have to make up scenarios to see a noticeable difference on a real project outside full on orchestral sessions or 150 track pop tunes.

It’s hard to argue with more ram, especially since most DAWs and software samplers have the option to pre-load samples into memory to prevent drop outs and stuttering. I’d almost always put money into ram before I got a slightly more powerful cpu.

It’s not the same for every DAW, but this is what Ableton says about it.


There’s a difference between “very long WAV files” and “large number of ‘tracks’”. WAV files are just files loaded into memory, or run off disk if they’re really big. Tracks tho, can contain MIDI, snippets of audio, VST instruments, etc. A WAV file is specifically a recorded audio file that is loaded into memory. A track, is something into which you CAN put a WAV file, but can also put really anything else as well. Basically, a track is one continuous audio feed, regardless of the source.

For having a project with lots of samples and files (WAV) loaded into the project, RAM is something that will benefit you very much in that case, but only if you have a lot of tracks will CPU speed will matter as much (i.e. a two track DJ mix containing many individual song files). But if it’s a bunch of outboard effects/instruments coming in on individual mixer channels, then the CPU speed will come more into play.

As far as multicore support, I use REAPER and I know it allows for use of multicore systems, but mostly I’ve just heard that applications that utilize multiple cores are still kinda being worked out as far as what does what in a program, and it really depends on the software and how they’ve developed it to take advantage of the additional cores. It’s more of something that “best practices” I guess are still kinda in development.

Definitely tho, RAM is where it’s at for a music production station. Processor should be ok, but doesn’t need anything terribly powerful. You probably don’t need an i9, for instance lol. I run my system with my i5 7600k (which, to be fair is practically a low end i7), and it’s been more than enough.

I’d be interested tho in looking into what kinda of processing power different audio functions require, certainly encoding/decoding, different DSP’s, certainly reverb is definitely a cpu intensive effect. So, if you had a track that needed a LOT of reverb (like 10000 instances of a high end reverb plugin), then you might need a powerful computer lol.


Excellent response. Very clear, thank you.

Yeah man. Totally understand. When I say “large number of tracks” I meant channels with WAV files in them. As if you are in a real time recording session. Obviously if you just had 200 “new” tracks applied to a session with nothing loaded into them, it would not require any process.


Well yeah, but you can still have VST’s loaded, have a project vst/vsti heavy, you don’t need to have empty channels. It’s not WAV or nothing. Encoded files too make a difference, if you’re using mp3’s or something for some reason. You don’t need to have empty tracks.