New PC Build

Discussion in 'TASCAM DM-3200 & DM-4800' started by Peter Batah, Jan 26, 2021.

  1. skier

    skier Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2016
    Messages:
    528
    Likes:
    476
    From:
    Connecticut, USA
    Gear:
    Tascam DM4800, PT 12
    Not much has changed. You'll notice the expansion bus has a different number of contacts and probably fewer bus connectors because more things are built-in on the motherboard, even a GPU is on most boards today. With your past experience, you'll easily find way around this new equipment and building this new machine.

    As a corollary, in December, I ordered a new computer from Dell for my own office. I usually buy scientific workstations because I have some huge spreadsheets (over 500,000 cells for some) for my utility clients due to load values they want graphed and/or analyzed and I can't wait many minutes for the calculations to ripple through. Also, I use perhaps, 40 or 50 apps and it can take me days to move from my old computer to my new one because of having to install each app, deactivate on the old machine and activate on the new, deal with the problems some of them cause on the new machine, etc., etc. So, by buying powerful computers with lots of RAM, they keep me going for about 10 years on one of those machines and I avoid more frequent transitions.

    My last was a dual XEON (4 cores each) with 16GB of RAM. But as I compared the specs of current XEON machines with I7 and I9 machines, I couldn't believe that the XEONS were usually slower (lower clock speeds and no turbo), but with many more cores (up to 32). Lots of cores are great for parallel process applications, such as transaction processing, but do nothing for apps that require the completion of one calculation for which the output is the input of the next calculation - that requires FAST processors.

    So I bought a fast gaming machine that included a superfast GPU and then got a big (for me, 34 inches/86cm) gaming monitor - I love this new machine! I also get to play some drone combat games online and this computer is perfect for that (though the top scorers are making a mess of me, but I never give up). Interestingly, I usually play in the European sector rather than America, because here, they prefer to race rather than combat. Regardless, the key point that has surprised me is that this gaming machine is faster for me than the XEON chips and that has come as a big surprise.

    They have warehouses all around each country. I get most things in a day lately, 2 days at most as long as the product is coming from Amazon. But if it's shipped directly from the business selling on Amazon, it can take longer.
    -mjk- and Peter Batah like this.
  2. Peter Batah

    Peter Batah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2017
    Messages:
    1,028
    Likes:
    476
    From:
    Montreal, Canada
    Gear:
    DM4800 / MU1000
    @skier Thank you so much for the words of encouragement. Well, the case should arrive in a day or two then it's off to the races. I could be wrong but, from what I gathered from your response there may actually be less work involved in the build of these newer PC's. I remember having to plug in all of those cables back in the day. The next purchase for me is going to have to be a proper display. The motherboard only comes equipped with one HDMI and one DisplayPort connector. That is also something new. Out with VGA I guess. I know that I can purchase adapters but my older 19" displays have seen better days. Those Big Mommas must be pretty pricey I imagine.
    -mjk- likes this.
  3. skier

    skier Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2016
    Messages:
    528
    Likes:
    476
    From:
    Connecticut, USA
    Gear:
    Tascam DM4800, PT 12
    There was a big increase in resolution going from VGA to DVI and Display Port, and HDMI added sound to the same cable. These last 3 connector formats also are digital rather than the analog signals of VGA - much better! There are adapters to go between DVI, Display Port, and HDMI, but personally, I'd stick with Display Port and HDMI nowadays.

    My monitor is actually 32 inches, not 34 as I stated in the prior posting - my mistake. It's currently on sale for about $430 U.S. - not bad by today's standards for a high-resolution large monitor with 3000:1 contrast ratio and up to 2560 x 1440 resolution. It also uses much less power (30watts) than past monitors and much less than than a 19 inch CRT ever used at several hundred watts. Here's the link if you're interested - I really like this monitor and am buying another.

    https://deals.dell.com/en-us/productdetail/5fo0

    Note: Make sure the GPU you bought (or its motherboard equivalent if you're using that) can support the monitor. If not, I'd still buy the monitor and also buy an inexpensive GPU card ($50 - $80) to get the most out of the monitor. You don't need a powerful, fast card unless you're going to game on it or do video editing (which I'm also doing in addition to occasional gaming). But with today's technology, I'll bet even the motherboard GPU will support these resolutions; my Intel motherboard does.

    Let us know what you decide.
    -mjk- likes this.
  4. Peter Batah

    Peter Batah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2017
    Messages:
    1,028
    Likes:
    476
    From:
    Montreal, Canada
    Gear:
    DM4800 / MU1000
    @skier Thanks for the link J. Now let's head over to the Canadian equivalent of that Dell site or Amazon to see how badly I am going to get whacked. I can also check with one of my suppliers. However, from past experience I can confirm that I actually saved $$$ buying directly from Dell Canada. A question. I'm no tech by any stretch of the imagination. Why couldn't we just buy a 500.00 LED television and use that instead? And, NO gaming for me on this PC.
    -mjk- likes this.
  5. Peter Batah

    Peter Batah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2017
    Messages:
    1,028
    Likes:
    476
    From:
    Montreal, Canada
    Gear:
    DM4800 / MU1000
    -mjk- likes this.
  6. Peter Batah

    Peter Batah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2017
    Messages:
    1,028
    Likes:
    476
    From:
    Montreal, Canada
    Gear:
    DM4800 / MU1000
    -mjk- likes this.
  7. skier

    skier Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2016
    Messages:
    528
    Likes:
    476
    From:
    Connecticut, USA
    Gear:
    Tascam DM4800, PT 12
    And, in fact, you can, especially with 4K TVs. The main problem people have had in the past is to buy a TV for use as a monitor and then to be unhappy with the resolution because it was less than a computer monitor. This happened for several reasons, but the primary ones were that watching motion on a TV may look like it's of similar, sharp resolution, but it's different than what's needed for reading fine type on a screen like we do on computers and tablets. Another reason for the confusion is the different resolution standards and most people don't know what they equate to in the other format. Finally, until recently, even with similar resolution, TVs were not as sharp and didn't have the high contrast ratios of monitors.

    So, where does that leave us? Well, we have to look at the specs of any TV we're considering. If it's a 4K unit, it's 2160P and that's equivalent to a 3840 x 2160 monitor. A 1080P TV is equivalent to a 1920 x 1080 monitor. Finally, a cheap TV will not be as sharp as a good quality set. Personally, I thought about a 4K TV, but most were near a $1,000 or much more for a good brand. When I saw the Dell 32 inch for $430, I decided immediately to just go with.

    As for being curved, I thought I would hate it, but I actually like it. That said, I design control systems and control rooms for utilities and we've always used flat screen monitors. I don't think it matters whether or not the screen is curved - it's the user's preference, but I'd also be happy if my monitor was flat, all things considered,because it's not the curve that makes it so good, it's the monitor. However, I wouldn't go with a TV unless it was a 4K unit; that's just my preference. I like to buy very good one time, and be happy with the product for years afterward. Every time I've compromised, I end up being unsatisfied and eventually buy what I really wanted in the first place, except I've bought twice and lose money trying to sell the first product, plus the hassle of doing that. If I can't get what I want, I wait and save my money for the time when I can. But that's just me, others feel differently.
    -mjk- likes this.
  8. Peter Batah

    Peter Batah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2017
    Messages:
    1,028
    Likes:
    476
    From:
    Montreal, Canada
    Gear:
    DM4800 / MU1000
    @skier I was in a chat session with a Dell rep. She offered me a $50.00 discount off of the web price. Followed up with an email quote. So nice of her
    -mjk- likes this.
  9. Arjan P

    Arjan P Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 2012
    Messages:
    1,430
    Likes:
    884
    From:
    Netherlands
    Gear:
    DM3200 IFFW
    You'd ofcourse have to consider that a TV has all kinds of functions that you won't use but paid for, like a receiver or several receivers, smart functions, integrated sound. So indeed, at the same price and same screen size - it cannot be the same quality display.
    -mjk-, Peter Batah and skier like this.
  10. skier

    skier Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2016
    Messages:
    528
    Likes:
    476
    From:
    Connecticut, USA
    Gear:
    Tascam DM4800, PT 12
    This is, of course, also true.
    -mjk- likes this.
  11. skier

    skier Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2016
    Messages:
    528
    Likes:
    476
    From:
    Connecticut, USA
    Gear:
    Tascam DM4800, PT 12
    Well, as for me, that is the way I'd be inclined to go, made even easier with the additional savings. If you do go with this monitor, I truly believe you would not be disappointed.
    -mjk- and Peter Batah like this.
  12. Peter Batah

    Peter Batah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2017
    Messages:
    1,028
    Likes:
    476
    From:
    Montreal, Canada
    Gear:
    DM4800 / MU1000
    @skier Consider it done! Thank you again for your guidance. Much appreciated as always.
    -mjk- and Arjan P like this.
  13. Peter Batah

    Peter Batah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2017
    Messages:
    1,028
    Likes:
    476
    From:
    Montreal, Canada
    Gear:
    DM4800 / MU1000
    If I do choose Cubase as my DAW of choice are there any keyboard recommendations. I could be wrong, but I believe there are Cubase specific models that exist. Thanks all.
  14. Arjan P

    Arjan P Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 2012
    Messages:
    1,430
    Likes:
    884
    From:
    Netherlands
    Gear:
    DM3200 IFFW
    @Peter Batah Special keyboards do exist, but are usually quite expensive. 10 Years ago, I got a sticker set from Editor Keys (https://www.editorskeys.com/), but they now only sell the full keyboards and 'keyboard covers', which don't look too great to me. But if you do a Google search for 'Cubase key stickers' there are different suppliers still, that sell sets for under $10.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2021
    skier, -mjk- and Peter Batah like this.
  15. skier

    skier Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2016
    Messages:
    528
    Likes:
    476
    From:
    Connecticut, USA
    Gear:
    Tascam DM4800, PT 12
    @Peter Batah It's actually surprising how much custom keyboards vary in price. Here's one for $80 U.S. on Amazon:

    https://www.amazon.com/Steinberg-Cubase-Keyboard-USB-Mac/dp/B01C785G4W

    And here's one for almost twice the price from Sweetwater:

    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...board-astra-pc-backlit-keyboard-cubase-nuendo

    I don't know which of these two is better, though I prefer the more vivid colors of the one from Amazon rather than the pastels of the other. There are many more and it's likely a search worth doing yourself so you can compare colors, prices, reviews, etc.

    NOTE: I do have a custom keyboard for Pro Tools and I like it - to some degree. It has many of the functions actually written on the keys and I've found it helpful when I was learning PT or even when I go back to it after being away for a while. The foregoing notwithstanding, the fact all that info is on the keys can also make it difficult to read what's there when you're looking for a specific key/function you know you've seen on your keyboard, but don't remember where. Also, I like playing and mixing in a subdued light atmosphere and that only makes the key text harder to read, so I need to turn up the lighting or use a flashlight at times.

    So, as I explain all this to you, it does make me wonder if having such keyboards is worth the extra price because while helping, it only speeds up using your DAW if you remember which function is on which key. I could be showing my age when I admit that too long a time away from the studio does cause me to forgot some of those keyboard shortcuts.
    Arjan P and -mjk- like this.
  16. Peter Batah

    Peter Batah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2017
    Messages:
    1,028
    Likes:
    476
    From:
    Montreal, Canada
    Gear:
    DM4800 / MU1000
    @skier I will just start with a standard keyboard for the time being. I think it was @Arjan P who mentioned a keyboard overlay. Makes more sense to me. At least you can remove it when not needed. Thank you both
    Arjan P and -mjk- like this.
  17. skier

    skier Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2016
    Messages:
    528
    Likes:
    476
    From:
    Connecticut, USA
    Gear:
    Tascam DM4800, PT 12
    That's likely the smartest move. The overlays are not nearly as expensive and they can easily be removed which also eliminates the cluttered look. The only better idea I can think of is that I'd love to be able to turn the key text on and off as needed.
    Peter Batah and -mjk- like this.
  18. -mjk-

    -mjk- Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2018
    Messages:
    2,430
    Likes:
    1,445
    From:
    Hukou Township, Hsinchu County, Taiwan
    Gear:
    DP-32, | 2A Mixer, A3440
    I use a Stream Deck in my studio. A very useful device!
    skier and Peter Batah like this.
  19. Peter Batah

    Peter Batah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2017
    Messages:
    1,028
    Likes:
    476
    From:
    Montreal, Canada
    Gear:
    DM4800 / MU1000
    -mjk- likes this.
  20. -mjk-

    -mjk- Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2018
    Messages:
    2,430
    Likes:
    1,445
    From:
    Hukou Township, Hsinchu County, Taiwan
    Gear:
    DP-32, | 2A Mixer, A3440
    @Peter Batah yes, but that's the mini. I have the 15 key model (the original). There is also a big one. I have profiles for everything I do, like website maintenance, video editing, DAW project setup, etc.. Because it can do multi functions you can press a single button and have it load all your software in whatever order you need including delay times between them. It can replace keystrokes so you can also use it for transport control.

    https://www.elgato.com/en/gaming/stream-deck
    skier and Peter Batah like this.