Looking for advice on new computer

So I’m thinking about getting a desktop. At the moment I am using a laptop with the following spec:

System:    Host: hyperion Kernel: 5.0.0-23-lowlatency x86_64 bits: 64 gcc: 7.4.0
           Desktop: KDE Plasma 5.17.0 (Qt 5.13.1) Distro: KDE neon User Edition 5.17
Machine:   Device: laptop System: Hewlett-Packard product: HP EliteBook 8570w v: A1029D1102 serial: N/A
           Mobo: Hewlett-Packard model: 176B v: KBC Version 50.1B serial: N/A
           BIOS: Hewlett-Packard v: 68IAV Ver. F.41 date: 05/20/2013
Battery    BAT0: charge: 62.8 Wh 98.4% condition: 63.8/63.8 Wh (100%) model: Hewlett-Packard Primary status: N/A
CPU:       Quad core Intel Core i7-3720QM (-MT-MCP-) arch: Ivy Bridge rev.9 cache: 6144 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx) bmips: 20752
           clock speeds: max: 3600 MHz 1: 2976 MHz 2: 2561 MHz 3: 2884 MHz 4: 2664 MHz 5: 2824 MHz 6: 2894 MHz
           7: 2078 MHz 8: 2890 MHz
Graphics:  Card: NVIDIA GK107GLM [Quadro K2000M] bus-ID: 01:00.0
           Display Server: x11 (X.Org 1.19.6 ) drivers: nvidia (unloaded: modesetting,fbdev,vesa,nouveau)
           Resolution: 1920x1080@59.98hz
           OpenGL: renderer: Quadro K2000M/PCIe/SSE2 version: 4.6.0 NVIDIA 430.26 Direct Render: Yes
Audio:     Card-1 NVIDIA GK107 HDMI Audio Controller driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 01:00.1
           Card-2 Intel 7 Series/C216 Family High Definition Audio Controller
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
           Card-3 Focusrite-Novation driver: USB Audio usb-ID: 003-004
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k5.0.0-23-lowlatency
Network:   Card-1: Intel 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection (Lewisville)
           driver: e1000e v: 3.2.6-k port: 5040 bus-ID: 00:19.0
           IF: enp0s25 state: down mac: 2c:44:fd:65:23:13
           Card-2: Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 driver: iwlwifi bus-ID: 25:00.0
           IF: wlo1 state: up mac: 3c:a9:f4:4f:0d:0c
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 1250.3GB (67.4% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: CT250MX500SSD1 size: 250.1GB
           ID-2: /dev/sdb model: TOSHIBA_MQ01ABD1 size: 1000.2GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 34G used: 14G (41%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda3
           ID-2: /home size: 81G used: 48G (60%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda4
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 57.0C mobo: N/A gpu: 0.0:51C
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 279 Uptime: 7:33 Memory: 4066.2/11937.3MB Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Gcc sys: 7.4.0
           Client: Shell (bash 4.4.201) inxi: 2.3.56

I want to be able to make larger patches as at the moment it really struggles when I get close to being able to make a full track in Rack. This is the spec I am looking at for the desktop:

AMD Ryzen 7 2600 (think this is labelled incorrectly and is a Ryzen 5)
Memory (RAM)
8GB RAM (will add more of this later on)
Hard drive capacity 1TB
Graphics card GeForce GTX 1660

Will I see much of a performance difference with this?

Desktop cpu with 8 Cores, 16 Threads @3.2GHz from 2018 vs mobile cpu with 4 Cores, 8 Threads @2.6 GHz from 2013.

I think you can get even newer cpu Ryzen 7 3700X.

So yeah, that would be a beast of a machine compared to your old laptop. What a time to build a computer!

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You currently have 4 cores (https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/64891/intel-core-i7-3720qm-processor-6m-cache-up-to-3-60-ghz.html) So if you can afford it I would recommend a 12 core Ryzen, or at least a 8 core Ryzen.

8GB Ram? No way! I suggest at least 16GB. I run 48GB (plus 6GB video RAM) and have zero issues.

Good luck and have a blast with the new hardware!

  • Paul “Uncle Chrome” Artola

As others have said: Get 16GB of RAM on a new machine today. Apart from that you should read my summary here:

Bottom line: If it’s a laptop good cooling is critical, but I see you’re going for a desktop, good. A good graphics card is also important, and then high single-core CPU performance. Good luck!

I’m struggling to decide on graphics cards, how to define a good graphics card? I’m looking at Radeon RX 570 but maybe 550 would be sufficient or do I need better then these?? I don’t do any gaming so rack is the only thing I need it for really and don’t want to spend too much on it.

16 gb of ram is a waste of money you could spend on cpu, UNLESS big sample libraries are a big part of your workflow.

Its easier to buy some additional ram later - if you really need it.

Radeon RX 570 would most likely be an overkill.

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I build my own desktop machines. Current box includes the following specs:

  • AMD FX6300 6-core CPU 3.5 GHz (at performance setting)
  • 16G memory
  • fast hard disk
  • nVidia GeForce GT710
  • ALSA/JACK sound system (M-Audio Delta 66)

More importantly, everything on my machine has been selected for quiet performance. The CPU cooler is a quiet model, as is the power supply, and the video card is fanless. The case is an old Antec Sonata II, very nice for quiet running.

I can run some fairly sizeable patches, but too many CPU-eaters will give it some grief. Since you’re running Linux you can tune your system for optimal performance by using a low-latency and/or rt-enabled kernel, setting your device and i/o priorities, disabling unnecessary services, etc. FWIW I run VCV Rack with rt priority enabled, for a single core, with a 15 Hz frame rate.

I’ve a RX570 and it’s more than enough. Second the suggestion of going for the fastest single core performance you can afford.

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Hello, I just build a desktop with the following specs: AMD Ryzen 2700x, MSI motherboard B450, 16 GB RAM 3200mhz, SSD 250 M2 pcie 3x, HDD 1TO 7200, AMD rx570, Bequite ! Fans and ventirad.

I’m using VCV as a DAW with Digitakt/Overbridge as a sound card/sequencer/drum machine. I Also use Reaktor 6 in VCV Host. Everything is running super fine at 48000hrz/128 buffer.

I say go for it, you won’t regret…