Questions & Answers

Do you have any recommended PC specifications?

0 votes
asked Jan 26, 2019 in Studio One 4 by kevinkouts (120 points)
I love Studio One.  I need to get a better idea of required specifications.  Mt last computer purchase wasn't quite enough.   It was ok when I stayed in 44.1, but I really want to buy the Quantum series and move up.  Does the nature of your architecture require a better processor, or more memory?  In other words is the Intel i5 good enough, or is i7 required?  Or do I need to load up with RAM?

OR, does your architecture prefer the Xeon w-2102 series?  AMD?   

Maybe you guys don't want to support any particular manufacturer, but surely you know what works best.

Thank you!  Any input would be great.

Kevin Kouts

3 Answers

+1 vote
answered Jan 29, 2019 by allantutt1 (320 points)
edited Jan 29, 2019 by allantutt1

I am an old schooler, who began experimenting with digital audio composing on twin Amiga 2000s, back in 1987, using 5.25 floppy disks and 'Personal Composer, Version 1.0' and Blue Ribbon Soundworks 'Pipes & Bars' software, that were the best tools of the day, but now a joke by today's DAW standards. I have built a number of computers over the years, and have just enough knowledge to be dangerous.

I'm not a big fan of relying upon one USB-C cable - to handle audio system requirements within the studio. For those wanting something quick and slick, to handle their portable requirements - I get it.. There is lots of good info out there on this choice and topic.

For me, the more connectivity options, the better. Not knowing exactly what audio devices I will be buying into in the future, I want to ensure that I have all the bases covered. So, onboard TB3, and USB 3.1 Gen 2, Type C, along with many other quality features available on the following two (2) motherboard EXAMPLES, are in my opinion, two very worthy contenders for a powerful (future/contemporary and backward compatible) audio and video management system... 


Here is one of the better lists, I've found online recently, that although not endorsed by Presonus, mentions a number of computers that may work for you, depending upon your system needs... I don't think, given today's standards, there is any one generic (BEST) solution out there in the industry. Everyone has an opinion on this subject, but I recommend that you do your own research, before making such an important investment. If you fully understand TB3 and USB-C protocols, you are miles ahead of me. At the end of the following article, I found some of the reader comments about single vs multi-port TB3 options, interesting to say the least and something requiring serious thought, should you be going the TB3 route. Checkout the following link for more info.

I suspect in the next couple of years, gear much like Steinburg's new AXR4 AI featuring TB2 (Thunderbolt 2) and 32bit/384 kHz sampling, will be the new standard. I am hopeful that Presonus and others in the industry will be adding TB3 & USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type C ports to all future hardware, in order to rocket beyond older TB2 & (USB 2.0 technology, which apparently and confusingly is still being utilized by manufacturers) behind a modern USB-C port.

In closing, it is my opinion, the more: computer power (i7 c/w a better than average number of lanes, to better handle multi-device internal processing); RAM (Fast); Storage: Fast, Conventional and Fail Safe Backup Solutions), that you have on board, in concert with all of the other computer related goodies, one typically needs to best manage the quality video output(s) and (ideally) your near latency free audio dataflow, the less headaches you should have in the future, when adding newer and more demanding audio hardware into your setup :)

There are many good folks out there, who know much more about this stuff than me.  This is just my (old) two bits worth.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck.

0 votes
answered Feb 5, 2019 by allantutt1 (320 points)
In general, the BEST computer build for DAW users, is one that excels in REAL TIME PERFORMANCE. If considering a new computer, It is advisable to question PRESONUS or those artists and/or producers, who are both: using the same DAW as you are; and using the DAW for the same purpose as you are. Chances are, if the computer build, these folks are using, works great for them, chances are, it will work great for you. Given the latest and greatest: CPUs; SATA/NVME SSDs; HHDs; TB3 MOTHERBOARDS; etc, etc., much of the benefit gained from such technologies - is more so realised in TIME SAVINGS during: system boot ups; edit functions; and routine file management, to name a few. All things being equal, the latest and greatest system, may fall short of the REAL TIME PERFORMANCE, folks need, during repeated playback of complex recording sessions... There is a lot of confusion on this topic. Today, if you can zero in on a recommended computer for your DAW, that works great for you, right out the box, then carry on. Otherwise, you may find some of the following information in this video link helpful in understanding several issues 'specific' to a good performing DAW computer build :)
0 votes
answered May 24, 2019 by Michael Martin (89,010 points)
User allantutt1 brings up some good points.

USB-C is probably here to stay for some time. USB4 has been announced, and will have TB3 backwards compatibility, using same connector. Huge plus for the user, as USB4 and TB3 will be interchangable. So if you upgrade from this system later, your TB3 devices should work on USB4 connections.

That said, for me, it's all about budget, and use case.

Do you plan on live tracking instruments / musicians or real time composing across large track sessions?


Are you mostly mixing / producing in the box?

The Quantum series does two things very very well.

Low latency for tracking instruments / audio in real time. Extreme I/O setups for large live track sessions ( 32-64+ channel live recordings).

If neither of those needs are required, then you might be better off avoiding TB3 altogether, buy a 'cheaper', more cost-effective mixing computer. Your average gaming computer is typically suitable for audio work.

Also, TB3 requires an Intel chip currently, so cost will be higher up front. AMD systems are far more cost effective, have superior multi-thread performance at the mid-tier CPU's, but lack TB3.

My suggestion, if you're going for Intel / TB3, then look at the Intel 1151 (300 series) socket motherboards to start. That gets you anything from a i3 Quad-core for under $200, all the way up to the i9's for around $400-500. AMD has some nice options for around $200 for CPUs.

Intel motherboards are more expensive versus AMD.

If you do look for TB3 motherboard, look at Gigabyte. They have been on top of the TB3 game, one of the few developers offering Dual TB3 port motherboards / option cards, that also comes with the latest Titan Ridge TB chipsets.

Lots of stuff to consider!