One PC for everything, DAW and business work?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by MJ Slaughter, Dec 4, 2017.


  1. MJ Slaughter

    MJ Slaughter Member

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    Currently I am using two PCs in my home office. One for work, email, TGP etc and another with my DAW and video editing, I do very little video editing. I am considering buying/building a single PC to replace the current two in hopes of making things easier and less cluttered. What is the best way to configure a Windows 10 PC to be optimized for DAW use then switch back to my regular configuration for everyday use? Can everything be done within user profiles or would I need to setup a dual boot for best performance?
     
  2. IGuitUpIGuitDown

    IGuitUpIGuitDown Member

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    You invite viruses/malware by doing this. I have a USB router dongle that disables the Internet when I'm in a DAW.
     
  3. chillybilly

    chillybilly Member

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    I hate to be the get-a-Mac person, especially since I use Windows in my business and personal life but for DAW it isn't really a contest. Macs just do it better and with less fuss. But while Macs are also perfectly usable for business tasks, Windows still has some advantages in terms of compatibility, software availability, etc. And, of course, company/employer standards may dictate use of Windows.

    I don't know that there is any 'optimization' beyond having adequate hardware specs. The more the merrier and a solid state hard disk is a must. Dual boot isn't going to change the hardware specs and user profiles aren't going to alter the guts of the machine although you may be able to tweak the number and type of background programs, services, utilities, etc. that launch and keep your DAW user's profile relatively clean. Obviously, separate user accounts will also offer separate desktops, menu options, etc. If you're like most of us your Windows desktop is littered with icons, files, folders, etc. but your DAW user could be kept neat and tidy for efficiency's sake.

    Dual boot using two different versions of Windows MIGHT help eg Win 7 for DAW and Win 10 for office productivity but then you're also looking at cost & complexity for two Windows licenses.
     
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  4. MJ Slaughter

    MJ Slaughter Member

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    I was planning on a SSD for the PC but have one profile for DAW use that doesn't have any background services, antivirus and set the typical power settings you'd use. As for the internet, my router is on my desk so I'd just unplug the cable unless there is a way to disable the internet within a user profile. Dealing with two OS is not what I want to do so hopefully keeping it simple with different profiles/accounts or what ever Windows calls it will work okay. I don't know if I want to deal with different BIOS configurations though since that requires a reboot.
     
  5. GravityJim

    GravityJim Silver Supporting Member

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    I use my MacPro for everything - DAW, graphics & video, accounting, email and Internet. No problems ever, and I don’t use a dual boot. I attribute it partly to Mac’s lower vulnerability to malware, and partly to my meticulous care, both in avoiding trouble (no clickbait, no quizzes, no porn) and in keeping my computer’s drives and caches squeaky clean.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  6. MJ Slaughter

    MJ Slaughter Member

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    I know that the MacPro is a great computer but this is going a little too far.:D
     
  7. prototype

    prototype Member

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    how do people still get malware on a work computer in 2017
     
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  8. wpawley

    wpawley Member

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    Might work out if you can be assured that the 2nd HD (SSD) can be shielded from the overall threat environment that can be broke down. Any time you have a single Operating System handling all the operations for said computer, there is a path a threat could take to everything else in that box. Password protected/antivirus, malware protection should be a blocking thing to unwanted threats.
     
  9. jomama2

    jomama2 Member

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    I give up, why do you see a need for 2 diff configurations or PCs/etc?


    ??

    There are very good and very free malware protection apps out there, and really about 99%+ish of all such things are obtained by either visiting sites or downloading files that you shouldn't be anyway. IMO going to a single PC makes total sense unless you can afford to do otherwise (and again I'd still have to wonder why bother).
     
  10. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Supporting Member

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    When you start hearing those clicks and pops in your recordings you'll understand the best reason not to do it all on one machine.

    It can be done but it's not worth it. Dual boot if you must, but two machines with one completely dedicated to daw and nothing else is really the way to go.

    That being said, if I were to do a dual boot system, I would have one for Windows/DAW and the other boot would be some form of Linux...... Assuming your "office" doesn't require some special software that only runs on Windows. If your "office" is just standard email, docs, internet, etc then Linux will do all of that. If you are uncertain then try Linux Mint......pizza cake!
     
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  11. MJ Slaughter

    MJ Slaughter Member

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    So unnecessary programs don't load at boot up and windows is optimized for DAW use while having my usual configuration for daily business use.
     
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  12. tibone

    tibone Member

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    I only have 1 pc, with Windows 10. I run reaper for recording, do my freelance work (web/coding) and netflix/games/etc for fun.
    So far, so good. I can't afford 2 decent computers anyway, so it's not like i have a option.
     
  13. phel21

    phel21 Member

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    Most people receive their computers with factory installed malware. Businesses with IT-staff often reinstall the malware from scratch, but it is still malware :D
     
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  14. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    I do it all on one laptop right now,
    but I’d rather not, I am close to pulling the trigger on an audio specific workstation.
    for me, I am more audio focused, tho
    I browse web, MS office, DAWs, but change what drivers are enabled/ disabled depending upon what task I am performing.

    it is vital to know what you are doing.
    I have to disable my wifi adapter or I will get clicks when working on audio from the mis-behaving driver. I have done a lot of DAW related optimisation specific to the DAWs I use.

    Windows 10 has its own issues
    the biggest problem being you need the Pro version if you want to turn off auto updates.

    If you are using Propellerhead Reason, Wintel machines out perform Mac. Blanket statements about performance no longer apply. You need to know what you want to do, what software you want to run. If you spend $500 on a wintel machine, it will never compete with Mac. Spend Mac money on a wintel and you gonna have a beast. That said, current prices on all components are very high and have been trending upward. RAM is unbeleivably expensive; DDR4 is shockingly high.

    For best results, I’d go with specific machines for specific tasks if you can afford it. As I read long, long ago, we configure machines to run software, not the other way around.
     
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  15. GravityJim

    GravityJim Silver Supporting Member

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    22 years of using one Mac for everything, and no "clicks and pops." The source of those problems is virtually always a clocking problem or an underpowered or infected machine.
     
  16. phel21

    phel21 Member

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    I also use a Mac. It is ok, but the sad fact is that none of commercial operating-systems for the consumer-market are suitable for time-critical applications such as anything that has to do with audio or video-recording. For that you need a realtime OS, meaning that the critical application must be guaranteed a minimum response-time from the OS. A machine running MacOS can also be bogged down with other processes so badly that it will fail to react in time. The offerings from MS and Apple are really little more than glorified toys IMHO.
     
  17. jomama2

    jomama2 Member

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    "unnecessary programs" at boot are easily prevented and to be honest I have no idea what "optimized for DAW" means. I really don't see a need for a separate PC for your DAW at all, but to each their own.
     
  18. rsm

    rsm Member

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    I have my DAW and other music plugins on my home computer, but my plan is to get a laptop dedicated to music software when I'm ready to do more than dabble around, and build out my "ultimate" computer rig :)

    I have a low cost laptop that is dedicated to SeratoDJ, and a few synth editors, I use it with a hardware electronic rig.

    Once the Helix train has run its' course, if not before, I plan to have another laptop dedicated to guitar processing software. No need for this today, but if I was to do it today it would be built around Blue Cat Audio's Destructor and PatchWork plugins.
     
  19. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Supporting Member

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    I'll go with under powered......same as over worked, too many things to do at once.....and that kind of power is expensive.....
     
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  20. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Supporting Member

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    The more I get around the more I notice that many "work" places don't have their computers or their networks locked down very well at all. It only takes a day of some unsuspecting employee surfing fakebook and clicking ok on everything that pops up to get a nice collection of malware started.
     
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