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The sites above give the tips on how to decide on audio-production PC. But they accent different things - the first one says CPU is not that important, while another places it on definite 1st place.

However none of them state WHY EXACTLY you need CPU power, more RAM or other things.

My question: for what exact tasks is it more beneficial to have better CPU, RAM and faster drive? And what should be the real priority when choosing the best thing available?

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You really just need the best of everything you can afford - as an extreme example, marrying a dual 6-core Xeon to 2GB RAM & a 64GB 4200 rpm drive would be rather a waste.

Very very broadly...

CPU clock speed will give you raw power.
CPU core count will give you multi-threading; higher plugin count.
RAM will give you 'room to breathe' for everything the machine does, not only a DAW.
HD/SSD speed will give you audio track count.

Graphics card is pretty unimportant for a DAW, but multiple ports for 2 or 3 monitors gives you the real estate to see what's going on. The one thing I always find with DAWs is that there is no such thing as enough screen-space - I have 2 x 1440p 27" screens... I really could do with 3 :/

Laptops are always twice the price for half the performance - avoid unless portability is paramount.

Consider second-hand.
Last year's latest & greatest will be half the price of this year's.
I currently run a fully-loaded Mac Pro 5,1 - Dual 6-core Xeon 3.46GHz, 64GB RAM, 1TB SSD & 10 TB HD. Geekbench around 32k. It cost me about two grand. A new one with similar current spec would have been closer to ten grand & not a whole lot more powerful ;-)

  • I agree on laptops costing more for the same specs, and at the same time the portability really helps when you don't actually have a real studio to record in. You can make your walk-in closet a vocal booth, sure, but if you really want to find an interesting space to record drums and guitars, you need to get out and find it. Now I've totally rolled an all-in-one desktop out to a recording space before and set up a temporary table, etc. But it's so much easier to have a laptop and then a powered rack and mic box to just find decent spaces. Laptops should be considered by "home" recordists IMHO. – Todd Wilcox Jul 17 '16 at 15:48
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    @ToddWilcox - I'd agree a laptop has its place; though if money were not an object, I'd have one of each. Laptop for location recording, desktop for the mix & all the plugins etc. I've previously taken a desktop & 24ch of DACs out with me, back in the days when 24ch would be 3x4 Units high & need flight-casing, so I fully appreciate how little fun that could be if you had to do it often ;-) – Tetsujin Jul 17 '16 at 15:55

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