New Rig Up and Running

Corsair Obsidian 800D

This post comes under the category of Technical / IT and is for Geeks only…. You know who you are…

I’ve been off-line for a few days due to building up a new computer. Something we should never take lightly, as there always a certain amount of problems that crop up just when you think things are going smoothly.

Anyway, I have now got everything back up and running, including installing all the hardware and studio software. I must say, one thing that really struck me about this build was the quality and ergonomics of the case (otherwise known as the “chassis”).

Here’s a picture of the finished build. There are a few points to note. Overall the first thing that would hit you is the fact that – yes – this is the finished build (minus 2 PCI cards)… Where are the cables?

If you look really carefully you can see the rubber grommets that are secreted around the far wall of the case. All cables go through the far wall (from the power supply at the bottom) into the cavity between the wall and the far side lid. The cables can then be brought back through to the relevant place and plugged in. The beauty of this, apart from looking very neat, is the lack of heat buildup. More space for air to circulate, less space for dust to accumulate.

Corsair Obsidian 800D
Corsair Obsidian 800D

Another really neat feature are the hot swappable hard drive bays. All power and data cables are plugged in to a panel which is hidden away by another detatchable panel. The hard drives are placed in a rack and can literally be installed and un-installed in seconds from the  panel on the front face, without ever opening the case again. Very neat.

So here’s the basics:

  1. Radiator for CPU water cooling. Very easy to set up. In fact easier than a normal fan setup.
  2. Here you can see some empty space and some black rubber grommets.
  3. More cables coming through as if by magic.
  4. The hard drives are behind here, slotted in from the front.
  5. Power supply.

The whole build took about two to three hours and if I had to do it again, it would be much less.

Of course, one of the really time consuming parts is setting up the software. The Operating System must be installed from scratch as it is a completely new system. System backups just won’t work in this situation. To be fair, Windows 7 is much quicker and much more straight-forward than XP was though.

Some of the studio plugins and sounds are very tedious to install too. Especially the ones that require you to install not only the plugin but the full sound libraries as well. There are some that allow you to find their content (if you have it installed on a separate hard dirve – as you should) but there are some that don’t allow this. Trolling through 8 DVDs of installation can be rather soul destroying, especially when you know that you already have all the content on your media drive.

Anyway, all just about done now. A few bits of tweaking and fiddling and we’re good to go.

The finished system spec can be seen here:

So far it is blazingly fast. I have overclocked the CPU and memory, quite conservativey but it seems effective enough so far, although hardly necessary really. The performance meter in Cubase barely moves. Even when loaded up with vast quantities of big stuff like The Grand 3. And super low (2ms) latency.

Right, time to get some work done!

Thanks for reading. Any questions – Feel free to post comments below.