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Old 01-22-2019, 05:09 PM
Media Man Media Man is offline
Join Date: Dec 1998
Location: Burbank, CA
Posts: 536
Default i5 8400

I'm putting a computer system for a friend to run Pro Tools on. He is a world class musician, but a new PT user, so I will give him a few lessons to get him going.

My question is if the i5 8400 processor will have enough steam. He is on a budget, and a move up to the i7 will cost a couple of hundred bucks more.

I have a dual Xeon set-up, so don't have any hiccups.

So will the i5 be powerful enough for native?

Media Man
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:08 PM
Southsidemusic's Avatar
Southsidemusic Southsidemusic is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Stockholm - Sweden
Posts: 12,836
Default Re: i5 8400

A stable solid system should be an i7 CPU and the minimum for PT is 16GB Ram and a SSD internal drive for OS and atleast a spinner 7200rpm or better for recording to.

I would not invest in an i5 CPU as it might croak sooner or later and saving money on the wrong pieces is not a good idea
Best Regards

South Side Music Group
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Old 01-23-2019, 02:11 AM
Media Man Media Man is offline
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Location: Burbank, CA
Posts: 536
Default Re: i5 8400

"Go faster" is always good advice, but I'm wondering about real world experience with i5 processor running Native PT out there.

I have always been an HD guy, converted to Native HD when HDX became cost prohibitive for my business, so looking for advice from those running straight native PT 12.

FWIW, Avid recommends i5 as minimum requirements for PT 12 on the website, and SSD is not part of that minimum requirement that I can see, even though it makes perfectly good sense.

Media Man
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Old 01-23-2019, 02:37 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Norwich, CT
Posts: 35,533
Default Re: i5 8400

Maybe a better question is; what does your friend need to do? If they're going to be playing around with small sessions and only a few VI tracks, then maybe an i5 is enough(summing an i5 quad-core). But if they plan on doing full-blown productions with lots of plugin orchestration...they should be prepared for disappointment(at the least) or out-growing the system in a short time. It can cost more to upgrade later vs buying right in the first place.

Look at it like this: You spend $1K on a "budget" build and you outgrow it in 2 years, it cost you $500 per year. Spend $1500 on a "power" build and it lasts 4-5 years before you outgrow it. Your per-year cost is much lower

Having said all that, what is the budget? Maybe instead of building a new system, the money could buy a used computer with more horsepower? I recently purchased a refurb HP Z820 workstation for $1100. Specs were dual XEON 6-cores @3.5GHz, 64GB of RAM and a 500GB SSD for Windows. That's a lot of bang for the buck(and way less than my last X79/i7 build)
BTW, I would expect a world-class musician to outgrow a budget rig in very short order.....
Gigabyte X79/intel i7 3930K, 32GB RAM, DIGI003 Rack

The better I drink...the more I mix.....

BTW, my name is Dave, but most people call me.........................Dave
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Old 01-23-2019, 04:12 PM
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64GTOBOY 64GTOBOY is offline
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Location: Houston
Posts: 742
Default Re: i5 8400

I'm on Windoze , i have one lappie with an i5, one with an i7 duo and desktop with i7 fourcore all running 2018.12 "Native" or whatever they are calling it(Not ultimate,maybe, i dont know). The i5 is used only for small stuff as it will choke when track numbers and cpu hog plugins are in use. It's perfectly fine for singer sonqwriter stuff, with a FEW VI's OR no VI's and higher track counts. My old G4 850 with PT 5.3 is just as good so that kinda tells you there are some limitations. But not entirely unworkable. More VI's i would def go for the fastest i7 he can afford. IMHO
Dell XPS 8900 i7-6700K CPU @ 4.00GHz 32 Gig Memory:Seagate 2 TB,1TB,4TB,500gb EVO OS Windows 7 Ultimate
PT 2019.6 Native through A&H Qu-32
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Old 01-23-2019, 07:58 PM
leftalive leftalive is offline
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 503
Default Re: i5 8400

What kind of computer does he have now? Or does he not have one at all? (I know some people just rely on phones and/or tablets for daily stuff...)

I ask because an i5 rig wouldn't be a whole lot more powerful than what most folks are using as a daily driver these days, in which case, maybe he should just grab a copy of PT first and get his feet wet that way. (Again - depends on what he's using now)

That said, If your friend is new to Pro Tools, then handing him a machine that is underpowered might be last thing you want to do. He's going to have his work cut out for him as is, just learning to navigate the software.

It could be years before he's able to tell the difference between 'this problem I'm having is due to limitations with my CPU' and 'this problem I'm having is due to [literally anything else]'.

If you want to save cash on a build, there are other places that make more sense. I really wouldn't recommend going below an i7 anymore.
PC workstation:
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i7 6900K
MSI GTX 1080ti Armor
32GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3200mhz RAM
Samsung 850 Pro 256GB SSD (system drive)
Samsung 850 Pro 1TB SSD (sample drive)
MyDigitalSSD BPX 480GB M.2 (work drive)
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:48 AM
Prabha Prabha is offline
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Santiago, Chile
Posts: 98
Default Re: i5 8400

Faster is better, yes....

BUT I do run a i5 6600 in my comercial studio everyday and very, very rarely the cpu puts a limit on my work (use lots of plugins, even reverbs and delays when tracking).
The hardware buffer is almost always at 64 even on large mixing (50+tracks) sessions. And always at 64 when recording (I do a lot of jazz and big band sessions creating several headphone mixes in PT)
PC i56600K 3.5Ghz 16Gb ram
Win 7 64
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