How Much Computer Do I Need?

This forum is for discussing Reason. Questions, answers, ideas, and opinions... all apply.
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Joined: 11 Sep 2020

Post 11 Sep 2020

I'm ready to get my home studio going, and I know I'm getting Reason 11 Suite, but can anyone tell me what I need in a computer? For example; i5 or i7 or i9, how much memory, what is the best hard drive, do I need 2T, etc.

What are you using, and what has been your experience with it? Do you wish you had bought different or better components? Or better equipment? If you had it to do over again, would you have opted for more memory? A better processor?

Thank you in advance to all who reply,

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Post 12 Sep 2020

With audio, it's all about CPU. Get the very best you can afford. Most modern systems will have at least 16Gb of RAM, which is plenty for our purposes. (RAM is mainly important if you use huge sample libraries of multisampled orchestral instruments, such as for scoring soundtracks.)

Every virtual instrument, every effect, every track, even every piece of recorded audio played back, requires CPU. The faster your CPU, the more things you can have happening at the same time.

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Post 12 Sep 2020

Honestly, you just get the best you can afford. Modern processors are all quite powerful. I have yet to max out my 2018 i5 Mac mini while working on any music.

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Post 12 Sep 2020

Adding to that at least a 4 cpu and ideally i7 or i9 (and there are people quite happy with amd ryzen and thread rippers). Last gen 4 and 6 core i5 might work nicely too but stay away from i3.

Goriila Texas
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Post 12 Sep 2020

You can go here to see builds and power.

I did a benchmark of my computer with the highest setting in windows power usage against Norton optimized settings and Norton's setting did better maximizing all cores.
My computer spec: Alienware R8
i7 8700 6 cores 3.2 GHZ
DDR4 3200 mhz 64 GB
2TB M.2 C drive loaded with Kontakt,SD3 and other sample based instruments(super fast loading).
256 Gb M.2 Drum samples

My connections:

With the old line of Alienware you get a powerful home/gaming computer with plenty of outs no so with the new line which are optimized for gaming.
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Post 12 Sep 2020

You need a whole computer ;)

Admittedly CPU is the most important for DAWs. Any 8th+ gen Intel i5 or higher should be fine. New AMD processors allegedly are also very good (even better than Intel's), but I've no idea how well they work with Reason.

Next thing is memory: 16GB should be plenty, unless you plan on orchestral scores for movies, etc that require huge Kontakt templates. In terms of storage, it's best to go for a combo: 256-512MB SDD (for the OS and main apps) and 1TB+ HDD (for soundbanks, samples, projects, etc ).

Graphics card doesn't matter - any contemporary mid-tier GPU will be more than enough, you'd probably be fine with embedded graphics unless you plan on connecting 2+ 4K screens.

BTW, don't get a 4K screen for Reason, unless it's gonna be 40''+. Otherwise it's endless frustration and headaches.
MPC One // A4 Mk1 // OT Mk1 + Bitwig 3 // Reason 11 // Studio One 5 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music -

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Joined: 11 Sep 2020

Post 13 Sep 2020

Wow, you guys got right on that. Thanks for the replies, I can show them to my computer guy and he can build me what I need.

I'm sure I'll be back with more questions soon, but thank you, thank you thank you for taking the time to post! I really appreciate it!


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Post 13 Sep 2020

antic604 wrote:
12 Sep 2020
You need a whole computer ;)

Admittedly CPU is the most important for DAWs. Any 8th+ gen Intel i5 or higher should be fine. New AMD processors allegedly are also very good (even better than Intel's), but I've no idea how well they work with Reason.
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U (bought in June) working well on R11 for me.
Just make sure any RAM upgrades are listed correctly - bought mine (Dell 15 3585) with the intention of upgrading RAM from 8GB to 32GB.
Got burned, the info was wrong.
Luckily the upgrade to 16GB worked but for four days it was an absolute beast on 32GB till one of the modules died. ... Reason-11-
Suggests passmark of 4000, mine's 6600.
A good place for comparisons:
:reason: 11
:reason: 4

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Post 14 Sep 2020

Instead of asking for "i5" or "i7" prioritize clock speed. From what I understand Reason is one of the worst DAWs when it comes to multicore performance, especially when you make use of CV routing with the back of the rack. So if faced with a choice of more cores or more clock speed, pick the higher clock speed. You'll want at least ~3GHZ. If you can get a base clock speed that sits close to or over 4GHZ you should have plenty of headroom for rack extensions.
Another benefit of a strong cpu is that you may be able to afford yourself the luxury of comfortably recording at a high sample rate above 44,100hz. Which should allow you to achieve ultra low latency if you're into that sort of thing. Less of a concern if you aren't going to be working with live audio that you'd want to monitor like a guitar or whatever.

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Post 16 Sep 2020

There are some important criteria to select CPU for Reason in this order:

1. Find out what your budget for the whole PC and especially how much are you willing to spend on best CPU for Reason.
2. Only look at CPUs from Intel 9000 and 10000 series and AMD Ryzen 3000 series, the rest of them are too old to find in shops and worse then these newer series.
3. Select the CPU with the highest number of cores. (Intel Hyper threading or AMD SMT do not work great in all your Reason projects, so this features don't necessary improve Reason performance).
4. Then select the CPU with the highest base frequency. In average, all intel CPUs paired with good cooling will boost to the advertised speed while Ryzen 3000 series with good cooling will not exceed 4.1 Ghz clock (without expert overclocking skills) in heavy Reason song.

I have a Ryzen 3900X, 12 Cores with huge Nocua NH-D15 cooler , DDR4 3400 Mhz CL16 , 32 GB 2x16GB memory (but 16GB - 2x8 is great also) and Reason is running great, it is the CPU that runs my Reason Rack Extensions smoothly. Before that I had i7-6800k 6 core and i5-3570k 4 core and they couldn't keep up at times (but I used lots and lots of RE in almost every project).

PS. AMD Ryzen 4000 CPU series will be announced next month and is expected to see 10 to 20% increase in performance over the 3000 series.
Last edited by Kategra on 16 Sep 2020, edited 1 time in total.

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Post 16 Sep 2020

I run an i7-7700 - 16GB rig build in a 19 inch server housing, and does it all for me...... It's just a 4 core/8thread machine but it's enough for me!
Greetings from Miyaru.
Prodaw i7-7700, 16Gb Ram, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd gen, Reason Suite 11, Live Suit 10, Push2, Presonus Eris E8, Lexicon MPX1,
Korg N1, Korg R3, NI Massive, Rob Papen's Predator 2, Sonarworks Reference 4 and Scaler.

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