TitanUS Audio Workstation Computer
Being a reviewer, I have learned the hard way that loading a bunch of audio apps on a video editing computer can be problematic. Sometimes there are .dll problems that cause hard crashes, or different programs fighting to use the audio card, causing the system to lock up.
On top of it all, the audio card that you want to use for sound design work is probably not the same one that is in your video interface. Even if it is, all those fans in your video computer probably make it too loud to use in the same room where you are cutting your voiceovers. The solution is to find a dedicated audio computer, then network it together with your video editing system. It was with this in mind that I went looking for an audio workstation computer that would be powerful enough to run apps like Pro Tools 10 with a bunch of plug-ins, yet be quiet enough not to be heard by a vocal mic in the same room. TitanUS delivered the perfect solution with their X187-Intel i7.
Power is everything, but an audio computer needs to also run quietly. Wanting a silent running machine, I first bought the latest i7 quadcore laptop. The problem is that laptops use M processors to save battery life, and the 2.8GHz M processor in the laptop was much slower than a 2.8GHz E processor would have been. The laptop was quiet, but would stop in the middle of playback after I added 6 tracks with plug-ins. Even though I had purchased the fastest laptop in the store, the M processor was just too slow.
The TitanUS computer uses an intel i7-3820 Sandy Bridge-E processor that runs at 3.6GHz or 3.8GHz in Turbo Boost mode. With M series CPU scores from 2700-4200 and E series CPU scores of 9200. The TitanUS X187-Intel i7 computer has two to three times the processing power of a laptop. Not only are you gaining speed by switching from an M processor to an E processor, but you are also going from 2.5GHZ to 3.8GHz.
If you need even more power, you can also order it with the Intel i7 Sandy Bridge-E six-core processor, or the EP eight-core chip. I was wondering about losing portability when I got rid of the laptop, but the TitanUS X187-Intel i7 is still portable, while retaining the power needed for doing serious sound design work. The motherboard in the TitanUS X187-Intel i7 is an ASRock X79 with 16GB of DDR3, which is plenty for audio apps. It also has the latest SATA 6Gb/s data transfer rates for your hard drives, and USB 2.0 and 3.0 for everything else. There are five USB 2.0 and three USB 3.0 ports, which come in really handy for iloks, remote keyboards, and interfaces. In addition, there are also 2 eSATA ports and a 1394 Firewire port.
My laptop had only three USB ports, so I had to use a USB hub to connect all of my iloks for licensing the software. Sometimes in the middle of a track, the laptop would tell me that Pro Tools was not licensed, and would close the program. The TitanUS X187-Intel i7 computer has enough USB ports to avoid this problem. All of this power comes in a Titanus Silver Mid Tower aluminum computer case, which can be water-cooled. Since mine was just a quad core, I opted for passive cooling, and there is a lot of it in this computer. There was new passive cooling technology that I’ve never even seen before.
The NVIDIA GeForce GT 640 video card just rocks, and the 2GB of 128-bit DDR3 is fast even on my Eizo ColorEdge 1920x1080 monitor. This card is passively cooled using a huge heat sink, allowing it to run without a fan, and the Rosewill Green 630W power supply also runs silently, yet delivers constant power.
Usually CPUs need the most cooling. The Noctua 140mm CPU fans, and 120mm SSO CPU Cooler does an amazing job of keeping the computer quiet. I didn’t realize how quiet the X187-Intel i7 was until I loaded up a DVD to add some software. The DVD was louder than the rest of the computer combined.
This is a great asset when you are playing an acoustic guitar or doing a vocal track 3 feet away from the computer. It’s like having a silent running laptop computer with workstation performance.
Every digital audio workstation or DAW needs a powerful soundcard. An E-MU® 0404 PCIe Digital Audio System comes included. This card has everything that you need to produce audio on a PC, with pristine 24-bit/192kHz converters, hardware-accelerated effects and mixing, and seamless compatibility with your favorite PC audio/sequencer software via the ASIO2 and WDM drivers for Windows.
I also added the Line 6 UX2 interface to use with my PodFarm guitar plug-ins http://line6.com/podstudioux2/ . This interface allows you to play along with other tracks at zero latency, and the PodFarm models all kinds of amps and pedals. It’s like having all of the amps in your local music store available right inside your computer.
The main Hard Drive for programs is an OCZ Vertex 4,128GB SSD that boots up really fast. Combined with the fast Motherboard and memory, this Solid State drive running at up to 6Gb/s makes for a really responsive computer. You click and go, rather than click and wait.
There is also a Western Digital WD Blue 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 6Gb/s hard drive for storage. I record to this drive and put all of my extra sound files on this drive as well.
For transferring data, loading software, or burning CDs or DVDs there is a CD/DVD burner with 2MB Cache that writes at 22 times real-time.
The TitanUS X187-Intel i7 computer comes with a 2 year standard parts & labor Ltd warranty, and 2 years of Business Hour support. It’s a very solid machine, but you have support available if you ever need it.
TitanUS Audio Workstation Computer is an amazing piece of gear. It is workstation powerful, yet laptop quiet. Using the latest 6GB/s transfer rates, fast memory and an SSD drive for the programs, it just rocks.
Contact: David Rodriguez
Toll Free: 888.378.2673