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Need DAW computer for around $500...
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robo_ge
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#1
25th March 2008
Old 25th March 2008
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Need DAW computer for around $500...

Does anybody know a place (website, store, etc) who sells DAW computers for around $400 - $500 bucks. It must be a Pentium Processor. And perhaps a monthly payment plan.

Building a DAW from scratch is completely out of the question. The first DAW I built, freakin blew up within a month. I heard this weird buzzing noise which got louder followed by a freakin explosion, then smoke came out of it. Im not interested in building another one.

This time I'm going to use my brain and buy one that has a warranty. I'm not willing to spend Gz on one again.

So plz, help is needed.
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25th March 2008
Old 25th March 2008
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yeah, I'm looking for an HD rig for $500 with warranty too.

Seriously, you're not going to get a purpose built DAW pc for that sort of money. Maybe 3 times that price. Hell, I think you'd struggle to get an office pc for that new.

Your best bet is the 2nd hand ads I reckon. You might be able to get a couple of years old pc with trusted components. But you're being a bit unrealistic expectng a warranty if you've only got $500 to spend.
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25th March 2008
Old 25th March 2008
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robo.
a question..
why MUST it be a pentium processor ?
i would recommend a intel quad q6600...
with 3 gigs ram n two 16 mb cache 7200 rpm drives.
but its prolly outside your price range.

as an alternative if u dont have a need for huge trak n plug in counts.
a single core amd 64 system here by clone builders in my area can be had for 250 buks.
add a 16 mb cache 7200 rpm drive to record to..., n bump memory to 2gigs.
n yer prolly talking bout 400 buks.
good for 50 tracks. might be more depending on the set up.
if u need more than 50 traks n the pc gets sluggish.
just mix down to stereo say 20 traks, reimport the stereo n
add 20 more traks.

what are your max track n plug in counts you need ?
your answer will then get more recommendations.
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#4
25th March 2008
Old 25th March 2008
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I just built an audio computer for a friend for under $600 shipped. I can send you the specs if you'd like. It's not hard to put a computer together yourself and you can get better parts.
#5
25th March 2008
Old 25th March 2008
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You can definitely build a computer that can do audio and decent plugin count for 600$. Much less would have to sacrifice on parts though.
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25th March 2008
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#7
25th March 2008
Old 25th March 2008
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You built a computer and it exploded? LOL... hilarious for real... no offence.

I found Dell computers to be really good for music: really quiet fans, reliable
robo_ge
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26th March 2008
Old 26th March 2008
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@ 1manband
Good lookin man, I'll look into that
robo_ge
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26th March 2008
Old 26th March 2008
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@manning

Well my current pc is an AMD Sempron and I can't connect anything to it. Nothing I have is compatible with it, not the m-audio interface or the motif (total pain sequencing with it, which is why I'm switching.) So I just chose a pentium for compatibility reasons, but I guess a Quad 6600 will do! thumbsup

As for how many tracks, playback would be around 12 -20. And recording would be just one track at a time.

VST plug-ins, I've never used them before.

Im definately leaning towards the magic micro.
thanks for the help
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26th March 2008
Old 26th March 2008
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robo.
your current sempron is perfectly sufficient for such low trak counts. imho.
at 44.1/16 bit.
please describe in more detail your ram ? running xp ?
one hard drive or two ? amount of cache in drives ?
please also describe how your connecting your sound devices.
it might just be a simple driver or set up issue.

i could do easy 40 traks on a sempron.
lets look at your current system before spending more money.
#11
26th March 2008
Old 26th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robo_ge View Post
Does anybody know a place (website, store, etc) who sells DAW computers for around $400 - $500 bucks. It must be a Pentium Processor. And perhaps a monthly payment plan.

Building a DAW from scratch is completely out of the question. The first DAW I built, freakin blew up within a month. I heard this weird buzzing noise which got louder followed by a freakin explosion, then smoke came out of it. Im not interested in building another one.

This time I'm going to use my brain and buy one that has a warranty. I'm not willing to spend Gz on one again.

So plz, help is needed.
I just got a Core 2 Quad 6600 at dell for under $700 shipped
no monitor 2 gig ram but all the the other goodies. OS keyb/mouse dvd burner etc...

You can get compete Core 2 duo systems at dell for under $500 shipped
That's all you need. You could easily do 100+ tracks at 96/24 with a duo
just make sure the HDD speed is atleast 7500.

It's much cheaper these days to by a complete system from HP or Dell.
You CAN'T build it yourself cheaper. At least the core system

I was specing out parts at Tiger and buy.com a couple weeks ago it would have cost me 750
for the the same computer that I got a t dell for under 700. And this still didn't include the OS
keyboard/mouse or shipping which would have been atleast another $150.

.
#12
26th March 2008
Old 26th March 2008
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The only was you'll get a good DAW for $500 is if you pay somebody $500 to steal you one
#13
26th March 2008
Old 26th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cane creek View Post
The only was you'll get a good DAW for $500 is if you pay somebody $500 to steal you one
mmm, not true if you already got mouse /keyboard/screen from a previous computer you can build a nice PC for that money, jus buy your components @ the chinese store (ho yes your warantee wont be the best, but man cheap is cheap, but if you know what you doing, and you not too unlucky, it works nice).
#14
26th March 2008
Old 26th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
[snip]...
I was specing out parts at Tiger and buy.com a couple weeks ago it would have cost me 750
for the the same computer that I got a t dell for under 700. And this still didn't include the OS
keyboard/mouse or shipping which would have been atleast another $150.

.
Also, friends don't let friends buy at TigerDirect.

I'm personally reluctant to recommend big vendor boxes for audio work but at this price, that's where the deals tend to be.

I've personally had really good luck with my now 4+ year old Dell laptop (bought refurbished) and I've been very happy with the Pentium 4 tower I bought from them (refurb, cosmetic) not quite two years ago. (It's very quiet. I don't know if all newer Dells are; I'd never count on that or promise it to anyone. But mine is.)

Another thing about Dell, at least on some models, until June (when the cut-off from MS comes), they're offering the option of XP! For many of us, that's somewhat crucial. I'm also told that Dell offers (or sometimes offers) the option of explicitly getting the machine with 'no free software' -- I don't know if that means all the crapware they tend to put on them is not on -- that would seem to good to be true -- but if all the offerware and trialware is at least off, you can pull all the Dell helpware and convenienceware off yourself in 10 minutes or so.
#15
26th March 2008
Old 26th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
I just got a Core 2 Quad 6600 at dell for under $700 shipped
Well, supposedly they had a deal last month for $430 or something (shipped) on a Quad 2.4. UPS is bringing me parts for my Quad today from NewEgg and that crap was $635 total with no drives or case. I bought a 320G SATA drive locally for it yesterday for $100, and the CPU alone was $250 or so. I'm sure the Dell power supply and motherboard are econo-junk, but it should get most of us by for a while, and the guts of it would be a pretty good start on a customized machine with a specific board. The Gigabyte board I bought for mine was only 80 or 90 bucks.
#16
27th March 2008
Old 27th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jidis View Post
Well, supposedly they had a deal last month for $430 or something (shipped) on a Quad 2.4. UPS is bringing me parts for my Quad today from NewEgg and that crap was $635 total with no drives or case. I bought a 320G SATA drive locally for it yesterday for $100, and the CPU alone was $250 or so. I'm sure the Dell power supply and motherboard are econo-junk, but it should get most of us by for a while, and the guts of it would be a pretty good start on a customized machine with a specific board. The Gigabyte board I bought for mine was only 80 or 90 bucks.

$635 no hdd? no os? no dvd ? no kb/mouse? no FW card?

Dell power supply? seriously why would you need more than a 350 watt ps for?
Oh yeah you bought a cvcf regulated ps that will attach to a china made MB??

Last edited by George Necola; 28th March 2008 at 06:35 AM.. Reason: STAY ***** ontopic
#17
27th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Also, friends don't let friends buy at TigerDirect.

I'm personally reluctant to recommend big vendor boxes for audio work but at this price, that's where the deals tend to be.

I've personally had really good luck with my now 4+ year old Dell laptop (bought refurbished) and I've been very happy with the Pentium 4 tower I bought from them (refurb, cosmetic) not quite two years ago. (It's very quiet. I don't know if all newer Dells are; I'd never count on that or promise it to anyone. But mine is.)

Another thing about Dell, at least on some models, until June (when the cut-off from MS comes), they're offering the option of XP! For many of us, that's somewhat crucial. I'm also told that Dell offers (or sometimes offers) the option of explicitly getting the machine with 'no free software' -- I don't know if that means all the crapware they tend to put on them is not on -- that would seem to good to be true -- but if all the offerware and trialware is at least off, you can pull all the Dell helpware and convenienceware off yourself in 10 minutes or so.

THE GUY HAS $500 ?

Any suggestions???


"I'm personally reluctant to recommend big vendor boxes for audio work"
So does that mean MAC's are not up to your standards for 'Audio work'

Last edited by George Necola; 28th March 2008 at 06:36 AM.. Reason: STAY ONTOPIC AND DONT BE RUDE
#18
27th March 2008
Old 27th March 2008
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Allen...thats a great deal. Are you running PT on it with UAD's?
What are you running?
PT is picky so i was planning on building with a setup
that i know works.
#19
27th March 2008
Old 27th March 2008
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Refurb 1.83Ghz Core 2 Duo Mac Mini
$499
#20
27th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
Yeah your ****in high tech

yeah right
I think you may have misinterpreted my reply. I wasn't ragging on Dells. I was saying that I could have gotten by with that, it wouldn't have made any difference, and I would have saved some money buying the exact same parts (plus some), maybe with the exception of the specific motherboard I wanted to get after reading some recommendations from people in the UAD forums. I didn't even know of the Dell deal until after I ordered the parts. And, yes, it's all the same China made junk and it all ages at the same rate.

-Why the attack?
#21
27th March 2008
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yep why attack blue ?
blue is a real nice person.
that disturbs me.
i'm all up for friendly debate.

theres even 150 bukker used n even free pc's out there
that are good for 40 traks easy.
way more if one uses raptor drives prolly.

a friend gave me a sempron system , cos he was going to a new system , n he had probs.
i found out it just needed a 40 buk power supply.
i offered it back to him all nicely fixed up n running lean n mean but my super nice friend said keep it. but i tell you i can get some pretty good trak counts with it.
its my back up in case my main daw ha a prob for some reason.
i love q6600 like everyone else. but with the right set up n drives one can do a nice song on the sempron. if one dont go bonkers on plug ins etc.
they are all over the place used for 100 buks. or so.
perfect for someone starting out with a little home set up not needing 200 traks.
#22
27th March 2008
Old 27th March 2008
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I love the way the op explicitly states he doesn't want to build his next pc, and everyone chips in with what components to use to build or mod a pc for audio.

I stand by my original comment - if you want a pc that will work straight away for audio you'll need more than $500. Esp if you need it to include HD, DVD drive and operating system. That's more than $500 right there!

You might get lucky with a dell that others have said works well for music, but you're likely to need to do some digging around in the os to get it optimised.

If you're prepared for that, great. If not, $500 is unrealistic.
#23
27th March 2008
Old 27th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
ok smarty pants. THE GUY HAS $500 ?

Any suggestions???


"I'm personally reluctant to recommend big vendor boxes for audio work"
So does that mean MAC's are not up to your standards for 'Audio work'


You guys are friggin clueless really. Keep flippin them burgers
Hey, Allen... wrong side of the bed this am?

You chopped off my quote, there Mr Anti-Smarty Pants...

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1
I'm personally reluctant to recommend big vendor boxes for audio work but at this price, that's where the deals tend to be.
I thought that was a safe statement. Dunno. I can stand by it -- when it's quoted in its entirety, anyhow. Seems safe.

With regards to Macs, sure, if you like the Mac OS (and lots of folks do), that's the only game in town, innit? What's to recommend or not recommend? It's pretty much, just do it territory for those who like/want OS X.

With regard to running Windows on a Mac, that seems to work fairly well -- although there have certainly been some hardware issues reported in these very forums with some models/releases -- but if one's interest was running Windows in the first place, that's a pretty expensive way to go about it.


Now... I had to go back to your posts to figure out just what your partisan position here is... and I was surprised to see you were toasting the Dell solution -- not because it's necessarily a bad solution -- but rather because I had just got done praising my own Dell experience.

Weren't the nice things I said about my Dells good enough for you? I mean, I even pointed out that if one acts before June, he'll be able to get some Dell models with XP instead of Vista. I thought that was a very good selling point, too.

That said, I've heard enough negative stories from folks about every major brand to make my leery of hyping any of them. I like my Dells very well. The next guy's mileage might very well vary.


With regard to the nice things Manning said, I appreciate them -- but I'm really not that nice a guy. I'm just somewhat cautious in what I say and how I say it. When I'm on my game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins
You guys are friggin clueless really. Keep flippin them burgers
PS... Haven't flipped burgers since college, many, many years ago. I develop database and web applications. Cheerio.
#24
27th March 2008
Old 27th March 2008
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The point is that dell computers have quiet fans and that's nice for audio work (specially if you have to record something in your bedcontrolroombooth).

Another one is that the parts work well together so you have a reliable computer.

My ol ass dell pentium 4 still run like a charm and almost never crash, I have freinds fighting with powefull rigs (asustek motherboards and all the fancy stuff) and having a lot mo crashes than my ol rig... why? cause they bought the last cpu with the last motherboard... new technologies are always somewhat buggy, if you build your own rig try to avoid usinbg the last fancy parts.

It's safe to buy at least 6 month ol pc parts and to be aware of the compatibilities.
#25
27th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jidis View Post
I think you may have misinterpreted my reply. I wasn't ragging on Dells. I was saying that I could have gotten by with that, it wouldn't have made any difference, and I would have saved some money buying the exact same parts (plus some), maybe with the exception of the specific motherboard I wanted to get after reading some recommendations from people in the UAD forums. I didn't even know of the Dell deal until after I ordered the parts. And, yes, it's all the same China made junk and it all ages at the same rate.

-Why the attack?
First off this post has the $500 disclaimer ok? I actually prefer building my own systems. Ive done it since 1986. If we were talking a bigger budget Im sure I would have other recomendations for the guy.

Second of all, most pc components are made or assembled in Asia. There is only one company in America that makes memory out of the 5 companies in THE WORLD who do. Out of the five , four have factories in Asia and some in China. There are virtually no motherboard mfg's who make products in the US. The only stuff made i nthe US is maybe CPU's and even many of those are made in Germany and Ireland

Google who's building 'Fab 68' in good ole China! Yeah guess who? Chinese CPU's ? that should be fun.

The bottom line is spend your money on converters, mics and pres. Even the cheapest dual core china made whatever is gonna do the trick on the DAW side. Sure go spilt hairs it's not going to affect the sound.

Sure performance this and that, blah blah blah. I made records on Mac Quadra's and PII's. 15 years ago. Unless you are undertaking some movie soundtrack project for Paramount or Universal any home system in this era will cut it. Bottom line. Gold records have been tracked and mixed with
home systems you know it. Way before the warranty runs out on your china made components your system is obsolete anyhow
why sweat over it. If it does the job it's a goodcomputer. If it doesn't do the job well ok. But again any new computer is gonna do the trick.
#26
27th March 2008
Old 27th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
Dell power supply? seriously why would you need more than a 350 watt ps for?
Oh yeah you bought a cvcf regulated ps that will attach to a china made MB??


Yeah your ****in high tech

yeah right
1) thinking you need only 350W tells me how "low tech" you are
2) ALL motherboards are made in China you bonehead.
3) all memory is made in China (well Asia)
there are a fw 3rd party assemblers who manufacture in the US.

Scott
ADK

Last edited by Geert van den Berg; 28th March 2008 at 06:35 PM.. Reason: deleted the rudeness remarks
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27th March 2008
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FYI

DAW=$500 that equation is in error even self built.

Scott
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27th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
$500 disclaimer ok? <snipped> Second of all, most pc components are made or assembled in Asia. There is only one company in America that makes memory out of the 5 companies in THE WORLD who do.
Again, no need to be defensive. I *agree* with you on *all* of it. My point again was that the stuff I bought cost more (or too much) and I could have got the same CPU,etc. in a full pre-built machine for under 500 from Dell, and even if my UAD cards disapproved of the board they used, adding that one I got to the Dell parts would still have cost me less overall. And lastly, I'm about as far as you can get from the guy who builds the "gamer" computer with the cutting edge parts or who looks down his nose at "import" parts thinking they come from a lesser (or different) place than anything else. The host I'm retiring is a P4/2.8 (Dell, oddly enough, with a PCChips motherboard swapped in) which someone gave me after the board was fried in a storm, and I have plenty of junk laying around which is below 2GHz and way more than adequate for me. The upgrade was mainly because I need to replace my MOTU hardware and will probably be going PCIe (I had no e slots).

George
#29
27th March 2008
Old 27th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcschild View Post
2) ALL motherboards are made in China you bonehead.
3) all memory is made in China (well Asia)
Scott,

I think he knew that but was implying (somewhat rudely) that I thought my stuff wasn't or something.

BTW- Coincidentally, I picked a Thermaltake 600 for a supply after going to your site to see what you liked and being too lazy to look up any feedback myself. Hope you don't mind.

George

PS- Wonder if robo_ge was hoping a bunch of people would start arguing and insulting each other when he posted the question.
#30
27th March 2008
Old 27th March 2008
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""BTW- Coincidentally, I picked a Thermaltake 600 for a supply after going to your site to see what you liked and being too lazy to look up any feedback myself. Hope you don't mind.

""

naw ! rather used to it by now!

ita actually a compliment!

Scott
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