The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Stock PC as DAW? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 21st December 2010
Here for the gear

Question Stock PC as DAW?


I am not confident enough to build my own PC. Has anyone bought a prefab PC for DAW applications? I thought about getting an HP somewhere in the 1000 range (core i5 750; 8 GB RAM etc.) or a ZT at Costco and beef it up a little with a second HD and maybe even more memory.

Oh, I forgot, I am not a pro just a hobby home recording dude. I am currently using my old PC (Pentium 4 w/ 4GB RAM) and it just doesn't really cut it. I got to freeze most of my synth plug-ins.

I need enough horsepower to use 6 vocal audio tracks and the following plug-ins at the same time: Superior Drummer, Music Lab's Real Strat (2 instances), FreeAmp guitar effects, NI B4, NI Kontakt with Piano, Brass, Rhodes, and Scarbee Bass.


Old 21st December 2010
Lives for gear
mattjew24's Avatar

I personally love the ZT pc's from costco. Using a pre-made computer is fine, just go through your settings and tweak them for audio recording. There should be guides on the internet for that

8gb of RAM is plenty and the i5-i7's i hear are pretty awesome. Get a fast hard drive, like 7200 RPM.
Old 21st December 2010
Gear Nut

Most modern computers, properly tweaked and with a good audio interface will be fine. Most problems are from the audio interface. So make sure you get one with good drivers.

As far as building your own. there really is no reason why you cant get a known to be good parts list from here and then pay a local computer shop $50 to put it together for you. They'd probably do it for free if you order the parts thorough them. You'd get a lot more bang for your buck. Basically the same computer you would pay the custom places way more for. Just a thought. But you should be fine. My first computer was an off the shelf emachine. I replaced the HD..had an m audio delta in it..made several albums on it.
Old 21st December 2010
My main PC is a Gateway from Best Buy. It sucked hard for the first year because it came with Vista. I was afraid to downgrade to XP because Gateway doesn't support downgrading for most people. However, it turned out to be really easy and painless to do and XP with Service Pack 3 and .NET Framework 3.5 is really smooth and runs much better than Vista on my machine. It was much easier to optimize for audio too. At this point it's been running smoothly for over a year I think it's been.

It also helped to install an extra hard drive and to install partition backup software. It's easy to use and makes it possible to reverse troubled software installs. Totally worth it and necessary.

But yeah, it was a stock PC.
Old 21st December 2010
Here for the gear

Thank you guys for your input. Good idea to buy the parts and have a store put them together. I will definitely look into that. As far as ZT is concerned, I heard their PCs are rather noisy. The cooling fan that is. Any feedback on this one? Thanks.

Old 22nd December 2010
Lives for gear
filipv's Avatar
For what you need, any PC is good. Get a good audio-interface and off you go.
Old 22nd December 2010
Gear Addict
mmarra's Avatar
I have been recently using my brothers home PC, Dell Studio XPS 8100, just to tie me over and try stuff out until I setup my own home studio again as I recently moved, and it seems pretty good. If it had an audio card it think it would be a good DAW. Now the only thing I heard it that when doing upgrades you have to make sure that your new component is compatible with the rest of the Dell system.

I was looking to build a new PC for myself but after using the Dell I might look into this option as well just so that I don't have to got through the trouble of building another PC.
Old 22nd December 2010
Gear Maniac
bluzkat's Avatar

Here are a couple options for custom built audio PCs...


ADK Pro Audio PC offers Digital Audio Workstations for: Nuendo, Pro Tools, Sequoia, Samplitude, Cubase, Sonar, Pro Audio PC, Pro Audio software

I think this would be a far better solution than buying something off the shelf at the local 'office' store.

Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.

Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread Starter / Forum
dubrichie / So much gear, so little time

Forum Jump
Forum Jump