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New Computer Tiiiiiime Audio Interfaces
Old 26th December 2010
  #1
Lives for gear
 

New Computer Tiiiiiime

Yeeeeha! So I've got $1000 to put towards a new DAW computer. Here are my requirements:
I want it to be a desktop. Reliability/price reasons. It will run Windows 7.
This computer will be in the same small room that I will be recording in (fan noise will be an issue), running Protools 8 attached to an M-audio Fast Track Ultra (USB), and it will be recording primarily simple, minimally-processed songs. That said, I want all the power/reliability I can get for $1000 'cause this thing needs to last me a good long time.

I don't have a lot of experience with computers, but here's a build I made at XtremeGear, which seems to be the cheapest online custom retailer. With the 5% discount and plus shipping it comes to $1019.75. I've got a monitor I can steal from the family's computer.
  • *BASE_PRICE: [+789]
  • CAS: Apevia X-Cruiser 2 Mid-Tower Case w/ Side-Panel Window & MultiMeter Display (Black Color)
  • CS_FAN: Default case fans
  • CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-870 2.93 GHz 8M Intel Smart Cache LGA1156 [+86]
  • FAN: XtremeGear Ultra Twin Heatpipes Cool Copper Heatsink CPU Cooling Fan (Extreme Silent at 20dBA & Overclock Proof) [+12]
  • MOTHERBOARD: [CrossFireX] Asus P7P55 LX Intel P55 Chipset DDR3 LGA1156 ATX Mainboard w/ 7.1 HD Audio, GbLAN, USB2.0, SATA-II, RAID, 2 Gen2 PCIe, 2 PCIe X1, & 3 PCI
  • MB_ADDON: None
  • MEMORY: 4GB (2GBx2) DDR3/1333MHz Dual Channel Memory (Corsair or Major Brand)
  • VIDEO: ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB GDDR5 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by ATI)
  • POWERSUPPLY: 450 Watts - Standard Case Power Supply
  • HDD: 64 GB Kingston 2.5 inch SATA Gaming MLC Solid State Disk [+61] (Single Hard Drive)
  • HDD2: 500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD [+43] (Single Hard Drive)
  • CD: 24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive (BLACK COLOR)
  • SOUND: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO
  • MONITOR: None
  • MONITOR2: None
  • SPEAKERS: None [-5]
  • NETWORK: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network
  • KEYBOARD: Xtreme Gear (Black Color) Multimedia/Internet USB Keyboard
  • MOUSE: XtremeGear Optical USB 3 Buttons Gaming Mouse
  • WNC: PCI Wireless 802.11g 54Mbps Network Interface Card [+19]
  • IEEE_CARD: NONE
  • USB: Built-in USB 2.0 Ports
  • OS: Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium (64-bit Edition)
  • TVRC: None
I also have a SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive with this enclosure:
Newegg.com - VANTEC NST-360SU-BK 3.5" eSATA + USB2.0 Aluminum External Enclosure
If that can be used somehow.

I'd love some thoughts; am I shopping in the right place? Am I missing anything? Motherboard and video-card thoughts?
Thanks guys!

Oh yeah; 32 or 64 bit?
Old 26th December 2010
  #2
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Firechild's Avatar
That looks good , but I should consider Mac OS X instead. Way better OS.
Old 26th December 2010
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firechild View Post
That looks good , but I should consider Mac OS X instead. Way better OS.
Thanks.

I don't want to get into it, but I'm happy with Windows 7, and my price point certainly won't allow me to go mac.
Old 26th December 2010
  #4
Deleted 46dc28f
Guest
New Computer Tiiiiiime

Quote:
Originally Posted by AldenW
Thanks.

I don't want to get into it, but I'm happy with Windows 7, and my price point certainly won't allow me to go mac.
A Mac Mini could easily do the job.
Old 26th December 2010
  #5
Lives for gear
 

That PC looks like generic use, to tailor for audio i would change these things...

If your just doing DAW (no gaming) your video card is insane, onboard graphics would suffice. plus big video cards are noisy

use the maximum number of ram slots on your mobo (4x 1 gig has 2x the bandwidth of 2x 2gig). 6 ram slots would be nice too...

get 'silent' case fans if its going to be in your control room

3 hds is better than 2, keep the other drive in the pc.

The PSU should be a higher wattage so you can upgrade parts in the future and the thing can run comfortably... remember that is the MAX rating and can only handle that wattage for a small amount of time

-also wtf is 'standard case power supply' for that kind of money you should at least have a brand name

That seems like a lot of money to me, i built a pc with 22 in monitor for the studio for 800 and it has never been a limiting factor

and 64-bit - a new pc, why not? the trouble comes when u upgrade an old pc to 64 bit
Old 26th December 2010
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by e6400ultra View Post
A Mac Mini could easily do the job.
A mac mini has a fraction of the power of the PC I'm looking at, for about the same price. I can't fathom why I'd switch when I'm perfectly happy with Windows 7 and have used PCs almost all my life.
Old 26th December 2010
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spice house View Post
If your just doing DAW (no gaming) your video card is insane, onboard graphics would suffice. plus big video cards are noisy

use the maximum number of ram slots on your mobo (4x 1 gig has 2x the bandwidth of 2x 2gig). 6 ram slots would be nice too...

get 'silent' case fans if its going to be in your control room

3 hds is better than 2, keep the other drive in the pc.

The PSU should be a higher wattage so you can upgrade parts in the future and the thing can run comfortably... remember that is the MAX rating and can only handle that wattage for a small amount of time

-also wtf is 'standard case power supply' for that kind of money you should at least have a brand name

That seems like a lot of money to me, i built a pc with 22 in monitor for the studio for 800 and it has never been a limiting factor

and 64-bit - a new pc, why not? the trouble comes when u upgrade an old pc to 64 bit
Thanks for the reply spicehouse;
For 26 bucks I could upgrade to a "Sigma SP-500AB ESP 80 Plus Power Supply," but I'm not really certain what options that would give me.

I'll cut down on that videocard.

For the cooling fan I upgraded to the "XtremeGear Ultra Twin Heatpipes Cool Copper Heatsink CPU Cooling Fan (Extreme Silent at 20dBA & Overclock Proof)" for the quietness. It that what you're talking about?

How'd you build it so cheap? I'm all for cheaper, but I'm no computer expert here. Is there a different site I should be going to? Would it be worth it/easy to build it myself?
Old 27th December 2010
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AldenW View Post
Thanks for the reply spicehouse;
For 26 bucks I could upgrade to a "Sigma SP-500AB ESP 80 Plus Power Supply," but I'm not really certain what options that would give me.

I'll cut down on that videocard.

For the cooling fan I upgraded to the "XtremeGear Ultra Twin Heatpipes Cool Copper Heatsink CPU Cooling Fan (Extreme Silent at 20dBA & Overclock Proof)" for the quietness. It that what you're talking about?

How'd you build it so cheap? I'm all for cheaper, but I'm no computer expert here. Is there a different site I should be going to? Would it be worth it/easy to build it myself?
The heatsink for the processor is a great choice (low noise level) but you also have to think about the fans on the case. those things can get pretty loud!

You want a brand name psu because a ****ty one is guaranteed to fail at some point, and that sucks. 500w is pretty good, though the higher u get the less likely it is you will have to buy another.

Yeah build it yourself and you can certainly cut down the price quite a bit. They make it super easy to build computers nowadays, most everything color coded and it only fits one place. Selecting optimal parts is where experience and understanding come into play. Its easy to figure out though, spend some time looking at benchmarks, price, and of course newegg. -for example i7 s certainly not the best price/performance cpu. If you choose to I'll make my help available, since i'm snowed in and bored out of mind like the rest of eastern seaboard...

I love gs but the the computer section is pretty god-awful. I regularly see terrible advice... its actually kind of depressing considering how amazing the other sections are, most notably geekslutz. I would use google, there are a lot of great benchmarks sites

Oh yeah if you learn to build one yourself the best part is never needing to buy a whole new one.. you just upgrade parts here and there as needed.
Old 27th December 2010
  #9
good start

nice sounding rig, but get more RAM...you can always use it. I just bought a 17" laptop for just over $1000 with 8GB, so i gotta believe in a desktop you can get at least that for the same price...other than that, sounds like a solid rig man.
Old 27th December 2010
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kojak View Post
nice sounding rig, but get more RAM...you can always use it. I just bought a 17" laptop for just over $1000 with 8GB, so i gotta believe in a desktop you can get at least that for the same price...other than that, sounds like a solid rig man.
Actually it would be impossible to use more ram unless he used a 64-bit OS with a 64-bit version of nuendo... forget pro tools... 98% of programs we use today are capped at 3.7 gigs. This is the kind of thing I was talking about in my previous post.
Old 27th December 2010
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spice house View Post
The heatsink for the processor is a great choice (low noise level) but you also have to think about the fans on the case. those things can get pretty loud!

You want a brand name psu because a ****ty one is guaranteed to fail at some point, and that sucks. 500w is pretty good, though the higher u get the less likely it is you will have to buy another.

Yeah build it yourself and you can certainly cut down the price quite a bit. They make it super easy to build computers nowadays, most everything color coded and it only fits one place. Selecting optimal parts is where experience and understanding come into play. Its easy to figure out though, spend some time looking at benchmarks, price, and of course newegg. -for example i7 s certainly not the best price/performance cpu. If you choose to I'll make my help available, since i'm snowed in and bored out of mind like the rest of eastern seaboard...

I love gs but the the computer section is pretty god-awful. I regularly see terrible advice... its actually kind of depressing considering how amazing the other sections are, most notably geekslutz. I would use google, there are a lot of great benchmarks sites

Oh yeah if you learn to build one yourself the best part is never needing to buy a whole new one.. you just upgrade parts here and there as needed.
Yeah, I'm frustrated by the fact that XtremeGear is all gaming oriented; I'd like to get a quiet case but I don't have a full range of options through them. CyberPower PC. - Custom Built Gaming PC and Gaming Laptops is giving me some more options but it's still coming out at ~$1000 for the same sort of stuff.

I'm nervous about custom building because of the time involved and because I don't have a store to go to if something's not working. Can I go to a local store and have them build for me from specific parts? Or would the cost of labor be enough to make it more sensible to just buy online?
I'd only really think about custom building if I could get help figuring out a pretty comprehensive parts list and some instructions for the process. I appreciate the offer to help though!
Old 27th December 2010
  #12
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by spice house View Post
Actually it would be impossible to use more ram unless he used a 64-bit OS with a 64-bit version of nuendo... forget pro tools... 98% of programs we use today are capped at 3.7 gigs. This is the kind of thing I was talking about in my previous post.
Spice House, so are you saying that if you use VIs (Kontakt, BFD) and other plugins within Cubase 32bit in Windows 7/64bit, the 3.7gb limit applies to these plugins as well since they're being used inside Cubase 32bit?

If so, then why do folks get 6/8gb ram (or more) with a Windows 7 setup?
Old 27th December 2010
  #13
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AldenW View Post
A mac mini has a fraction of the power of the PC I'm looking at, for about the same price. I can't fathom why I'd switch when I'm perfectly happy with Windows 7 and have used PCs almost all my life.
That's the best response I've seen.
I get crap for my PC all the time by MAC users, but my PC works for me.

You stick to your guns!
Old 27th December 2010
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blacklion View Post
Spice House, so are you saying that if you use VIs (Kontakt, BFD) and other plugins within Cubase 32bit in Windows 7/64bit, the 3.7gb limit applies to these plugins as well since they're being used inside Cubase 32bit?

If so, then why do folks get 6/8gb ram (or more) with a Windows 7 setup?
cuz people think its faster so they can charge more for it lol

also fyi ram size has nothing to do with ram speed!
Old 27th December 2010
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AldenW View Post
Yeah, I'm frustrated by the fact that XtremeGear is all gaming oriented; I'd like to get a quiet case but I don't have a full range of options through them. CyberPower PC. - Custom Built Gaming PC and Gaming Laptops is giving me some more options but it's still coming out at ~$1000 for the same sort of stuff.

I'm nervous about custom building because of the time involved and because I don't have a store to go to if something's not working. Can I go to a local store and have them build for me from specific parts? Or would the cost of labor be enough to make it more sensible to just buy online?
I'd only really think about custom building if I could get help figuring out a pretty comprehensive parts list and some instructions for the process. I appreciate the offer to help though!
Do you use a computer enough to justify spending time learning about it? I don't know. I would help you compile a parts list if it would help. Putting it together is the easy part. The whole thing is simple, the only trouble is if you get stuck and you don't know how to troubleshoot - and for that reason its essential to have another comp to google stuff on.
As for stores and stuff I don't know I've built all my own since was just a youngin, but if i were a local PC store I would build it for a price. Compiling a component list and giving it to them would be a pretty neat idea. Would you rather pay to not think about it or save money and spend time learning?
Old 27th December 2010
  #16
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So spice house, Pro Tools 8 and my plugins will run smoothly on 64 bit, right? If that's the case, I see no reason not to go 64 bit Windows. It seems clear that 64 bit is the future.
Either way I'll stick with 4 gb of ram for now; it's so easy to upgrade that there's no need to do so 'till it becomes an issue.

From reading around, it seems that CyberPowerPC is the way to go if I'm not building from scratch. I've done some fiddling around with the setup, but one of the big things I'm trying to decide is my main hard drive.
My options:
64 gb solid state drive (-$0)
640GB SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 64MB Cache (-$57)
500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB (-$79)

Is the speed and silence offered by the SSD worth the price jump?


Quote:
Originally Posted by acasillas View Post
That's the best response I've seen.
I get crap for my PC all the time by MAC users, but my PC works for me.

You stick to your guns!
Thanks acasillas! I don't know why people keep insist on making these things into OS wars; both system types have their value, but I made my preference explicit.
Old 27th December 2010
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spice house View Post
Do you use a computer enough to justify spending time learning about it? I don't know. I would help you compile a parts list if it would help. Putting it together is the easy part. The whole thing is simple, the only trouble is if you get stuck and you don't know how to troubleshoot - and for that reason its essential to have another comp to google stuff on.
As for stores and stuff I don't know I've built all my own since was just a youngin, but if i were a local PC store I would build it for a price. Compiling a component list and giving it to them would be a pretty neat idea. Would you rather pay to not think about it or save money and spend time learning?
Well, I think it'd be good fun to compile a parts list, if you'd be willing to help me out. I can't completely guarantee I'd follow through with it, given my reservations, but it'd be a great learning experience regardless. I'm on break; don't need to be working.
Old 27th December 2010
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AldenW View Post
So spice house, Pro Tools 8 and my plugins will run smoothly on 64 bit, right? If that's the case, I see no reason not to go 64 bit Windows. It seems clear that 64 bit is the future.
Either way I'll stick with 4 gb of ram for now; it's so easy to upgrade that there's no need to do so 'till it becomes an issue.

From reading around, it seems that CyberPowerPC is the way to go if I'm not building from scratch. I've done some fiddling around with the setup, but one of the big things I'm trying to decide is my main hard drive.
My options:
64 gb solid state drive (-$0)
640GB SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 64MB Cache (-$57)
500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB (-$79)

Is the speed and silence offered by the SSD worth the price jump?



Thanks acasillas! I don't know why people keep insist on making these things into OS wars; both system types have their value, but I made my preference explicit.
If your have extra money why not? that's obviously not the actual cost of the drive - they make money on that. SSDs are definately better for an OS drive if that's your question - they have great read speed. and yeah 64-bit, why not? You'll have to upgrade at some point.
Old 27th December 2010
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spice house View Post
If your have extra money why not? that's If your have extra money why not? obviously not the actual cost of the drive - they make money on that. SSDs are definately better for an OS drive if that's your question - they have great read speed. and yeah 64-bit, why not? You'll have to upgrade at some point.
Well, there's never extra money. It's a matter of cost-effectiveness.
I'm gonna shoot you a PM, and maybe we can figure out a parts list! Sounds like fun.
Old 9th January 2011
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Hey guys!
So I decided to go with spice house's advice and build my new DAW computer myself. Thanks so much spice for gettin' me going on the right track! You rock.

Anyways, after much enjoyable research, here is the final build I ordered today:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/Publi ... r=15219012

My focus was on power and silence. This thing will (hypothetically) be a very quiet desktop, and my new friend the i5-2500k will keep it all cruisin'. Just thought I'd let y'all know what was up!
Old 16th January 2011
  #21
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I don't know if anyone cares, but
I finished my computer build! I have a brand new, beautiful DAW that runs Pro Tools gorgeously.
Her she is! She's named "Sparky," thankfully for no good reason. (Now all I need to to put to my acoustic treatment...)
Attached Thumbnails
New Computer Tiiiiiime-1-16-2011-120.jpg   New Computer Tiiiiiime-1-16-2011-103.jpg   New Computer Tiiiiiime-imag0067.jpg   New Computer Tiiiiiime-imag0066.jpg  
Old 16th January 2011
  #22
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wakestyle's Avatar
That's a beaut!

I didn't realize Sandybridge was out already!

I would recommend your build to anyone wanting a new PC and coming in at $1002 very very nice.heh
Old 16th January 2011
  #23
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Thanks a bunch!
Yep, Sandy Bridge is out and man does it cook!
Old 19th January 2011
  #24
Here for the gear
 

Congrats on the build man! I'm glad I came across this thread... I'm a total noob w/ this stuff! I posted here a while ago and got a lot of good info, but didn't follow up on researching, but now I'm in a position to get a dedicated DAW computer. I keep going back and forth between building my own (scares the crap out of me!) or getting a pre-made unit.

Did you have much experience/knowledge w/ putting computers together? It seems like the unit you put together would be ideal for my needs. I'll have to check and re-check the specs and compare them to the pre-made units I've been checking (the Rain Solstice looks pretty sweet).

Any tips, info, etc are greatly appreciated. Again, sweet set up!
Old 19th January 2011
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
IonicBreed's Avatar
 



This is my computer build. About a year ago. Upgrading to W7 64, and adding 8GB more ram, and additional internal HD.

Asus P6T Deluxe V2
Intel I7 950 Bloomfield
G Skill 2x2gb DDR3 1600
320 GB WD Caviar Blue SATA II HD
Plextor CD/DVD Combo Drive
EVGA NVIDIA GT9800
SIIG FW400 PCI
Corsair TX750 PSU
WinXP32 SP2 Professional Edition
Old 19th January 2011
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
IonicBreed's Avatar
 


Case shot.
Old 19th January 2011
  #27
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crypticglobe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firechild View Post
That looks good , but I should consider Mac OS X instead. Way better OS.
First off... I am NOT a hater. I own, sell, customize, and work on both Mac's and PC's. I think each has it's own charm.

I agree that for some time Mac OS has been a better OS than anything windows had offered in the "slick" department. However, Windows 7 changed that completely in my mind. It's not only more "slick" but it's just WAY faster, fewer clicks, and every bit as slick.

It is also my opinion after years of comparing the two, that Windows 7 is more stable for audio than ANY Mac OS has ever been. It also performs FAR better. It's easy to test. Simply bootcamp Windows 7 on any Mac. Install the PC and Mac version of your favorite DAW software on the respective OS's. Then do a comparison with the same project on both OS's. You will see at least 10% better performance on the Win 7 installation (On THE MAC HARDWARE) than the Mac OS. I find it's normally more like 25% at low latency and lot's of plugs.

Now... I DEFINITELY think that for a long time OS user, that any Mac OS will always SEEM like a better OS and vice versa for the Windows users, because it is REALLY hard for most of us to learn a new way of doing things, when we have been doing it that way for a long time!

As a matter of fact, though I prefer Windows 7 myself (I have been using windows/mac nearly equally since 1991.. actually started on a Mac), I rarely try to switch people from either unless they are really ready to do it, and have some experience with both. It's just hard to re-learn everything.

Anyway... all that to say... Mac OSX is NOT a better OS than Windows 7. Not even close. When factoring in the learning curve for switching... I would have to say they are close to even. For someone that works well on both... Microsoft has finally edged out Mr. Jobs. Windows 7 kicks some SERIOUS butt in every department.

jmtc....
Old 20th January 2011
  #28
Gear Addict
 

XP on my DAW, MacMini for general purpose internet computer.

OSX crashed very badly one day and I had to reinstall it. To my surprise my programs, shortcuts, preferences etc ... stayed intact. Can Win7 do this?
Old 20th January 2011
  #29
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by AldenW View Post
I don't know if anyone cares, but
I finished my computer build! I have a brand new, beautiful DAW that runs Pro Tools gorgeously.
Her she is! She's named "Sparky," thankfully for no good reason. (Now all I need to to put to my acoustic treatment...)
Thats awesome man..for the the record I care and I am going to need to study your build a little more. If you want, I made a thread here on inexpensive DAWs where you can see what I am looking at.

Main question, where did you find the best online instruction for putting that beast together?
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