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Old 7th January 2015
Lives for gear

renopowers, currently for best bang for the buck PC DAW rigs you are looking at overclocking an Intel 4790K 4 core (total build around $1k) or the Intel 5820K 6 core (total build around $1.5K) based on price and DAWbench scores. Given that and your budget the 4790K is the right CPU for you. As for building a DAW box if this is your first time, relax, it's not rocket science, just something you have to carefully do step by step. Having a friend that has done one before to help you along will make it easier. There is info and even videos on the net to guide you. Take your time and watch out for static (especially during this time of year).

As for motherboards to team up with the 4790K, what audio interface will you be using? If you will be using a PCI card(s) interface then the Asus Z97-C will give you three PCI slots and will work nicely as others have used it for this purpose with the 4790K. If your interface will be PCIe card(s) or USB then many more motherboards are good canidates. Many pro builders like the Gigabyte offerings.

As for memory, depending on what motherboard you end up with, it will likely have a downloadable list of compatible memory to use as a guide. Others not on the list may work as well but that list is what the board maker has tested and passed.

Since you have a Microcenter nearby the 4790K will cost you only $250 for an instore purchase. They also run deals there when you buy a CPU from them they will discount some motherboards $40 to $50 so check their online flyer and more importantly ask a saleperson when buying the CPU for a deal. While you are there you can grab a cheap but functional case (I like models that have the hard drives mounted sideways where they are easy to pull out from the side when the case side panel is removed). While there pick up some case fans if the case doesn't include them (the larger the size, the quieter the fan). While there pick up the CPU cooler, Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO if they have it in stock (if not it will be $35 online at many sources). While there pick up a cheap wireless keyboard / mouse. While there pick up a cheap SATA DVD burner. For the rest of what you need you may save some money with careful online buying catching the sales as they happen over the next few weeks. Knowing what you need and it's market and on-sale price will help you determine if Microcenter has a decent price for that particular item. Remember the whole purpose of them selling the CPU and motherboards so cheap is they hope you will buy everything else there too where those items will have a healthy markup.

Looks like you owe me two beers if we ever meet up LOL. Good luck on the build and post your experience / results for others here to learn from.