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Old 30th December 2010
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
cporro's Avatar
 

i just finished building a PC for my studio. my advice? don't do it. you won't save much money if any, especially if you consider time. one flawed part (bad ram, mobo, etc) will wreck your savings.

this isn't just my opinion but the opinion of a well respected author on the topic. i can add details if you like. :D

my next machine will be a business or enterprise model PC. unless there is some special requirement you can't live without (like 4 PCI slots) i'd buy the a business model dell or hp.

Quote:
you can read the details here: Adventures in DAW Selection! | BlueDust Studio / Chris Porro in the new year i will detail my build, an i7 950, x58 chipset, pc, complete with all the issues that came up with name brand RAM and a popular board.
to each their own, but if you want to get on with making music i don't think it makes any sense to go through the pc building process.


words from the holy moderator: I disagree with you in that case, if you know what a motherboard is, and have a clue about how to build a PC it's just choosing parts. I built my last 5 systems on my own, asked friends what they use and never had a problem. it's about making an excel list with parts, research and know how to build it. I agree with you, that some people should buy a computer off the shelve. I have no clue about cars, so I bring my car to mechanic.

Quote:
words from the holy moderator: I disagree with you in that case, if you know what a motherboard is, and have a clue about how to build a PC it's just choosing parts. I built my last 5 systems on my own, asked friends what they use and never had a problem. it's about making an excel list with parts, research and know how to build it. I agree with you, that some people should buy a computer off the shelve. I have no clue about cars, so I bring my car to mechanic.
i can't argue with your personal experience. sounds like you have had some good luck. but i think it's a bit more then having a clue.

for example...my example for instance :D ...i used a GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R motherboard. this same board is used by at least one custom daw builder that i know of. well that board has well known issues. for example the bios will not let you enter the intelligent tweaker mode (where you would do things like set OC or ram cas settings among other things) unless you connect via old ps2.

also one failure of ram will might cost you a few days of productivity finding the issue.

i'm not saying you can't have a good experience with a DIY daw. but one single issue can cost you all your savings and lots of time.

it's great to know whats in your pc. it's great to be able to fix it yourself (instead of the local tech goons) but if you go this route be forewarned.

one thing about mass produced business machines is they are tested. i've owned 2 macs and a dell and they always ran perfect from the get go.

while i learned a lot building a machine i personally can't recommend it. when you tally up all your time selecting parts, building it, and whatever time you spend on troubleshooting it certainly isn't a cost saving venture.

scott mueller has about the same to say. so i think, like many things, it's about what you enjoy.

i think people that have been building PCs for years have lost a bit of perspective. building a pc that competes in performance and stability with a business grade machine ain't so easy.

you can get a custom daw built for maybe 200 more then you would pay for parts. well worth it imo. the business xeons are more expensive, but worth is in long term savings imo.


my experience:

board GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R: there is that bios ps2 issue i mentioned. really annoying but easy to fix with $3 usb ps2 adapter. i would not install any of the software/utilites that come bundled w/ board. had problems.

RAM CORSAIR Model CMX6GX3M3C1600C7 my first 3 sticks failed. make sure you set cas manually. if using memtest86 make sure you test with 1333 mem bus speed not 1066. mine passed at 1066 but ram is rated for 1333. failed at 1333. was thinking of OC up the road. liked this ram for decent price, fast latencies and rated for slightly higher speed for OC.

i'm a fan of fanless mobile racks. i can tell you what i got if you are interested.

hard drive, the baracudas got something like 30% faster continuous through put then my older cavier blacks. this is my testing not based on manufacture specs. but HD speed is not an issue for me.

Last edited by George Necola; 3rd January 2011 at 06:47 AM.. Reason: trying to keep the thread "viewable".. :)