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Need help building a music production/gaming PC - $400-$600 budget.

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January 5, 2014 4:30:57 PM

Hey everyone,

So basically my laptop is a Dell Lattitude E6520 and it just isn't cutting it at home. I want to dedicate my laptop to office/email/on the go functions and so I need to a build a dedicated PC for fun stuff. I do a lot of music production on the Reaper 64bit DAW (VST/MIDI/Live instruments) through an interface, so I need it to handle lots of plugins, record smoothly with high quality, and have smooth playback without clipping. I also want it to store plenty of tracks, but I can always get a glyph drive later I suppose. Secondly, I want to be able to play lots of games smoothly at a respectable level of detail. I know it's kind of a tight budget. I looked at the 600 dollar build in this article: http://lifehacker.com/5840963/the-best-pcs-you-can-buil... and while it sounds fine for gaming it doesn't address music production. Another thing I looked at is getting a solid state drive, which sounds cool, but I don't know much about PC components. If going a little over budget or further upgrading down the road gets me nice gains I'm open to it. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
January 5, 2014 4:58:12 PM

For your budget, a solid state drive isn't really worth it.

Do you need to purchase an operating system? Do you need part of the budget set aside for a dedicated audio card or do you already have one? Do you need wifi / keyboard / mouse / monitor? What resolution of monitor do you plan to use? Do you plan to overclock?
January 5, 2014 5:09:52 PM

pyro226 said:
For your budget, a solid state drive isn't really worth it.

Do you need to purchase an operating system? Do you need part of the budget set aside for a dedicated audio card or do you already have one? Do you need wifi / keyboard / mouse / monitor? What resolution of monitor do you plan to use? Do you plan to overclock?


Thanks for the speedy reply. I have a copy of windows, as well as a keyboard/mouse/monitor. The resolution of the monitor is 1920 x 1080 I believe. The budget is pretty much for what goes in the tower. A dedicated audio card would be nice, I don't have one, but my interface has a sound card in it, so I could hold off on the sound card for a while and stick with an integrated one for non-music purposes, unless having a dedicated audio card is encouraged. As for the wifi, I would need it, or some way to do ethernet, I don't mind running a cord out since it will be stationary. I don't think I'm experienced enough to try and overclock it, so probably no on that.
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January 5, 2014 8:01:46 PM
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Motherboard will have ethernet. This motherboard isn't really designed for overclocking, but it's will do the job. USB sound cards are recommended (from what I read), so they're easier to use with laptops.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor
Motherboard: MSI 970A-G43 ATX AM3+ Motherboard
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: Asus Radeon R9 270 2GB Video Card
Case: Enermax ECA3280A-BL ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer
Total: ~$615.00 before rebate of $10
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-05 22:41 EST-0500)

It's a bit over the budget, but right now there isn't much choice in graphics cards at the fitting price range. The $140 650 Ti Boost are no longer available and AMD has discontinued it's older cards in the price range, so either going with the AMD R9 270 ($180) or the older AMD Radeon HD 7790 ($120) is suggested. If you're a gamer, go with the R9. If you only do light gaming, go with the 7790.
January 5, 2014 8:10:56 PM

Just remembered, you might need a sata cable (I think one comes with the motherboard, but the list has an OEM HDD and an OEM Optical drive meaning you will need 2 cables).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It tells me "$1.5 off with promo code EMCWVTW26, ends 1/6/14"
January 5, 2014 8:14:08 PM

Thank you so much! This all looks good, and that case looks pretty cool. You did a great job pulling together what I need for the budget, and have really helped out someone who knows very little about choosing components. Can't wait to put it together. Thanks again!

!