I am builing myself a small project studio to record my original music and am shopping for a new PC for it. The apps I plan to use for this are:
- either Cakewalk Guitar Tracks Pro3 or Sonar Home Studio 4XL
- Line 6 toneport USB interface with Gearbox amp simulation.
- possibly a midi drum synth plug-in
My dayjob is as a desktop publisisher/graphic artist, so I'll also be using Photoshop, QuarkXPress, Illustrator and Dreamweaver on a rgular basis too.
I am not rich, so cost is an issue. I've sort of narrowed my computer selection down to 2 choices:
- an HP with the AMD X2 4200+ and 1GB of RAM ($1029 CDN), or
- a Gateway with P4 630 and 1GB of RAM ($699 CDN)
For my intended use, is there a real performance gain with the X2 4200+ to warrant the additional $330, or would the P4 630 give me good performance?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I just got my tax refund this week and am excited to go shopping.
I would say go for the AMD. They now have SSE3 which was Intel's advantage in media. I have a 3200+ with Sonar 3 Producer and I can do 8 track simultaneous recording and use less than 20% CPU. I can add VST and Cakewalk plugins and still use have plenty of CPU left.
I haven't used a P4 for music but when comparing similar apps on work machines, I have to say AMD is faster. I would go so far as to say that a 4800+ with 2GB RAM will perform like a 1 or maybe two card ProTools setup.