which CPU for Multitrack audio recording?

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.
4 answers Last reply
More about which multitrack audio recording
  1. As a musician myself, I use my Intel 630 machine for all of my music projects and it works very well. I just got my Opty machine all together and setup so I haven't really tried to use it for music applications.

    The Intel machine would do just fine for your needs though.
  2. While the software you intend on using definitely would make good use of the dual-core AMD, whether or not it is worth the additional $300+ would be entirely up to you. The 630 will provide good performance, but the X2 would provide better performance. It just depends on your budget. I personally am very happy with my dual-core Opteron.
  3. Quote:
    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.
  4. Thanks for the responses guys, I appreciate your input.

    Well I made my decision and am typing this reply from the keyboard of my brand spankin new computer with the X2 4200+.

    So so far so good, but I just plugged it all in so haven't really done ANYTHING with it yet, but it sure seems a hell of a lot peppier than the PIII 800mhz I was using this morning when I started this thread lol

    Again, thanks for the help guys!
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