Sub $400 recording computer, help please!

Kingston 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134045

ATRIX Black/Silver SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower w/ 480W 17A psu $34
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811209026

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ Brisbane 1.9GHz $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103036

MSI K9N4 Ultra-F Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 550 $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130063

GIGABYTE GV-NX73G128D-RH GeForce 7300GS 512MB(128MB on board) $51
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125033

Maxtor DiamondMax 10 6L250R0 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB IDE Ultra ATA133 $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822144422

ASUS Black 16X DVD+R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135141 $30


Total $375

See Anything I'm missing?

Things I'm not sure about:

1. MB has ATA100 HD is ATA133 Will these work together?

2. Dependability is a huge issue, is 1 1GB stick more dependable than 2 512's?

3. Also the computer needs firewire, is there a diff motherboard I could get that has it onboard for not much more money? If not What is a good cheap Firewire card?

4. Not sure about Mobo or Ram, both are just cheap, any ideas of any issues with them or better alternatives for the same price?


I have another post about this, but I felt this needed another post cause its quite different.

Thanks to anyone that helps me out!
40 answers Last reply
More about recording computer please
  1. Don't forget a HSF for your OEM processor, I think the retail model is only $10 more.
  2. Is this pc will be just for dedicated recording? if yes, get a motherboard with integrated graphics. Why spend money on graphic card if not going to play games? How about this motherboard (GigaByte GA-M61PM-S2 Motherboard $70.00 with tax/shipping w/ integrated graphics), instead saved the money from video card and get a dual core cpu instead, believe, this made my brother life easier and faster editing sound effects, hes a musician as well.


    AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Dual Core Processor $105
    or
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Dual Core Processor $98.90
  3. I can't budget a rig like that without splurging on something so I will just give advice. AMD is the way to go.
  4. Ok so here is the parts list that I have right now. See any problems or places where i could save any money?

    GIGABYTE GA-M61PM-S2 Socket AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 Micro ATX $70
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128029

    Rosewill R604TBLK-N ATX Mid Tower Computer Case+450W Power Supply $55
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16811147030

    250GB WD Hard Drive $75
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16822144701

    A-DATA 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) $69
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211064

    ARCTIC COOLING ALPINE64 92mm CPU Cooler $10
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16835186010

    ASUS Black 16X DVD+R $30
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135141

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ Brisbane 1.9GHz $70
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103036


    Total: $379 before shipping
  5. Cheaper, perhaps better case & PS: http://shop2.outpost.com/product/4470276
    (rebate ends today).
  6. ok I am thinking about changing the case/psu to this. This psu has 21amps and the case/psu seems all around nicer and its 5 bucks cheaper.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811156074

    Any opinions?
  7. Ok, so here is my revised list. Getting this awful cheap now :D

    GIGABYTE GA-M61PM-S2 Socket AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 Micro ATX $70
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128029

    A-DATA 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) $69
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211064

    ARCTIC COOLING ALPINE64 92mm CPU Cooler $10
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16835186010

    ASUS Black 16X DVD+R $30
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135141

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ Brisbane 1.9GHz $70
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103036

    RAIDMAX APEX ATX-802BP Black Computer Case 450W Power Supply $50
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811156074

    Western Digital Caviar SE WD2000JB 200GB 7200 RPM $60
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822144129


    Total $359 + shipping

    Any input would be appreciated, even if it is that everything looks good.
  8. Looks nice for your budget, not sure you will have enough RAM or HD space if working with large files, but it is a start.
  9. I don't think HD space will be a problem, these files won't be that big and 250GB will be OS, maybe like 2 games, and the rest recording stuff. And they will probably all be exported as MP3's but I don't know how large the actual recording files will be. And ram may possibly be a problem, but that can be upgraded later, plus money is more of an issue that memory :D. Thanks for the input though!
  10. Not sure what type of interface/SW; like protools, etc...; you are going to use to record? But you may want to start by understanding what requirements the SW calls out for. For example min CPU, min RAM, Seek times for HD, etc....

    Knowing that ahead of time might steer you in the right direction...

    I know when I built by ProTools Studio, there were specific HW requirement I had to consider....
  11. He has an M-Audio FireWire Solo
    http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/FireWireSolo-main.html

    and will probably, at least at first, be using ableton live for recording. The system reqs are as follows:

    1.5 GHz CPU or faster
    512 MB RAM (recommended: 1GB or more)
    Quicktime 6.4 or later
    Windows 2000/XP
    Windows-compatible soundcard (preferably with an ASIO driver)

    from their website.
  12. I would definitely go for a decent quality PS instead of that Raidmax.
  13. what is wrong with that psu?
    I mean I know its not the nicest psu around, but what I've read says its pretty good, not to mention this is not a demanding system, A64X2, 1 optical drive, 1 HD, onboard Video.
  14. It's low quality and thus much more likely to suddenly fail, possibly taking your MB and other components with it to the afterlife.
  15. You NEED a power supply that doesnt come with a case

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817104954 Here is a good power supply from a trusted company.
  16. ok and are u sure 250gb will be enough space for recording? if ur gonna leave that thing on for sometime u mite run outta hd space? also u do need a reliable powersupply if u gonna keep that sucker on dialy, gonna need decent airflow in ur case too, make sure u have some ball bearing case fans, not sleved or whateve.r
  17. hmmmm... increasing the build cost by 15% for a PSU doesn't sound too appealing. This PSU is from a known brand and is quite a bit more than is required by this system and therefore will not be stressed.

    Simply because it comes with a case is a really bad reason not to trust a PSU.
  18. Quote:
    hmmmm... increasing the build cost by 15% for a PSU doesn't sound too appealing. This PSU is from a known brand and is quite a bit more than is required by this system and therefore will not be stressed.

    Simply because it comes with a case is a really bad reason not to trust a PSU.


    thats wut i used to say to, but then my 150$ nf 590 motherboard smelt like burning plastic one evening i was greatful to tell new egg i recieved a doa motherboard :). Live and learn.
  19. You forget that you can buy a much cheaper case without PSU. I saw some for $15 so add that to the PSU above at $50 for a $65 spend. Only $20 more than the combined unit and more like a 5% increase in system cost.

    I agree you could get away with the case/psu combo and you sure don't need a monster PSU but it might be a good investment. If funds really are tight I can see your argument.
  20. buy a Themaltake 430W oem psu, they are good quality and appropriate for your build, and they are cheap as chips! dude, don't worry, your system will be overkill, think this way, they did the exact same kind of work 3 years ago, that was before C2D and that was when only gamers had 1gb of ram.
  21. Quote:
    hmmmm... increasing the build cost by 15% for a PSU doesn't sound too appealing. This PSU is from a known brand and is quite a bit more than is required by this system and therefore will not be stressed.

    Simply because it comes with a case is a really bad reason not to trust a PSU.


    Raidmax Powersupplies have a very short life expectancy, due to the more than often common failures. You could even have the risk of it taking your motherboard too if the powersupply goes on you.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147068

    Powersupply:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153023

    May come out to spending a little more, or even just over 400. But its worth it. Rather spend a little more, than spend a lot in the end.
  22. this guy aint gonna listen let him increase his build costs by 50% when his powersupply blows out an then he posts a thread (is my motherboard blown) we can all just have a good ol time and laugh at him.
  23. GIGABYTE GA-M61PM-S2 Socket AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 Micro ATX $70
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128029

    Patriot 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220088

    ARCTIC COOLING ALPINE64 92mm CPU Cooler $10
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16835186010

    ASUS Black 16X DVD+R $30
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135141

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ Brisbane 1.9GHz $70
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103036

    Rosewill R6422-P SL Black/ Silver SGCC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147065

    Antec Basiq BP350 ATX12V Version 2.01 350W Power Supply 115/230 V UL, FCC, TUV, CB - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371003

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST380815AS 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148231


    About $334 (with $10 rebate on ram) without shipping and handling, you won't need much more than 80gigs for sound recording and everyday stuff. Changed your case for a cheaper one and a better quality PSU (not saying necessarily good PSU, just better.)
  24. I actually think I have a 450W Coolermaster sitting at my house that came with my centurion case that I'd let him use... That sounds like a better power supply right?
  25. OK, so I just found out I have a coolermaster 350W with 16 amps sitting around my house that I will be giving him. I used the Wattage calculator and it said my sys req. was like 180Watts. So coolermaster is a better brand right? and this will work with my system? Also I appreciate the replies even if it doesn't seem like it! Sorry i'm being beligerant(dunno how to spell that). Also I do believe that I am going to use that Rosewill case that was suggested to save a little more money. Thanks all! here is my new build and any comments are once again appreciated.

    GIGABYTE GA-M61PM-S2 Socket AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 Micro ATX $70
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128029

    A-DATA 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) $69
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211064

    ARCTIC COOLING ALPINE64 92mm CPU Cooler $10
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16835186010

    ASUS Black 16X DVD+R $30
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135141

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ Brisbane 1.9GHz $70
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103036

    Western Digital Caviar SE WD2000JB 200GB 7200 RPM $60
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822144129

    Rosewill R6422-P SL Black/ Silver SGCC Steel ATX Mid Tower $16
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147065

    Total $325 + Shipping

    So there is my build, and I'm wondering if you guys think that PSU will work... its once again a 350W Coolermaster 16A on the 12V+ rail.
  26. Rosewill R6421-P BK Black SGCC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147063

    Anything wrong with this case?

    And does anyone think that the 350W 16Amp coolermaster will work with this system and be reliable?
  27. i think it would be pushing it, lol, i'd step it up a bit, plus http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153023 is great, especially the price! also, with that one mentioned it has some room to move, so it won't be always operating under full load and i would suggest you get a cheapo 7300gs, disable the hypermemory and use it instead of integrated, integrated taxes the memory subsystem, just remember to disable the hypermemory on this one or it will do the same thing.
  28. Try for a duo core if you're willing to push your budget abit. It will open up room for simultanious recording/encoding to divx or something else while watching content off the box.

    If not, the coolermaster will most definately work. Also, i'd disagree with rammedstein on having a discrete graphics solution. Everything else is purfect =)
  29. Since your not running a discrete graphics card, I believe that the 350 watt "should" be able to power the system. No guarantees though. :D
  30. Yeah, like I said, I used the calculator and it said my system needed ~180Watts so I don't know why this PSU wouldn't work. And my friend isn't going to be gaming with this system, and I will be sure to inform him that if someday he wishes to he will need to buy a discrete card and a better PSU.
  31. $70 for a brisbane now? wow i thought my $50 3200 was a good budget deal!
  32. A gforce board 6150 is better then the 6100
  33. Quote:
    A geforce board 6150 is better then the 6100


    Yes....thus the extra little "50" at the end. 8)
  34. Quote:
    A geforce board 6150 is better then the 6100


    Awesome...?

    If you can find me one with onboard video, Firewire, and that is ~$70 then sweet.
  35. $84 on board video with DVI and it has firewire
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131014
  36. You should really get a seperate hard drive to dedicate entirely to record/playback of audio. It doesn't have to be big or super fast to notice a big improvement over running OS and audio on one drive.

    MC EE
  37. I've been running a DAW for a couple years now with a Athlon 3200+ XP, 1 gig of Ram and 1 5400 RPM hard drive. Seems like a weak system but I can run pretty big projects in Sonar - 30 to 40 tracks at 48kHz 24-bit audio with 15 to 20 instances of effects (compressors/gates/eqs/reverbs). At that point I am running right on the verge of getting dropouts and my processor is completely slammed!

    I'm currently waiting for pricing to line up so I can build a silent DAW that can handle similar sized projects with 192kHz 24-bit audio in the $1000 price range.

    Which leads to my question. Does anyone think a new processor these days will give 4 times the performance of an Athlon 3200? I've been comparing benchmarks (to the Athlon64 3200) and am not really convinced.

    MC Double E
  38. That Antec Basiq only has 13A on the 12V rail, even that Thermaltake is better with 18A I think. I'd say go with the Raidmax in the case, take the chance, it has more Amps, and it's pretty cheap.
  39. Quote:
    $84 on board video with DVI and it has firewire
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131014


    ok cool, so what is actually better about this board? Better onboard video right? What else?
  40. DVI port
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