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First build...suggestions?

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April 15, 2008 3:32:59 PM

Hello,
This is my first build for a music production PC-it will only have Steinberg Cubase 4 on it. It is a 64-bit system w/8GB RAM and 2 DVD/CD burners.
Here are my components:

RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WBP Black SECC STEEL ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply

SYBA PCI-Express 1394a FireWire 4 ports Controller Card Model SD-PEX-NEC4F

ASUS M3A AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard

VisionTek 900182 Radeon HD 2600PRO 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 AGP 8X HDCP Ready Video Card

AMD Phenom 9750 2.4GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HD9750XAGHBOX

(4x) Kingston HyperX 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model KHX6400D2/2G

SAMSUNG Black 1.44MB 3.5" Internal Floppy Drive Windows 98SE/ ME/ 2000/ XP

Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000 B2L-00047 Black USB Ergonomics Keyboard Mouse Included

SAMSUNG 2253BW Black 22" 2ms(GTG) DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor

(2x) SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S203B

M-AUDIO Audiophile 192 PCI Interface High-Definition 4-In-4-Out Audio Card with Digital I-O and MIDI

Microsoft Windows XP Professional 64Bit SP2C

More about : build suggestions

April 15, 2008 5:02:16 PM

What hard drive are you planning on using?

Other than that, it looks good to me. Admittedly, I don't know that much about the AMD chips / chipsets.

The only item I would be possibly concerned about is your PSU. With that much ram, and probably multiple hard drives when the time comes, you would want a reliable power supply.
April 15, 2008 6:15:21 PM

Glad you brought that to my attention...I had a Western Digital 500GB hard drive (not sure why it dropped off my list)
What do you mean by reliable power supply? More wattage or better brand?
Related resources
April 15, 2008 6:34:31 PM

Got the same case w/o PSU, added:
Rosewill RX850-D-B ATX12V v2.2 & EPS12V v2.91 850W Power Supply

Western Digital Caviar RE WD1600YS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive (already have a WD 500GB external drive)
April 15, 2008 7:03:55 PM

Um... you picked out an AGP video card for a board with PCI-e. Swap it for this 8800GS that is even faster for less money after rebate (and only $10 more without): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

An 850W PSU is overkill for a single-GPU system and Rosewill is a crappy brand. This PC P&C Silencer 610W is a top quality PSU with enough power to handle any upgrades to this system: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Or this Corsair 550VX is another good PSU that will save you some more money and give you plenty of juice: http://www.buy.com/prod/corsair-vx-550w-atx-power-suppl...
April 15, 2008 7:09:51 PM

I meant better brand. The Rosewill brand is terrible.

The Corsair 550VX is solid, as are most PC Power & Cooling PSUs. Check out this list for a good starting point. It's a little outdated, but is still very relevant. Any PSU you choose, try to find some reviews, from anandtech.com, or hardocp.com,
here at Tom's Hardware or another reviewer site. Look for information on stability, heat and noise.

Get a Tier3 or above. One PSU not in the list (it's to new) is the Antec Earthwatts line. The 380W Earthwatts should more than handle a system not using a high-end graphics card. Some reviews even have shown it able to run a single gpu machine reliably. You'll also be helping to save the planet. :) 
April 15, 2008 11:16:57 PM

Thanks for the help everyone! I added the 8800GS video card and the Corsair 550vx.
Should do everything I need for quite awhile.
Thanks Again.
April 16, 2008 12:21:07 AM

For music production I might look into a passively cooled GPU. You won't need the graphics horsepower of a high end card and the reduced noise could be a plus (I'm not sure what your exact usage will be).

If silence is important to you, you might also try the Antec Sonata III 500 case which is very quiet (with 2x120mm fans set to low) and comes with an Antec 500W Earthwatts which should be more than enough for a system like yours.

Also, though your results may vary, I didn't like the Samsung 2253BW. At stock settings compared to a 206BW and 226BW the monitor was a bit washed out and the colors were VERY blue. After hours of adjusting it by eye I was forced to compromise between red-shifted color and a proper white point and a blue-shifted white point but relatively accurate color.

-mcg
April 16, 2008 5:30:33 AM

^ He brought up a good point. I'm so used to machines built for gaming, I overlooked that you said the machine was for music production. If you don't plan to do any gaming, you might want to consider getting a 780G motherboard like this Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H (which has the best onboard graphics to date) and forego the discrete GPU.

The Sonata III as stated above would be another good way to eliminate possible audio interference.
April 16, 2008 11:14:20 PM

Thanks...
I was considering the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H to begin with. I went to an Acer AL2216Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor (tons of good reviews on it).
I guess clarifying my use would help...
I currently have a Boss BR1600 16 track digital recorder and want to upgrade for more editing power/VST/track options. (Roland recently discontinued their flagship 2480 line).Steinberg Cubase 4 is the recording platform. Quiet is a big plus. The program needs a good amount of horsepower to run optimally with high track counts, 2.4 GHz quad-core + 8GB RAM should cover that.

!