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Setup (Motherboard, CPU and RAM) for Music Workstation (DAW)

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September 29, 2008 9:41:49 AM

Hey all,

Trying to put together a wicked machine for music, though I would like to have the opportunity to game with it as well. Are there any peeps out there who have built a fast machine for this? I'm using more VST's and VSTi's than samplers (Kontakt 3), though I'm also mixing quite a lot of audio tracks. So, should I go quadcore or dualcore?

I initially headed off into DDR3 territory, but it seems it still isn't wortwhile, so I'm back considering DDR2 again.

I'd very much appreciate hints of working setups.


Cheers,

SingSing

PS. I haven't decided what soundcard I will use yet, but I'm guessing this won't change much....
September 29, 2008 10:58:49 AM

You don't need Quad core for a music box. A good midrange Core 2 even as low as an E6750 would get you by, because at the end of the day there isn't too much number crunching done by your CPU for mixing or layering lots of samples together.
Obviously I would also recommend a decent sound card, but most on board Audio will easily suffice for good hardcore audio mixing like AC or supreme FX.
Expensive Audio cards are designed mostly for top notch output - and it sounds more like you're more interested in the creation rather than listening to the product afterwards on your machine (I'm guessing you have a rather large multi channel and amplified stereo that you listen to your music on?).
You won't need DDR3 yet unless you want to start dwelling into the world of overclocking and even then, you won't notice much of a difference between DDR2 and DDR3 unless you are running it at 1600MHz +.
You can pick up a video card that will play most games at relatively high details for around $400 at the most, or you can push the $600-700 for better graphical performance.
You can build a rig for under $1,500 for what you want to do - try and stick to low-mid range for your audio/gaming rig.
September 29, 2008 12:19:50 PM

Thanks for the input TFT.

I sense I probably should have expressed myself clearer.

I guess a E6750 is good and all, but if going dual i guess an E8600 would be better, no? Is it not as good for OC?

While mixing, it's afaik 'only' numbercrunching. The number of inserted FX will depend exclusively on the speed of the machine. I've read somewhere that a top-of-the-line dualcore is better for samples but the quad can handle more VST's. So I'm considering the 9550, though it's a bit pricey....

I'm guessing there are lots of people with blazingly fast and stable setups, so I'm hoping to hear from those.


Thanks again,

SingSing
September 29, 2008 12:21:27 PM

Processor choice is of course vital, but then there's the more complicated Q's of what MB and RAM to pick....
!