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i7 build for audio editing

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December 10, 2008 2:21:35 AM

Hey guys. I'm getting a new desktop for audio work, sampling, etc, and would like it if you'd look at these specs. I'm considering either ordering the whole thing built from AVADirect, or buying everything and building it myself. I've never built a computer before, and am a little apprehensive about it, afraid I'll mess something up. Also there's the prospect of a warranty and support if it's built by someone other than me. Then again, it's a little cheaper to do it myself, though I'll say that it isn't as big of a difference as I'd expected. Anybody heard of AVADirect? I've heard good things about their customer support, and the prices are very reasonable. The only thing I'm worried about there is the fact that the economic situation makes me wonder whether a company like that will be around long enough to provide that support...

This is what I'm looking at:

COOLERMASTER, Cosmos S (RC-1100-KKN1-GP) Black Tower Case, EATX, No PSU, Aluminum

PC POWER & COOLING, Silencer® 750W Quad (Black) Power Supply, 24-pin ATX12V EPS12V, Single +12V Rail, Quad SLI Ready

MICROSTAR, X58 Platinum, LGA1366, Intel® X58, 6400 MT/s QPI, DDR3-1333MHz 24GB /6, PCIe x16 CF /2, SATA 3 Gb/s RAID 5 /8, HDA, GbLAN /2, FW /2, ATX, Retail

INTEL, Core™ i7-920 Quad-Core 2.66GHz, LGA1366, 6400 MT/s QPI, 8MB L3 Cache, 45nm, 130W, EM64T EIST VT XD, Retail

KINGSTON, 6GB (3 x 2GB) ValueRAM PC3-10600 DDR3 1333MHz CL9 (9-9-9) 1.5V SDRAM DIMM, Non-ECC

SAPPHIRE, Radeon™ HD 4850 625MHz, 512MB GDDR3 1986MHz, PCIe x16 CrossFire, DVI /2, HDTV-Out, Retail

2x WESTERN DIGITAL, 500GB WD Caviar® Black™ (WD5001AALS), SATA 3 Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 32MB Cache

LITE-ON, DH-52C2S-04 Black 52x/32x/16x CD-R/CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive, SATA, OEM

LITE-ON, iHAS120 Black/White 20x DVD±RW Dual-Layer Burner, SATA, Retail

SONY, MPF920 Black Internal 1.44MB 3.5" Floppy Drive

APC, PRO8T2 Professional SurgeArrest, 8 Outlet w/ 2 Tel protection, White, 120V

MICROSOFT, Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition w/ SP1, OEM

AVA Direct offers a 3 year warranty as well, which is attractive to me.

What do you think?

More about : build audio editing

December 10, 2008 2:32:29 AM

I have a few questions... I'm not going to be doing any intense gaming, so my video card just needs to be able to support dual dvi monitors running at a good resolution. Is what I have there overkill?

Also, the case. I have a pretty expensive one there. Is it too much/only necessary for an overclocker?

PSU. Is 750W ok? I might add hard drives or RAM later, but no more video cards are likely.
December 10, 2008 8:54:46 AM

first get your parts from newegg.com they are much cheaper than avadirect the saphire is for 160 on newegg while it is 184 on avadirect and the processor is 22 buks cheaper on newegg and all the other parts so i will give you the links to newegg with the things you need


first you are spending too much on a case get

Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

power supply is good here is the link on newegg.com

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i would never buy a motherboard from microstar because they aren't good get

ASUS P6T Deluxe LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

the processor is good but here is a link to it on newegg

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

the kingston ram are good and cheap but i prefer corsair so here is a link to the kingston and corsair on newegg

kingston:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

corsair :

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

the graphic card isn't overkill in my opinion and here is a link to it on newegg

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

the hardrive is good here is link to it on newegg

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

the dvd rom and the dvd writer aren't good get

ASUS Black SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model DVD-E818A3T - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

the floppy is good here is a link to it on newegg

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

well the power protection is good and here is a link to it on newegg cheaper

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

the operating system is good and here is a link to it on newegg where it is cheaper

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

enjoy and i never trust anything to get something for computers except from newegg























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December 10, 2008 2:45:17 PM

Thanks, computersss. I should have been more clear. My alternative to purchasing the system built by avadirect was to buy everything on newegg and do it myself. Even getting everything from newegg, I only save about $150 over having AVADirect build it.

The case is something I'm confused about. Everyone seems to have a favorite, and you can go really cheap or really expensive.

RAM. G-SKILL makes a 3x2 DDR3 pack for $170 newegg. Thoughts?

I'm still pretty sure I'm gonna have it built for me, unless I can work some combo deals on newegg and bring the price down enough to sway me.

Thoughts?
December 10, 2008 5:57:34 PM

well for the case ya but every one have to make their favorite list according to cases that have good cooling and the one you listed is very expensive for a case but it has good cooling so if you want to get it then go for it

the g-skill is very good too

i think that if you purchased the parts from newegg and gave 100 bucks to a friend or a shop they will put the parts together for you,

if you have any other question then tell me or if i didn't understand your idea right

December 10, 2008 6:22:15 PM

I chose that case almost arbitrarily. I'm pretty well-researched on everything but the case, where I feel like I'm sort of in the dark. I'm pretty sure I want a full tower case, for cooling and expandability, but beyond that I'm pretty clueless.
December 11, 2008 7:47:02 PM

you might want to get the 640wd hdd instead of the 500gig one. It's slightly faster and only costs like 15$ more.
December 13, 2008 10:29:00 AM

I think you need to define what you need a bit more.

Doesn't this build need to be very quiet?

Although I would normally recommend a high airflow case for low noise, in your case the extra insulation of the Cosmos case might be best. I suppose I have to explain myself there. Lots of large fans can be turned down, and so make less noise than 2 fans working hard.

If you use a low heat GPU or even a water cooled GPU, you can avoid some noise. Also the smaller the GPU the smaller the needed PSU, thus reducing noise.

720W would be serious overkill. A 4850 is not unreasonable I suppose, but if you were reducing noise you could reduce the GPU as part of that.

This card has dual DVI and passive cooling:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This would be the quietest PSU you can buy, that would cover your needs:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It's a bit pricey, but it's very highly regarded by experts.
December 14, 2008 8:57:19 AM

Proximon,

Thanks for picking up on the key thing I should have said but didn't. Yes, noise is a big issue. As far as the video card is concerned, I just need to run two 22" dvi monitors at 1650x1050 without burning the card. Would a passively cooled card be as reliable?

What do you think about the Power PC and Cooling Silencer PSU's? I could do a 610W. In all likelihood, I won't build it myself, and order it from AVADirect, and therefore I'm limited to the parts that they sell.
December 14, 2008 9:44:21 AM

The PC P&C is a fine PSU. It will likely run almost as quiet on your build as the Enermax.

I want to reiterate that your build does not require that much power... the point is to have the PSU running as cool as possible so that the fan stays quiet.

As long as you don't game on it, the passive card should stay happy. Try to run Crysis at 1680x1050 on even medium settings and it will probably overheat, depending on airflow over it.
December 14, 2008 9:29:10 PM

So you're saying 620W or 610W is too much? Would 500 be closer to what's needed?
December 15, 2008 2:51:03 AM

Ah sorry, posting towards the end of a night shift is not the best idea.

No, I'm saying you WANT that much PSU because it will not be working as hard and so will be quieter.
December 15, 2008 4:35:09 PM

as proximon noted, having a "bigger" psu than your requirement is good. Another point to consider is that efficiency changes depending on loads. At 50% load, you usually get the most out of your psu (all the way to 80%ish load). Bigger is unfortunately more expensive, which is where you have to make the decision :p 
December 15, 2008 9:29:33 PM

Ok, I see. So somewhere around 600W?

I think I'm in no danger of overheating the cpu, but would it be worth investing in a better HSF for noise reasons? What I'm thinking (I could be wrong) is that upgrading to another HSF wouldn't help all that much unless I went for a fanless heatsink, which are generally massive, and there's a risk of gravity overstressing the motherboard...
December 15, 2008 11:04:37 PM

You don't have a lot of options yet for i7 and quiet cooling. One option might be to take one of the larger coolers and replace the 120mm fan with a very quiet one from Scythe or Noctua.

The PC P&C 610 or the Enermax I listed are probably the two quietest. Corsair 650TX would be right in there as well.
December 17, 2008 6:21:34 PM

Ok. I think I've got most of it worked out. I'm going with the 920 processor, the ASUS P6T motherboard, over the eVGA, since the eVGA doesn't have an eSATA port (external drive for some samples, I'd prefer that to firewire). I have Kingston RAM selected here. The equivalently rated Corsair RAM is about $50 more. The only difference that I can discern is that the Corsair has a heat spreader. Is it worth the extra for the security? I'm only going with two HDD's for now, to save $$ since I won't need the extra space for a while. I like the CM Cosmos RC1000 case for its cooling and quiet. I'm open to other suggestions though. I've chosen the PC Power and Cooling Silencer model. Any benefit to spending the extra $50 for the Corsair triple rail design (HX 620)?

Here it is:

COOLERMASTER, Cosmos1000 (RC-1000-KSN1-GP) Silver/Black Tower Case, EATX, No PSU, Steel

PC POWER & COOLING, Silencer®, 80 PLUS®, 610W EPS12V Power Supply, 24-pin ATX12V EPS12V, Single +12V Rail, SLI Certified

ASUS, P6T Deluxe, LGA1366, Intel® X58, 6400 MT/s QPI, DDR3-1600MHz (O.C.)12GB /6, PCIe x16 SLI CF /3, SAS RAID /2, SATA 3 Gb/s RAID 5 /6, HDA, GbLAN /2, FW /2, ATX, Retail

INTEL, Core™ i7-920 Quad-Core 2.66GHz, LGA1366, 6400 MT/s QPI, 8MB L3 Cache, 45nm, 130W, EM64T EIST VT XD, Retail

KINGSTON, 6GB (3 x 2GB) ValueRAM PC3-10600 DDR3 1333MHz CL9 (9-9-9) 1.5V SDRAM DIMM, Non-ECC

ASUS, EN9600GT SILENT/HTDI/512M, GeForce® 9600GT 650MHz, 512MB GDDR3 1625MHz, PCIe x16 SLI, DVI /2, HDTV-Out, Retail

2x WESTERN DIGITAL, 640GB WD Caviar® Black™ (WD6401AALS), SATA 3 Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 32MB Cache

SONY, CRX320EE Black 52x32x52-16A DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo Drive, EIDE/ATAPI, OEM

SAMSUNG, Super-WriteMaster™ SH-S223 Black 22x DVD±R/RW Dual-Layer Burner w/ LightScribe, SATA, w/ Software, OEM

SONY, MPF920 Black Internal 1.44MB 3.5" Floppy Drive

APC, PRO8T2 Professional SurgeArrest, 8 Outlet w/ 2 Tel protection, White, 120V

MICROSOFT, Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition w/ SP1, OEM

WARRANTY, Silver Warranty Package (3 Year Limited Parts, 3 Year Labor Warranty)
December 17, 2008 9:37:46 PM

That seems good to me. I doubt you would see any benefit in the HX620, probably slightly louder.
December 19, 2008 4:41:26 AM

I just heard about an issue that I hadn't heard of before. Evidently the ASUS motherboard doesn't support unique pci slot IRQ's. This is something that I know nothing about. Supposedly this poses a problem with a lot of audio pci cards. I'm currently using a firewire audio interface in place of a pci audio card, but as there are no x58 drivers for my interface yet, I may need the option of a pci audio card. That said, are there any x58 motherboards that do assign unique IRQ's for the pci slots? I don't find this listed in any specs for any of them.
December 19, 2008 5:57:33 AM

I really didn't think that need or ability existed any more, in modern operating systems.

Start a thread in the motherboard section and call it "Assigning unique IRQ to an X58 PCI slot?" See if you get anything.

The last time I had to think about this, I thought the conclusion was that XP/Vista handles it so well that you don't have to worry... but it's been a while and your case is special.
January 25, 2009 5:36:20 PM

Hey guys, sorry it's late, but I'm here for an update. Everything is put together and running fine. AvaDirect was very good about customer service, and I'd highly recommend them. Boot times are very fast, and everything seems to be running perfectly. I havn't done any tests yet, as my audio interface doesn't have 64-bit drivers. As a workaround, I'm now running the 32 bit Windows 7 beta, on which everything (surprisingly) works just fine. So, I'm up and running, but won't bother to do any tests until I can max out the machine with the 64-bit OS. Thanks for all of your help.
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