Building My First DAW

Looking to build my first real DAW however being a student budget is a real constraint.

I don't run anything major. No massive amounts of synths etc so I've been looking around and have come up with this, however seeing as how I'm not sure what to be looking for I thought I'd ask.

CPU: AMD 7750+ 2.7 Dual Core
Motherboard: ???
Graphics: GeForce 8400 (or something similar with passive cooling)
RAM: 2gb to begin before moving to 4gb
OS: Windows XP (home or pro?)
HDD1: 250gb (OS and Software)
HDD2: Seagate 7200rpm

I currently run an Mbox 2 with Protools LE and also have an ESI Juli@ which I'd like to incorporate at some point.

All suggestions welcomed but remember, I have little money :)

Thanks in advance

-Aaron
66 answers Last reply
More about building
  1. What's your total budget? As I've said before, a definite figure provides a framework that makes it easy for people to help you out. $300? $400? $500?
  2. The newer AMD boards have decent integrated graphics, have you considered those?
  3. I already have a case, windows and a monitor.

    My budget would be 300-400 AUD$

    Cheers
  4. Man, you spent more on Protools than you're spending on this build... I run Protools and Logic so, you might wanna consider spending a bit more. This is about as cheap as I can build one that can handle the load.

    Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma 2.7GHz
    Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-MA770-UD3
    Memory: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel
    1st HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
    2nd HHD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
    Video: ASUS EAH4350 SILENT/DI/512MD2(LP) Radeon HD 4350 512MB 64-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16
    CD/DVD: LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model GH22LS30
    PSU: Rosewill RP550-2 550W ATX12V v2.01

    Total price: $450

    2 Gigs of memory is ok until you run over 16 track in Protools.
  5. What was suggested in the last post I can find for in my budget range so that's no issue.

    How vital (apart from matching it with the CPU) is mobo selection? Is there much difference between models?

    Also since this setup is in budget, just curious what the next step up processor would be and if there is any benefit in the price jump? How limited will I be with this CPU.

    Cheers

    -Aaron
  6. The next CPU to consider would be either one of the older Phenom's (yuck...hot inneficient garbage, but would give you some performance boost over that 7750) or a PII x3 720, which will cost you probably twice what that 7750 is costing you, and its a very good CPU and would help out a lot.

    I am going to have to disagree with that build though on several points...

    1. get a 790gx MB instead with onboard graphics, its a faster chipset and allows for overclocking, and the integrated graphics will be just as good as that 4350 so you won't need to get a GPU
    2. Why get two different hard drives? the WD3200AAJS is old and slow, the WD7501AALS is not as fast as either the WD1001FALS or 6401AALS due to lower platter density. If you need two separate HDD's, get the WD3200AAKS and a WD6401AALS, or Just get one WD1001FALS and make a partition, this option will also be cheaper.
    3. Garbage PSU. Get a ~400w PSU from Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, Enermax, PC Power& Cooling, Silverstone, OCZ. Those are all much more reliable so you aren't risking blowing up your computer and burning down your house, and they will all be able to support up to a 4830/4770 or 9800GT if you get the urge to play games in the future.
  7. OP what is your absolute max budget and what country are you from (if not the US what places will you be buying parts from)?
  8. Absolute max $500, for the right setup though.

    I'm in Australia.

    Is a seperate GPU needed, I got varied results when searching this. Some say it's good to take work away from the mobo and others say because you aren't working with 3d grpahics etc it is not needed.

    If I were to doule the cost of the CPU it would need to be a significant benefit.
  9. If all you'll be doing is audio editing, then I don't think a dedicated GPU is crucial. Integrated graphics should be enough, unless you want to use more than one display (doubtful, since we're on a budget here).

    IMO, you can use the money freed up by the lack of dedicated graphics to improve your CPU. Your workstation willl need to crunch lots of numbers when processing all that audio.
  10. I had considereed two monitors since I had them lying around, but since its not essentail it's on the back burner.

    The main thing I'm looking for at this point is the most effective processor/ mobo combo in my budget.

    How bad were the Phenom's?
  11. The best first gen phenoms competed with the E8400 for productivity performance, and failed miserably in gaming performance. They also ran quite hot, and you could usually only squeeze like 300mzh more out of them by overclocking, unless you had a decent watercooling setup.
  12. @xthekidx He asked for a budget build that would run Protools and I gave him a cheap but, decent build. I am fully aware that those aren't the best products but, if you throw in some Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, Enermax, PC Power& Cooling, Silverstone, and OCZ, you'll surpass that budget quick! From my experience of running Protools, you have to have two hard-drives. Protools makes huge files and a single HDD won't work. You need at least twice that... cartoon_sound, I run Protool HD, Logic, Sonar, Magix, and a million different plug-ins. My best advice for you cartoon_sound, is to wait until you’ve saved at least $700 so you can get a decent system. I’ve frozen 3.5ghz systems running 21 tracks, imagine what 64 will do!
  13. mharveyproductions said:
    @xthekidx He asked for a budget build that would run Protools and I gave him a cheap but, decent build. I am fully aware that those aren't the best products but, if you throw in some Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, Enermax, PC Power& Cooling, Silverstone, and OCZ, you'll surpass that budget quick!

    It costs even more when the PSU fries the MB and HDD's (I have first hand experience with this) and you have to replace them. Don't buy a POS PSU, its never a good idea.

    This OCZ PSU is much higher quality and is the same price after a MIR: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341012

    Even this 400w PSU would be a better option than that rosewill, his system wouldn't need more than that anyways:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139008
  14. ^+1

    Don't skimp on the PSU, sooner or later it'll cost you.
  15. And I agree with a better PSU but, all I was saying is that the original $300- $400 budget he proposed, wouldn't be enough to run Protools LE to its maximum potential. $300 to $400 is only enough for a good motherboard and processor. He was essentially building an HP. Protools LE nearly cost around the same price he's paying to build his computer. And that’s just the audio interface and software… But I'm here to help this guy and I know you are too so, I agreed with you and switched the PSU. I also switched the motherboard and memory because he upped the price to $500 and he needs better quality.

    Add these changes to the first proposed build:
    Motherboard: ASUS M4A78 PRO AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
    PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V
    Memory: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)

    Total Price: $530
  16. :pfff:
    There is no reason to spend more on the PSU, if he is just going to use onboard graphics or a low end gpu like the 4350 then a 400w PSU like that Corsair 400cx I linked would be more than enough. Corsair dominator ram is horrendously overpriced just because it has a fancy heatsink on it, don't get that ram. Look for something cheaper, a decent 4GB kit like these. Also, this motherboard is only $5 more than that new one you picked and it uses the 790GX chipset and SB750.
  17. I just agreed with you xthekidx but, no matter what I post, you'll find fault with it... I'm just giving the guy options... I gave him the Gskill in the first post... The 550 is strictly for upgrade purposes. Protools has a ton of hardware and software upgrades. If he's like most people, he'll eventually want more plug-ins and the graphics can get pretty intense and he'll need a better video card. If he expands, he'll save himself some money on a new PSU. Protools LE is the baseline but, it can be expanded into a monster... Ultimately, he knows his budget and the final decision is on him to make...
  18. Seeing as how the general consensus of people are saying I will not be able to run protools to it potential, what kind of system would I be looking at that could?
  19. Also how about this setup:

    CPU: AMD ATHLON 64 X2 DUAL CORE 6000 (Windsor)
    MoBo: ASUS M3N78-VM AM2
    GPU: Integrated MoBo
    RAM: 2 GB. Unsure on what good RAM is though.
    PSU:???
  20. This is a solid Intel system that almost fits your budget and is more than enough for Protools. Look this over and if you need it cheaper, let me know. The system you proposed is ok but, when I build, I like to leave room for upgrading.

    CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz
    MB: EVGA 132-YW-E178-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI
    RAM: OCZ Reaper HPC 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066
    Video: EVGA 256-P2-N753-TR GeForce 8600 GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3
    PSU: OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W ATX12V
    Total: $665
  21. mharveyproductions said:
    This is a solid Intel system that almost fits your budget and is more than enough for Protools. Look this over and if you need it cheaper, let me know. The system you proposed is ok but, when I build, I like to leave room for upgrading.

    CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz
    MB: EVGA 132-YW-E178-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI
    RAM: OCZ Reaper HPC 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066
    Video: EVGA 256-P2-N753-TR GeForce 8600 GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3
    PSU: OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W ATX12V
    Total: $665

    :heink: First of all, that system is way out of reach for him on a $300-400 budget. Secondly, why the nvidia chipset? They are unstable and always have problems, which can be suffered through for a gaming rig, but this is for professional apps, he needs the most stable platform possible. Lastly, DDR2 1066 OCZ Reapers...expensive and unnecessary since LGA 775 doesn't see any benefit from ram over 800mhz.
  22. xthekidx, you don't "READ!" I specifically told him that this system almost fits his budget. I was simply giving him an example of what works. Guess you don't recall him saying $500 max? I also said it could be built cheaper.. I run Protools HD and I've built several Protools rigs! How many have you built? Like I stated in my last post, "no matter what I post, you'll find fault with it..." Offer solutions you idiot!
  23. mharveyproductions said:
    xthekidx, you don't "READ!" I specifically told him that this system almost fits his budget. I was simply giving him an example of what works. Guess you don't recall him saying $500 max? I also said it could be built cheaper.. I run Protools HD and I've built several Protools rigs! How many have you built? Like I stated in my last post, "no matter what I post, you'll find fault with it..." Offer solutions you idiot!

    ...dude $665 is not almost "$500 absolute max, preferably $300-400", its a long ways off.

    I did offer a solution, you IDIOT. The PII 720 is a feasible option for him unlike the Q9550, using a 780G or 790GX MB with onboard graphics. A low wattage PSU from a good Brand like a Corsair 400CX or OCZ StealthXStream 500w would be well suited for his needs and would even power a lower end GPU like a HD 4830 if he wanted to get one. Just because you built Protools rigs doesn't mean you built them well, and if the rig you suggested above is any indication then I would imagine they aren't. Everyone knows that the Nvidia 7 series MB's are overpriced crap, and that LGA 775 gets no benefit from ram faster than 800mhz, the only reason to get ram that speed is if you were going to OC to a FSB over 500mhz. AMD does get a benefit from faster ram due the memory controller being integrated into the CPU itself rather than on the MB like LGA 775. The best memory for LGA 775 is DDR2-800 with low timings and voltage, like these G Skill HK modules.

    If you made good suggestions, then I wouldn't find fault with them, but you have thus far demonstrated that your knowledge of PC hardware is superficial. You should research the components you suggest to make sure you aren't suggesting the OP use bad components. Suggesting the OP use unreliable components, like that Rosewill PSU or 780i MB is more detrimental to the cause than helpful, and I feel obligated to point it out so he doesn't waste his time and money replacing his hardware later.
  24. Wow, anyhow.

    So would my latest proposed build suffice, I wont be setting this up with room for major upgrades since by the time it comes to do that there will be some new socket or something anyway.

    If my latest proposed build will work could somebody help me out with RAM and PSU suggestions and also any suggestions on improving that setup are welcome.

    Cheers.
  25. If you provide a link to the stores you will shop from then maybe we could give you better suggestions based on what is available to you.
  26. Since Dec 24 2008 xthekidx has 3042 post... you have no life!
  27. mharveyproductions said:
    Since Dec 24 2008 xthekidx has 3042 post... you have no life!

    Good, resort to personal attacks, that's real mature and really strengthens your argument. Judging by the amount of time I spend on my hobby helping people out and researching components, I think it stands to good reason that I am fairly well informed on this matter, and I am probably the kind of person that people seeking advice on components want giving them advice.
  28. cartoon_sound said:
    Also how about this setup:

    CPU: AMD ATHLON 64 X2 DUAL CORE 6000 (Windsor)
    MoBo: ASUS M3N78-VM AM2
    GPU: Integrated MoBo
    RAM: 2 GB. Unsure on what good RAM is though.
    PSU:???

    So back to this. The CPU you picked isn't bad, but for the work you are looking at doing you should try to get a better processor, after you get everything else figured out and if there is still some room in the budget, try to upgrade to the Phenom II 720BE, or the 710 at least.

    The MB you picked is an nvidia chipset, and while they are not as bad on the AMD platform as they are on the Intel side, It would be much better to get an AMD chipset, preferably one that would support Phenom II's. Without knowing the stores you will buy from, and therefore availability, its difficult to make a suggestion here. Look for these motherboards and see if you can find any available:
    ASUS M4A78-EM AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
    BIOSTAR TA790GX XE AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard <==790GX has best onboard graphics, and SB750 which allows for the best overclocking on the AMD platform
    ASRock A780GXE/128M AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G ATX AMD Motherboard
    ASUS M3A78-EM AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
    GIGABYTE GA-MA780G-UD3H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

    Generally speaking, Asus and Gigabyte are the most reliable, and so I try to stick to them but those other boards from ASRock and Biostar seem to do pretty well, and offer a bit more for the money, you will have to make that call. All those boards have onboard graphics, which will do well for your uses as long as you don't try to play any new games.

    Get 4gb of ram, you will definitely want as much as you can get. DDR2 1066 if you can find it at a good price, if not then DDR2-800 with low voltage (1.8-1.9v) and CL5 or CL4.

    A 400-500w PSU from any of the manufacturers I mentioned early should do well for the kind of setup you are looking at, and allow for some expansion as well. Again, without knowing the availability its tough to make a recommendation.
  29. cartoon_sound, this might be a stupid question, but do you already have speakers for your DAW? And would it be possible to get info on which retailers/websites you can buy from?
  30. Yeah got monitors which run through the interface.

    I'm fairly happy to shop online for the right components but so far the local techies seem to have alot of the listed stuff.

    What's the deal with ebay on these sort of things?

    -Aaron
  31. cartoon_sound said:
    Yeah got monitors which run through the interface.

    I'm fairly happy to shop online for the right components but so far the local techies seem to have alot of the listed stuff.

    What's the deal with ebay on these sort of things?

    -Aaron

    So the $500 budget was in USD right? $500 AUS doesn't get you very much...so I am hoping that is the case.

    If you could post some online stores that you would shop at that would be very helpful. Ebay can deliver some great deals, but considering your location they might not be so great after you consider shipping costs...I don't know what that would look like.
  32. Wow, the ASUS M4A78 funny but, I recommended that mobo several post ago... I also gave you a good Gigabyte board and recommended 4 gb of RAM in every post... Wow, DDR1066 somebody said it was too expensive??? Just scroll though my post.. This is just too funny! Cartoon_sound, you do what you think is best... Eat your words xthekidx... LMAO!
  33. mharveyproductions said:
    Wow, the ASUS M4A78 funny but, I recommended that mobo several post ago... I also gave you a good Gigabyte board and recommended 4 gb of RAM in every post... Wow, DDR1066 somebody said it was too expensive??? Just scroll though my post.. This is just too funny! Cartoon_sound, you do what you think is best... Eat your words xthekidx... LMAO!

    First of all jackass, I didn't say the Asus board was a bad motherboard, I said the 790GX was preferable for better overclocking and better onboard graphics. I would try to get the 790GX chipset for these reasons, but I never said that the Asus M4A78 was a bad motherboard, and if he cannot afford the 790GX chipset then its not a bad option.

    Secondly, DDR2-1066 gives no benefit to the LGA 775 platform, AMD is different because the memory controller is on-die integrated into the chip itself, it does see a benefit from DDR2 1066 ram. The Memory controller for the LGA 775 platform is located on the motherboard and hinders memory access. There is therefore no point in paying the extra money for DDR2 1066 ram for a Core 2 system, but for an AMD system its worth it, especially for programs that need to access the memory a lot like professional programs and editing tasks.
    Quote:
    Get 4gb of ram, you will definitely want as much as you can get. DDR2 1066 if you can find it at a good price, if not then DDR2-800 with low voltage (1.8-1.9v) and CL5 or CL4.
    Notice I didn't say he needed to get DDR2 1066, just if he could find it for a good price. The OCZ Reapers you suggested don't fit that description.

    Thirdly, the Gigabyte board you recommended was decent, but required the separate purchase of a discrete GPU, which in the end would have cost more than a higher quality motherboard with onboard grapics, which would have given the same graphics performance of an entry level, low-end GPU. And yes 4gb of ram is a good idea, you will notice this isn't the first time I have recommended it either.

    I know what I am talking about, maybe you should make sure you know what you are talking about before you pollute the forum with your useless comments.
  34. Cartoon_sound, the majority of people running Protools use Intel systems because, they have a better platform. AMD systems are better platforms for Gamers.

    Here is another system for you to look at but, expandability is a bit limited. This will work and it's within your budget.

    MOBO: ASUS P5QL-CM LGA 775 Intel G43 Micro ATX
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 Wolfdale 2.8GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core
    RAM: CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066
    PSU: OCZ StealthXStream OCZ500SXS 500W ATX12V
    1 HDD Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB (You can go with a 250GB)
    2 HDD Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB

    Total Price: $508.95 on Newegg
  35. mharveyproductions said:
    Cartoon_sound, the majority of people running Protools use Intel systems because, they have a better platform. AMD systems are better platforms for Gamers.

    Here is another system for you to look at but, expandability is a bit limited. This will work and it's within your budget.

    MOBO: ASUS P5QL-CM LGA 775 Intel G43 Micro ATX
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 Wolfdale 2.8GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core
    RAM: CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066
    PSU: OCZ StealthXStream OCZ500SXS 500W ATX12V
    1 HDD Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB (You can go with a 250GB)
    2 HDD Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB

    Total Price: $508.95 on Newegg

    Yeah that is true, Intel CPU's are faster clock for clock over AMD systems, but the Phenom II x3's have the advantage of an extra core, and prove to overclock very well. I admit I am not familiar with Pro tools, but I would imagine its coded to run in a multithreaded mode, and I would think that using a tri-core over a dual would give you an advantage...I'm like 99% certain on this.

    I don't want to continue this fight, but I just want to make a few points about that build above:

    1. If the OP will overclock the CPU, then getting DDR2 1066 might be a good idea to make sure that the system will not run into a ram limitation, but overclocking to that extent would require an aftermarket CPU cooler...so I would still just go with DDR2 800 if you will build intel. If you buy DDR2 800 ram that has low voltage (1.8-1.9v) it should be able to overclock a little, probably up to at least 850mhz. If you don't go above a FSB of probably 425 (1:1 ram multiplier), then DDR2 800 should be fine. Since the E7400 has a possible 10.5x multiplier, you are talking 425fsb x 10.5=4.46GHZ, 1700 rated FSB! That is a huge overclock, I don't think the E7400 can go that high, even with the right motherboard and cooling. I think a 400FSBx10=4GHZ OC is probably as good as you will be able to do on that motherboard, if indeed you can get that high. If you were to settle for a lower FSB, then your ram multipliers might require you to get faster ram, I don't know what ram multipliers that MB will give you.

    2. The first HDD you picked is a good one, but if you were to pick a drive that used 320gb platters instead of 250gb platters like the ones suggested, it would be faster. Drives with higher platter density are faster. The WD6401AALS 640gb or the WD3200AAKS 320gb both use 320gb platters and are faster than the 500gb and 250gb models, respectively. The WD3200AAKS and WD5001AALS are about the same speed since the 500GB model gets the extra cache size, the platter density and cache sorta cancel out...but it depends on the tasks you are doing, large files (more time consuming) would be faster on the WD3200AAKS, smaller reads (much more common) would be faster on the WD5001AALS.

    Other than that, I think that build above is good for the price. I think I would still go for the AMD build because it would have better integrated graphics and an extra core, but if it costs more and you can't afford it then that Intel build would be a good option. Even an E5200 wouldn't be a bad option if the price was too high, that CPU overclocks like crazy.

    If you can afford it (going with the Intel build above) then try to get an aftermarket CPU cooler so you can overclock. The Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro is usually pretty affordable and cools very well. Its also a 92mm cooler, so it doesn't require a very wide case to fit. The Freezer 64 is the AMD version of this cooler.
  36. Cartoon_sound, I think if it is at all possible, then it would be prudent to put off putting this build together for a few weeks to allow you to raise some funds for this, you will get much better performance for your money if you put a little more into the CPU especially.
  37. Yeah I'm starting to see that. As for overclocking, since I've never dabbled there before chances are I won't be trying it on my new system, lest I ruin something. I know this isn't the board for this but is overclocking a complicated process (not to squeeze the heck out of the thing but to get a little extra)?

    I would rather stick with AMD mostly for the price convenience since everything for Intel seems more expensive. For Mharveys last build suggestion, what would the AMD equiv be?

    Cheers for your help guys
  38. Like thekid said cartoon, I wouldn't do overclocking. You're gonna be doing a lot of work, and you wouldn't want any potential instabilities caused by overclocking (there will always be an issue or two when you overclock) to wipe out a day's or week's worth of work.

    I think the AMD equiv of the 7400 is the Phenom 2 X3 710. Keep us updated man, at the very least, you've got two passionate personalities willing to help you out! :pt1cable:
  39. Well for what you are doing, there isn't really an AMD equivalent to the E7400, the Tri-cores of the Phenom II's would be better than the Dual cores of Intel, you would probably need to go to an E8600 to match the performance of the 720 in multithreaded apps. AMD dual cores are just way below that, the Best AMD dual cores are about on par with the Intel E5200, maybe a little faster at stock but once overclocked, the E5200 is much better. The E7400 is between the PII 710 and Athalon 7850. I suppose if you wanted to you could compare it to an old Phenom x3, like an 8650 or so, but the new phenom II's are a much better buy, I wouldn't look at the old Phenoms using the K10 architecture.

    But for overclocking, then there is the stability issue. The stability problems that arise with overclocking don't usually come out until you get into the higher overclocks, I think if you got a PII 720 and just raised the multiplier by 1 or 1.5 you wouldn't have a problem, and you would get a little more out of it. I think it would be worth it to do, and you can pretty much overclock any processor a little bit on stock cooling without running into heat issues, except for the i7's. Make sure though that if you overclock you run rigorous stability tests to make sure it is stable, otherwise you get data corruption and crashes, which would not be a good thing for you. I'm talking at least 24hours of Prime95 without any errors.
  40. This is about as close as I can get for AMD however, I highly recommend you go with Intel for this build and leave the hardware at the factory settings. Protools is like Vista, it sucks up a lot of processor and memory. When you load XP, be sure to stop all unnecessary programs and try to strip XP down to the bare minimum.

    MOBO: ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 DDR3 AMD 790GX
    Processor: AMD Phenom II X3 710 2.6GHz (720 Black would be my choice)
    RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
    PSU: OCZ StealthXStream OCZ500SXS 500W ATX12V / EPS12V Active
    1st HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS 320GB
    2nd HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB

    Total: $504.94 Newegg
  41. That MoBo is a challenge to find so far. The processor and RAM are good though.
  42. You don't need to get that AM3 board, any 790GX MB using AM2+ or AM3 will work, but if you pick up an AM2+ make sure you get DDR2 ram (AM2+ is cheaper, and AM3 doesn't show any tangible performance increases over AM2+, so it would probably be a better option).

    Others to check for:

    AM2+: GIGABYTE GA-MA790GP-UD4H
    AM3: BIOSTAR TForce TA790GX A3+ AM3 AMD 790GX
  43. How bout the

    GIGABYTE GA-MA790FX-DS5
  44. Yes I know it has no integrated GPU, but I've decided for the extra $90 I want to run dual monitors since I have them lying around. Any benefits of the SB750 over the SB600 other than overclocking?
  45. I the 790FX motherboards are pretty expensive and you won't need 4 pciex16 slots, I think it would be a waste. you should really be looking at a 780g or 790gx chipset.
  46. Latest Revision:

    CPU: AMD Phenom 2 X3 720 Black
    Motherboard: Biostar TForce TA790GX
    Grpahics: Onboard MoBo
    PSU: 500w Corsair, Seasonic something similar
    HDD 1: 250gb Seagate 7200rpm
    HDD2: 750gb Seagate 7200rpm

    I can't find RAM recomendations for the Biostar MoBo though.
  47. I run protools LE not M Powered
  48. IS that Biostar MB an AM3 or AM2+?
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