SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Streaming audio, nothing else but has to be rock solid
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: High-end video card, monitor, soundcard, keyboard, mouse
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com
PARTS PREFERENCES: i7 920, 12 GB RAM (possibility to upgrade to 24 would be nice, speed isn't really important), 2 dedicated SATA 7200 drives for sample streaming, Gigabit ethernet, vanilla DVD drive, 64 bit OS
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No
MONITOR RESOLUTION: Not important
I'm an audio professional who works on a mac but I'm finding a few bottlenecks even on a pretty decked out Mac pro so I was thinking about offloading one of my main sample libraries that is cross platform and a huge resource pig to a dedicated PC. I'm pretty comfortable digging around the inside of a computer case and doing RAM installs, drive replacements, etc. but I'm by no means an expert. I'm wondering if anyone has a general idea on the price tag and degree of difficulty for building a machine like this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Currently, there aren't any 4gb memory modules for the i7, only 2gb modules and the maximum number of slots on motherboards is going to be 6. So upgrading the ram to 24gb means tossing out the old sticks of ram, for very expensive 4gb modules, when they hit the market, and I don't know when that will be.
But for the other components you are looking at something like this:
Motherboard: Asus P6T $250
i7 920 CPU: $280
12gb DDR3 $150
Hard drives: 2x WD3200AAKS $110
GPU: HD 4350 $36
Case: Any cheap ATX, $30-50
PSU: Corsair 400CX $50
Optical Drive: $25
Putting a PC together isn't that hard, and if you are comfortable plugging in power cables ect then you should be fine doing it yourself, and you will save a lot of money if you don't go with an off the shelf system, as well as being able to cater it to your specific needs.
This isn't typical audio streaming, its for a high end orchestral sample library/engine and the head engineer over at the company is recommending i7 for any new builds. Its surprisingly easy to exhaust the polyphony even on high end machines, if I could afford it right now I'd build two.
So here's what I've come up with, any advice or red flags would be much appreciated.
2 Kingston 6GB (3x2) 1066 Triple Channel kits
3 500GB WD Caviar 7200 SATA drives
Corsair 550W PSU
Asus HD 4350 PCI Express 2.0 x16 video card
Sony Optiarc 24x SATA CD/DVD drive
Cooler Master Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Case
Vista Home Premium 64 (maybe windows 7 64 beta)