Audio Editing/Recording PC

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP
BUDGET RANGE: US $500-750

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: recording music, editing music, mixing music

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: compusa.com (barebones systems preferably, would like to pick it up very soon), newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: INTEL QUAD CPU, FAST DDR3 RAM, high MHZ, would rather have onboard video and LAN, need at least 1 PCI slot for terratec, needs at least 1 firewire preferably accessible from front of case, would like to keep the case cool too, extra fans., 2 - 7200, 32MB cache hard drives, min 500GB

OVERCLOCKING: NO

MONITOR RESOLUTION:1600x1200+

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: EXISTING PROGRAMS AND AUDIO COMPONENTS : Using Cubase SE, SoundForge 5.0, BFD2, and TerraTec DMX 6fire 24/96. Also, just added the M-AUDIO ProFire 610 to the mix. It will connect via FireWire.
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  1. Hi darley, believe it or not, I think you can support with an integrated sound card for this setup. I believe budget priority should be given to your processor, RAM, and hard disk. You'll need lots of those to do what you want to do properly.

    Here are my suggestions:
    Motherboard: ASUS P5QPL-VM - $80
    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 - $168
    Memory: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) - $47
    Hard Disk: WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 32MB - $100
  2. I agree on the budget focus being on the processor, RAM and HDD(s).

    The ASUS mobo does not seem to have a firewire port and that is one of the requirements.

    I am curious about the processor because I have heard arguments on both sides about Dual and Quad core processors and audio recording/mixing.

    About the RAM, I know that the higher the speed the lower the latency and that is what I am looking for, the lowest latency possible. That is why I was contemplating DDR3.

    HDD looks like a solid choice.

    Any further feedback appreciated.
  3. darley said:
    I agree on the budget focus being on the processor, RAM and HDD(s).

    The ASUS mobo does not seem to have a firewire port and that is one of the requirements.

    I am curious about the processor because I have heard arguments on both sides about Dual and Quad core processors and audio recording/mixing.

    About the RAM, I know that the higher the speed the lower the latency and that is what I am looking for, the lowest latency possible. That is why I was contemplating DDR3.

    HDD looks like a solid choice.

    Any further feedback appreciated.


    Few things:

    The Antec 900 has a front Firewire port. The Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R would be the best cheap bet. Keep the E8400. Do you really need 1TB? Get OCZ Platinum DDR2 4GB 1066 RAM for this build. Be aware that the E8400 is WAY cheaper than the Q6600, can be OC'd much farther than the Q6600, and dual-core better suits audio activities. Take an NVIDIA 9400 GT for the video card.

    Parts you forgot:

    PSU
    Optical Drive
    OS ($100)

    For the OS, get Vista Home Premium 64-bit. For the PSU, an OCZ StealthXStream 600W should suit your needs. For the Optical Drive, any good 22x DVD Burner for $25 by any respectable company would work. (e.g., LG, Sony, Samsung, Pioneer, LiteOn, etc.) A drive with lightscribe would be a nice little bonus for you. :)
  4. Darley, you don't need neither a quad nor DDR3. I'm a musician myself and I have a PC-based home recording studio. The largest project I've done using Sonar Producer Edition 6.0 consisted of 20-25 tracks, 15-20 effect plug-ins and a few soft synths - my processor usage was around 10-15%. That's a lot of headroom and my processor is not the fastest around. My system's specs are in my signature.

    From comp.usa (damn, those prices are low in the States... :pfff: ):

    OCZ Fatal1ty Series Power Supply - 550-Watt - 49.99$

    Asus P5Q Motherboard - $119.99

    Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 - $119.99

    Corsair XMS2 4GB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz - $34.99

    2 x Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB - $129.98

    Samsung 22X DVDRW Drive SATA - $29.99

    a cheap MidTower case - $50

    That's $535 total so far.


    Now, you can add a good graphics card so you can relax between recording sessions playing in even newest games at high settings:

    HIS Radeon HD 4850 1GB - $119.99

    And your system would cost $655.


    Or, if you're weird enough to not to be interested in gaming you can leave that and get a SSD:

    OCZ Vertex Series 30GB - $129.99

    and a really cheap graphics card:

    Radeon HD 3450 - $29.99

    And that's $690.


    Then all you have to do is to download Win7RC for free and you're good to go for another year. :bounce:
  5. Antec 900 looks like a great case. Really like the FW on top. Was debating the Raidmax Smilodon case, too. Mainly because it comes with a power supply.

    I wanted to have 2 drives one for programs and one for recording. 500GB would probably suffice, the idea of TB drives was only because they are pretty cheap.

    I would not be overclocking the system but the E8400 has come up in a few searches as a good processor for this type of work. I will most likely stick with that.

    The OCZ ram sounds good especially at 1066. The reviews are a little in the middle.

    I am debating sticking with XP since my programs need to be supported and I am not confident they all would be under Vista 64-bit.

    Optical drive with lightscribe would be good.
  6. darley said:
    Antec 900 looks like a great case. Really like the FW on top. Was debating the Raidmax Smilodon case, too. Mainly because it comes with a power supply.

    I wanted to have 2 drives one for programs and one for recording. 500GB would probably suffice, the idea of TB drives was only because they are pretty cheap.

    I would not be overclocking the system but the E8400 has come up in a few searches as a good processor for this type of work. I will most likely stick with that.

    The OCZ ram sounds good especially at 1066. The reviews are a little in the middle.

    I am debating sticking with XP since my programs need to be supported and I am not confident they all would be under Vista 64-bit.

    Optical drive with lightscribe would be good.


    My Short list of good Drives:

    WD Caviar Black 1TB
    WD Caviar Green 2TB
    Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB
    WD Caviar Black 640GB

    And that's it. :)
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