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Recommendations for Home Studio Desktop PC Build

  • CPUs
Last response: in CPUs
January 26, 2010 4:24:20 PM

Hello all,

Stumbled upon this website while trying to figure out if I should build my new Desktop PC with a dual or quad core processor and I'm looking for some advice.

I don't do ANY gaming whatsoever but will be building this machine to once and for all have a proper home studio PC, and I want it to 'last'.

I'll be running apps like Cubase, Ableton Live, Cakewalk, Sonic Foundry, Adobe Premier Pro (video), Reason (heavy midi aps), Guitar Rig (crashes on single core cpu 2.8ghz), A LOT of VST plugins and many of the above apps at the same time etc. Then once projects are done their will be heavy rendering, mostly to MP3,MP4, H.264/X2.64 or .MKV stuff...

Most important to me is that this PC be able to run say 10-20 midi tracks programmed in Reason as a plugin in Cubase SX while recording analog tracks live in real time (already have a decent external firewire soundcard, QuataFire 610) and respond to midi commands from external sources and not lag! Lagging is a real PITA when recording and I'm frustrated by my P4 2.8 locking up on me all the time.

I'm thinking I'll need a quad core as multitasking is the key component here. 4Gb of ram (is more even usefull?) most Motherboards can go up to 8Gb... Also what about OS?! I've been running W7 as a test on a P4 1.6Ghz, 2Gb DDR II laptop and it's oke. Seems to be XP with some Vista visuals.

Anybody have advice on the best (barebones/lightest) XP around?

I have a Nvidia graphics card I'm fine with that's a year old I'll be using and a 600watt power supply in my current tower so should be fine there.

I'd also like to run a dual boot system as @pple has a lot of cool music apps. But that's something I can deal with later.

It should also be able to function as a good daily browser etc. Although I might use my old PC dedicated for browsing and downloading to leave all the processing power (and potential viruses and crap to it) and for making music etc.

In any case, CPU remondations? Will I benefit from quad core? If so what's the best bang for buck? How much RAM minimum? How much will I use aprox running these kinds of apps?

Are there any simple out of the box Quad Core PC's that offer a good base for what I want to build. Again no gaming, just heavy multi-media, doesn't have to look pretty at all, just needs to function well and quietly.

thanks in advance!


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January 26, 2010 4:28:56 PM

Quad Core is the way to go - i7 920 with 6gb of RAM would be a very good base to start with. The socket 1366 cpu's are due to move onto 6 cores towards the end of this year so there will be scope to expand.

Intel i7 920
3 x 2gb DDR3 RAM - brand name

Would skip XP and use Windows 7
January 26, 2010 4:41:21 PM


I forget to mention that money isn't limitless.

What about a Q9400? I realize as a long term investment it makes more sense to go i7 if that socket set has development in it's future....

Why W7? Same idea, more development?

January 26, 2010 4:50:52 PM

and what about AMD?

It's been a few years since I built a system from scratch but are they any good anymore?