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I7 music PC build,opinions wanted

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January 8, 2010 10:13:47 AM

Noobie here and I'm in the process of building a new studio PC, most of the parts are ordered but I thought I'd get some thoughts... I based my build on the bottom 2 PCs featured on http://www.music-pc.com/systems/elite-systems :) 

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This weekend

BUDGET RANGE: £1000 - £1200

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Music production & graphic design, stricktly no access to the internet!!!

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: dabs.com & ebuyer.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United Kingdom

PARTS PREFERENCES:
2TB Raid SATA hard-drives £215
Asus P6T motherboard £165
M-Audio Delta 66 soundcard £120
ATI 4670 graphics card £55
i7 920 Processor £225
OCZ 6GB DDR3 triple pipe-line memory £140
Coolmaster case £35 - £50
Power supply(TBC) budget £30 - £45

OVERCLOCKING: Not sure

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Whats best?

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'll be running it with Windows 7 with the following, Abelton Suit & FL Studio with Rob Papen's Blue & Predator, NI Komplete, Cakewalk Z3ta, Korg Legacy pack, Arturia V Collection, Novation V Station... Plus Adobe design packages.

I wanted a PC that would be a bit of a future proof build, spend a little more now, save a little down the line... So opinions are welcomed :D 

Thank you
January 8, 2010 1:10:25 PM

Is that 2 of 1 TB harddrives, or 2 2 TB harddrives in RAID? Because it'd be alot cheaper to go with the 1 TB. What is the actual HDD model?

Mobo: I'd look into some of the USB 3/SATA 6 GBps boards. They're pricey, but extremely future proof.

GPU: The 4670 is not a future proof card. It is however cheap. You might want to consider onboard video (which may not be avialable with the USB 3/SATA 6 GBps suggestion above).

RAM: What's the CAS Latency (timing) of that RAM? Speed? You should be looking for either 1333 mhz or 1600 mhz for the speed and CAS Latency 7 (timing 7-7-7-x).

PSU: 450W should be big enough. Stay with the major brands (Corsair, Antec Earthwatts, OCZ).
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January 8, 2010 1:20:53 PM

its 2x 1TB, both RAID...

Re: Mobo, the motherboards already here, it was reckomended to go with the i7 processor... What is the difference between what I have and the USB 3/SATA 6 GBps boards, and what make are they?

Re: GPU, I will not be gaming with this comp, its strictly for music and design purposes. Althought not future proof, I thought it would do in the mean time, I was more meaning the processor, motherboard, hard-drives, RAM as being future proof, for a while at least :) 

The RAM is 1600mhz...

PSU is 650 watts, and I'll stay with a decent brand ;) 

January 8, 2010 1:38:22 PM

HDD: Still need the actual model. Right now the best choice outside of the US is the Seagate 7200.12. The best HDD is rare outside of the US, but if you can find it, it's the Samsung Spinpoint F3. These are faster, cooler, cheaper, and just all around better than all current WD offerings.

Mobo: The one I recommend is the P6X58D Premium. The main difference is just the USB3/SATA III ports. So just a little bit of future proofing.

GPU: I figured that, but the newer 5xxx series cards are also quieter and run cooler, lowering the overall noise of the system (if it matters).

RAM: Still need to check the timings/CAS Latency. That's the most important spec. Lower is better, so as close as you can get to 7 is good. I believe OCZ is readily available over there, and should be fairly cheap...
January 8, 2010 1:58:24 PM

It's ATI. Full name is ATI Radeon HD 5xxx. Comes in 5750, 5770, 5850, 5870, and 5980 flavors, from weakest to strongest. Price range from $140 (US) to $650. And all are massively better than the GeForce (which is made by nVidia) offerings.

These Reapers are the best, but pretty pricey. I'd just check everything available. Search first by CL 7, then by speed. From the prices, stick to 1333 mhz.
January 8, 2010 2:09:51 PM

Samsung Spinpoint F3s are actually quite widely available in the UK; I've seen them on 5 different online retailers. And those are just the ones I checked.
Nuklear, if you get two of these: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB £70. Then you will not spend anywhere near £215 and you will be getting the best 7200RPM drives out there.
I also hope you realize that you will not get a decent 650W PSU under £50 in normal circumstances.
January 8, 2010 2:10:23 PM

and would I notice any performance difference between the Reapers and RAM I initially mentioned?
January 8, 2010 2:10:50 PM

For your usage, a 5750, any that is stock.
January 8, 2010 2:11:59 PM

is the Samsung RAID?
January 8, 2010 2:13:19 PM

'For your usage, a 5750, any that is stock. ', excuse my ignorance, what do you mean?

Im new to building, but very eager to learn, so please bare with me :) 
January 8, 2010 2:14:12 PM

I'm not positive on design purposes. I do know that the more expensive ones are excellent for gaming, and that all of them are better future proofing options.

I would go with the cheapest one. You could easily take the amount you save on the HDD with the Samsungs (which I swear this is the first time anyone outside the US has said they could find them), apply it to the GPU and the PSU.

You also don't need a 650W. So if you can't find one in that's in your budget, look for 550Ws or 450Ws.

EDIT: RAID is a configuration option. Any HDD can be put in RAID.

I believe Silvune left out "in". Any that is in stock.
January 8, 2010 2:18:44 PM

Excuse my poor grammar/haste. Yes I meant Any that is in stock. I will link you one just to show you what we mean. 5750, it doesn't matter what brand you get, just get the cheapest.
January 8, 2010 2:24:03 PM

Ah, ok, and this will suit running Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator etc... As I say, I'd soon rather spend a little more now than upgrading in a year or so... Many thanks for this help guys :) 



January 8, 2010 2:27:33 PM

It sounds a bit like you could benefit from an SSD, I seem to remember suggesting a gaming build that had a much more expensive vid card and had a decent SSD in it. So potentially the savings from the vid card could allow you to still have very nice components across the board.
Shout if you want me to come up with it. Otherwise you could just add one later on if you felt like it.
January 8, 2010 2:29:09 PM

SSD? Again, excuse my ignorance...
January 8, 2010 2:38:52 PM

lol, SSD = Solid State Drive. It's like a hard drive, but it is not mechanical/magnetic. And it is much faster at reading and writing, so the OS and any programs loaded onto it (and some elements within those programs, especially photoshop) will load much quicker. They are still quite new, but they have matured a lot recently. They are a lot more expensive and don't have as much storage on them as HDDs yet.
January 8, 2010 2:40:26 PM

Solid State Drive. Very fast, very expensive HDD. It doesn't have any moving parts. Currently, only used as a boot/apps drive (one that you only install the operating system and programs to), as a 60 GB one will cost almost $300. This is about as small as you can get, as they tend to not like being very full. You definitely do not store any actual data on them, as they don't like constant rewriting either.

I don't really think that they're worth it right now. What you get from it (a few seconds faster booting, partial seconds load programs) is worth the huge premium. In addition, they aren't perfected yet.

You might have the budget for it, but I think having the $300 is better than having an SSD.
January 8, 2010 2:43:30 PM

Yea, tbh I wouldn't want one for myself yet either, just saying that it can be done.
January 8, 2010 2:47:52 PM

Okily doak, I think I have enough info to be going on with :) 

Get a slightly better graphics card, maybe upgrade the RAM slightly and make sure and have a decent power supply... Anything else you can recommend?
January 8, 2010 2:52:33 PM

Do lots and lots of research before building. Before my first build, I spent probably a good 3 hours a day for a month looking up guides, parts, reviews, tech news and general info about technology. I probably configured 3 builds a day just to get used to picking out parts and reading the specs. In the end, it probably saved me a good $400-500, and got the same performance.

I recommend that if you don't need the computer right away, start researching everything about building and choosing parts now. By the time you're done, everything in this list will be cheaper, and there may be some newer stuff out that's better for what you're doing.
January 9, 2010 12:57:07 PM

thanks again for all that... After a little more investigating and some help from some other music producers I have been advised to look into a better PSU... Has anyone got any advice?

I want something that will sustain my computer easily and is quiet and reliable and have been looking at ones between £50 - £80, but could go a little higher if need or if the unit advised is miles better than what I can get for £80 :) 

Been looking at these ones...
http://www.ebuyer.com/search?limit=50&store=2&cat=149&m...

and here...
http://www.dabs.com/category/components-and-storage,cas...
January 9, 2010 5:59:42 PM

I think this Corsair 550VX £65, will be the most suitable PSU for your system.
January 9, 2010 7:29:57 PM

I was looking at a Coolermaster 650 watt power suply...
January 9, 2010 7:44:52 PM

Which one? Although chances are it will be fine.
January 12, 2010 5:48:42 PM

just to add, the CAS latency will be set to 7 :) 
!