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Sub $1,000 Arts/Gaming Computer

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April 10, 2010 7:27:35 PM

Hello Everyone,
I'm in the market for a new computer. In determining what my priorities are, I want my computer to focus on digital art creation. I know that "arts" computers are high-end systems, much like gaming computers, but I also know that they are a different sort of high end system. Please keep in mind as you make suggestions that I'm an amateur at best in digital art creation, so I don't need the highest end equipment.

My goals for this computer are:

1. I'd like to do us make music with Vocaloid Sonika. I honestly have no gift of composition, I'm a singer, not a writer, so I'll be sticking to public domain works, like show-tunes, the Hymnal / Book of Common Prayer, and the classics of the great masters. One of my goals is to complete a recording of Sonika reciting Daliy Matins and Evensong in plainchant. (What? I've been told its good to have big dreams)

2. Using the GIMP and Pain.net to color line art and do basic photo manipulations. (I would use Photoshop but the $500 price-tag is a hurdle I can't jump.

3. Have a computer that can watch anime and tv without having said videos having to be converted into standard def.

4. Play some PC games. Although, since I have bad aim, I've stayed away from most FPS games. All I ask is that this computer can play StarCraft II at Blizzard's recommended settings. (Or slightly better; wiggle room never hurts.)

Current gear I'm looking at: Antec Three Hundred case, Gigabyte GA-MA790GPT-UD3H motherboard, AMD Athlon II X3 440 CPU, Sapphire Radeon HD 5770 1GB graphics card, Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 main-memory.

Total price: 770.00 on newegg

I'd appreciate any advice or critique the community could provide. ^_^
April 10, 2010 10:54:17 PM


SONIKA is a sweet virtual voice at your fingertips, a new cyberspace starlet who will hit those high notes every time with perfect accuracy

http://www.zero-g.co.uk/index.cfm?articleid=1054

Supported Interfaces & Standards:
VST 2.0, ReWire. (Please note however that VST with Cakewalk Sonar is not supported)

Recommended Retail Price:
$199.95 US Dollars (169 Euros / 114.95 pounds sterling)

System Requirements:-
Windows XP/Vista, Pentium 4 2 GHz/ Athlon XP 2000, 512 MB RAM (1GB of RAM recommended) (2 GB or more recommended when using VSTi realtime)· Approx 4 GB Free Hard Disk Space / DVD Drive.

Catalog (SKU) number: ZG-V5

All product specifications are subject to change without notice.

Availability: Now shipping! - contact your local Zero-G distributor to order
April 11, 2010 12:44:19 PM

I think you chose wisely. You might want to look at a different (cheaper case) with a built in power supply, if you want to save more money. There's nothing wrong with the Antec 300 though. You are missing a hard drive and optical drive in your estimate. Are you planning to recycle an old one? I'd add a new primary HD and use any existing as a secondary.
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April 11, 2010 5:51:57 PM

Thanks! It's reassuring to have confirmation. I've tried to go to computer builder shops and they've keep skipping the tri-core, going straight to the quad-core chips. It was making me wonder if the the Athalon II x4 635 was better for me.

The quote includes a hard drive and a dvd-rw, it's just that those parts are so universal now it doesn't make sense to include it. Although I wonder of the price to upgrade from 640 GB to 1000GB is worth it.

I'm using a volume license copy of Windows XP through my dad who works at EDS/HP. Technically, I'm breaking the law, and I'd like to buy my own copy of Win 7 to rectify myself. Would it better to buy the OEM version of Windows 7 or the retail version? Grr... Windows is so expensive, I could buy a 2nd chip and have change.

Outside of Office, does anyone have any recommendations for software I should get with my computer, eg. antivirus, back-up /restore, CD/DVD Burner software, etc. I've been using McAffy on the a.v. side and I've been thinking of using Carbonite for backups.

Best solution

April 11, 2010 10:04:32 PM
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Here is a hard drive, for your excellent build.

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
2x Winner of Customer Choice Award - CD / DVD Burners

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


These SW products just work.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
April 11, 2010 10:50:26 PM

Best answer selected by potatoes-4-cerumen.
April 11, 2010 10:51:41 PM

Thanks for your help, everyone! Epically Alvin. I think I have enough to go on now. ^_^
April 12, 2010 12:05:46 AM

Nady USB-1C USB Condenser Microphone

$89.99

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Nady-USB1C...

OR this is more modular/flexible but will also req a 10 foot USB extension cable ...

Blue Icicle XLR to USB Mic Converter/Mic Preamp $59.00

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Blue-Icicl...

Plus this

MXL 990 Condenser Microphone with Shock Mount $49.99

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/MXL-990-Co...


BUT were it ME (my money) ... I would get the Blue Icicle and this (I own 2 of these)
IMO ... The best bang for the buck (price/quality/versatility) on this planet.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/574505-REG/Audio_...

= Al =
!