New Build for Music Production PC

I'm going to be putting together my first attempt at a home build DAW (digital audio workstation) PC this month. Initially I had planned on building something around either an i5 or a Xeon 3440, but due to budget constraints (i.e., I'm broke) I'm going to be going either for an Intel Quad or the Core 2 Duo e8500.

Does anyone have any recommendations for this? As in, which of the CPU options might be better suited for music production, and which motherboards would be best paired with them? Any good deals you know of?

I'll be running Windows 7 Pro 64-bit, and initially will have 4gigs of RAM (DDR2 or DDR3 with a 775 mobo?), a 400 or 500W PSU, cheap GPU, two Samsung F3 500GB HDDs, a half-decent fan and probably an Antec 300 case.

I can't use any gear from my current PC as it's completely rubbish (although I have a lot of affection for it - it's an old Presario from 2003, so is wheezing a lot these days).

Please lavish your wisdom upon me.
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More about build music production
  1. Well ... The system you spec'd will "work" for a studio build but, it really leaves you "nowhere", for future project studio migration ... I am sitting in a major-kick-ass recording (project) studio, right now. It has been evolving for 25 years. I can set you up, but you are going to have to trust me ... we'll be doing an AM3 x3Core Build ... You Game ? If you get to know me, I can give you enormously helpful (very budget consious) advice.

    Any preferred tool-sets?, Suites?, Break-outs?, Pre-Sonus Firewire? Digi-03?

    = Al =
  2. Hmm - what do you mean by "future project studio migration"?

    Also, by AM3 x3Core I assume you're referring to a Phenom II Triple Core: what would be the advantages and disadvantages of that approach? I've been warned off AMD chips right now by others.

    As for tools/needs, it's pretty basic at the moment. I'm using Reaper and Cubase SX3 for sequencing and mainly working with MIDI and some samples. I also sometimes record guitar through a cheap Line6 UX1, which also doubles as an external soundcard.

    Anyway, thanks for any insight or help you can offer.
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