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My under $1000 music/gaming build

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August 13, 2010 4:08:17 AM

Hey everyone, so I'm not overly knowledgeable about computers but do have a decent idea what I'm doing. I put together this build to use as a music production desktop that can also do some moderate gaming. I won't be doing heavy-duty studio production but do need something that can handle multiple tracks in audio programs. I need to stay under $1000 (student budget) so here is what I've put together so far.

If anyone can point out compatibility problems or suggest areas that can be improved that would be great! I also wouldn't like to go above any of the prices, as I've already chosen the products I think are the best I can afford.

Features I need are dual-monitor support, quiet case, and of course a good soundcard.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: (within 2 weeks)

BUDGET RANGE: (800-1000) Before Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: (Music production, gaming, photoshop, movies/pictures)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: (keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.directbuy.ca

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada

PARTS PREFERENCES: Prefer Intel

OVERCLOCKING: No

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: ( 1280x1024, 1440x900, 1600x1200)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

Here's what I've got together so far:



PSU
Antec Earthwatts Green 500W Power Supply ATX12V V2.0 Active PFC 80PLUS Bronze 80MM Fan
$78.06

Soundcard
ASUS Xonar D2X 7.1 Channel PCI-E Sound Card 24BIT Dolby Digital DTS Connect SPDIF 118DB SNR
$172.27



GPU
XFX GeForce 9800 GT PVT98GYAF3 550MHZ 512MB 1.8GHZ GDDR3 DVI HDMI PCI-E Video Card
$105.11

Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA3 6GB/S 7200RPM 64MB Cache 3.5IN Dual Proc Hard Drive OEM
$88.50

RAM
Corsair XMS3 TW3X4G1333C9 4GB DDR3 2X2GB DDR3-1333 CL 9-9-9-24 Dual Channel Memory Kit
$94.95

MoBo
Gigabyte H55M-D2H mATX LGA1156 H55 DDR3 1PCI-E16 2PCI Sound GBLAN HDMI Motherboard
$88.69

CPU
Intel Core i5 650 Dual Core Processor Clarkdale LGA1156 3.2GHZ Hyperthreading 4MB Cache Retail Box
$195.09

Network Card
ASUS PCE-N31 Wireless Network Adapter 802.11B/G/N Up to 300MBPS PCI-EXPRESS $22.82

DVD writer/player
ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24X SATA DVD Writer Black Retail Box

$23.79
Case
Antec Solo Quiet Mini Tower Case ATX Silver Black 4X5.25 4X3.5INT No PS $96.25

Comments/suggestions appreciated! This build comes to $965 with these components.

More about : 1000 music gaming build

August 13, 2010 11:33:00 AM

:sol: 
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August 13, 2010 12:16:44 PM

1. You'll definitely want at least 4 cores for music production, being the huge resource whore that it is.
2. Dual HDD's would be recommended, as tracks can take up a LOT of space. Use one for track storage only and you'll have a much more efficient loading time for your other applications.


I'm really sorry i didn't use your site but i found it impossible to navigate. I used Newegg Canada instead, and came up with this: Totalling $983 before rebates and shipping



CASE: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

HDD: (2x) Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

OPTICAL: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

CPU: Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor

MOBO: ASUS P7P55D LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard

RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model TW3X4G1333C9A G

GPU: SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

And of course Win7:

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM




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August 13, 2010 12:19:11 PM

^ Well why go with i5 650, when you wont be using the onboard graphics...I would rather suggest a full fledged quad - i5 750/ 760...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Item...

HDD - Samsung F3 1TB...

Also check out this PSU - OCZ Fatality 550W - Is modular, so would reduce clutter in that small case and would help in airflow and also people say its pretty quiet...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Rest looks good...
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August 13, 2010 12:20:14 PM

And since i'm not allowed to edit my post, i didn't include a sound card because i thought you could go the external interface route. Forgive me if this isn't possible and i can try and amend a build with your chosen sound card.
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August 13, 2010 6:17:24 PM

Darkpagey said:
1. You'll definitely want at least 4 cores for music production, being the huge resource whore that it is.
2. Dual HDD's would be recommended, as tracks can take up a LOT of space. Use one for track storage only and you'll have a much more efficient loading time for your other applications.


I'm really sorry i didn't use your site but i found it impossible to navigate. I used Newegg Canada instead, and came up with this: Totalling $983 before rebates and shipping



CASE: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

HDD: (2x) Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

OPTICAL: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

CPU: Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor

MOBO: ASUS P7P55D LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard

RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model TW3X4G1333C9A G

GPU: SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

And of course Win7:

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM




Thanks for the useful information and help darkpagey! It is certainly appreciated. The i5 750 quad core seems like the best choice then, no doubt. Any advice/ideas as to where I could trim costs to be able to include the soundcard? I'd love to get an external one but I think theyill send me way overbudget.
I know it seems silly not spending more on a sound card for a production build but I'm doing anything too crazy for the time being so if needed I can aways upgrade later.

Again thanks for the great suggestions!! They are helping me a lot :) 
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August 13, 2010 6:30:53 PM

Check out the M-Audio Audiophile 2496. It's an internal discrete soundcard in the $120-150 range and I use it for music production the same as what you're doing. It's a professional card, inexpensive and will work with Cubase/Protools/Whatever you're using. I also bought an maudio keyboard and it's a quality piece of equipment as is all Maudio stuff.

It shows out of stock on Newegg Canada but I would suggest checking tigerdirect.ca, apower.com, and ncix.com depending on where in Canada you are.

As far as trimming costs, that build looks tight for a gaming rig and will do your music production no problem. If you could survive without 1TB of storage go for 1 hard drive. I use two 320GB HD's right now but I'm looking at upgrading those pretty soon. 500GB would get you started and might save you $60




Edit: forgot an 'o'
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August 13, 2010 10:44:09 PM

Is it necessary to get Windows 7 Professional or is Home okay? Thats about 50$ right there.
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August 13, 2010 11:04:08 PM

Here's the updated build, switched Professional for Home...added network card and smaller HD, plus the M-Audio 2496. Significantly less expensive from directbuy.ca than newegg, plus free shipping!

Here it is, if anyone notices compatibility issues please let me know! Also, I plan on putting this computer together myself, are there any cables and accessories that I'll need or does everything come with the components? Thanks!


Soundcard
M-AUDIO Audiophile 2496 PCI Digital Audio Card 24BIT/96KHZ SPDIF MIDI Retail BOX(US41500)
In Stock
usually ships in 1-2 business days $96.80

Case
Antec Three Hundred Mini Tower Gaming Case 300 ATX 3X5.25 6X3.5INT No PS Front USB & Audio
$49.79

Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 7200RPM 32MB Dual Proc 3.5IN SATA Hard Drive OEM 5YR Mfg Warranty
$59.79

GPU
Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon HD 5770 860MHZ 1Gb 4.8GHZ GDDR5 PCI-E 2XDVI HDMI Display Port Video Card
$177.93

CPU
Intel Core i5 750 Quad Core Processor Lynnfield LGA1156 2.66GHZ 8MB Cache Retail Box
$204.79

RAM
Corsair XMS3 CMX4GX3M2A1600C9 4GB DDR3 2X2GB DDR3-1600 CL 9-9-9-24 Core i5 Dual Channel Memory Kit
$96.79

MOBO
ASUS P7P55D LGA1156 P55 DDR3 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 3PCI 7SATA CrossFire GBLAN 8CHANNEL Audio Motherboard
$142.58

OS
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64BIT DVD OEM
$93.79

DVD R/W
ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24X SATA DVD Writer Black Retail Box
$23.79

Wireless Card
ASUS PCE-N31 Wireless Network Adapter 802.11B/G/N Up to 300MBPS PCI-EXPRESS
$22.82
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August 13, 2010 11:04:52 PM

Oh also, that build comes to 1100 incl. taxes and shipping
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August 14, 2010 2:37:07 AM

I like your build. Should have all the cables you need. Enjoy!
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August 14, 2010 8:50:10 AM

The build looks good my friend.

Down the line though, when you get everything set up and perhaps a bit more cash, i would strongly suggest adding another HDD for storage purposes.

:) 



Edit* I'm not sure if you intended to do this but you haven't included a PSU?
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August 14, 2010 3:05:11 PM

Darkpagey said:
The build looks good my friend.

Down the line though, when you get everything set up and perhaps a bit more cash, i would strongly suggest adding another HDD for storage purposes.

:) 



Edit* I'm not sure if you intended to do this but you haven't included a PSU?


Whoops! Forget to put it in there, I decided on the Antec 650W earthwatts psu :D . Now the fun part of putting a computer together for the first time!!
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