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Building Sandy Bridge System for Music Recording/Teaching Studio

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April 13, 2011 8:26:38 PM

Hello all,

I'm a newbie to the forum, and by no means, an experienced builder, but I've built my previous two systems. I'm almost embarrassed to say that my last build was in late 2002 (P4 2.53ghz) and I'm still using it in my home recording/teaching studio. As such, I haven't kept up with hardware for quite some time, but I'm getting back in the swing of things and doing my homework, as I've purchased Cubase 6, which my current PC can't handle.

The short story is: I don't overclock, I don't play games, and I'm not someone who needs the "best of the best", or the latest, greatest thing (my system is 9 years old!!). As a full time musician (with a modest income), cost efficiency/bang for the buck is a primary focus; I can't afford to pay for features I don't need, but I need to be reasonably "future-proof", as I regularly upgrade my music software. I have decided to splurge and go for the Intel Core i7 2600 CPU, and work from there.

The PC will be used for general tasks/web stuff, but mainly for the following:
Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
Recording and Editing Multi-Track Digital Audio (live drums, 10-12 tracks at a time) with Cubase 6
Virtual Instruments and Samples
Sibelius Notation Software
Low Level Video Editing (mainly for lessons and YouTube stuff)

I want to keep this build at or below $1000, if possible(I already have KB, Mouse, Dual Monitors)

Here's what I've settled on:
CPU - Intel Core i7 2600 (not the K, as I don't overclock)
HDD1 - WD Caviar Black 500GB SATA 6Gb/s
HDD2 - WD Caviar Black 1TB SATA 6Gb/s
GPU - EVGA GeForce 9500 GT (Dual DVI)

Here's what I'm uncertain about, and seeking advice, recommendations, tips. I'm loyal to ASUS and Corsair, as far as mobo and RAM, but undecided on which specific models.

MOBO?? - Leaning toward ASUS P8P67-LE, but do I need a P67 if I don't/can't overclock? I'd love to go with something less expensive (H67), if this is overkill.
RAM?? - Corsair Dual Channel 8GB (2 x 4gb) Thinking about Vengeance for $100 want fast RAM, but don't want to pay top dollar for specs that I won't even notice.
PSU?? - 650-750 Watts. 80 Plus/Bronze rating.
Case?? - Cool and quiet and cheap!! No bells, whistles or flashing lights necessary, but front connections Firewire/USB audio are preferred, and stock quiet fans would be ideal.
Fans?? - Do I need extra CPU cooling, case fans?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
April 13, 2011 9:10:26 PM

For audio recording the main things you want to look at are RAM, quietness and maybe hyperthreading. With that in mind, you really don't need a P67 motherboard in my opinion. I think a cheaper one, possibly even with onboard graphics (No fan = less noise and you don't need graphics). 2x4GB Corsair XMS3 1333Mhz would be my suggestion for RAM, i don't think you need to spend the extra on the Vengeance stuff. For the PSU i think 550-600W would be plenty. Lastly for the case and fans, the Antec 300 is a good all rounder but if you want a seriously quiet PC then look at some of the manufacturers tha specialise in that area. (Zalman do i think). A few more things to note with fans, if youre not overclocking and you don't have a big, hot power hungry monster of a graphics card then try to get fewer, larger fans in favour of less noise because you shouldn't need a great deal of cooling.
!