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Approx $1000 intel based Audio Workstation

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September 8, 2011 8:43:16 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: October 1st


Budget Range: 800 -1200 w/o monitor


System Usage from Most to Least Important: This Computer will be used for making music, CPU intensive plugins and large sample banks are currently taxing my system. Multitrack audio editing ie cubase 5 and ableton live, surfing the internet, watching movies mabye even a little image editing but i dont play games and dont care about HD movies


Parts Not Required: monitor, sound card


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: all prices are from newegg but i also check amazon and tiger direct

Country of Origin: USA


Parts Preferences: sandy bridge processor and gigabyte mobo


Overclocking: probably not


SLI or Crossfire: probably not


Monitor Resolution: not sure, i will get a cheap one from craigslist

Additional Comments: needs to be quiet and fast and not too expensive. no need for insane graphics, dont care about bling


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MOBO - GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0
$139
CPU - Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core
$219
GPU - GIGABYTE GV-R567D3-1GI Radeon HD 5670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express
$70
SSD - ADATA S511 Series AS511S3-120GM-C 2.5" 120GB SATA III
$205
or
SSD - OCZ V$ertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
$200
HHD - Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB
$89
RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
$55
CASE xclio nighthawk
$60
PSU - CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE
$85


all together approx 922 dollars
September 8, 2011 10:19:52 AM

Looks like you have waaay too much power and you don't need a GPU at all. The integrated graphics on a 1155 CPU should be more than enough for your needs.

Audio tasks really don't require a very powerful system nowadays, so long as you have at least a dual core and 4GB of RAM youre pretty much fine. This means you could maybe just focus on it being as quiet as possible.

Here is the build i was thinking of getting for the same purposes as you:

Intel Core i3-2100 - $124.99 (Has hyperthreading which should make it just as good as the i5 in audio applications.)
8GB Corsair XMS3 - $47.99
ASRock H67M (B3) - $79.99 ($30 less than the equivalent Gigabyte)
Crucial M4 128GB - $227.99 (Very reliable and fast.)
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - $59.99 (Just as fast as the WD Black but cheaper.)
Seasonic X-400 - $114.99 (80 PLUS gold efficiency and fanless, means no noise at all)
Samsung DVD Burner - $18.99

Those parts are all on Newegg, there are then a few things that i would suggest that aren't there:

Fractal Design Define Mini - ~$100
Scythe Big Shuriken - ~$40
3 x Noctua NF-S12B ULN - ~$80

I would then remove the fans on the cooler and the case and put one of those Noctuas on the cooler, one on the front of the case and one on the back. With no noise from the SSD and PSU, this should be basically the quietest air cooled PC possible. The only noise would come from three of the quietest fan on the market.

That all adds up to around $900. If you want you could upgrade the CPU to an i7-2600 and it would still come to around $1050-1100.

EDIT: Even with 16GB of RAM too you would still be under the $1200 budget. Also, when you get your monitor you should make sure to get a 1920x1080 or even better, 1920x1200 one. This gives you more space to work with.
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Best solution

September 8, 2011 12:06:38 PM

Fractal Design is the king when we talk for silence! So for this system's case it's the obvious choice

Fractal Design Define R3 White ATX Mid Tower Silent PC Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Fanless PSU with modular cables, so you can have the best possible airflow inside your system

SeaSonic X series SS-400FL Active PFC F3 400W ATX12V Fanless 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i5 2400S is the best choice for me. Quad Core with enough power for what you need, plus 65W TDP.

Intel Core i5-2400S Sandy Bridge 2.5GHz (3.3GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 65W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52400S
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would go watercooling for deadly silence. There are a lot of reliable kits out there, like Corsair H60. (Just make sure to use case fan instead of the one that comes with it)

CORSAIR CWCH60 Hydro Series H60 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A Z68 motherboard so you don't have to buy a SSD, and in order to have more options (example raid)

GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A low voltage kit from Corsair

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A passive cooled GeForce 210...Nothing fancy

ASUS EN210 SILENT/DI/1GD3/V2(LP) GeForce 210 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Low Profile Ready Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A small SSD for caching

Intel 320 Series SSDSA2CT040G3B5 2.5" 40GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And a big one for storage and programs

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

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

Finally a reliable dvd-rw

SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model SH-222AB - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Sum 950 $ or 915$ with MIR for the silence itself :D 
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September 16, 2011 10:15:47 AM

Best answer selected by siso80.
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September 16, 2011 10:23:25 AM

hi

I'n the UK, can anyone point me out to buying a similar spec PC like this in UK,

which shops i can get these parts from?

i have the same issue, need an Audio PC,

I like the approch for quiet as possible PC, i've never had one before!
i've only had a noisy one.

any tips appreciated

thanks
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September 16, 2011 9:27:11 PM

Try one of these:

www.ebuyer.com
www.aria.co.uk
www.scan.co.uk
www.microdirect.co.uk

EDIT: Just a few things to point out about michxymi's build.

- Water cooling isn't always quieter, it still uses a fan and there's no way that fan will be quieter than one of those Noctuas. It will probably even run hotter than air cooling too because water cooling tends to have high idle temps and low load temps compared to air and this PC is never going to be at full load in audio tasks anyway.

- The i3-2100 should perform just as well as the i5-2400s in audio tasks because the hyper threading makes up for the lack of 2 extra cores

- Bigger SSD ftw :) 

Sorry if I sound overly critical, just wanted to point those things out.
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September 16, 2011 9:50:38 PM

For the UK build, just added my build but with 64GB Crucial M4 and i7-2600 instead of i3 and it came to a little over £700.
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