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
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.
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.