I'm hoping that somebody can provide me with some guidance. I need to build a new audio recording computer and would like to do so for $600 or less.
Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as possible
Budget Range: $600 after rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Audio recording software such as Adobe Audition, Steinberg Cubase, Native Instruments sample libraries, Adobe Premiere Pro
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, blu-ray drive
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Tigerdirect.com
Parts Preferences: none
Overclocking: I'll say "Maybe" on this. I really would like something that is powerful as built, since I've never felt comfortable with overclocking.
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1024x768
Additional Comments: I would prefer to have a quieter computer, though I don't want the cooling system to eat up my budget.
EDIT: Just to clarify any potential questions...I also do not require sound cards, as I will be re-using the ones from my previous computer, and I do not want to include an OS in this budget...although I imagine that I'll need to purchase something like 64-bit Windows 7 in order to fully utilize the capabilities of a multi-core CPU (my older system was a single core running on Windows XP 32-bit), I want the budget to focus solely on the system itself.
The CPU has integrated graphics that are more than adequate for your needs, and are even capable of light gaming. The 8gb ram will require 64 bit Windows. I am assuming your sound cards have Windows 7 drivers. Older XP drivers will not work, so you might check it out. The motherboard also only has 3 PCI slots for sound cards and such, and you will be hard pressed to find boards with more these days.
never. Ever. Get a case with a PSU included. Do you realize a bad PSU could destroy your whole system? Built in PSUs are cheap and poorly made.
Normally this is sound advice, however not in the case of Antec. They do not offer junk PSU/case combinations. In these particular cases I linked to, the 380w PSU's are 80 plus Bronze certified with very a healthy sized +12v rail for future expansion if needed.
Sorry about that. I had to do a little searching myself. I was not even thinking in terms of 8gb modules, more like maybe 4x4gb which were hard to find as well. Just a quick note though, if you do more than 16gb, you will need either the 64 bit Professional or Ultimate version of Windows 7. The Home Premium version only does up to 16gb.
I am thinking we may need to rethink the whole AMD APU thing and go with maybe Intel instead. Their chips have Integrated graphics also which will still be plenty. They also have a wider variety of chipsets to choose from. It will likely be a bit more expensive,
I'm looking at Asus' compatibility list, and unless I'm missing something, I'm not even seeing 8gb memory modules listed there. The promo material for the motherboard states that "Any memory is A-OK!", so I guess it wouldn't be a problem to use 8GB modules so long as the BIOS allows them, right?
Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree here, but since both of these boards are supposedly able to handle up to 32 MB of memory in four slots, I'd rather not fill up with 4 sticks of 4GB memory in order to get 16GB -- if I use 8GB modules instead, that will allow me to buy 16GB of memory and also give me the flexibility to add an additional 16GB when it is feasible to do so.
I was pretty much anticipating having to upgrade to 64 bit Windows 7 Professional anyway. As I understand it, don't you need a 64-bit version of Windows in order to utilize the full capabilities of a quad-core processor?
Anyway, even if it does cost a bit more, I am liking this new cpu/motherboard combo even more than the previous one (which I also liked). If I'm not mistaken, it has an extra SATA port (will I use it? Who knows, but it could come in handy) and the processor seems to boast a bit more power than the AMD one.
You have to scroll down the list a bit, but they do list Corsair and a couple of Gskill 8gb sticks, so the $99 Gskill kit you selected earlier will be fine. That is a heck of a deal on some very good ram.
They also list OCZ as approved, but I don't think they are in the ram business any more. I went to their web site earlier today and and saw no mention of ram. I guess I missed the memo. Its a shame because they were usually low cost and I had good luck with it.
And yes, the Intel CPU is beefier. At stock speed, it is only slightly slower than the overclockable i5-2500k that every one raves about. Overall, you should have a very nice system.
I am even digging the ASUS boards myself. I have seen that one in person, along with a few others, and they were put together very well. Nice tight solder joints, component layout, etc... I was thinking about doing a new Intel gaming system myself around April, and I am definitely going to add ASUS to the list of prospects. My current rig will live on as an HTPC as my old one is getting kind of raggedy.
Now obviously, this is going to substantially raise my budget, especially since there are some comments about the OEM heatsink and fan being "junk", but my question is: is this processor's performance increase worth the extra $100+ that I'll end up paying?
Mind you, this system is going to be a serious upgrade from my previous single core 3.4 GHz processor, so I imagine that just about anything that uses multi-core processing will fly on either of these processors anyway...
You can read this article from Tom's and decide for yourself. Keep in mind that the 2600k mentioned in the article is identical at stock speed. The K on the end just means it is the unlocked version made for overclocking.
I'm thinking that the i5-2500k processor will give me the best balance between processing power, cost and future expandibility if I ever decide to attempt overclocking the CPU. The only thing, it seems, is that I'll still need to pick out a heatsink and CPU fan, as the provided ones seem to be crap (at least from all of the reviews)
Admittedly, I did get a bit distracted today drooling at the maximum transfer rates on the solid state drives Newegg sells, but I ended up picking up the Western Digital drive as it once again provides the best balance between speed, cost, disk size and good reviews.
Now, all of this stuff is going to run me over $600 (I'm thinking once I select a heatsink/fan combo and some sort of external SATA hard drive adapter so that I can try to salvage some data off a badly-infected hard drive, I'll be over the $700 mark), but I think that will be okay. I feel like this is going to turn into a good system build, especially for the price, and I'd rather go over budget a bit and end up with quality components than to go under budget and have a more questionable build.
I just wish those higher capacity solid state drives would drop several hundred dollars in price! That would make for a great build!