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$500 Sound Editing Machine

Last response: in Systems
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December 29, 2012 6:26:56 AM

OS and optical drives already purchased, excluded from $500

Approximate Purchase Date: January
Budget Range: $500
System Usage from Most to Least Important: It will only be used to mix and master music. Programs Sound Forge & Sonar
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon/Newegg/Tiger Direct
Country: United States
Parts Preferences: whatever you thinks reliable
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: Dual HD 20" Monitors

Additional Comments:
I have 3 concerns at the moment:
-if the power supply will support everything
-if everything's compatible (like memory)
-and can the on board video card support two HD monitors or do I need to purchase one? This machine wont be used for gaming but dual monitors help with multiple programs while mastering songs.

Here's what I have so far:

CPU:
Intel Core i5-2310 Sandy Bridge 2.9GHz (3.2GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard:
ASRock H77M LGA 1155 Intel H77
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory:
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD:
Kingston HyperX 3K SH103S3/120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply:
COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus RS-550-PCAR-E3 550W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:
COUGAR Volant Black Steel ATX Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Help appreciated!
December 29, 2012 7:18:49 AM


CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Cougar Volant (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $473.94

That's a good build for $500 and will perform somewhat better than your build, because of a ATX motherboard opposed to Micro ATX, which gives you 16GB more maximum RAM, more PCI lanes, and 2 more SATA III ports, all while costing exactly the same amount of money. And a better CPU with a faster clock and improved architecture to help speed up those editing times.
I always just changed the PSU to a much more reliable one. Cooler Master isn't known for super-high quality PSU's you know.

And yes, 550 watts is more than enough. With that you can add a HD 7870, overclock that, and switch out the CPU for a 3570k and overclock that also with a bit of wattage to spare.
December 29, 2012 7:38:21 AM

^^This.

Except - I would get a proper HDD with more space instead of the SSD (Unless you have spare HDD's lying around)

You'll see absolutely no performance gains using an SSD over an HDD while working with your audio except for loading sample libraries (Quicker loading time). I would personally get *atleast* a 500Gb 7200rpm Hard Drive - unless of course you already have your HDD.
Related resources
December 29, 2012 7:48:16 AM

yeah the SSD is a real luxury, just wanted a system that would respond fast when getting everything started. But I will be bringing over my other HDD from my old computer so I do have more space.

What would be the smallest PSU that you guys would recommend? I don't have access to my other computer at the moment but I think it might have a 350w power supply in it, maybe 450w that I could pull.
December 29, 2012 7:58:09 AM

For a power supply, if you want to actually be able to add anything to it in the fute, the CX430 is where it's at.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For only $24.99 after MIR, this thing is definitely worth the little cash you spend on it. But you just missed a really good deal of $19.99 with no MIR if I remember correctly. That's less than you spend on a meal at a good restaurant.
December 29, 2012 8:28:37 AM

Agree with bread about PSU. For not even using a GPU 550W is way overkill. Either the CX430, the Antec 380W green, or that 300W PSU from Seasonic. Whatever is cheaper.

No clue about if that board can do two outputs. You could always run one monitor if it doesn't until you can save up the $$$ to get a cheap plug in card.

Edit: You are talking about 77W CPUs, no GPU, and just a board, ram, and drives. Power draw will be around 125W. You are talking about less then 25% of what a 550W PSU can output. No need for something so big.
December 29, 2012 10:02:24 PM

Yes, You could run a 2 monitor setup I'm pretty sure
!