Help me build budget PC suitable for home audio recording & editing

By Prabs
Aug 24, 2010
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  1. Hi friends,

    Please help me design a budget PC that I can use mostly for recording and editing purpose (but also use it occasionally for watching DVD movies). Given underneath are my requirements.

    *What are you going to use the PC for?

    > Home audio recording and editing.
    > Will run old audio software like "Cool Edit Pro, GoldWave and Audition".
    > Will mostly involve "voice overs" that will be mixed with pre-recorded music tracks.
    > May mix upto 12-15 tracks in WAV format per recording and later convert them to other formats depending on requirement.

    *How much is your budget?

    > Unable to decide on a figure, but would like the PC to be a mid-range machine, neither too costly, nor too cheap.
    > Please suggest minimum expense keeping in mind best configuration that can be upgraded in the near future without much loss.

    *Where are you located? (a.k.a. fill out your profile)

    > New Delhi, India.

    *Are you willing to buy online?

    > No. Would prefer to purchase the components from a reliable local vendor.

    *Are you going to re-use any parts from an earlier build?

    > No.

    *Do you need other peripherals like a monitor, keyboard and mouse, among others?

    > Yes. All basic peripherals that make a PC. However, can do without a mid or high end video card.
    > Prefer to have a minimum of 4Gb RAM.
    > Minimum one 500 Gb HDD
    > Suggest a decent quality sound card. Don't require those that are high end or suitable for gaming purpose.

    *Have you already bought any parts?

    > No.

    *Do you have an Operating System (OS)?

    > Currently have Win XP (SP3)
    > Would like to move to Win 7, 32 bit (or 64 bit if they support my old recording software). Would not like to spend extra on upgrading my other software just because the new platforms cannot support them.

    *Will you need any aftermarket cooling, such as a CPU\GPU cooler or a watercooling setup?

    > Frankly do not know. However won't be overclocking the CPU for any reason.
    > Would prefer a silent machine without much internal noise.

    *NOTE

    > I would like to build a machine around Core i5 750/P55 combo which I believe should be a decent machine at the moment. I can even move down to i3/P55 combo it it saves money and yet meets my requirements.

    However, please feel free to recommend configurations that you gentlemen feel are best for me.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Cheers
  2. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,177

  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,002   +710

    This page at M$ may be able to answer some of your questions about software compatibility; http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/windows-7/en-us/default.aspx

    Another solution would be "XP Mode" in Windows 7 Pro, (or better). XPMode, combined with M$ "Virtual PC gives you a free copy of XP Pro SP-3 32 bit". You take a bit of a speed inside the virtual machine, so high end gaming in that mode would be out. Other than that you should be able to effect the rest of your stated tasks.

    I'm told that prices are very high in India. One of our members "Ritwik7" is from there. He'd be able to tell you more. Be prepared to be sold an AMD system. Hi Rit :wave:

    For you stated task objective, the integrated Video inside the Core i3 CPUs.would be sufficient. Using it however, would require a board with the H55 chipset. With H55, you still can add a better video card later, but there is no "Crossfire" or "SLI" capability. You certainly don't sound like you would need it though.
  4. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    That's unfair Cap!!! :p

    I don't always recommend AMD builds. Depends on the OP's budget. Intel still is a wee bit expensive.

    When you say that it becomes really difficult to suggest components. Just figure out the maximum you're willing to spend. I'll agree that the i5 / P55 is a very good purchase. Like Captain said, the i3 chips (and the dual core i5s) come with a graphics processor on the same die. However, they will work only on the H55 platform. The H55 boards also come in slightly cheaper than their P55 counterparts.

    If you look at AMD, the Phenom II X4 955 BE and an 890GX chipset would also serve you well. If you could get your hands on an X3 720 BE you'll be spending less. It's a triple core CPU and would handle all your tasks fine.

    Aftermarket cooling can be done without.

    As for audio recording / editing, I think you'll know better whether you require a high end sound card or not.
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,002   +710

    So just ease into it, as above...
  6. tractorphil

    tractorphil TechSpot Member Posts: 60

    I currently use an AMD x2 7750 for a video broadcasting and audio recording purposes with 2 gigs of memory and it runs fine when performing both task at the same time. The AMD x4 955 would be a better option though. I currently use that one for gaming but it handles my audio conversion very well. The AMD chip set 880g would handle the graphics nicely. I prefer the Asus boards for those. A Antec 400 watt power supply would be plenty of juice. I have found the Antec 300 case quite adequate for these kinds of builds. Running the 64 bit of Windows 7 shouldn't be much of an issue with xp mode to run unsupported programs. A 1 terabyte HDD should do just fine, The Western Digital Black drives look promising. Any standard DVD burner should work fine, I like the plextor ones.
  7. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    +1 tractorphil for the Antec 300.
  8. Prabs

    Prabs Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Hi again friends,

    Thank you all for your replies. Sorry couldn't respond as was on the roads.

    I have taken a note of all your suggestions and appreciate them. In the meanwhile I have been offered a decent combo/configuration by one of my friends and having done some research online, I too feel that it meets my requirements and budget.

    I request you gentlemen out there to help me in selecting other components to make it a reliable and powerful machine. However, please remember that I do not want a Gaming PC.

    1. Processor: AMD Phenom II X2 555 BE 3.2GHz

    Question: Do you think it is a good CPU?

    2. MOBO: GA 880GMA UD2H

    Question: Should I opt for GA 880GA UD3H?

    3. MEMORY: Kingston 2Gb

    Question: I want more memory. Should I go for 4Gb or 8Gb. I feel more RAM will help me compensate for loss of CPU power.

    4. HDD: Seagate 500Gb

    Question: Is Seagate 500Gb ok or should I go for something else or more capacity? I can always add more internal or external at a later stage.

    5. DVD Writer: HP

    Question: Is the choice ok?

    6. LCD: Dell 18.5" (HD but model number forgotten)

    Question: Is 18.5" Dell ok or should I go for something else or a bigger monitor? I have even worked well with a 15" monitor so a larger monitor isn't exactly my need except for watching movies :)

    7. CABINET: iBall

    Please suggest: Personally I would like to get Cooler Master USP100. What do you suggest?

    8. PSU: Unknown (probably it's the one that comes with cabinet)

    Please suggest: A powerful and reliable PSU that can handle some basic upgrades (GPU or Sound Card) at a later stage, if required/desired.

    9. GPU: Extra GPU not suggested as may not be required for my use and may be able to use the one present on board.

    Please Suggest: If required or not? If yes, which one.

    10. SOUND CARD: Not suggested if you can.

    Please suggest

    Thank you friends in advance.

    Cheers :)
  9. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    I suggest you go with at least 4 Gigs of RAM. The X2 555 is an excellent CPU. A Corsair 400CX PSU should do just fine for your rig.
  10. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,277   +22

    I recommend this PSU as an high-quality, inexpensive choice. Choose a case of your liking; I'd recommend one with dust filters so you don't need to clean the PC very often.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,002   +710

    That's pretty much an Antec EA-380 / EA-430 more or less, isn't it?
  12. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,277   +22

    Yep, although that'd be correct for the EA430, and not the current EAxxxD models, which are all made by Delta.
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,002   +710

    This would be a good time to ask you what your take is on the Delta offerings.
     
  14. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,277   +22

    They're on par with the Seasonic PSUs; Delta is an excellent OEM and has made top-notch server PSUs for many years, and their commercial PSUs display good build quality and engineering as well.


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