Recommendations building a new (budgeted) computer from scratch for recording music

By dinvex
Oct 8, 2010
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  1. Hi, I would like to put together a computer with these software requirements in mind (for reason/record:

    Intel P4/AMD Athlon XP at 2GHz or better, multiple cores highly recommended, 1 GB RAM or more, DVD drive, 2 GB free hard disk space, Record may use up to 20 GB cache disk space, Windows XP SP2, Vista or later

    I currently have XP, and would do Windows 7 but I really don't care for Vista (please don't figure in to the total, and yes I will be getting a legal copy!). I would like to go the cheapest route, which I imagine would be building from scratch. If I can stay under 500 dollars that's be best although spending a little more for a really nice system that will be good for a few years is favorable.

    I found this as a starting point, and would like to know the thoughts from the inside.

    The only additional information I have is I have 2 TB's that are waiting for a home so I'm not worried about storage, and also the quieter the better, as everything helps while recording. Thank you very much in advance. - Dinvex
  2. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,280   +23

    You can do better with your budget. I recommend this:
    Grand Total = ~$380, not considering rebates.
  3. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    For about an additional $50 - $60 the OP could get himself an AM3 / DDR3 system.
  4. dinvex

    dinvex Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Thanks for the help. I have couple questions in regards to the speed. /I noticed the difference in processing has "cache", and was wondering if the lower number is better, as in l2, or the higher, like l3...or is this not associated with the speed?

    Also, I was told that the more cores the better, especially with audio and video processing. Is this something that would help me expand in the future, or is this something that's not yet stood the test of consumerist time and not worth the investment?
  5. dinvex

    dinvex Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Hi Ritwik7! You helped me out a while back, and recommended this:

    AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz

    Do you know of a faster model (am3) that is also quad? And the DDR3 essentially translates into more efficient RAM from what I understand, right?

    Thankyou!
  6. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,280   +23

    The X4 620 will be underutilized, since all audio processing will be handled by the sound card. DDR3 is the OP's choice, but is unnecessary IMHO, since AM3 CPUs have DDR2 support, and BIOS updates enable support for AM3 CPUs on AM2 mobos, so an upgrade path still exists.
  7. dinvex

    dinvex Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 35

    For recording the audio, I actually have an "M-box 2" by Digidesign that I will be using.. would this still apply to the performance?
  8. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,280   +23

    In that case forego the sound card, and my advice still applies either way. Your CPU is not that important, since it is not doing much work at all.
  9. dinvex

    dinvex Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 35

    The sound card would be processing the sound, however, using VSTs and effects applications, and simultaneously playing back a lot of tracks would be taxing on the processor, no? (I apologize if this seems redundant to what you said, I am just trying to understand what I'd be purchasing. I really appreciate your help. Thank you.
  10. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,280   +23

    I wouldn't know about that I'm afraid, you're going to have to ask someone else who has experience in this area. I think maybe tmagic650 or dividebyzero may be able to help you with this, but I'm not 100% sure of that either. Sorry. :(
  11. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    There are many faster AM3 quads available but as Rage pointed out they might probably be under-utilised. The faster models include the Athlon II X4 630 / 635 / 640 / 645. Also the Phenom II series is more efficient as it has additional L3 cache.
     
  12. dinvex

    dinvex Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Rage_3K_Moiz - It looks like I don't have enough posts to PM yet...

    Til then, would the faster quads benefit video editing if I delve in to that as well? The Phenom II Stuff looks cool:D
  13. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 4,264   +41

    Yes they will. Luckily for you amd's quads are cheap, and they even have good speed behind them.
  14. dinvex

    dinvex Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Okay so I finally have these parts:

    AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz
    CORSAIR XMS3 DHX 4GB ( 2 X 2GB ) PC3-10666 1333MHz DDR3 280579388760

    And I should have this very soon:

    ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 DDR3 AMD 890GX 51007

    Does this look good so far?

    Can anyone recommend a good chassis and a power supply for this? Thank you for your help!
  15. dinvex

    dinvex Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Maybe this makes more sense:)

    I now HAVE these components:


    Asus Motherboard

    Quad Processor
    DDR Memory

    I also have a couple new 1TB hard drives waiting...



    And what I would like to do is basically get the components necessary to finish this- which I believe would just be the case (chassis, right?) and a power supply- something that is decently quiet if possible.

    The motherboard was a previously opened item, and I did not receive any cables with it. If anyone could point me in the right direction in regards to that I'd appreciate it greatly:)

    Would a disc drive come with the chassis typically, or what is a good choice?

    Finally, I think there is some kind of stuff to get for the processor and motherboard, but I'm not sure, since this is a first build.

    I appreciate everyone's help on my tedious questions:)
  16. RayRay

    RayRay TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 105

    you don't need a phenom || x4 965 cpu. it is a little bit of an overkill, same apply to the motherboard and ram.

    I do create music myself, and I mostly just use vst all the way. both instrumental and effects.

    this is enough for your use:

    motherboard

    RAM

    cpu

    total: $293
  17. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,280   +23

    ^, the parts have already been purchased, so those recommendations are moot.

    @dinvex, I recommend this PSU and the Antec Three Hundred. If you want a really quiet case, I recommend the pricey-but-practically-inaudible Antec P183.


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