Motherboard - ASRock K10N780SLIX3-WiFi - Newegg - $160
I selected several parts, then worked backwards to find the motherboard that did what I needed. I also don't want to upgrade this anytime soon
Memory - Kingston 4GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM PC2 6400 - Newegg - $96
The motherboard will take up to 16 gigs, which is nice. The board is also Dual Chanel, so, as I recall, I will need 2 memory cards to start. A 4GB card allows me to start with 8GB and upgrade later without wasting cards later.
CPU - AMD Phenom II 940 Black Edition - Newegg - $230
Again, while other parts can be upgraded later, I would like to start with a solid processor and motherboard. I am not averse to using something else, though, if I can sacrifice a small amount of performance for huge savings.
GPU - Sparkle SX98GP1024D3-NM - Newegg - $185
I picked this GPU out as one that had 1GB of on board memory. I am not sure how necessary that is over 512MB, but I would like to have the ability to expand to SLi down the line by getting the same card again later.
PSU - Nexus RX-8500 - Nexux - $150
I read in a review that this is a very quiet PSU. I don't mind starting with a lower power PSU and upgrading later when I start to beef up the computer, but by what I remember PSU's operate at full efficiency at only 50% load so being a little overpowered shouldn't hurt, I think.
Sound Card - M-Audio Delta 1010 LT PCI Studio Sound Card - Musician's Friend - $200
This is the best multi-channel input sound card I could find that allows several mikes to be plugged in for recording.
Sound Card - Turtle Beach Riviera 5.1 Digital PCI Sound Card - TigerDirect - $30
I would like to use Giga Sampler which requires two sound cards. I am not sure of the quality of the one on board the Motherboard and if that would work. This is on the list only if the motherboard sound card is worse than this one.
Multimedia Reader - PowerUp GEN-9010 Internal All-in-One Flash Card Reader - TigerDirect - $20
Just a simple multimedia reader. I don't know if it will read SDHC, though. I would like it to.
Hard Drive - Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS - Newegg - $130
I would like a good, solid, hard drive. I want it quiet and fast, I heard that the Caviar line is very low power and cool, while still pretty good as a hard drive. I am planning on adding another hard drive in RAID1 as a back up and possibly a third for RAID5 down the line if I need more space. That may be unlikely, but video, audio, and sfx take up a lot of space.
Optical Drive - LITE-ON Black Burner with LightScribe iHAS422-08 - Newegg - $28
Decent LiteScribe Burner to put out CD's and DVD's
Blu-Ray Writer - Pioneer BDR-203BK - Newegg - $250
This may be an add on down the line to burn HD videos that I work on. I am also looking at a Sony Blu-Ray reader for $100 that may be added on later as well. Really, all I need to start is a DVD burner, of which I may put a couple in.
Case - COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP - Newegg - $150
I have heard that big cases tend to run cooler with better airflow and big fans run slower and quieter. This case also allows for a lot of potential with six 5.25 bays and five internal 3.5 bays the one 3.5 external bay is planned to go to the multimedia reader. I don't want to go too much bigger as it may not fit on my desk, but I may need to look for a better arrangement for that anyway.
So those are the parts I have picked out and here are my questions.
1. How do these parts check out to you guys who have more recent experience (ie: probably everyone here but me).
2. What other parts could I use that are good, but less expensive. They could sacrifice some power if they save a lot off the cost.
3. Is this overkill? I don't plan on starting with two GPU's or HDD's but I expanding down the line. I also don't want to have to upgrade parts too soon, but don't need to be top of the line. I am not sure where many of these parts fall in relation to being cutting edge or not.
4. Do you have recommendations on a stand or something I can put this on next to my desk to hold its bulk? I have a smaller desk right now, it has two side wings with small raised shelves that mount onto the desk not a back panel, one of which I can remove and this will fit nicely, but I am not sure of the weight.
5. The big question! I want to use this system as a recording hub and want the quietest system possible. How do I cool this quietly. Do I need to change or downgrade parts to keep this quiet. I plan on putting some sound absorbing panels around the computer (not covering, just close to it on walls and stuff) to help minimize noise and will have the mics on the other end of the room. The room is carpeted, and I will also be putting decorative hangings on the wall, and possibly some cloth covered foam to dampen sound as well. I would, though, like this to run as quietly as possible.
So it gets down to this. I would like some power behind my system, and I want it to run cool and quiet (as close to 10 db as possible). Am I better off with a recording computer and then another for processing, editing, and other high power stuff? If so, what would be an adequate system to just plug some mics into, record, then pull the raw files onto the processing computer?
Thanks for any and all help you guys give!