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studio pc


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#1
tht

tht

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hmmk: in short im wanting to build a pc for recording and editing audio (note: pc not mac ;) )

i was wondering if anyone has any opinions on the best hardware?
or a spec list if you're that bored :)

and im on a budget, not a tight one, but i would like to keep this around £500
and it will need to be able to cope with cubase and/or protools
or a spec list if you're that bored :(






thanks in advance,
dan. :tazz:
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#2
Samm

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I've built dedicated systems for audio editting & recording myself.
I can't recommend many specific components as I haven't built one for a little while & so I'm not up-to-date on whats available.

I will make a few suggestions though based on my own experience.

As you know, the sound card is going to be the most important component that you will need to research, and possibly the most expensive depending on what you need it to do. Look for a card that uses ASIO2 drivers and has a very low latency.
A friend of mine who I built one of these systems for, uses a M-audio Delta66 card which comes with a breakout box with good results.(approx £100 currently)


Apart from that, you also want fast hard drive access, so look for a drive thats 7200rpm minimum. SCSI will push you beyond your £500 limit but serial ata or even ATA-133 will suffice.

You don't need the worlds fastest cpu, so stay away from the top-of-the-range new releases. Any Athlon above 1GHz or any Pentium 4 should be fine. Make sure you have plenty of ram though.

The choice of OS is an interesting one as well. People have had very mixed results using XP for this type of application - some say it works really well, other people have found it to be a nightmare.

In my experience, Windows 98se has always worked fine for this, but you may find that some of the more recent hardware (particularly motherboards) a bit flakey with 98. If so, then windows 2000 (SP4) is probably your best bet as its very well supported & very stable.
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#3
tht

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thanks! i stupidly forgot to mention that a good friend of mine is selling me an audigy platinum soundcard for £10..hes a very good friend :tazz:
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#4
tht

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now, would this be suitable, then add on the soundcard?

from dell:

Dimension 2400 with:

Intel® Celeron® Processor (2.6GHz, 128K cache, 400MHz FSB)

512MB Single Channel DDR (1x512MB)

80GB IDE (7,200rpm) Hard Drive

48X DVD/CDRW Combo Drive

Dell E773p 17" (16.0 VIS) Value CRT Monitor


= £485


----

any views?
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#5
Samm

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Nice friend!

Luckily, the audigy is the ONLY soundblaster card that does stand a chance of doing a half reasonable job. Creative have released low latency ASIO drivers for the audigy which will provide compatibilty with lots of audio software & reduce the latency to an acceptably low level.

I suggest in that case, you base the rest of the system around that card, ie check for compatibility issues in regards to the audigy and the Op system, motherboard & audio software.

As you don't have to worry about spending lots of money on a sound card now, you should be able to build a very decent home studio pc for under £500.
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#6
Samm

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Ah, just noticed your last post - you must have done that one at the same time as my last one!

The specs listed for the Dell seem fine (personally I would opt for a slightly slower P4 or Athlon with a larger cache, rather than a celeron though).

If you don't know enough about computer hardware to build your own PC, then a pre-built machine is obviously your best option. Don't trust a custom build to your local 17 year old computer nerd who thinks he's an expert in computers because he can sucessfully install a printer & hack into his college network.

To be honest, I have my reservations about Dell lately but they are selling fairly cheap systems at the moment & are a [bleep] better than eMachines for example.
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#7
tht

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cool cool, im guessing i won't be having any compatability problems with the soundcard then?


edit: just noticed, the system base that i have chosen has onboard sound on the mobo, and i seem to recall someone telling me to steer clear of them?

Edited by tht, 27 July 2005 - 06:22 PM.

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#8
Samm

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Ideally yes, its better to avoid motherboards with onboard audio. However, I don't think I've come across a single mobo in the last few years that didn't come with integrated audio, so it may prove very hard to avoid.

If you do end up having to get a board with integrated audio, just make sure you disable it in the bios prior to installing windows and it shouldn't be a problem after that.
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