As per the title, i`m planning to put a Windows 7 PC together for general dayjob workstation but also will be using for Ableton sequencing. Anything i need to look out for or worth considering including ?
Cakewalk UA-25EX is a good soundcard. It does me well But I only use it for monitor inputs, if you need multiple inputs you'll want something else. You don't need to spend loads on a graphics card if you're not going to be playing games. Thats all the advice i can offer
QuadCore, 4GB+ RAM, 2 X 7200 RPM hard-drive minimum (one for audio, one apps, page file, OS etc), higher if you have the money, or an SSD drive for the OS, plus a decent internal soundcard, Audiophile 2496 is great. have fun!
Realistically tho. You have to make sure the parts fit together nicely.
at least 4 GB of RAM (make sure it's 1066Mhz fast thing, and that the processor and motherboard will support that speed)
1TB hard drive.
quad core processor minimum in this day and age. If you're tight on the budget, go for the intel Q9xxx series, they're getting cheaper by the minute as the new i7 generation is becoming more common.
A good audio interface that has a few outs and ins (you'll be sorry later if you choose one that only has 2/2.
The video card isnt as important but make sure they're quiet. There's nothing more annoying than a noisy fan that goes up and down every 20 seconds due to a shitty motherboard temp sensor. So choose a custom one instead of one that comes with the processor. If you buy it as parts, make sure to hit up silentpcreview.com. They have the lowdown on most coolers, video cards and motherboards,
why on earth would you spend twice as much for the same spec computer to get a mac, and then put windows 7 on it? it's not like they even build there own hardware anymore, most of it is outsourced, so that isn't a reason.
but yeah anything other than the stuff about macs is sensible advice mate. it all depends on how much you have to throw at it though, would be sweet having a SSD, but there are better things to spend your money on...
With pc's these days, pretty much anything is capable of doing a job in terms of raw power. I think more essentially with a main studio PC is that it be quiet. Making PC's noiseless but powerful is a different and more expensive beast. I'm sure things will have moved on since we built our workstation but my recommendations would be -
I've got these in both studio pc's on all drives and the media machine. I can't hear any drive noise at all unless I'm an inch away from the pc. Better than the ones I've had in the past and a good thermal transfer... A MUST!! I recommend the Samsung Spinpoint drives as these are naturally quiet anyway before going into the caddy. SSD are still too expensive for the amount of storage, soon though... soon.
Same with these... where 120mm fans are possible. I have these on all pc's again. There is quieter available but for the price break to noise ratio...
Also with fans, you can get brackets to mount on the PCI slot screws that will position a fan directly down onto your motherboard, coupled with a near silent fan inside the case it is quiet. I find this a good option for passive cooled pc parts as you lose the noisy small component fans and cool all with one big quiet one.
Processor cooling - too many options!!
I've always gone for Zalman... everytime! Fan coolers are very quiet but I have reserators for the 2 studio pc's. We have 2 on the main pc and one on the 2nd pc, there is a tiny amount of pump noise when your head is close to them but quieter than a fan due to the pumps being fitted at the bottom of the water chambers. Personally I would always go for intel processors, they seem to always have the edge over AMD for media work.
So many options, kits and fancies out there... just try to get a solid metal case. You can buy acoustic kits and neoprene feet for it after, the main thing being solid. Cheap cases can almost become like a snare when rattled. Plenty of room for expansion with plenty of 5.25" bays for quiet caddies. Consider an external DVDR drive instead of internal if possible as most disc drives have fans built into them, plus you can turn it off when not needed.
Hope that helps... as you can see, quietpc is a good place to have a hunt around, although price check (bear in mind shipping!). Manufacturers... Zalman and Scythe I would highly recommend.