Building new PC - anything to consider for part-time DAW

Oria

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#1
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 ?

Cheers
 

Oria

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#6
i have a multi-channel usb device for using in the field, so really just looking for internal parts on this for stereo playback and for ripping audio.

For 10 or so years used to get oversize graphics cards for running latest games ... now have a PS3 so i guess can go for a fanless graphics device lol
 

Cat Gas

Aka Basis
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#7
Cakewalk UA-25EX is a good soundcard. It does me well :D 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 :)
 

miszt

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#8
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!

make it as silent as possible!
 

kama

benkama.net
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#10
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,
 

herojuana

hairy kuala
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#11
macs run windows 7 just fine.
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...
 
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#15
Try here mate - Eclipse-computers.com.

I built my system last year now but it's still a banger and it only cost me a little over £300.

Edit: I already had a soundcard and hard drives etc i transferred over from my old pc.
 

bite and gouge

Lee Fury & JtB
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#16
Hi Oria,

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 -

Quiet drive enclosures (http://www.quietpc.com/gb-en-gbp/products/harddrivesolutions/quietdrive)

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.

Quiet Fans (http://www.quietpc.com/gb-en-gbp/products/casefans/s-flex120800)

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.

Case

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.

Peace




Lee Fury & JTB
http://soundcloud.com/biteandgouge
 
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