My current system: (A custom built gaming box)
P4 2.53Ghz (500Mhz FBS)
Abit SA7 Motherboard, Integrated Sound Card
512 Mb PC2700 RAM
Windows XP Pro
I need to run (within the next week or so) the following:
GigaStudio 3 (I got GigaStudio 2.5 32 for now)
DrumKit from Hell 2
A sequencer (which I haven't picked yet)
And I use Fruity Loops for a simple sequencer (no real issues there)
I tried a USB 2.0 250Gb HD (with DFH 2) but it seems to not keep up with the disk-drive streaming. After about 2 or 3 measures of a beat it just crackles and cuts out.
The questions are ($$ is not too much of a problem)
Should I just go 80pin SCSI on the Hard-drives?
How much RAM is usually truly necessary so I don't have any worries? 1Gb, 2Gb?
I appreciate any help you can give me in this so I can get started on my current job.
Your first and most major problem is the "integrated sound card." In order to achieve low latencies on VST's and Giga you will need a quality sound card. Without one you will most likely experience those cracks and pops from slow latencies.
These cards can range from $100 for something basic like a M-Audio Audiophile 24/96 to something much more expensive with more advance IO, lower latencies and more stability. You will want something with ASIO 2.0 drivers and GSIF drivers for Giga.
As for GS3, well we are all waiting to find out what cards will have the newer GSIF2 drivers that will support new functions in giga...but the good news is that older GSIF1 drivers will continue to work with GS3...So the best thing is pick a card manufacturer that has a reputation for keeping drivers up to date. I recommend M-Audio or RME.
Next, your system specs are fine with the exception of needing more memory. 2 gigs is really where you want to be. Also you do need an audio HDD...this needs to be a 7200rpm with a 8MB cache...It is possible to run both HDD's off your native IDE ports but they will need to be set up as masters and then slave your CD or DVD drive off your system drive. You might find that the USB 2.0 drive will work once you get a better sound card. Quite a few users have success with external drives.
I agree -- I'm going to get a sound card first (as in like right now). Second the RAM. The PC2700 is pretty cheap so I think I'll just go for the 2Gb.
Then after that like you guys said maybe the HD speeds will be ok, maybe even the USB 2.0 (who knows). But I agree on the ATA 100 minimum. I'm pretty sure mine is still the ATA-66 because I never went into the bios and changed it when I built it. So I'll still need a newer drive possibly.
You guys have any ideas on "where" to get and price these sounds cards? I live in Orlando and there is a Guitar Center here -- it is just that you need to know what's up before you go in there because those dudes will just say "yep -- that'll work" and sell you whatever.
You got a bunch of choices for soundcards. I would try and think about future-proofing yourself a bit. If you'll ever go mobile wthl your set-up then go firewire soundcard or RME or ECHO stuff which can also use a PCMCIA adapter. You can use with your studio set-up and then just un plug and plug it into your laptop while on the road.
If you're only working in one place then it's about how much money you want to spend, GSIF drivers and how many I/O you need.