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Topic: Desktop PC for GPO

  1. #1

    Desktop PC for GPO

    Hi All:

    Been using a laptop and want to convert to a PC desktop configuration. I am looking for the BEST configuration of CPU power and RAM storage. Actually, I am pretty sure that the computer needs to be faster than 2.8 GB and 2 GB of RAM should get me started.

    Any suggestions on brands, where to buy, pricing, etc. will be greatly appreciated. I am familiar with most of the brand name computers on the market, but do not know what is working BEST with GPO.


    Jack Cannon--Toshiba laptop, 2.8 GHz CPU, 1.5 GB RAM, GPO4-JABB3-Auth. STEINWAY-Gofriller CELLO-Stradivari VIOLIN-COMB2-WORLD, FINALE 2009/11, RME Digiface, Cardbus, V-Stack---Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 8, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express.--MacBook Pro 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  2. #2

    Re: Desktop PC for GPO

    Build your own. Sorry, I'm not being facetious, but that's the way I've learned to do it. Its cheaper, the parts are usually higher quality than you'll find in a manufactured PC, and you know you're way around your equipment when you're done.

    Or buy a Dell.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    West Seneca, NY

    Re: Desktop PC for GPO

    Go for the fastest processor your money can get today! At least 2 gigs of ram and a professional sound card like M-Audio has to offer. Please stay away from Creative Sound Blaster Audigy cards. I know, I have one and getting rid of it soon. I'm talking from experience here now that I am upgrading for better overall performance.
    Dude, a Dell?

  4. #4

    Re: Desktop PC for GPO

    Just figured I'd offer advice from both ends of the spectrum. LOL

    Carillon, Digital Audio Wave, Sonica-X, Truespec, and others all offer out of the box solutions for Digital Audio Workstations. That's the way I'd go if I didn't want to put the parts together myself. You'll probably get better support and less hassle this way.

  5. #5

    Re: Desktop PC for GPO

    Even if you don't physically build your own as Joseph suggested, I'd recommend dealing with a local Mom & Pop store and telling them what brand and model components you want. I have a guy here in Atlanta I've been dealing with like that for years.

    The advantages of this over buying a Gateway or Dell are two fold. First, you can choose a la carte what high performance components you need, and completely customize it. Secondly, the prepackaged boxes you get from the major manufacturers aren't really designed with component expansion, tweaking, etc. in mind.

    I do realize that you were looking for specific recommendations on brands, but frankly, I think that any modern PC will handle GPO just fine. I'd go with at least 2 gig of memory, and beyond that, faster ponies are always better!
    Christopher Duncan
    Author of
    Unite the Tribes and The Career Programmer

  6. #6

    Re: Desktop PC for GPO

    Yeah, put another in the build your own list. Trust me, after you build your own, you'll wonder why you ever bought something from anyone ever again. Though, just a warning, if you are going to build your own, and don't knwo too much about computers and what not, then I would advice that you have at least one friend who is pretty good with computers to help you out if you had any problems with building, or need some tech support. (If you don't have on, this is the perfect excuse for you to go make some new friend(s) )

  7. #7

    Re: Desktop PC for GPO

    This sounds eerily like my experience as a young lad learning to work on my own cars. Although instead of making new friends, I learned creative new ways to use the English language, improved my hand to eye coordination while exploring the possibilities of the 9/16" wrench as a projectile, and had the opportunity to explore the deep monastic secrets of ancient religions as I steeled both mind and body to endure exhaust manifold burns followed by deep skin lacerations in sub zero weather (much like the opening of the Kung Fu series where he grabs the metal pot and then throws himself into the snow)...

    But really, building your own computer is easy. Honest.
    Christopher Duncan
    Author of
    Unite the Tribes and The Career Programmer

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Re: Desktop PC for GPO


    Building your own, or buing a pre-configured DAW, or getting a Dell/Gateway are all good ways to go. It depends on your time and your budget.

    A pre-configured DAW comes at a premium, but you press the power button and you're in business. Soon, we will be announcing turn-key GPO computers that are fairly affordable. You can email me for information.

    Building your own can be fun or frustrating. You'll have to to install all the hardware components and install windows and the programs. I built a small cube-shaped Shuttle System from a barebones kit which was fairly easy and affordable. I like the small form factor too. In the end, there is a satisfaction as you stare at your creation that you have built it.

    If you get a Dell/Gateway it is almost as cheap as building it yourself. There is good support and a warrantee. Windows is installed, the components you want are there, and all you have to do is add your music programs and a sound card.

    Gary Garritan

  9. #9

    Re: Desktop PC for GPO

    If building your own, you have to be careful with what motherboard/memory combination you choose.

    I only recently discovered that the memory that I have currently (a pair of Corsair XMS 512 modules) won't allow me to add an additional two modules to my new motherboard.

    So I'm limited to 1GB memory, with 2 empty memory slots that I can't fill. Basically it has to do with how the memory is divided up into virtual banks.

    Anyway, if I want 2GB, I'd have to chuck my existing 1GB and order either two 1GB sticks, or four 512MB sticks that are listed on the motherboard's compatibility list. Grrrrr.

    But running with more memory modules installed will require slowing down the memory timings anyway, so two 1GB modules will be faster than four 512MB modules.

  10. #10
    Senior Member BlueMax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Calgary, AB, Canada

    Re: Desktop PC for GPO

    To expand on the idea of building your own and the other idea of a Shuttle XPC "mini-PC"...

    The Shuttle series of "barebone" computers sure make building your own FAR easier and are generally much quieter (important factor in a music PC!!)
    All you need to put in is the CPU, RAM, Pro Soundcard, Hard drive and CD variant.

    It may sound like a daunting task, but not NEARLY as bad as putting in a motherboard and making all the little connections for case lights, reset and power buttons, etc. Ugh.... I've been doing it for years and I STILL hate it!

    Plus they just look *so* snazzy there on your desk on display.... very nice to look at and show your friends. The only downside is that they only have room for one regular PCI card (your audio most likely) and one fancy video card if you don't like the video that's built in (usually the younger folks with the 3D games.)

    If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion.... Rather than Shuttle-brand mini-barebone PC's, I would go with SOLTEK and their QBIC lineup. Three good reasons why...
    1) They're cheaper on average and still look great
    2) They come with a free carrying bag for portability (you never know)
    3) Their tech-support and warranty is VASTLY superior. I've read many, many reports on Shuttle owners getting shafted, while Soltek practically bends over backwards for their customers. World-o-difference.

    I would also recommend the Socket 939 platform for AMD Athlon64 processors. Why AMD over Intel's Pentium4? Future-proofing.
    64-bit Windows and music software is just around the corner. Owning an Athlon64 means you won't need a new motherboard and processor to jump on the bandwagon a year or two from now. Socket 939 is the most recent platform for A64 and has 3 years of processors already planned for it... don't be tempted to save money and get a Socket 754 Athlon64, as it's already been mostly phased out.

    Here's a review of the model I had in mind.

    The slowest and most affordable Athlon64 is the "3000+" which is PLENTY of processing power! Go higher if your budget allows, but it's not *that* necessary. To get the most out of GPO I would get a pair of 1024MB memory modules right off the bat. Two gigabytes of RAM will be MORE than enough for GPO (which can take up to almost 1.5GB of RAM if you load every single sample for a massive orchestra work!) but will still leave some headroom for your other music applications to run smoothly too.

    For sound, there's a lot of choices depending on what other things you want to do, but for GPO only I'd recommend M-Audio's new Audiophile 196. M-Audio is already finishing up 64-bit drivers for their products, so when Windows64 comes out on the market, M-Audio will be there! Without a 64-bit processor or 64-bit drivers for your Audio card, Windows64 will not work.

    No, it's not *necessary*... but it's what you can expect within a year's time. If you're buying hardware now, you might as well be able to run tomorrow's software with your new toys of today.

    EDIT: I just noticed an error in their review... they said the new dual-core CPUs will not work with socket 939 - it's confirmed they WILL. Socket 939 is definately the way to go for something that'll last 3-5 years!

    Wow... I rambled. Hope I made sense.
    "AAAAUUUUGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!" -- Charlie Brown

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