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Topic: Need help choosing a PC

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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Decatur Illinois
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    901

    Need help choosing a PC

    Hey everyone,
    I'll get right to the point. My brother is in the market for a new PC. He wants to be able to mimick my system so we can work together. I'm on a PC running Cubase SX3 and a bunch of VSTis like EWQL everything and many others. The problem is that he wants/needs to buy through Dell because that is the only place he has credit that he wants to use right now for the PC. My PC is a Dell and it's been great but it's way past it's glory days. It's a single core 2.4. (dont laugh, I still make music AND money with it). So if he buys a Dell, they all come with Vista. Is anyone using Vista with Cubase? He'll be using Cubase 4.1. If not, can he order it with XP? If he orders it with XP, will XP handle the hardware which will be a Q6600 quad core? These are all questions I have and we're kind of on a deadline because we want to do this before the end of the fiscal year. Any help will be much appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2

    Re: Need help choosing a PC

    I'm a Mac guy here so i can't be of much help but, I do know someone who just ordered a Dell and insisted that it come with XP and not Windows. He was accomodated.
    JP

  3. #3

    Re: Need help choosing a PC

    Hey Eric,

    Q1. Yes, you can "downgrade" your PC from Vista to XP.
    Q2. Yes, a Q6600 will work with XP (that's what I am using in my PC).
    Q3. Not sure about Cubase 4.1 and Vista or XP.

    One thing you may want to be aware of is that XP will not support greater than 2GB RAM (3GB if you use the 3GB switch). That means that you will need to use Vista if you want to utilise additional RAM.

    I think staying with XP in the meantime, and waiting for MS to iron-out the bugs in Vista is the best option. But I tend to prefer my PCs stable.

    Besides, you can always buy Vista down the track.

    EDIT: And make sure you stick a REAL soundcard into it, of course.

  4. #4

    Re: Need help choosing a PC

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben H
    One thing you may want to be aware of is that XP will not support greater than 2GB RAM (3GB if you use the 3GB switch). .
    What is the "3 GB switch" ?... How do you access that option?...

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Decatur Illinois
    Posts
    901

    Re: Need help choosing a PC

    Thanks Ben. This is exactly the info I was looking for. He's got an E-mu soundcard that I bought him for Christmas a couple years ago. It's an entry level but pro card none-the-less. I was just more worried about compatability problems between software and hardware but your post is easing those worries. Thanks for the info.

    Dont we need Windows XP professional to utilize the 3 gig switch?

    Eric

  6. #6

    Re: Need help choosing a PC

    Have you considered XP64?
    With a 64bits OS, you will be able to access more than 4GB of RAM. Even if they are not officialy supported by Steinberg, both Cubase SX3 or 4.1 can work on XP64.

    You need to verify your hardware specific drivers for compatibility with XP64 but you can definitely consider XP64 for your DAW.

    Nicolas
    Nicolas Roy
    www.nicolasroy.com

  7. #7
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Chandler, Arizona
    Posts
    4,045

    Re: Need help choosing a PC

    There are both 32 and 64 bit versions of Vista. Usually most companies sell the 32 bit version which has the same memory limitations as Windows XP. You need either Vista x64 or Windows XP x64 versions to access larger amounts of memory. Currently Windows XP is still the better OS for music.

    Jim

  8. #8

    Re: Need help choosing a PC

    I would suggest you make sure your brother clearly understands how to backup/archive the pre-installed MS Window Vista. Eventually (perhaps a year from now) he will want to upgrade back to Vista.

    Many PCs now don't come with "Recovery CDs"; they include a hidden disk partition that contains a compressed backup (that includes the OS and drivers, basically a snapshot of the OS at the time of shipping).

    It appears Dell does this since I see mention of "The Dell Recovery Partition":
    http://support.dell.com/support/topi...785&doclang=en

    Dell has a "downgrade" instruction document (with sub-links):
    http://support.dell.com/support/topi...605&doclang=en

    However, since you are reformatting the hard drive to perform a clean Win XP installation, you need to make sure you don't lose the Vista installation.

    As I understand it, your Microsoft Vista license agreement allows you to install/run/authorize Windows XP using that same license number.

    Another alternative would be to buy one of the Dell PCs that offers Win XP:
    http://www.dell.com/content/topics/s...=19&l=en&s=dhs

    The downside to the above would be you would have to purchase a Windows Vista upgrade OS when you wanted to install it.

  9. #9

    Re: Need help choosing a PC

    Quote Originally Posted by nicolasroy
    Have you considered XP64?
    With a 64bits OS, you will be able to access more than 4GB of RAM. Even if they are not officialy supported by Steinberg, both Cubase SX3 or 4.1 can work on XP64.

    You need to verify your hardware specific drivers for compatibility with XP64 but you can definitely consider XP64 for your DAW.

    Nicolas
    I 2nd the Windows XP64 idea - I'm running it w/an EMU sound card and I get about 4.5G of samples loaded w/my Core 2 Duo PC (6G installed ram) using Cubase SX3. You do need to load some of the samples outside of Cubase - I use Vienna Ensemble for about 2G worth of orchestral samples, the rest within Cubase - to overcome the memory limitation of 32-bit apps, but it's all on the same machine, so no latency. It works great. I've been pleasantly surprised at how many things are compatible with XP64.


    buzz

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