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Topic: Building a new DAW- could use opinions on my components

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  1. #1

    Building a new DAW- could use opinions on my components

    In celebration of nearly being finished with a year-long project I am going to be building a new DAW soon centered around Cubase 4 and would love to here opinions on my choice of components. Here is my list from Newegg.com:


    SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model SH-S203N - OEM
    Item #: N82E16827151154

    $29.99



    Antec P182 Gun Metal Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    Item #: N82E16811129025

    $139.99



    Western Digital Raptor X WD1500AHFDRTL 150GB 10,000 RPM SATA 1.5Gb/s Hard Drive - Retail
    Item #: N82E16822136035

    $179.99



    Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    Item #: N82E16822136131

    $419.97
    ($139.99 each)



    XFX PVT88PYDF4 GeForce 8800GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
    Item #: N82E16814150252

    $219.99



    OCZ GameXStream OCZ850GXSSLI ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 850Watts Power Supply - Retail
    Item #: N82E16817341003

    $199.99



    CORSAIR Dominator 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-8500C5D - Retail
    Item #: N82E16820145043

    $360.00
    ($90.00 each)



    ASUS MAXIMUS FORMULA LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    Item #: N82E16813131227

    $259.99



    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80562Q6600 - Retail
    Item #: N82E16819115017

    $249.99



    Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Home Premium for System Builders Single Pack DVD - OEM
    Item #: N82E16832116204

    $99.99



    PROMISE FastTrak TX2300 PCI SATA Cost-effective Controllers Card - OEM
    Item #: N82E16816102060

    $65.99


    Subtotal: $2,225.88
    Calculate Shipping
    Zip Code: GO
    Shipping: $37.70

    Should be a pretty kick-~~~~~ DAW, huh? A lot faster than my current DAW.
    _______________________________________
    "I would rather compose than decompose."


    Sean C. Dockery
    www.SeanDockery.com




    Cubase 5, Komplete 6, Alchemy, PLAY, Vienna Instruments, Spectrasonics, and much more

    INTEL|CORE I7 980X 3.33G, 12G CORSAIR DDR3, SSD 160G|OCZ for OS.






  2. #2

    Re: Building a new DAW- could use opinions on my components

    It's not that there's anything wrong with your choices, well, except one.
    It's personal preference but........
    Vista is not an ideal choice for serious Music production, yet.
    You'de be better off with XP.

    If you need a raptor then go for it but if you're using samples and working in Midi you won't really benefit from it. Plus the heat and noise factor.

    Quad is attractive yet little is quad ready. Today, An Intel core 2 duo will actually be a little faster IMHO. It certainly is using Cubase SX, not sure about Cubase 4 though.

    Tomorrow though both Vista AND quads will be standard.

    Video card is way overkill. Care should be taken when using PCIX, just get a basic duel head video card. Anything too powerful can create issues.
    No need to spend over $80 I would think.

    The power supply is probably a good one but again it may be overkill.
    Some PSUs rated at 450W are better than those with higher ratings, its not just the watts.

    Anyway, just my thoughts but it sure does look an attractive package.
    2 X Intel i7 920 sys. 12 gigs Ram. XP & Win 7 64
    Cubase 5. Kontakt 4. EWQL C.C.C. (Play)
    Vienna Instruments SE & Plus. Symphobia. GPO.
    RME HDSPe AIO KRK V8s Avalon Vt-747sp
    M-Audio Keystation Pro 88


    My two passions. Music and Cooking.
    Both require just the right ingredients....

  3. #3

    Re: Building a new DAW- could use opinions on my components

    Another thing to keep in mind. Not sure where your DAW will be physically located, but considering the noise factor when building a DAW is very important.

    Like said, a basic video card will do the job. They usually don't require a dedicated fan since they don't have a high-end GPU. So you save noise there...

    Look for a silent CPU fan too. Zalman are making good products.

    And finally, the power supply has to be quiet too. As exemple, Antec are selling models where the fan stops when not needed.

    Hope it helps.
    Nicolas Roy
    www.nicolasroy.com

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

    Re: Building a new DAW- could use opinions on my components

    I would agree that the video card is overkill for music. I'm using an Nvideo 8600 GT chipset card with 256 MB of RAM. This is a quiet fanless card. Video cards are notorious for having noisy fans.

    I don't see the need for the Raptor hard drives. The are louder than 7200 RPM drives and I haven't found them necessary.

    You can save quite a bit on RAM. Many of the higher speed modules just give enough performance boost to be worth the cost. DDR2 800 memory is plenty fast enough and cheap these days. You can get 4 GB (2x2GB) for between $50-$100 at Newegg.com. This leaves 2 open memory slots for boosting up to 8 GB.

    The Corsair 450 Watt power supply is plenty with 4 hard drives and the above video card with room to spare. These are rated as the quietest power supplies on a couple sites. The design allows them to perform better than many of the other 450 watt supplies on the market.

    My recommendation is with Windows XP also. Vista is just a pig and takes forever to load and eats up memory before even loading a program in.

    Jim

  5. #5

    Re: Building a new DAW- could use opinions on my components

    Thanks for the input, guys. The reason for a fast video card is that I've been running into problems with my video reacting slow in Cubase. I use a 30 inch Apple monitor and maybe that's the problem. Or perhaps the problem will resolve itself with a faster processor.

    I will be using Vista, though. There is no way I'm going to go through all the hassle of a new DAW and still use an OS (XP) that is eventually on its way out. I know Vista has it's problems now, but it will replace XP and within a year or so Vista will more than likely be the standard. I will be keeping my current DAW up and running, though, for composing emergencies in case Vista gives me trouble at first.
    _______________________________________
    "I would rather compose than decompose."


    Sean C. Dockery
    www.SeanDockery.com




    Cubase 5, Komplete 6, Alchemy, PLAY, Vienna Instruments, Spectrasonics, and much more

    INTEL|CORE I7 980X 3.33G, 12G CORSAIR DDR3, SSD 160G|OCZ for OS.






  6. #6

    Re: Building a new DAW- could use opinions on my components

    I doubt Vista will become the standard actually.
    Gates will leave Microsoft by the years end and he wants to release "Seven" to replace Vista which has been plagued with negatives.

    It will never be what XP is now. If you want a screeeeeeming system I would suggest Win XP 64 bits with up to 128 gigs of ram.
    Or, possibly wait for Seven but that's too far down the road for us musicians, right!?
    2 X Intel i7 920 sys. 12 gigs Ram. XP & Win 7 64
    Cubase 5. Kontakt 4. EWQL C.C.C. (Play)
    Vienna Instruments SE & Plus. Symphobia. GPO.
    RME HDSPe AIO KRK V8s Avalon Vt-747sp
    M-Audio Keystation Pro 88


    My two passions. Music and Cooking.
    Both require just the right ingredients....

  7. #7

    Re: Building a new DAW- could use opinions on my components

    4th vote against Vista. No offense, but if you are the least bit concerned about performance or even stability I recommend you use XP. Vista hogs immense amounts of memory, CPU load is higher, there are lots of bugs, apps aren't supported, etc... For actual numbers that aren't FUD check http://www.crn.com/software/198702242

    Running Vista, the Polywell system earned a PassMark rating of 391.3. Next, engineers wiped the system and loaded Windows XP Pro (version 2002 with SP2). Running XP, the system earned a PassMark rating of 468.3; that's 16.4 percent faster than Vista, not an insignificant difference.

    Of course you can reinstall the OS and not worry...

    Good choice on the processor, even if it's not fastest now it will be very soon. I would go 4GB RAM if I were you...

  8. #8

    Re: Building a new DAW- could use opinions on my components

    A couple of comments:

    Depending on your setup, quad cores can be useful. I have a Q6600. When running GPO (two instances) and Ozone in Bidule, CPU monitoring shows three cores being used (one at ~20% and the other two at ~10%). Your mileage may vary, though. However, that said, a high-end dual core would probably be able to handle most tasks fine currently.

    I have just one machine powerful enough for both music production and gaming (keep in mind, though, I'm a hobbyist). My machine currently has 2 8800GT cards running in SLI. Great for gaming, but I can attest to the fact that their fans are loud by default. (Low-level utilities such as nTune and RivaTuner can help to quiet them.) Not sure which card you're currently using on that 30" monitor, but as Haydn suggested, an 8600GT should be able to handle that if you're not going to be running anything significant in 3-D.

    Another vote for 4 GB of DDR2 800 over 2 GB of DDR2 1066. You'll appreciate the extra memory capacity, and memory speeds often don't have too much of an impact on real-world use.

  9. #9

    Re: Building a new DAW- could use opinions on my components

    Let me repeat myself as I posted a seperate thing on Vista.
    It is dead!
    Microsoft want to dump it and replace a 32/64 bit OS based again on XP.

    Forget Vista and go with XP/XP64.
    2 X Intel i7 920 sys. 12 gigs Ram. XP & Win 7 64
    Cubase 5. Kontakt 4. EWQL C.C.C. (Play)
    Vienna Instruments SE & Plus. Symphobia. GPO.
    RME HDSPe AIO KRK V8s Avalon Vt-747sp
    M-Audio Keystation Pro 88


    My two passions. Music and Cooking.
    Both require just the right ingredients....

  10. #10
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Chandler, Arizona
    Posts
    4,045

    Re: Building a new DAW- could use opinions on my components

    Yep, it looks like Microsoft has found out Vista is a dud. They are proceeding full force on Windows 7. The kernel is supposed to be much smaller (40 MB) and installation time is to be around 10 minutes. Let's see if they can keep it that way. Vista is just a bloated piece of you know what.

    Jim

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