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Topic: Building my own dual or quad.....Help!

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  1. #1

    Building my own dual or quad.....Help!

    It's been awhile since I've been here but I need help badly. I can't afford to buy a computer with all the hardware qualities I desire, so I'm going to purchase each component and put them together. I want an intel based system that has no parts compatability issues particularly between mobo and drives, has good enough speed so there are no lags between the drive and RAM, very good cooling and last but not least, is as quiet as I can afford. I do everything from small ensembles to full orchestra, which means I use quite a number of programs at once. Most of it is midi with the exception of vocal tracks. I occasionally have a guitarist who plugs in with audio. If there are any good recipes out there, please help me. I'm in no hurry, but I'd rather hear from a musician with tech knowledge than a tech with no knowledge of computer generated music. (Scope where are you?) Thanks in advance.
    -Rajay
    Sonar6PE,GS3Orch,GVI,Reason3.0,Batt.3,StylusRMX w/Exp,Trilogy,B4ll,VGuitar2,TranslatorPro,CoolEditPr o2.1, K2500XL,2xIBMM51P4530HT/80GBSATA/3GBDDR/350watts,2xWD149GBFW,Delta1010,MidiTimepieceAV,2x1 604,20/20,on & on..........

  2. #2

    Re: Building my own dual or quad.....Help!

    Rajay,

    Scope is a good man, helped me before but I'm sure he'll drop on by sooner or later.

    Well, firstly I can tell you I build a lot of DAWs, all Intel based.
    BUT. Big question is what Operating sytem do you use?
    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 my own dual or quad.....Help!

    Thanks Chalfant for answering. I'd love to keep running XP Pro. I'm not at all familiar with Vista and it's quirks. In my limited knowledge my dream would be something like the Q9450 with something like a P45 chipset and 2 SATA ll drives if that makes sense. I just don't know if they're compatible or not. Beyond that dream I'm lost man. I'd considered networking 3 machines but if I could get by with 2 I'd be thrilled. I'll worry about GigaStudio later. I guess I need someone whose manhood isn't threatened by taking me by the hand and saying, "why don't you consider this". As I say to anyone who's willing to listen, all I want is to buy each component then put them together without compatibility problems. I think it's kinda rude to ask someone who makes a living doing this to give me info they may consider trade secret, but with almost no knowledge and very little money it's my only choice. My IBM has been down for awhile now and rather than try to cram all those programs back into it I may as well work on getting something that'll serve me for at least the next 2 years. Thanks again. Just an old man losing his mind 'cause he can't make music.
    -Rajay
    Sonar6PE,GS3Orch,GVI,Reason3.0,Batt.3,StylusRMX w/Exp,Trilogy,B4ll,VGuitar2,TranslatorPro,CoolEditPr o2.1, K2500XL,2xIBMM51P4530HT/80GBSATA/3GBDDR/350watts,2xWD149GBFW,Delta1010,MidiTimepieceAV,2x1 604,20/20,on & on..........

  4. #4

    Re: Building my own dual or quad.....Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by rajay View Post
    Thanks Chalfant for answering. I'd love to keep running XP Pro. I'm not at all familiar with Vista and it's quirks. In my limited knowledge my dream would be something like the Q9450 with something like a P45 chipset and 2 SATA ll drives if that makes sense. I just don't know if they're compatible or not. Beyond that dream I'm lost man. I'd considered networking 3 machines but if I could get by with 2 I'd be thrilled. I'll worry about GigaStudio later. I guess I need someone whose manhood isn't threatened by taking me by the hand and saying, "why don't you consider this". As I say to anyone who's willing to listen, all I want is to buy each component then put them together without compatibility problems. I think it's kinda rude to ask someone who makes a living doing this to give me info they may consider trade secret, but with almost no knowledge and very little money it's my only choice. My IBM has been down for awhile now and rather than try to cram all those programs back into it I may as well work on getting something that'll serve me for at least the next 2 years. Thanks again. Just an old man losing his mind 'cause he can't make music.
    -Rajay
    The last PC I built was an Intel core 2 Duo. The cpu is a E8400, 3 gig with 4 gigs of Ram. Now, I have 4 of them, all the same.
    They're all networked together via mid over lan and for me it works great.

    Here's the thing though.
    Firstly, we need to know your budget.
    I would strongly suggest a quad core like the one you want, don't bother with anything less.
    As far as Motherboards go thre's Asus and Intel in my mind, Intel being the most stable, just a tiny bit slower than the fastest Asus BUT........ Very, very solid and stable.

    I have to run but tomorrow I'll get back to you with more details, ok?
    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....

  5. #5

    Re: Building my own dual or quad.....Help!

    I ve built several machines in the past but they all seem to be more expensive than off the shelf.

    I'm typing this on a DELL which cost about 75% of the last one I built myself. I just cant seem to source the components cheaper than I can buy ready made. There may be a quality thing here but I dont know.

    I do all my music on my own built machine though
    Derek
    Things may come and things may go but the art school dance goes on forever
    NOW WITH Cubase 5, JABB,GPO, Fender Strat, Ibanez RG, Yamaha Fretless Bass, Framus Archtop, The Trumpet and Mr T Sax, together with GREEN SEALING WAX


  6. #6

    Re: Building my own dual or quad.....Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chalfant View Post
    The last PC I built was an Intel core 2 Duo. The cpu is a E8400, 3 gig with 4 gigs of Ram. Now, I have 4 of them, all the same.
    They're all networked together via mid over lan and for me it works great.
    Here's the thing though.
    Firstly, we need to know your budget.
    I would strongly suggest a quad core like the one you want, don't bother with anything less.
    As far as Motherboards go thre's Asus and Intel in my mind, Intel being the most stable, just a tiny bit slower than the fastest Asus BUT........ Very, very solid and stable.
    I have to run but tomorrow I'll get back to you with more details, ok?
    Thanks a lot for the information. As for my budget, I'm more or less on a fixed income. I do some part-time work subbing for the school system but that'll all be over soon. I'm not looking to even begin the build until about September. That gives me a little time to become better educated. I had Asus in mind but I'm not sure I'll need that turbo thingy. I've read that it has problems. This is an uneducated guess but I'm thinking somewhere around $600 for parts. If I could have something that wouldn't strain if overclocked out to around 3Ghz I'd be proud.
    Sonar6PE,GS3Orch,GVI,Reason3.0,Batt.3,StylusRMX w/Exp,Trilogy,B4ll,VGuitar2,TranslatorPro,CoolEditPr o2.1, K2500XL,2xIBMM51P4530HT/80GBSATA/3GBDDR/350watts,2xWD149GBFW,Delta1010,MidiTimepieceAV,2x1 604,20/20,on & on..........

  7. #7

    Re: Building my own dual or quad.....Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by buckshead View Post
    I ve built several machines in the past but they all seem to be more expensive than off the shelf.
    I'm typing this on a DELL which cost about 75% of the last one I built myself. I just cant seem to source the components cheaper than I can buy ready made. There may be a quality thing here but I dont know.
    I do all my music on my own built machine though
    Thanks for responding. I'm hoping with a lot of research I can find some deals I can live with. At any rate, whatever the cost, you're working on your machine and that says a lot.
    Sonar6PE,GS3Orch,GVI,Reason3.0,Batt.3,StylusRMX w/Exp,Trilogy,B4ll,VGuitar2,TranslatorPro,CoolEditPr o2.1, K2500XL,2xIBMM51P4530HT/80GBSATA/3GBDDR/350watts,2xWD149GBFW,Delta1010,MidiTimepieceAV,2x1 604,20/20,on & on..........

  8. #8

    Re: Building my own dual or quad.....Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by rajay View Post
    Thanks a lot for the information. As for my budget, I'm more or less on a fixed income. I do some part-time work subbing for the school system but that'll all be over soon. I'm not looking to even begin the build until about September. That gives me a little time to become better educated. I had Asus in mind but I'm not sure I'll need that turbo thingy. I've read that it has problems. This is an uneducated guess but I'm thinking somewhere around $600 for parts. If I could have something that wouldn't strain if overclocked out to around 3Ghz I'd be proud.
    OK, back again.......
    Well, my first concern is your budget; let's look at a realistic figure for a quad core. I would not suggest anything less because you're just asking to run out of cpu power when doing large Midi orchestral track counts.
    Maybe down the road you could grab a second machine to run some of your programs or your orchestral library and run them together via Midi over LAN.

    Anyway, as for the CPU you should look at something like the Core 2 Quad Q9550. I say that over your choice because it's a 45 nm. It's 2.83 gigs and that is about $270.00. A good motherboard is going to run you about $165 for an Intel 775 type. Intel’s are a bit cheaper, about $120.
    I've built many DAW's but have always used Intel or Asus, this is the only ones I can comment on, although I know there are people here who have had good success with Gigabyte boards. There are many available that don't focus on video and all the bells and whistles that you do not want for a DAW.
    A couple of things you need to decide on are 1. How many PCI slots do you need, many boards only have 1 now. Also, do you need Firewire; if the board doesn't have it there goes your PCI slot.

    What type of Audio Interface do you use?

    You're now up to about $450 and you will need at least 2 Sata drives and add one later, by spreading your libraries and programs over the other two drives this will increase performance.
    The drives, I would suggest something Like Seagate are about $150 for the two. Your Win XP drive should be about 320 gigs and your first sample drive about 500 gigs. You could easily get the Operating drive at 160 gig but there's little price difference. I actually prefer smaller drives for the operating system.

    You're now at about $600 and the next big expense is a good power supply. This gets a little confusing but..........
    IF you are going to run 3 drives and push your machine which I'm sure you will you should look at something like a quality FSP group 700 w or a Thermaltake Purepower 600W, around $100.
    DO NOT think you can use a generic or a standard 250-300W P/S.
    This WILL cause problems; I don't care what anyone tells you, they are simply wrong.

    The RAM of course should be a quality brand like Kingston and you will need 3 gigs to start. You will probably end up with DDR2 6400 type.
    That's another $ 60.

    As you can see this is adding up to $800.

    There are cheaper options but not by much really.

    I have a friend who bought three 3 gig core 2 duos second hand from a computer store, all at 2.8 gig and runs them together, works great but other than something like that lowering your specs a little will not change the price much. Maybe $150.

    Let me know your thoughts so far.......
    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....

  9. #9

    Re: Building my own dual or quad.....Help!

    Chalfant my friend, that's exactly the kind of detailed lesson I was hoping for! With this I can research each part to see just how each would benefit me. As for doing huge track counts, I already have an IBM ThinkCentre M51 that's listed in my signature that I plan on networking if that's possible. It's HT. That'll lessen the load on the quad. It's down now. I cleaned everything out and when I tried to re-install, I kept getting the prompt that the windows installer wasn't working. Frustrating when you don't know what you're doing. I went to DOS trying to install a new one which I hadn't done since practically it's early days, to no avail. I have a tech who's gonna get that up and running for me. Quad 9550 huh? I saw that listed on one of the sites you led me to. That 45nm, is that the chipset? Now for the mobo. I thought it was you who mentioned the Gigabyte mobo. Maybe it was on the forum page you led me to. Although I read where a number of folk use Asus, even those who still do admit the quality control isn't what it used to be. If you suggest intel, I'll take your word for it. I'm looking for stability along with the peformance.
    I think I'd like the firewire built in. Keep my PCI slots open for some later additions. I've gotten used to 4 slots unless you don't think they're necessary.Would it be possible to add video later? Btw, I have a firewire card in my IBM.
    As for interfaces, I use a Delta 1010 for audio and a MOTU MIDI TimePiece AV for midi. Those should save me something right? Don't know if there would be an issue with those drivers. It's worked fine for me before.
    As to how many drives, I'd like 1 for the system and 2 for programs. I have 2 WD 149 gig ext. drives as well.
    Now that all important PSU. I was thinking as you were. Around 6 or 700 watts but the cooling would be my big concern. I read of several others are using but that Thermo thingy seems to be well thought of. Hope I didn't miss a lot. You're awesome man.
    -Rajay
    Sonar6PE,GS3Orch,GVI,Reason3.0,Batt.3,StylusRMX w/Exp,Trilogy,B4ll,VGuitar2,TranslatorPro,CoolEditPr o2.1, K2500XL,2xIBMM51P4530HT/80GBSATA/3GBDDR/350watts,2xWD149GBFW,Delta1010,MidiTimepieceAV,2x1 604,20/20,on & on..........

  10. #10

    Re: Building my own dual or quad.....Help!

    Rajay,

    Glad I can provide some decent input for you, I'm confident you'll get the advice you need but for your own piece of mind I'd like others to join in here. Someone like Scope.
    It's not that I don't have confidence in what I tell you, for the most part my experience comes from building about 50 DAW's and it also is my passion. Some may disagree with me so you need to feel comfortable before making such critical decisions.
    So, all I'm saying is that you should research as much as you can, make some notes and we can discuss them.

    I've read your reply, lots of good info there but I'm going to make some notes later tomorrow and answer you in detail.

    I'm also looking at some other options for you..........
    Chat tomorrow, cheers.
    Charles
    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....

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