#1
Hey guys, was wondering if I could get a bit of help choosing my new desktop. I've got uni in exactly a month, so I'm looking to just get the base unit (already have the rest) for recording and general pc use. I'll be running it with a Presonus Firestudio with Cubase SX3 and numerous VSTs etc. I've been looking on PCspecialist and this is what it came up with for what I need:

Processor (CPU) - Intel® Core™2 Duo E8500 (2 X 3.16GHz) 1333MHz FSB/6MB L2 Cache

Memory (RAM) - 3GB CORSAIR DDR2 667MHz - LIFETIME WARRANTY! (1x1GB)

Motherboard - ASUS® P5K SE: DDR2, SATAII, PCI-e x16, 2 PCI, 3 x PCI-e x1

Operating System - XP

USB Options - 8 x USB 2.0 PORTS (6 REAR + 2 FRONT) AS STANDARD

Memory - 1st Hard Disk - 80GB SERIAL ATA II HARD DRIVE WITH 8MB CACHE (7,200rpm)

2nd Hard Disk - 160GB SERIAL ATA II HARD DRIVE WITH 8MB CACHE (7,200rpm)

1st CD/DVD Drive - 20x Dual Layer LightScribe DVD Writer ±R/±RW/RAM

I have no ideas about computers or if that's crap, so can someone please help? I have a £400 budget; it doesn't need to be amazing or gaming compatible, just useable. Many thanks.
#2
Memory (RAM) - 3GB CORSAIR DDR2 667MHz - LIFETIME WARRANTY! (1x1GB)
- It says 3gb and then 1x1GB..?
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#3
Ah my bad, the one I listed has 1GB fitted, but I have an extra 2GB to take from another PC at home.
#4
2-3GB of Memory should be more than enough, your other choices are great as well however the MB doesnt have a firewire port so you will want to get a TI chip based firewire PCI card.

heck I run a single core AMD processor in my studio and although it lags a little in some settings it works fine for me.

The specs you are looking at are more than enough for your use IMO.
#5
3gb should work fine. Your hard drive is definitely big enough (my studio computer has 200gb total and I have more than enough space). You should be set, dude!
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#6
Sweeeeeeet, cheers for the help guys.

Yeah I've got a TI firewire PCI that I bought for the home PC as well, so I'll nick it from that.

No suggestions of alternatives etc. or is what I've picked fine?
#7
I think its a fine choice. When working on DAWs I normally suggest a dual core processor at or above 2GHz and at least 2GB of memory.
Drive space is determined by how much work you will be doing. I use an external 500GB firewire drive but the 120GB SATA would be more than enough if I didnt have other things on it such as my video editing programs and captures.

I run an Acer Aspire T180 which I put about $200 into.
Video card, Memory, and the interface

oh and yea be sure to get a video card, even if its a cheap $100 8600GT (the one I use), it will really keep the speed of the computer up and help it run smoothly.
#8
Yeah, I mean I'm running a singlecore 2.80ghz computer at the moment and I rarely ever come up against any sort of problems, so that processor should do me good I think.

Adding that graphics card puts the price up a bit, but I might consider leaving it in if it's going to make a huge difference. Either that or upgrade it when I get paid next, I need to save as much money for being a poor student as possible.

I've added the 250gb second drive on, for the massive price difference of...£4.
#10
What do you mean by 'several VSTi's'? I know what VSTi's are, but what do you mean by several?

Then again... 3 Gigs of RAM should be enough to run a rack full.

For just straight audio, even a very modest computer by today's standards is fine. We did our album on my computer - each song upwards to 36 tracks of 24-bit audio with all appropriate FX.

My specs are:

Celeron 1.7 Ghz
512 MB RAM
Win XP
7200 rpm HD (x2)

You can't even *buy* a system like that anymore, but it worked like a champ.

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#11
For an audio computer, I recommend spending extra money on the case and especially the power supply. If it's not quiet, it'll irritate you, and a good part about a high quality power supply is that it'll save you money in the long run with its efficiency. Look into Seasonic and Corsair for good quality kit.
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#12
Quote by axemanchris
What do you mean by 'several VSTi's'? I know what VSTi's are, but what do you mean by several?

Then again... 3 Gigs of RAM should be enough to run a rack full.

For just straight audio, even a very modest computer by today's standards is fine. We did our album on my computer - each song upwards to 36 tracks of 24-bit audio with all appropriate FX.

My specs are:

Celeron 1.7 Ghz
512 MB RAM
Win XP
7200 rpm HD (x2)

You can't even *buy* a system like that anymore, but it worked like a champ.

CT

I use a few instances of Revalver, as well as things like Reason and Synthogy Ivory sometimes, but yeah, it's mostly just straight audio from microphones etc.

Thanks for the info on the power supply and graphics cards guys, I'd never even really thought about those sorts of things in relation to audio; I guess I don't want to be tracking some quiet acoustic part and have a fan whirring in the background haha.
#13
you should be okay i use ivory and superior drummer revalver and GTR3 which are heavy on the cpu but i have a quadcore w/4gb RAM Overclocked at 850MHz, and quadcore overclocked to 3.30Ghz. For ivory etc you could dedicate a drive or partition for samples.

Bear in mind that Cubase SX3 isnt compatable with xp64 or vista64..i ended up having to put xp32 back on and this is the same for most plugins...even with cubase 4 and vista you may find many of your plugins arent compatable.I might be wrong but i dont think the extra gb of RAM will get used in a non 64 bit setup

BTW look at the company overclockers if you are in the UK, they build some great machines and overclock for you with the 1yr guarantee best of both worlds.
Last edited by Sunburst1 at Aug 19, 2008,
#14
Yeah I took a look on overclockers and they don't really offer anything at the price I've got in mind at the moment.

Doesn't overclocking make things really unstable?
#15
if you have a good processor overclocking isn't needed and if you do need more power at that point its probably better to get a new processor instead of pushing the limits of your old one...
#16
You might want a faster cd burner, unless that 20x is describing the dvd write time only. You want 48x CD write, it will write a full cd in just a minute or 2. Its easy to find good ones that aren't expensive too
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#17
Quote by the_astronaut
Yeah I took a look on overclockers and they don't really offer anything at the price I've got in mind at the moment.

Doesn't overclocking make things really unstable?


no ive not had any stability issues at all, i tested running ivory, sup drummer, and gtr3 with the band together with cubase and it worked without any lag.