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Another PC Build by a Newbe to Computer Building

Discussion in 'Computing' started by Kennith Hillis, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. Kennith Hillis

    Kennith Hillis Active Member

    I started recording about six years now. I started out recording on a cheap Compact with a build in sound device on the motherboard. I have since moved up to an old gaming PC with a Presonus Interface. The motherboard has failed on me with the gaming PC.

    Note: I am not a gamer, so I will not be using this for gaming. I bought it off a friend.

    I do not wish to put myself on a budget with this build, but I don't exactly need a top of the line PC. I will be using Windows 7 Professional 64bit as my OS. I will eventually get the Presonus Studio Live 16. I may even use their Studio One Recording Software, not sure yet though. Right now I am using Cubase.

    Now my question is what would you suggest based on experience? I can't exactly go out and test all hardware out there.

    1. I need a reliable power supply, powerful and quiet.
    2. I need a reliable motherboard. This will really be based on what processor (Intel) I need to run a studio. I don't really now how much is a necessity, or how much is rediculous.
    3. I need a good cd reader and burner, something that won't alter what I have recored when I burn a cd. I guess with that I would need software that would help prevent this as well.
    4. I need a video card to display two screens. At the same time, I don't need anything crazy. I'm just looking at wave files, not 3D aliens.

    Sound card and firewire ports are taken care of. Hard drives are usally opinionated from luck. Just need a big case, two screens and I'm good to go.

    Forgive me if I left anything out. Please reply to let me know. It is late so my mind is not functioning well. Thank you all for reading and respecting my thread.
  2. EricIndecisive

    EricIndecisive Active Member

    Hey there, I just bought all the parts today for a new computer that I will be using for music, HD video, 3d art, photoshop, etc. But still, some of the things I researched may be able to help you..

    For recording music, you really don't need a TON of power. If you use a lot of plugins and such, having a good amount of RAM will help. 4 gigs is now the standard it seems... I just bought 8 gigs for $100 for my new build. Are you building an entirely new computer or reusing stuff from the old one?

    An AMD will run you much cheaper, but I wanted a big upgrade from this computer which is only about 3 years old, so I went intel. I still feel like intel has its image for a reason. That being said, the new i5 / i7 processors are apparently beastly. Right now the i7 motherboards are a pain to get since they just came out with a fix (recall they had). The board I ordered sold out a minute after I finished the checkout. Anyways, if this is strictly for music you could easily get away with an i5 build and be more than happy. Even then it is probably more than you need though. As long as you don't get anything messing up with your presonus latency set on 2ms in the utility, I think you'll be fine.

    As far as all of your other concerns.. power supply, CD burner, video card... what I usually do is just go to newegg and sort by 'best rating'. Often times these are the most popular items, and ones that end up winning the 'customer choice' awards. Had good luck so far with this method!

    As far as a hard drive goes - I feel this is the most important. I just ordered a Solid State Drive, no spinning parts. MUCH faster than a 7200 rpm standard drive. But where you would pay 10 cents per gigabyte on a normal hard drive, you'll pay $2 for on an SSD. But they won't get scratched and will write extremely fast. I ordered a 120 GB model so that I can record my projects on there, then move them to another hard drive for storage. But as far as working speed, the SSD can't be beat. I'd at least look into it.

    Remember you really don't need a powerful computer just for music. I know lots of people that do it off a laptop. If you have lots of plugins, you'll need some decent RAM. A fast enough processor to get a low latency on your interface. And a solid state hard drive would make for very fast reading / writing of your projects. Hope it helps some
  3. Kennith Hillis

    Kennith Hillis Active Member

    That definitely helps. You really couldn't have explained what you did any better. Thank you for taking time out to read this thread and reply.

    To ask about reusing the old parts is a great question. I was going to reuse the video card and hard drive. Now that you explained the Solid State Drive to me, I will just use the drive I have now as a back up. Also I thought my monitor was going bad because the screen would jump around and cut in and out. I have the monitor hooked up to another computer and it is perfect. I've been looking stuff up on Tiger Direct and occasionally taking a drive to Fry's Electronics. I will have to check out Newegg. It is always good to have multiple sources. Thanks for the advice about best ratings. That is a great idea.

    You explaining I could have latency problems an i5 is a great help. I know you say it could work, but I'd rather be on the safe side. I think I had an i5 before. I had a few skipping problems when I had a lot of tracks playing at the same time. I use maybe 8-10 tracks for the drums, three tracks, sometimes four for the guitar, two, rarely three tracks for the keys, one bass track, and multiple tracks for vocals. I usually only use this many when recording Metal. When we record the softer stuff, we tend to keep it simple.

    As far as the plug-ins go, I'm not really big on them. I use them from time to time when I need to. I just like to have a real sound. I know there are some realistic plug-ins. I just can't afford it.

    Thank you for your help.

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