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Building a Computer

Discussion in 'Recording' started by gardner@uttermost.net, Dec 24, 2001.

  1. I just joined the list tonight, and was wondering about some help. I have been using a Dell Inspiron 5000e for some time. I am about to build a computer and was wondering what to build. Here is what I am thinking about any input would be greatly appreciated. I have really enjoyed reading everything in here.

    I have just bought 1 TV station and 2 radio stations in Peru, SA

    This computer would need to be used for Audio/Video and Graphic Design. I really need inpt on the video card after reading about not getting anything with over 32 megs of ram. Especially since I will be editing video on it. Here is what I am considering

    P4 dual processors 1.7 gigahertz
    1024 megs of ram
    100 gigs of raided scsi hard drives 10,000 rpm
    ATI radeon 8500 (not sure now)
    2 19 inch monitors
    Either MOTU 896 or Steinerg break out box (not sure yet)
    Pinacle systems DV100 video breakout box

    Thanks ahead of time for the help.

    Chris Gardner
  2. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Well...this poses a different aspect when it comes to Video editing!! Personally..I would build two computers..one for audio and one for Video..they can be synced together with very accurate timing these days. This way you dont tax your audio system with Video pull...I forget the amount of video data equation to MB..I think it's 100MB for every minute of color video..could be wrong tho..Raid SCSI drives..hmm? sounds good but possibly redundant for audio..video yes.
    Dual P4 motherboard? Is there one out there yet? I look on 2cpu.com very frequently and havent seen one yet!! If there is one let me know!! I'm interested in that!!
    How many audio tracks do you plan on doing? Is it just stereo track editing? If so then one computer will be fine and the memory on the Video card at that point wont matter much. It's when you are doing solely audio tracks that it will matter..If this is primarily a video machine thats a different story.
    Let me know what the full purpose of this machine is going to be used for..hw much video and how much audio..etc etc!
    And please let me know about the Dual P4 motherboard!!!
  3. Opus,

    Thanks so much for replying so soon. Well I am getting it built at vision computers in Atlanta and the lady acted like there was one out there. I will ask when I talk to them on Thursday. I will be doing about 50 percent of each. I planned on doing audio alone and after getting it where I wanted it having it locked to video and then editing the ideo seperately. the thing is that I have got to take the system(s) to Peru on an airplane. One would be so much easier and it would cost about 1/4 the amount of money in customs which can really be extremely expensive. I thought that if I was using the system for audio got it done and then went to the video side then it would work fine. I would say that max I will use track wise will be 40 tracks. You have to understand that the kind of music we do is traditional church music, so not alot of extra stuff. Then I would mix down to a stereo track and then edit it inside Adobe premier and After Effects etc.

    Thanks again,

    Chris Gardner

    P.S. The ratio is actually 200 megs per minute from what I have studied out.
  4. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Ok...thats good to know..
    now, This is a good discussion at this point when dealing with video in an audio system..
    right now I bought myself an ATI Video capture card..plain simple Video Composite in and TV Tuner card(not going to use TV tuner tho!!) I got it due to the fact that I got a Sharp Camcorder for an Xmas present from my job(not too shaby of a gift eh?!)and I use that to bring in video to Premiere for fun..now I use an Appian Dual monitor AGP card with 16MB..works great for me!! With you I'm sure it's going to be different tho.
    You'll need to full video play back but then again you will have a pro Video capture card with play back right? That may be the answer..is let that card play the video back to a monitor and use a decent video card for the main system. 32MB is really the max you want for audio systems...Is that what you plan on doing? If so..bingo!
    I'm not a video guy by any means..I'm learning it as I try it out!
    My roomate on the other hand is a computer animator(see the movie Eight Legged Freaks..most of his work is on that movie..plus some in the upcoming film Scorpion King and soon to be Matrix 2!!!) He has friend that do that stuff and I can ask him to ask them what they use and so forth and so forth!! Til then
    Merry Xmas all you Goy's!!!! lmao!!
  5. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Re- dual P4's...

    This is pretty much the setup I was talking about- there are a number of dual P4 Xeon boards out there, including a $425 board from Supermicro, and the Xeon chips pretty much keep up with the regular P4's on clock speed. So yes, right now it's possible to put together a dual P4 setup. Actually, I think you can go quad or more, if you want to spend the money...

    Anyway, a dual Xeon 2.0 P4 with a gig or two of RDRAM would be hard to beat...

    I'm not surprised to hear noone is talking about it over on 2cpu.com- those guys and (some of the) forums at arstechnica are _so_ price conscious, it seems like a $400 motherboard (plus that godawful ripoff company Intel :) ) would really turn 'em off.
  6. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    BTW, I think it's the Intel 860 chipset.

    Lots of new 860/Xeon based servers out there, you just don't see them in audio much, as the $400 Supermicro is a real cheapie compared to most. I can't stomach the four digit motherboards right now....
  7. Well I am open for any suggestions. Thanks for the replies. I just do not want to spend good money on a computer that will not do what I want. Video/Audio. Any suggestions are more than welcome, nothing is final yet, that is why I am asking. Have a great Christmas.

    Chris Gardner
  8. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    dang...400 smackaroos for a motherboard...does it write your songs for you as well? Does it do dishes and windows? lol
    I'm sure it would be a killer combo!!
    2Cpu and others are indeed price conscious..thats why I like them..they look after the consumer and tell them what they want to know!
    I'm guessing at this point there has to be some people doing video and audio on the same machine and what they think of it..I would peruse the Nuendo forums and see if you can find any information on that...I know I've read some stuff on that and I'll see if I can find the threads over there on video/audio machines.
  9. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Well, yeah, but I kind of hoped some of those forums would shed some light on the more expensive stuff as well. I mean, I priced out a couple of systems, and came up with;

    About $1900 for a dual Athlon MP 1600/512meg DDR/2 18g SCSI drives/IDE drive/ SCSI CDRW/mid tower, etc.


    About $2500 for a dual Xeon 1.5/1 gig RDRAM/server case/the rest of the system basically the same.

    Both include the RME Hammerfall/Multiface combo.

    Now, that's not a stratospheric price difference, especially with double the (faster) ram in the second system. Yet, everyone seems to be so aware of a couple hundred bucks here and there, that I can't seem to find any real information on an Intel dual setup that's *competitive* at all with a Tyan Tiger/dual MP rig. If the Xeon system is substantially more stable, then the $600 difference may be worth it to some. I don't really want to build *both* :)
  10. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    One of the things I keep having to repeat to myself, that has been borne out my whole buying (and selling) life with *very* few exceptions, is that you get what you pay for.

    What I haven't figured out yet, is whether a $400 Xeon board is that much because one is paying for something more (more stability, testing, better support, some technical superiority), or just because of economy of scale (i.e., not that many Xeon servers out there compared to consumer systems).

    If a $400 motherboard is worth $400 (in features or performance that apply to me), and a $100 mobo is worth $100, I'll buy the $400 one every time.

    Just like audio gear- it takes us all a few rounds of buying and selling to understand, and the temptation for cheap is great, but most of us finally realize that in most situations, a couple pieces of great gear is *always* better than a lot of mediocre to crappy gear.

    Originally posted by Opus2000:
    dang...400 smackaroos for a motherboard...does it write your songs for you as well? Does it do dishes and windows? Opus
  11. The deal for me is that I have had money donated toward the Computer itself. Enough money to not have a problem building one, that is the reason that I sound like who cares I can handle the money. I still have some major questions though. AMD or Pentium? MOTU or Steinberg? Cubase 5 vst/32 (which I already own) or Nuendo? Is there any good place to get a decent deal on Nuendo? I have found it so far for 1200. ATI radeon 8500 (64 megs, and was recomended by a common friend who does video) or not? Any input is always appreciated.

    Chris Gardner
  12. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Personally if you are going to do video with audio I would go for Nuendo..it's more flexible than Cubase when it comes to audio editing and recording. More power to it as well.
    Now..AMD vs Intel..lets not go there on this discussion..there's allready a post on that..refer to that one for info.
    The Video card sounds fine..for video that is...anyone just doing solely audio should stick to 32MB tops!
    Steinberg audio? You must mean RME..Steinberg just slaps their name on other peoples product to endorse a package deal for Nuendo. I definately would reccomend going for the RME cards as their latency is really low and the converters on the cards are top notch. Put that in conjunction with say an Apogee AD8000 and you have a killer system. This is a portable system right? The AD8000 has the option of changing voltages which is convenient when going to different countries. But the question here is how do you plan on getting the audio in and out? Do you need analog ins and outs or do you mind having just Optical ins and outs? That is the question..to be optical or not to be optical :p
    You should be able to find Nuendo for about 1,000 even. Friend of mine bought it at Guitar Center for that amount.
  13. I have read the AMD vs. Intel and just guess that I will stick with the Intel. The system doesn't have to be portable. Once I get it down there then it is staying down there in one place. Let me explain exactly what I plan on doing here with the system. My knowlege of DAW's is expanding but I am not a guru of any sort. I already have a Tascam US-428 and I have been plugging my Triton Pro-x into it lay the track and then go from there to the vocals after having tweaked the track. That allows my notebook to do it without too much of a problem. In Peru. I will be recording live choirs, orchestras, quartets etc. I was thinkong about just plugging everything in direct to the RMC and then using the US-428 as a Midi controller. I probably wont get any posts after saying this but I do not even know what an Apogee is. :-( I started multi track recording in a 4 track recorder and am now just in the beginning of being able to get in the real world of recording. I am PSYCHED!!!! Thanks a lot for the help.

  14. PS the Nuendo price is straight from Guitar Center. 1200 I guess I should wait till after Christmas. Are there any different versions?? If so which one do I need?? I am going to join a group called Club Cubase in Atlanta to try and earn more of what I am doing. I appreciate your help, just remember you are talking to a guy that is going from the ground up litterally. I look forward to building a system that wil allow me to continue expanding for a little while.

  15. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    No..Nuendo is Nuendo..altho there is a Surround edition...but that's just a package with the surround plugins included...you can get those seperately as well.
    Believe me..Nuendo offers way more audio editing and audio capabilities than Cubase. Think of it this way...Nuendo is an audio engine with some MIDI functions...Cubase is a MIDI engine with some Audio functions. Nuendo offers a Mastering function, DVD authoring function, AVI mixing funtion(You can import more than just AVI tho..Quicktime, Movie, Premiere and MPEG), Audio and MIDI function. It has it's own internal Sample Editor(no need for an external audio editor) When I got Nuendo after using Cubase for awhile I couldnt believe the ability to do just about anything with audio!! It's fast, accurate and fun to use. Plus the fact that you are used to Cubase you will learn Nuendo in no time at all!!
    No problem on helping a newbie to this...that's what I'm here for!! I enjoy helping people out that appreciate the help and want to learn it as well.
  16. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Damn...I keep missing posts to reply too!! Scrolling too damn fast I guess!!
    Jon..I'm thinking because they are more animation based systems than audio that is why they're so expensive!! Their designed to handle intensive graphics and processing..plus the Xeon mobo's are SGI/Sun systems configs..so the chipsets and the integrated components are more high end.
    Read this:

    Apogee makes high end D/A and A/D converters(my employeer to!!) go to Apogeedigital.com and check it out!! Many people use our products exclusively!
    Anyways...off to do some video stuff...filmed a Sunfire Bearded Dragon munching some crickets!! We're going to film an Indigo snake eating some mice later tonight..going to piece all the eating action together and make some music and sound effects to it!! Yeehaw!! Peace
  17. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Interesting link. So, if it's wise, in general, to avoid AMD, SIS, and some Via chipsets, and you lean towards Intel, the dual Xeon setup (with the added bonus of much faster RAM) may make sense.

    I make a living recording, and if I'm going to see any little performance or *especially* stability increase by sticking with Intel processor & chipset, then that's worth the $400 price difference to me, easy.

    I'm leaning that way, although I will do more looking into it before I commit- it's going to be a couple weeks before I am done soldering anyway...

    Originally posted by Opus2000:

    Jon..I'm thinking because they are more animation based systems than audio that is why they're so expensive!! Their designed to handle intensive graphics and processing..plus the Xeon mobo's are SGI/Sun systems configs..so the chipsets and the integrated components are more high end.


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