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How well would my current Dell work as a DAW?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by aclarson, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. aclarson

    aclarson Guest

    Hi everyone, I currently have a Dell Dimension 2400 with a Pentium 4 2.4 Ghz CPU, 642 MB RAM (512MB + 128MB), and a stock 60G HD. I'm currently using an Alesis cheapo mixer/USB interface. I have been doing some dabbling in recording and would like to set up a more capable DAW. I am looking at getting an M-Audio Delta 1010 to use with Pro Tools M Powered. I'm wondering what people's opinions are on the strength of my PC for such a task. I'd like to be able to record and mix 16 tracks with some typical plug-ins. I know from what I've read that I could use more RAM and a second HD for audio, but would these improvements get me where I want to be? I've heard bad things about using Dells for a DAW, any comments on this? Would it be worth buying more RAM and a second HD, or should I just wait till I can afford new PC?
  2. hueseph

    hueseph Distinguished Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Definitely more RAM. An additional 512-1Gig.
    Definitely another hard drive the bigger and faster the better.
    Go to Digidesigns site and check compatability issues. You will need to know what chipset your motherboard is using and the model number. Video card and Firewire info may also be relevant. ProTools doesen't play well with some hardware.
  3. drumist69

    drumist69 Active Member

    Feb 26, 2005
    North Carolina, USA
    I use a Dell P4, 2.6 processor, 1 gig of ram, and an 80 gig HD, plus another 80 gig USB drive for backup. My soundcard is an M-Audio Delta 44. I haven't tried the P-Tools M-powered yet, but plan to. I use Kristal Audio Engine, which is 16 track freeware, and the system works fine unless I load it down with a bunch of plugins. For recording a straight up rock band, this system never chokes. I plan to add another 160 gig HD, and USB drives for backup as this one fills up. But overall, its done well for the past year or so.
    Also, I use mine solely as a DAW...in other words, that PC has never touched the internet. I have removed any un-needed software, and run it with the old-school Windows look, as opposed to the more graphics-intensive Windows XP style. Also disabled the screen saver, and the background is a nice, boring solid color...no image. When I turn the PC on, its ready to go in about 10 seconds. By the time I turn on preamps, monitors, etc, the PC is waiting for me.
    SO! Yeah, get at least 1 gig ram, maybe an external HD for backup, plan on adding another, larger internal HD as well (but that can probably wait a month or two!). It should be a nice home setup. ANDY
  4. Reggie

    Reggie Distinguished Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    I think all you need would be a 2nd hard drive for your audio files and you would be set. A total of 1GB of RAM would be nice, but I think you can make what you have work. Maybe ditch the 128mb stick and match up your 512 stick with another so you can utilize dual channel, but I wouldn't think this to be immediately necessary to get you going.
    I used to use a Dell Dimension P4 2.6 w/1GB and it was fine. Just a little cramped and limiting once I starting shoving DSP cards in there and lusting for more hard drives.

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