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Need advice for new computer build

Discussion in 'DAW's, Computers & Software' started by wichita6, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. wichita6

    wichita6 Guest

    Hello Everyone,
    I want to build a new computer for recording Vocal/Guitar/MIDI. This will be one instrument at a time using synth plug-ins via Cubase 5 and/or Cakewalk 6.
    My computer is outdated and I don't want to fall into the same trap as before when I purchase a pre-built system.
    I have plenty of experience in building workstation systems for work but not for recording
    I would like some advice from any of you that has experience in building and tweaking computers for recording. I feel very comfortable in building but not in part selection.

    What I have been looking at is the Intel i7-920 processor with the ASUS P6TD Deluxe 1366 motherboard but not sure if this is just overkill for what I will be doing (I could put the extra money into SSD's or monitors or something else). Liquid Cooled or Air?
    My sound card is the Delta 1010lt and I have a nice server for my backups.

    I would appreciate any advice as to what would be a wise choice for this build. I want this to last a few years. Also, any advise on website dealers for the parts.
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Moderator Resource Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    PT 8.0.3 + P6TD Deluxe + Intel i7 + Win7 64bit - Blue Screen (Solved). - Digi User Conference

    Check around the PT site. If no one there is having issues with that mobo then you have as good a chance as any for it to work well. As to the tech itself, buy as highspeed as you can afford so that it lasts a long time. Well, buy the newest stuff that is barely off the bleeding edge that has the drivers to be stable. Not much is stable in it's first version.
  3. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Moderator Resource Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    Features are not always selling points | Puget Systems Blog

    This is a good commentary on mobo's generally.
  4. Johnny_B

    Johnny_B Guest

    I've seen many builds with the Asus that have worked well.
    Take a look at the Gigabyte UD5 as well.
    This is what I have and it works very well, as well.
    On board T.I. Firewire chipset and I feel features better build quality
    (quality components, motherboards don't flex)

    Make sure you mem test the RAM when you get it.
    Sometimes RAM can cause issues even though in theory it should work.
    I recommend mushkin, but there are many other good brands to have.
    Don't skimp on the PSU, leave minimum 20% open out of the total power consumption
    of your system for future upgrades/peripherals.

    I also recommend burning a system image of your system once it is running properly.
    I wouldn't trust the stock HSF/cooler at all.
    I feel you don't need liquid cooloing, although it is better, but at a price.
    Noctua is great, the T.R.U.E. is also a proven cooler.

    If you need a quiet GPU check out the fanless models.
    I use an ASUS EN 9600GT (cheap) fanless, and dual DVI.

    -What sample engines will you be using?
    -What do the libraries (in GB's) come out to?

    Reason being...while SSD's are awesome at access times + sample
    streaming, and can be filled up completely...they are expensive...

    -WD VelociRaptor 300GB 10,000 RPM drives are perfect for streaming samples.
    -WD Caviar blacks 640GB model 7200 RPM drives are also.

    I can attest to the former (I own these)
    and everyone that I've talked to loved the blacks.

    -Most cases could do the job but what sells me on a case is the detail
    that went into the design, not just the materials/build quality.
    You want ideally a case that allows airflow to all components, pushing out the hot air and
    taking in the cold air. Of course, fan placement is crucial for this.
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Moderator Resource Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    Caviar Black works very well.

    If you are buying a case new anyway then buy a Rosewill or Antec rackmount case. They are more rigid and you can of course rack it up even in a studio environment.
  6. wichita6

    wichita6 Guest

    Thank you for your input.
    I have dimensions pro, guitar rig, sonic capsules and the ones that come with Cakewalk and Cubase 5.
    I am looking for more but need to spend the money on a good computer.

    Anyone have some suggestions on some soft synths?

    Thanks again for your input. This site has some knowledgable and helpful folks.
  7. tstoneman

    tstoneman Active Member

    Nov 3, 2008
    Not sure what your budget is but I can tell you that investing in great hardware is totally worth it. I went from Apple G4s to PC quite a few years ago and had nightmare results with consumer PCs. Tried white boxes, Dell XPS, HPs, building my own, nothing but problems. Then, I bit the bullet and bought a Dell Precision 690 - Xeon processors, ECC RAM, SAS drives, put in an NVIDIA Quadro 5600 card and Shazam! magic bullet - works perfect and has worked perfect for years now - not one problem ever. So we then decided to build a soft synth station using a Tyan workstation MB with the WD Raptor drives metnioned above with an NVIDIA Quadro 3700 (using a wkstn graphics card is important not only for now but future CUDA has special features that will run best on their professional cards) and it too has been a dream. I know it's a bit of change but I would sell my car first and go this direction to avoid losing years off my life. Just my two cents.
  8. gwin_7

    gwin_7 Active Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    I need some advice too. I recent bought a brand new Dell Studio XPS and I cannot get it working with cubase 5. It has i7 quad core and 8 gigs of ram and still does not handle anything. All I get is pops and cracks and crashes. I went through 3 different interfaces, none of which worked properly. When I tried to put a new firewire card in it it does not even read it. I have spent hours on tech support calls trying to get it working and I am about ready to throw in the towel and build a new comp.

    Has anyone built a computer recently with windows 7 that works well? I need advice. I was a MAC user but switched to PC to use Cubase 5. Anyone have some advice on what computer would be good for LOTS of vst's and plugins but minimal audio recording.

    Thanks for the help,
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Moderator Resource Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    I am running three computers with Win7. No real issues but I don't use VSTi's at all and not too many VST's either. There are quite a few lists posted in the computer forum for tweaking an operating system.

    Really, this is why it is generally recommended for serious recording/mixing to purchase a computer built by an audio company like Rain or PC Audio Labs or any of the others-I have no preference. The next best step is to build one's own but the amount of time and research spent to do that offsets any savings in cost....plus you have no tech support or warranty. The least desirable step is to purchase a computer off the shelf. It's always a crap shoot whether the components used are good or even truly compatible with each other. Often they can be tweaked to work pretty well but not always. And never to the level of a professionally built machine.
  10. hueseph

    hueseph Distinguished Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    The 64 bit drivers for Digi interfaces are scetchy. I'm not sure that anyone has got them working at all yet. Are you using Win 7 Pro? Only pro and ultimate are supported. Also Digi ASIO is not that great.

    Incidentally, Cubase works on Macs just fine. I don't see why you had to switch to PC for that.

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