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Stable DAW considerations..

Discussion in 'Recording' started by RandomGuest, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    Hello all,

    this is my first post to this forum.

    I am about to build a DAW for mastering purposes, and I want the machine to be as stable as possible. There will not be any other use for it - running Samplitude, burning CD's and twiddling around with 2-trk audio will be the only use for it.

    This is a system I've been thinking of:

    Mobo: Asus A7N8x-x
    Processor: AMD Duron 1,6ghz
    Video card: Club 3D/ATI Radeon 7000/VE
    Memory: 2x 512mb 400mhz DDR
    HD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.7, one 80gb or two 40gb's.
    PSU: Antec TruePower 430w

    The sound card will be a Lynx Two-A. I'm not considering a RAID system here. Any thoughts? It is a relatively small system but I am running mostly outboard processing, so the DAW will mostly be for editing, playing and recording.

    Thank you!

  2. mjones4th

    mjones4th Active Member

    Aug 15, 2003
    Sounds pretty good to me. I'd say thoroughly research the motherboard, and I would suggest an Athlon.

    Another suggestion is to buy a 'burnt-in mobo/CPU/RAM bundle from a place like this . The advantage is you will be guaranteed that the memory and the mobo cooperate, and it will lead to one less source of problems and a more stable system.

    I'm making this suggestion because I've heard of the NVidia chipsets being very finnicky on RAM.

  3. Bill Park

    Bill Park Guest

    The fact that you are building it yourself is the catch. I don't know what you know about building PCs, DAW considerations, etc.

    I built my own DAWs for many years. Nowadays, I find the difference to be less than $200 between me buying the parts and doing all the work, or paying someone else to send me a complete, tested and working DAW. So this is what I now do. Then, if there are any problems, they are not mine.

  4. Get an Athlon. The XP2500 chip (1.83gHz) can be had for $85 US. Cheap.
  5. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    Thanks for the suggestions. Checking out Athlons..

    Bill, I have played with PC's but now it's been a couple of years and I'm just checking out what's happening. Luckily I do have a couple of friends that know pretty much everything about PC's and one of them knows about DAW's too. But I do have a strong electronics backround and I want to teach myself to this.

    Mark, I've heard about problems with nVidia/RAM combo, so this is something I gotta check from the store I'm about to buy it from. Not the cheapest store but it's safer in my position to use the store near me instead of ordering from the web or something.

    One of the things I am thinking of is the PSU. Antec and Zalman have been in my mind..?

  6. jscott

    jscott Guest

    I don't mean to pour salt into open wounds here, but I'll offer some friendly information:

    I hope you realize that there are 3 versions of that ASUS NFORCE2 board? The "8X-X" does not have the NForce2 ultra 400 chipset (which supports dual channel ram). This has the regular NForce2 400 chipset which does NOT support dual channel. For identification - It also usually has all black mem slots.

    Thus, buying a BARTON core processor or PC3200 mem might be a waste as the single channel versions have actually shown better performance when using PC2700 and FSB at 333. This board is also known to have built-in sound issues unless you download and install the realtek drivers from them.

    The "8X" version (not the "8X-X") does support Dual Channel and usually has Blue mem slots and the opposite facts are true. This performs best w/the Barton and PC3200.

    Hence the creation of the "8X-Deluxe" version. A bit more again for price.

    The "8X-X" is about $15 cheaper, and you are buying old technology.

    Neither of these support SATA either, Again old tech stuff.

    I think the ABIT NF7-S is a equalt to and maybe even more problem free board than ASUS at a cheaper price. Have built both, both are good.

    The Barton core starts with the 2500+ XP. Having built these and Intel systems, the performance of the Barton 2500+ feels about the same as the Intel P4C 2.6. You must use the Barton core to get dual channel memory functions. You must use two sticks for dual channel, otherwise you are wasting money on the boards capability, and it must be PC3200 to gain all benefits of the MB.

    Kingston Value RAM has provided very good results. Personnally, I like 2-OCZ PC3200 Performance Series OCZ400512R2, which can also be had in the 256 and 1.0GB versions. The so-called "dual" packaged sets are not required, but the banks must be identical.

    The Antec TruePower series are great supplies. The TP 330 will be acceptable with a NFORCE2 chipset and better quality graphics card, when coupled with 2 HDs, DVD and CD. However, if you intend to use Firewire and USB devices not powered externally it will likely cause glitches and create higher heat due to insufficent power on the combined 3.3/5v rails.

    220 watts is minimum for either of the two boards in question. Been there, done that. Your safest bet is ANTEC TruePower 380 or larger PSU. So the 430 would be very safe.

    If you DO NOT own the drives you listed, buy the SeaGate SATA versions as they are only $6 more and they excel in most all respects - If you buy ASUS, you will also need the SERIAL ATA Power Adapter for each SATA drive.

    And one final reason to buy the ABIT, ASUS no longer has a forum, service is very poor right now. ABIT has a forum, and its a very good one. Go http://forum.abit-usa.com

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