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Sweetwater computer

Discussion in 'Computing' started by stratman312, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. stratman312

    stratman312 Active Member

    Does anyone have any experience with purchasing a desktop PC from sweetwater? I'm looking at getting a good PC for recording and I'm not familiar enough to build my own (I don't think), and the sweetwater computers look like pretty good value for the comp you get. I'm sorry if this has been discussed previousy, but I searched and couldn't find any material. Thanks
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Sweetwater Sound, PCAudioLabs and Rain Recording all have superior DAW' PC's optimized for both audio and video applications. I personally own their systems.
  3. stratman312

    stratman312 Active Member

    Thanks for the suggestions. Of those, which one would you suggest in terms of value, and which model of each do you own? I'm going to be running Sonar 7 (probably upgrading to 8 soon) and plan on using windows 7. I'm also going to be using quite a few vst's and effects and so on if that gives you a general idea of what I need. I'll probably be using video in addition in the future. Thanks!
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'd call them and talk detail about what you are looking for and may or may not need with your DAW setup. Any new box with window 7 will rock with Sonar. You generally get what you pay for and when you look inside the box you will go... hmm, .... ... nice. Quite, cool and smooth.
    I would definitely question your ability to be serviced in your location if need be. PCAudioLabs has outstanding service.
  5. stratman312

    stratman312 Active Member

    After doing some research on the three manufacturers, I am not really sure which one I should go with. I'm looking about in the $1,600 to $1,900 range. Can you give some info on the main things I need to be concerned with when comparing (such as is more RAM preferable over a larger processor, etc) and perhaps a recommendation on the make you prefer out of the three? Thanks
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    There are so many variables and it all comes at a cost. Some guys end up building their own. The systems I have all list over $3000. My ION is over $4000. I'm not a PC tech so I can't advise you.
    This article posted on Sweetwater is really good. There may be some info in this article that helps you get a better handle on what you need.

  7. fourone3

    fourone3 Active Member

    I'm not a PC tech by any stretch of the imagination. But, I did find it fairly easy to research and build my own computer. A friend of mine bought a rack mount Sweetwater computer for about $2k. I was able to build one with a better processor, more and better memory, and include a 22" monitor for about $1k.

    I would compare all those computers that you've considered, figure out what you want v. what is needed to run Sonar, and see what it takes to build your own.

    The only downside is I have no single place for support. If something should go wrong (knock on wood), I have about a half dozen manufacturers to contact that would probably point the finger at the other. After a year of using it, I'm finding it's working just as smoothly as any other computer I've purchased.
  8. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    There have been some rather long recent threads about building vs. buying an audio computer. The previous poster is correct: a large chunk (I'm not sure about half, but something like that) of the cost of a purchased computer goes toward research, testing and support - and assembly is a much smaller issue. It is a balance of time, money, security, etc. Check out the old threads.

    BTW - I have a Sweetwater computer and have been very please with their service and support. Can't compare with the other builders mentioned, but I will definitely consider Sweetwater for my next machine.
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The real problem with building your own computer is the amount of eye popping research you sometimes have to do to find real specifications on the various parts of a given motherboard. They ain't all built equal. If one sticks the fastest i7 cpu into a loge mobo then you might as well have bought a Gateway. Also, a particular chipset might be implemented quite differently by different manufacturers. If they were all the same there wouldn't be Asus Abit Gigabite MSI etc etc etc. There'd be one option. These are several of the many reasons why no DAW builder lives on the bleeding edge of technology even if they stay within site of it.
  10. westmc45

    westmc45 Active Member

    GO with an iMAC I read for months on this website to try and build a PC and found that the price for the PC I can get an iMAC. So I bought mine from Sweetwater. They delivered this to my APO address in 9 days ( I work in Korea). I bought an mBox and it came with pro tools and all works just fine. here is the website I read abotu for the PC. Personally I would never go back to the PC. I would buy from Sweetwater again any day !!!!!!!

    Digi User Conference - Powered by vBulletin
  11. musicman691

    musicman691 Guest

    You can't add expansion cards to an iMac. If all you want to record with is a firewire based solution, then it'd be okay.
    If you're going Mac there's no cheap solution.
    If you want inexpensive (not cheap - that's another thing altogether) then go pc. Scott from ADK builds some pretty sweet machines and it's a US company (Kentucky to be exact). Being that you're using Sonar check around on their forums - Scott posts there, as does Jim Roseberry who also builds machines. As for the Sweetwater machines, Scott Garrigus (he's the one who writes a bunch of music-related books like Sonar 8 Power) uses one and has or had videos up on his site on the experience. He also posts on the Sonar forums. And the Sonar people themselves use the PCAudiolabs computers.
  12. Johnny_B

    Johnny_B Guest

    Before you decide on anything...buy the seller first, not the product.

    I suggest you call VisionDAW and consult (for free)
    They will identify what you need and build around your concerns/budget.

    They make sure everything works before the system gets to you
    and they test your hardware with their system to ensure hardware congruency/trouble free operation.

    Since I went to VisionDAW I've had nothing but reliable/stable and brutally fast performance...
  13. scott_717

    scott_717 Member

    New to the Forum... first post. I own a PC Audiolabs computer and have been very happy not only with the performance, but the service as well. As part of the price, PC Audiolabs did a turn-key installation of my hardward (UAD, HDSP 9652) and software so that I received it ready to go out of the box and maximized for audio. Not sure if they do that for any of the packaged computers (vs custom), but it is a nice service. Quick delivery too. The follow-up service and remote access to troubleshoot any issues I may have with adding or updating software has been really solid, and they gave great advice on what I may need. Frankly, they probably could have sold me a more expensive computer, but helped me tailor my setup to what I might need. I have no experience with the others and would not begin to suggest what is "best," but I found Tom and Fred at PC Audiolabs to be great and thought I would at least pass along my positive experience.
  14. Johnny_B

    Johnny_B Guest

    Sounds like a positive experience, TY!
  15. stratman312

    stratman312 Active Member

    Hey everyone, I'm about to make my purchase, but before I did, I checked around larger PC makers, and noticed that HP sells a desktop for $1000 with more RAM, an Intel i7, more hard drive space, and I'm wondering, what are the advantages of the ADK (what I'm currently looking at) over the HP? The ADK has 4 gb ram vs. the 6 of HP. Same processor, HP has more hard space. Here's the link

    ADK Pro Audio PC, Laptops, Digital Audio workstations for Nuendo, Cubase, Sonar,
  16. Johnny_B

    Johnny_B Guest

    All specifications aside here Stratman...
    You cannot compare a cookie cutter, mass produced shiny piece of HP branded laptop/desktop
    against a:

    -built exactly for your needs -DAW workstation-

    The HP was engineered to cut costs, use the cheapest parts possible to arrive at a consumer
    approved price point and was not built to handle audio recording. This is not to say that it wouldn't work
    but more often than not many issues (some foreseen, and easily fixed) may arise and *MAY* never be
    properly trouble-shooted/resolved. Support? Adequate support? Fuggetaboutit!

    Take this post as a genuine perspective from an individual who was in the same situation as yourself.
    Buying a prebuilt system from a source other than a reputable DAW builder
    (first) then buying hardware (assuming) it will work (second) is back-asswards thinking IME.

    As a direct correlative example Stratman I've gone from prebuilt systems that didn't work
    or crashed, or failed or weren't optimized to having a VisionDAW workstation that just works, and
    even works with Vista Business 64bit-----with ZERO issues. Everything works.
  17. llatht

    llatht Active Member

    Do not buy a PC that you're going to use for a DAW from Dell, HP, Gateway, etc. I just bought a high end Dell 2 months ago to save money. It was loaded up fairly well (i7, 6 gigs of ram) ....and to make a long story short, I'm changing out my motherboard now just so I can use it with my interface without having dropouts. Just because a computer has an i7 instead of a dual core, it doesn't necessarily mean it will run your application any better.
    I've never bought a computer from Sweetwater, but I have bought other things, and they have awesome customer service! The best I have ever dealt with. They also have their own tech support and they'll make sure your happy.
  18. stratman312

    stratman312 Active Member

    Ok, so one last (hopefully) question about my computer purchase. I've decided on ADK computers, but I'm torn between the AM3 w/ AMD x4 processor (about $1500 w/ shipping), the Quad Pro with Intel i7 and LGA1156 motherboard for around $1670, or the Quad Xtreme with i7 and Intel motherboard that is alot more expandable for about $1770. Is it worth the extra $300 to go with the Quad Xtreme vs. the AM3? All have the same internal RAM and Hard space. (I can get free shipping on either Quad)
  19. llatht

    llatht Active Member

    How many PCI/PCIe slots are on the motherboards of the 2 less expensive computers. I can't imagine them not being fairly expandable. The LGA1156 is just the chipset that the mobo is using. Also, even though they all have the same amount of RAM, do they all have the same amount of DIMM slots? It would be a lot cheaper to upgrade the memory later on if you had 4 slots instead of 2.
  20. stratman312

    stratman312 Active Member

    LGA1156: 2x 16X PCIe, 3 PCIe 1x, 2 PCI, dual channnel DDR3, TI firewire, US (Quad Pro)

    Core i7: 4 PCIex16, 2PCIe, 1PCI, up to 24Gig DDR3 1600, TI Firewire, Sata 6 (Quad Xtreme)
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