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Would appreciate some overview on DAW PC rebuild

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Telkwa, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. Telkwa

    Telkwa Active Member

    Good morning!
    Newbie here. I'm not a musician. Just a PC enthusiast. Sorry. My friend's DAW PC went up in smoke. Here's a parts list:

    - Antec rack-mount chassis
    - Antec SP-450 PSU
    - ASUS P5L-VM1394
    - 2GB Corsair RAM kit CM2 X 1024 - 5400C4
    - Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro 7 CPU heatsink
    - XFX nVidia 7200GS video card
    - Core2 Duo 1.8 GHz
    - Two HDD's, both Seagate. Windows drive 120 GB Barracuda, music data drive 320 GB Barracuda
    - One LITE-ON DVD/CD optical

    I'm waiting on some more details from him, but I know he has a separate device that the instruments plug into, then this device feeds to the PC with either IEE1394 or USB.

    The PSU and Windows drive are toast. Some of the SATA power pins melted! The data drive, which has some folders called DigitalDesign, is functional. I ran memtest on the RAM for a coupla hours. No errors. I haven't checked out the video card yet.

    I tested the motherboard on the bench with a 'known-good' PSU. I got it to start up a few times by shorting across the "on" pins at first, but after several cycles it wouldn't start up at all. Never got any video from the discrete card or the onboard after pulling the discrete card out. At this point I'm guessing the mb is a goner. There's no visual damage. Afraid that I'd ruined the 'known-good' PSU, I put it back where it came from and that PC ran fine.

    Can someone point me to a few posts that explain where we are nowadays? Such as: Everyone's moving on to W7 now, right? Is 64-bit a much bigger hassle than 32? Is IEEE1394 still the default interface, or is everyone moving on to USB3 or e-SATA? Stuff like that.

    I'd just like to get a feel for which direction we need to go in case he wants me to start spending his money on new parts. The short-term cheapest thing to do would be to rebuild using what's left, but his PC is almost obsolete. Assuming the CPU may still be OK, I did a search for LGA775 Core2 Duo motherboards on Newegg. There's only a handful available!!
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    There is no point whatsoever to trying to Frankenstein that machine back to life. It is obsolete and not worth any effort when parts are as inexpensive as they are. Professional interfaces are primarily PCIe or 1394 based. eSATA and USB3 are fine for storage but no interfaces currently utilized these protocols. The newest generation of coming devices will begin to use the new Thunderbolt protocol but that has not materialized at the moment though I think this is the next "thing." USB3 and 1394c will simply be leapfrogged.

    i7 is the way to go and there is no reason NOT to use 64bit Win7 these days if one is building a machine for longevity. More and more DAW's and VST plugins are becoming 64 bit compatible and 32 bit programs run just fine on Win7 64 bit.
  3. Telkwa

    Telkwa Active Member

    Thanks very much for replying to my rambling post. I've been digging into this since asking for help. At first I was getting the impression that very few of the DAW components on the market work with W7 64-bit. That didn't make any sense so kept looking. Going straight to the manufacturers' websites, such as Avid Protools, I finally started seeing devices that stated W7 64-bit compliance.

    Thanks also for the update on interfaces. I know almost noting about music editing but understand the basics of data transfer. To me, an internal card seemed preferable to USB or 1394. I'll take your comments as pretty much confirming that hunch!
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    High quality PCIe interfaces are usually out of the price range of most home users. Texas Instruments 1394a or b is standard for mobile rigs or most home users at this time. Much more important is the memory controller and having multiple SATA HDD. SDD is strictly an OS drive option at this time though that may change in the near future. Has to do with sustained data write behaviors.
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    What about Windows 8?

    I like making trouble
    Mx. Remy Ann David

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