Let me have it!





I was an Atari guy. Now I'm a Mac guy. Never owned a PC of any sort. BUT, I need to buy a PC. My wife and I need it for some non-music related things. But as long as we're going to have a PC, I might as well use it for some music as well. My main interest on the PC is ACID (which from what I understand doesn't require very much computer at all). However, if I could run some other audio stuff (gigasampler looks interesting, samplitude too) that would be cool although not necessary.

Now, I'm about to drop some coin on a Mac dual800. You can't talk me out of it, I need it to run MOTU DP3 so don't go there. But unfortunately that doesn't leave much money left over for the PC. Say $1000 USD. Purchasing a PC is a little different than purchasing a Mac. LOTS of options. So...


What kind of processor should I be looking at? Celeron, PIII, PIV, AMD or whatever else is out there? What speed?

WIndows 98? 2000? And then there's ME, NT, XP, ABCDEFG... !!! Help!

Stability is a priority. Do I "build a custom" machine or just buy one made from Dell or the like? Will a laptop do the job?

Is $1000 USD going to get me anything that'll at least do a decent job with ACID? Do I need to spend more? I understand that you get what you pay for, but I REALLY don't want to spend money I don't have to - the Mac is going to be my main computer. All I'm looking for in the PC is "decent" operation and stability. I don't care if it's the latest, fastest thing.

I'm sure many of you have different ideas on how to go about this. What I'm looking for is totally biased opinionated responses! But please base your opinions on your personal experiences! Please don't give me your "wish list". I'd rather know what you're using, how it works, what you like about it, and how much it cost! Thanks a lot in advance to anyone who responds!



Well-Known Member
Apr 7, 2001
A Mac? A Mac? Why in the....just kidding...you opened the door for that one!! lol
ok...Laptops are great for home use and so forth but the problem with music apps on them is that the hard drives are really slow rpm drives...in order to keep the heat down in laptops they have to use those rpm speeds of 4200 or 5400..
I build systems for people and usually 1,000 gets you this..
PIII1Ghz...512MB PC133..20GB and 40GB 7200RPM drives...Matrox G450 AGP..Asus TUSL2-C Mainboard..plus the case, floppy and power supply..
now granted I do not sell people monitors..I make people go out and find which one is best suited for them..
Going for a Dell could be nice but the problem there is that they load the machines up with everything and anything you dont need!! You have to then reconfigure the damn thing to work for you!! As far as the OS goes..I would go for Win2k..stable..tweakable and all that fun stuff..If you dont need the latest and greatest then build yourself one..get yourself a socket 1 PIII..very very cheap these days..no question about it!
My audio system consists of a PIII 650(socket 1) with 512MB PC100 RAM ..I do close to 40 tracks of audio and about 13 tracks of Reason Rewire running into Nuendo...stable as all can be..I run Win2k and love it as well..
I dont know what else to tell ya here..I'm hoping the system specs I've mentioned gives you an idea of what to look for..I would stay away from AMD and the new P4's...stick with the PIII's..
If you are going to build a system..go with Asus motherboards...


Hi Opus,

If you're assembling a PC where do you buy all the parts?

I've seen an amazing array of vendors on the web, I have no idea who's reliable and who isn't. I imagine that just like with audio gear, there are PC parts vendors that strike a nice balance between price, availability and being straightforward...any suggestions would be appreciated.



Well-Known Member
Apr 7, 2001
First I check out the prices on Pricewatch..find the exact brand name product I want..I look at the location of the shops near me..in CA that is..then I order them and have them ship it to me...no particular shop I deal with..lately it's been NextHardwareshop.com and Beatprice.com...it's all relative to whether they honor Pricewatch's listings or not...


Well-Known Member
I have dealt with a vairety of vendors. The cheapest deals for me, seem to come from http://www.tigerdirect.com
although their return turn around can be long. I just bought an ATX power supply for $5! Yep, I know, ya get what ya pay for... oh well. So it might blow up my K6/VIA board at work- oh well- that one doesn't matter anyway. I pieced it alltogether anyhow!!!

If you want cusotmer service, go to http://www.cdw.com Very professional! You usually deal with the same person if you call to order or have problems. They are a bit more expensive, but if you need to return something, or order something specific, it is nice to get to know ONE sales rep. Same with
(plus they have tons of cool cool gear- I could spend a million dollars at full compass, if I had that kind of moola)

Other places I've dealt with:
http://www.elinux.com/shopping/ :D

For audio software I sometimes go to:

There ya go. That should keep you occupied for a bit!