Skip to main content

Hi everybody

My old AMD K2 450 MHz just crashed, and I`m tired of fixing the damn box every month. So I`ll build myself a new DAW. I`m so glad that there`s this forum, I don`t know what I would have done without you.

My main concern when I put together my new DAW is to make it as quiet as possible. I don`t really need to record 40 tracks with tons of plugins, even though I do serious recording on it. My ears are quiet sensible by now(playing drums since I was 8, now it`s mostly Saxophon) and I allready have a bad Tinitus(ringing in ear) with 19.
Even though my budget is really low, I`m gonna spend some extra money to make it quiet, I hate loud computers.
So I`m going to get the case, powersupply and the cooler from a german company called NoiseControl. I read a lot of reviews about them and it`s seems like the right choice. If you can read german, the site is Does anybody has experiences with this company(if there`s anybody from germany or europe around)?

The rest of my setup is:


Intel P3 1000MHz FCPGA 133MHz/256K

2 256 MB SDRAM Kingston High Quality

Noise Control Cooler FCPGA/Socket A bis 1000 Mhz

Luxus Midi Tower (schawrz/silber) Fleece gedämmt(Noise Control)

2 Maxtor Drives (OSAudio)

300w PC-Winner Papst 1500 (Noise Control)

PLEXTOR CD-Writer 24

This is the first DAW I`m building, I hope it`ll be a success. Ì still got two questions:

1. Which is a cheap and good graphic card for a DAW? And how much more expensive is a card with two monitors? (I saw a recommendation in another topic, but I couldn`t get the card here in Switzerland)

2. Is a 300 Watt power supply enough for a setup like this?

I really appreciate any input, any recommendations
and critic on my setup.
Thanks a lot.

Question for people from Europe(especially Switzerland or Germany): Is there something like pricewatch in europe? Or where do you buy your computer parts?

Topic Tags


anonymous Wed, 02/27/2002 - 07:27

Sounds like a nice setup...
My only concern with the setup is the following:
Get more RAM if this motherboard allows it. It is very cheap and always extremely useful. I don't remember which of these PIII motherboards that support 1GB or more.
Maybe you should consider adding a Firewire-card to your setup. This way you can have one or more Firewire disks for audio. Very handy. Use your IDE disks for OS/Backup.
Another option to consider is a RAID-array of IDE disks. If you RAID two IDE-disks for performance they work as one volume with less workload on each disk and increased total performance results.
Some motherboards offer this. Otherwise Promise has a PCI-card called Fast-Trak100 which works just fine.

If you haven't read the tips on RME's site it is valuable reading when building a PC DAW.


Check out the section "Reference PC"...

Fredrik Lidin

Jon Best Wed, 02/27/2002 - 12:36

On the other hand, I don't think I would worry about RAID- new 7200 IDE disks are fast enough for most anything you're going to do.

It's hard to go wrong with Matrox video cards- they aren't the absolute first to jump on new technologies and push boundries, but they are extremely solid and worthwhile.

That power supply is probably fine, but you may want to go by the Intel website and look at the recommended power supplies- there are a lot of them, and it can't hurt to stick to the list!

knightfly Wed, 03/06/2002 - 07:54

Hey Opus - I'm not gonna disagree that it's cheaper to "roll yer own" DAW, but for the sake of people who haven't been doing this how 'bout we compare apples to apples? Your comment about

"I spend around 1200 and I'm done..!!" - Take a closer look at the systems you build for that price and the SoundChaser one - Here's their specs -

Dual PIII Processors w/ 512 MB ECC RAM
Integrated 64-bit U160 SCSI bus
Removable IDE Drive Bay for back-up/ archiving
Steinberg Nuendo pre-installed
Includes TC Works Native Bundle Plug-Ins
Networkable for Multi-Machine operation
Record up to 24-channels of 24-bit/ 96KHz audio (appropriate converters required)
Low Latency Virtual Instrument performance
4U Rack-Chassis (WXDXH) 19" X 20 1/4" (22" w/ Rack Ears) X 7"
365 Watt Power Supply
Quiet Processor and case fans
Included Restore CD returns machine to original factory specifications
160GB / 4drive SCSI RAID in a single rack space
Up to 48 channels of Digital IO through ADAT lightpipe
SPDIF Coax and Optical
ADAT syn

Available Options Include:
Steinberg Midex 8 Midi Interface
Up to 6 8-channel AD/DA converters
ProDAW 248IO 24-channels of ADAT® Lightpipe
Nuendo $6557

Notice the package has a 4-drive SCSI RAID 160 GB (not my first choice to save money, but definitely more expensive to buy) I priced Nuendo on a couple of sites, and it sells for more than $1200. Toss in the TC native bundle for about $450, and you're at $1700 just for software. From the I/O description, they're apparently including a Hammerfall 9652 ($550) or a Nuendo version (same thing, different name, $500) So, just the soft/hardware included would cost about $2200 over the cost of the system.

I know the system you've been talking about is Faster than the Soundchaser one, and there's no way I would build a DAW like theirs (wrong choice on nearly everything) BUT... If either of us was to get stupid and actually duplicate their system, WITHOUT having any "freebies" laying around, it would cost us more like about $5000. (look at the raid alone - single rack 4 scsi? That's gotta be a Glyph, neither one of us can afford one of those when 80 gig IDE's are almost as fast, and two of 'em cost about $250) Plus, I don't generally like to work for free, so when I do a system for someone, they know up front that they are paying for the right not to "get their hands dirty"...

So, about my earlier comment on buying a pre-config Soundchaser system - It was meant for the few who follow these threads who have more money than time and less technical abilities than my dog, but who still want to do something. I see comments about fried brains (know the feeling) so wanted to offer another (easier to understand, harder to pay for) alternative.

Rant over, let's go get a beer... Steve


User login