Building A New DAW

Discussion in 'Computing' started by Newton, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. Newton

    Newton Guest

    My goal is to have a very quiet machine as I will be doing some tracking in the same room. This is the first computer I’ve built. Hopefully I have enough technical skill to put this thing together. :lol: After spending some time researching previous posts on RO (which have been a great source of info!), this is what I’ve come up with:

    --Antec SLK3000B case
    --Nexus Real Silent 120 mm case fan added to the front
    --SeaSonic Super Silencer 400W ATX Power Supply
    --Asus P4P800-E Deluxe mobo with Intel 865PE chipset. Also looked at Asus P4C800- E with 875P chipset. Any real advantage of getting the latter?
    --Intel Pentium 4- 3.0 GHz CPU; Socket 478 - Bus 800 MHz - 1 MB L2 Cache
    --Zalman 7700CU - CPU Cooler
    --Either Corsair, Kingston, or Crucial 1GB PC-3200 DDR 400MHz;
    --Samsung Spinpoint 160 Gig SATA Quiet Hard Drive, 8MB Cache; #SP1614C for music files
    --Samsung Spinpoint 80 Gig SATA Quiet Hard Drive, 8MB Cache, # SP0812C for Applications
    --Radeon 9250 128MB Quiet Video Card;128MB Dual Head; Supports AGP 8X
    --Plextor PX-712A/SW; DVD/RW & CD/RW; includes PlexTools Professional, and compatible software from Roxio
    --Qty. 2 - V7 Videoseven L17PS / 17-Inch / 14ms / 1280 x 1024 / LCD Monitors
    --Sony 3.5 Inch 1.44MB Floppy Disk Drive
    --RME Digiface and PCI card
    --Cubase SX3 software

    Does everything here look compatible? Any areas of improvement needed? David French, Big_D, anyone…feedback Pleeeze!
    My front end is a Yamaha AW4416 (Using Sytek MPX-4A pre’s) and will use ADAT link to the RME. Monitors are Yammy MPS5’s. May get UAD1 studio pak DSP card in the future – when cash allows. Thanks!
  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    most everything looks good.
    do not use samsung drives.
    WD, SEagate, Maxtor.
    get a vantec 120mm stealth. quieter than nexus.
    use an IDE OS drive. leave the sata for audio/samples.
    Pioneer or Sony over plex.
    2 reasons i say this. Plex is very finicky about what media you use,
    and the pioneer will play in more set top boxes.
    plus the plex has to be master on a chain which can make cabling a pain sometimes.
    also roxio sucks, use Nero. both have the same amount of ccr error.

    very little advatage to the asus, more sata ports giga lan (fxteleport?)

    why not AMD 64?
    faster, ready for the 64bit OS due out in may. same price point.

  3. Newton

    Newton Guest

    I hear you on the Samsung HDD. I'll go with Seagate. I've been reading "" and have gotten some of the recommendations from there.
    But wouldn't an SATA hdd for the OS be faster than IDE?
  4. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    its not about speed, its about bios issues, etc in using a Sata.
    FYI Sata and IDE are very close in speed. for an OS drive it really dont matter. IDE is much easier to set up.

  5. Newton

    Newton Guest

    Oh, I seeee...and I sure do want it easy to set up seeing that I'm a newbie with building a PC. Thanks for your input! I'm sure I'll be back for more info. In the past I used a Yamaha MD8, which records on a minidisc. This setup's gonna put the MD8 to shame!
  6. moonz

    moonz Guest

  7. Newton

    Newton Guest

    OK then, I'm making progress here. A couple other things I'm wondering about.
    First, should I pay Aberdeen an extra $50 to install the CPU in mobo and test it or just buy em and do it myself? I have put chips into sockets in my day job and I wouldn't think it's too big of a deal. Of course I've got and ESD grounding strap too.

    Second, Should I pay the extra 50 bucks or so to get Windows XP PRO over Home version. And yes, I am going to need to use this machine for the internet too. Verizon says my DSL (hooking up next week) has built in firewall and Norton anti-virus protection too.

    Third, am I going to have all the cables and stuff I need to put this thing together, as long as I don't buy OEM parts?

    Guess that's it for now. Thanks very much for your help!
  8. moonz

    moonz Guest

  9. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    assuming an IDE OS drive,
    with the Plex on the secondary IDE chain. you will find it needs to be master.
    if slave it throws all kinds of errors trying to laod the OS.
    it will work as slave on the primary, but due to cabling issues this is usually not happening.
    this happens with TYan 2885, Gigabyte any, MSI any, Asus any,
    not sure about super micro. (any meaing in the last 18 months)
    we ship 15-20 systems a week. so dont tell me it dont happen.
    dont get me wrong Plextor is my second choice.
    but as far as being able to use the majority of "cheap" media and being read by set top dvds the pioneer is better. (this would appy mostly to videographers well make dvds, rather than audio guys doing back ups. however if your doing surround and using dvd quality it may apply if you test in various players to hear your mix)

    pioneer is also cheaper.

    i agree dont buy OEM processors,
    however do buy oem everything else. the mother board will come with most if not all your cables. you may need an extra IDE cable.

    DO buy OEM Windows XP home. there is no differance between retail and oem, other than a few hours of free support from microshaft. the disks are indentical.

    choosing an online vendor should not be just about price, you should consider who will or can give you support.

    can you call or do they force you to order on the web?

  10. moonz

    moonz Guest

  11. Newton

    Newton Guest

    Thanks guys,
    Newegg was the place I had found all the parts I'm buying so that's who I plan to go with. I don't think it's worth trying to save a few dollars and get everything shipped in form different places. Plus, I should get a break on shipping for getting it in one place.

    As far as the support for Verizon DSL, I'll have to check and see. But yes they do have a local number I can call to ask about support.

    And yes, I like the idea of buying the CPU retail boxed. I'll want l to fall back on Intel if it doesn't work. We've got a couple computer stores closeby where I can get accessories if I need them.

    As far as the burner, it's mostly going to be used for cd's - 2 track mixdowns, copies. And yes, I probably will be using some cheap media for a lot of that!
  12. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2004
    Quakertown PA
    Hey Newton,

    If you have no intention of burning DVD's I would get a Plextor Premium CD/RW. It's what most ME's use and is the best CD/RW bar none. If you intend to burn DVD's however the suggestion of the Pioneer is a good one. The Plextor 708A was the best DVD/RW but unfortunatley is no longer available. The Plextors are finicky with cheap media for good reason because they are really made for pros who don't usually skimp on media so the more consumer friendly Pioneer may be a better choice if you want to be able to use budget media.

    I also agree with the statement about not just shooping for price. Newegg has some of the best prices on the web but I can't speak for their support should you need it. Aberdeen on the other hand has some of the best support on the web. If your a first timer you may want to consider support over price. I use both as well as Zip Zoom Fly on the Web and Microcenter for local stuff and am very happy with all.

    You really don't need XP Pro so save your money.

    I would get the Corsair, I build a lot of gaming rigs also and there's just nothing out there that is as stable under OC as the Corsair. Not that you'll be OCing your DAW but if you do at least the memory will be up to the task. I also like the OCZ stuff.

    Good Luck and let us know how the build goes
  13. jsanfilippo5

    jsanfilippo5 Guest

    i am lucky since i am now a computer reseller, my supplier lets me do cash deals so no sales tax or use tax for me. NOw i am able to get AWESOME pricing on computer equipment so if any body wants hardware pr systems built let me know!

    im about to build a new system

    i deciding whether i shlud go with the new LGA 775 or 478.

    what does everyone think?
  14. moonz

    moonz Guest

  15. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    stay away from the 775 the new PCI-E sucks for audio.
    1) there is no, nor will there be in the near future(18 months-2yrs) a PCI-E audio card. (at least not from the top 5)

    2) the faster the PCI-E video card you use the worse the performance gets for audio.

    the PCI-E is not yet properly implimented, it uses a PCI to PCI-E bridge rather than a PCI-E controller (which is the proper Spec)
    which sucks the bandwidth from the SM bus leaving little room for I/O

    P4 is End of Life anyway. AMD is a better choice.
    AMD with PCI-E (nforce 4) is even worse than the P4.

    if you decide to go 775 make sure the video card is the lowest you can get like ati X300 or nvidia 6200 or less.
    at least it will work as good as the older 875 chipset.

    DDR2 much ado about nothing, higher latency than DDR which equates to higher latency for audio especially sampling.

    now if your doing video editing then it rocks, providing your not using a PCI accelerator card like a Matrox RTx100.

    Prescotts are not near as warm as when they first came out although still much warmer than AMD. standard cooling (or a zalman 7000) work just fine without issues.

    congrats on your reseller status, unfortunately you will find prices on the internet cheaper than you can buy alot of stuff from your vendor ( or at least at your cost) hard to compete with your vendor.

  16. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    this was once true years ago, long past mattering anymore, both windows and newer controllers no longer care where drives or opticals go.
    same goes for having your audio drive on the same chain as your OS. (one would assume Sata audio drives) no longer matters with mobos 2 yrs or newer.

  17. moonz

    moonz Guest

  18. moonz

    moonz Guest

  19. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    they have to allow for people who have old computers
    try calling thier tech support and asking

    i do, as its my life and livelyhood i had better.

    1) dont put words in my mouth. you need to re- read my post i was very clear it rocks for video which would include gaming. and it will work as good as the older agp given the right setup. (read little use of PCI-E by lower speed card)

    2) Pro audio computers at best make up 3% of total sales (this includes mac) how important do you think pro audio is in the manufacturers eyes?

    3) if you put forth as much energy researching as you do debating something you dont understand you might realize a few things such as
    the majority of computers for the masses (including office computers) make up about 85 % of total computers sold.
    have no need for any PCI add on cards, high I/O bandwidth, good firefire thruput ETC. in fact a good majority dont neven need video beyond onboard. and PCI-E works great for them especially the gamers.
    of the other 15%
    5% will be video editing pro-sumer and professional (this number is growing rapidly) of which PCI-E works great (especially 3D modeling) but most would be dual systems.
    the rest are servers which generally have onboard video and not PCI-E where high i/o is important. and again are dual.

    so my friend, the manucfacturers could give a rats butt about a few audio guys who now have to buy dual systems. they are addressing the needs of the masses.

    4) if you took the time to read about the PCI-E spec instead of debating it without knowledge you would see it is incorrectly implimented. and is why its not working so hot on a single bus board.

    5) from what experiance are you drawing your knowledge?
    are you actually armed to debate this?
    how many of these systems have you personally tested?
    how many differant motherboards, video cards, single and SLI, applications for both audio and video? both Intel and AMD?
    and i dont mean a few tracks of audio on traction or video on windows movie maker.

    6) i have and its what i do. we are always on bleeding edge and first to market with what works. after alot of what dont work.

    i have tested 4 manufacturers (7motherboards) AMD Nforce 4 and Via with PCIe included multiples from each such as single and SLI
    (no dual optis with PCI-E yet) tyan 2895 coming soon

    over 20 intel motherboards Single and Dual Xeon, single and SLI video from chessy ECS to $600 Supermicro boards.

    over 10 differant PCI-E video cards, single and SLI,

    they were tested with
    Sonar, Samplitude, Nuendo, Sound forge
    and i dont mean some little whimp test but 100 tracks with effects such as waves IR, and sampling such as Spectrasonics, Giga, EWQL. Halion.

    for video editing they were tested with
    Avid, Pinnacle, Adobe (hate it) Vegas,DPS, VT4,
    Lightwave, 3D studio max, Softimage just to name a few.

    this whole PCI-E thing has wore us out.

    so in case you didnt catch it let me repeat
    AMD PCI-E for Pro audio sucks, Intel with a low vid card works,
    for almost anything else that dont require PCI cards it rocks.
    (FYI in case you dont know PCI would also include firewire as it sits on the same Bus)

    which means for 97% of computer buyers its a wonderful thing.

    its the other 3% i am worried about.


  20. moonz

    moonz Guest


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