Critique of proposed DAW

Discussion in 'Computing' started by prufroc8, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. prufroc8

    prufroc8 Guest

    Hello, this is my first post to this forum. I have been researching the topic of creating a DAW seriously for the past two-three weeks. I have decided I want to have the system built by someone else, as I would rather not learn how to assemble a system with premium parts. I don't have any qualms about putting in a drive or pci card or anything of that sort, but I'd rather not deal with the frustration of piecing everything together from scratch.

    At any rate, I have some money to spend, and am wanting to put together a high quality dual core daw. I will primarily be using it for recording guitar, keyboards, vocals, and for midi sequencing, which I am a novice at but will be learning. I will be using primarily cakewalk sonar 5 studio for recording and sequencing, along with drumkit from hell and battery.

    Firstly, I plan to order the system from monarch computers. Although I have read some horror stories, overall it seems that they receive good feedback, and it seems the price for the system I am making is more reasonable than other options I've seen (although not as cheap as doing it myself, but I will spend a bit extra for the convenience of not assembling it).

    At any rate, here are my intended specs. I also intend on buying an EMU 1820M, which I will install myself. If anyone has any feedback on any of the components (things they would avoid, other items they would recommend), I would appreciate it. I understand that I have been very general, so more specific questions about how I will utilize this setup are welcome.

    220205 Logitech Deluxe Access 104 Keyboard PS2 (967228-0403) 1 $12.00

    230536 Logitech MX 310 Optical Mouse (930928-0403) 1 $25.00

    80307 Monarch Furia Custom Workstation (AGP) 1 $75.00

    Case: 100588 - PS 450W - Antec Sonata II Piano Black Qui $99.00

    Power Supply: None

    Case Fan: 100887 - 120mm - Antec 120mm SmartCool Case Fan $18.00

    Motherboard: 110795 - Asus A8V Deluxe (v. 2.0) K8T800 No-WiFi/A $115.00

    Processor: 120364 - AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Dual-Core 512K Per $340.00

    Thermal Grease: 800018 - Shin-Etsu G675 Thermal Grease (Cools CPU $14.00

    Heat Sink Fan: 130099 - Zalman CNPS7000B-AlCu Silent CPU Cooling $46.00

    Memory: 140291 - DDR (400) 3200 - 2 GB (2 pcs 1GB) Patriot $256.00

    2nd Memory: None

    Hard Drive: 150935 - SATA - Western Digital (WD800JD) 80 GB/72 $56.00

    2nd Hard Drive: 150606 - SATA - Seagate (ST3160827AS) 160 GB/7200- $87.00

    3rd Hard Drive: 150606 - SATA - Seagate (ST3160827AS) 160 GB/7200- $87.00

    4th Hard Drive: 150938 - SATA - Western Digital (WD2500JD) 250 GB/ $117.00

    RAID Setup: None
    RAID Controller: None
    CD-ROM/DVD-ROM/CD-RW: 160950 - DVD-RW - Samsung TS-H552U/BEWN 16x Dual L $50.00

    CD-RW/DVD-RW: 160132 - CD-RW - Asus CRW-5232AS 52X32X52 CD-RW $44.00

    Floppy: 170109 - Mitsumi 7-in-1 USB Card-Reader/Smart-Medi $20.00

    More Storage: None
    Sound Card: None
    Video Card: 190322 - ATI (Sapphire) Radeon 9550 Lite 256MB DDR $62.00

    Modem: None
    Network Card: None
    Add On Card: None
    Case Function Add On: None
    Round Cable: None
    Operating System: 210111 - Microsoft Windows XP Professional w/Servi $150.00

    Additional Software: None
    Antivirus: None
    Warranty: 800010 - 3 Year - Parts & Labor - Plus $89.00
    Hot Rush: None - Standard Order ( ships within 12-16 busines
    Wireless Network Card: None
    Half Life 2 Promotion: None

    CD-RW Software: 210613 - Ahead Nero 6.3 Suite DVD+-RW Software (OE $6.99

    DVD-ROM Software: 210601 - Cyberlink PowerDVD 6.0 (OEM) $6.99
    Video Capture: None
    TV Tuner: None
    Lance Armstrong: None
    Free Giveaway: None
    FREE Patriot SD USB Flash Kit: None

    Subtotal for 80307 with your selected options: $1,738.98
  2. jahme

    jahme Guest

    ok dude, no point of being so detailed here. 90% of those information are pure useless.
  3. GregP

    GregP Guest

    4 SATA drives? I'm iffy, unless your computer is in an area isolated from your microphones.

    Even with a nice case like the Sonata II (good choice, BTW!) a certain amount of vibration will be transferred to the chassis, and head seek/write chatter noise is completely independent of that, too. SATA drives are still considered a bit noisier in general than ATA because they generate more vibration... but I didn't research this particular model, which may be a 'stealthy' one. ;)

    Were it just me, I'd say no more than 3 drives built in, with a 4th external (able to be turned off!) for backups and/or mass storage.

    Better 2 drives built in, but some setups and environments could make use of the 3rd... 1 for system, 1 for your projects, 1 for your streaming samples...

    But it's not strictly necessary, either. People underestimate how powerful even a simple 7200rpm ATA drive is.

    Point being: hard drive and noise-pollutant overkill, IMO. Unless you're completely isolating the tower from your recording environment, in which case you have nothing to worry about. ;)

  4. Wooly

    Wooly Guest

    I agree with Greg. Too much drive noise. Sweetwater *in conjunction with Auralex* offer quiet pc towers now. Kinda cool.

    I'd probably just by an Apple and be done with it- but that wouldn't work with your software- I know :lol: Love my apple G5 Imac man!

    My Sonar 2.0 ran great on my homemade PC though. Good program. I have not messed with the newer versions though.

    Make sure you overclock your system :twisted:
  5. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    Feb 21, 2005
    Home Page:

    Why the hell would you want to overclock a freaking 3800+ X2? I know it can be done, but is that common practice on a DAW?
  6. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    Re: Overclock?

    I sure as hell wouldn't.

    Stability IS the most important factor in a DAW PC. The performance consideration in most cases is a non-issue. (Given the fact that the PC is already pretty darned powerful). With my P4 3.0 (ext/HT), I haven't reached a bottleneck yet (except when using high counts of Algorithmix plug-ins which are notably CPU intensive).

  7. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    I don't know what this is: 80307 Monarch Furia Custom Workstation (AGP) 1 $75.00...but everything else you list there is good if not great.

    If I were building it, I would:

    get a beefier power supply
    loose one of the hard drives and get more memory
    get a different video card with 3 outputs
    get plextor drives DVD/CD

    But that is one hell of a machine. You should be able to get some serious work done with that.
  8. Mr-Nice

    Mr-Nice Guest

    What are you using 4 HD's for? And your not even using any RAID configuration!

    2 should be suffice, Keep the 80GB Western Digital for data and get a second SATA or SCSI 10,000RPM for audio.

    And you better be careful if you overclock it (which is pointless anyway), the damn machine is going to run fast enough. Better yet dont overclock anything, if you dont know what you are doing you can damage the MB and CPU.
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