Help build DAW

Discussion in 'Computing' started by Twippoh, Mar 31, 2005.

  1. Twippoh

    Twippoh Guest

    Thank you to all of you who have posted a unmeasurable amount of info regaurding building your own DAW.
    Unfortunatly for me too much information is dangerous
    I would like some help in putting together a decent system for my studio so I will give some info that may help those in the know what may work best for my particular setup.

    I need info on all the right components from the motherboard on up.

    These are the things that I would like to build around
    Rackmount Case
    Dual LCD display
    Delta 1010 Sound card ( I already have it )
    Cubase SX3 ( Currently have SX 1 and like it )

    Thank you again
  2. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2004
    Quakertown PA
    Welcome to RO Twippoh,

    If you could give us more info it would be helpful. Things like how many tracks you would like to be able to record, how many effects you might use, do you do alot of MIDI or run alot of Samples or is it mostly audio.

    Here's some guidelines for a general purpose DAW but remember one size does not always fit all.

    CPU: Intel socket 478, AMD socket 754 and 939. Get the fastest you can afford. The 478's and 939's support dual channel RAM, 754's do not.

    MOBO: Asus, Abit, Gigabyte, MSI & DFI all make fine motherboards. Although it has been debated the general consensus around here is to avoid PCI Express for audio. YMMV

    RAM: Just about any name brand RAM will do fine (I prefer Corsair). I would suggest 1 GB to start and more if you run alot of plugs and samples. Make sure to match your RAM to the FSB speed your processor and Mobo will run at.

    HDD: Maxtor, Western Digital and Seagate all make fine drives just avoid the Samsung, Hitachi and other junk drives out there. I would suggest SATA for your audio storage drive but SATA or IDE will work fine for an OS/Programs drive. Some Mobo's don't like to boot from SATA drives so in that case an IDE may be your only OS drive choice.

    Video: 2D Matrox cards have been the overwhelming choice in the past for DAW use but 3D cards from ATI and n'Vidia are also fine choices especially for those who do video and audio.

    Case: I don't know if a rackmount case would be your best choice. They are noisier than a tower case and can have heat issues. If you have another room to put it in or need it for transportability go for the rackmount but if you intend to sit next to it I would stick with a tower with several fans on a speed controller. If you must have a rackmount go with a 4U.

    Hope this helped and before you purchase anything post your choices here as sometimes there are issues with different hardware mixes and we can help you avoid them.

    Good Luck
  3. Twippoh

    Twippoh Guest

    Thanks Big_D
    My current system only allows around 6 or 8 tracks before all hell breaks loose so to answer your question i would like to at least double that. I have not tried to record more than two at the same time so I really need to improve that.
    I use Midi for drums and some keyboard as well as a few plug ins for sweetener.
    I mainly want the rack unit for conveinence as I have a large rack where it will fit but if you think a tower is the way to go then so be it.
    Do yopu prefer Intel over AMD? I have been looking at the AMD 939 boards.
    My Delta 1010 has a PCI card so it is necesary to include that in any MOBO I choose, any specific recomendations would be appreciated.
  4. Twippoh

    Twippoh Guest


    I may have jumped too soon on this but I found a video card on EBAY described as the following:
    Matrox Dual-Head 32MB AGP G450 Video Card G45+MDHA32D
    I won this thing for 10 bucks plus shipping, is this good?

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