Is an "audio only" pc still a good idea?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by bean438, Apr 27, 2005.

  1. bean438

    bean438 Guest

    Is it a big deal now a days, given that pc's are faster than ever and can tolerate more "stuff" running in the background?
    Windows xp is pretty stable and does a good job.
    I am not a big game guy. I use my pc for Cubase/reason, web browseing, email, and the odd thing or 2 on ms word.
    Of course antivirus is used, but nothing Norton.
    Should I stay on one pc still and upgrade what I have or should I just build a new box for audio only?
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Q: Is an "audio only" pc still a good idea?
    A: Yes, a VERY good idea.
  3. JBsound

    JBsound Guest


    You could also do what I've done. I run a dual-boot system. My recording system boots with only the internet (available but not active always) and my recording software. My other boot option is a fully configured computer.

    You will notice a slowdown in your computer when recording if you leave everything running and enabled. A stripped down system is MUCH more stable.
  4. bean438

    bean438 Guest

    How do you properly do a dual boot?
    What do you mean by "everything running"?
    I guess antivirus always runs. Do you mean disableing all unused ports, etc?
    I thought that with a modern, fast pc means you can have a box that does it all??
    Oh well it gives me an excuse to build another PC.
    No complaints here! Lol.
  5. fumoffu

    fumoffu Guest

    if you have 1 HD, partition it, and install the os on both of the partition.
    else, you can just install the os on each hard drive.

    i'm not sure w/ everything running, but maybe it's the programs and services are fully running on startup.

    if you know how to fully optimize your pc, and depending on your pc spec right now, you may not need a new one.
  6. JBsound

    JBsound Guest

    Just like fomoffu said, a dual boot is when you have the operating system (xp pro in my case) installed on two different hard drives or two different partitions of the same drive. When you turn on the computer (boot up) you have 2 options for which operating sytem you want.

    My first one is the "normal" pc. By everything running, I mean that the typical programs and processes are running by default. After you have a computer for a little while, there are a ton of programs and processes that will run in the background to keep everything at an optimal state, or so the purpose is. This stuff really drags down the processing power for the computer, and can greatly decrease the performance of your DAW software. The only trouble is that when it is disabled you lose a little functionality for day to day operations.

    With the dool boot, I am allowed to keep my other partition and OS pretty stripped down. I keep the internet available so that I can download updates and upload clients' songs to my server, but during recorded I keep my wireless card disabled. I manually have gone through and optimised the computer for recording by disabling all of the unecessary processes that run in the background.

    If you want more info about how to dual boot, you should check out and go to their forums. You can also do a search here and on the internet on how to optimise your computer for recording. Just be safe and don't do just anything you see written. Try to either verify with someone on a forum that it is a safe action or make sure that it shows up in two different lists on how to optimise. It will take some work but can provide great benefits.
  7. Someday

    Someday Guest

    Sorry to almost spam, but why in the 2005 do you still believe that a computer works better if dedicated for audio only????????
    Use an OSX computer and you can do audio/video/internet/files sharing/massive downloads/graphics/games and more at the same time
  8. o2x

    o2x Active Member

    Mar 17, 2005
    Yes computers will run more than audio apps, but my car will also run quite happily with loads of heavy boxes in the boot (trunk for you US guys 'n' gals). It runs better without them though. Its about performance and stability.

    Your much less likely to encounter problems with just a few apps running than lots of different apps which may cause things to get a little screwy!

    It's entirely up to you. If you want or need to run other apps, then do it. It's a trade off at the end of the day. How much do you really need to have on your machine. I once helped a friend who was having a problem with his workstation crashing and messing up generally. When i looked at his machine he had 129 processes running simultaneously!! His machine just didn't know what was going on :?

    Dual Boot is an option, or for even more piece of mind, install a caddy for your main system drive. Set one up for Audio only and the other for 'general' use. When you boot your machine, just choose the drive that you want to use.
  9. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2004
    Quakertown PA
    Why in 2005 do you still believe that MAC's can do things that PC's can't? PC's can do all of that and more, but by dedicating your machine (regardless of platform) to a specific task you maximize it's performance for that task. In the case of audio, more tracks, more plugins, more samples etc. Contrary to your seriously misinformed views MAC's are not super computers capable of feats that mear mortal PC's cannot attain. Perhaps "Someday" you will understand this simple concept, maybe in 2006.
  10. bean438

    bean438 Guest

    I will try a win xp on a second hard drive. I did install win xp on 2 partitions on the same drive. It did not work. Would not boot. I had to reformat and reinstal one one partition only.
    I just thought maybe the audio only pc was a concern when cpu's were running @ 500 mhz.
    I could build a new pc, fresh windows instal, instal cubase, reason, drivers, etc, and then "ghost " what I have.
    Then let's sy every month or so reformat and "ghost" my image back.
    Voila, a clean system every month.
    Would that be ok?
    Not gonna go mac. If I ever decide to go protools, an athlon 64 system will out do the mac.
  11. Someday

    Someday Guest

    Yes, XP can do everything... on the paper. In the real world XP and Microsoft is just a compilation of bugs
  12. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2004
    Indianapolis, IN
    Home Page:
    Ahhh - that must be why I have 6 computers in the house running 24-7 (for the most part) - all running XP - and I never have to mess with any of them.


    Get your head out of the sand, dewd.
  13. o2x

    o2x Active Member

    Mar 17, 2005
    I run both PC and Mac. G4 for PT and a custom built PC for Avid. I'll be upgrading PT soon. I'm not gonna get a Mac - I can get a machine just as capable for less than half the money - and trust me it'll work as well as any Mac.
  14. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    Houston, TX
    Dual Boot rocks for multi-purpose DAWs! My main "Internet PC" has an XP-Pro install that is up-to-date will all of the MS updates, and Antivirus, Spybot Tea Timer, Networking, Firewall, MS Office, etc etc.

    My second XP-Pro install is on a dedicated OS drive, and has the base XP-Pro SP-2 installed w/o ANY MS updates, and DAW optimized for maximum DAW horsepower (no networking, no Firewall, no Antivirus, no Spybot, no System Restore, no MS Office, etc etc).

    I had an issue with Nuendo 2.1 crashing on my "multipurpose Internet install". This was shortly after I installed some MS security updates. I was just playing around, so nothing important was lost. But I have YET to have ANY issues with my DAW optimized OS's on 2 different PC's (no crashes yet - fingers crossed).

    Someday, Someday will understand the power, flexibility & BRUTE POWER of a modern PC. If MAC would EVER get even 10% of the PC marketshare, you will see all kinds of Viruses popping up for Mac's. With a measely 2.7% of the market share, Mac's are not a worthwhile effort for Hackers and virus writers. Maybe the "affordable" Mac Mini (what, $700 with a monitor?) will be the start of a wonderful new virus ridden Mac platform :wink:. Sorry for the rant /end rant...

  15. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2004
    Quakertown PA
    Amen Brother! :cool: :D
  16. Someday

    Someday Guest

    Most of the people i know are switching to Mac, apart one who switched to XP.
    He told me all that crap about XP and that is costs less.
    This is an illusion. He wanted to build an XP Avid workstation.
    Now he has 3 PCs (one for Avid, one for Graphics and one for Web) not because there are 3 people using it... in fact he is the only user, but because his Avid is already maxed and unstable, no internet due to virus attacks, and he has to hire a "nerd" to make his sistem work, at least one day a month.
    So, even one Powermac G5 costs less money, fatigue and desperation than 3 XPs, and one or two nerds.
    I'm happy that some of you are running XP flawlessy, exceptions are always allowed.
  17. bean438

    bean438 Guest

    Could we please get back on topic?
    I did not want a mac vs pc thread.
  18. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    I always use a computer to do the job I ask

    I just don't get why I'd want to use a computer that is sitting in the top of the rack in the equipment room to surf the net ?

    or why I'd want to use a computer in the road case that is part of the mobile rig to do some Photoshop work ?

    My Mac with PT HD loaded doesn't go on the net ... period
    it is for work
    and neither do the PC's with PT and the other audio softwares
    ... yes I have both and have done so since the start .. including Ataris with SoundTools

    I try to have a spare unit nearby, fully loaded and ready to go just incase there is a failure and that's the way I run all my systems both here and at work. I guess I have the TV Broadcast BackUp mentality and can't shake it

    just won't accept lost time

    My Digi rep hates me cos I drive him hard and make him do what I want and not what Digidesign wants. Perhaps thats why I don't have trouble. Every thing is used in test BEFORE it goes into service and if it can't do the job ... it's out.

    surfing the net is not on

    I have net machines for that ...

    ALL computers are cheap now so why bother with a multi machine ?
    ... unless it's your fun laptop toy.
  19. Someday

    Someday Guest

    I find your opinion "a frustrated Windows user opinion".
    The strenght of a computer is it's capability to "serve" the owner.
    So a real computer could be a DAW from 8 to 17, a Websurfer from 17 to 18, you could create some Logic icons with Photoshop (and post them at, thanks! ;) ) from 18 to 19, download some crap from 19 to 20 and use it as jukebox for your party from 20 to 21, editing your holyday's film from 21 to 23, and uploading to your remote webserver a new website done with Golive from 23 to 24.
    What's wrong in using a computer as a computer????
  20. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2004
    Indianapolis, IN
    Home Page:
    Part of the issue, I'm sure, is what you expect your audio computer to do. I use mine for location recording. I choose to keep it extremely clean because I need to be able to count on recording 24 tracks for 2 1/2 hours straight without dropping a single sample - and I can do that with my XP-based DAW.

    The other computer I use for burning disks, printing disks, email, web work, graphcis, video editing, gaming (if I ever have time for it), and all that other stuff. Having the second machine for everything else means I can install something silly to play with even if I have an important gig tomorrow night, and I know I'm not risking the reliablity of my recorder.

    The other nice thing is that I can be running a lengthy mixdown or noise reduction on the DAW and be burning and labeling with the other machine.
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