My quest for the silent PC

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Johi, Feb 27, 2002.

  1. Johi

    Johi Guest

    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?
  2. Fredrik

    Fredrik Guest

    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
  3. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    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!
  4. ok im not a recording engineer or anything, just a lowly bedroom artist at the moment ;)

    But a company called Carillion who boast an 'Ultramute' PSU.

    dont know if its worth checking out, i couldnt find any links but a phone number you could try is 0800 0850 452 (UK)

    Hope This Helps
  5. khowren

    khowren Guest (USA) (UK)
  6. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Carillon has some great setups but pretty pricey to be honest...At least they're cheaper than SoundChaser :roll: 6,000 for a nuendo machine?!!!! I spend around 1200 and I'm done..!!
  7. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    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
    160GB RAID
    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

Share This Page