Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Caisson, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. Caisson

    Caisson Guest

    I bought an emachine about 6 months ago.... it works pretty good, I just feel that its not as powerful as I would like....I get dropouts at times and I fell like theres just a whole lot stuff going on in the background......
    AMD Athlon™ 64 3400+ Processor (with AMD 64 technology)1
    (512KB L2 cache, 2.20GHz, 1600MHz system bus)
    Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® XP Media Center Edition2
    Chipset: NVIDIA® nForce® 410
    Memory: 1GB DDR (2 × 512MB), 400MHz dual channel
    Expandable to 4GB
    Hard Drive: 200GB HDD (7200rpm, 2MB cache)3
    Optical Drive: 16x DVD±RW multiformat double layer drive
    Media Reader: 8-in-1 digital media manager (Secure Digital (SD), smart media, micro drive, memory stick, memory stick PRO, compact flash, multimedia card, USB 2.0)
    Video: NVIDIA® GeForce® 6100 GPU
    up to 128MB of shared video memory
    PCI-Express (PCI-E x16) slot avai
    the specs looked great so I pick it up, but I knew that I wanted to build my PC down the line............well down the line is here, and I am going to start this project shortly.

    This reason im writing this, is just to get some testimonies from some of you's (ROers) that left the "off the shelf home PC" and built a more advanced PC for recording.

    Could you tell a significant difference in performance?

    Are you overall happy with your move to build your own PC.

    Did you have any down falls?

    and if you had my PC (Listed up top) what would your move be.(im looking to get real serious with this recording thing)

    thanks in advance I know someone will give me so good advice.......
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    You need to get a 2nd large capacity drive for recording on and storage. You don't wanna' be using your system drive for those function and so there in lies your current problems. So if you are serious.......do the serious thing run Ad-Aware, unload stupid internet programs and equip with a 2nd hard drive, interior or USB/FireWire. So wise up.

    Yur teecher
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. Caisson

    Caisson Guest

    I 've already taken off the other programs, and I do record into a separate hard drive, I just don't want the "standard home computer parts" I would like to put my own parts in. I didn't buy this PC to do big things with, I knew that I would want to build my own down the road, and down the road is here......
  4. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    I've never built a recording pc, per se, but I've built about 10 gaming rigs now, some of which have been used for some recording.

    I use my current rig for mixing in PTLE from time, and have yet to have any problems.

    To give you an idea, my current (gaming) rig is:

    MSI K8N Neo 4 Ultra (Single PCIE-16)
    AMD Athlon 64 3500+ OC'd to 2.8GHz
    2GB Corsair RAM (2x1GB)
    WD 74GB 7200RPM SATA HD (System)
    Seagate 250GB 7200RPM SATA (Audio, random other stuff)
    Turtle Beach Santa Cruz (for system audio)
    nVidia 6800GT OC'd to 411MHz
    WinXP home SP2

    Building a PC is easy, just take your time. The main performance increase is from the lack tons of random software like AOL and stuff that comes preinstalled on pre-built PC's. I wouldn't recommend overclocking for an audio PC, since any cpu errors are going to have more noticable results in an audio file than say, a missed texture polygon in a game.

    The biggest downside to building your own is that there's no support, so if you're really good at fixing software issues, or know someone who is, you should be fine. There's no calling Dell here and asking them why your cursor stops moving every 5 minutes.

    That said, in the 10ish PC's I've built (all über-rigs) I've never really had any problem that didn't stem from me forgetting to plug a wire in or something silly. The big key points here are TAKE YOUR TIME and RTFM.

    Am I happy that I build my own PC's? Hell yes, I specced a similar system at Dell and Alienware before I built my last one, and they wanted twice what I built mine for.

    I would browse around the forums for whatever software/hardware you're going to use. Some products have issues with certain chipsets, SATA and other things.
  5. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    As for what I would move to, check with the software you're going to be using and see if it supports Dual Core processors, like AMD's X2 series. They're still a tad on the spendy side compared to the single core's, but it's a lot more power. I would also recommend 2GB of RAM. 1GB is easily enough to work with, but 2GB is just that much nicer. Consider that XP alone will eat about 512MB of your RAM.

    Don't worry about your GFX card. If you're going to build specifically for audio, find a card that has at least 64MB of RAM and supports dual monitors at high(er) resolutions. If you're going LCD, make sure it'll support dual screens at their respective native resolutions. You don't need a kick-ass gaming card or anything like that. You should find something that'll work great for around $100. Oh and that "Shared video memory" bit means it allocates system memory for video memory. You don't want that.

    And stay away from the 500GB HD's, even at 7200 rpm there's just so much for it to look through that they're relatively slow. I personally wouldn't go bigger than 250GB.
  6. Caisson

    Caisson Guest

    Thanks McCheese.......question though? If you had my computer.......would you sell it..and start building a new one from scratch or would you try and upgrade it.,,,, I mean it is an emachine.....
  7. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    Since you've got a 3400+ and a PCIE slot, it's safe to guess your mobo is socket 939. Check into that, but I'd bet dollars to donuts it is. You could probably upgrade the processor to dual core, but check on the mobo first. I don't know if eMachines uses a custom mobo, but the manufacturer could be stamped on it somewhere. If it is a custom mobo, call them and ask if it's dual core compatible.

    The rest of it looks fine, my recommendation would be to buy a fresh copy of XP Pro and install that, doing a complete reformat of the drive. That'll keep all the crap software off your computer, and XP Pro plays well with DAW software. It'll run you about $120 for the discs I believe.

    I would also get 2 more 512 sticks, which shouldn't run you more than 100 bucks, and a vid card like I mentioned above. That vid card is going to mess with your system memory.
  8. Caisson

    Caisson Guest

    McCheese I took that Vid card out and put an ATI 32 bit in with dual monitor availablity.

    If the mother board is a939 socket.....and I do the other things that you stated, do you think this could turn out to be a really good daw. Or do you think starting from scratch would be a better move in the long run, because I bought an emachine, and didn't know much about them, and all the guys at my job had bad things to say about emachines. So im a little skeptical about upgrading it. I really just want a really good/fast daw that is strong and reliable.
  9. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    The specs on the hardware are fine, but if you're concerned about component quality, you might as well start from scratch.
  10. Caisson

    Caisson Guest

    McCheese....I cracked open the case and viewed the contents of my PC, and found that I only had two slots for Ram (holding 512x2) which leads me to believe that this is not a 939 socket or an upgradeable mobo, I think that im going to start building my new PC.
  11. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    I don't know what you're concerned about? Your machine is perfectly adequate as an entry-level DAW. A really good DAW will cost you thousands! Use what you have until you become proficient with it. Give yourself a couple of years before you trade up to a more powerful machine. Your machine is perfectly adequate for more than 24 tracks of use. 1GB of RAM is a good starting point. Decent software and a modest multitrack input card would do you better than replacing your computer.

    Old custom computer builder
    Ms. Remy Ann David

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