Ptownkid

Let's talk new recording computer
« on: February 16, 2010, 10:11:36 AM »
So I've been *****ing about my P4 system for a while now, and my family members decided to chip in and allow me to build a new rig for my bday. Which is today btw, woooooot!

So i need some help wading through all the convoluted info out there these days.

I'm pretty much set on an AMD chip, for the simple reason of performance versus price. I'll be getting either the Phenom II X4 955 or 965, so on to question one...they differ by 0.2 gHz and $30...can one actually see a difference between the two?

http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=2468

Furthermore, what would the correct ram speed be for those chips? The hard decision that I have to make is ddr2 versus ddr3, there's a pretty significant price difference...

Next, is there something I should be worried about for a motherboard? Obviously I need a pretty low feature mobo, as this will be strictly for recording. My only real NEED is 3 pci slots (not express) and onboard video. I've noticed that most mobos have both rgb and dvi connectors, but can't find out if they operate as dual. Probably not needed, but curious.

Any other thoughts or advice?
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 10:29:40 AM by Ptownkid »


Kit

Re: Let's talk new recording computer
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2010, 10:18:37 AM »
Happy birtday!!

Sorry, I cant give any advice on computers. I hate them and they hate me.

I am currently in the process of getting a new recording rig myself, a Scully 280. So im kind of moving in the opposite direction.


"Relaxing on the axis of the wheel of life."

wmtunate

Re: Let's talk new recording computer
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2010, 10:50:32 AM »
Hey, it's my birthday today too!  Happy birthday to us!

Ptownkid

Re: Let's talk new recording computer
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2010, 12:25:30 PM »
Cheers bday buddy!

gltech

Re: Let's talk new recording computer
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2010, 12:59:54 PM »
Happy Birthday boys!!!  :D

Quote
I'm pretty much set on an AMD chip
A risk IMO.

Please read my posts here:
http://www.groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=32046.0

People will disagree, but my advice is based on experience with over 150 computers in a crucial business environment, something I doubt many people can say. I repeat:
Quote
Any one of my "clean" PCs makes any Mac I work on in studios look ridiculous from a standpoint of stability, hanging, crashing, etc.

-GLT

Autophase

Re: Let's talk new recording computer
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2010, 02:20:39 PM »
happy birthday mate.
Right I upgraded mine last year, You can get well priced mobo/cpu/ram bundles on ebay, think I got a intel core 2 quad, 4 gig ram and mother board for 250 quid or something like that. If you are going 64 bit, windows 7 and such like then definately go for 8gig of ram.
If you feel confident putting it together, shoulddnt be too much of a challenge assuming you already partake in DIY.
The main thing for recording is getting more than one hard drive, i recomend 3, one for windows, one for recording and another for audio programs, you could go for a 4th if you use a lot of samples, that way play back of soft samplers dont have any impact on recorded audio. To be fair this is gonna cost you a bit more, but HDDs are filth cheap these days.
If you have any more specific questions just ask here


Ptownkid

Re: Let's talk new recording computer
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2010, 02:34:28 PM »
I really appreciate that advice GLtech, and I'm inclined to trust you...but the amd quad is $200 and the intel quad is $700

Ptownkid

Re: Let's talk new recording computer
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2010, 02:41:24 PM »
Disregard the above statement, I'm not comparing apples to apples.

I pm'd my e-mail Gltech.

McCroskey42

Re: Let's talk new recording computer
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2010, 05:51:40 PM »
I second GLTech's advice...the Intel CPU/Intel motherboard combo wins in terms of stability.  AMD is great if your most important application is a video game, but for anything requiring reliability, I'd go with an all-Intel solution:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121396
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115214
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145260

Total is about $500 for a quad-core system that meets your requirements (3 PCI plus built-in video), and will be reasonably future-proof.  You can knock that down to $400 if you go with an i5 instead of an i7 processor.

A few questions that might help yield better answers:

*  What is your budget for the whole upgrade project?
*  Are you replacing the hard disks as well?  If not, what's in there already?
*  Which OS (XP, Vista, or Windows 7?  32 or 64 bit?)
*  What recording environment?
Be vague, or be informed.
   --PRR

Svart

Re: Let's talk new recording computer
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2010, 06:34:21 PM »
That can almost be taken as BS about AMD being more flaky than intel.  I stated it before and I'll state it again, I've been running AMD for all kinds of things for YEARS, mostly video/audio editing and some games these days.  Never had an issue.

I had a single core athlon for about 6 years. I recently gave that setup to a friend who is using it now to do things.  6 years no problems.

Did I say 6 years?  That's what I thought I said, 6 years without a hiccup.

I also have a intel system that does video/audio editing too.  Never had a problem either.  Had it for about 5 years now.  It's currently my main recording computer.  It's a P4 3.0G single core with 1G DDR.(yes, PC3200.  It's that old..)

I run 24 tracks 24/44.1 all day long on it.  I offload some of my plugs onto DSP cards but most of them are native VST.

Still going strong.

My main computer is now an AMD triple core running win7.  No problems either.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 06:43:37 PM by Svart »
Welcome to the GroupDIY leper colony! when something falls off, we just replace it with a tube!
occupation: General Electron Mayhem

Alesis X2 information repository:
http://www.theopiumdenproductions.


Butterylicious

Re: Let's talk new recording computer
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2010, 09:24:33 PM »
I typing via an AMD Athalon 3200 on an Asus mobo that been running 24/7 since 4/3/2003.  I've blown a couple DVD burners, a hard drive, and even a PSU but this system is still stable.  Flaky.... hardly.  Of course this is totally dated technology.

mrc

Re: Let's talk new recording computer
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2010, 01:33:35 AM »
I started out buying, then building intel systems up to 3 dual P3 1 gig systems (midi farm).  I switched to building Amd's with an Athlon 2600 single core, then an Amd X2 4400, followed by an Amd Phenom 9750 Quad, and right now a Phenom II X2 550, (the 955 with 2 cores disabled)  Everyone of these systems have been used without a hiccup as daw machines.  All the Amd's are still running and being used for whatever.  The 550 is very fast, a few different boards will unlock the chip's other 2 cores most of the time ;) http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/254737-29-unlock-phenom-with-asus-m4a785td & http://www.siliconmadness.com/2009/09/asus-adds-triple-core-unlock-option-to.html.  I'm lucky enough to have the 9750 on a M4A78-E, and have a spare Biostar board for the 9750.  I bought the 550 to try to run a TC Powercore mkI with a pair of UAD pcie boards.  With the Asus board I used ( Asus M4N72-E ), it works flawlessly, even though TC Electronics says on their site that amd multicores don't work with their boards ::)  When the 955 or 65's get down to the $100 dollar range, I'll pounce on a quad chip, move the 550 to the M4A78-E and have 3 Phenom quads...the 550 easily over clocks from 3.1 GHZ to 3.4 running on the factory cooler and fan in a rack mount box with no other fans than the PSU, with the three DSP cards and a 1 gig Nvidia 8800 card.  With the Rme 9652 card in there, there is still 1 pci and 1 pci-e 16 slot left.  I don't think you'd ever notice the difference between a 965 or 955.  Use DDR 3, if your board supports it, it will give you better performance, my boards are limited to 1066 DDR 2 which I'm running 4 gig of on XP SP3, 3 gig switch, but the DSP cards more than make up for the ram speed ;)  Antec is relatively cheap and quiet, I'm running 750 watt earthpower PSU in the 550. If I get to needing more power than that, this:  http://vsl.co.at/en/211/497/1685/1693/1342.htm  reportedly allows realtime parallel processing for vst/au instuments and plugins over gigalan, as well as their Orchestra, and you get 3 licenses with the purchase, a Very Cool  way to use reasonably fast, older, systems as well as integrate mac/pc systems and vst/au/rtas software, if the claims are true.  You'll probably love any quad you might build 8) The i7 is a monster, but a bit pricey.

Happy Birthday
mrc
« Last Edit: February 17, 2010, 04:39:45 AM by mrc »

Autophase

Re: Let's talk new recording computer
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2010, 05:39:08 AM »
im inclined to agree with Svart, from past experience AMD's are on par with Intels.
While my current system is Intel, The experience I have had with AMD i would definately consider an AMD in my next system.
There was something in it when AMDs first arrived, but they have closed the gap in recent times.

Also in agreement with what someone else said, if you get an Intel processor then get a motherboard manufactured by Intel as well. My last system i spent a bit extra on the intel board and it was rocking flawlessly for about 7 years. My latest system I opted for a cheaper board and I could definately tell the difference. I later replaced it with an intel board and the whole thing just felt snappier.

mrc

Re: Let's talk new recording computer
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2010, 07:24:47 AM »
The whole processor brand/mobo/OS debate is so out there, and there are so many ways to supercede the current limitations of hardware/software the whole thing is silly.  Don't shoot the messenger.

Ptownkid

Re: Let's talk new recording computer
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2010, 09:48:02 AM »
A few questions that might help yield better answers:

*  What is your budget for the whole upgrade project?
*  Are you replacing the hard disks as well?  If not, what's in there already?
*  Which OS (XP, Vista, or Windows 7?  32 or 64 bit?)
*  What recording environment?

* Budget is between $500 and $1000, realistically I'd like to keep it down as much as possible, as jumping up to the fastest stuff just is NOT necessary.
* This is an entirely new build, so yes.
* Not sure, that's another question I have. I'd like to stick with XP unless there's a compelling reason to go to 7.
* The environment? Sonar with an outboard mixer, pres and effects.

Thanks for all the insight guys, it's helping me wade through this crap. The only catch I'm seeing so far, is that if I go i5 or i7 I'm looking at ddr3, which is pretty pricey, but there are a few deals out there right now.

Rochey

Re: Let's talk new recording computer
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2010, 09:57:15 AM »
spend the money on room acoustics... it'll pay off WAY more.

BTW - i'm still multitracking with an old P3-933MHz...
Expat Audio Home: http://www.expataudio.com

Ptownkid

Re: Let's talk new recording computer
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2010, 10:07:23 AM »
Already done Rochey. It's not that I think I need a ridiculous rig or anything, I just want something stable that will last me a good amount of years and I want the best bang for my buck because I'm cheap.

Right now I'm waffling between the AMD Phenom II X4 965 and the Intel i5 750

mOBiTh

Re: Let's talk new recording computer
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2010, 12:22:12 PM »
I can definitely recommend the core i7 920 and gigabyte ex58 ud5 mobo if you can afford it. Will run any OS if you have the skills (for osx that is see other thread).

I've built a 'top of the range' one up for £900. What's your budget?
a tree is just a rain capacitor...

MartyMart

Re: Let's talk new recording computer
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2010, 04:20:14 PM »
Bryan, I just picked up a "not quite new but guaranteed" Intel Harpertown 2.8 ghz quad
processor for £129 ...... it can be done !!  ( apple quoted £760 for one )

( it's a second quad for a single quad Mac Pro .... so can't help on the PC route :-)  )

Have run Macs since 1994 and NEVER had any major problems or data loss

MM.
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm"

mrc

Re: Let's talk new recording computer
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2010, 11:32:11 AM »
I may have been confusing, what I was saying was that with this XII 550 and for example the mobo linked below you can unlock the 550 and have a Quad 955 system for $186.00 plus ram and whatever else you need for the system.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4588154&CatId=3644
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103680&cm_re=phenom_ii_x2_550-_-19-103-680-_-Product

Here's another board option if you don't like Asus, and they say it unlocks the 550 more reliably:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138130&Tpk=a%20Biostar%20TA790GX%20128M
« Last Edit: February 18, 2010, 11:56:56 AM by mrc »


 

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