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$500 Dollar Recording Computer

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hey guys.

Me and my bro want to build a recording machine that we can plug turntables and other intruments in for recording. Now this means we're going to need a good soundcard, and a big hardrive (500GB or more). That is a must. Now I was wondering if we should use a C2D, because I've heard they are better for stuff like media/music? We would also be building it on mATX and OCing it. So that comes the big challenge to finding a good mATX OCer.

The other idea I have, would be to refit my old S939 4200+ rig with a new soundcard and such. Would it make any difference to record/mix/edit on an athlon over a C2D? Im guessing intel would be faster for this.

Also, would cache make a big difference for this type of stuff?

For now like it says in the title, we're aiming for $500 (only the tower). Oh and the comp doesn't need a GPU, we're good with integrated.

Thanks guys, help is appreciated.

PS: IM IN CANADA NOT THE US! SO NO NEWEGG. I WILL BE WILLING TO BUY PARTS FROM OCN, AND MY LOCAL STORE www.memoryexpress.com. Thanks!
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post #2 of 26
Since I don't feel like plowing through a foreign site... I'll just give you my two cents worth.

Definitely go for a good C2D or C2Q. Intel blows AMD out of the water. Q6600 should tie you over fairly well (this would be preferable). However, a E8400 should do fine. As for a hard drive, higher cache will enable faster access to your saved files. Any Seagate or Western Digital brand HDDs should be good enough. Auzentech makes some pretty good sound cards, I do believe they're a step up from x-fi stuff (for music anyways). Stuff 4 gigs of PC6400 and you should be good to go. As for a cooler, get a TRUE or Zerotherm Nirvana. If those don't fit, AC Freezer is a nice back up.
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post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tofumonster View Post
Since I don't feel like plowing through a foreign site... I'll just give you my two cents worth.

Definitely go for a good C2D or C2Q. Intel blows AMD out of the water. Q6600 should tie you over fairly well (this would be preferable). However, a E8400 should do fine. As for a hard drive, higher cache will enable faster access to your saved files. Any Seagate or Western Digital brand HDDs should be good enough. Auzentech makes some pretty good sound cards, I do believe they're a step up from x-fi stuff (for music anyways). Stuff 4 gigs of PC6400 and you should be good to go. As for a cooler, get a TRUE or Zerotherm Nirvana. If those don't fit, AC Freezer is a nice back up.
Thanks. Will take your word on the soundcard. Yes I will probably be grabbing a 500GB seagate 7200.11 (32mb cache). The only thing is, I will not be able to stretch the budget for a quad. I plan on getting a 2 or 4meg cache C2D. Hopefully I can find a seller on here.
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post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slappa View Post
Thanks. Will take your word on the soundcard. Yes I will probably be grabbing a 500GB seagate 7200.11 (32mb cache). The only thing is, I will not be able to stretch the budget for a quad. I plan on getting a 2 or 4meg cache C2D. Hopefully I can find a seller on here.
PLEASE, before you make a decision on soundcards, read up on Analog-Digital & Digital-Analog Converters, jitter, and latency... just some basic concepts:

D/A Converter, Digital to Analog: obviously, converts digital audio to analog audio. this is most often what is coming OUT of your computer.

A/D Converter, Analog to Digital: obviously, converts analog audio to digital audio. this is most often what is coming IN to your computer.

For quality, think about 24 bit audio and no less than 96 KHz.

JITTER: The ability of the clock of the soundcard to keep a steady sample rate (96 KHz, 192 KHz, etc). This is one of the most important bits of the sound card and the main reason why you DO NOT buy an internal soundcard. The proximity of internal soundcards to major pc components can throw the clock of the Sound Device off and will result in noticable sound difference if your ear is trained. (that shiny, polished sound of a good mastering will seem difficult if impossible to get... because your speakers are not getting the frequency due to incorrect clock rates)

LATENCY: The time it takes for the audio to get into your computer, be processed, and come back out. 3 milliseconds and lower is acceptable and will not be noticed as an echo while recording.

Please seriously consider these aspects when choosing a card and realize that while $500 builds a computer perfectly suited to sound recording (without a card), many studios spend thousands on sound cards.

I'd highly recommend a firewire interface for starting out, either something from M-Audio or Presonus (USB places load on the host and cannot provide constant enough bandwidth)

good luck on your quest, and please post any questions!
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post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FearMeansControl View Post
PLEASE, before you make a decision on soundcards, read up on Analog-Digital & Digital-Analog Converters, jitter, and latency... just some basic concepts:

D/A Converter, Digital to Analog: obviously, converts digital audio to analog audio. this is most often what is coming OUT of your computer.

A/D Converter, Analog to Digital: obviously, converts analog audio to digital audio. this is most often what is coming IN to your computer.

For quality, think about 24 bit audio and no less than 96 KHz.

JITTER: The ability of the clock of the soundcard to keep a steady sample rate (96 KHz, 192 KHz, etc). This is one of the most important bits of the sound card and the main reason why you DO NOT buy an internal soundcard. The proximity of internal soundcards to major pc components can throw the clock of the Sound Device off and will result in noticable sound difference if your ear is trained. (that shiny, polished sound of a good mastering will seem difficult if impossible to get... because your speakers are not getting the frequency due to incorrect clock rates)

LATENCY: The time it takes for the audio to get into your computer, be processed, and come back out. 3 milliseconds and lower is acceptable and will not be noticed as an echo while recording.

Please seriously consider these aspects when choosing a card and realize that while $500 builds a computer perfectly suited to sound recording (without a card), many studios spend thousands on sound cards.

I'd highly recommend a firewire interface for starting out, either something from M-Audio or Presonus (USB places load on the host and cannot provide constant enough bandwidth)

good luck on your quest, and please post any questions!

Alright. K well we aren't going to be doing super-hardcore recording. What soundcard would you recommend for under $150 dollars as our best bet?
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post #6 of 26
Your S939 system would likely be perfectly sufficent, if you add a new drive and soundcard. Audio work would certainly be faster with a C2D or quad, but really, if you are just dabbling, I think it would be much more economical to recycle what you've got.

As for sound cards, something like an HT Omega Claro Plus, or an upper end Auzentech would probably work.
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post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post
Your S939 system would likely be perfectly sufficent, if you add a new drive and soundcard. Audio work would certainly be faster with a C2D or quad, but really, if you are just dabbling, I think it would be much more economical to recycle what you've got.

As for sound cards, something like an HT Omega Claro Plus, or an upper end Auzentech would probably work.
Thats what I was thinking. However, I would need a new motherboard to overclock the S939 CPU. It was pulled as a mobo/cpu/ram combo from an HP computer.I just don't think a 2.2GHz Athlon X2 is good enough.

Edit: However If I take this route I will be able to spend more money towards a bigger, and faster hardrive, as well as a high quality soundcard.
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post #8 of 26
Need an 8600gt for it? haha

Shoot me a PM
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post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slappa View Post
Alright. K well we aren't going to be doing super-hardcore recording. What soundcard would you recommend for under $150 dollars as our best bet?
for 149 at musiciansfriend and swee****er you can pick up a Presonus Inspire 1394. It's an excellent piece for the price, and they give you a nice assortment of bundled software as well.

My interfaces thus far:

M-Audio MobilePre USB: 16/48000 2 in/ 2 out (not a bad choice, but a bit of a dead-end quality-wise)
Presonus Firepod: 24/96000 10 in/ 10 out (now called the FP10)
Presonus Firebox :Shrunk down firepod

The MobilePre was 150 back when I got it, for the same money, you get a much better interface these days, and firewire can be daisy chained, so you don't have to go out and buy a whole new 8 channel interface, just buy one more inspire, or firebox, or firepod.. Presonus as a company has been fantastic, and the one time i've e-mailed customer service, i got an e-mail back in about 25 minutes.
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post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slappa View Post
Thats what I was thinking. However, I would need a new motherboard to overclock the S939 CPU. It was pulled as a mobo/cpu/ram combo from an HP computer.I just don't think a 2.2GHz Athlon X2 is good enough.

Edit: However If I take this route I will be able to spend more money towards a bigger, and faster hardrive, as well as a high quality soundcard.
Even a 2.2GHz X2 is plenty fast enough to do real time encoding/transcoding.

It's true that even a low or mid rance CD2 would probably be at least twice as fast for encoding/transcoding if you have stuff qued up, but either setup is likely able to do the work in a fraction of the time it took to record it.
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5820K @ 4.2/3.5GHz core/uncore, 1.175/1.15v Gigabyte X99 SOC Champion (F22n) Gigabyte AORUS GTX 1080 Ti (F3P) @ 2025/1485, 1... 4x4GiB Crucial @ 2667, 12-12-12-28-T1, 1.34v 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Plextor M6e 128GB (fw 1.06) M.2 (PCI-E 2.0 2x) 2x Crucial M4 256GB 4x WD Scorpio Black 500GB Noctua NH-D15 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1 BenQ BL3200PT Filco Majestouch Tenkeyless (MX Brown) Corsair RM1000x 
CaseMouseAudio
Fractal Design Define R4 Logitech G402 Realtek ALC1150 + M-Audio AV40 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
X5670 @ 4.4/3.2GHz core/uncore, 1.36 vcore, 1.2... Gigabyte X58A-UD5 r2.0 w/FF3mod10 BIOS Sapphire Fury Nitro OC+ @ 1053/500, 1.225vGPU/1... 2x Samsung MV-3V4G3D/US @ 2000, 10-11-11-30-T1,... 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
1x Crucial BLT4G3D1608ET3LX0 @ 2000, 10-11-11-3... OCZ (Toshiba) Trion 150 120GB Hyundai Sapphire 120GB 3x Hitachi Deskstar 7k1000.C 1TB 
CoolingOSPowerCase
Noctua NH-D14 Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1 Antec TP-750 Fractal Design R5 
Audio
ASUS Xonar DS 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-6800K @ 4.3/3.5GHz core/uncore, 1.36/1.2v ASRock X99 OC Formula (P3.10) GTX 780 (temporary) 4x4GiB Crucial DDR4-2400 @ 11-13-12-28-T2, 1.33v 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Intel 600p 256GB NVMe 2x HGST Travelstar 7k1000 1TB Corsair H55 (temporary) Windows Server 2016 Datacenter 
PowerCase
Seasonic SS-860XP2 Corsair Carbide Air 540 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
5820K @ 4.2/3.5GHz core/uncore, 1.175/1.15v Gigabyte X99 SOC Champion (F22n) Gigabyte AORUS GTX 1080 Ti (F3P) @ 2025/1485, 1... 4x4GiB Crucial @ 2667, 12-12-12-28-T1, 1.34v 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Plextor M6e 128GB (fw 1.06) M.2 (PCI-E 2.0 2x) 2x Crucial M4 256GB 4x WD Scorpio Black 500GB Noctua NH-D15 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1 BenQ BL3200PT Filco Majestouch Tenkeyless (MX Brown) Corsair RM1000x 
CaseMouseAudio
Fractal Design Define R4 Logitech G402 Realtek ALC1150 + M-Audio AV40 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
X5670 @ 4.4/3.2GHz core/uncore, 1.36 vcore, 1.2... Gigabyte X58A-UD5 r2.0 w/FF3mod10 BIOS Sapphire Fury Nitro OC+ @ 1053/500, 1.225vGPU/1... 2x Samsung MV-3V4G3D/US @ 2000, 10-11-11-30-T1,... 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
1x Crucial BLT4G3D1608ET3LX0 @ 2000, 10-11-11-3... OCZ (Toshiba) Trion 150 120GB Hyundai Sapphire 120GB 3x Hitachi Deskstar 7k1000.C 1TB 
CoolingOSPowerCase
Noctua NH-D14 Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1 Antec TP-750 Fractal Design R5 
Audio
ASUS Xonar DS 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-6800K @ 4.3/3.5GHz core/uncore, 1.36/1.2v ASRock X99 OC Formula (P3.10) GTX 780 (temporary) 4x4GiB Crucial DDR4-2400 @ 11-13-12-28-T2, 1.33v 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Intel 600p 256GB NVMe 2x HGST Travelstar 7k1000 1TB Corsair H55 (temporary) Windows Server 2016 Datacenter 
PowerCase
Seasonic SS-860XP2 Corsair Carbide Air 540 
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