Building a cheap DAW - Techist - Tech Forum

Go Back   Techist - Tech Forum > Computer Hardware > System Upgrades
Closed Thread
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-15-2011, 04:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
Newb Techie
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3
Post Building a cheap DAW

I'll need a computer for music and video production, and perhaps some gaming, but to a very limited extent. I'll use Cubase 6 and Windows XP 64-bit because my audio interface doesn't support Windows 7 fully. My budget is at about 800 USD, and since these components below do not include screen, keyboard, cabinet etc, I'll try to stay a bit below.

System requirements (minimum) for Cubase 6:
Intel or AMD dual core CPU

I've read somewhere 1 GHz CPU is minimum, but it's gets a lot more thirsty when using VST-instruments.

So here's my list:

AMD Athlon2 X4 645
3.1 GHz
L1: 256 kB (code(???)), L2: 2048 kB
4 cores

Gigabyte GA-880GA-UD3H
Chipset: AMD 880G, SB850
RAM/DIMM: DDR3, 1866 (o.c.)/1333/1066 MHz, fyra platser, max 16 GB
USB 3.0, Firewire 400
Audio: Realtek ALC892 7.1
HDMI output.
SATA 6.0 Gbit/s

Corsair 8GB (2x4096MB) 1333MHz XMS3 240-pin DIMM DDR3

Video card?

450GB Western Digital VelociRaptor
3,5", mechanical
10000 RPM
32 MB
SATA 6.0 Gbit/s

Samsung SH-B123L Blu-Ray reader/DVD writer, Lightscribe
DVD <= 16x, CD <= 40x
2 MB

So, the HDD has a high RPM (I've heard the recommended value is 7200 RPM), the CPU has four cores, and 8 GB RAM at 1333 MHz, which should be supported by the motherboard (right?).

I'd appreciate feedback and suggestions. Also, please recommend a video card. I suppose the video card will matter when editing videos?

Thanks in advance!

Hagroth is offline  
Old 06-15-2011, 08:10 PM   #2 (permalink)

Baez's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 6,985
Default Re: Building a cheap DAW

First, I'd recommend a dedicated audio card. I do a lot of music production when I have spare time and it makes all the difference.


Baez is offline  
Old 06-16-2011, 02:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
True Techie
4P_Bulldozer's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Earth
Posts: 205
Default Re: Building a cheap DAW

The $250 450GB VelociRaptor Drive could be replaced by a $85 1TB Caviar Black that will give you more money for a better Video Card.

A Motherboard with a AM3+ Socket would be better than AM3 if you plan a future Processor upgrade.

A (quality) 24" Wide Screen is a must for Video and Audio editing, that will be $200.

Using 32-Bit WinXP will save a buck over 64-Bit WinXP and provide you with more Applications (and Drivers).

The cost of Software alone is more than half your budget. Cubase Artist 6 $250 or Cubase 6 for $500. WinXP is no longer for sale on NewEgg and Win7Pro is $250. Decent VST Plugins are (usually) not free though a few really great ones are; that will be another couple of hundred bucks. A quality Video Editing Program will be over half a grand.

I suggest you Google for free software. Try VirtualDub, FFmpeg, AviSynth, and Reaper.

Another 2 or 4 hundred added to your budget would really help, you don't want to penny pinch your way through your Build. If your building from scratch don't forget the Power Supply and Case, thats another $150.

Always have more money than you need available and end up spending less than having less money than you need and having to spend more.
Bulldozer Will Rule. Got a question, try the Search Bar.
4P_Bulldozer is offline  
Old 06-16-2011, 07:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
Newb Techie
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3
Default Re: Building a cheap DAW

I already have Cubase 6 and an external audio card/interface, so that's the reason the audio card isn't in my calculations. Just calculate the hardware cost. The case and fans are important since the computer needs to be very quiet as I'm recording audio with a mic. Also, HDD speed is more important to me than the space, I might get a larger but slower secondary HDD to store stuff on. The budget is approximate, it's roughly translated from Swedish currency, not taking your prices into consideration, but in general, a pretty cheap computer.
Hagroth is offline  
Old 06-20-2011, 04:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
Newb Techie
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3
Default Re: Building a cheap DAW

Alright, I'll go for Windows 7 then. I've made a new list, this time checking compatibility between motherboard-RAM and motherboard-CPU on the motherboard's manufacturer's website.

I'm not sure about the cabinet, I just wanted a very quiet one with isolation. I've read some reviews about it, and they all say it's supposed to be really silent. Not quite sure about the PSU either. The very cheap CPU cooler had some good reviews.

Here's the list again, but in a simpler version:

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3
AMD 990FX, AM3+, ATX, (DDR3 1866/1600/1333/1066Mhz 4st <32GB), SATA 6.0 Gbit/s
According to their website:
Supports AMD Phenom II X4 955rts
Supports Corsair 8GB (2x4096MB) VENGEANCE

Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 955 3,2GHz Black Edition
2 MB L2-cache, 6 MB L3, AM3/AM2+ socket

Processor cooler: Arctic Cooling Alpine 64 Pro

RAM: Corsair 8GB (2x4096MB) 1600MHz VENGEANCE
DDR3, 240-pin DIMM, recommended for Core i7/i5/i3/AMD

HDD: OCZ SSD Agility 3
60 GB, SATA 6.0 Gbit/s, Read: 525 MB/s; Write: 475 MB/s

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Green
2 TB, SATA 3.0 Gbit/s, 3.5", 5400 rpm

Video card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 550Ti OC 1GB
DirectX 11
GPU: Nvidia, 970 MHz
Memory: GDDR5, 1024 MB, 4200 MHz, 192 bit
PCI Express 16X, 2.0
Requires >400W and 6-pin ext. power connector
Fits in the cabinet.

Samsung SH-B123L Blu-Ray R/DVD W, Lightscribe
DVD <16x, CD 40x
SATA, buffert 2 MB

Cooler Master Silencio 550 (ATX, mATX)
Fans: 2x120mm(800rpm)

PSU: Cooler Master Silent Pro M 600W
Hagroth is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Building a Cheap Cheap Rig for GF motoxer4533 System Upgrades 3 01-03-2007 06:32 PM
building cheap but decent pc andyroo89 System Upgrades 15 07-10-2006 05:10 PM
building a cheap gaming pc joelk989 System Upgrades 2 10-09-2005 01:59 AM
Building Cheap Computer turtile Overclocking and Modding 10 06-03-2005 09:24 AM
cheap pc building IntelUser101 Overclocking and Modding 28 03-15-2005 12:25 AM

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:21 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.