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Old 03-20-2008, 08:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default building a new DAW, any suggestions?

Hey all,

I've been putting parts together for a new DAW (digital audio workstation) and all around computer. I don't plan on doing any hardcore gaming (might check out a couple, but nothing big) and will use it mostly to record music.

Here is what I've been thinking about building:

GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Dynamic Energy Saver Ultra Durable II Intel Motherboard - Retail
Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Dynamic Energy Saver Ultra Durable II Intel Motherboard - Retail

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model HH80562PH0568M - OEM
Newegg.com - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor - OEM

Kingston HyperX 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model KHX6400D2LLK2/2G - Retail
Newegg.com - Kingston HyperX 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

EVGA 256-P2-N761-AR GeForce 8600GTS 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Newegg.com - EVGA 256-P2-N761-AR GeForce 8600GTS 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM SATA 1.5Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Newegg.com - Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 1.5Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model LH-20A1L-06 - Retail
Newegg.com - LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner with LightScribe - Retail

Antec Sonata Plus 550 Black/ Silver Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 550W Power Supply - Retail
Newegg.com - Antec Sonata Plus 550 Black/ Silver Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 550W Power Supply - Retail

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
Newegg.com - Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM

ZALMAN CNPS9500 AT 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink - Retail
Newegg.com - ZALMAN CNPS9500 AT 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink - Retail


Anyone see anything that is a showstopper?

I don't plan on OC'ing.... do you guys think that I would be better served to just get a retail version of the CPU and use the stock cooler? Or is it way better to get the Zalman?

Anyone know the difference between the Intel P35 chipset and the EP35 chipset. I got advise from a DAW builder who said go with either a P35 chipset or X38, but didn't say anything about the EP35....
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: building a new DAW, any suggestions?

P35 is the chipset and it is good

the Zalman is really up to you, its not totally necessary since you wont be overclocking, but its DEF not going to hurt, it will only improve the lifespan of it


you can also get bigger and equally good hard drives for much cheaper, unless you are dead set on the Raptor

curious, why did you choose that case?

EDIT - If it is b/c it comes w/ a free PSU its recommended you get a separate one, the corsair 520 or 620 or PC Power and Cooling 610W Silencer are all excellent PSU's
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Old 03-20-2008, 09:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: building a new DAW, any suggestions?

these HDD's are just about as fast as the raptor with way more space
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Old 03-21-2008, 01:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: building a new DAW, any suggestions?

Thanks for the replies...

I am kinda on the fence about the Raptor, but decided to include it because it runs at 10,000 RPM. I am planning on using it mainly as an OS drive/program drive (hence, not TOO concerned with size) with all data being stored on another 250GB drive that I already have. I figured that the speed of the raptor would increase the speed of the whole system if programs/OS are running off of a dedicated, really fast drive.

So I guess I don't know which would be faster? The 10,000 RPM, 16MB Cache, 1.5 SATA Raptor or a 7,200RPM, 32MB Cache, 3.0 SATA like the few linked above?

It would save some money to get the 7,200.... do you all think that there would be much difference in performance (at least my "money's worth")?


I'm also on the fence about the case.... I like it because it is supposed to be quiet (pretty important with recording)... but mainly saw that I could get the PSU and the case for the cost of a PSU (after a mail-in-rebate of course). I have also thought about either:

1) Getting a PSU and putting it in a case that I already have... ( Newegg.com - APEVIA X-Gear ATXB5KLW-AL Silver Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 420W Power Supply - Retail ) the only problem being that it is not really all that quiet.

2) Getting a separate case and PSU... this seems to be the best, but most expensive way... and I'm already way over budget.

So I'm taking it that you all don't think the Antec case/PSU is the best way to go? What would you suggest?
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Old 03-21-2008, 03:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: building a new DAW, any suggestions?

So I've started to think about this too...

Is the DS3R mobo (that I have up there) worth the extra $30 for RAID, some extra usb ports, extra SATA ports, etc. Over the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L?

The DS3L gets really good reviews.... and I don't currently plan on setting up a RAID array. But it what if I want to in the future?

Or, I don't currently plan on using more than 4 SATA ports.... but I might some day...

Maybe I'm just being too cheap?
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Old 03-21-2008, 04:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: building a new DAW, any suggestions?

The 10,000rpm drives are almost always the worse choice. I would go with the bigger cache, storage, and cheaper priced 7,200 drives. As far as speed goes, I would doubt if there is any difference, but I know there is no noticeable difference.

Also, the 8600gts is not a card worth buying any more. Look into a 9600gt, they are a little more expensive, but TONS better. Best value right now as far as graphics goes.
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Old 03-21-2008, 04:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: building a new DAW, any suggestions?

Thanks,

I think I am going to go with the 7,200RPM drive.

I noticed that the 9600gt is PCIe 2.0 x16.... will it work with a regular PCIe x16 slot (like the one on the Gigabyte MOBO)?
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Old 03-21-2008, 04:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: building a new DAW, any suggestions?

BTW

I just thought of something I meant to ask earlier....

Am I going to have a problem with any of these parts with Windows XP pro?
Like the graphics card... If I get a super new card will I have problems with drivers for XP?
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Old 03-21-2008, 05:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: building a new DAW, any suggestions?

So you gonna run Protools and use Delta 1010's, Digitech or what? I have a rather extensive home recording studio and I use Delta 1010's exclusively. You won't have any probs with XP Pro SP2 with any of the stuff you are contemplating.
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Old 03-21-2008, 05:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: building a new DAW, any suggestions?

You should be fine w/ XP drivers
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