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Old 03-18-2005, 11:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Currently, I have a P3 computer and I'm looking to purchase a new computer so as to convert all my vinyls and audio tapes to waves and MP3s. I'm estimating about 3500 MP3 files for the finished project. But here is where I need your help.

Storage: 160GB; or 200GB?
One hard drive; or two?
Memory: 512MB? Or 1024MB(1GB)?
Chipset: AMD? Or Intel?
If AMD, will Athlon XP be sufficient or do I need Athlon 64?
If Intel, P4 FSB533 or P4 FSB800?
Will a chip speed of 2.8GHz be okay? Or should I get a speed over 3.00GHz?

To get a "feel" of what's in my mind, let's use a transportation analogy. Say I need a car for work and home: I'm okay with a Honda Accord; or even a Honda Odyssey mini-van; or even a Ford Explorer. But I don't need a Corvette, Porsche, Lexus,nor a Formula ONE car. However, I might take an entry-level BMW or Benz. (Can you read my mind?)

Please bear in mind that I'll doing all my line-in recordings at nights and on weekends. And even though the recording will be done in real-time, I don't want to be bogged down with file conversion, formatting, enhancing, restoring, etc, when I'm converting the wave files to MP3s. So speed and effieciency will be important. But I don't want to spend on an [extreme] system because I won't be doing games, video editing, nor digital photos, etc. I just want to convert ALL my tapes and vinyls to MP3s; but I need a decent system that can do the job [quickly] with the software that I'm planning to buy.

I do hope that you could steer me in making a decision in purchasing a new computer that would only be used for music. Thanks.


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Old 03-18-2005, 12:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'll post an Intel system for you, I'm a little more familiar with Intel than AMD, but I'm sure someone else will post an AMD system.

CPU: Intel Pentium 4/ 2.4C GHz 800MHz FSB, 512K L2 Cache, Hyper Threading Technology - Retail $163

MOBO: ASUS "P4P800-MX" 865GV Chipset Motherboard For Intel Socket 478 CPU -RETAIL $62

RAM: Kingston ValueRAM Dual Kits 184 Pin 512MB(256MBx2) DDR PC-3200 $60

VID: Onboard

HDD: Seagate 160GB Barracuda 7200.7 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive, Model ST3160023AS, OEM $105

OPTICAL: LG Electronics DVD+/-RW 16X Mulitformat Drive, Model GSA-4163BK - Black - OEM $67

SPEAKERS: Logitech X-530 5.1 Black Speaker System -OEM $49

CASE: Whatever $60

PSU: Antec P4 ATX12V 350 Watt Power Supply With 2 Fans, Model "SL350" - Retail $62

Thats about it for $572 and the only thing you need extra is a monitor!

A setup like this will perform very well for what you are doing.


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Old 03-18-2005, 01:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yup, I can't disagree there. Good sys setup.
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Old 03-18-2005, 01:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree with the main setup, it's good.

For what your doing, it sounds like Hyperthreading will be of use to you, unlike for most people it really does not do anything.

Remeber to get a good sound card as well, as a phono pre-amp. The M-Audio audiophile 2496 is a simple high quality card that would peform wonders in stero (not a surround card).

If you need phono pre-amps too, give me a shout.
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Old 03-18-2005, 02:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah Intel is the way to go for that kind of work. I'd say go for a 3.0Ghz P4 with 800Mhz FSB, and at least 512 MB RAM. In fact the system in my sig would be good for you, that came to £425 (GBP), just go for the biggest HD you can afford.

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Old 03-18-2005, 04:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Sorry I don't actually see the point of buying a new computer for your purpose. Consider a few things, 3500 sounds like alot, but I think your looking at under 20 gigs of mp3s. It would take an archive of 20000 to top out a 100 gig hd. The only point to a 100+gig harddrive(s) would be if your gonna leave most of them in wav format.

There used to be some programs that could record and encode audio at the same time. Encoding a 5 minite song might take a minite on a p3. I don't know about the newer varible bitrate mp3's, that came out after I stoped paying attention to mp3s.

Storage: Two hard drives
Memory: 1024MB
Chipset: either one will do
If AMD, Athlon 64
If Intel FSB800

I'd seriously consider running a raid 1 setup, your looking at a ton of work recording all those songs at real time, It'd be a shame for a hd to fail and lose all those hours. Any of the HD's below would have enough space to let you record into wav for an entire day, and you could let the computer encode your days work while your in the shower.
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Old 03-22-2005, 10:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks a lot pals; for your advice.

However, I have a "weird" question that should be read only within it's context so as to understand my point of view.

Since I don't need an extreme game set-up and I want to move up from a P3, will a low-cost P4 Celeron chipset or an AMD (P4) Duron be better than any P3s?

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Old 03-22-2005, 10:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I wouldnt recomend getting a value processor expisally if your going to do stuff with music

An AMD 3000+ or Intel 3.0GHZ would do fine. Try to get 64bit chips (Intel released their's recently and AMD has had them for a while) as many audio applications will move that way.

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