I’m thinking of getting a desktop computer to use for my audio now that I’m in a more stable living situation. What should I look for in particular for audio? I’ve also noticed that more and more DAWs are using a lot of graphical resources, so I’m probably going to get a mid grade graphics card too. I’d also prefer to stick with a Windows system (yeah I know, I’m lazy that way).
Yep, the linked offer is too expensive for what you get. I don’t necessarily recommend building your own system (have seen too many people mess up, especially when installing the CPU/cooling system), but try to find a shop that lets you customize your new computer. If you want a decent video card, for example, a GT 635 is a poor choice (really meant for office stuff). A 560ti or 660ti would be much better picks (need to make sure the power supply can handle the video card you choose).
If I bought a new desktop now, I’d also want a SSD drive for the OS and programs (doesn’t have to be big, 120 GB will be fine for that purpose) and a normal HDD for data 750 GB+). 8 GB RAM is fine (still no real need for 16 GB for most people, I feel, but it’s easy enough to expand later anyway). At least four USB 3.0 ports is a good idea (USB HUBs aren’t always problem-free). You’ll presumably use an audio interface, so I don’t think you need a system that’s specifically designed for audio. I’m particular about fan noise and tend to overspend to get something that is quiet, but quite a few people stick the actual desktop in a closet, so that may not matter to you.
I’d also recommend Windows 7 over Windows 8. They are like XP and Vista, so it’s best to skip 8. Opinions may vary on this, though.
You could look at Newegg and see if there are any barebone systems that you could easily “fill out” with what you need, too. In the US, I’d always choose Newegg over Bestbuy (or any of the chains) even if you buy a complete system.
You don’t need an expensive video card. I have a cheap GTS 250 and it can handle anything except heavy graphics games. I would’ have spent the money on CPU, RAM and Soundcard, that’s really all you need for music production. Yeah and Win7, i’m very happy with this OS.
“especially when installing the CPU/cooling system”
I think it’s easier to stick 2 female Molex connectors together.
"That would be fun and all, but I have no idea what I’m doing in that department, and I would be kinda lost without any kind of instruction on how to go about it. "
There are a million guides out there, and manuals are included with motherboards. If you’ve figured out how renoise works, you’ll have no problem building a computer, pretty much everything is fool proof, fits only one way, and is securely connected only when it clicks together, moreover, pretty much always when it’s not it just won’t boot and supply you with the appropriate error message in audio beeps from the pc speaker. Your only real problem is getting a processor that’s not supported by your motherboard’s revision at all since often you don’t know the revision number until you actually open the box (retailers tend to not care).
“Your only real problem is getting a processor that’s not supported by your motherboard’s revision at all since often you don’t know the revision number until you actually open the box”
My brain just HEUGHED.
Thanks for your input guys. I’ll start shopping around when I don’t have so many performances coming up.
I never had that problem myself, i always looked up the board its specifications on the manufacturer site to be sure what kind of CPU’s it supported.
If it didn’t supported the CPU i had in mind, simply just went for one that did.
The problem i did had was finding the board that supported a fast (multicore) cpu, the highest possible memory clock and the fastest PCI express bus combined. And can i insert my other PCI card hardware in it?
Besides that the choice in offer was low, the boards usually were at early development stages and required a couple of BIOS updates to fix the third party hardware (CPU / RAM) issues.
Having boards that still have at least two PCI slots are plenty, but they might phase it out (lots of folks still have a decent audio card and network card that requires an ordinary pci slot).
Although having an extra network card is usually not necessary either with most boards, unless the onboard port is 100Mbit and you your network handles 1Gbit, but 1Gbit onboard LAN is also becoming a standard.
(1Gbit with support for Jumbo frames however is not quite common yet)
This cursed phone x2 gah
Doesn’t happen to me personaly.
Depends on what you prioritise.
Bios update necessity do to ram is easier to manage than do to the cpu, because there’s higher chance it would run for you to update, it’s much cheeper if it won’t, because you would need a supported part or it won’t boot for you to even update.
That’s an issue i’ve seen people new to this come across and I blame retailers often not mentionihg the revision number.