Shuttle/ Mini-pc Music Station ?


I’m thinking about buying a brand new PC, P4 based, for being my next Renoise and audio station (a big fat bastar with a whole lot of RAM and a big hard disk).

As I’m running short on space in my nice little home, I was thinking about going for one of those “Mini-PCs” (or "Shuttle). I know there’s only one PCI port but as far as I know I only need to plug my Audiophile 24/96.

But still I’m a bit afraid of troubles that could come up with such a weird PC for something such as audio that requires big stability.

Does anyone know of any possible problem I could run into buy basing my audio station on a shuttle ? Any advice by anyone ?

Thank you very much,

i’m using a shuttle, and it kicks some serious butts…no stability problem, it’s rock hard stable for me (i don’t overclock).

P4 2.4ghz + 1gb Ram + 120gb Harddisk. it’s a freaking nice music station.
i’m using a Audigy, all my instruments are VSTi :D. no hardware.

i think something like 3ghz would be nice, since sometime i hit 75% cpu with my songs :D

Ok thanks for the info ! Any other experience someone would like to share ? :)

(Yeah, I’d wait for the 4GHz… :)

an exemple of my song using 16 vstis + some Fx processor, eating 75% cpu around on a 2.4ghz : synthesis


Nice tune !

Could you name the VSTi you used ? Some of them sound quite good to me.


for this one, fm7 and absynth2 ;)

don’t forget to buy the shuttle bag :), and may i suggest you get a flat screen too (so you can put it in a bag as well), it really beats any laptop in power and versatility.

i think there is 2 pci slot & 1 agp slot (if you need one of those kick ass video card to play some of these nice games).

also i recommend installing Windows XP, it’s very stable, the only problem you might encounter is the occasional renoise or vsti bug ;).

add in a DVD or CD writer, and you’re ready to pump up your music CD :D.

i carry my “music station” around quite easily, shuttle + flat screen, very transportable :), beats any rack/keyboard combo.

the future of music is software ! (vsti)

ps: you should really be fine with 3ghz. no need to give big bucks for a 4ghz which is not out yet.

Thanks for your comments ! I also believe hard that the future of music is software ! :)

the shuttle barebones are really of some decent quality. i’ve been assembling of few of these with the springdale chipset in the past few weeks and they’re just fine.
i’d recommend getting either the XPC SB62G2 with ICH5R or, for the smaller budget, the XPC SB61G2 with ICH5 southbridge.
equip these babes with a P42.4C (production is meanwhile discontinued, hurry to get one of these), fix agp/pci clocks, bump up the FSB to 250mhz and the system should be running primestable at 3Ghz @default corevoltage - if you’re willing to up the vcore abit, you might even get higher speeds, since the 2.4C’s are well known for the good overclockability.
if you got the money and aren’t willing to run your RAM asynchronously get some Mushkin PC3500 CAS2 Level-II DDR (either 2x256 or 2x512 for dual channel service), as it will handle those 250MHZ in sync with the FSB.

always keep in mind that there’s nothing being more important for good renoise performance than CPU performance and RAM bandwidth.

btw: the P42.4C are most commonly going as high as 3.6Ghz with some minor Vcore increases - all on air cooling - no h2o/ln2(liquid nitrogen) involved, so you should be able to hit 3Ghz with ease.

please add : if you’re a computer dummie i highly suggest you don’t try to overclock :).

well, imo overclocking has meanwhile become so foolproof that almost everybody who can read and associate is able to do it without taking the risk on damaging any hardware physically.
it’s barely possible to damage a CPU just by increasing the clock since as long as you keep everything @ default voltage it either won’t POST anyways or if it does, it won’t significantly generate more heat, which is the no.1 reason for potential hardware damage.
whenever i hear or read about defective peripherals the factor being resposible for it was either inappropriate cooling or abortive “voltage modifications”, which were either badly soldered or absoutely exaggerated.

the common bios of a motherboard commonly only offers voltage increases deviating only by a small percentage of the default voltages - so there’s usually not much risk involved.

but however i agree with sun in a way, since when you’re absolutely unaware of computer hardware and maybe don’t even know what a BIOS is or what it is good for, you better stay away completely from things like that and run everything out of the box in specs, the way it is supposed to be.

Well, thanks, I’ll keep your suggestions in mind when buying. While I wasn’t particularily willing to overclock, the specs you give make me want to. Please note that I’m far from being a pc ignorant bum, and I perfectly know the BIOS and the other stuff you mentionned :)

Thanks anyway :)


it’s not about damaging hardware, it’s about stability :).

people wonder why suddenly their PC crash, then they remembered they O/C the hell out of it. So what i’m saying is that unless you “in the know” you’re going to spend some time with the O/C stuff, that is of course if you want a decent O/C. :lol:

when it comes to stability, it’s at least rather simple to determine if your rig became unstable due to overclocking or not.
a rather popular tool for that task is called “prime95” which can be freely downloaded over HERE.

it’s a tool which continously calculates prime numbers and whilst doing so stresses CPU/RAM/Northbridge transfers to the absolute maximum.
the heat generated by this is probably the most possible heat an application is able to produce, so if you’re in safe temp regions after one hour of testing, you know there’s no app driving your system any further.

whenever a system finishes prime95’s stress test after 24h without any errors, it can be regarded as “stable” - at least when it comes to cpu/ram/northbridge functionality.
if you still get crashes after successfully testing with prime you know it’s not due to overclocking at least.

that’s a good test indeed ;), make a snapshot of your configuration and stress it… each time you change a component you have to recheck it of course.

if your pc doesn’t melt, it’s ready to go :lol: