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Old Man wants a PC built...


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8 replies to this topic

#1 Makaiton

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 03:21 AM

While I know enough about computers to go ahead and build my own gaming PC, I find myself a bit stumped on what to suggest for a purely music oriented one. It may seem like a simple task, but every time I look for parts to suggest I get overzealous and start wandering to things that would not be beneficial for a system of that sort.

So, these are the things I'd like to know about for this:

What sort of sound card should I get?
Should I focus on loading the PC with a high powered PCU and tons of RAM?
Are there any particular motherboards that I should look into for this type of computer? Possibly those with integrated video?
Is cooling a big concern, considering all the above?
Should I be looking for big or small for a case?

Thanks, everyone.
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#2 Lucky23

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 01:18 PM

If your just going to be listing and downloading music then i think you would want to look at one of the higher end Creative sound cards called the XFI. As far as CPU i guess that would depend on if your downloading lots of music. If so a quad or dual core would be good but if you go with a slower ghz processor your downloads are going to take longer or if your gaming you performance wont be as good as some of the higher end dual and quad cores.

If your just surfing the web and listining to music then stock cooling should be sufficient but if your overclocking or gaming i would probably upgrade to a good cooler.

If your going to run XP 2gb of PC6400 is enough. If your going to do vista then get the 64bit version and i would run around 4gb.

Mid tower cases are nice and have a good amount of room in them. A full tower is much bigger then a mid tower and a micro tower is about the size of the HP, Compaq, dell cases ect...
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#3 tg1911

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 02:08 PM

What type of budget, are you working with?
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#4 DJBPace07

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 04:49 PM

If this person is planning on editing music, 4GB of RAM with Vista 64-bit is suggested. I also advise getting a good sound card, I would not get Creative. That company is not very good when it comes to their customers, remember the whole fiasco with drivers a while back. A good "pro-sumer" card is one of the Xonar series of cards. If you want the PCI-express edition, the Xonar D2X is a good choice. If you want the standard PCI one, the Xonar D2. Both come with all the Dolby technologies, such as Dolby Headphone and Pro Logic II, but also Ableton Live, Cakewalk Production Pack (SONAR LE, Dimension LE, and Project5 LE), and the Portable Music Processor. I use this card and I'm very impressed. Remember, when it comes to audio, if you don't have good speakers or headphones, having a good sound card with Lossless audio files isn't going to make anything sound better. Make sure the headphones and speakers are just as good as your sound system. Since this PC is not going to be built for a high-end gamer, you can use a mid-tower case. However, a full tower is best in terms of providing plenty of upgrade potential.

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#5 Lucky23

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 05:29 PM

I didnt know that you might be editing music, so if so do what djb said.
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#6 Eyesee

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 07:26 PM

Get a decent video card too. One of the main bottlenecks in a system is video.
A decent ATI or NVidia video card isnt much.
Having 256 or 512 megs of memory on the card makes a big difference in performance.

You might end up doing video with the music down the road.
Plan ahead. Do it right the first time, then you will be done.
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#7 Makaiton

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 10:38 PM

The budget is really up in the air right now. The state of the economy and all that...I'm thinking the limit I'll eventually be given is a grand plus or minus a few hundred. Maybe less, since it hasn't really been specified yet.

There won't be so much of downloading music from the net. My father has a incredibly huge library of vinyls and cassette tapes that he has slowly been converting over to a digital format. He's just an old school kind of guy! I imagine that in this case, a decent processor and a good amount of RAM is a must.

I don't find myself familiar with Creative's driver fiasco, but would XonarD2 be a good equivalent of Creative's XFI?

I don't truly believe this PC will be used for gaming, but who knows? I may get my father playing WWII games someday. On the other hand, I remember that he has a penchant for taking videos as well, so perhaps video editing and the such should be kept in mind when building this; a decent video card would be necessary. Is it true that ATI is better built for video and that Nvidia is more for gaming?

I've always leaned towards Altec Lansing for speakers and the such, but I know little about that particular catagory of hardware. Where should I be looking for a good set of speakers and/or headphones?

Sorry that my responses to each individual are bunched up in one post!
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#8 hamluis

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 09:32 AM

FWIW: I've been editing music files since the Napster days, using an obsolete Cool Edit 2000 program...which does the job.

Merely playing music files involves even less.

As for editing such...the key is the program or programs used to do such. Look at the minimum requirements and you will see that they are not very much in terms of CPU-power. Hard drive space (which is used by some programs) and RAM (any DDR2) will probably be the two most-tasked aspects of the edit process, IMO.

Everything else is...dealer's choice :thumbsup:. Speakers, sound card, etc.

Louis

Edit: Your software should lead you in the right direction...and there are forums for users of such where you can obtain valuable inputs from users about varied situations, desires, etc.

Edited by hamluis, 21 December 2008 - 09:34 AM.


#9 DJBPace07

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 08:39 PM

I used to have a Creative X-Fi card before they really angered me and I got the Xonar. I think the Xonar sounds best in movies and music, but it doesn't handle games as well as the X-Fi. They do a good job in games, but the X-Fi is more tailored for games. I have a very good pair of headphones, they sound awesome, especially in Dolby Headphone. They're the AKG K701. As for speakers, you may want to ask someone else, I use headphones mostly.

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