thinking of building a PC- no FLAMES PLZ!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Bhennies, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. Bhennies macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    NYC & Baltimore
    #1
    Hi all, I am a dedicated mac user, but am thinking of building a rack mount PC for my recording studio, while keeping my powerbook for everyday tasks and photoshop work. The reason I'm thinking of going the PC route is because any of the inherent weaknesses in XP will not be an issue here, and price is (this computer will never TOUCH the internet, much less anything but Pro Tools, and maybe samplitude and gigastudio- which are both PC only).

    So these questions...

    can I use my 23" cinema display with a PC video card? If so, what should I look for (remember, this thing is ONLY for music, not games or photoshop work).

    Do they make FW 800 cards for PC's?

    Which direction should I be looking as far as processors are concerned?

    I am very handy, but have never built a computer before, much less know anything about building a computer. Are there any websites that people can point me to (specifically music oriented?). Thanks!


    And please no flames, I would LOVE a dual 2.5 but it's just not financially worth it when I can build a smokin' rack mount stripped down PC for 1600-1700. It only needs to run pro tools- which means a couple SATA drives, FW400 and FW800 capablities, and dual DVI support for my 23" cinema as well as maybe another one down the road.


    I haven't fully decided either way yet, so if anyone has ideas, please throw them out :)
     
  2. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    [​IMG]

    If it's an older 23" studio display, then you will have to get an ADC to DVI converter. PC video cards only come with DVI and VGA, none of them have ADC (which is Apple prorietary).

    If the connector looks like this:
    [​IMG]
    Then it's DVI and a PC video card that supports DVI will work.
    If it's oval shaped, then you need the ADC to DVI converter.

    They do have FW800 PCI cards for WinTelThons (hope this link works):
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=15-123-002&depa=0
     
  3. Joeytpg macrumors 6502

    Joeytpg

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    Vienna, Austria
    #3
    PC's have their charm..........we must not HATE THEM............it's windows that sucks. but there are some very cool PC hardware out there, and you can find very very powerfull pc's out there too.......so it's great.

    i'd love to have a monster PC for gaming purposes....but in that case i'd just buy an x-box or Play station 2 hehehhe :p
     
  4. Bhennies thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 20, 2004
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    NYC & Baltimore
    #4
    hahaha....like that flame graphic :) It is a new alu. 23" display, so yes it's DVI out. thanks for the FW800 link- good to know that my OWC drive enclosures will work (although I may have to reformat the drives).

    Any thoughts on processors? As I stated before, I am LOST in the land of PC's- I've heard good stuff about the Athlon 64 as well as asus motherboards. P4?

    Thanks guys, I know this is a hard thread to respond to, but I need help from the mac perspective.
     
  5. earthtoandy macrumors 6502

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    Jan 18, 2003
    #5
    dont buy a pentium...please.

    athlons are great. I would go with the second to top athlon 64 (this is where you see the biggest price/preformance break. The top i believe is the 3800+ or so... if you step down to the 3500+ its around 330 bucks (the 3800+ is 600 bucks and the 3700+ is around 500)
     
  6. Joeytpg macrumors 6502

    Joeytpg

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    #6

    i think the new Pentium M are the most powerfull ones right now.......correct me if i'm wrong. just get a pentium M or a pentium IV 3.2 ghz with lots of Ram
     
  7. earthtoandy macrumors 6502

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    Jan 18, 2003
    #7
    waste of money. the amd chips are way better and much cheaper.

    the pentiums are falling further behind as amd makes strides ahead.
     
  8. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #8
    I agree that an Athlon is the way to go.

    If you want to reformat your FW drives, they'll have to be FAT32, because Panther (10.3.5) only has limited writing capabilities to NTFS. OR, you could leave them as HFS+ and purchase MacDrive for the WinTelThon. MacDrive will allow you to read and write to HFS+ volumes.
     
  9. hcuar macrumors 65816

    hcuar

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    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas
    #9
    Get a Pentium... Plain and simple. The AMD chips are designed for people that want "value". Therefore, the chip doesn't have good thermal protection and usually requires a fan sounding like it could cool a 57 chevy.

    If you want to do audio recording, this could be a problem. I had terrible heat problems with my AMD XP 1800+. My P4 2.4Ghz machine on the other hand is perfect.
     
  10. earthtoandy macrumors 6502

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    Jan 18, 2003
    #10
    my friend spent 20 bucks on a big heatsink/fan at frys for his 1800+... he does TONS of audio stuff. His machine not only doesnt overheat but is silent.

    my other friend has a 3200+ athlon 64 in a computer i built for him. he mostly does gaming and has no heat issues with the standard heatsing and fan.
     
  11. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    Bay Area
    #11
    my friend built a PC with an Athlon 64 3000+ and it's fairly quiet but there is some fan noise. It was super cheap too... if you step up to the higher end it's going to be more expensive of course, but his computer is quite fast and capable with the 3000+.
     
  12. blodwyn macrumors 65816

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    Jul 28, 2004
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    Portland, Oregon
    #12
    You didn't ask the question but I would recommend at least 1Gb of RAM. Also you don't say what sound card you will be using, but I had much better driver stability and latency using an Audiophile 2496 than a Creative Labs Audigy. There's also a great website BlackViper that has all you need to know about disabling unnecessary WinXP services and freeing up valuable resources.

    Good luck
     
  13. budugu macrumors 6502

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    Sep 8, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #13
    Dual Opteron is a good solution

    Firstly unless you have atleast 2U or 3U rack the graphics card required to run your apple displaay will not work. I would rather save on the rack mount and get a big tower! Secondly if your budget is close to 1500$ get a dual Athlon64 machine. The dual processor mother boards are arround 250$ MSI is a decent maker (for more oyu can get ASUS, TYAN etc). Make sure you have a athlon 64 2XX processor (Dual Capable) with 940 pin. And Opteron 242 or some thing i donot remember is arround 200 bucks a piece. This is good if the software you mentioned can take advantage of dual processors. If it requires just brute force power then go with the pentium 4.
     
  14. hcuar macrumors 65816

    hcuar

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    Jul 23, 2004
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    Dallas
    #14
    <sarcasm> yeah... yeah... yeah. I have this friend who built one (Athalon system). He likes it a lot. It's very quiet. </sarcasm>

    Well... I can say... I owned one that I built. I used a thermaltake Volcano 7+ fan to cool it off. It was noisy and 10 degrees C hotter than my P4. Performance was "ok". The P4 isn't that much more expensive. Get the retail box with the Intel fan. It's quiet, cool, and fast.

    One more thing... If the CPU fan fails on the AMD (it will), the processor fries. If the fan fails on a P4, it slows itself down to reduce temps. Enough said.
     
  15. Bhennies thread starter macrumors 6502

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    NYC & Baltimore
    #15
    wow, thanks for all the help every one. And only one flame :rolleyes:!

    I will be using a digi 002rack (firewire 400) for the soundcard- not a PCI based system because the 002rack is also my mobile go-to with my powerbook. I will possibly add a PCI interface later on (RME hammerfall) but that's down the road.

    As for the rack mount, it would be a big case- at least 3U, the reason I want that versus the tower is to keep it up and out of the way, not to mention I move my gear pretty frequently and would like to be able to keep it racked and ready.

    The dual AMD or opteron setup sounds interesting...guess I'll have to ask the guys at digidesign if Pro TOols is optmized for dual setup in XP. I know that they've really slacked when it comes to mac's- the dual g5's are not coming close to what they should be on PT LE, and they JUST CERTIFIED the new g5's last week!

    The only thing holding me back from jumping right over is updating my plug-ins and soft-instruments, but hey, if I'm saving 1500 bucks- it's worth it.

    Guess I have some thinking to do about whether or not I can get this project off the ground. If there are any other things I should know about, please let me know. Thanks everyone!
     
  16. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #16
    Banjos don't belong in rock bands. The same applies to bagpipes and violins. :eek:
     
  17. Bhennies thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    yes I agree...not a big banjo fan although my friend Jay is pretty good at playing one for sure....

    I'm such a dumb-a**- I was looking all over for good advice on building audio PC's and forgot to even check out Digi's forum. Look at this thread I just found- pretty much answers all my questions---

    http://duc.digidesign.com/showflat....360675&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=7&fpart=1

    thanks again everyone...guess I'll have to weigh the pros and cons of buying this or just waiting until I can afford a g5.
     
  18. kant macrumors 6502

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    Jul 22, 2004
    #18
  19. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #19
    Flutes (in a rock band) are OK. Therefore Tull is OK. Violins (in a rock band) are a crime against nature. Therefore Dave Matthews Band is a crime against nature.

    Not more dragging this thread off topic!
     
  20. eclipse525 macrumors 6502a

    eclipse525

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  21. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #21
    I love AMD over Intel. Athlons blow Pentiums out of the water in most cases. Multimedia just happens to be one of the few times that Pentiums are better than Athlons. Do yourself a favor and spend the exta money on the Pentium.

    PS. I can't believe I endorsed a Pentium.:eek: I swore them off a few years back, but in this case they are the better option.
     
  22. JonR800 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    #22
    Your mistake for using a Thermaltake product. Their products are utter crap, you can't blame AMD for your poor choice of heatsink. Stick to Thermalright next time, preferably with a Panaflo or Papst fan.


    What makes you say that the fan on an AMD proc will definitely fail, yet you make no mention of the Intel fan dying. A fan is a fan. Anyways, you do know that you can tell the BIOS to shut down the PC if the fan fails? Or if the processor hits a certain temp.

    AMD's current line of processors run far cooler than the Intel P4 Prescott. FACT. Don't even get me started on the upcoming processors.
    Tech Report on 90nm processors
    Sudhian covering the same

    *Disclaimer: I am not a fan boy, my main PC is an Intel P4 3.2ghz. I've owned countless AMD and Intel systems. I go with what's the best buy at the moment. Currently it's AMD.
     
  23. bdomz macrumors member

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    Sep 18, 2004
    #23
    the newer athlons run cooler than pentium 4's (especially the P4 prescotts which have terrible heat output). If I was going to build a PC that put out the least amount of heat I'd use an AMD Mobile Athlon XP. These processors are intended for notebooks so they run super cool and are very fast. I'd love to build a pentium M based machine but I'm pretty sure there arent any aftermarket motherboards available that can fit it (I've been out of the loop for a while though so that may have changed)
     
  24. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

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    Jul 17, 2004
    #24
    I have an Athlon 2500+ with a CPU fan and 2 case fans. It tends to run a little loud, but not that bad. And about it running hot...my motherboard comes with a Windows-based utility to read processor temp, various fan RPMs, and even voltages. If something goes over a user-set boundary, it beeps and can even bring itself to the front.

    In my experience, the Athlon processors tend to be better performance for the same or less price. However, for extreame gaming, Intel processors are better...don't ask why but it just is. Go for the Athlon!
     
  25. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #25
    Glad you asked this Bhennies. For a while now I sneak closer and closer to building a "wInD0W5" box for gaming. Though I'd hate to soil my hands and mind by touching the stuff..
     

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