Need advice on computer build!

It’s time to upgrade my computer needs… I want to build around the intel i processors and win7… What would be the cheapest solution. I need around 3 - 4G of ram.

What moderboard would you recommend? I’m a hardcore ASUS supporter but I think it’s time to try another (cheaper) brand.

Also curious to try out SSD. I only need one HD. I will do all backups on a USB HD.

How about graphic card? I need support for dual monitors. I’ve always used Matrox but it’s time to try another (cheaper) brand.

I want this build to be slim and not too expensive. Would would you choose if you wanted to build a dirty cheap but stable and fast computer.

I record audio and I don’t use many plug-ins etc…

Please share your knowledge!


Just wait a few weeks (January 9) until Intel will release the Sandy Bridge i7 2600 / 2600K / 2600S processors!
The price will be around $300 for a 3,4Ghz CPU with 4 cores/ 8 threads and 8MB L2 cache.

Prices for the current i7 models will probably drop then …

Hey CP, just a couple thoughts.
I always like to buy about six months to a year behind the curve to save money, being on the bleeding edge costs and you can beat the game by staying back in the pack and not really lose out on anything substantial in power and stability.
I like Gigabyte boards for a couple reasons; one, because I use Firewire connectivity for my interfaces and their on board Texas Instruments chip-sets are stellar and work well with both my RME Fireface 800’s and my Tascam DM4800. Even have a twenty-four foot run with a repeater for my Tascam and I never get any dropouts.
Two, they are stable as hell and have the added benefit of not being too pricey.
Right now I am getting ready to put together an i7 x58 based system with an Intel 930 or 950 processor and 8 GB of Corsair DDR3 1600. Going to use SSD for System Drive and SATA for secondary and tertiary drives. The Gigabyte board I’m looking at is around $230.00 (Has USB 3), the processor about $300.00, all in, Antec case and everything, the system should top out about $1600.00 Canadian Dollars (Around 1200.00 Euros) including an NVidia Dual head video card and the OS (Win 7 Pro 64). My supplier’s site is down for maintenance at the moment, but I can post the exact parts and prices tomorrow. I’m currently still running the Quads I built off Gigabyte boards over three years ago without so much as a hiccup (Three systems).


Hey J L keeps us posted because I’m in need of a new system next Jan/Feb so would be interested how the system turns out

I have the ultimate Power computer for ya !!

Insane 5.3 Hz processing speed…
zuse z3 kleiner.jpg

Ha ha ha K you rock bro!

J L Bowie - interesting stuff. Please keep us posted on the progress. Maybe I can clone your setup. The price sounds nice and I’m also going for Win7 64.

Jazztronauts: Cool I will hold my horses until intel release their new processors so I can buy the older one. I agree man!

I’m on a hybrid setup so I don’t feel the need to buy the ‘fastest and meanest’ processor. I just need a system that supports Win7 64 and runs smooth and stable. Can handle large track count etc.

You guys rock!

Keep the advices coming - I’m writing down everything and I will do some more Google research…

Okay guys, I have put together a PDF doc with all the info for my new build including prices and links to my supplier’s site for more detailed info. This includes X58 Gigabyte motherboard, Intel 950 Processor, 12 GB of DDR3 Corsair, Video card, SSD, case and power supply, and Win 7 64 Pro. Haven’t added secondary and tertiary SATA drives, but those are cheap and won’t add much to the total. Without those secondary and tertiary SATA drives the total is at $1331.93 CDN.
Now I’ve tried to attach the PDF to this post but it isn’t working, so if anyone wants this doc simply PM me or send me an email (I think I have that enabled in preferences) and I will be happy to pass it along. I’ve been building systems for a long time now with excellent results and I can tell you that putting a setup like this together is a piece of cake, so for the uninitiated you shouldn’t be afraid to venture forth. Windows 7 makes it even easier on the setup side.
If Fredo reads this and can help with loading the PDF I will be only too happy to pass it along.

Thought I would add that all prices are retail that I included in the PDF. I used to have some wholesale suppliers I dealt with, but over the years the gap narrowed and retail prices dropped to the point that it just became unnecessary to go that route. I’m going to build a system in the next few days based on these parts and will keep you posted as to how it works out.


Interesting! I am in the exakt same situation. Still working on my Tyan / Dual Opteron system…

But can’t decide if I go the “cost efficient” route or the “as much power as possible” way. Ok, I never buy the ultralastlatest stuff, but for example I am not sure if I should go for the i7 950 (4 cores) or better the i7 970 (6 cores) - the 950 is quite cheap compared to the 970 (about 250 EUR to 750 EUR). Maybe even the 950 will blow everything away here…

Now I heard the stuff with that Sandy-Bridge i7 as well… Mh, don’t know - maybe waiting and hoping that the 970 drops in price?

I am so happy that I am not a Computer shop… :confused:

I will go for the SSD drives as well - in my case a system drive and a drive for projects - adding a big regular hd as well for stuff which do not need a ultrafast drive in the first place cause a 240 GB drive is quite small these days and still very expensive. I heard that a modern Win7 system on a SSD drive is up and running in a couple of seconds. Awesome!

Btw I will go ASUS again.

just edited my post, (removed the line that I would go for the sandy bridge).
Just noticed that the sandy bridge to be released in January will have a LGA 1155 socket and the high end LGA 2011
sandy bridge (Romley) processor is planned for Q3 2011 (so the sandy bridge boards with LGA 1155 will be immediately obsolete).

Thanks J L Bowie! I will send you a PM now!

Do you still think that there will be a price-dump in the current i7 processors?

(Sorry EvilChild, for hijacking your topic…)

“I love you” - when you hijack my threads!

difficult to tell for the LGA1366 i7 cpu’s.
The LGA 1155 i7 (8xx) will probably gets a price drop but since those prices are already reduced in the last months it won’t be significant. LGA 1155 motherboards however will probably drops a lot more.

Checking the holiday deals for a LGA1366 cpu + board won’t be a bad idea either…

Hi Evil, I would think of not “What is the cheapest solution?” but what is the most reliable solution in terms of longevity. It does not need to be bleedin’ edge but it does need to be high quality IMO. Remember… computers suck your life away when they go wrong, get the best, you can earn more money but you never get your lifes hours back. (Can you tell I am getting older?)

I suggest:

ASUS motherboards (not ASROCK)
Kingston Memory
Samsung Spinpoint hard drives
i7 CPU’s
Seasonic X series PSU’s (or TAGAN)

HNY everyone and enjoy the festive season !

Thanks man!

Hi guys!

What do you think of this cheaper solution… I’m only using my puter for audio and edit. No plugins.

PSU: Corsair CMPSU-650TX 650W

Moderboard: Gigabyte GA-H55-UD3H

Graphic: Integrated in the CPU (is this a bad thing?)

CPU: Intel Core i3 550 3,2GHz Socket 1156 Box

RAM: Corsair XMS3 DDR3 PC12800/1600MHz CL9 4GB

HD: Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS 64MB 2TB

only thing that bugs me a little is the graphic card… I already have Matrox dual head graphic card… Can I use it with my new mobo? I’m planing on running XP Pro on this machine. Is it a mistake? I can afford the Nuendo upgrade and I’m not running a commercial studio and Nuendo 3 have all the features I need for my projects. I would love to go Win7 but N3 doesn’t support it so I’m stuck in XP.

Maybe I buy Cubase. But I’m not sure I want to spend more money on Steinberg - and the update price is pretty expensive for me. I could buy a new DAW for the price of the update. Wish Nuendo 3 could work with Win7. That would be great. But at the same time XP Pro is running fine here and if my new puter support XP then I will be fine for a couple of more years… My old P4 is starting to act funny and my latest install didn’t improve the stability much. The puter works ok but it’s kind of slow and sometimes I get glitches. Never had those problems before.

Maybe I need to tweak the OS? I’ve done the easy ones… Background task etc…


Regarding the on-board graphics: From what I gather (Have not used it myself) the motherboard integrated graphics in conjunction with a CPU with this capability is not nearly as robust as a separate PCIe graphics card. However, considering that we typically seek out lighter weight graphics cards for DAW use anyway, I can’t see the harm in trying it. As you have previously described your usage it just might work. If not robust enough in the end, then you still have your Matrox (Depending on age and model) to install, or even another inexpensive graphics card that will do the job. From the looks of your choices you’ll be saving half over the MoBo and Proc I suggested, but the only real question is if XP will run okay on that hardware configuration.
Thought: If Nuendo 3 will install and run on 32bit Win7, I would go that route as I think you will encounter fewer issues. I can’t be positive that would be the case, and I am running Win 7 64bit here and therefore cannot test Nuendo 3 in your potential environment. I am sure that someone here must have given that a try at some point and will chime in with an answer. Bottom line, I don’t see a problem with the configuration you have outlined providing XP will run on it okay (And run the on-board graphics properly).

Thanks Bowie for all the help you provided me! Yeah this spec is slim and cheap. The Matrox card is PCIe and dual head. I bought it with my P4. The main concern is running XP Pro with this setup. I have Win7 32/64 bit versions so I can go 64 when I upgrade. But for now I’m really happy with N3 and my budget is tight… I already have a really awesome Lian-Li case.

Have anybody tried N3 with Win7?


I will try very very soon!

There is life outside the planet Intel, too (although not very much on this forum :wink: ). Just a reminder: the setup you can see in my signature is very powerful for W7-64 and Cubase. And yes, one can make very serious music projects on modern AMD workstations, too, often even saving money. So, checking all the alternatives with an open mind is always a good idea.

Sometimes we computer users become as black-and-white in our preferences as e.g. camera users where owners of Canon and Nikon can actually hate each other on forums, for whatever reasons. Human but so very silly. :wink: