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Thread: $2000AUD DAW & Gaming PC




  1. #1
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    Default $2000AUD DAW & Gaming PC

    This rig will mainly be used as a a digital audio workstation (using Cubase SX3) but I'll also play some games on it (including Bioshock & X3). Because of this I've tried to choose parts that emphasis stability and quiet operation but still have the performance I need.

    I'll add my existing FireFace 400 to use as the audio interface as well as a second 1.5TB Seagate will all my samples on it. I'll also keep my existing monitor/keyboard/mouse.

    Case: Cooler Master Cosmos 1000 ($295.00)
    PSU: Zalman ZM750-HP ($206.95)
    Motherboard: MSI P45 Platinum ($260.51)
    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 ($275.00)
    CPU Heat Sink: Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme ($72.00)
    CPU Heat Sink Fan: Scythe S-FLEX 120mm Fan 800rpm SFF21D ($27.00)
    RAM: Crucial Ballistix Tracer PC2-6400 4GB Kit (2x 2GB) ($143.80)
    Video: Gigabyte ATI HD4850 512MB ($256.00)
    Video Heat Sink: Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 Rev. 2 ($45.30)
    Optical Drive: Pioneer DVR-212 OEM ($37.00)
    HDD: Seagate 1.5TB ST31500341AS ($280.70)
    OS: Windows XP Home OEM System Builder ($115.00)

    Total Cost: $2,014.26

    Please let me know what you think! Any suggestions or improvements you can think of would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: $2000AUD DAW & Gaming PC

    Looks like a pretty nice build, but I would make three suggestions:

    1- Look at Xigmatek coolers instead of the Thermalright one you chose. They are about half as much, include the 120mm fan, use the newest HDT design and even if you buy the extra mounting kit that allows you to install and remove it without clips, it is still cheaper than the Thermalright.

    2- Change your operating system to the 64-bit version since you are planning on 4GB of memory. 32-bit OS's are limited to about 2.5GB wihout issues so you really want the 64-bit one. I have played with it a bit myself and have found that even if you have a program that doesn't play well with the native 64-bit system, you can right click the icon and set it to run in a compatibility mode of a 32-bit version. Has worked well for me.

    3- Be very careful with Crucial memory. It is not the company of quality it once was.

    Otherwise it looks pretty solid.
    Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill
    My Toys

  3. #3
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    Default Re: $2000AUD DAW & Gaming PC

    You make some very good points, cheers for your advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Darthtanion View Post
    1- Look at Xigmatek coolers instead of the Thermalright one you chose. They are about half as much, include the 120mm fan, use the newest HDT design and even if you buy the extra mounting kit that allows you to install and remove it without clips, it is still cheaper than the Thermalright.
    I looked into the Xigmatek coolers and the HDT-S1283 does indeed perform better than the Ultra-120 eXtreme and for less money. Awesome!

    This review [ Vendetta 2 vs TRUE vs HDT-S1283 | Xigmatek HDT-S1283,OCZ Vendetta 2,Thremalright Ultra 120 eXtreme,OCZTVEND2,TRUE,best cpu cooler,OCZVEND2,Best of the best cpu coolers: Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme vs Xigmatek HDT-S1283 vs OCZ Vendetta 2 OCZVEND2 p ] compares the Xigmatek HDT-S1283, OCZ Vendetta 2 and Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme. The OCZ Vendetta 2 comes out on top and is a few $$ cheaper than the Xigmatek, so I'll go with the OCZ. I'll probably still replace the OCZ's fan with the Scythe S-FLEX fan to cut down on noise, but I'll make that decision one it's all up and running.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darthtanion View Post
    2- Change your operating system to the 64-bit version since you are planning on 4GB of memory. 32-bit OS's are limited to about 2.5GB wihout issues so you really want the 64-bit one. I have played with it a bit myself and have found that even if you have a program that doesn't play well with the native 64-bit system, you can right click the icon and set it to run in a compatibility mode of a 32-bit version. Has worked well for me.
    I'll make the jump to Vista 64 when my DAW software fully supports it (waiting for the next version). I'll probably also upgrade to 8GB of RAM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darthtanion View Post
    3- Be very careful with Crucial memory. It is not the company of quality it once was.
    Can you point me in the right direction to find out more about problems with Crucial?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: $2000AUD DAW & Gaming PC

    Most of the problems with Crucial have to do with numerus RMA issues and lack of decent support. They used to be some of the best memory on the market, but lately they have suffered from poor quality and service after the sale. I generally like Mushkin and Corsair myself, but have also heard good things about Patriot, Kingston (some of them anyway) and OCZ. Hiper has been coming on strong but I havent played with it so can't really make a recommendation one way or the other.
    Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill
    My Toys

  5. #5
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    Default Re: $2000AUD DAW & Gaming PC

    Quote Originally Posted by Darthtanion View Post
    Most of the problems with Crucial have to do with numerus RMA issues and lack of decent support. They used to be some of the best memory on the market, but lately they have suffered from poor quality and service after the sale. I generally like Mushkin and Corsair myself, but have also heard good things about Patriot, Kingston (some of them anyway) and OCZ. Hiper has been coming on strong but I havent played with it so can't really make a recommendation one way or the other.
    That's a worry! I'll look into other manufacturers. Thanks for letting me know.

    Do you think the OCZ Vendetta 2 is the best choice to cool the CPU?

    Edit: Based on your advise and this comparison < http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...ry,2079-2.html > I've decided to go with Patriot Viper 4GB PVS24G6400LLK. It performs better when clocked at 800MHz & is $50AUD cheaper than the Crucial modules. Great!
    Last edited by Pyrogenic; 12-22-2008 at 10:19 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: $2000AUD DAW & Gaming PC

    I can't speak from personal knowledge on the OCZ cooler, but I use the Xigmatek HDT1283 on my main rig and love it. It is huge, but I can live with that.
    Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill
    My Toys

  7. #7
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    Default Re: $2000AUD DAW & Gaming PC

    If the OCZ cooler doesn't work out I'll choose the Xigmatek HDT1283 for sure. Thanks again!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: $2000AUD DAW & Gaming PC

    I've decided to go with a Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P motherboard as it's cheaper than the MSI and performs better.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: $2000AUD DAW & Gaming PC

    What do you think of going with a Palit ATI HD4850 512MB instead of the Gigabyte ATI HD4850 512MB board? The Palit is cheaper and the performance is almost identical.

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