Music Lover System Build.

need advice and input !

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 by bodadog | Discussion: Personal Computing

I am in the process of building new desktop system and need some expert opinions on new build.This is for music and photography only I do not do gaming to old and to slow for that! I am dealing with a budget of only 500.00 dollars for this build already have ATX case so lets get started best motherboard for my purpose is what best CPU of course DDR3 I am currently on DDR2 system with CORE DUO 2.2GHZ dual core I am also running 8gb RAM DDR2 Kingston ram chips want to update to DDR3 of course with atleast dual core or quad core 2.8ghz or more possibly so all input is welcome please !

Reply #1 Wednesday, September 17, 2014 9:38 AM

When you say music, does that mean for recording with a DAW? If so, you'll want a decent interface for that. But with a small budget you can always add that later. 

Reply #2 Wednesday, September 17, 2014 10:13 AM

Yes and I also have Sound Studio software Sony Acid and Guitar Tracks I have these on my system now I do play Guitar and Bass have extensive music collection too so It must be all compatible no Mac system is considered way to costly !Also have DSP plugin SA Stereo Tool which by the way is one fantastic plugin also Klipsch pro media speaker system 250watts self powered!I have ASUS Xonar dx sound card !

Reply #3 Wednesday, September 17, 2014 11:03 AM

Sounds like you have yourself equipped on the audio end. As for the CPU, I would go with at least an i5, preferably an i7. IMO 8 GB of RAM is plenty. 

Reply #4 Wednesday, September 17, 2014 11:22 AM

OK that sounds great i5 would do quad or dual core 2.8 to 3.2 ghz how about the Motherboard though here is where i Am confused to what brand MSI ASUS or some other brand have plenty of cooling on hand !reliability and longevity are required spec. as I don not have a lot of money to spend on fixed income have saved 250.00dollars so far

Reply #5 Wednesday, September 17, 2014 12:32 PM

I've never built my own system. I'm sure some others on the forum could help you with specs on the Mobo, etc. I think ASUS is a solid brand though. 

On the CPU, assuming your DAW is multithreaded 64-bit, the more cores the better. If your DAW is not multithreaded, then I'm not certain how much the CPU upgrade would help. With 32-bit, the extra RAM won't help much either. It would be better to have an i5 than a Core Duo. You would notice a leap in performance there. But from what I understand, if your DAW software is optimized (multithreaded) for it the extra cores are much more effective. (If someone else knows more about this feel free to correct me). 

My recommendation is to talk to someone who builds PCs. They would be able to help you with the right hardware.

Here are a few links that might be helpful for optimizing Windows for audio:


Reply #6 Wednesday, September 17, 2014 1:29 PM

Thanks heft for your input some great links.

Reply #7 Wednesday, September 17, 2014 1:35 PM

No problem. I just realized, though, that the first link is way outdated. It is for Windows XP. But digifreq is a good source of info for recording audio regardless. 

Here's another great link I forgot to mention. They have info specific to each brand of DAW:


Reply #8 Wednesday, September 17, 2014 2:22 PM

Awesome Links especially that last one 5 stars on that one found studio monitors system I have been looking for!!!

Reply #9 Wednesday, September 17, 2014 4:49 PM

That should be a Core 2 Duo, not a Core Duo, I remember your boot thread stating a 64 bit OS, not possible on the original x86 Core Duo's.  If Core Duo is correct and you actually have a 32 bit system, junk your OS.  You can use the 32 bit key for a 64 bit installer of the same product without needing to actually buy a 64 bit version of win7.


If you do a lot of audio and image processing, and not just playback, definitely get an i5.  If you don't, and your system is basically a playback/storage device, honestly you really don't need to spend the dough.  Adding an SSD to your environment is an evolutionary leap in performance well beyond what even going up from a Core Duo to a Sandybridge or later I5 will get you.  You can spend a hundred bucks and either get a dual core i3 if you don't have much use for multi-threading, or one of the AMD A8's if you do.  Either option can get you a processor in the neighborhood of 3GHZ, that is radically faster per clock than Core 2 architecture, for under a hundred bucks.


If you do have use for the power of an i5 or better, they're fantastic hardware.  I'd recommend you still drop 60 on a 120GB SSD though.  That would give you enough room to be your primary OS and have some critical, frequently used programs on it.  The advantage really can't be understated, something like a Samsung 840 Evo will have more of an impact on your performance than the rest of the system upgrade combined.  Considering you should be able to more than double your performance with even a 3GHZ A8 or i3 build, that means something.

Reply #10 Wednesday, September 17, 2014 6:03 PM


Adding an SSD to your environment is an evolutionary leap in performance well beyond what even going up from a Core Duo to a Sandybridge or later I5 will get you. 

Yes! That is true. I use an SSD at work, and it offers a huge performance boost. Upon startup within 15 seconds I am on the internet. Programs load very quickly. Get an SSD. 

Reply #11 Wednesday, September 17, 2014 6:41 PM

You are correct it is a Core 2 Duo I thought an SSD where more expensive than that but that sounds great as far as the i5 that is what i am going with 3gz is definitely what i would like I am impressed well thought out thank you for all the great input I do need the multithreading processor and the SSD under $100.00 is awesome so I will go on that too thanks you guys for the advice I do love my music ALOT so Iwant to get the best I can on this small budget. I acquired  a great ATX case from a friend close by. will the cooling be good with my fans 4pin 3800 rpm of which I have 4 of them plus a cross ventilation fan at 2500rpm and a Monster slot blower at 7800rpm max?

Reply #12 Wednesday, September 17, 2014 8:17 PM

Heat dissipation should be inconsequential.  The modern processors are very efficient compared to the old ones.  The range you're after with an i5 will get you a processor that's around 300% faster, but only 30% higher in power utilization than your current one, much less if you get an Ivybridge instead of a Haswell.  They're not real far apart in performance, but the Haswell's have significantly better video capability so you may want to go with them even if you'd prefer the 77W design of Ivybridge to Haswell's 84.

Please login to comment and/or vote for this skin.

Welcome Guest! Please take the time to register with us.
There are many great features available to you once you register, including:

  • Richer content, access to many features that are disabled for guests like commenting on the forums and downloading skins.
  • Access to a great community, with a massive database of many, many areas of interest.
  • Access to contests & subscription offers like exclusive emails.
  • It's simple, and FREE!