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Trouble Regarding PC Build/Mod

Dan

Contributor
#1
Hey guys, essentially I'll be starting a Music Production BA (Hons) course next week, and I'll be needing to run Pro Tools, which I imagine to be extremely reliant on much more powerful hardware. Anyway, my PC has been due an update for a while, but the current case I have is really small and I could do with a larger one if I'm swapping out hardware.

Essentially, my current specs are:
Windows 7 64-Bit
TripleCore AMD Athlon II X3 425, 2700 MHz (13.5 x 200)
Acer WMCP78M Motherboard (according to AIDA64) - Apparently DTX/Micro ATX size
nVIDIA GeForce 9200, AMD K10 (Not too bothered about graphics)
240V PSU (Oh dear)
3GB RAM

Also, how would I go about getting a Firewire port?

I'm on a budget due to being a student and ting, so I'd like to keep my motherboard. Edit: Nevermind, can't find any info on this motherboard other that it's form factor.

Really have no idea where to start, would it be easier just building a new PC, but keeping my hard drives and graphics card? I'll be using an external interface/sound card, so that won't be a problem either.
 

FrozenIpaq

Justin B / Supp. Editor
Staff member
Enforcer Team
#2
You'll most likely need to spend most of your money on the CPU if Pro Tools does any form of rendering. I'm unfamiliar with the program so it's hard to make concrete recommendations.

A firewire port should come on most motherboards since it was released. What is your particular budget? It'll be best to just build from scratch (I'm pretty sure the on-board video of Intel's latest processors out-perform your current graphics card). The Pro Tools website suggests using a dedicated video card however, although they recommend the Quadro series from Nvidia which are primarily for workstations and primarily cost a shit ton.

You'd most likely want to upgrade your HDD so you can get plenty of space - a simple 1TB 7200 RPM will suffice. Should also probably get 8gb RAM minimum.
 

Dan

Contributor
#3
Well I'm unsure whether I should be going for a CPU with more cores or GHz, but if I switched from an AMD based system to an Intel PC, I take it my RAM/HDD's would be incompatible (Aside from that I have an external 500GB drive)? Though I'll definitely invest in more RAM. Also I have no idea if my current motherboard will be compatible with something like an AMD Bulldozer x6 at 3.30GHz, think I'll get on Acer about that though.

As far as my budget is concerned, I'll have £1,000 by next week, but the price for those Quadro graphics cards seem outrageous, don't think I can justify that o_O

Cheers Frozen!
 

MenaceInc

Staff Member
Staff member
#4
Pro Tools as in the audio software? You don't 'need' an amazing PC to work with audio the same way you do for video. If I had to hazard a guess then I'd say your current PC was fine. You can find more on system requirements here but I don't see how anything like graphics cards will affect Pro Tools.

Adding extra HD's would definitely be recommended though.
 

Dan

Contributor
#5
I imagine dedicated graphics would take the load off the CPU as it's fairly demanding software, but yeah I doubt graphics are ideal
 

FrozenIpaq

Justin B / Supp. Editor
Staff member
Enforcer Team
#6
Pro Tools as in the audio software? You don't 'need' an amazing PC to work with audio the same way you do for video. If I had to hazard a guess then I'd say your current PC was fine. You can find more on system requirements here but I don't see how anything like graphics cards will affect Pro Tools.

Adding extra HD's would definitely be recommended though.

Amazing no, but still a solid computer build with a strong CPU. From the quick research I did it is a highly intensive program, CPU-wise. So he'll definitely want a fast processor. They "highly recommend" a dedicated workstation GPU though which is a huge sign that it is indeed a taxing program. Plenty of memory (RAM) to make sure you can work on large projects without any hiccups and still have room for other tasks in the background.

I'm not sure how well Pro Tools does with multiple cores (very little information on CPU recommendations from them). Intel's i5 range of processors are a safe bet and offer some of the most bang-for-buck value. I'd recommend the Intel Core i5 3570k. The Quadro cards are really expensive and not really meant to be put into a consumer system, especially with your budget.
 
#7
An i5 would probably be your best bet. Quad core processor with fast speeds and easy ability to OC like a full GHz. I wouldn't recomend spending the money on a quadro for an audio machine. Any actual graphics card would/should work more than fine for it. There's no reason your old HDD should be imcompatibile if you build a new PC. Your RAM might depending if you have ddr2 or ddr3, but everything will need ddr3 now so if you have some of that you should be set.
 
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