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Thread: If I wanted to upgrade my pc for music recording

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    If I wanted to upgrade my pc for music recording

    Hi, I've got a P4 3ghz system with 2 gig of ram and it's getting on in years now. I was wondering what sort of machine I should get for recording and mixing music. The effects programs often take a lot of CPU and putting music samples in memory can take a lot of RAM. I would have to start from scratch as my P4 is the old type, so I'd need a new system with a P35. If I get 4 gig of ram or more would I have to use XP64 or Vista 64, in which case none of my programs would work?

    Thanks for any advice

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    well it's a balance I think of what you describe AND good hard disk access.

    In fact, it's likely that your current PC is fine, but needs a fresh install of XP and a faster hard drive or two.

    However....really the best, as you infer, is a new PC.

    I'll let the normal techy responses pour in now and it'll revolve around Core2Duo and it'll fly.

    Gotta ask though...what sound card you thinking?
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    • greenclaws's system
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    Thanks for your quick reply! I've already got a good soundcard, it's a Focusrite Saffire, I need a PC that can run the programs well and load heavy amounts of samples into memory

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    Well #1, I took a quick look at the focusrite website and there don't seem to be any vista x64 drivers at present. Only you know how much ram you need for all your samples but I went for XP x64 and 4GB of ram for my music PC and I'm glad I did as I regularly exceed 2GB of ram. Look at what software you want to use and see about compatibility with the OS you choose. I wish I'd gone for xp32 to be honest as I've had no end of trouble with flaky emu drivers and all my NI software (kontakt 2, and various kontakt player based plugins) crash constantly with XP64. I moved from cubase to sonar just because of the 64-bit compatibility (and the fact they dropped DX plugin support in v4) as my main DAW and it's been a fairly steep learning curve but I have no confidence in steinberg to ship a decent 64 bit version of cubase any time soon.

    At the moment I think it's a toss-up between ram utilisation and stability. If you think you're going to need 4GB+ then you will need a 64-bit OS... just check up on your software compatibility as well as forums etc. to see how other people with your software/hardware have fared.

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    • greenclaws's system
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    It seems to me then that I should make do with 2gb for now and wait til 64 bit is more widely supported? Hasn't it been like 3 years it should've been more mainstream? Surely they should be thinking about it now that most new pcs are 64 bit.

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    • d032sh's system
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    In theory the only issue with using a 64 bit OS is hardware compatibility (i.e. drivers), just because there are no native x64 versions of certain apps shouldn't mean that they won't run as well on xp64 as xp32 and I have generally found that 32 bit applications run fine, but there are a few notable exceptions I have found which seem far more unstable since I moved to xp64 than they ever were before. These are all music applications though then it could all be related to the audio interface drivers for x64 just not being as stable as the 32 bit versions.

    Not that this will help you too much. Try and find out user experiences with your audio interface, with the software that you plan to use and then decide what's going to be best for you.

    Good luck

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