Alienware 17 R4 2017 review
I'm a dangerous noob looking into the possibility of a new diy build for my audio/video production projects.
At present this is what I've got: I purchased a custom build about a year ago -in an Apevia game case is a Foxconn 945P7AA with an Intel Core2 Duo with 3gb RAM -not sure whose, but I think it's PC6200 for what it's worth. I'd have to open it up and look to get the specifics. "My Computer" Properties says I'm running at 3GHz. Memory is a 300 gig Maxtor.
What I've done to it:
For sound I installed an older Audigy2 ZS with the "Platinum Pro" interface for my recording. I use Sonar and Magix here and am currently dl-ing a massive 32gig VSTI package for it.
For video I have an ASUS EN6200LE TC1G (1 gig 'turbo-cache').
I use Adobe Premiere, et al, and Magix.
I've added an extra DVD RW so now I have two and a floppy with one full bay to spare. I'm sure I'll soon need an upgrade in the PSU as well...
What I think I want and need coaching on:
I want a more powerful audio/video workstation than what I've got. When I'm working with VST plug-ins across more than a couple of audio tracks, this poor duo core chokes under the strain. Even when I shut down all security. Even with buffers set high. I've even employed "Startup Control Panel 2.8 by Mike Lin" to trim down the fat. This machine is a decent game machine but the more I learn and do in audio production, the less I like its performance. Besides, it takes nearly ten minutes to boot from start-up to full use, but that's a different issue...
To save some cash I guess I could just piece out the MB and CPU as a combo and get a more powerful setup with a quad core and up my RAM to four gigs.
Of course, I'm looking to upgrade the audio card/interface as well -which is no problem -and eventually the grfx, but my main concern is the MB/CPU combo. Any audio heads out there that double as geeks?
Hey, thanks, MAT ALAN.
I guess what I was hoping for was a few suggestions as to which mobo combos to look at given the keyword 'budget'. I go to TigerDirect and Newegg to browse and drool a lot and I'm open to other places to look and research. Thanks bunches! for that informative albeit dated article. As for the amount of money I'm able to spend, well, let's suffice to say that I'll have to save up for an upgrade. Or get a second job. Or rob a bank... Hahaha! I'd love suggestions on what mobo combos are the coveted ones for building a DAW and I can just shop around...
'Budget' can mean different things to different people. I'm looking at something like click here (I don't do self-build) but with 8 GB RAM, a smaller C drive (160 ish) for programs and a couple of 500 GB HDDs - 1 for storage and 1 as a work area. I have external HDDs for backup images of everything.
WOW! That's an awesome machine!
I just checked back in from a google trip and I'm beginning to think that until I can spend at the very least 1000 USD on a system build, I'm not going to do much better than what I've got right now. This 32 bit 2002 version xp pro sp3 machine of mine runs at 3ghz each over the dual core cpu and won't see any more ram than perhaps half a gig more, so I'd be wasting my time and money by adding more to the three gigs I have now. I suppose that I could spend around five hundred USD to upgrade the mobo/cpu/ram but I'm not sure that I'd get much better performance. Or will I? How much better is a 2.66ghz quad than a 3ghz dual?
If you put CPU Comparison Chart in your search engine you get.
seems to be the only course of action aside from enrolling in an expensive in-depth course of study in computer technology.
Thanks Kevscar, for that link.
Google hasn't helped to explain what I'm looking at when viewing a benchmark chart, except that logically, the one on the top is the best or most popular and the one on the bottom isn't.
Again, I'm looking at a prohibitively expensive venture to get my audio/video workstation up to par.
Thanks for all your help.
For video processing I tend to use click here. I'd love to go to an i7 but the extra cost rather puts that out of the question.
As to whether a quad is better than a duo, that rather depends on how the software you're using accesses the processor - all a bit above my understanding!!
I got it from a mate along with the rest of that massive Master Collection. I'm still on the learning curves, of course, for Sonar and Adobe, so I still use the Magix software, which is both robust and user friendly, yet still just-above-entry-level. I have a lot to learn about computers and the surrounding and ever-changing technology. I've another mate that's a programmer but couldn't' tell you the difference between a hard drive and an optical drive. Just kidding. But not by much, LOL!
But back to reality, the best I can do is spend wisely, upgrading a little at a time until I finally write that smash hit movie score. Then the world will indeed by my oyster! Can you say custom super computer? I've seen some monsters with liquid cooling systems and such! Egadz! A machine like that could enable you to time travel, huh?
On the CPU side there are big differences in architecture
I 7 920 is what I have.. has hyper threading technology so software can see 8 cores.. 4 virtual, it does not have turbo, runs at 2.66 but I run eachcore at at 3.8 constantly with no probs.. its a CPU for overclocking
There's the I 7 860 which runs at 2.66 ( I think ) but this has turbo.. is only one CPU core is utilized it turbo kicks in and it will clock to 3.6 or whatever .. if all 4 cores ate used it will run at 2.66 .. turbo means it will be faster out is the box than a non turbo
I doubt you want either as they are expensive but if you don't overclock q turbo is better.. i5s have this I think, also 920 and other CPU with that type run with 3 6 12 gb RAM where as 860 et al run the usual 2 4 8 mb RAM
(thx for the 411, AL47) upgrading to an i5 for now on a decent mb that's pretty bare -what I mean is, no grfx or audio to suck the life out of it since I'm going to add them anyway -I can up my ram to four gigs since my system is 32bit xp pro version 2002 sp3? This would smooth out the dropouts in my audio despite my cpu-saving process kills and my buffer settings? Or must I completely overhaul my thinking AND my equipment to go 64bit -preferably xp pro -to accommodate such an upgrade? I could use an extensive list of the processes absolutely necessary to run windows so I can kill off anything that sucks away any power whatsoever. I'm still ignorant concerning software/system/cpu relationships, but I read somewhere, for example, that Sonar likes 64 bit just fine but that's Sonar 8 on W7 and I have Sonar 7 on XP Pro 32. This multimedia workstation business is an expensive undertaking. That and you have to buy the instruments, mics, software, cameras, lights, accessories, et al!! Isn't there a bleeding heart arts grant I can get to offset the poverty of being an independent a/v artist? LOL!
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