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BuildOrBuy Group Network | ]

Digital Audio Workstation

The following is an example of a typical PC DAW. Chipsets Rule! Do your homework and research everything before proceeding. The following was written for a Presentation @ BuildOrBuy. The Specs will have changed and should be adjusted accordingly. Depending upon your configuration, Intel's BX Chipset was the way to go since 1998, however, we've progressed far beyond Intel. AMD has made great strides with developing the Athlon while Intel squandered away time with bad chipsets and expensive RAM. Just watch your Chipset! We will update this document as needed or requested. Contact us below.

Performance on this system was adequate, however, we found WinMe indirectly, to be probelmatic and cumbersome thus limiting our ability to get any real audio work done! As time and technologies moved on, so did we.

../images/bullet2.gifAthlon XP 1700 DAW GigaStudio 2.5 Sampler on Win2000 - Coming Soon! (3/19/2002)

../images/bullet2.gifIf I Were Building a Computer Today by Joe Whinery (12/14/01).

../images/bullet2.gifPC Specifications (For 10/31/01 PC Build Session)

../images/bullet2.gifDigital Video: Dual Duel - Six dual-CPU workstations reviewed (12/29/01).

../images/ - the home of nonlinear editing



Primary Components

CPU: Intel PIII-733 (FC-PGA a.k.a. Socket 370) with 133 MHz FSB

MotherBoard: ASUS CUSL2 with i820E chipset (CUSL2 Without M/B Audio). There is currently no way to successfully link directly to the ASUS MotherBoards Downloads web site on this model. You'll have to drill down under downloads for details. Select Socket 370, then CUSL2.

RAM: 2-128 Megs (PC-100) SDRAM DIMMs = 256 Megs (More RAM is always better!)

../images/bullet2.gifM/B Supports PC-133 RAM total of 512 Megs.

After a time of Technology changes, we upgraded the (2) 128 Megs PC100 SDRAM to (1) 512 MEG PC133 SDRAM. All RAM tested, both specs - Kingston - ValueRAM.

Video: Matrox G400 32 Meg Dual Bus AGP 2X (300 MHz RamDac) OEM or ATI Radeon 32 VE (OEM) Dual Display. We settled on the initial Matrox G400 above. 

Legacy Floppy: 3.5 Teac

Primary Boot CD-ROM: Sony 40X (IDE) [Secondary Master]

Burn-Proof: CD-RW: HP / Plextor (IDE) [Secondary Slave]; The HP was used since that's what we had through quick access.

Case: In-Win Full Tower


Add-In Components

1394 / Firewire aka Sony iLink:

Pro Digital Audio Interface: Aardvark Direct Pro 24/96 (Utilizes a Motorola DSP chip.)

Sound Card: SB Live Platinum with Live Drive I

NIC: 3Com 100 Base TX


Hard Drive Configuration

Faster HD's with greater capacity allow for more Digital Audio Tracks to be simultaneously recorded and played back. Installing 3rd Controller is easier than before. Consider though whether you require a new separate additional PCI Controller card or possibly a new MotherBoard which might include all 3 items consisting of 1.) MotherBoard, 2.) Processor & 3.) RAM. ATA/133 is now bridging the gap to Serial/ATA Specs.

Primary Boot Drive: C:\ Maxtor 30 Gig HD (ATA/100) [Primary Master]

Secondary Audio Drive: D:\ Maxtor 40 Gig HD (ATA/100) [Primary Slave]

Tertiary (3rd) A/V Drive: E:\ (2)-Maxtor 40 Gig HD's (ATA/100 RAID)

Connected to Promise ATA/100 RAID PCI Card


Notice some MotherBoard manufacturers have elected to include Promise RAID chipsets on the MotherBoard in addition to the regular chipset. Going a step further than just Promise RAID on board, manufacturers like Giga-Byte have allowed the Promise RAID to be configured instead as n ATA/100 Controller. We'll soon see ATA/133 on the MotherBoard!




DAW Tools


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