Building a Computer

Sean Darby sean at
Sun Oct 12 18:24:48 BST 2008


I will soon be building my very first computer, am looking forward to
it, though am also curious about a few things pertaining to hardware
selection, compatibility, and quality of product. Before I insert the
details of various computer components I have been looking at (currently
with totals between about $1,300 and $1,600) I thought I would go ahead
and open up a discussion on the subject.

The primary purpose of the new computer:
Music & Gaming.

The secondary purpose:

Regarding gaming:
I was invited to privately test a game that is in alpha/beta/etc. stages
of production and it requires more computer muscle than what I currently
have. I'm not much of a computer gamer, though this one is the
exception, it's a must have/must play (at least for me, personally).

Regarding music:
I am a professional musician and require the ability to record out of my
music lesson studio. Any functions that would benefit my music
instruction would be great, too. I teach guitar, bass guitar, drumset,
and percussion.

The tv, movies, and other multimedia functions should be pretty easy,
though I might need a few hardware components with special features if I
want to ever hook the computer up to a tv (or perhaps hdtv) in the
future. Some nice DVD rip/burn functions would be nice, though that can
probably work fine with the appropriate software. Those are only a
couple aspects of that purpose in the computer, otherwise I can simply
watch the tv shows and movies on my computer as I do now.

For gaming, I am looking into a few obvious things - nice graphics/video
card for example, perhaps a "gaming pad" so I don't stress my normal
keyboard out. I've heard NVIDIA is crossplatform but ATI is not.

For music, I am looking into similar - nice audio/sound card for
example, perhaps an external sound module to bridge the sound card to
any additional external components (boards or instruments). I've heard
mixed opinions on Sound Blaster, and am unfamiliar with other options.

For tv/etc., I'm guessing I'll need s-video capability, though am not
sure what else.

The game will be running on Windows Vista, everything else will be
Linux/Unix (specifically Ubuntu Studio, OpenBSD, and a "floating" 3rd
*nix (partition reserved for different distros/flavors/etc.).

The short-term goal is to have a computer immediately ready for gaming
that also includes the basic components for producing music.

The long-term goal is to maintain the gaming component requirements but
mostly to add to the music producing aspect of the computer. I hope to
eventually have a true home studio for use with teaching music lessons,
composing music, and especially recording music.

I am also going for a 64-bit, quad core. I have details available of
what I've looked at so far but thought I'd introduce this subject and
ask a question first.

Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations on computer
components that would work with the above?

Thank you!


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