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  #1  
Old 08-19-2008, 04:00 AM
korkman korkman is offline
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Red face are these specs ok? (low budget 2 core)

Does this setup seem okay or do you see a problem in it? is the fanless graphics card on the list a good choice here?

Intel 945GC chip in 775 socket
Processor INTEL CORE 2 DUO E7200 2,53 GHz
DDRII 3GB 667MHz
WESTERN DIGITAL 250GB SATAII 16MB
Graphics card: ASUS EN8400GS SILENT/HTP/256M
SAMSUNG 20X DVD+/-RW
MICROSOFT WINDOWS XP HOME
this in a chassis by Shuttle, comes with a bag so I can easily take it to wherever I need to go (as long as I put the screen etc somewhere or have one where I record).
Low budget: Price some 620 euros with tax (in Finland, the tax is 22%)

Digi has approved 945 with Pentium D, but nobody has as to yet suggested that the 945 should not be able to run pro tools on a dual core, only that digi has not tested this combination as the chip is a bit outdated.

Ideas on how to make the set better or cheaper, while staying with the concept of a take-it-with-you solution.

Background story:

I'm buying a new PC to run Pro tools LE with Mbox 2 mini, and I've been doing some research but thought ask you guys (on the DUC I've had no replies to queries). Incidentally, this discussion may be of help to others who find my solution interesting.

I need a desktop PC that I can take with me to recording sites. (I'm unused to Mac so I avoid it for now, otherwise Mac mini might be an option). In PC, there's really only one mini-PC that has been around for a while and gets reasonable reviews: Shuttle. Their new models use the P35 chip so that would be great if I had the money - but the barebone shell itself costs a lot. The old shells run the 945 or G31 or G33 chips, and of these, 945 seems the safest solution.

I'm now hopeful that I may have found a solution that is similar to but faster and cheaper than e.f. musicXPC, but I'd be quite grateful if somebody with more knowledge and experience took the time to either discourage me or just say it sounds ok if it does.

best,

Petter
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:13 AM
Matt Darcy Matt Darcy is offline
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well it all looks good in terms of usability, good ram for a 32bit system to use,

My critisism is the disk

you've got a.) 1 disk for both system and recordings b.) there are better disks suited, but of course at a cost.

I'd like to see 2 disks on if possible depending on your board, two seperate bus's.

Also look at the Western Digital Raptor range, yes they are expensive but they are fast making write times excellent, and have an appropriate level of cache.


Of course you'll be limited by your board and shuttle chassis
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  #3  
Old 08-19-2008, 09:06 AM
korkman korkman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Darcy View Post
My critisism is the disk

you've got a.) 1 disk for both system and recordings b.) there are better disks suited, but of course at a cost.

I'd like to see 2 disks on if possible depending on your board, two seperate bus's.

Also look at the Western Digital Raptor range, yes they are expensive but they are fast making write times excellent, and have an appropriate level of cache.


Of course you'll be limited by your board and shuttle chassis
Thanks for this. I was thinking of using the hard disk only for OS and Pro tools and Sibelius, and of recording my sessions to an external f/w hard drive that I also used with my laptop, so I already have it on my shelf. Plus the guy in the store thought the Shuttle might get either hot or noisy or both if we stuff it too full. His view was also that the raptors will come down in price in a year or so. But I admit the idea of just a small 72 gig raptor did appeal to me, especially as the OS and programs will not take up much space. Do you think the speed increase would be noticeable in this setup?

Petter
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:46 PM
Matt Darcy Matt Darcy is offline
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well, the price of raptors comes down as the bigger raptor comes out,

eg: the 32gb raptor came down in price when the 70 gig raptor came out, the 70 gig raptor came down when the 150 raptor came out, and the 150's have come down now that the 300's are out.

an external disk as you suggest would be fine from what I've read and experienced, that said I've seen benifits with things like video editing or "IO" based programs such as DAW's with raptor or fast SCSI disks.

Totally your call.
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:46 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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The Raptor drives are nice but you really gain nothing for protools so buy any 7200 rpm drive for audio(internal or firewire). If the Shuttle has an eSATA port, that should work as well.
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  #6  
Old 08-20-2008, 12:13 AM
korkman korkman is offline
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Thanks guys. The idea I think was that a raptor as the internal hard drive for OS and software (not for the audio, which goes to my external hard drive through the f/w 400 port, as there does not seem to be an esata port in the Shuttle I plan to buy) might speed up things a little. But the discussion makes me quite curious. What's the main bottleneck for speed in recording vs mixing?

1) recording. Assume I tried to record more than 2 tracks at once (not that I can with the Mbox but let's speculate): it would seem likely that the Mbox 2 mini USB port is a bottleneck that limits me irrespective of what I put into my Shuttle, right? Probably the connection to my hard disk (in this case the f/w 400 is a second bottleneck. I don't know much anything about computers, but it would seem reasonable to assume that the internal hard drive doesn't get to slow things down because things are already slowed down elsewhere?

2) mixing. Okay, so I put a lot of reverbs on and the processor does need to do the job, or better yet, I buy a convolution reverb. But at this stage I' assume that since the software on my initernal hard drive is much in use in directing the computations, the read speed of the hard disk might be significant. Of course, the audio files being processed are still on the external hard disk, and I assume the Mbox 2 mini might do something else than serve as a dongle perhaps, so even here both USB and f/w 400 are bottlenecks to some extent, but still ...

So: shouldn't the raptor as an internal OS drive speed things up a little when I run applications that use a heavy bit of software made up of lots of files on the hard disk? Or is this part of the process fast enough that the other bottlenecks make the read speed of the internal hard drive irrelevant?

Petter
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