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Old 01-30-2011, 01:28 AM
Stratoblaster Stratoblaster is offline
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Default MBox Pro 3rd Generation Computer Question, Custom built or Dell?

I am going to purchase a new MBox Pro (3rd Generation), and a new computer. I have been trying to figure out the best PC to purchase, to use my new 3rd gen - Avid Mbox Pro on. Right now I am using an MBox 2 with a Dell XPS 400, Pentium D (Windows XP Pro).

I am wondering what computer will work the best with the new MBox Pro? I have been looking at the new Dell XPS 8300 - Windows 7, with the new i7 Sandy Bridge 2600 processor with 8 GB of ram. With dual hard drives (estimated cost $1300)

or,

The Sweetwater Creation Station i5 - 64 bit, with two Seagate 500 GB hard drives, Windows 7, and 4 GB of audio grade ram. cost $1549.99 with shipping

or,

The Quad Pro from ADK (ADK Pro Audio) with Windows 7, the new i7 Sandy Bridge. Two Seagate 500 GB hard drives, 4 GB Mushkin Ram, ATI Dual head fanless graphics cards 512 MB. Cost $1661.00

I would really like to buy the Dell XPS 8300 with the i7 Sandy Bridge processor, because it is cheaper and I can get more RAM, a better video card, and it has the newest i7 processor.

I am wondering though, which PC would be the best fit for the new Avid Mbox pro with firewire? Do I really need to spend the $1549 from Sweetwater or the $1661 from ADK to get a good stable system for recording? Any help or suggestions please?
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Old 01-30-2011, 02:14 AM
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ejwells ejwells is offline
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Default Re: MBox Pro 3rd Generation Computer Question, Custom built or Dell?

Given the choices listed (Dell, Sweetwater, ADK), I'd go with Sweetwater.
Sure, you're paying a bit more than if you built it yourself, but you get service from Sweetwater, generally directly from the guy who designed/built it.

In the past. I'd always been OK with spending the extra money to have a computer custom built. Self building can have it's snags...faulty hardware is not all that uncommon, which can have the potential for headaches and delays.

Certainly, your best bet (monitarily) is to build one yourself, or to buy all the parts, and have it slapped together by someone that knows what they're doing.
That would be my route if I were in need of a new computer now.

There's lots of great help on these forums for self builds, offered by guys that have built the best/fastest PCs known to the world of audio production. Many of the folks that hang out here have set the bar for PC builds, and many custom PC builders (Sweetwater and ADK included) have taken cues from them.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:00 AM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: MBox Pro 3rd Generation Computer Question, Custom built or Dell?

I agree with ej. Dell would be last on my list. If you were to find the exact model that Avid has tested and approved, then you might be fine, but any other Dell would be a total crapshoot.
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:32 AM
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Benoni Benoni is offline
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Default Re: MBox Pro 3rd Generation Computer Question, Custom built or Dell?

I would say definitely do not get the Sweetwater Creation Station. Its all a marketing ploy "audio grade ram" ha ha, ok. Last time i checked only the Flagship Creation Station has a dedicated video card, and the rest were Internal Graphics.

Im going against the grain here and will recommend you try the Dell. I usually say stay away from Dell, BUT, the one you mentioned looks to be pretty good. Just make sure there is a 30 day (or longer) return policy, just in case you have problems.

Have you considered building your own PC? That would still be my number 1 suggestion. That way you have complete control over every component used
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Old 01-30-2011, 02:18 PM
Stratoblaster Stratoblaster is offline
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Default Re: MBox Pro 3rd Generation Computer Question, Custom built or Dell?

Yeah I really wanted (at first) to buy the Creation Station from Sweetwater, but the specs are kind of weak compared to the other two. Then I found the one from ADK Pro Audio with the newest i7 Sandy Bridge 2600 processor. The problem with the one from Sweetwater is it has a 1st generation i5 processor with only 4 GB of DDR3 ram, an intergrated video card and audio card, and USB 2.0. It is basically buying old technology for the price of new technology. Customer service after the sale isn't all that big of a deal on PC, because I have never had to call for technical assistance, because I can usually figure out whats going on myself no matter how big or small the problem. It is hard to decide on which one though. I really like the Dell's specs and the amount of Ram and the new 2nd gen i7 processor, but I don't want to deal with crappy performance issues. The Dell I have now works flawlessly with my MBox 2. The ADK pro audio has good specs too, but it is almost $500 more than the Dell, and only has 4 GB Ram. I will spend the extra money to get the best system if I have to, but I would rather be buying more studio equip with the extra money save (microphones, headphones, cables, etc.) Is the Sweetwater creation station still better, even though it has older technology (1st gen. i5) and 4 GB Ram?
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