Building a Music Computer—AMD

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Your Home Studio - a basic tutorial on home recording studio setup, including building a home recording studio, digital recording techniques, computer recording information, recording software information, how to buy equipment for a home recording studio and operating an audio recording studio at home

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Copyright  2006




LGM Productions





Digital Audio Recording





       Last month we built (virtually) an intel based computer for music production so this month we’ll put together one with an AMD processor. All the components are found at and are based on Frank Stroupe’s recommendations found in earlier newsletters.


       Frank’s articles call for a larger than normal case , something between a mid-size and a full size with at least three fans.  We’re going to go with the Spire SP-7202B for $32.50. It has a 120mm side fan and a 80mm rear fan and room for another 80mm in the front. 

       The next thing Frank addresses is CPU coolers but until we determine which CPU we’re going to use that’ll have to wait .The CPU we’re going to use this time is an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400+ ($155.00). The mother board is the ASUS M2N-SLI ($139.99) with a AM2 socket. It will accommodate 8GB of DDR2 800 memory, on board sound (not that we need it) and LAN. It doesn’t have onboard video but it does have 3 full size PCI slots, 2 PCI-Express  x16 slots, 2 PCI Express x1 slots. The 3GB/second SATA connectors for hard drives are both internal and external but there is only one IDE slot so we’ll have to get SATA hard drives. The processor runs at 2.8GHz and doesn’t come with a heat sink and cooling fan but we’re going to use our own CPU cooler for quietness.


    Since we don’t have on board video, we’ll go with Diamond’s Radeon X1550 X1550PCIE256SB Video Card for $62.99. The video card requires a power supply with at least 420 watts and an extra 12 volt connector so we’ll go with Coolmax’s CXI-450B for $44.99

       We’re going use 2 GB of DDR 800 in the form of 2-1GB Kingston 1.8v memory sticks for $42.99 each. As compared to  $49.99 ($59.99 less $10 rebate)

       Now we can choose our CPU cooler—a Hiper HFC-20820-C1 for $24.99. Next are the hard drives, one for the operating system and software and the other for data. Frank was extremely clear about hard drives, he specified Hitachi only and we’ll get a 80gb SATA 3GB/s with a 8MB buffer($39.99) for the operating system and software and a 160gb SATA 3GB/s, 8MB buffer ($54.99) for data.. The damage so far—$543.44

       We’ll need a DVD/CD Burner and a CDR burner. He specifies Lite-On and you’re looking at $28.99 for the DVD burner and $17.99 for the CD Burner. That brings our total to $$589.42

       A keyboard and mouse is going to set us back $14.99 for the Logitech 967973-0403 keyboard/mouse combo.

       The only thing left is a monitor. The flat panels are so cheap now, it’s ridiculous.I was tempted to get a touch screen but that would have definitely blown the budget ($699 and up) There are about 10 or 12 19” monitors between $159.99 and $169.99 so take your pick. Our grand total without operating system (XP, if you ask me), software (your pick) and audio interface ( again your choice) is $870.45—a little more than $100 less than 3 months ago.