Building a Music Computer—intel

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       It’s been about 3 months since we built (virtually) an intel based computer for music production so it’s about time to revisit that subject and see how much it’s going to cost now. 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. I couldn’t find a 3 fan case but I did find one (Rosewill R5604-TBK) with 2 –120mm fans and a side air duct that allows hot air from the cpu to be directed out of the case entirely. This one’s a little more expensive than 3 months ago at $39.99. 

       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 intel and the motherboard is as well. The mother board is intel’s model number BOXDQ963FXCK ($112.99) with a LGA 775 socket. It will accommodate 8GB of DDR2 667 memory and has onboard video, sound (not that we need it) and LAN. It has 3 full size PCI slots and 3 PCI-Express slots and has a 3GB/second SATA connector for hard drives but only one IDE slot so we’ll have to get SATA hard drives. The processor is the Core 2 Duo E6600 running at 2.4GHz. It comes with a heat sink and cooling fan but we’re going to use our own CPU cooler for quietness. It’s $80 cheaper than it was 3 months ago at $223.99. So far we’ve spent $376.97.


       We’re going use 2 GB of DDR 667 in the form of 2-1GB Crucial 1.8v memory sticks for $39.99 each. They were $64.99 3 months ago. 

       Now we can choose our CPU cooler—a Rosewill RCX-80mm heatpipe cooler ($29.99) with a LED lighted fan (not necessary, but cool). Frank spec’s call for as low a decibel rating as possible and this one is 17-34db so it should do the trick. The power supply is a Rosewill  RP500-2 with a 120mm silent fan for $49.99 ($10 more than in March).

       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($39.99) for the operating system and software and a 160gb SATA 3GB/s ($53.99) for data. The damage so far—$630.91

       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 $16.99 for the CD Burner. That brings our total to $$676.89

       A keyboard and mouse is going to set us back $16.99 for the Microsoft CA9-00001 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) We going to get a Hanns-G 19” widescreen for $159.99 ($10 less than 3 months ago) Our grand total without operating system (XP, if you ask me), software (your pick) and audio interface ( again your choice) is $$853.87—almost $150 less than 3 months ago.