View Full Version : What system do I need??

paul lawrence
05-27-2002, 07:07 PM
I am getting ready to buy a windows machine to use the Gigastudio with. I was told that I should purchase a Pentium 3 with 800 to A Gig MHZ that has 256 MB of ram. using a 7200 rpm drive with windows 98. Does this sound about right or do I need more. Also does anyone know about how much a computer like this should cost.


05-28-2002, 04:25 PM
The two most important items in putting together a GS system are the hard drive and sound card. A fast hard drive is necessary and a good sound card with GSIF drivers is mandatory. Any of the latest 7200 RPM IDE drives will work well (IBM 120GXP, Seagate Barracuda IV, Maxtor D740X, Western Digital BB or especially the JB series - WD800JB, WD1000JB, WD1200JB). And I highly recommend M-Audio\'s Delta series for sound cards, especially the Audiophile, as a low cost solution. And don\'t waste your money on the more expensive Pentium III cpu\'s. You can get the cheaper and faster Intel Celeron/Tualatins or the AMD Duron or Thunderbird/XP cpu\'s. You would save a lot of money and headaches if you bought an integrated motherboard too (already has video and LAN on board). SiS chipset motherboards are recommended - http://www.sis.com/wheretobuy/630cus.htm (\"http://www.sis.com/wheretobuy/630cus.htm\") for Intel based motherboards (look for the 630ET based motherboards to be able to use the Celeron/Tualatins) and http://www.sis.com/wheretobuy/730cus.htm (\"http://www.sis.com/wheretobuy/730cus.htm\") for AMD based motherboards (these are usually harder to find). By shopping around ( http://pricewatch.com (\"http://pricewatch.com\") ) you can assemble a system for under $500.

paul lawrence
05-29-2002, 03:56 PM
Thanks Killer bob for the reply. I will use the information that you gave me.


05-29-2002, 06:34 PM
Although everyone seems to be sticking with the P3\'s, I think people need to realize that the new versions of Giga will crank and be stable with XP
and P4\', so look to the future! btw - component prices are very reasonable for the P4 systems. I run XP and have found it to be very dependable.

05-29-2002, 06:45 PM
The only thing you get with faster CPU speeds is the ability to use more NFX effects. A P4 is major overkill for a dedicated GS system (plus it is a lot more expensive). The CPU usage will max out at around 40-50% for 160 voices and no NFX on a Celeron 1.3GHz CPU. That means you still have around 600-700MHz worth of computing power left over for NFX effects.

05-29-2002, 11:33 PM
HI folks,

I\'m right into building two cheap GS stations to run as \"dumb\" midi modules to do some orquestal work.
Would you carfe to recommend a minimum sistem, cheap and lean?
I mean, the system do not need to do secuencing, internet,nada, just play 160 voices and no FX.
How well the Tascam 822 card would fit? It has midi also and is cheap.
Belive it or not, I\'m currently running a PIII 550/maxtor 40GB/SOUND BLASTER ! And I get 130-150 voices most of the time, but not on the piano patch with sustain pedal.
Any advice, gratly welcomed.



05-30-2002, 04:24 PM
How much RAM have you got Ricren ? Im using Win 98se P3 550 with 256ram and getting to 96 voices EASILY with GS 96. So I\'m hoping to be able to get 160 voices easily with GS 160 and maybe 512 ram soon. All this on just one machine with two IDE hard drives (7200 rpm).

Call it dumb luck, with Win98se and decent ram I run out of polyphony long before I run out of ram/cpu. And others with this same combination seem to report similar results - for what thats worth to the original poster of this thread. I suggest P3 and Win98se as an easy, inexpensive combination for GS with enough ram being the main factor. (Though I havent used GS 160 yet.)

05-30-2002, 09:21 PM
I have 512 MB right now but is not enought to load all the orquestal stuff I need.
I posted about my system because I think It shows that GS can run well in outdated machines like mine, and with cheapo cards like the SB which is not even Gsif!.
I used a Wami rack 24 for a while (untiil it broke- a very bad quality item) and I used to reach 160 voices without problems.



05-31-2002, 02:15 AM
Well, as a developer selling TrueSpec computer systems, I have to disagree with some of what I\'ve read here.

First, the rate differences between a P4 and a PIII, depending on the speed, can be between $50 and $100, especially with Intel\'s discount on PIII and P4 chips yesterday.

Second, we wouldn\'t build a Giga system with an Audiophile 2496 card. It\'s a good card, but since GigaStudio can have up to 32 outs, routing to a pair is impractical. Depending on the kind of music you\'re doing, a Terratec EWS88D with the ADAT optical out going to an Alesis AI3 AD/DA is a very reasonable and affordable option giving you 8 audio outs and plenty of room to submix. Frankly, to put anything less than 8 audio outs on a Giga system is unwise.

Third, the P4 is the new standard with motherboards 2GB and better. With a PIII, which will eventually be phased out, depending on the motherboard, RAM can be limited to 512MB, 768MB, and in a rare case, 1 GB. We won\'t know until 3.0 is released how GigaStudio\'s ability to handle RAM over 1GB will be.

Fourth, if you\'re going to try to run GigaStudio on the same system as the sequencing program, then you need to understand that all the progams on the PC have been or are being optimized to take advantage of the P4\'s SSE-2 instruction set. This allows the programs to run faster with more stability, and to handle the extra RAM that WinXP lets you add. And this is important since WinXP alone ideally needs 128MB to load and operate effectively.

All of our TrueSpec Systems now come standard with 3-year onsite servicing. We\'re the only ones with that kind of warranty support. We can also setup the system to have a D-Audio drive of 200GB to 240GB.

Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions. While it needs to be updated, we have a free online course called How to Plan and Buy a Music PC at www.alexuniv.com/musicpc (\"http://www.alexuniv.com/musicpc\")

06-07-2002, 10:44 AM
I\'ve never built a PC before and can\'t spend $3000 on a Soundchaser rig. It seems that almost everyone on this site uses custom configs. Is assembly of a PC that difficult. Is there any reason I should avoid basic consumer PCs such as Dell (with a pro audio card installed)? Any input greatly appreciated.

06-07-2002, 07:10 PM
There are plenty of reasons to avoid off the shelf computers. In most cases, they cant even tell you what the motherboard is ! (Try asking at any CompUSA or Office Depot.) The manufacturers themselves often cant even tell you (!) - because they buy mother boards and CPUs by the pallet full from Asia and sources of same-spec components can change completely, in the same model computer, from month to month!

I didnt have 3 grand either, and Im definitely an amateur with Giga. Read up here and at other Giga sites in DETAIL on the specs that conform with your needs and find a local computer shop you trust that builds from the ground up. (Two guys - who know what theyre doing - and a part time secretary in a 30 by 40 foot space - you know the kind of place.) Unless of course you can build yourself.

I had some guys like this build mine slowly over a couple months (not only cause I had to pay them gradually - but also cause they let me order-in the Giga specific components, like the soundcard, myself) - 300 for this, 195 for that (all with Win98se and Giga in mind) and in two and a half months I had about a $1,200 PC with two fast HDs and a good sound card running GS96 FINE - all but for a lingering IRQ problem which I\'m close to solving now. Yeah, okay, this makes the pros here cringe a bit - but if youre amateur at this (like me) it can be done on a home studio scale and budget and give you pro sounding Giga results for about this price. And you\'ll be in charge of the important components that go in your machine.

Of course if youve got the bucks, using one of the custom Giga PC builders is the way to go. But off the shelf should usually be your last choice.

06-11-2002, 07:10 PM
Not sure if anyone is reading this post still. At any rate, I have yet to get GigaStudio, so I am not sure how well it will work on Win2K/XP, but I would recommend those OSs over 98/ME any day. 98/ME crash way too much. Then again, if you are only using it as a PC for music (and why not when you figure it is still cheaper than a dedicated synth workstation), what ever works!

At any rate, I keep up on hardware, so I would like to recommend a cheap system that is plenty powerful and future upgradeable. NVidia is about to release new nForce board, with a GeForce 4 MX video card, USB 2, FireWare, dual Lan ports, I think 64MB video memory, ATA-133 RAID, and the nForce soundcard. This should probably go for about $200 for the board. Figuring it gives you everything you need except the memory, cpu, hds and cd-rom, its not a bad price. If you dont need USB2, firewire, dual lans, etc..you can get a nForce board right now without the video card but lan port, usb2, ata-133 raid, and so on for about $85 or so if you check out the prices on www.pricewatch.com (\"http://www.pricewatch.com\") and do a search in the motherboard section for nForce. I think GigaByte, AsusTek, MSI and others all have very cheap offerings that give you just about everything you need. Add some PC133 memory, or DDR on the new one coming out (supports 400Mhz DDR (PC3200)). Now, for the CPU, since you can get a Duron 950 or so for like $50, and it should be plenty fast, even the XP1700 is around $80 these days.

Lastly, since these boards support RAID, I would really consider getting 2 20GB or 40GB 7200rpm drives and use the RAID 0 option for samples! The performance is pretty good as RAID 0 will read from both drives at the same time. Read speeds exceed 10000RPM drives when used in RAID and since the cheap board supports it, you are all set. Probably best to get the Maxtor ATA-133 supported drives since they are the fastest at ATA-133 speeds.

Then, add your TerraTec or other soundcard for the GSIF capability, and you are all set.

I think with the new board, XP2200+ cpu, 512MB DDR-400 memory (2x256), dual 40GB drives for Raid, 40GB main drive, 48Xcd-rw, and terratec card, you are still under $1000! That is a VERY fast machine. If you opt for the XP1500 or Duron, you can cut about $200 off that price and always upgrade later. For the few hundred difference between a much slower system with less memory and no RAID, I\'d opt to spend a little more and get the much better performance. At least then you can play full 160 voices and a LOT of FX at the same time.