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Topic: Is this custom-made Shuttle PC worth it?

  1. #1

    Is this custom-made Shuttle PC worth it?

    Hello all,
    I\'m in the market for a new PC from which I plan to run my sequencer (Cubase SX)--and also Giga
    (or Kontakt, Halion). I want a simple and small set-up and thus have been attracted to the audio-oriented mini-shuttle at Musicxpc.com (I will list its specs below, though do peruse the website if you can...it\'s a curious looking lunch-box sized computer.) Anyway, cost is of some concern: is this comp. worth 1600US$? Perhaps not, perhaps a DIY would provide more bang-for-the-buck, and yet my computer illiteracy inclines me to this purchase. My brother claims he could help build me a fine DIY for a decent price but I doubt if it would be so quiet, nor would it be \"XP-tweaked\" etc. If it seems as tough this is far too much the bamboozle, I\'d welcome any alternatives! (As portability and size are an issue, I have considered both Powerbooks and PC laptops--the latter proving difficult to find with decent specs...alternatives here, too, are welcome.)And finally, how do you think SX would run with Giga on this system? I recall reading that seperate a hard-drive can facilitate a smooth Giga/Seq operation on one computer. Okay, thank you all.

    MusicXPC Professional
    Intel Pentium 4 2.53 GHz 512K cache
    North bridge:Intel 845GE South bridge:ICH4
    Shuttle PC Small Form Factor
    Aluminum Chassis
    533MHz Front Side Bus
    512MB DDR333 RAM
    DVD/CDRW 48x40x16x8
    ATA133 7200rpm 80GB System Drive
    ATA133 7200rpm 80GB System Drive
    Microsoft Windows XP®
    4 USB 2.0 ports
    3 1394 [Firewire®] ports
    2 Serial ports
    1 Ethernet 100Mbps LAN port
    1 PCI slot
    1 AGP slot
    1 Microphone input
    1 SPDIF input/output
    1 Line output/Headphone output
    1 Parallel Port
    1 VGA output, SiS 651 RAMDAC,up to 333 MHz
    AC\'97 support for 5.1 channel surround
    Length 300mm x Width 200mm x Height 182mm [11.8\" x 7.9\" x 7.3\"]
    Power 200W (PFC)
    CPU Temperature Autoguardian
    Shuttle I.C.E. heat-pipe cooling technology
    Net weight 2.88Kg, Gross weight 4.59Kg
    Retail price $1,599.00 USD

  2. #2

    Re: Is this custom-made Shuttle PC worth it?

    Did I miss something, or is that \"audio\" pc equiped with onboard audio only?

    Quite frankly looking at the components you could build one yourself for half the price. And \"XP tweaked\" really means little to nothing, just a bunch of hype.

    I recommend you purchase a decent audio card though, the onboard audio won\'t be good for anything. Also, 2 HDs in that shuttle system might generate quite a bit of heat.

  3. #3

    Re: Is this custom-made Shuttle PC worth it?

    Not enough RAM either.

    Sovereign\'s right. You\'d do much better buying a regular PC and tweaking and spending what you saved on RAM and other peripherals. You could probably buy two systems for that price and network them.

    As for being nervous about setting it up yourself, you will have to get used to solving problems whether it\'s pre-configured or not. It\'s not that hard and there is a lot of advice here and elsewhere on the Web.

  4. #4

    Re: Is this custom-made Shuttle PC worth it?

    Well, he can buy a Shuttle, they are nice little systems. However after my experience with my two m-atx cases I know from experience that things heat up fast quickly in these things.

    A shuttle box is not that expensive anyway.

    More ram, a definite yes. At least a gig, or more.

    Setting up a PC is extremely easy, just plug in the components, insert Windows XP CD and yer off.. [img]images/icons/cool.gif[/img]

  5. #5

    Re: Is this custom-made Shuttle PC worth it?

    I\'m in the process of building a comp. myself and I can tell you that the shuttle is way overpriced. I\'m getting 2 120 gig. Barracuda SATA hard drives (nice and quiet), 1 gig. of RAM, a nice quiet case (Antec Sonata), P4 2.4 processor, an Asus P4P800Deluxe motherboard, a video card, an Echo Mia Midi soundcard, and a DVD/CD-RW for about $1,200. I suggest building your own, but if you really don\'t want to you can always build on to the one you decide to buy.

  6. #6

    Re: Is this custom-made Shuttle PC worth it?

    If you really want it to be small, you might want to look at a desknote machine (also called \'ibuddie\'). These are machines that look like laptops but are basically desktops. The prices vary wildly so look around.

    The drawback is that you\'d have to get something like a USB audio/midi interface. But you would probably get a 3.0MHz pentium, a gig of RAM, 4 USB 2.0 ports, a firewire port, CDRW, built-in network card, etc. You\'d still want an external hard disk (for best performance), but I suspect that even with all that, it would still be cheaper than the spec you\'re looking at. (Getting, say a 2.8MHz chip would save a lot)

    Either way, if you don\'t at least spec out your own and configure it, you\'ll kick yourself when you find out you could have - and saved a bundle.

    In fact, I just re-read your spec, and you certainly would get a laptop-sized desknote with a much higher spec for less. But check out the USB alternatives - there are more appearing every day.

  7. #7

    Re: Is this custom-made Shuttle PC worth it?

    I dont believe the iBuddie is that much different than other laptops? how so?

  8. #8

    Re: Is this custom-made Shuttle PC worth it?

    Thanks to all for replying, but I must say I have yet to figure out how to configure an equally matched spec-sheet for that price--with a shuttle PC, or similarly small case...give or take 100US$ or so, doesn\'t matter. This, after tallying up various possibiiities at priceline.com Could somebody, perhaps, direct me to a devent DIY site that school me as needed? Or, if you could tell mehow or if you\'ve just constructed such a system I\'d love to hear about it. (I hope that doesn\'t sound too lazy; it\'s just I feel a bit overwhelmed.) BTW, for sound, I plan to use my old MOTU 1224 (PCI slot needed and this is one reason why I\'m hesitant to buy a laptop).

  9. #9

    Re: Is this custom-made Shuttle PC worth it?

    Originally posted by composer22:
    I dont believe the iBuddie is that much different than other laptops? how so?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">It uses regular RAM and a regular chip which makes it cheaper.

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