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Topic: Configuring computer for Giga!

  1. #1

    Configuring computer for Giga!

    I am hoping to have a knowledgeable computer tech build me a computer for Gigastudio 3 use. I have all (or most) of the specs worked out, and the price seems very good. However, in a conversation with a saleperson at West LA Music, I was urged to let the Giga pros (them) put together the computer system and installation for me. I was told that putting together a smooth-functioning system for Giga is highly complex, with a million critical tweaks and fine tuning involved. He clearly wanted to leave me with the impression that doing it my way (hiring someone privately) would result in endless trouble.

    Who should I believe? Am I jeopardizing my music life if I don't get a turnkey system built by music pros (for a lot more money)?

    Also, on a technical note, I plan to install 2 gigs of ram. Would four 500-meg sticks be better or worse than two 1-gig sticks?


  2. #2

    Re: Configuring computer for Giga!


    well, i've done both. i've purchased a machine from ADK Pro Audio which i've been very happy with. one night, a cable inside got rattled loose somehow and tech support called me back at 11pm and walked me through the fix. we didn't know it was just a cable at first so tech support was on with me for about an hour! fix was done and the job was done in time for the client.

    i've also put together one machine on my own and have had 3 more put together by a friend who is a tech guy for a living. he knows nothing about music, but between the 2 of us, i'm able to tell him what sort of things i'm doing and how much audio i'm streaming and he's usually able to tweak my machine to FLY good!

    i can't tell you what to do, but will say, i've had a bit more down time with the machines we put together, but have spent about $800-1200 less than most other turnkey builders.

    if you are gonna have a machine built, look into ADK PRO AUDIO. call scott and he'll set you up right. they seem to be the best price-wise.

    as far as memory. 2gigs is great. if you think you may wanna go with more in the future, you may want 2 one gig sticks, but four 512 sticks are fine too.

    hope this helps a little. cheers!


  3. #3
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: Configuring computer for Giga!

    Ditto what Lee said. I would suggest you build the most powerful machine you can for the money you have, whatever method makes that happen best for you. Unlike Giga 2, Giga 3.0 will have plenty of stuff to do with the CPU power.

  4. #4

    Re: Configuring computer for Giga!

    Ditto....start with a good Mobo (Asus or Abit with Intel chipsets) and fill in the blanks

    CPU - 3.0 but not the Prescott
    2 Gig of PC3200 DDR RAM
    System HD - 80gb (although 120 is about the same price these days)
    2 Data HDs - 120, 160 or 200gb each
    All HDs should be SATA and RAID (by product of newer Mobos)
    128mb Video card - Pretty much any brand
    Healthy Power Supply - At least 350 or 400 watts
    Case with multiple fans
    CD drive
    Windows XP Pro

    The whole thing should cost around 1,000 to 1,100 bucks

    It will work just as well if not better than the 5,000 system they want you to buy


  5. #5

    Cool Re: Configuring computer for Giga!

    From the GS3 FAQ:
    What are the recommended system requirements to run GigaStudio 3 Orchestra?

    This system should get you 200+ voices of polyphony and several instances of GigaPulse (your mileage may vary due to several factors):

    • Windows XP SP1

    • Pentium® 4 2.8GHz processor or AMD 3200 XP processor (SSE-compatible processors required for GigaPulse™)

    • 1GB RAM

    • DVD-ROM drive

    • 1024 x 768 monitor resolution

    • 1GB application hard drive space

    • Dedicated sample drive with many free gigabytes or sample storage space; 7200 RPM with 8MB cache, 8.9ms seek time

    • MIDI interface

    • GSIF-compatible sound card or ReWire-compatible host application top
    It pays to read the fine print (AMD has supported SSE for several years now under the guise of "3D Now!Pro"). Also, you should **NOT** spend too much money on the system (and you should not have to), as six months from now 64-bit apps and hardware platforms are going to be the real deal (and will have come down to the range of today's "top" systems). I have two systems running AMD Athlon XP 3200+ on them, and HALion, Kontakt, and GS 2.54 all hold more than their own. Hint: Get a motherboard like the MSI K7N2 Delta-L and an Athlon XP 2500+ (Barton) and in the motherboard's BIOS set the front side bus (FSB) to 200MHz - which will automatically give you a 3200+. You get $200 worth of processor for $80 without any additional cooling. Be sure to get name brand memory - I was able to find 512MB Kingston (DDR400) RAM for $80 per stick through Newegg.com, and $89 each at the local discount reseller.

    If you're looking to the future and want to go with all SATA drives, you can get the non-Delta-L MSI K7N2 which has SATA and 1394 ports built into the board. That way you can use drives and devices that you can pull out of this unit and drop into a dual-proc 64-bit motherboard when you're ready to make that move. Better to get a video card that matches or is known to work well with your mobo chipset. (I also have an old Matrox G450 dual-head card on one of my machines and everything is pretty peachy.)

    There's plenty of free advice out there on how to build and configure a PC for audio. I pretty much keep things simple - install in "Standard PC" mode with "PIC" activated in BIOS. I have only one PCI device on the bus (audio or 1394 card, depending on which of my systems we're talking about) and specifically assign that card to an IRQ that is not shared by anything. Even with a bunch of on-board devices like LAN and multiple USB hubs, I still have an IRQ or two left over if I get in a pinch and need to drop something on the board. I then go through the steps listed on MusicXP.net and then get ready to rock and roll. Mind you - if you go with a board that has a bunch of built-in components like SATA and FireWire, you may NOT be able to run things in PIC/Standard PC mode - but that is some legwork you'll need to do on your own. At the time that I did the upgrades, the price/performance of SATA wasn't worth it - but now that field has pretty much leveled out.

    I also keep my machines in an actively vented quiet box, but for the price of building out these systems, I could afford a few extra hundred bucks to build it with some help from the folks (father-in-law is a retired shop teacher - HANDY!) and keep things cool and quiet in the studio.

    Be smart, take your time - and you'll be fine.

    P.S. If you want to run iMIDI in GS3, you'll need to be sure that you're running on top of a GSIF2-compliant audio interface.
    Houston Haynes - Titan Line Music

  6. #6

    Re: Configuring computer for Giga!

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Negro
    Ditto....start with a good Mobo (Asus or Abit with Intel chipsets) and fill in the blanks

    CPU - 3.0 but not the Prescott

    It will work just as well if not better than the 5,000 system they want you to buy


    Why not the Prescott?

  7. #7

    Re: Configuring computer for Giga!

    Prescott would be a waste of money.

    GIGA is probably NOT going to support the 64 bit OS (remember a lot of this thing lives in the kernel).

  8. #8

    Re: Configuring computer for Giga!

    " Why not the Prescott? "

    hmmm.. reminds me of " Pres"HOT"t
    Intel has heat problems with the Prescott, which of course takes more power.

    Just take a look at google and search for reviews .

  9. #9

    Re: Configuring computer for Giga!


    Prescott is not quite ready for prime time yet.....yes it has that 1mb L2 cache, but as the review below will show it also has increased access times resulting in higher latencies (read slower). And it is HOT! Very hot! It also costs more. Not enough benefit to justify the liabilities. Stick with the regular P4 (Northwood at 800mhz FSB) for now and look to the future for Prescott.



  10. #10

    Talking Re: Configuring computer for Giga!


    Lee was first

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