As mentioned in another thread, I am in the process of having ADK build a dedicated DAW. Now that it is ordered, my nearly five year old general purpose machine is starting to have components fail. What I am wondering is if it will be worth it to eventually incorporate a general purpose machine into music composition or not.

I can either buy a very low end computer (say about $400) and use it just for general stuff, or possibly a better one that has future potential for expansioin. If I take the second option, I would look to eventually upgrade it to hold additional sound libraries for composition (most likely Kontakt format and/or future Garritan releases), and am considering various HP or Dell computers (none with 2005 XP Media Edition). Do you think performance would suffer too much to make this a viable option? Or, are there other, better options?

Note that getting a Mac is not an option - because of my very minimal eyesight, I must be able to control all aspects of screen color, and that cannot be done on a Mac. Given current budget constraints, I may also end up simply doing the needed repairs to my old machine, but would prefer not to pour any money into it at this point - a Dell 8250.

Thanks for your thoughts and opinions.