RAM, Sound card, and a kick in the junk....


Apr 20, 2004
I have a friend REALLY into music and is looking to get a new computer. Apparently a low end P3, 256 of RAM, and a 6GB hard drive is not going to work anymore for him. I said he was crazy because that machine still had atleast 12more years in it...lol
I recomended a P4 2.8GHz because i know it excells with audio encoding. BUT...i do not know how much RAM to recomend. I would usually say 512 is enough for most people but since i dont use the audio software he will be using i dont know if a gig is worth it for him.

also for sound cards he wants bang for the buck. I think a SB Audigy 2 ZS 7.1 would be enough for him but how great is the Platinum Pro 7.1? Is it for TOP OF THE LINE stuff and then the ZS 7.1 is like the cost effective one? or is it lacking the power, or clearity or whatever??

P.S. Thanx for any recomendations you could throw my way. He is looking to stay in the $600-700 range and would like a lot of bang for the buck. Anything you could tell me to DEFINATLY advise him to get or anything to STAY AWAY from would be great.


Dec 31, 2007
Bang for the buck will be: Mobile Athlon on el chipo mobo with 512mb and <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=29-121-103&depa=1" target="_new">M-Audio</A> card, very well under 500 with "top of the line/bang for the buck" music PC ;)

PS: stay away from mobos and vid cards with "active cooling" as it will add noize which is no-no in a "music" PC.

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...


Feb 9, 2004
I also like the m-audio or aardvark cards. I hate the audigy. 512 is probably enough ram, but a gb would be better. Is he going to be multitracking? I have to get active cooling. But I put the mic away from computer. I use a tube preamp into cubase and then final wav is finalized in wavlab.

Asus p4533c 2.53,4x512 1066,40gb system ,240Gb RAID A/V Drive,80 Gb Export,Radeon 9800 Pro,Matrox Rt.X100,Santa Cruz Turtle Beach,Aardvark Aark 20,Ricoh Mp5125a,Samsung 40x cd,Antec w/400,Xp pro


Aug 31, 2002
Definately, use the AMD to save a few bucks. I have two audio systems with AMDs and have no problem with them. The M-Audio is a good choice for audio. 512MB of ram will work, 1 GB is better if he's using Windows 2000/XP. Cooling is a big because of fan noise. Definately research the CPU cooler and note the db ratings. I have a Zalman in my main workstation, and works pretty good and quiet. My other is using stock fans and is pretty loud and makes recording difficult, but it's mainly for live stage playback and DJ use (rackmount), making it less critical. Also, try to get a mobo with firewire. If he comes into more cash he can easily upgrade to some externals like a extra drive or a good audio interface. I'm using a MOTU 828 for my audio on both systems and it works great, especially since I don't need separate audio cards for the two systems I use.