new computer help

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Sebastian
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new computer help

Post by Sebastian » Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:17 pm

Hi

Having assembled my own PC, didnt do a great job and it crashes right and left. A friend thinks its the oudated drivers to my soundcard (Aardvark, which went out of business). I agree it could be that or the fact I assembled the computer and messed with the Windows settings too much. My friend suggets a reinstall but it is very noisy anyway and very slow even though it has 512 RAM and 200 GB memory (by assembled I mean I bought the tower, hard drive, cd burner etc).

Overall, Live works fine, with ocassional latency hiccups, no major problems. Its the overall crashing and audio driver problems and freezing that drive me crazy

So I may buy a Mac or a new PC. Either way , what specs should I get for something that doesnt crash. yes I will use VSTs but NO I dont have a professional home studio. Also, I may use Pro Tools

thanks
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Angstrom
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Post by Angstrom » Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:42 pm

186 GB of memory !
hmmm, I don't think so. The desktop I run live on (same 2.8 P4 cpu) has 1.5 gig, as does my laptop, thats a pretty normal amount of RAM . I would be ultra suprised if your computer has one hundred times the normal amount of memory in it!
To find out - press the windows key and the 'pause/break' (up near the scroll lock and print screen keys) that screen will tell you how much ram you have in.

The clue from that from the slip up with the RAM number indicates you possibly don't build many computers.
If that is so it's a tough ask to tweak a PC with factoids from the net and expect it to work right, there are too many tweak advisors out there.

The memory you have in - is it all the same make and type (speed)?
The power suply - is it powerful enough? (mine is 600 watt), a low power (250 watt) can crash a machine.
Did you edit the Bios, specifically the memory timings?
Did you edit the registry in some way to 'secure' windows?

any of those could cause a nasty crash, also badly seated memory, badly seated cards, CPU cooling issues, bad track on a bowed old board, whether soundcard or mainboard (due to heat), old hardrive controller fault.

check all that stuff before you splash out. Unless you are rich of course. In which case - give the computer to someone poorer than you. Asus make reliable mainboards, so the thing is salvagable.

joesapo
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Post by joesapo » Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:03 pm

Usually, if it's not the same error over and over again, it's going to be some sort of hardware issue.

Heat can cause random errors. Make sure you have your motherboard clocked correctly to your CPU. Make sure you have addequate cooling. Make sure everything is seated properly.

If that is all okay, sporadic errors like that (from my experience) may be caused by having a bad memory chip.

If your PC is noisy, you may have your CPU fan failing. This would possibly cause heat problems, especially in higher-end CPUs (which you have).

Just some ideas. Let me know. Been there, done that.

j0shu@
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Post by j0shu@ » Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:16 pm

Angstrom wrote:186 GB of memory !
hmmm, I don't think so. The desktop I run live on (same 2.8 P4 cpu) has 1.5 gig, as does my laptop, thats a pretty normal amount of RAM . I would be ultra suprised if your computer has one hundred times the normal amount of memory in it!
he has 512 MB of ram. thats his hard drive.

you should reinstall and invest the $12 or whatever in some kinda soundblaster to get you started.

Sebastian
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Post by Sebastian » Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:14 am

many thanks for your ideas. however, making those fixes would require a computer person I would have to pay. Originally a computer friend of mines guided me through the process of making my own PC but alas. b/c he wasnt getting paid his advice wasnt 100% and therefore yes there may be many problems when we installed all the components. I know overall the parts are in working order because the machine works and it has plenty of RAM and memory.

It has 2 fans as well and yes ASUS is a decent motherbaord


dunno
Live Suite 9, RME Fireface 800, Mac Book Pro, Sierra

joesapo
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Post by joesapo » Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:56 am

it crashes right and left
You did say this right?

See, but now we have this little bit here...
the machine works
Make up your mind dude. Does the computer work or not?

Just because your computer "has" everything it needs, doesn't mean everything is working right.

You are obviously a novice when it comes to PCs, so you can probably bet that you missed something putting this thing together.

Blame the friend that helped you put it together, and guilt him back into fixing it for you. Make him buy you a sound blaster too.

Mika
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Post by Mika » Tue Jun 06, 2006 7:26 am

ASUS mobos are picky with RAM, make sure you have good RAM like Corsair, Danelec or Kingston, you don't have to buy the top notch stuff, "value select" from those brands works well too.

Other stuff to check :

- is your power supply adequate to power everything in your comp?
- was the thermal paste correctly used on the proc/mobo check temperature
- Make sure all drivers for everything are up to date
- reinstall windows if you messed with it
- 512mo RAM is not a lot for XP, it's a minimum, 1Go is average
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Sebastian
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Post by Sebastian » Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:56 pm

so lets say I cant fix my current pc?

which Mac model should I consider?

which Pc model and brand should I consider?
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joesapo
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Post by joesapo » Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:26 pm

I don't know squat about Macs, but from what I read, it's worth getting an Intel based Mac if you can.

You can't go wrong with a good Dell or HP PC otherwise.

You already have a PC to work with tho, so the cheapest thing you could do would be to fix the one you got.

jonpaul
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Post by jonpaul » Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:10 pm

Just don't get a Dell. They shaft you in the arse with their wank technical support!
Pentium M Laptop 1.8 GHz, 1024Mb RAM, Ableton Live 5, Cubase SX, Edirol UA101 Audio Interface.

Sebastian
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Post by Sebastian » Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:13 pm

thanks. The original question was, what Ram and GB memory should I have and what kind ofd processor etc?

thanks
Live Suite 9, RME Fireface 800, Mac Book Pro, Sierra

gomi
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Post by gomi » Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:17 pm

Sebastian wrote:so lets say I cant fix my current pc?

which Mac model should I consider?

which Pc model and brand should I consider?
you are a prime candidate for a mac.
get one.
you will never have to open it up and look inside
you will never have to tweak any system settings
(some people like doing that, but you obviously don't)

if you like laptops, get a macbook 2.0 or a macbook pro.

or wait until august and get a mac pro workstation.

plus you can run windows on a new mac, if thats what
floats your boat.

Sebastian
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which Mac then?

Post by Sebastian » Wed Jun 07, 2006 3:44 am

so I see there is G5 (which is $2k plus must buy monitor I suppose) or the I Mac..........?

what is better ? Like I mentioned I may go Pro Tools at some point

If Im not a DJ or..... perform onstage with computers....... nor I am one of those fantasy guys in high tech magazine ads making music on their laptop while sipping on Startbucks while sitting in some park or on the train...........

.........any reason I want a laptop?
Live Suite 9, RME Fireface 800, Mac Book Pro, Sierra

Pilgrim
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Post by Pilgrim » Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:09 am

Seb,

Go to nearest Guitar Center. They have Spectral Computers made for music production and I-Macs.

I looked carefully at them lately. Good stuff and GC will back them.

IMac is good buy and might work but new software complete needed.
The IMac was really tempting except for need for all new software (except LIVE!). Complete around $1300. Neat, Friend there is DJ, uses one LIVE!

I just downsized to a laptop for portability space saving in studio. Toshiba at clerance at Best Buy, cheap.
Of course, not doing much audio in it but could with external Firewire HDriwe. Has 1gig memory. Half Gig is getting small these days.
Check out GC.
Pilgrim

Sebastian
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Post by Sebastian » Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:54 pm

Thanks.

I would never buy Spectral computers, never heard of them. They can end up like Aardvark, kaputz.

Im not sure I understand why you dont encourage MAC............?
Live Suite 9, RME Fireface 800, Mac Book Pro, Sierra

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