Building Your Own PC for Recording.


By:  Frank Stroupe


Author's 733 mHz Celeron with custom power supply mod.


So, that old 1.xx P4 with 30 gig hard drive is cramping your style?  You've looked around, and really can't find a computer that has the features that you really want.  Or, you really don't like the idea of buying an "off-the-shelf" computer, and opening the case as soon as you get home, to attempt to install a hard drive or optical drive that wasn't included.  (thus voiding your warrantee)  You may have even gone to the website of a famous company where you can "design your own", just to find out after you "upgrade" that your new computer will cost a few thousand dollars.


Author's first PC build project.


     Regardless of how scary it sounds, there are many advantages to building your own computer. A few years ago, after spending a year attempting to accomplish some recording with an old PIII Celeron, with a ridiculously slow and too small hard drive, and far too little memory, I decided I had to have another computer.   The purchase was a few months away, so I had plenty of time to look.  I wanted two hard drives, a decent video card to play a few games at times I didn't feel very creative, and definitely more system memory.  I could not find anything even close to what I was looking for.  I talked to a couple of shops that built for the public, anything close to what I wanted was going to cost well over three thousand dollars.  My budget was around $1500, and I couldn't double it.


     I knew a guy at work that had built computers, I had known him for several years, and felt I could trust his opinion.  I asked him if he thought I could build my own.  He laughed, and told me that afterward, I would laugh about my fears. So, I started researching.  I discovered hardware websites, and forums.  I spent literally a few hundred hours trying to decide if it was feasible, what parts I wanted, etc.  During this time, I discovered the secret world of enthusiast computing.  Long story short, I built my computer (under budget), became an enthusiast, and enthusiast computing became more important than digital recording.  Plus, about that time, my jamming partner moved away, I broke my left wrist and left ring finger (which killed my guitar playing for a long while, and still adversely affects it), and I kind of temporarily lost interest in creating music


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