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Firewire/USB dilemma? Help on building a solid DAW?

Discussion in 'Backline' started by mirflee, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. mirflee

    mirflee SSL Studios

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    I've always been using my laptop as my DAW for a good while now and I'm thinking of upgrading to a decent desktop. I found out that most interfaces like Focusrite's Saffire uses Firewire instead of USB. I'm using a Scarlett 8i6 which I'm looking to upgrade as well but only after I get the right computer.

    So, would it be better to go Firewire or is there no such difference? Also, I can't find any PC desktop models that support Firewire, only on Macs.

    This kinda scares me if I were to to go all Firewire, I'd have to learn my way around Mac, plus, most of my favorite plugins are Windows only.

    Also, what's a solid specification for a desktop, on a real shoestring budget, I'm looking at this :

    CPU : Intel Pentium Core2 Duo E8400 3.00GHz Processor (6MB L2 Cache)
    Motherboard : Intel G41-D3+ DDR3 Intel Chipset
    RAM : 4GB DDR3 Corsair Memory
    HDD : 500GB SATA3 7200rpm Hitachi
    Misc : DVD-RW LG Multi-Layer Optical Drive, Integrated Intel HD Graphics, 6x USB2, 500Watts PSU.

    Would love to have your thoughts on this!

    Thanks for reading.
     
  2. updog

    updog Member

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    It's not worth it to buy Core 2 Duo anymore, and it would be highly advisable to buy more memory as well. If you're building, don't make something that was just 'basic' even 5 years ago!

    At least look for an Intel i5, but preferably i7, these days you'd do best to have at least 8GB of memory.

    As for the firewire, you can get a firewire card on it and as far as I know, without problems.
     
  3. anotherpaul

    anotherpaul Member

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    You have to get a PCI Firewire adapter for PC to work with FW devices. Be sure to get a good one, because most of the FW problems come from bad or incompatible adapter and audio interface chipsets. Most people would recommend to get an adapter with Texas Instruments chip as the most reliable. I have been working fine on an PCI adapter with a VIA chip. Now I'm on a laptop with ExpressCard FireWire adapter which has been killing me lately with frequent glitches, freezes and crashes so I actually think of switching to a USB interface.
    By the way, my laptop which I actually bought about 5 years ago is almost the same as your build (I've got Core2Duo T6600 though) and I couldn't recommend it for bigger projects. Mine starts to drop out with 20+ tracks with several VSTi's running.
     
  4. mirflee

    mirflee SSL Studios

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    Duly noted. I'm not really familiar with Computer Tech nowadays I'm sure that would put me in a certain direction. Thanks!

    Point taken. So I can safely say that Firewire's the way to go since USB is getting more and more obselete in the Audio world?

    Thanks again for the swift responses!
     
  5. TRUIE

    TRUIE Member

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    Actually it's quite the contrary now... Firewire is dying since Apple is not using it anymore on their new products.
    Brands like RME even ditched all of their Firewire line and replaced it with USB versions (and they're not the only ones, new audio interface using firewire protocole are very uncommon nowadays).

    If you want your interface to last, if you want to be sure to be able to use it on a new computer in the future, and/or be able to sell it on the used market, you'd be better going with a USB one.
     
  6. Mortal_Dezire

    Mortal_Dezire Member

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    up until the OEM's start giving USB3 interfaces, Firewire is the way to go even though its a dying breed. I just recently built an AE computer myself with an i5 processor, 8 gigs of ram and a Siig firewire card. Go with the Siig for your card. Its $80(US), but it has a TI chip and its Pro Tools certified.
    http://www.siig.com/it-products/firewire/firewire-400/pcie/dp-firewire-2-port-pcie.html
    With the new Haswell processors out, the prices are dropping pretty heavily for the old i5's and i7's, (I think newegg has the i5 now for under $200).
    I built my system from scratch for about $2000, but I also use it more IT and software development, so I'm sure if you do some more digging you could probably piece it together for a lot less. Building a system is fucking cake if you do the research and don't rush it. Check around here for some videos. Loads of guys have built their systems without much hassle.
     
  7. drawnacrol

    drawnacrol 7Slinger

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    fixed

    Apple have dropped firewire and are trying to push thunderbolt now. USB 3.0 is the way forward for now IMO.
     
  8. jipchen

    jipchen ForesterStudio

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    Most high-end interfaces still use Firewire: Metric Halo (2882, LIO-8, ULN-8, ULN-2), Prismsound Orpehus, UA Apollo Duo/Quad/16, RME Fireface UFX / 800 etc.
    With the Fireface UFX you can choose between USB and FW, which is nice.
    Also, Apple didn't exactly drop Firewire. The Thunderbolt port is smaller, much faster, more versatile and *newsflash* it also carries Firewire. So actually you'll be able to use Firewire for at least the next decade.
     
  9. mirflee

    mirflee SSL Studios

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    Appreciate the responses guys, really helps clear things out for me. A couple of mixed responses but for now, I'm edging towards Windows-based desktop with USB instead of Firewire because of my tiny budget.

    My situation happens to be a real challenge as besides a small budget, basing in Southeast Asia isn't helping much either. I'll probably have to extend my budget a couple bit.

    Anyway, I'm really interested in the idea of building your own DAW. What would you guys recommend, besides having an i5-i7 processor and plenty of RAMS/HDD space for a good studio DAW?

    Thanks again! :)

    EDIT:

    Right now, I'm looking at the components below, would it do good? Sorry for the questions, I trust you guys have been more at it than me.

    CPU : Intel i5-3470 Ivy Bridge
    Motherboard : Asrock H71M-DGS
    RAM : 8GB 1333Mhz DDR3
    HDD : 1TB 7200RPM SATA
     
  10. BLUElightCory

    BLUElightCory Member

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    Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 are the way to go moving forward. Thunderbolt is also backwards-compatible with Firewire, so you can still use Firewire devices with it.
     
  11. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    I made a thread about a month or 2 ago about building a PC.

    Pretty much built a boss computer for under $900 ($1,200) if you count the monitor, keyboard, and mouse).

    Couldn't be happier.
     
  12. blackbull

    blackbull Member

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    Get an SSD where you have your OS and plugins and such on, while audio files (your projects) can be on an HDD. Everything will load much faster
     
  13. mirflee

    mirflee SSL Studios

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    Ahh, found your thread and had a good read. I'll probably head down to the shops and see what they have to offer in terms of the components. For those interested to check out bryan_kilco's post,

    http://www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/backline/872875-building-computer.html

    Noted mate, cheers!
     

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