At 1/5/13 08:19 PM, DrFunkMonkey wrote:
It will obviously used mainly for Music production and recording, as well as the occasional gaming session and what not.
Stay away from big box retail stores such as Best Buy and Target, and brands such as Acer, and HP. Pick your own parts and build a custom computer.
My first recommendation is to NOT use this computer for anything other than your music production.
Something like a i5 2500K processor would be the most cost efficient processor. It's reasonably priced, and is more than good enough for any music production software that you throw at it.
As far as motherboards go, the brands that I trust are ASUS and Intel. Gigabyte is not bad for reliability either.
For memory, 8 gigs will do you fine for starters. I'm pushing a full orchestral setup on my system, and I'm barely reaching 6 Gigs of memory usage. If you find a good deal for a reliable brand and model, then consider 16. Any more, and it's overkill.
For your video card, since you will be using this computer for music production, you won't need an expensive 3D acceleartor card, like a 7970 for example. The cheapest Radeon card will do you fine. Radeon drivers have multi-monitor spanning enabled for windows Vista and later, something that nVidia Geforce cards no longer support. I personally use a Radeon 6450, which cost me in the neighborhood of 60$.
As for your sound interface, I can't really recommended anything until I know for what style, and general genre you're interested in composing / playing / performing.
Get a computer tower that has plenty of open room and lots of slots for active fans. A properly cooled system will be far more reliable and far less prone to random BSODs and "unexplained" freezes.
Buy a solid state drive for your OS and software, and a conventional drive for your sound plugin library.
A power surge protector / filter / power conditioner with EMI and RFI filtering will help you in keeping out electronic buzz and interference if you plan on doing any live recording.
A battery backup is also essential if you don't want your work destroyed by power brown/blackouts. Also your computer's OS NEVER likes improperly shut-down sessions ;) I recommended the Cyberpower brand over APC because Cyberpower has adaptive sinewave technology, which results in WAY less noticeable interference/noise from the battery.