Old 5th May 2008, 06:05   #1
mike-db
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Need to build a PC

So I want to build a machine that's meant for just playing music, no games only program it will run is Winamp. What would you guys suggest?

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Old 5th May 2008, 06:13   #2
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Cheap mobo, case, RAM and a Celeron.

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Old 5th May 2008, 06:46   #3
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Check out garage sales, flea markets, thrift stores, the Goodwill, and the Salvation Army. When you're done doing that, go to newegg.com and order the cheapest parts you can find and put one together yourself.
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Old 5th May 2008, 07:38   #4
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Save your money and salvage one.

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Old 5th May 2008, 07:56   #5
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How much music? Where will it be set up? What will it be hooked up to? Will it be running any visualizations?
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Old 5th May 2008, 10:45   #6
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Don't build your own, go to ebay and find a cheap one with no disk space in it. Then get a big USB hard disk for all your music. If you're not going to connect it up to the network, then a win98SE box might surfice.

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Old 5th May 2008, 12:57   #7
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some old pentium rug should do. if you dont want a monitor, use ultra vnc.
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Old 5th May 2008, 13:22   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by mikm
Save your money and salvage one.
Salvage an old Laptop and stick a big HD in it.

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Old 5th May 2008, 13:28   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by fwgx
Don't build your own, go to ebay and find a cheap one with no disk space in it. Then get a big USB hard disk for all your music. If you're not going to connect it up to the network, then a win98SE box might surfice.
I share stuff across my network but then I started having problems when copying large amounts of data + listening to music to the same drive.

I did put a new firewire card in and ran the drive off it's firewire port and it seems to be running faster.
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Old 5th May 2008, 13:53   #10
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Any PII, PIII, Celeron, C3, K6, early Athlon/Duron, or better will get the job done. Preferably with 128mb+ of ram so you can run Win2k on it. Schools and businesses will often give away old systems like that (provided they don't lease).

You may want to add a decent sound card and a larger HDD, unless it'll be playing music from some sort of NAS.

The major downside to using old systems is replacing parts should they fail, unless you have access to spares.
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Old 6th May 2008, 00:51   #11
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As Atmo said - sound card is important if sound quality is important to you. Just remember that (especially on old hardware) you should always back up all your files (music) in a reliable place. My oldest winamp-running computer is an old pentium MMX laptop. It still works like a charm - also browses the internet and runs ms office 2000 pro.

If you end up with a very old computer, use winamp lite (with a classic skin). If it's ugly, paint it or cover it with bumper stickers. That way, it's... well, still ugly, but in a cool sort of way.

If you really do some looking around - family, friends, anyone you know, you'll have the box ready to go without having to spend much at all in terms of money.

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Old 22nd May 2008, 20:34   #12
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Well yes the quality of the sound is very important because the music is going to be played on speakers threw a forest. This has to be as simple as it gets because this computer is for some more older folk (In their 60's - 70's)

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Old 22nd May 2008, 21:26   #13
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a forest? How high quality audio are we talking? I'm an audiophile. Is latency (lag) important to you? You need to be sure your computer can handle the processing & buffering of the audio if you get really freakin old. you can get some pretty dang nice PCI soundcards cheap if you know where to look. I remember I got a used PCI 5.1 surround sound card (just for monitoring as an external channel as opposed to my recording soundcard--so I don't get annoying PC noises on the recording track. Have a mixer & run 2 soundcards outputs into different inputs & use crossfader to balance the 2 so hear windows sounds while using recording card just for recording.

The cheapo PCI surround card I got for $20. The guy lost the driver CD, didn't know what model it was. Took some investigating, but I found some drivers and for $20...it sounds a whole lot better than I expected.

Personally, I love M-audio products. If you're looking at buying a nice quality card, my advice is M-audio.

Also, you might consider RAIDing some small capacity drives to increase capacity without the expensive ass cost of a huge drive (like a 1 TB drive). Depends on how many hours music you want & at what quality. 320 kbps continuous mp3 uses a lot more.

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Old 23rd May 2008, 00:19   #14
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In a forest, sound quality is going to very quickly deteriorate anyway with all the reverb caused by trees. Having a damn good sound card in a forest is like wearing an Armani suit with designer shoes in a forest.

If there's money to spend, spend it on strong amps/speakers and stuff that will protect the gear from the outdoor elements. Having sound outdoors requires a lot of power and careful speaker placement/aiming just to be able to hear it all right. Poorly placed speakers can cause some horrible sounding music effects when the sound reflects off a wall of trees and comes back to the listener a quarter or half second after it comes out of the speakers. Many times, you hear the bass quickly and the midrange/treble in a big delay which is funny at first, but becomes real annoying fast. What's worse, bad weather can really screw up your gear if you don't consider protective measures and a quick escape plan if it starts raining.

A single-drive terabyte including a damn good external enclosure can be bought for $213 from Dell. Storage is cheap. Look for a Western Digital "My Book"

[edit] fixed some spelling errors[/edit]

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Old 23rd May 2008, 00:46   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by mike-db
Well yes the quality of the sound is very important because the music is going to be played on speakers threw a forest. This has to be as simple as it gets because this computer is for some more older folk (In their 60's - 70's)
doh I just re-read your reply and realized I just didn't understand the concept of broadcasting the audio as in a PA-system in like a wooded ampitheater (sp?) sorta thing.

well ok...here's where quality becomes important.

You want the audio signal coming into your amps to be as crisp as possible. Any defects in the incoming signal are going to become worse when amplified. Little crackles & pops become really freakin annoying if amplified over a big speaker system (as opposed to just a little noise if you're listening quietly on headphones).

stand in front of a bunch of speakers & when someone pops the mic (for PA systems)...it's a concussive, extremely annoying blast

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Old 24th May 2008, 21:19   #16
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They already have the nice sound system. Its a 2km walk to the beach from their place and you can still hear the music there.

They are currently stuck using a five CD stereo so I offered to help with a PC.

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Old 25th May 2008, 05:56   #17
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If they are not computer savvy and/or patient, I'd go with at least a well-equipped late P3 or early P4. If you're the one doing the work, knowing what to expect and how to compensate for lower specs, an early P2 would even do the job quite well. As mentioned on other threads, older laptops are at risk for having very bad sound or good sound with added bad interference, so be careful with that. They can be retrofitted with an external sound card to compensate though.

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Old 25th May 2008, 09:48   #18
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I don't think I'm going to even go in the direction of a laptop.

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Old 26th May 2008, 01:01   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by swingdjted
As mentioned on other threads, older laptops are at risk for having very bad sound or good sound with added bad interference, so be careful with that. They can be retrofitted with an external sound card to compensate though.
Correction - the external card did NOT fix the problem on the other thread. I guess the desktop is a good idea.

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