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Thread: Upgrading my Dell Optiplex GX280 for Music Production.

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    dmweinbe is offline Registered User
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    Upgrading my Dell Optiplex GX280 for Music Production.

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    So far all I have done is bought additional ram (I now have 4 gigs). I'm trying to run major VST's (Komplete 8 Ultimate) with varying levels or success. I also recently purchased Komplete Audio 6. What can I do to get my computer to where it needs to be? Thanks.

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    CPhoenix is offline CharlesAllen/ BMR Studios
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    What type of CPU does it have.. specifically the clock speed and # of cores.

    Id check to see what socket type your motherboard has and see if there's room to upgrade your CPU, or if its even worth it. All depending on what you already have now.

    That's pretty much all you can do other than optimizing your operating system for music.

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    bandcoach is offline Zukatoku - Mod Scientist
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    What version of the bios do you have? go to dell's site, and type in your service tag no - it will tell what driver updates you need and even bundle them into a zip file for you to download.

    Avoid using anything like DriverMax - it will ask to install drivers you don't need and even cause your OS to believe it has non-existent hardware attached (I know this from painful experience)

    Are you running xp/vista/windows7?

    Next steps are dependent on the answer to that - seriously.

    If XP there is a way to configure XP so that you have the best possible OS for music making.

    Vista is a pain to configure but can be done.

    Windows 7 is bloatware (all versions are installed and you are given a key to unlock the features you have paid for, just like FLStudio) so it is difficult to trim it down into a lean, mean, music making machine

    Personally, I'm running a gx620 with 3.5GB ram fresh install of xp updated to sp3. Regularly defrag it, crap clean it and keep minimal non-music programs on it as well.
    Last edited by bandcoach; 12-26-2011 at 01:01 AM.
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    ultra auris is offline Registered User
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    re

    windows 7 isnt bloatware. It much better than xp. not to mention your are going to want 64 bit for those plugins and xp64 was terrible. That computer, if I remeber correctly has a core 2 duo at best and maybe even a pentium4. Thats not a good place to start today since parts are so cheap so much more powerful now.

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    bandcoach is offline Zukatoku - Mod Scientist
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    bloatware by definition is any software whether operating system or productivity or game software that occupies more diskspace than it actually needs to do the job it is designed to do.

    Windows 7 comes in 4 flavours
    • home
    • professional
    • ultimate
    • enterprise


    However, regardless of which version you want to install, you install of the components for enterprise and then unlock those features that you paid for with your install codes - by definition it is bloatware - there are more components installed on your hard drive than you need and some features cannot be disabled regardless of what your needs are. Put another way: XP Home has a totally different install setup to XP Pro and you cannot mix them to make a better install you have one or the other, not the worst of all worlds with no way to navigate and create what you need.

    I would view putting together a music machine from the perspective of what software it has to run rather than what hardware is the best - it does not matter what the hardware can do if the software won't work with it.

    So know what your software needs to run on, then design a machine around that. Again, think of it this way: if the software you have won't work on a 64 bit setup, no point getting a 64 bit setup to begin with.

    My Dell GX620 has a P4 hyperthreaded processor running at 3 GHz, that's almost twice the speed of my Core 2 Duo machine that died last xmas.

    With a fresh install of XP Pro SP# + all subsequent updates, it is running faster than the Core 2 duo ever did

    I have a 2nd GX620 with 3gb of ram to use for video/graphics/web processing and development.

    If I end up buying new software then maybe I will buy a 64 bit machine, but until then using a lean, mean machine that work well and run as fast or faster than later CPUs is fine with me.

    PS I run Cubase 5.5.3, Komplete 8 Ultimate, FLStudio, Reason 6 all on this machine with blistering response times and little vst processing overhead (so far).
    I also service PC's in my spare time and used to maintain a campus network of a 130 machines running mostly xp pro, but some with win 98se as well as teaching computing and music. I have been doing this sort of thing since the end of the 80's, so believe me when I tell you that there is more than one way to configure your machines for ultimate performance regardless of processor and mobo architecture.

    ---------- Post added at 09:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:08 PM ----------

    Oh, and before you ask, yes I have use Windows 7 pro in a professional capacity, and I would not use it personally if I were given a choice, I'd opt for a 64 bit edition of XP pro any day.
    BC: I've been making music since Before Computers were common in music
    Abnormal thoughts and insights available here
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    dmweinbe is offline Registered User
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    I run XP professional, have a Pentium 4 CPU, 3 GHz, 3 gigs rams, and I believe 450 gigs memory.

    Quote Originally Posted by bandcoach View Post
    What version of the bios do you have? go to dell's site, and type in your service tag no - it will tell what driver updates you need and even bundle them into a zip file for you to download.

    Avoid using anything like DriverMax - it will ask to install drivers you don't need and even cause your OS to believe it has non-existent hardware attached (I know this from painful experience)

    Are you running xp/vista/windows7?

    Next steps are dependent on the answer to that - seriously.

    If XP there is a way to configure XP so that you have the best possible OS for music making.

    Vista is a pain to configure but can be done.

    Windows 7 is bloatware (all versions are installed and you are given a key to unlock the features you have paid for, just like FLStudio) so it is difficult to trim it down into a lean, mean, music making machine

    Personally, I'm running a gx620 with 3.5GB ram fresh install of xp updated to sp3. Regularly defrag it, crap clean it and keep minimal non-music programs on it as well.

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    bandcoach's Avatar
    bandcoach is offline Zukatoku - Mod Scientist
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    noblewordz is offline sexing your mother
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    While 7 is significantly more bloated than XP you need to have it in perspective its not designed for 10 year old PC's like XP, even lower end modem PC's run 7 very well. You can tweak it a little, I've installed it on notebooks. Further more if you use something like RT7lite you can strip it down, I've seen people make 700mb Win 7 ISO's. Having said that Win 7 only takes about 12GB of space on my 60GB SSD with a couple of software tweaks like reducing page file.

    I totally skipped Vista, Win7 is what Vista should have been I couldn't imagine going back to XP.

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    CPhoenix is offline CharlesAllen/ BMR Studios
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    Also please keep in mind that some audio interface drivers are written better for win7 than they are for xp, since xp support is slowly being discontinued by developers. That's the reason I switched to win7 in the first place. I had no intentions to ever leave xp until my interface wasn't behaving nicely with xp 64bit.

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    ultra auris is offline Registered User
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    re

    imo experience you guys are completely wrong on win 7. You couldnt pay me to use xp 32 on a pentium4. i5s and 7s and RAM are cheap. XP is dead. there is no future in it. 8 is almost here. So everybody is devolping for 8 which is built on 7. no one is really developing or releasing stuff for xp anymore. To each there own but for kontakt and omnisphere and others ram hogs I would only use 64bit.

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