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  1. #1
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    Whos the go-to company to build a computer?

    I need to build up a simple PC, with specific specs. Newegg? Local mom and pop?

  2. #2
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    Can you share your specific specs?

  3. #3
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    Prebuilt these days gives roll your own a run for the money in the low end specs. Especially with shortages of things. If it's already put together then you have all the parts. Seriously. That's a problem these days. I typically use Newegg for self build. But then I gooogle each part that I want to see if there are better deals, including Amazon. Pay attention to ship dates.

  4. #4
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    Trying to avoid bloat ware and unneeded crap.

    Itll be a music server. Very bare bones. 2TB SSD internal drives x 2; Bluetooth; LAN card; toslink card; HDMI card. 6 USB ports. 16gb ram, maybe 32.

  5. #5
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    Linux?

  6. #6
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    Win 10.

  7. #7
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    Might consider Linux, but I have no experience with it.

  8. #8
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    I would just get a prebuilt and add a toslink card or just do a cheap AMD build. Grab a motherboard that has bluetooth, hdmi, and 6 USB ports.

  9. #9
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    I did mine with CyberpowerPC a few years ago (I7 with a nice at the time NVIDIA video card). Pretty happy with it and them. When the motherboard went bad a couple years after way out of warranty I called them and they spent 20 minutes on the phone with me helping me to shop a new ASUS board from NewEgg that is way better than the MSI that came with it. I'm not a computer guy but I could have figured it out eventually...it was nice, though, that they gave me the support with no hassle and even told me to buy the board from another vendor. Still runs like a top and I learned a lot when I rebuilt it. And maybe stay away from MSI. What a POS that board was.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyoverland Captive View Post
    Might consider Linux, but I have no experience with it.
    Do you plan to go optical out to D/A converter and thence to an amp[s]? Or is this all going out to different clients across your LAN, like a file server?

    If you want bit-perfect out to a D/A, Daphile RT is free and will run on a bottom end NUC, the Celeron model you can score for <$100 barebones. 4gigs of ram + whatever your storage requirements. D/As are a topic to themselves, but suffice to say you can spend as much or as little as you want for them.

    If you just want a place to store your music and have several clients that you expect to play different files at the same time, you'll probably come around to needing a NAS rather than a "music server".
    Archiving & playing media is essentially a storage job. A job for mirrors and RAIDs, as redundancy is ultimately the only sure way to preserve valuable computer files long term.

  11. #11
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    Im planning on a toslink optical out, as well as hdmi and Bluetooth, so I can experiment with different systems. Only one client; itll be supplying audio feed to a preamp (tbd, thus the desire for lots of output options). The preamp will have line-level outs to feed several outdoor amps, as well as my main listening room amp w/surrounds.

    My current PC has two internal 1TB HHDs; its ten years old, and getting finicky with each W10 update, so I want to upgrade before it shits the bed.

    Ill look at Daphile RT; thanks.

  12. #12
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    Years ago you could save some money by doing a custom built desktop system. But today (and for some time now) it really does not pay to do a build unless you are looking for something pretty specific or a higher end system (like a gaming or video editing system)... The big 3 (Dell, Hewlett Packard, and Lenovo) have a number of basic general computer systems for most any budget (unless you want to be under $300- then go refurbished or used off one of the popular Marketplaces (Facebook, Craigslist for local, or Ebay)...

    There are consumer models (online at the manufacturers web sites, at big box stores and online at companies like Newegg, Amazon, etc.) and then there are the better business class systems (like Lenovo Thinksystems) that are a bit better and usually have a longer and better warranty.

    Best bet usually is at least a AMD Ryzen 5 or 7 or Intel Core i5 or i7 and at least 8 Gb of memory and an SSD drive. Do not go with a hard drive unless you really need pretty high capacity needs. If you need gaming or higher end video needs, then you are probably going to want a separate video card and due to Crypto-mining, they are in very short supply and very expensive and are a large percentage of the budget in higher end systems.

    Lenovo is my goto and first choice usually

  13. #13
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    ^^^ Good to know.

    I stream music from my PC at least 8 hours a day, and have a library of around 700GB, and want room to grow, thus the desire for 2TB SSDs. One main internal drive for daily use, and another for backup, with external drives for backup off-site (already have these). This PC will not be used for anything other than music; basically, its a jukebox.

    I assumed custom would be cheaper, but it sounds like I can get a Lenovo pre-built and customize it myself for the same or less money.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyoverland Captive View Post
    ^^^ Good to know.

    I stream music from my PC at least 8 hours a day, and have a library of around 700GB, and want room to grow, thus the desire for 2TB SSDs. One main internal drive for daily use, and another for backup, with external drives for backup off-site (already have these). This PC will not be used for anything other than music; basically, its a jukebox.

    I assumed custom would be cheaper, but it sounds like I can get a Lenovo pre-built and customize it myself for the same or less money.
    And if you are worried about bloat ware just reformat and reinstall windows out of the box.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyoverland Captive View Post
    ^^^ Good to know.

    I stream music from my PC at least 8 hours a day, and have a library of around 700GB, and want room to grow, thus the desire for 2TB SSDs. One main internal drive for daily use, and another for backup, with external drives for backup off-site (already have these). This PC will not be used for anything other than music; basically, its a jukebox.

    I assumed custom would be cheaper, but it sounds like I can get a Lenovo pre-built and customize it myself for the same or less money.
    You need a full PC?
    You could look into some dedicated music streamers/storage from like Cambridge audio or audiolab?

  16. #16
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    Nov 2014
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    Build your own. It's still cheaper and way better. But you might have to shop around a bit.

    No secret sauce on sourcing parts. Use pcpartpicker to put something together (or userbenchmark comparisons). Then Google the part for prices and availability). Amazon, best buy, new egg, EVGA's site, and I'm sure there are others.

    Take a look at the creative type MoBos instead of gaming boards. My research led me to gigabyte's designare but if this is strictly music, that's overkill I guess.

  17. #17
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    Whos the go-to company to build a computer?

    Streamers seem like the same price but with less expandability or flexibility (no backup drives, etc.). And I cant control them from my iPad like a PC (its not located in my main listening room, for a few reasons, so I need remote control.)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyoverland Captive View Post
    Streamers seem like the same price but with less expandability or flexibility (no backup drives, etc.). And I cant control them from my iPad like a PC (its not located in my main listening room, for a few reasons, so I need remote control.)
    yeah, it's definitely dedicated, but can be hooked up to existing hard drives/etc.
    the heos app is pretty solid for remote control/ playback too.


    https://www.marantz.com/en-us/produc...EaAj4NEALw_wcB

  19. #19
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    Mar 2005
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    My oldest just built a gaming computer.

    Brought back memories from thirty years ago. Lol.
    Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.
    Hunter S. Thompson

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    263
    I also do the pcpartspicker and google thing. I like overanalyzing so I use these as well:

    https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_value_available.html
    https://diskprices.com/

    I may want to put Bluetooth on my next one, but I am afraid it will not work well. I've heard the onboard ones wee not good- is that still the case?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyoverland Captive View Post
    I’m planning on a toslink optical out, as well as hdmi and Bluetooth, so I can experiment with different systems. Only one client; it’ll be supplying audio feed to a preamp (tbd, thus the desire for lots of output options). The preamp will have line-level outs to feed several outdoor amps, as well as my main listening room amp w/surrounds.

    My current PC has two internal 1TB HHDs; it’s ten years old, and getting finicky with each W10 update, so I want to upgrade before it shits the bed.

    I’ll look at Daphile RT; thanks.
    Don't know if you are aware, but toslink only good to 24/96 max, and no error correction. HDMI is better, almost comparable to USB which can use a separate clock for audio, like the crystals in a good D/A.
    Analog preamps are where it's at, specifically tube preamps, which I like for driving class B powered reference monitors. I like the studio monitor route because it's the cheapest and most bullshit-free way to real high fidelity from digital source.
    Take a bit-perfect source, like a high bitrate flac, convert the square waves to sine waves with a decent D/A, output to a pro-tier mic preamp like the ART Pro MPA II with some Gold Lion, or nos Telefunken or holy grail RCA tubes, thence to powered studio monitors [which are made to reproduce sound very accurately for recording engineers and recording artists], or thence to analog amp & speakers, equalize to room with pink noise.
    Ppl be like, "Dayum that sounds good!"
    You be like, "Science!"

    PS: Don't listen to ppl trying to configure a workstation. You don't need a goddamn i5 and a stack of ram to run JRiver, or especially Daphile. What you need for halfass audio from a computer motherboard is a mobo built with a good audio clock. You'll prob never get better than halfass audio off a computer mobo though.

  22. #22
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    I understood about half of that. Lol

    Yeah, toslink is a backup output; thats why I wanted HDMI, which my limited research tells me is better. Gives me flexibility.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattig View Post
    Build your own. It's still cheaper and way better. But you might have to shop around a bit.

    No secret sauce on sourcing parts. Use pcpartpicker to put something together (or userbenchmark comparisons). Then Google the part for prices and availability). Amazon, best buy, new egg, EVGA's site, and I'm sure there are others.

    Take a look at the creative type MoBos instead of gaming boards. My research led me to gigabyte's designare but if this is strictly music, that's overkill I guess.
    Secret sauce is these days has to deal with availability and inventory/stock on items. Something as simple as Monitors are back ordered regularly (or higher priced models in stock that you have to substitute because the ones you regularly could get a year ago are back ordered.)

    Flyoverland Captive, Music will eat up storage so you could do a few different options- one would be a fast SSD drive for the OS and regular data, and then 2 cheaper Raid 1 Hard drives in the system (go with an entry level Raid controller or system board that supports raid not software or operating system mirrored)... Or you could also just get the computer, and then go with a NAS- Synology type of storage for the music attached- again raid or using a few SSD drives in the enclosure and allowing for growth. (And of course you still will want either a cloud backup solution or a few external hard drives or some sort of backup strategy still- as a raid solution is NOT a backup solution)!!!

    A dedicated sound card maybe part of your solution, again depending on how you plan on using the system or what you consider acceptable quality for the music streaming. Also what interface that you are going to be driving is needed will be the first thing to narrow down.

    Sounds like highangle has more music and audio experience than I will ever have. So I will also say that the audio experts will have many different comments and ways to output the audio for the "best" sound, but budget enters at some point to all discussions unless you are a wealthy Dentist or just hit that $515 million lottery.

  24. #24
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    Why do people always mistake redundancy for backup?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garbowski View Post
    I also do the pcpartspicker and google thing. I like overanalyzing so I use these as well:

    https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_value_available.html
    https://diskprices.com/

    I may want to put Bluetooth on my next one, but I am afraid it will not work well. I've heard the onboard ones wee not good- is that still the case?
    My Bluetooth works great on the designare but ONLY with the antenna thingy plugged in. The range was about a foot before that.

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