computer processor - or the CPU (Central
is "the brain" of your computer.
Together with the memory (RAM) the
determines the "thinking speed" of your computer.
What you need to know about CPUs when you build computers is:
Intel P4 CPUs demand a particular power supply)
The clock speed of
the CPU (MHz)
compatibility (i.e. Socket number, FSB speed)
I would recommend
deciding on what kind of computer processor you want before buying the
motherboard, since the CPU is such an important part when building a powerful
When you have chosen your desired CPU, you can choose a
motherboard that fits.
Processors come in many brands, types and speeds and
sometimes it might be confusing to choose the one exactly for your needs.
A general rule when it comes to graphics, video and in this
case, music recording, you can never really get enough of processor
speed. All of the above forces the computer to do some heavy calculations and
it's a drain on system resources.
So what kind of CPU should you get?
One piece of advice here first. The newest and the fastest
computer processor available are usually twice as expensive as the second
newest and fastest. Keep that in mind!
If you build a
recording studio and you're setting up a computer for recording and mixing audio
and midi, you should get a CPU of at least 2.0 GHz or higher. Actually the
higher the better.
AMD or Intel?
Basically I would say it's a matter of personal preference. I
have used both brands in my computers and I can recommend both, but a couple of
AMD CPUs tend to
build more heat than Intel CPUs, so if you have isolated your computer case with
pads for noise reduction, you might want to keep that in mind. You would
generally need a bigger cooling fan which produces more noise.
Some people have
experienced CPU "spikes" (the CPU strikes out at 100% usage for no apparent
reason) with some Intel P4 CPUs when recording audio with certain recording
software (I haven't had that experience using Cubase SX with a 2.0 GHz P4 CPU)
Some heat will
build in the computer processor no matter what type or brand it is, so you would
need some kind of cooling fan or heat sink.
If the description of the processor you buy says it's "boxed"
then it comes with a cooling fan and/or heat sink developed specifically for
that type of computer processor.
Intel CPUs are commonly "boxed", but AMDs are not that
commonly shipped with a cooling fan.
If you have to buy this separately, keep in mind the noise
level in your environment (i.e. recording studio), and go as quiet as possible.
As fast a computer
processor as you can afford: 2.0 GHz and up.
The brand of
your personal preference keeping in mind the facts above.
the computer processor is provided with proper (and as quiet as possible)