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tc99



Joined: 29/06/05
Posts: 222
Buying a PC for first time in about 7 or 8 years - looking at a partircular Fuji
      #1098475 - 18/04/14 12:27 AM
I am going to buy a new PC, i'm still on XP, and i need to update.
In terms of performance and power i do not need anything more powerfull than my present one. My main objectives in updating is to get on Windows 7 or 8, reduce size (not essential) and get something as quiet as possible within my budget £500 to £600

I came across this Fuji mini PC, which is meant to be very quiet. I have got a feeling i could get a more powerfull PC for the price, but like i say there are other considerations that are more important

http://www.fujitsu.com/uk/products/computing/pc/desktops/esprimo-q520/

It is meant to be very quiet, except a review i read said a fan will kick in when it's pushed, but i don't tend to push it . . with working on music i just really run a few (max 10 tracks) of audio, maybe a soft synth or plugun at a time, no more really.

It is also a general work PC. One thing is updating from firewire to USB 3, which is something i need to read up on. Will it be possible on this PC? I've been told it can use my XP drivers stuff (i.e install drivers, software) on Windows 7 Pro. I've also been told Windows 8 is really aimed towards touch screen, which i do not use. And generally is there anything that i have missed in consideration, does the PC look suitable for my uses?

Any other suggestions are welcome!


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Dynamic Mike



Joined: 31/12/06
Posts: 2005
Re: Buying a PC for first time in about 7 or 8 years - looking at a partircular Fuji new [Re: tc99]
      #1098602 - 19/04/14 01:12 AM
Generally speaking the smaller you go, the noisier it gets. Small PC's tend to build up heat quicker & small fans have to spin faster to circulate the air, so are usually more noticable. The entry level i3 HP's are surprisingly quiet & not that much bigger. No experience of Fuji though, so it might be fine.

--------------------
Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of the poster by the time you read this.


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Goddard



Joined: 04/04/12
Posts: 949
Re: Buying a PC for first time in about 7 or 8 years - looking at a partircular Fuji new [Re: tc99]
      #1098619 - 19/04/14 09:26 AM
If you don't actually require more performance, then you really could stay with XP and your current system, despite the scare-mongering surrounding XP support ending. Just be smart about it if you connect to the net (put it behind a NAT router, run windows firewall, use another browser than IE and run noscript plug-in, don't open any suspicious e-mail attachments, etc.). It's really not the end of the world for using XP, and certainly doesn't require upgrading to a newer version of Windows unless you actually need to do so in order to run some newer software application which won't run under XP.

If you want a quieter system, you might consider upgrading your present system with a quieter cooler and fan(s) and maybe psu and/or case.

The Fujitsu system you linked to is basically a notebook type system but using a desktop chipset. All the processor options are "T" type lower power consumption ones, to reduce heat output, but at higher cost and lower performance. Also, because of its smaller form factor size it lacks expansion options available in larger format models in Fujitsu's range, like any PCI Express slots (useful for adding a Firewire card) or the capacity for more SATA drives, or e-SATA. USB3 isn't really useful as a subsitute for SATA/e-SATA in a DAW imo. Also, as already mentioned, smaller fans have to work harder and are louder when run. So not a system I would consider for DAW usage.

That said, Fujitsu's gear is of high quality, design and build (they partner with Siemens), and I've used one of their touchscreen notebooks as well as one of their server systems with no complaints.


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5722
Re: Buying a PC for first time in about 7 or 8 years - looking at a partircular Fuji new [Re: Goddard]
      #1098625 - 19/04/14 10:21 AM
Don't replace one obsolete operating system with another obsolete one. The current Windows is 8.1. Ignore the "modern" side. The Desktop is still there. It's OK, really.

I don't think the Fujitsu is enough computer for use as a DAW. 4GB RAM is rock-bottom spec. for a 64-bit operating system. Choose something with at least 8GB. And it seems to come with a very small hard drive. (I know the numbers look big in comparison with your old XP machine...:-)

Not sure what you've been told about "using your XP drivers"? Most of the software you used on XP will have current versions that work on Windows 8. You may have more problems with external hardware - printers, scanners etc. if they're the same vintage as the main computer. I can guarantee the XP drivers won't work though - you'll need to download current ones!

If you have Firewire equipment, a Firewire card can be cheaply added to a modern computer (but maybe not to an ultra-miniature one). Order from somewhere like Scan who know which ones are suitable for audio interfaces - there can be issues.

Overall, I advise that this computer is Not A Good Idea :-)


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iceman
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Joined: 17/10/03
Posts: 1175
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Re: Buying a PC for first time in about 7 or 8 years - looking at a partircular Fuji new [Re: tc99]
      #1098658 - 19/04/14 04:39 PM
have you considered a laptop? im thinking the prices of half decent laptops these days you might want to consider that instead? i agree with mr Womabat the fuji pc is kinda ropey really

--------------------
as metal as your nanna`s new hip


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tc99



Joined: 29/06/05
Posts: 222
Re: Buying a PC for first time in about 7 or 8 years - looking at a partircular Fuji new [Re: tc99]
      #1098971 - 22/04/14 11:21 AM
Hello all, sorry for late reply . . very usefull info and thankyou.

Goddard - well that sounds like good news, and i'm not completely surprised. I really have read nothing about XP future, but i did not think it would become unusable overnight. So at least that gives me more time to look around. I am thinking I could do with a second computer anyway, so will probably keep my current one going as the second. Lack of expansion slots on the Fujitsu could be a worry

Mike - going to check out the i3 HP's

EW - my dad just said Windows 8 was more suited to touchscreen, but he's no expert He also said, and i read about in Which magazne, Windows 7 having some sort of virtual XP mode for installing / handling XP drivers. On the Pro edition think, but not on the Home. Yes, i remember it was tricky getting the right firewire card for this PC when the first one blew up. So this.

Iceman - laptop is not for me, as i am working on the PC a lot of day, don't like thekeyboard and screen being so close together

So, overall, i will look around, there are a few PCs on ebay that say they are low noise. I definatley need to do more reading up before making a decision


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Pete Kaine
Scan Computers


Joined: 10/07/03
Posts: 3580
Loc: Manchester
Re: Buying a PC for first time in about 7 or 8 years - looking at a partircular Fuji new [Re: tc99]
      #1098988 - 22/04/14 12:30 PM
Quote tc99:


EW - my dad just said Windows 8 was more suited to touchscreen, but he's no expert He also said, and i read about in Which magazne, Windows 7 having some sort of virtual XP mode for installing / handling XP drivers.





Virtual XP mode runs a full build of XP within a virtual machine instance. Be aware that your taking a sizable chunk of overhead if you do so and all the relevent sequencer/plugs will have to be run inside of the virtual machine again reducing available resources. I've yet to meet anyone who's made much use of it in a music enviroment personally. Also note that not every chip can handle virtualization tasks and I've got a feeling that rules out the i3's you see as options in that unit.

And yes, win8 is more suited to a touch screen (also I.M.O). If it bothers you whilst using it, bare in mind a client like "Classic Shell" would revert the design for you if needs be.

--------------------
ScanProAudio & 3XS Audio Systems
ScanProAudio Blog


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Goddard



Joined: 04/04/12
Posts: 949
Re: Buying a PC for first time in about 7 or 8 years - looking at a partircular Fuji new [Re: Pete Kaine]
      #1099117 - 23/04/14 06:30 AM
Is XP mode still available for Win 8, or was Win 7 the last? (Anyways, afaik, MS no longer support XP when running virtualized in XP mode either)

Can confirm that XP mode is useless for DAWs anyhow, far too sluggish and hardware support is lacking/non-existent. Really only useful for office type applications that can't run under newer Windows versions.


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tc99



Joined: 29/06/05
Posts: 222
Re: Buying a PC for first time in about 7 or 8 years - looking at a partircular Fuji new [Re: tc99]
      #1099212 - 23/04/14 11:28 AM
Pete, thanks. Most of my DAW stuff was installed a few years ago, stuff like Sonar 2.0, various Korg synths. Looking through my programme list i really do not have that much stuff . . i have an M-Audio firewire soundcard that is a good few years old, i will check their site. Do you think these would install onto Windows 7 or 8? Things like the printer I have which must be 10 years old, i am bit worried i would not get onto W7 or 8.


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Pete Kaine
Scan Computers


Joined: 10/07/03
Posts: 3580
Loc: Manchester
Re: Buying a PC for first time in about 7 or 8 years - looking at a partircular Fuji new [Re: Goddard]
      #1099253 - 23/04/14 03:10 PM
Quote Goddard:

Is XP mode still available for Win 8, or was Win 7 the last? (Anyways, afaik, MS no longer support XP when running virtualized in XP mode either)





Apparently not : www.howtogeek.com/171395/how-to-get-windows-xp-mode-on-windows-8/

Google also tells you of a way to get it working with the MS offical hyper V download through a little tweaking in Win8, although how that stands on licence wise is probably open to debate.

Quote tc99:

Pete, thanks. Most of my DAW stuff was installed a few years ago, stuff like Sonar 2.0, various Korg synths. Looking through my programme list i really do not have that much stuff . . i have an M-Audio firewire soundcard that is a good few years old, i will check their site. Do you think these would install onto Windows 7 or 8? Things like the printer I have which must be 10 years old, i am bit worried i would not get onto W7 or 8.




You'll have the software side of things. The intro version of Sonar however is well featured and fairly cheap, so whilst not ideal it might be worth a look. I'd hope the korg synths etc... would have updates for win7, but it's something you'll have to check out with the manufacturer in each case.

The M-Audio interface should have a win7 driver and "should" work in 8 (I've not tested). I wouldn't be surpised if the printer support isn't there, but I'd also expect them to have made the inks end of life by now too if that is the case. So that said, if they support the inks then they should support the drivers, if they don't support either, well it may be time to chuck it away. Given the price of printers these days, I wouldn't be suprised if the manufacturer may have taken a more throw away attitude to it so not holding my breath, but who knows, if it was a decent unit when you bought it, they may still upkeep some working drivers if you lucky.

--------------------
ScanProAudio & 3XS Audio Systems
ScanProAudio Blog


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5722
Re: Buying a PC for first time in about 7 or 8 years - looking at a partircular Fuji new [Re: Pete Kaine]
      #1099297 - 23/04/14 07:40 PM
Quote Pete Kaine:

And yes, win8 is more suited to a touch screen (also I.M.O). If it bothers you whilst using it, bare in mind a client like "Classic Shell" would revert the design for you if needs be.




You really shouldn't worry too much about the Metro side of Windows 8. Just think of it as an overblown Sidebar - you know, the thing you could have down the side of your screen in Vista with a clock, calander and a few "apps". Use what it offers if you like, otherwise ignore it and stick with the Deskto[.

But Metro doesn't matter. The Desktop doesn't matter. What matters are the applications in which you do your real work. So Metro offers toy versions of a few of them. The real versions are still there!


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tc99



Joined: 29/06/05
Posts: 222
Re: Buying a PC for first time in about 7 or 8 years - looking at a partircular Fuji new [Re: Pete Kaine]
      #1099357 - 24/04/14 11:22 AM
ok, Pete, usefull info. Should be a bit of a pain making the change, but not the end of the world. I'll keep my XP machine at least while i make the transition


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