Rackmount audio PCs are ultra-stable, two- or four-space computers specifically built for music composition, performance and recording. These Windows 7-based computers, which are usually customisable, have been certified and tested by music software manufacturers such as Cakewalk, Steinberg and Digidesign. These machines come with up to six terabytes of internal storage and 16GB of low-latency memory, as well as audio PC "must-haves" such as ultra-quiet operation, automatic thermal regulation and automatic data backup/recovery.
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Spectral offers five models--the basic RM-5100 and the RM-7100--19-inch rackmount--PCs, the CB-100, in a desktop cube form factor, plus two custom-shop starter kits, the RM-7200 and the RM-7400. The RM-7400s specs include 4 GB of dual-channel RAM; a 74-gigabyte, 10,000-RPM 4.5ms system hard drive, four 250-gig RAID recording drives, a 400 GB removable drive and Nvidia 6600 PCI 16X Dual Head video card.
Carillon Audio Computers
Computer studio experts Carillon offer five 19-inch rackmount studio PCs, from the Core 1--four 2.5GHz cores, 2 GB DDR3 memory, a 500 GB WD hard disk--to the Core 4XT--six 970 3.2GHz cores, 12 threads, 3 GB DDR3 memory, 1 TB WD hard disk.
Rain Computers offers just one rackmount audio PC model, the six-core Ion. Many of its basic elements can be upgraded, however, including the processor, which can be upped from a 2.8GHz AMD Phenom II X6 to a 3.2GHz AMD Phenom II X6, and the memory--4 GB DDR3, with slots for up to 16 GB. Other specs include its two 500GB SATA II, 7200-RPM drive with a 32 MB cache, three hard drive bays for up to 6 TB, six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports and two FireWire ports.
MusicXPC's R3 Rackmount Music Production Computer System boasts a fanless motherboard that supports 1066MHz FSB, Intel Pentium dual core and Core 2 processors, DDR2 RAM (Dual Channel) and PCI Express x16. The R3 comes loaded with 2 GB of dual-channel DDR2 800MHz RAM, upgradeable to 8 MB, and it has seven USB 2.0 ports and two FireWire ports.
PC Audio Labs Rok Box
PC Audio Labs' Rok Box comes loaded with a 3.20GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 960 processor, 8 GB of memory, a Pioneer 22x CD/DVD Dual Layer Burner, eight USB 2.0 ports, five FireWire 400 ports, one eSATA port and one Gigabit Network port. It also comes with three hard drives: a 250 GB SATA2 primary hard drive, a 1 TB audio hard drive and a 1 TB sample library hard drive.
StoneWave offers three rackmount audio PCs--the Project Studio i7--with 4 GB of memory, a 500 GB hard drive, and a 1 TB audio drive--the Pro Studio i7--with 6 GB of RAM, a 500 GB hard drive, and a 1 TB audio drive--and the PC Pro 980x, with 12 GB of RAM, a 1 TB hard drive and two 1 TB drives for samples and audio. All three are based on Core i7 processors and feature multiple USB and FireWire ports.
Music PC's Protools 4U Rack System includes an Intel Core I7 Quad Core Processor, 4 GB of memory--upgradeable to 8 GB--1500 GB SATA storage--upgradeable to 3000 GB+--a Noctua NH-U9B Advanced cooler, a Digidesign Digi 003 Rack Audio Interface and Pro Tools LE 8.03 Software pre-installed.
Muse Research Receptor
Muse Research's line of standalone VST players--which includes the Receptor 2, the Receptor 2 Pro, the Receptor 2 Pro Max, Receptor Komplete Inside, Receptor Total Workstation and Receptor Alternate Mode--are multi-timbral, rack-mount, sound and effects modules. The Receptor 2 Pro Max offers a 1 TB drive, 4 GB of memory and a 3.0 Ghz Dual-Core Intel processor. The company's proprietary UniWire technology lets you offload processor intensive plug-ins from your computer--Mac or PC, laptop or desktop--and run them on your Receptor, easing the load on your existing DAW system.
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